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Livestock (Compensation)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase the compensation payable to farmers for livestock they have been unable to move in the over-30-months scheme due to movement restrictions; and if she will make a statement. [12353]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 November 2001]: The Government have considered very carefully whether it would be appropriate to pay compensation for losses incurred on cattle which went beyond the 30-month age limit because of movement restrictions imposed during the earlier part of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. We have conclude that it would not. Statutory compensation for losses incurred as a result of the FMD outbreak is only paid on animals which have been slaughtered as a result of FMD, or on property, including animals which have been seized and destroyed in order to prevent the spread of FMD. The Government do not compensate farmers, or businesses, for other, indirect losses.

Cleansing Services Group

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will make a decision on the holding of a public inquiry into the explosion at Cleansing Services Group Ltd. at Sandhurst, Gloucestershire; and if she will make a statement. [8209]

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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 18 November 2001]: The Government fully understand the deep concerns of local residents about the incidents at the site and the calls for a public inquiry. We are considering this issue in the light of the latest progress report into the Environment Agency's and the Health and Safety Executive's joint investigation of the incidents and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

Rural Housing

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the population in local authorities defined as rural were assessed as being in priority need for housing in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999, (e) 2000 and (f) 2001. [16539]

Ms Keeble: Summary information on activity under the statutory homelessness provisions of the Housing Act 1996 is reported to the Department by local authorities in England. This includes the number of households accepted as being eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need.

Local authorities also report the total number of households on their housing register/waiting lists (excluding existing tenants awaiting a transfer) as at 1 April on their annual Housing Investment Programme returns, and separately distinguish those deemed to be "in need".

These households, expressed as a percentage of all households in authorities categorised as either "mixed rural" or "deep rural", are as follows:

Households accepted as unintentionally homeless and in priority need as a percentage of the total number of households: rural authorities in England. Financial year totals


All households on local authority housing registers and classified as "in need" as a percentage of the total number of households: rural authorities in England as at 1 April



Mid-year household population estimates for 2000 and 2001 are not yet available; the estimate of 1999 has been applied in these years.


DTLR P1(E) housing activity and HIP returns.

ONS mid-year estimates of household population

Local authorities have different practices for compiling and managing their housing register/waiting lists which

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mean that comparisons between authorities can be misleading. Authorities' policies and practices may change, which can also affect comparisons over time.


Folkestone and Hythe

Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people aged 18 to 24 years were unemployed for more than six months in each year since May 1992 in the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe. [17734]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Michael Howard, dated 27 November 2001:

Claimants aged 18 to 24 claiming for six months or more in the Folkestone and Hythe parliamentary constituency for each May 1992 to May 2001(18)

YearAge 18–24
May 1992444
May 1993617
May 1994640
May 1995595
May 1996520
May 1997314
May 1998215
May 199973
May 200054
May 200133

(18) computerised claims only

Tax Credits and Benefits

Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people received (a) tax credits and (b) means- tested benefits in the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe for each year since April 1997. [17738]

Dawn Primarolo: The available information for Folkestone and Hythe is in the following table.

Recipients of (a) tax credits and (b) certain income related benefits in the Folkestone and Hythe constituency

Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC)/ Family Credit (FC)1,1001,3001,0001,8002,200
Disabled Person's Tax Credit (DPTC)/Disability Working Allowance (DWA)1218353745
Income Support (IS)6,9006,8006,9007,1007,200
Jobseeker's Allowance (income based) (JSA)2,6002,0001,8001,5001,100


1. Apart from DPTC and DWA, the figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample. They are subject to sampling error and therefore shown to the nearest 100.

2. Recipients of WFTC/FC or DPTC/DWA who also receive IS or JSA are included only in the first two columns. This eliminates double counting in the total.

3. WFTC and DPTC replaced FC and DWA from October 1999.

4. DPTC and DWA figures are for April.


Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiries May 1997-May 2000

Jobseeker's Allowance Quarterly Statistical Enquiries May 1997-May 2001

Working Families Tax Credit/Family Credit Quarterly Statistical Enquiries May 1997-May 2001

Disabled Person's Tax Credit/Disability Working Allowance Quarterly Statistical Enquiries April 1997-April 2001.

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Housing benefit and council tax benefit figures are not available for the Folkestone and Hythe constituency but are available for the Shepway local authority.

