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Youth Crime Reduction Projects: Grants

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

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The destination and amounts of grants made by the Home Office Programme Development Unit for innovative projects with young people in 1995-96 and 1996-97 were as follows:

£
1995-96
Dorset Healthy Alliance (Dorset County Council)32,809
High-Scope Foundation20,435
Sheffield C'Mon Everybody Project (Sheffield City Council)18,144
Youth Aid, Lewisham11,350
Total82,738
1996-97
Milton Keynes Youth Crime Reduction Project (Thames Valley Police) 148,052
Prevent Reoffending Project (Kent Probation Service)13,333
Dalston Youth Project (Crime Concern)71,266
Islington CHANCE Project (CHANCE)56,714
Challenging Youth Crime (North Yorkshire Education Service)72,175
Empowering Young People (Suffolk ACRE)33,543
Total395,083

The Safer Cities programme is administered by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in England and by the Home Office in Wales, although the Home Office retained responsibility for some English projects in 1995-96.

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For the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions programme, details of individual schemes are not held centrally. In 1995-96 and 1996-97, the 29 DETR Safer Cities projects gave a total of up to £5.8 million in grants. The projects have funded a range of schemes, including a number which aim to reduce crime and the risk of crime among young people.

Details of individual grants made by Home Office Safer Cities projects could not be obtained without disproportionate cost. In 1995-96 and 1996-97, the total grants given by Home Office Safer Cities projects were as follows:

For 1995-96: £948,000 (Cardiff, Derby, Hammersmith, Leicester, Merthyr Tydfil, Middlesbrough and Rhyl);

For 1996-97: £224,000 (Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhyl). Again, schemes will have included a number aimed at reducing crime and the risk of crime among young people.

Government grants to Home-Start in 1995-96 and 1996-97 were as follows:


    1995-96: £209,500

    £
    Department of Health (core)95,000
    Department of Health (development and projects)114,500


    1995-96: £143,630

    £
    Department of Health (core)85,000
    Department of Health (development and projects)30,630
    Home Office (projects)23,000

Home-Start funds about 190 local schemes in the United Kingdom, which provide support, friendship and practical help to families in their own homes. Projects funded by the Home Office in Wycombe and Castleford include support to families with children who are offending and help with behavioural problems.

Police Grant Allocations

Lord Shepherd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to announce the allocations of police grant for individual police authorities in 1998-99.

Lord Williams of Mostyn: We have today put a copy of our proposals for the allocation of police grant for 1998-99 in the Library. We intend to implement these proposals subject to consideration of any representations we receive about them.

The police service has indicated its support in principle for the continued distribution of police grant in accordance with a needs-based formula, and we are therefore proposing to continue to allocate the greater part of police grant according to the police funding formula.

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We are, however, proposing several changes to the formula to reflect the latest data now available, and in response to the representations we have received. The principal changes we propose are:


    to reduce from 30 per cent. to 20 per cent. the share of funding allocated on the basis of forces' past establishments;


    to increase from 12.9 per cent. to 13.2 per cent. the proportion of funding allocated on the basis of forces' pensions commitments.

We have also set the amount of the special payment to the Metropolitan Police, in recognition of its national and capital city functions, at £151 million in 1998-99.

An additional £40 million of police grant has been made available in 1998-99. This allocation is to ensure that police authorities and the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District have funds available which would allow them to increase spending on meeting the key objectives for the police in 1998-99 over and above that available through the principal formula.

Other police funding proposals within the local government finance system are being announced today by my right honourable friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and for Wales. These proposals and those of the Home Office would increase the total spending power of police authorities in England and Wales by 3.7 per cent., or around £258 million over 1997-98.

The table below shows by police authority the effect of the Government's proposals for 1998-99. It also shows the allocation approved by Parliament for 1997-98.

1997-98 Funding(1)1998-99 Funding(1)
Police Authority£ million£ million
English Shire forces
Avon & Somerset158.7164.2
Bedfordshire58.960.9
Cambridgeshire68.272.0
Cheshire101.1104.7
Cleveland75.280.4
Cumbria58.659.0
Derbyshire95.397.7
Devon & Cornwall158.6167.5
Dorset66.667.8
Durham73.378.1
Essex155.9158.4
Gloucestershire60.161.5
Hampshire180.0189.2
Hertfordshire92.494.1
Humberside105.9110.6
Kent168.5179.0
Lancashire167.7175.0
Leicestershire97.399.1
Lincolnshire61.560.7
Norfolk78.180.9
North Yorkshire71.975.7
Northamptonshire60.062.9
Nottinghamshire119.3123.0
Staffordshire111.8111.1
Suffolk63.466.0
Surrey91.884.2
Sussex155.2162.6
Thames Valley208.2219.3
Warwickshire50.651.1
West Mercia106.3110.0
Wiltshire62.263.4
English Metropolitan forces
Greater Manchester351.2364.9
Merseyside227.3233.3
Northumbria193.4205.4
South Yorkshire158.8165.4
West Midlands353.4372.0
West Yorkshire267.5279.6
London forces
Metropolitan Police(2)1,688.01,715.6
City of London(3)61.657.1
English total6,483.96,683.4
Welsh forces
Dyfed-Powys49.951.1
Gwent64.567.3
North Wales71.273.2
South Wales155.1161.3
Welsh total340.8353.0
Total6,824.77,036.3

Notes:

(1) Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Funding is the sum of all police grant, SSAs and damping grant.

