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NHS University

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Microsoft software to supply the NHS University will be an open system which will allow other suppliers to participate. [22608]

Mr. Hutton: The operating systems for the national health service University, including software, are yet to be decided upon and no purchase has been made from any particular supplier. One of the main considerations for any e-learning component of the NHS University will be its ability to reach the largest number of staff in the widest range of organisations. This will enable the NHS to utilise investments in hardware and software, from a number of suppliers, to the full.

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the tender document for the national health service University will be put into the public domain. [22607]

Mr. Hutton: The national health service University is at an early stage of development. Established tendering procedures will be followed when the NHS University is in a position to let contracts to suppliers.

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Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will validate and check the new software system for the NHS University. [22609]

Mr. Hutton: The national health service University is a new initiative and is still in its early stages of development. Decisions about software systems have not yet been taken.


Ministerial Court Representation

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Solicitor-General on how many occasions she has appeared in court for the Government since her appointment; and if she will make a statement. [22283]

The Solicitor-General: I have not appeared in court for the Government on any occasion since my appointment.

The Attorney-General has since his appointment appeared for the Government on three occasions: once in the Court of Appeal; once at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg; and once at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. The last Attorney-General did not appear in court for the Government of any occasion. The last Solicitor-General appeared in court for the Government on eight occasions.


Tax Burden

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement about Scotland's share of the tax burden in the last financial year. [10380]

Mrs. Liddell: The Scottish Executive estimate tax receipts raised in Scotland in their publication "Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland". The latest edition published by the Scottish Executive in December 2000 was for the financial year 1998–99, a copy of which is available in the House Library.

BAE Systems

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when (a) she and (b) the Minister of State next plan to visit BAE Systems shipyards on the Clyde. [10752]

Mrs. Liddell: My hon. Friend the Minister of State participates on the Clyde Shipyards Task Force and therefore maintains strong links with the upper Clyde yards. He last visited the Goven yard on 19 November to co-sign the contract to award two alternative landing support logistics ships (ALSLs) to BAE Systems Marine and plans to visit Scotstoun in the near future. I hope to visit the yards soon.

Concessionary Coach Fares

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will bring forward measures to provide for half-price fares for older and disabled people on long-distance coach journeys between Scotland and England. [21876]

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Mr. Foulkes: The Government, the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales are all consulting on proposals entitling coach operators to fuel duty rebates in return for them offering half-price fares to older and disabled passengers on scheduled long-distance coach journeys. The Government will hold discussions with the devolved Administrations on how best to co-ordinate arrangements across Britain.


Habitual Residence Test

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants have been refused benefit under the habitual residence test, indicating what proportion of them were British citizens in each year of its operation. [8654]

Malcolm Wicks: The available information is in the tables:

Claims for income support/jobseeker's allowance (income based) subject to the habitual residence test

YearTotal claimsTotal claims disallowedClaims from UK citizens disallowedClaims from UK citizens disallowed as a percentage of all claims disallowed


The habitual residence test was introduced in August 1994


Income Support/Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based) Management Information System Programme.

Claims for housing benefit and council tax benefit subject to the habitual residence test

YearHousing benefit claims disallowedCouncil tax benefit claims disallowed


1. The data refer to households, which may be a family, a single person or a couple.

2. The totals for Great Britain have been rated up to account for local authorities that have not responded. This is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents.

3. The figures in the table will show some double counting as some households that have claimed one benefit will also have claimed the other.

4. The figures exclude cases where the household has claimed income support or jobseeker's allowance (income based).

5. Data are not collected separately on claims from UK citizens, so no proportionate figures can be given.

6. Data were not collected prior to 1996.


Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Policy Monitoring Returns 1996 to 2000

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Benefit Fraud

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many suspected benefit frauds have been (a) investigated and (b) resulted in a successful prosecution as a result of (i) submissions to the Targeting Fraud website and (ii) calls to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline. [11257]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on the last financial year and this year to date is in the table:

PeriodInvestigations completedFraud established/ corrective action takenSuccessful prosecutions
Targeting Fraud website(5)
1 May 2000 to 31 March 2001184280
1 April 2001 to 30 September 2001302681
National Benefit Fraud Hotline
1 April 2000 to 31 March 200133,3187,917492
1 April 2001 to 30 September 200115,9774,061344

(5) Launched May 2000

Benefits Agencies (Access)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what impact the heightened security measures in place in Government and civil service offices since 11 September have had on the operation and accessibility of benefits agencies for claimants; and if he will make a statement. [14298]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 13 November 2001]: This is a matter for Alexis Cleveland, Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. Steve Webb, dated 12 December 2001:

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