Written Answers To Questions
Tuesday, 21st December, 1971
Family Net Incomes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what have been the net effects, taking into account social service charges and tax changes since June, 1970, on the £28 per week family with two children, the £15 per week family with three children and the £20 per week family with three children.
Some of the effects cannot readily be attributed to typical families in cash terms, notably the increased national insurance benefits paid in return for increased contributions and increased National Health Service charges where these are applicable, in this case only to the £28 a week family. Leaving these two items out of account, but including family income supplement, graduated national insurance contributions, and the changed arrangements for welfare milk and school meals, there would be in typical circumstances a net weekly gain of 37p, £3·50 and £1·44, respectively.
Michelin Factory, Dundee (Dispute)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total cost to public funds of supplementary benefits paid to those involved in the industrial dispute at the construction site of the Michelin factory, Dundee
Up to 13th December when the strike ended the total cost was £6,517.
Junior Hospital Doctors (Conditions Of Service)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will include the Junior Hospital Doctors' Association among the organisations recognised for future negotiations on the salary and conditions of junior doctors.
It has always been the practice in the National Health Service for staff interests to settle questions of representation between themselves. The British Medical Association at present negotiates on behalf of all hospital doctors in the National Health Service and I would expect the Junior Hospital Doctors' Association to discuss with it in the first place any question of modifying the present arrangements.
Family Income Supplement
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a job analysis of successful applicants for family income supplement, and what the average payment has been per job classification.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a job analysis of successful applicants for family income supplement who are living in Scotland, and what the average payment has been per job classification.
I regret that the information is not at present available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will indicate in percentage terms the take-up of family income supplement; and how this compares with the Government's target forecast.
The latest estimate of the potential field, which is still subject to wide margins of error and which I originally estimated as 164,000, is approximately 140,000. On this basis current take-up at 68,000 is now in the region of 50 per cent. and continuing to rise. The cost estimates given on Second Reading of the Family Income Supplement Bill in November, 1970, were based on a take-up of 85 per cent. and implied an average weekly payment of £1.At present we have a take-up of 50 per cent. with an average payment of £1·72, so that the current rate of expenditure is not far short of the annual rate for which we budgeted. These figures do not include the approximately 25,000 people on supplementary benefit whose wage-stop is either reduced or eliminated as a result of family income supplement.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he proposes to increase the prescribed amounts for entitlement to family income supplement.
Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary regulations, I propose to increase the prescribed amounts by £2 with effect from 4th April next. The new prescribed amounts will be £20 per week for a one-child family, £22 for a two-child family, and so on in steps of £2. As family income supplement is half the difference between the family's income and the appropriate prescribed amount, this will mean that for any given level of income below the existing prescribed amounts family income supplement will go up by £1 per week. I propose at the same time to raise the upper limit on family
|Number of children in family||Two-parent families||One-parent families headed by||Total families|
|6 or more||…||…||…||3,900||80||60||4,040|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage take-up he estimates has been achieved with the family income supplement schemes; and whether he will give separate figures for various levels of benefit in approximately 50p steps.
As I indicated in my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy), I estimate overall take-up now to be in the region of 50 per cent. I regret the information asked for in the second part of the Question is not available but it is already clear that there is a substantial take-up from families eligible for higher weekly awards.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he can estimate the increase in take-up, consequent upon the introduction of the family income supplement, of those social benefits like free prescription charges for which the supplement carries with it an entitlement.
income supplement from £4 to £5 per week.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give a breakdown, according to job classification of the wage earner, of those families receiving family income supplement.
I regret that the information is not at present available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give a breakdown, according to family size and type of one-parent family, of those families receiving family income supplement.
The information is as follows:
On welfare milk I would refer my hon. Friend to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Oldham. West (Mr. Meacher) on 9th December As regards the National Health Service, no reliable estimate can be made of the numbers of people who during any period both make use of a service for which a charge is payable and are eligible for remission of the charge; but I have no reason to doubt that most people take advantage of the benefits of which they are automatically informed when they are awarded a family income supplement. The number of families receiving the supplement is 68,000.—[Vol. 827, c. 373–4.]
Wage-Stop Rule (Supplementary Benefit)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons currently unemployed in Scotland and in receipt of supplementary benefit are receiving less than their full entitlement due to the operation of the wage-stop rule, and what was the current figure in June, 1970.
In November, 1971, there were 4,100 persons in Scotland whose supplementary benefit was reduced under the wage-stop rule. The figure for June, 1970, is not available but the May, 1970, figure was 4,300.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applications for constant attendance allowance have been received from residents in Scotland, and how many have been successful.
