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Child Support Agency: Consolatory Payment for Error

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: A new type of consolatory payment will be introduced. In the tiny proportion of cases where the Child Support Agency is culpable of sending a maintenance enquiry form to a person who is not the parent of the child (or children) in question, that person will be entitled to a consolatory payment for the upset and inconvenience caused by this error. This new payment will be introduced from 1st April 1996.

Child Support Agency: Complaints Service

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: An independent complaints examiner will be recruited for the Child Support Agency later this year. The agency will be running a pilot scheme during the summer in order to inform the guidelines within which the examiner will

1 Apr 1996 : Column WA14

operate. The intention is that a full independent complaints service will be in operation shortly after that.

Unmarried Couples: Identification Criteria

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What legal criteria they employ to identify two people as an unmarried couple.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: For the purposes of deciding entitlement to social security benefits, decisions about whether a man and a woman are living together as an unmarried couple are made by adjudication officers. Guidance on the factors to be taken into account is issued by the Chief Adjudication Officer. The adjudication officer will normally consider whether the alleged couple share normal household tasks, how long the couple have been together, whether they share bills and other household expenses, if other people regard them as a couple, and whether there are children of their union or they share responsibility for childcare. Information about a sexual relationship is not requested, but if volunteered, will also be taken into consideration.

Decisions are made on the facts of the individual case. The criteria do not represent a rigid formula, and the presence or absence of any single factor will not by itself determine the decision.

Public Sector Debt

Lord Lawson of Blaby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether for each year from 1950 to 1995 inclusive they will state the public sector debt as a percentage of GDP.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information requested is shown in the table. Figures for public sector debt are available only from 1970.

Net Public Sector Debt as a Percentage of GDP

197079.1
197173.0
197268.0
197361.2
197460.5
197556.7
197657.9
197756.4
197852.9
197949.6
198045.5
198147.1
198247.0
198345.8
198446.5
198546.8
198644.9
198742.6
198838.0
198931.6
199028.0
199127.2
199228.4
199333.0
199438.2
199541¾

Note: Debt figures are for end March. GDP figures are for year centred on end-March.


1 Apr 1996 : Column WA15

UK Capital Spending

Lord Lawson of Blaby asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will state for each year from 1950 to 1995 inclusive capital spending as a percentage of--

(a) Central government spending;

(b) Local government spending;

(c) Total government spending.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The attached table shows capital spending as a proportion of total spending on a national accounts definition for central government, local authorities and general government.

The data necessary to calculate these proportions are available only back to 1963 and up to Q3 1995.

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Table: Capital spending as a percentage of total spending

Central GovernmentLocal AuthoritiesGeneral Government
19634.228.711.2
19645.031.212.9
19655.129.712.6
19665.130.813.0
19676.831.714.3
19688.832.015.7
196910.030.716.3
19709.428.915.5
19719.128.114.9
19727.627.013.5
19738.030.015.3
19747.028.514.0
19756.623.612.0
19766.523.511.7
19776.220.310.3
19786.018.39.4
19795.116.68.2
19804.914.67.6
19814.410.45.9
19824.88.65.7
19835.012.57.0
19845.013.87.3
19855.211.56.7
19864.611.46.3
19874.211.26.1
19884.87.95.6
19895.610.76.9
199010.012.410.7
19918.410.28.9
19927.110.27.9
19936.79.27.3
19945.810.67.1
1995 Q1-35.410.26.6



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