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Asylum Seekers: Detention Costs

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No distinction is made for financial purposes between asylum seekers and other people detained for immigration purposes.

The overall cost of running the Immigration Service detention estate in 1996-97 was some £17.8 million. This figure includes the full cost of administrative support from Immigration Service headquarters. Some immigration detainees are held in Prison Service establishments. The Prison Service does not charge the Immigration Service for the use of prisons to accommodate immigration detainees but the cost of this in 1996-97 is estimated to be some £8.5 million, excluding headquarters costs.

Thefts from Mail

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Information collected centrally for England and Wales under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 and Post Office Act 1953, Section 53 as amended (theft or unauthorised taking of mail) does not record the item stolen.

Recorded offences and court data are not comparable because the former relate to offences and the latter to the number of offenders.

Number of recorded offences and defendants prosecuted at magistrates' courts and convicted at all courts for the offence of theft or unauthorised taking from mail(1) 1993 to 1996(2)
England and Wales

YearNotifiable OffencesTotal ProsecutionsTotal Convictions
19936,791391276
19945,118299240
19954,641252182
19963,902280(2)220(2)

(1) Offence under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 and Post Office Act 1953 Section 53 as amended.

(2) Provisional.


Information held on recorded crimes in Scotland does not separately identify thefts of items while in the post.

Number of persons proceeded against and the number with charge proved where the main offence was Section 52(3) or Section 53 of the Post Office Act 1953
Scotland

199319941995
Persons proceeded against596
Persons with charge proved585

(3) Stealing mail bag or postal packet.


27 Oct 1997 : Column WA230

Duty and Tax-free Shopping: Revenue

Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the estimated current loss to the Exchequer of the concession to allow duty-free purchases to British citizens travelling within the European Union and what additional revenue it anticipates will accrue from the planned abolition of this concession.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No estimates are made of the revenue forgone to the Exchequer as a result of duty and tax-free shopping. Customs and Excise have undertaken work to assess the revenue consequences following abolition of intra-EU duty and tax free shopping scheduled for 30 June 1999. Their preliminary analysis indicates that abolition may yield an extra £100 million per year in revenue to the UK Exchequer, but this estimate will continue to be reviewed in the light of further information.

Cabinet Office: Committees

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the terms of reference and membership of the Cabinet Office officials committees which investigate issues, assemble material and present options for ministerial decisions.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: This information is withheld under the second exemption of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (1997).

Cabinet Office: Committee Business Guide

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any changes have been made to the practices and procedures described in Cabinet Committee Business--a Guide for Departments published in December 1995; and if so, whether they will publish a current version of the guide.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Cabinet Committee Business--a Guide for Departments is not a published document, though it is available to the public in accordance with the principles of open government. Its purpose is to help officials working in support of Ministers in the preparation of Cabinet committee business. A new version of the guide, reflecting the code of conduct and guidance on procedures for Ministers published in July and incorporating the terms of reference and membership of Cabinet committees established since the beginning of May, is now being printed and will be distributed to departments shortly. I will arrange to send the noble Lord a copy.



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