Up to 14th December some 10,000 applications for attendance allowance had been received in Scotland, 7,600 had been dealt with and in 4,000 the medical conditions had been found to be satisfied at the initial stage. Separate figures of successful applications for review are not available for Scotland.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that the form used for an application for attendance allowance is satisfactory, and that adequate instructions have been given to doctors as to the information they should supply on it; and if he will make a statement.
If my hon. Friend is aware of any particular point of difficulty and will let me know of it I shall be glad to pass it on to the Attendance Allowance Board, which is responsible for the procedures and forms involved in collecting medical evidence.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of those receiving the first payment of the attendance allowance are over 65 years of age, between five and 18 years of age and under 18 years of age, respectively; how many in each category have a physical disability; and how many have a mental disability.
Figures are available relating to numbers of awards of attendance allowances made, and analysed, up to 10th December in respect of disabled adults aged 65 and over, those aged 16 to 64, and children aged 2 to 15: they are approximately 19,000, 17,000 and 13,000, respectively. Separate figures relating to the physically and mentally disabled are not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will invite the Attendance Allowance Board to advise him on how the criteria which determine the eligibility of an applicant should be redefined to prevent anomalies; and if he will prepare amending legislation.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) and others.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what complaints he has received about the effectiveness of the application form for the attendance allowance; and what action he is taking to improve the form so that the Attendance Allowance Board is receiving all the information it requires;(2) if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board's advice on the preparation of a new application form for attendance allowance; and if he will issue such forms as soon as possible;(3) if he will circularise general practitioners with advice on the best means of providing relevant information required by the Attendance Allowance Board;(4) if he will request general practitioners to make a special visit to applicants to discuss a patient's disability before an attendance allowance form is completed by the doctor; and if he will make an additional payment to the general practitioners for doing so;(5) if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board to ask for an automatic second medical opinion and a further review by the Board whenever the first request for attendance allowance is rejected.
These are all matters for the Attendance Allowance Board and I shall bring the hon. Member's suggestions to its notice.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will request the Attendance Allowance Board to inform local authorities of all those receiving the attendance allowance; and if he will request local authorities to contact all those receiving the attendance allowance if they have not already done so, to see if they require any additional services.
The award of an attendance allowance is confidential to the claimant and that confidence must be respected both by the board and by my Department. But arrangements are being made for a copy of the national booklet on services for handicapped people, when it becomes available in the spring, to be sent to all those then receiving an attendance allowance and to subsequent claimants to the allowance.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the number of claims for attendance allowances that have been submitted and accepted, respectively, in the Midlands Region to the latest convenient date; and how these figures compare with other regions.
I would refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Dr. John A. Cunningham) today.
Pension Increase (Supplementary Benefit Reduction)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what sum of money has been deducted from the supplementary benefit payable to Scottish pensioners as a result of the £1 pension increase.
Single pensioners have received an increase of 60p in total income, comprising £1 more in retirement pension and 40p less in supplementary pension. The annual review of retirement pensions announced in the House on 16th December will largely do away with the need for these adjustments in future.—[Vol. 828, c. 852–9.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people in Scotland in receipt of supplementary benefit have suffered a reduction in benefit as a result of having had a pension increase of £1.
Immediately following the increase in pension rates in September, 1971, 174,000 retirement pensioners in Scotland were also receiving supplementary benefit. The increase resulted in a fall in the amount of supplementary benefit payable to all but a very few. In addititon 4,000 pensioners ceased to receive supplementary benefit as a result of the increase. But in all cases there was a rise in the person's total income.
Hospitals (Negligence Claims)
asked the Secretary or State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the manner in which hospital authorities deal with claims against them for negligence; and if he will make a statement.
Claims for compensation arising out of hospital treatment are dealt with by hospital authorities in accordance with the procedures appropriate to settlement by legal process or by negotiations between the parties. These procedures are well established and are generally well understood.
Passmore Edwards Hospital, Liskeard
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will reconsider his decision not to provide a short-stay maternity unit at the Passmore Edwards Hospital, Liskeard.
No, Sir. I agree with the regional hospital board that it is impracticable to provide such a unit for the reasons I gave in reply to my hon. Friend's Question on 3rd August and in subsequent correspondence.—[Vol. 822, c. 1315–16.]
National Health Service (Whitley Council)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he intends to make for remedying the National Health Service Whitley Council negotiating procedures in which management sides lack authority to bargain appropriate settlements with representatives.
