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Lone Parent Benefit Changes: Consultations with Department of Health

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: Discussions with the Department of Health, about a range of possible benefit changes, take place on an ongoing basis, as and when necessary. The cost implications for the Department of Health, of changes to lone parent benefits announced in the Social Security Uprating Statement on 29 November 1995, were assessed as negligible.

Parents with Care: Return of Forms to CSA

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: There are likely to be a number of reasons why parents with care do not return their forms quickly and we have no reason to suppose that a maintenance disregard would act as an incentive. The Child Support Agency Customer Satisfaction Survey 1994 found that the most common reasons that parents with care gave for not filling in the form straight away were that they:



    did not want to fill it in (18 per cent.)


    forgot about it (11 per cent.)


    were waiting to get the required information (9 per cent.).

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994: Offences under Section 145

Baroness Mallalieu asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many prosecutions have taken place for offences relating to consensual homosexual acts in private including a participant aged 16 or 17 since Section 145(1) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 came into effect on 3 November 1994.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Section 145 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 reduces to 18 the minimum age at which two men may engage in consensual homosexual acts in private.

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Section 144 of the aforesaid act revised penalties for buggery and indecency between men. Information on court proceedings data for sexual offences as amended by Section 144 will not be available until the autumn.

Special Constables Injured on Duty: Compensation

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the arrangements for compensating special constables who are injured while on duty.

Baroness Blatch: Special constables who are injured while on duty are entitled to benefits--"sick pay"--which are prescribed in the following regulations: The Special Constables Regulations 1965; the Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1971 as amended by the Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1973 as amended by the Special Constables (Pensions) Regulations 1980; the Special Constables (Injury Benefit) Regulations 1987; and the Special Constables (Amendment) (Number 2) Regulations 1992.

It is open to a police authority to consider making an ex gratia payment to a special constable who does not qualify for benefit under the regulations.

The current Working Group on the Special Constabulary, under Home Office chairmanship, has been considering the compensation arrangements for specials injured on duty as part of its terms of reference. The working group is expected to report to Ministers within the next few months.

Asylum Seekers: Deportations

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will give details of asylum seekers who have been deported to other countries without substantive consideration of their applications in the last five years; and whether, in reaching the decision to deal with Dr. Muhammed al-Mas'ari, they relied on the precedent of France's attempted deportation of Iranian refugees to Gabon.

Baroness Blatch: The numbers of asylum seekers, excluding dependants, removed from the United Kingdom without substantive consideration of their applications (mainly on safe third country grounds) since 1992 are as follows:

YearNumber
1992480
1993550
1994570
1995520

These figures include some voluntary departures. Information about the number of removals before 1992 is not readily available.

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The decision in Dr. al-Mas'ari's case was taken on the basis of its individual circumstances, not of the action taken by the French Government to which the noble Lord refers.

Organophosphorus Product Licensing: International Consultation

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the bodies responsible for licensing organophosphate products are in contact with their counterparts in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and whether the regulations for the use of the same or similar products are applied uniformly in each of these countries.

Lord Lucas: The Pesticides Safety Directorate exchanges information with the pesticide regulatory authorities in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as does the Veterinary Medicines Directorate with the bodies responsible for the authorisation of veterinary medicines in those countries. Application of the regulations for the use of such products in each of those countries is a matter for the regulatory authorities concerned.

European Legislation Affecting UK Interests

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What stage has European Community legislation reached which affects or might affect:

    (a) the British lettuce growing industry

    (b) the London double decker bus and British midi-bus;

    (c) British vets when treating horses; or

    (d) those who use Emtryl when rearing game birds in the United Kingdom.

Lord Lucas: (a)We continue to oppose the European Commission's proposals to set statutory limits for nitrate in certain vegetables, including lettuce, on the grounds that there is no scientific evidence that they would improve the safety of food for the UK consumer. Following our sustained and vigorous representation, the Commission has recently issued for discussion a revised proposal which has taken on board many of the UK's concerns.

(b) The Commission is expected to make a formal proposal for a bus and coach construction directive to complete the single market in bus and coach manufacturing early this year. The UK will continue to argue for existing vehicle types, including double deck buses and midi-buses, to be protected.