(2)Figure for the Metropolitan Police does not include funding allocated to the Receiver under the Other Services Block SSA for school crossing patrols, Magistrates' Courts and the Probation Service.

(3)Figure for the City includes Police SSA and Grant, but excludes other SSAs--e.g. Capital Financing--which are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions.


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Scottish Parliament: Voting System

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer given by Lord Sewel on 19 November (WA 81), whether they favour electronic means or a lobby system for the voting mechanism in the proposed Scottish Parliament.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): Ultimately, it will be for the Scottish Parliament to decide on procedures, including its system for voting. We expect this matter to be considered by the all-party Consultative Steering Group which my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has established to take forward consideration of how the Scottish Parliament might operate. The brief for the parliament building will allow for the adoption of electronic voting if the Scottish Parliament so decides.

National Insurance Contributions

Lord Evans of Parkside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have completed their review of national insurance contributions for 1998-99.

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Social Security has completed the annual review under Section 141 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. Her proposals will take effect from 6 April 1998. Employers and Employees

In line with the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, the lower earnings limit for Class 1 contributions is to be raised to £64 a week. It is set at the level of the Basic Retirement Pension rate for a single person from April 1998, rounded down to the nearest pound.

The upper earnings limit is to be raised to £485 a week, which is slightly less than 7½ times the new basic pension rate as provided by the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act. These new earnings limits will replace the current ones of £62 and £465 respectively.

Employees whose earnings reach the lower earnings limit will continue to pay an initial contribution of 2 per cent. of that limit and standard rate contributions of 10 per cent. on that portion of their earnings which exceeds the lower but not the upper earnings limit.

The contribution rates for employers will remain unchanged at 3 per cent, 5 per cent., 7 per cent., and 10 per cent. respectively, as will the earnings brackets for the three lower rates. Not Contracted Out Employees and Their Employers

Neither employees nor employers will have to pay any contributions if earnings are less than £64 a week. Employees whose earnings do not exceed £465 (the former upper earnings limit) will pay 16 pence a week less in contributions than at present. This is because a further £2 of their weekly earnings will be subject to the 2 per cent. rate rather than 10 per cent. For employees with earnings above £465, the maximum possible increase will be £1.84 a week.

There will be no change for employers where earnings are £64 or more a week. Contracted Out Employees and Their Employers

Employees whose earnings do not exceed £465 (the former upper earnings limit) will pay 13 pence a week less in contributions than at present. This is because a further £2 of their weekly earnings will be subject to the 2 per cent. rate rather than 8.4 per cent. For employees with earnings above £465, the maximum possible increase will be £1.55 a week.


    Employers who operate a Contracted-Out Salary Related Scheme (COSR)


    Where earnings are between £64 and £465, employers will pay 6 pence a week extra. This is due to the increase in the lower earnings limit, which means that a further £2 of earnings is not subject to the contracted-out rebate. Where earnings are more than £465 a week, employers will pay 54 pence a week less. This is mainly due to the increase in the upper earnings limit, which

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    means that a further £20 of earnings is subject to the contracted-out rebate.


    Employers who operate a Contracted-Out Money Purchase Scheme (COMP)


    Where earnings are between £64 and £465, employers will pay 3 pence a week extra. This is due to the increase in the lower earnings limit, which means that a further £2 of earnings is not subject to the contracted-out rebate. Where earnings are more than £465 a week, employers will pay 27 pence a week less. This is mainly due to the increase in the upper earnings limit, which means that a further £20 of earnings is subject to the contracted-out rebate. Self-employed People

The flat rate Class 2 contribution will be raised by 20p to £6.35 a week.

Self-employed people with profits less than a specified amount, known as the small earnings exception limit, can apply to be excepted from paying Class 2 contributions. This limit will be raised by £110 to £3,590.

There will be no change to the rate of Class 4 contributions, which will remain at 6 per cent. The annual limits of profits between which Class 4 contributions are paid will be raised to £7,310 and £25,220 from £7,010 and £24,180 respectively.

Self-employed people who pay only Class 2 contributions will pay an extra £10.40 a year in 1998-99.

For people with profits between £7,310 and £24,180 (the former upper profits limit), Class 4 contributions will be reduced by £18.00 a year assuming an unaltered level of profits. For those self-employed people with profits at or above the new upper profits limit, the annual charge for Class 4 contributions will be £44.80 higher. Class 3 (Voluntary) Contributions

The rate of Class 3 contributions will be raised by 20p to £6.25 a week. National Health Service Allocation

The allocation to the National Health Service is unchanged at 1.05 per cent. from employees and 0.9 per cent. from employers. Treasury Grant

Although benefit expenditure from the National Insurance Fund will broadly match income, I need to ensure that the fund maintains a prudent working balance throughout the coming year and, in accordance with Section 2(2) of the Social Security Act 1993, I propose to do so by means of a grant from the Treasury. I estimate that the maximum grant required will be approximately £800 million.

My right honourable friend will be laying a draft order before Parliament together with a report by the Government Actuary describing the effects of her proposals.

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