I think the hon. Member underestimates the scope and responsibilities of the Whitley Councils: the number of different professions and occupations engaged in the National Health Service and the work of assessing the staffing needs of the service in terms of numbers and skills and settling the rate for the job. Of course there is scope for improvement. In voluntary collective bargaining changes are a matter for agreement by the two sides; changes are in fact being made and I am ready to help in any way I can.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations have been made by management sides of the Whitley Councils for the National Health Service about the functioning of councils; and what reply he has sent.
None, but I understand the management side of the General Whitley Council is considering possible structural and functional improvements for the future.
Private Health Insurance Policies
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will seek powers to enable himself to control the advertising of private health insurance policies.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has received the list of dentists in Wandsworth who provide full dentures on a National Health Service basis which he requested from the Inner London Executive Council on 20th November.
Yes; and I sent a copy to the hon. Member last week.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much revenue he expects from prescription charges in 1971.
About £20 million in England.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to simplify the administration for entitlement to free prescriptions by linking them with the receipt of National Insurance retirement pensions.
I would refer the hon Member to my reply on 1st December to the hon. Member for Manchester, Openshaw (Mr. Charles R. Morris). Anyone who is aged 65 or over can obtain his prescriptions without charge by filling in the declaration on the back of the prescription form, and anyone under 65 who cannot afford to pay the charge need only complete a simple claim form for an exemption certificate.—[Vol. 827, c.193.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people hold season tickets for prescription charges; to what extent the number has changed since June, 1970; and if he will arrange for further publicity to be given to this scheme.
I am glad to announce that following increased publicity about 170,000 people in Great Britain now hold season tickets—an increase of about 100,000 since June, 1970. I am anxious to make this method of limiting the personal cost of prescriptions familiar to all so I propose to arrange for a further national advertising campaign early in the New Year.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the progress of research on, and treatment of, battered children.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's Battered Child Research Department is continuing its valuable research project into this syndrome. My Department is in touch and is following with interest the progress of this particular research. My Department is also in touch with local authorities on the steps they are taking to improve ways and means of dealing with this difficult problem.
Family Planning Association
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, having regard to the public funds provided for the Family Planning Association, and his stated policy towards that body, he will call for an explanation of its published intention to enter into the field of abortion; and whether he will make a statement.
I have nothing to add to my reply to my hon. Friend on 3rd August. The association has assured me that its policy is unchanged.—[Vol. 822, c. 243–4.]
Retirement Pensioners (Supplementary Benefit)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of retirement pensioners is in receipt of supplementary benefit; and what is the average sum received.
In November this year the proportion was 27·6 per cent. The average amount paid was £2·27.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many retirement pensioners in the Greenock-Port Glasgow area were in receipt of supplementary benefit in June 1970 and at the latest convenient date.
Figures for June, 1970, are not available. In May, 1970, 3,500 retirement pensioners, including women over 60 with widows' pension, were receiving supplementary benefit in the area covered by the Greenock and Port Glasgow local offices. In November, 1971, the number was 3,700.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he has to vary the rate of benefit income as between the involuntary unemployed and those whose unemployment can be clearly attributed in whole or in part to their own actions.
We have no further proposals to vary the present rules, which have recently been reviewed and strengthened.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent representations he has received concerning the rules governing payment of unemployment benefit; and what replies he has sent.
We have received many representations about suspended workers, with results which my right hon. Friend announced on 15th December. If the hon. Member has some other rule in mind perhaps he would let me know.—[Vol. 828, c. 143–4.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ask the Central Health Services Council to look into the in-patient's day in psychiatric as well as other hospitals.
Not at the present time
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek powers to help women separated from their husbands to obtain the maintenance granted to them by court order, but which remains unpaid or in arrears.
As my hon. Friend knows, the Supplementary Benefits Commission already has powers in relation to women beneficiaries under that scheme. My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to extend those powers.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he will take to expedite the help available for women whose husbands fail to comply with a court order for maintenance.
Women who are separated from their husbands and who are not in full-time work are entitled to claim supplementary benefit if their means are inadequate because their husbands do not comply with court orders for maintenance or for other reasons. There should be no delay in the payment of benefit but if my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind I shall be pleased to look into it.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what sum of money was paid out by his Department between September, 1970, and September, 1971, to women separated from their husbands, following the failure of these husbands to comply with a court order for maintenance.
