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Child Support Agency

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times the Child Support Agency has requested information from the Inland Revenue regarding the income of self-employed non-resident parents; and if he will make a statement. [69021]

Malcolm Wicks: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mr. Doug Smith to Mr. Steve Webb, dated 15 July 2002:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in replying to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency promised a substantive reply by me.
You have asked how many times the Child Support Agency has requested information from the Inland Revenue regarding the income of self employed non-resident parents.
In the year to 31st March 2002 the Child Support Agency issued 19,182 self-employed earnings enquiries to the Inland Revenue's Tax Information Distribution Office. In the immediately preceding year 9,121 enquiries were made.
I hope this is helpful.

Benefits (Promotion)

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2002, Official Report, column 629W, what the total cost was of advertising and promoting benefits in 2000–01, broken down by each campaign. [70069]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The total cost of advertising social security benefits in 2000–01 was £4.4 million. Production, distribution and other costs totalled a further £3 million.

The breakdown of spend is shown in the following table:


CampaignAdvertising and mediaOther costs
Minimum Income Guarantee3,365,000176,000
Inherited SERPS340,000345,000
Winter Fuel Payments616,000294,000
Bereavement Benefits155,00090,000
Benefits information leaflets for customers and advisers— production and distribution(32)2,132,419.

(32) Promoted through posters, exhibitions, conferences and the internet. Individual spends could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

15 Jul 2002 : Column 117W



Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support he has provided to the Government of Taiwan in support of Taiwan's application for observer status at the World Health Organisation. [65215]

Mr. Lammy: Taiwan's relationship to the World Health Organisation was discussed at the world health assembly general committee in May 2002. There was no consensus in the committee for the matter to be discussed in the main assembly session.

Foster Carers

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many foster carers there are in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) the North-east and (c) England; how many foster carers there were in each year from 1997 to 2001 in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) the North-east and (iii) England; and what his Department is doing to address the need for foster carers. [67041]

Jacqui Smith: There is no central statistical collection in this area. Foster carer data are collected through the training support grant (TSP), and this relates to approved foster carers. Data can be found in the table shown. Figures are available from 1998 only.

Foster carer recruitment is a very important area, in which a lot of work is being taken forward. The Department is currently undertaking a major review ("Choice Protects") of the commissioning of placements, with a special emphasis on foster care services—so that choice and stability of placements may be improved for children in care. Within this, we will be examining:

15 Jul 2002 : Column 119W

Birth Statistics

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to address women's health issues regarding (a) premature birth, (b) still birth and (c) miscarriage. [67064]

Jacqui Smith: In order to improve the wellbeing of pregnant women and outcome for babies, the Department has:

    Commissioned the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to issue clinical guidelines on:

    use of electronic fetal monitoring—this helps evaluation of fetal wellbeing in labour with the aim of reducing perinatal mortality and cerebral palsy of the newborn.

    induction of labour—which provides safe clinical practices to reduce perinatal mortality.

    use of Anti D prophylaxis for rhesus negative mothers—which helps prevent Haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) and still births.

Further guidelines are awaited on antenatal care and caesarean sections, both of which will further help reduce fetal risks.

    Extended the Sure Start programme which helps families in disadvantaged areas to support to women in the antenatal period as well, since women in these areas are more likely to have still births, pre mature births and miscarriages.

    Invested to increase the number of midwives to provide additional support throughout pregnancy and childbirth.

    Commenced the development of a children's national service framework (NSF) including maternity services. The overarching aim for the NSF is to enable childbearing women, children and young people to develop healthy lifestyles. The NSF will set national standards of care to cover pre conception, antenatal and intra partum services.

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