Recipients of housing benefit and council tax benefit in Shepway

Housing benefitCouncil tax benefit
May 19977,9009,640
May 19987,6309,290
May 19997,4609,030
May 20006,6408,150
May 20016,2607,740


1. The data refer to benefit units, which can be single persons or couples.

2. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.


Housing Benefit and Council Tax Management Information System Quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock.

National Insurance Contributions

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Inland Revenue National Insurance Contributions Office will respond to the request made by Mr. Welch of Burton, Christchurch to be able to make self-employed national insurance contributions. [18653]

Dawn Primarolo: The National Insurance Contributions Office wrote to Mr. Welch on 21 November, and I am writing to the hon. Member about his constituent's concerns.

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has completed his review of national insurance contributions for 2002–03. [18972]

Dawn Primarolo: I have completed the annual review under section 141 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. I propose the following changes to take effect from 6 April 2002. These rates and limits will also apply to Northern Ireland National Insurance Contributions.

Employers and Employees

In line with the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, the Lower Earnings Limit for primary Class 1 contributions is to be raised to £75 a week. It is

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set at the level of the basic Retirement Pension for a single person from April 2002 and rounded down to the nearest pound.

The Primary and Secondary Thresholds for Class 1 contributions will continue to be aligned with the weekly amounts of the income tax personal allowance at £89 a week. This means that no tax or Class 1 contributions will actually be paid on earnings below this level. The Upper Earnings Limit for primary Class 1 contributions will be raised to £585.

The rate of secondary Class 1 contributions payable by all employers is to be reduced by 0.1 per cent. from 11.9 per cent. to 11.8 per cent. This is to ensure that the overall effect on industry from the introduction of the Aggregates Levy will be revenue neutral.

The self-employed

The rate of Class 2 contributions will remain at £2 a week.

Self-employed people with earnings below the annual Small Earnings Exception can apply to be exempted from paying Class 2 contributions. This limit will be raised by £70 to £4,025.

The annual lower and upper profits limits for liability to Class 4 contributions will be raised respectively by £80 to £4,615 (in line with the income tax personal allowance) and by £520 to £30,420, to maintain the link with employees' earnings liable to Class 1 contributions.

Class 3

The rate of Class 3 voluntary contributions will be increased by 10 pence to £6.85 a week.

The special rate of Class 2 contributions for share fishermen, which allows them to build entitlement to contributory Jobseeker's Allowance in addition to the other contributory benefits available to the self-employed, will continue to be £2.65 a week.

Volunteer Development Workers

The special rate of Class 2 contributions for volunteer development workers, which entitles them to the full range of contributory benefits, will be increased by 15 pence to £3.75 in line with the statutory formula of 5 per cent. of the primary Class 1 Lower Earnings Limit.

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Treasury Grant

I need to ensure that the Fund can maintain a prudent working balance throughout the coming year. In accordance with section 2(2) of the Social Security Act 1993, I propose to do so by prescribing that the maximum Treasury Grant which may be made available to the fund in 2002–03 shall not exceed 2 per cent. of the estimated benefit expenditure for that year. Similar provision will be made in respect of the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund.

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I shall be laying a draft re-rating order before Parliament in due course. This will accompany a report by the Government Actuary to myself and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which we shall jointly present to Parliament.

The table sets out the rates, earnings limits and thresholds for National Insurance Contributions proposed for 2002–03.

National insurance contributions, proposed re-rating, April 2002

Lower Earnings Limit, primary Class 1£75
Upper Earnings Limit, primary Class 1£585
Primary Threshold£89
Secondary Threshold£89
Employees' primary Class 1 rate10 per cent. from £89.01 to £585
Employees' contracted-out rebate1.6 per cent.
Married women's reduced rate3.85 per cent.
Employers' secondary Class 1 rate11.8 per cent. on earnings above £89
Employers' contracted-out rebate, salary-related schemes3.5 per cent.
Employers' contracted-out rebate, money-purchase schemes1.0 per cent.
Class 2 rate£2
Class 2 Small Earnings Exception£4,025
Special Class 2 rate for share fishermen£2.65
Special Class 2 rate for volunteer development workers£3.75
Class 3 rate£6.85
Class 4 rate7 per cent.
Class 4 Lower Profits Limit£4,615
Class 4 Upper Profits Limit£30,420

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