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DANGEROUS DOGS ACT 1991: DETENTION COSTS

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blatch: The costs to the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District of detaining dogs as a result of proceedings under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are as follows:

£ million
1992-93 1.3
1993-94 0.85
1994-95 (1)0.7

(1)estimated costs


COMMUNITY CHARGE RECOVERED FROM INCOME SUPPORT RECIPIENTS

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Income Support recipients in 1993-94 were subject to deductions for arrears of community

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    charge, how much money was recovered, what was the average amount recovered per claimant, what was the cost of collecting this money, and under what head in the Appropriation Accounts these transactions are recorded.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The information is not available in the form suggested. Available information follows:

The number of Income Support recipients in 1993-94 who were subject to deductions for arrears of community charge was 533,000 (source, the Quarterly Statistical Enquiry. February 1994).

Statistics on the amount of money and the average amount recovered can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, the following table gives the average amount of deduction:

Number with Community Charge Deduction (for arrears) Average amount of Deduction £
May 1993 438,000 2.28
August 1993 506,000 2.28
November 1993 519,000 2.28
February 533,000 2.27

Source:

Income Support Annual Enquiry--May 1993, Income Support Quarterly Statistical Enquiry--August 1993, November 1993 and February 1994.


The Benefits Agency deducts standard weekly amounts from a person's Income Support. These are: £3.45, higher rate, where a joint and several liability order has been obtained by the local authority for a couple and £2.20, lower rate, where a single liability order has been obtained. The averages are different to these figures because the Community Charge debt will not necessarily be exactly divisible by the standard amount.

The cost of collecting community charge deductions from Income Support claimants is on average £14 per claimant.

These transactions are not recorded in the Appropriation Accounts as they have no consequences for the department.

DISABILITY WORKING ALLOWANCE

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the estimated expenditure on Disability Working Allowance in 1993-94, what was the actual expenditure, and what is their explanation of any discrepancy.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The Government's planned expenditure for Disability Working Allowance was £10 million 1 in 1993-1994. The actual expenditure was £7.2 million 2 . This discrepancy is due to the fact

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that Disability Working Allowance is a new benefit and forecasts were inevitably tentative. Source:

1 Social Security Departmental Report published in March 1994.

2 Appropriation Accounts 1993-94 (Class XIII, Vote 1 Central Government administered Social Security benefits and other payments) published in October 1994.

COMPENSATION RECOVERY SCHEME

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people are employed in the Compensation Recovery Unit of the Department of Social Security, and what are its administrative costs.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: This is a matter for Michael Bichard, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the noble Lord with such information as is available.

Letter to Earl Russell from the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, Mr. Michael Bichard, dated 5th December 1994:


    The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent parliamentary Question asking how many people are employed in the Compensation Recovery Unit and what are its administrative costs.


    The total number of people employed in the Compensation Recovery Unit at the present time is 189; this figure includes 44 part-time staff.


    The administrative costs for the period 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994 were £2.7 million and for the current year, from 1 April 1994 to 31 October 1994, the costs are £1.7 million.


    I hope you find this reply helpful.

COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY REFORM: EC REPORT

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place a copy of the European Commission's report on reform of the common agricultural policy in the Library.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): This report, entitled EC Agriculture in the 21st Century, has now been published in the journal European Economy on behalf of the European Commission's Directorate-General II (Economy and Finance). Copies have been placed in the Library.

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The Government welcome the Commission's decision to publish this radical look at the common agricultural policy and we shall be studying it with interest.

MILK QUOTA FRAUD: PENALTY PAYMENTS BY ITALY

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Italian Government has yet paid the penalties agreed in respect of the Italian milk quota fraud.

Earl Howe: These penalties are collected by automatic deductions from the monthly re-imbursements of CAP expenditure. Italy has paid the penalties originally imposed by the Commission in respect of 1989 and 1990. The Commission's decision in respect of the 1991 clearance of accounts was in the process of being adopted at the time of the agreement reached at the ECOFIN Council in October. Under this agreement, the financial penalties in respect of 1989 to 1991 have been increased. It has been agreed that these supplementary fines will be paid in four equal instalments from 1995 to 1998. The remainder of the financial penalty for 1991 in respect of milk quotas will be paid in 1995. The 1992 and 1993 clearance of accounts decisions have not yet been adopted, but will incorporate the financial penalties in respect of milk quota.

POLLUTION CONTROL SCHEME: FURTHER FEE CHANGE

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a further change is to be made to the scheme of fees and charges for integrated pollution control operated by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): A minor change to the HMIP Integrated Pollution Control Fees and Charges Scheme 1994-95 is to take effect retrospectively from 1st June 1994. It introduces a provisional application fee of £0.00 for a number of processes included under IPC by the Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations, pending further consultation on possible amendment to those regulations.

Copies of the amendment to the scheme are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


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