(c) Under Council Regulation (EEC) 2377/90 there is a requirement to establish EU wide Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for veterinary medicines which are used in the treatment of food producing animals, to ensure that the consumer is not exposed to harmful residues in

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food. In an EU context the horse is regarded as a food producing animal, but the European Commission has confirmed that, in line with UK policy, if a horse is not destined for human consumption MRLs are not required. Where no MRLs have been established, therefore, we require that the product should be clearly marked as not to be used on any animal that is intended for human consumption. The Commission has also emphasised that it is not the intention of regulatory authorities to deny veterinarians the possibility of treating animals.

(d) Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1798/95, which adds dimetridazole (the active ingredient of Emtryl) to Annex IV of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2377/90, was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 26 July 1995. It came into effect 60 days after publication.

Warble Fly

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In which counties of the United Kingdom are cattle significantly affected by warble fly.

Lord Lucas: No clinical evidence has been discovered to suggest that warble fly is currently present in the United Kingdom. While the test results from our 1994/95 serological survey suggested that warbles might be present in small numbers of cattle throughout Great Britain, the absence of clinical cases did not support this position. One clinical case was discovered in an imported animal but this was returned to the country of origin.

Organophosphorus Insecticides: Use on Cows

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the practice of applying organophosphorus insecticides to the backs of cows began.

Lord Lucas: Records available at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate show that Product Licences of Right for organophosphorus pour-on warblecide products were issued in 1972. These licences were granted under Section 25 of the Act, in respect of medicinal products which were on the market in the UK at 1 September 1971, when the licensing provisions of the Medicines Act 1968 came into force. It is possible that at least some of the products would have been available for some years before that date but precise information is not available.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: Incidence by Area

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In which counties of the United Kingdom the main incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy has occurred.

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Lord Lucas: The following table shows the total number of cases of BSE confirmed in the United Kingdom as at 12 January 1996, and the number of farms on which they have occurred since November 1986:

Region and CountyFarmsCases
Northern
Cleveland62218
Cumbria1,5784,916
Durham306765
Humberside245852
Northumberland4181,068
Tyne and Wear1652
Yorkshire North1,6686,765
Yorkshire South161658
Yorkshire West290973
Total4,74416,267
Midlands and Western
Cheshire1,2466,345
Derbyshire7703,758
Hereford and Worcester6802,642
Lancashire1,2265,174
Leicestershire5203,136
Manchester68229
Merseyside28121
Nottinghamshire166941
Shropshire1,0333,868
Staffordshire1,0024,010
West Midlands34120
Warwickshire3261,524
Total7,09931,868
Eastern
Bedfordshire69445
Cambridgeshire97497
Essex136841
Hertfordshire124664
Lincolnshire2361,147
Norfolk4123,881
Northamptonshire2351,305
Suffolk2591,935
Total1,56810,715
South West
Avon4702,926
Cornwall1,8109,763
Devon2,67613,718
Dorset1,0619,292
Gloucestershire6073,214
Scilly Isles11
Somerset1,73712,238
Wiltshire9806,960
Total9,34258,112
South East
Berkshire113809
Buckinghamshire2701,357
Hampshire5083,871
Isle of Wight89712
Kent2802,108
London16136
Oxfordshire3162,185
Surrey1801,217
Sussex East3041,851
Sussex West3453,172
Total2,42117,418
Wales
Clwyd7082,422
Dyfed2,2617,620
Glamorgan Mid77248
Glamorgan South78421
Glamorgan West54116
Gwent2951,082
Gwynedd403663
Powys9732,224
Total4,84914,796
Scotland-South
Borders220491
Central82219
Dumfries7992,216
Lothian83207
Strathclyde7761,796
Scotland-North
Fife116332
Grampian5261,296
Highland160321
Orkney5492
Shetland68
Tayside237557
Western Isles11
Scottish Total3,0607,536
Northern Ireland
Antrim278455
Armagh89118
Down208293
Fermanagh101146
Londonderry201305
Tyrone251339
Total1,1281,656
Overall total for United Kingdom34,211158,368

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