HC Deb 04 April 1989 vol 150 cc14-5W
Mr. Wheeler

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will state against each member country of the European Community what amount of money, travel allowance or other benefit, is given by that country(a) to British citizens and (b) to its own nationals on discharge from prison in that country.

Mr. Eggar

Payments made to British nationals on discharge from prisons in other European Community countries are listed below. Except for Portugal, no member state makes a distinction between British and host nationals in their rules governing discharge from prison.Belgium: No discharge grant. Half of any earnings paid on release. Deportees with funds are required to pay their rail/ferry fares. In needy cases, prison social/welfare funds may contribute to homeward travel costs. Denmark: No discharge grant. Journey paid to place of residence within Denmark. Deportees' journey home paid for, if unable to pay themselves. France: No discharge grant. Prisoners can seek assistance from probation committees in their home towns. If no funds are forthcoming from prisoners' resources, prison can provide ticket to place of former residence, including country of origin. Federal Republic of Germany: Practice varies between states (Lander). No discharge grant. A proportion of any earnings paid on release. Access to social security benefits. Travel payments range from cost of travel to nearest consular/diplomatic representation to cost of travel to the United Kingdorn plus minimal subsistence. Greece: No discharge grant. If prisoners have no funds they are referred to the nearest Organisation for Employment and Manpower which may grant relief to cover board and lodging for maximum of three months. No travel expenses. Ireland: Gratuity paid on discharge, based on work carried out during period of incarceration. Surface travel is paid from prison to home address, the city where case was tried or to a convenient port. In exceptional circumstances ferry/air fares are paid to enable discharged prisoners to return to country of origin. Italy: No discharge grant or travel expenses. Where an expulsion order has been issued and the prisoner has no funds the Italian Government will pay for repatriation. Luxembourg: No discharge or travel expenses. Prisoners are expected to fund travel home etc. from money earned whilst in prison. However, prisoners without funds would get a ticket from a prison welfare group or the Ministry of Justice. Those resident in Luxembourg before their arrest are also eligible for accommodation costs to be paid while unemployed. The Netherlands: No discharge grant. Discharged prisoners without funds are entitled to social security income support. Travel home, within the Netherlands, is paid. Deportees with funds must contribute to the fare home. Portugal: No discharge grant or travel expenses are paid to prisoners of any nationality. In cases of real need, Portuguese nationals may receive basic subsistence and travel expenses. Foreign nationals are referred to their embassies if they have no funds. The Portuguese Government will pay all or part of the repatriation costs of those prisoners served with expulsion orders who cannot pay themselves. Spain: No discharge grant paid automatically. In cases of need, prisoners may apply to Ministry of Justice for a travel allowance, accommodation expenses and family allowance. The Spanish Government pay for repatriation where expulsion is part of the sentence.