HC Deb 23 April 1986 vol 96 cc155-7W
Mr. Archer

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the latest available figures for the numbers of single social security payments in Northern Ireland per annum to (a) pensioner couples, (b) single pensioners, (c) unemployed people with children, (d) unemployed people without children, (e) lone parents, (f)sick and disabled people and (g) the remaining categories of people, including in each category the average size of payment, and the regulations under which payments were made.

Mr. Alan Clark

The Surgical Dressings Manufacturers Association has made a number of representations about the treatment of gauze dressings. The classification of these products within the pharmaceuticals chapter of the tariff means they are not included in the bilateral agreements negotiated by the European Community under the multi-fibre arrangement. China, the main exporter of these products, agreed (outside its bilateral agreement) to restrain its exports of these products for the period 1984 to 1988.

Mr. Peter Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is satisfied with the observance by the Chinese authorities of the voluntary restraint arrangement applying to exports of gauze dressings to the United Kingdom and other European Economic Community countries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark

China has agreed, outside the scope of its bilateral MFA agreement with the Community, to limit its exports of gauze dressings for the period 1984–88. The agreement is being monitored closely by the Community. In 1985 there appear to have been some overshipment to the United Kingdom, but the quantity concerned is relatively small. The matter has been raised with the Chinese authorities.

Mr. Peter Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing United Kingdom imports from 1982 to 1985 of gauze dressings under tariff heading 30.04.3100 from China and other countries with which the European Economic Community has agreements under the multi-fibre arrangement.

Mr. Alan Clark

The information is as follows:

Mr. Needham

Information in the precise form requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The latest available information is as follows:

Single payments awarded during 1985*
Estimated Numbers Average payment £
Pensioners 36,400 109.59
Unemployed 148,900 116.27
Others 91,500 117.17

Breakdown of single payments—1984†
Pensioners Unemployed Others
Item Regulation Number‡ Number Average Payment £ Number Average payment £ Number Average payment £
Maternity needs (7) 7,230 98.90 2,355 112.37
Funeral expenses (8) 868 276.92 481 258.49 299 296.76
Purchase, repair and installation of essential furniture and household equipment (10) 13,859 125.90 46,833 137.16 31,214 140.33
Bedclothes (12) 7,611 54.18 18,620 76.98 11,483 71.40
Removal expenses (13) 308 55.54 466 73.74 656 64.85
Draughtproofing (18) 1,704 53.18 2,231 52.75 1,279 54.88
Redecoration (19) 3,280 46.41 9,635 55.60 6,138 51.60
Fuel Cost (26) 235 78.74 246 101.76 357 139.89
Clothing and footwear (27) 4,418 81.61 13,587 78.70 10,203 77.76
Others 2,157 91.68 5,256 84.36 2,947 85.34
* The 1985 figures are estimated as some returns were incomplete due to industrial action.
† The figures relate only to single payments awarded during the preceding 12 months to people on supplementary benefit at 12 December 1984 (Source: 5 per cent. sample).
‡ The Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1981.

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