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Mr. McCartney: Over 400 responses were received to the Pension Credit formal consultation exercise "The Pension Credit: a consultation paper", Cm4900, November 2000, many welcoming our proposals. We continue to consider views and work closely with groups representing older people to deliver a modernised and dedicated service to meet pensioner needs. We will be announcing our response to the Pension Credit consultation in due course.
40 responses were received to the formal consultation exercise on Invalid Care Allowance which took place between 23 July and 15 October. The majority welcomed our proposals. A summary of the responses will be published on our website and the cabinet office website at the same time as the proposals are introduced into Parliament for Scrutiny.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the total unallocated funds within his departmental expenditure limit (a) in the start of the financial year and (b) to date. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: At the start of the financial year the Department for Work and Pensions Departmental Expenditure Limit included £322 million awaiting allocation from the Welfare Modernisation Fund and a
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive on putting before the Scottish Parliament the changes proposed in the confiscation provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Bill in so far as they relate to Scotland. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken by her Department to ascertain the views of the Scottish Parliament on the changes proposed to the confiscation provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Bill in so far as they relate to Scotland. 
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to reclassify gamma hydroxy butyrate as a drug; and what recent representations he has received on this issue. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Following the decision of the United Nations to control gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) under Schedule IV of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) met on 8 November to consider the drug's classification under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. I await their advice.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his timetable is for the implementation of the recommendations of his Department's consultation paper entitled, "Setting the boundaries: Reforming the law on sex offences". 
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Mr. Keith Bradley: The recommendations of the Sex Offences Review to Government on reforming the law on sex offences were published in "Setting the Boundaries" in July 2000. We are currently considering the recommendations in the light of the over 700 responses to that consultation document. We will announce our conclusions and proposals for legislation once we have completed our consideration.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 7 November 2001, Official Report, column 315W, on passports, whether clear evidence of a proposed intention to go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban or al-Qaeda is sufficient to demonstrate the undesirability of the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities on grounds of public interest; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: As indicated in my answer of 7 November, a passport may be withdrawn from a person whose past or proposed activities are so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest. On the face of it, a clearly stated intention to fight directly against British interests would justify withdrawal of passport facilities on public interest grounds. Any case would be carefully considered on its individual merits.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) Iraqis and (b) other persons of middle eastern origin were detained during the Gulf war as potential threats to national security; and how many were subsequently (i) deported, (ii) charged with any offence, (iii) released without charge and (iv) compensated. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 13 November 2001]: Sixty-eight Iraqis and nine Palestinians were detained as threats to national security during the Gulf war. No Iraqis or "people of middle-eastern origin" were deported, although a number of Iraqis left of their own accord on receipt of the Home Secretary's notice of intention to deport. None was charged with an offence. All were released without charge following the conclusion of the war.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During the Belgian Presidency, officials of European Union member states (EU), including the European Police Chiefs Task Force, have held meetings to take forward the Conclusions of the Special Justice and Home Affairs Council on 13 July. This Council had considered security at European Summits and other major European Union events, following the disorder at the Gothenburg European Summit.
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Discussions centred around building on existing police and judicial co-operation in this area, through the establishment of national contact points, to ensure enhanced exchange of information and effective co-operation before major events at which public order problems are anticipated.
Angela Eagle: There is no new contract for the Application Registration Card application. This will be an expansion of the existing Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System as allowed under the original terms of the associated Official Journal of the European Community (OJEC) Notice of 30 November 1999. Compatibility with this system is essential, as existing equipment will be used to check the cards. Procurement will be effected by way of a Change Control Notice to the existing contract.
Angela Eagle: The price for changing the existing Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System contract has yet to be fixed. Budgetary estimates do exist but these could not be published without compromising our negotiating position with suppliers.
Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 November 2001]: The available information relates to the nationality of persons removed. Published statistics show that 60 nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo who had sought asylum at some stage were removed from the United Kingdom in 1997 and 20 in 1998. A breakdown of the nationality of persons removed in 1999 to 2001 is not available due to data recording problems; these problems are being investigated and it is hoped that nationality information will be available at some stage in the future.
Angela Eagle: There were 121,700 asylum applications awaiting an initial decision on 31 January 2000. This figure has been revised from 103,495 after a manual count of all asylum cases, and is rounded to the nearest hundred. A physical count was ordered by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to ensure the reliability of the statistics. Problems with the backlog figures had arisen from an accumulation of errors since
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the last manual count of outstanding asylum applications in 1996. The comparable figure for 31 August 2001 was 43,100.
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