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Written Statements

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 9 June 2003

Deputy Prime Minister

Commonhold And Leasehold Reform

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
(Mr. Tony McNulty)

The leasehold provisions of this Act are being phased in over a period of time. A first commencement order on 26 July last year brought in most of the changes to the rules for enfranchisement and lease renewal for flats and houses.We are now in the process of implementing the remaining leasehold provisions in two more stages. By the end of September 2003 we expect to bring the main package into force: the provisions relating to the new right to manage, the requirement to use a right to enfranchise company in collective enfranchisement cases, the new requirements for consulting leaseholders about major works and the widening of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal jurisdiction.

Work And Pensions

Widows' Allowances

I would like to announce measures to maintain all the current qualifying conditions of those receiving Widowed Mother's Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance now child dependency increases have been removed.Schedule 3 of the Tax Credits Act provides for the entitlement conditions in section 81 of the Social Security and Contributory Benefits Act, insofar as they relate to Widowed Mother's Allowance and Widowed Parent's Allowance, to be replaced by a link to similar conditions in section 77 of that Act. Section 81 has been repealed in its entirety.

This allows widows and widowers whose children live in the same household to continue to receive WMA/WPA in respect of the parent. The benefit position of someone receiving either of these benefits is also maintained if their child is looked after by somebody else, so long as a contribution for the child's maintenance is made that is consistent with the current rules. Provided they pay over at least an amount equivalent to the rate of any child dependency increase that they are entitled to their right to WMA or WPA is not affected. They are still required, as now, to pay over an amount equivalent to the Child Benefit paid to them in respect of that child.

To achieve this, it is necessary for the time being not to operate in these cases section 77(6)(a) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. Consequently, any cases in which this condition applied entail extra-statutory expenditure. Amending legislation will be brought forward to reflect the policy intention as soon as possible.

Home Department

Extradition Bill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
(Mr. Bob Ainsworth)

I am today publishing a draft code of practice which sets out the application and operation of police powers in extradition cases, under Part 4 of the Extradition Bill.Copies of the draft code of practice, and the covering consultation paper, are available in the Libraries of both Houses and the document can also be viewed on the Home Office website.Interested parties are invited to submit their comments and views on the content, structure and format of the draft by Monday 8 September to:Code of Practice Consultation, Extradition Bill Team, Room 1021, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW 1H 9AT, from whom further copies of the document are available.All replies that are received will be made public unless the author explicitly requests that this should not happen.