HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 cc25-6W
30. Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made by the Service Families Task Force in promoting welfare and support provision for service families; and if he will make a statement. [100983]

Mr. Spellar

The Service Families Task force has made good progress. The needs of service children are now recognised in the Department for Education and Employment's Codes of Practice on Schools Admission and Appeals. Service Children's Education, a Defence agency, now sits on key local education authority admission forums. The Department of Health has established incentive schemes for NHS dentists in 24 areas where there are large numbers of service families. The Department for Social Security and the Department for Social Security (Northern Ireland) have established simpler procedures for transferring claims for child benefit when moving to and from Northern Ireland.

We are now working with the Department for Education and Employment to address the eligibility of service children for student loans, and with the same Department and the Department for Social Security to address the rules for claiming Jobseekers' Allowance.