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vCJD

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have died from vCJD since August 1990; and how many were vegetarian. [28390]

Yvette Cooper: Up to 7 January 2002 there have been 104 deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (VCJD) within the United Kingdom. Four out of the 104 were vegetarians during some period of their lives but none were lifelong vegetarians.

EU Health Council

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which representatives briefed his Department on devolved Scottish matters in preparation for the EU Health Council in Brussels on 15 November; and on what issues. [28682]

Yvette Cooper: Scotland's interests were represented at the November Health Council by the United Kingdom delegation led by the Minister of State for Health (Mr. Hutton), who represented all parts of the United Kingdom. There are regular communications between the Department of Health and the Scottish Executive on European Union health matters, but specific discussions are conducted on a confidential basis.

Correspondence

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will answer the letter dated 30 July 2001 from the hon. and learned Member for Harborough concerning a constituent child protection social worker suspended by Leicester city social services department. [28583]

Jacqui Smith: We have transferred the letter to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and he will be responding shortly.

Nurses

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the starting annual salary is for newly qualified nurses in and (a) London (b) the rest of the UK; after how

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long a newly qualified nurse will receive a pay rise; and if he will make a statement on nurses' pay, with special reference to rises they have had since 1997, and pay rises they will receive. [27674]

Mr. Hutton: The annual starting salary for a newly qualified nurse working full-time in inner London is £19,178 (including London allowance and cost of living supplements). For staff working outside London and the south of England the annual starting salary for a newly qualified nurse working full-time is £15,445.

Newly qualified nurses normally enter the clinical grading structure on the first pay point on Grade D with annual progression through a further three points until they reach the scale maximum.

We accepted in full the recommendation of the Review Body for nursing staff, midwives and health visitors and professions allied to medicine for pay in 2002–03. From 1 April 2002 all nurses, midwives and health visitors will receive an increase of at least 3.6 per cent. Pay has increased across the board for all nurses by at least 26 per cent. in cash terms since 1997.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the (a) budgeted, (b) actual and (c) projected expenditure by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in each year from 1995 to the end of the current comprehensive spending review period; and if he will make a statement. [25744]

Angela Eagle: The following sums have been allocated to and spent by the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate since 1994–95.

£ million

BudgetedActual expenditure
1994–95186187
1995–96207202
1996–97223216
1997–98226207
1998–99223214
1999–2000794857
2000–011,1991,251
2001–02976
2002–03990
2003–041,045

Figures include capital expenditure and are in cash terms until 2000–01 and resource terms thereafter.

A significant portion of the overall budget from 1999–2000 onwards relates to asylum support. Up to 1998–99, the budgets were assigned to and expenditure incurred by the Department of Social Security and the Department of Health and not by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The sums spent are set down in a reply given by the then Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 9 May 2000, Official Report, column 331W.The budgets for this year and for the two following years are provisional and may be amended following the conclusion of on-going discussions with Her Majesty's Treasury.

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I shall write to my hon. Friend when I have additional information on the budget and projected expenditure for this year.

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the Immigration and Nationality Directorate is meeting its target for granting applications for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a spouse; and if he will make a statement; [22146]

Angela Eagle: We aim to decide 70 per cent. of all new general and settlement applications within three weeks but at present it is taking up to eight weeks to consider new straightforward applications. The reasons for this are (i) the exceptionally high number of new applications received this year, and especially, in recent months; and (ii) process changes that are being introduced. We are working to reduce this to three weeks or less as soon as possible. Because of the high intake, those cases which require more detailed consideration are currently taking six months or a little more to complete.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on levels of employment at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at Croydon. [26784]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 14 January 2002]: At March 1999, an estimate of the full-time equivalent figure for the number of staff employed in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Croydon was 1,920. On 1 October 2001, this figure had risen to 3,940. This includes staff dealing with immigration casework as well as those who work in a support function.

European Arrest Warrant

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the date on which legislation to introduce extradition under the European arrest warrant will be introduced. [26605]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have made our commitment to an Extradition Bill clear and measures will be brought before the House in the usual way.

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria for determining the competent authorities in each of the EU member states as to who are to be their issuing and executing judicial authorities in respect of Article 6 of the Council Framework Decision relating to the European arrest warrant. [26950]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between member states stipulates at Article 1(1) that


At Article 6(1) it further stipulates that:


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By this the Framework Decision makes clear that the issuing and executing authorities must be judicial authorities, but the criteria that the member states may apply to determine which of their judicial authorities shall be responsible for the issuing and execution of European arrest warrants are left to each member state to decide upon. This is consistent with Article 34.2(b) of the Treaty on European Union, under which the Framework Decision has been negotiated, which states that:


Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the offences in English law to which Article 2(2) of the Council Framework Decision relating to the European arrest warrant refers which are punishable under the law of an issuing member state by a sentence of three years and where dual criminality is not required. [26951]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The list at Article 2(2) is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the serious criminal offences under the national law of all member states. To answer this question in full would require listing all the offences in English law which might fall under one of the generic headings of offences in Article 2(2) of the Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant, and which are punishable by a maximum sentence of at least three years, and cross-referring them to all the offences in the penal codes of the other member states of the European Union (EU) which fall under these headings which are punishable by this sentence. The generic headings listed at Article 2(2) relate to conduct for which there are criminal sanctions in all the member states of the EU, even if the legal definitions of the offences do not precisely match. On any warrant, the offence for which surrender is sought will be framed by the issuing judicial authority under its national law.

Examples of such offences in English law, to which there is a likely equivalent in the law of other member states are: under the heading of "illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances"—drug trafficking offences involving Class A or Class B drugs; under the heading of "terrorism"—offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 and offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 as amended by the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001; under the heading of "rape"—rape and serious sexual offences; under the heading of "swindling"—offences under the Theft Acts 1968 and 1978 that carry a sentence of at least three years; and under the heading of "racism and xenophobia", offences relating to incitement to racial hatred, racially aggravated offences and racial discrimination under the Race Relations Act, where a sentence of at least three years applies.


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