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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of China about the fur trade in that country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: It is for the Chinese Government to introduce and enforce domestic legislation to regulate the fur trade in China. We have raised concerns about animal welfare with the Chinese Government.
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is towards the recognition of (a) de jure and (b) de facto regimes; and to what extent that policy has changed since May 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Since 1980, it has been HMG's policy to recognise states, not governments. As set out in Lord Carrington's statement of 23 May 1980 where a new regime comes to power, whether it qualifies to be treated as a government will be left to be inferred from the nature of the dealings, if any, which we may have with it and, in particular, on whether we are dealing with it on a normal government-to-government basis.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of stakeholder pensions taken up by the target group of employees on modest earnings. 
Mr. McCartney: We are undertaking a programme of dedicated research and analyses of administrative and statistical information as part of a wide-ranging evaluation of the impact of stakeholder pensions. Sufficient information on which to base a reasoned assessment is not yet available.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will list all official overseas visits undertaken by Ministers in his Department in each year since May 1997, indicating (a) the cost in (i) cash and (ii) real terms, (b) the number and grade of (i) civil servants and (ii) special advisers accompanying Ministers and (c) the number of official engagements or meetings undertaken on each visit; and if he will make a statement; 
Malcolm Wicks: Two hundred and sixty-three local authorities have applied for, or have received, extra funding to implement the verification framework. To date 236 of these authorities have achieved full compliance with the scheme.
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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money he estimates was lost through (a) administrative error and (b) benefit fraud in (i) the UK and (ii) Scotland in (A) each of the last five financial years and (B) the 200102 financial year to date. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment has been made of the impact of removing the care element of the service charge for eligibility for housing benefit. 
Malcolm Wicks: Housing Benefit is available to help people on low incomes meet the reasonable cost of their accommodation. It was never intended to help with service charges in respect of personal care. However, at present people who are liable to pay service charges for accommodation-related support may claim help through housing benefit. From April 2003, help with these charges will be funded through the "supporting people" programme.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to change the therapeutic earnings rule for people receiving Incapacity Benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: From 8 April 2002 we are introducing new permitted work rules for people who want to try some paid work while they are getting Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or Income Support because of illness or disability. The new arrangements will allow any person claiming benefit, based on incapacity, to try some paid work without the need for prior approval from a doctor.
There are special arrangements for those disabled people who work in the community with on-going support or supervision from a professional caseworker (employed or engaged by a public body or voluntary organisation). They will not be subject to time limits. This is intended to help those people whose disability means that their work capacity is limited to less than 16 hours a week, but is more than the few hours covered by the £20 per week option. These are people with conditions that cannot be cured but may be amenable to control/management by
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medication/therapy. This category will also include people who work in a sheltered workshop or as part of a hospital treatment programme.
Mr. Sedgemore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will ensure that future discussions on the proposal to create a new sixth form college in Hackney will have due regard to (a) the interests of students and staff at the existing Hackney Community College and (b) the future funding of that college; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Hackney Community College has taken an active role in developing plans for the new college and there have been consultations with a wide range of interested groups, including its staff and students. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is working closely with Hackney Community College to develop its plans for the future and I know the LSC has written to inform my hon. Friend that it has agreed funding to support Hackney Community College's plans for 200102.
Mr. Timms: We are currently developing proposals for a new LEA and school funding system, which is to be introduced in 200304. As part of that work we will be considering ways in which data on pupils' postcodes might be used in the new formula, subject to accurate data being available.
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Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) teachers in special schools and (b) special needs teachers in mainstream schools do not have special educational needs qualifications. 
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