I regret that this information is not available as the only social security benefit at present paid in these circumstances is supplementary benefit and the reasons for payment of this are not analysed. My hon. Friend may, however, wish to know that from the latest information available, it is estimated that in 1970 about £53 million was paid to about 129,000 separated wives, where it was necessary to pursue the question of liability to maintain. This sum was paid after taking into account about £4¾ million in maintenance payments received direct by the wives themselves.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applicants are in receipt of supplementary benefit due to the non-payment of maintenance orders.
I regret that it is not possible to make a reliable estimate on the information available, as the reasons for payment of supplementary benefit are not analysed.
Social Policy (Broadcast)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now make a Ministerial broadcast about social policy.
Single Homeless Persons
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he hopes to announce his inquiry into the single homeless in London; and if he will make a statement.
I assume the hon. Member is referring to the working party on Homelessness in London. This is now considering amongst other questions the problem of homeless people without children but I cannot yet say when it will be ready to report.
Unemployment And Supplementary Benefit (Entitlement)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ensure that all those available for work but attending educational or training courses are given full information as to their entitlement to unemployment and supplementary benefit.
Where a person is available for work it is expected that he will be registered at the local employment ex change, or careers office if under 18 years. Special arrangements have been made for notices to be displayed in appropriate social security, employment exchange and careers offices telling young unemployed people undertaking educational or training courses that advice about their entitlement to social security or other benefits is available from the staff.
Hospital (Cheadle/Wilmslow Area)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received in respect of his decision to build a major extension to the hospital at Stepping Hill, Stockport, in preference to the establishment of a new hospital to serve the Cheadle/Wilmslow area.
I have decided only against a district general hospital at Wilmslow Road, Cheadle, but other sites for a hospital to serve the Cheadle/ Wilmslow area are being considered. Seven bodies and individuals, including my hon. Friend, have made representations to me on the subject generally.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has for extending supplementary benefits to all unemployed school leavers.
We see no reason to change the existing arrangements. When the school leaving age is raised to 16 all unemployed leavers will be entitled to claim supplementary benefit subject to the usual conditions about registration for and availability for work.
Pensions (Purchasing Power)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services taking the value of the retirement pension for single and married persons respectively at 100 in November, 1969, what is its value now.
101·8 and 101·6, respectively, based on the movement in the General Index of Retail Prices from November, 1969, to November, 1971. For pensioners over age 80 the figures are 106·1 and 106·9, respectively.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services by how much, at current prices, the purchasing value of the retirement pension for a married couple fell below the latest current figure for each of the last 10 years.
As measured by the General Index of Retail Prices the amounts by which the purchasing value in November of each year was below the value at November, 1971, were as follows:
Hospital Building Programme (Derbyshire)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations he is having concerning the hospital building programme in Derbyshire in order to cut down the waiting time for both major and minor operations.
Discussions with the Sheffield Regional Hospital Board on the question of district general hospital provision for the Derby area are expected to take place in the New Year. The first phase of redevelopment of Derby Royal Infirmary, which includes seven operating theatres, is expected to be completed by the end of 1972. The planning of a new district hospital in Chesterfield is in progress.
Newham (Minister's Visit)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why during his recent official visit to the London Borough of Newham the local Press were not given details; why there was a ban upon Press photographers; and whether he will now make a detailed statement giving particulars of the places visited, the persons he met and the matters discussed.
This was not a public occasion but one of a number of visits which I make from time to time to hospital and personal social service authorities to encourage informal exchange of views and to study the social services on the spot.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why some National Health charges for optical lenses are higher than the prices at which opticians are able to sell them privately
The charges payable by patients are designed to cover the combined cost of the lenses and of the optician's dispensing fee. The element representing the cost of the lenses is arrived at by averaging the costs of lenses grouped according to their types and powers; and therefore this element will in some individual cases slightly exceed, and in others slightly fall short of, the actual cost.
Industrial Injuries Benefit (High Court Decision)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the scope of Section 7 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, as interpreted by the National Insurance Commissioner, will be reduced by the High Court decision in the case of Patrick Anthony Farrell v. Secretary of State for Social Services; and if he will keep the matter under review, with the intention of issuing new regulations should it appear that the interpretation has been so affected.
I have no reason to believe that the judgment will affect in any way the current interpretation of this basic provision of the Industrial Injuries Act but I will certainly keep the matter under review.
Hospital Social Workers (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the fact that hospital patients are being adversely affected because of the poor pay rates and conditions of hospital social workers, what action he will take to improve the position.
