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Organophosphates: Research into Effects on Humans

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minster of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers): The Health and Safety Executive has commissioned the following research projects on the effects of organophosphates on humans as a result of occupational exposure:

(i) an investigation into the possible chronic neuropsychological and neurological effects of occupational exposure to organophosphates in sheep farmers. This was conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health and was published in May 1995;

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(ii) occupational hygiene assessment of sheep dipping practices and processes. This was conducted by the Institute of Occupational Medicine and was published in October 1993.

Comprehensive monitoring by water companies in the last five years indicates that contamination of drinking water by organophosphate pesticides is not a problem. Concentrations of organophosphates in drinking water are practically always below the statutory limit of 0.1 microgram per litre. On the few occasions when an organophosphate compound has been detected above this limit, it has been present transiently. The concentrations correspond to exposures many thousands of times lower than those known to be harmful or likely to affect health.

Ford Motor Company: Subsidy

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they secured the permission of the Commission of the European Union before offering a subsidy of £80 million to the Ford Motor Company in order to secure an expansion of the capacity of the Jaguar car company.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): No formal offer has yet been made. Discussions with the European Commission have been under way for some weeks, and will continue.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Awards

Lord Lewis of Newnham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the number of grants awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and their relative values, in the last round of awards, for the fields of (a) inorganic, (b) organic and (c) physical chemistry, both in responsive mode funding and in Realising Our Potential Awards.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funds chemistry across a range of programmes and no longer has grant rounds at set times of year, but, for proposals submitted since 1 January 1995 in the Chemistry Programme, responsive mode awards have been made as follows:

Area Number of awards Total £ million
Inorganic Chemistry 8 0.50
Organic Chemistry 6 0.54
Physical Chemistry 6 1.00

and 47 Realising Our Potential Awards have been made as follows:

Area Number of awards Total £ million
Inorganic Chemistry 6 0.45
Organic Chemistry 16 1.24
Physical Chemistry 25 2.26

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The Art Market: Effects of European Legislation

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree that the European Directives on Restitution and Droit de Suite (artists' re-sale rights), together with the harmonisation of VAT on works of art, are having a damaging effect on the British art market, and, if so, what steps they will take to rectify the situation.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The UK has not yet received a request for the return of an object (restitution) under the directive on the return of unlawfully removed cultural objects; and we have repeatedly said that we do not intend to be subjected to unnecessary or vexatious requests. As such, the directive should not affect the legitimate art market in the UK.

The Commission has indicated that it intends to bring forward a proposal on droit de suite but has yet to do so; no judgment can therefore be made at this stage on its impact on the UK art market.

Customs and Excise are not aware of the harmonisation of VAT on works of art having a damaging effect on the British art market.

Unemployed 16 and 17 Years-Olds: Support

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to their Answer of 20 July (HL WA 45–6) how they intend to ensure that people disentitled to Jobseeker's Allowance have no necessity to sleep rough.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: Provision for unemployed 16 and 17 year-olds under the Jobseeker's Allowance will follow the model of Income Support. Those aged 18 or over will be entitled to receive Jobseeker's Allowance for as long as they meet its conditions and do not take action that results in a sanction.

Actively Seeking Work Regulations: Numbers Disentitled to Benefit

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish's Answer of 17th July (WA3), how many people have been totally disentitled to benefit under the Actively Seeking Work Regulations S.I. 1992 No. 2084 in each of the years they have been in operation, what is the average length of the disentitlement, how many of those affected had their benefit restored on appeal and how many of those affected are now (a) in employment, (b) on benefit, (c) in prison and (d) lost to government records.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information requested is not available but the number of adjudication

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officer's decisions and opinions are published quarterly in the "Analysis of Adjudication Officer's Decisions", a copy of which is held in the Library.

Restart Courses and Benefit Reductions

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people have suffered a reduction in Income Support for failure to attend or complete a Restart course, how many have had their benefit restored on appeal, and how many of those affected have since (a) completed a Restart course or (b) suffered a further reduction in benefit for their continuing failure to do so.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: Not all the information requested is available.

For the period from December 1990 to March 1993 there were 8,000 reductions in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Restart course.

For the period from April 1993 to March 1994 the combined total of reductions in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Jobplan Workshop or mandatory Restart course was 36,600 2 .

For the period from April 1994 to April 1995 inclusive there were 30,500 3 reductions in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Restart course.


    Notes:


    1 Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.


    2 Jobplan Workshops started in April 1993. From April 1993 to March 1994 statistics were combined with those for Restart courses.


    3 The figure is provisional and subject to amendment.

Jobplan Workshop and Benefit Reductions

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people have suffered a reduction in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Jobplan Workshop under SI 1993/315, how many have subsequently had their benefit restored on appeal, and how many have since (a) completed a Jobplan Workshop or (b) suffered a further reduction in benefit for their continuing failure to do so.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information is not available in the format requested.

For the period from April 1993 to March 1994 the combined total of reductions in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Jobplan Workshop or mandatory Restart course was 36,000 5 .

For the period from April 1994 to the end of April 1995, there were 44,800 6 reductions in benefit for failure to attend or complete a Jobplan Workshop.


    Notes:


    4 Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.


    5 Jobplan workshops started in April 1993. From April 1993 to March 1994 statistics were combined with those for Restart courses.


    6 The figure is provisional and subject to amendment.

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Voluntary Unemployment and Benefit Reductions

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish's answer of 17 July (WA4), how many people have been partially disentitled to benefit for voluntary unemployment under S.I. 1988 No. 633 in each of the years it has been in operation, what has been the average length of the disentitlement, how many of those affected have had their benefit restored on appeal, and how many of those affected are now (a) in employment, (b) on benefit, (c) in prison and (d) lost to government records.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information is not available in the format requested.

The number of deductions from Income Support for voluntary unemployment is contained in Table 10.3 of Volume 1 of the Income Support Statistics Annual Enquiry for the years 1988 to 1993, and from May 1994 in Table 9.3 of the "Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry", which is published for February, May, August and November each year. These volumes are in the Library.

The average length of disentitlement is not kept. A special exercise in the last quarter of 1994 showed that, for leaving voluntarily, 25 per cent of disqualifications were for the maximum 26 weeks.


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