I understand that negotiations are proceeding in the Whitley Council and hope that there will be an early conclusion. I do not accept the implication in the first part of the Question.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to introduce legislation to ban the smoking of pipes, cigars and cigarettes in cinemas, theatres and other enclosed public places of entertainment.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) on 23rd November.—[ Vol. 826, c. 319.]
Doctors And Dentists (Pay)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the latest report of the Halsbury Committee on the remuneration of doctors and dentists.
I have nothing to add to the statement on the report made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Dr. Trafford) on 1st December.—[Vol. 827, c. 127.]
National Health Service (Women Employees)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to prevent discrimination against women in employment within the National Health Service.
I am not aware that this is a problem in the National Health Service but if the hon. Member can tell me of any instance I will look into it.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, when licensing abortion clinics, he requires that they shall avoid offence and nuisance to neighbours.
Yes, but only in so far as the objections are relevant to the purpose of the Abortion Act. I would expect the clinics to understand that they should not cause offence and nuisance to neighbours.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services to what extent measures aimed at relieving poverty for the low-wage earner have succeeded in making it more profitable to work than to live solely on social security benefits.
The family income supplement scheme which started in August makes more money available to low-income families with children where the breadwinner is in full-time work. It therefore increases the difference between income when at work and social security benefits when out of work.
General Practitioners (Compensation)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total remaining in the fund for compensating general practitioners for the loss of goodwill when the National Health Service Act came into force; what is its real value in present-day terms; and what is the percentage lost since 1948.
At 30th November, 1971, the capital sum outstanding to medical practitioners in Great Britain who were awarded practice compensation was £7·9 million. The purchasing power of this sum in 1948 terms would be about £3·3 million, which represents a fall in value of some 58 per cent.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the National Federation of Old Age Pension Associations for an increase in pensions; and what reply he has sent.
A number of the federation's branches sent postcards to me and I met representatives of the federation on 27th October. Amongst other things, they commented on the level of the pension and the frequency of reviews. In reply I explained the September uprating. I have since announced our intention to uprate annually.—[Vol. 828, c. 852–9.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress he has so far made with his policy of alleviating poverty.
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy) on 30th November.—[Vol. 827, c. 240–1.]
Supplementary Benefit (Scotland)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons in the Greenock-Port Glasgow area were in receipt of supplementary benefit in June, 1970, and at the latest convenient date.
Figures for June, 1970, are not available. In May, 1970, there were 6,900 persons receiving supplementary benefit in the area covered by the Greenock and Port Glasgow local offices; in November, 1971, the number was 7,300.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what sum of money was paid to unemployed persons receiving supplementary benefit in Scotland in the last available month; and what was the corresponding sum in June, 1970.
In October, 1971, £2·18 million was paid in supplementary benefit to unemployed persons in Scotland. The figure for June, 1970, was £0·97 million.
Pensions Reviews (Minister's Announcement)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will undertake in future to make all announcements regarding disablement benefits, retirement pensions, annual and two-yearly reviews to the House of Commons before giving such information to the Press.
No such undertaking is needed. In the future as in the past I shall keep the House fully informed of any changes in benefits and pensions.
Child Minding (Prosecutions)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many prosecutions there were in the years 1960 to 1970, inclusive, for illegal child minding.
Information prior to 1964 is not readily available, but the figures since then are as follows:
|Year||Number of Prosecutions|
National Health Service Ombudsman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he can yet make an announcement on the appointment of a National Health Service Ombudsman.
I cannot yet add anything to my answer of 9th December.—[Vol. 827, c. 370.]
Ambulance Service (Charges)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money, and from how many persons, has been received in the last financial year from the charges made for the use of ambulances after road accidents.
I am not aware that any local authority makes a charge for use of ambulances in these circumstances. It is estimated that under the Road Traffic Act, 1960, hospitals receive about £1 million a year from insurers and drivers of vehicles involved in road accidents.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will revise the entitlement to an invalidity allowance so that its amount bears relation to the length of the invalidity during the lifetime of the recipient as well as the age of the recipient.
I am aware of the case which the hon. Member has recently taken up with my Department, and I appreciate the point which he has in mind. But in introducing the new invalidity benefit in September we necessarily had to devise provisions and draw dividing lines which were applicable to the great majority of the chronic sick and their circumstances; and I regret that I see no prospect of making a change such as that suggested by the hon. Member.
|Authority||Population||Home Nurses*||Auxiliaries*||Total*||Population per head of Staff|
|England and Wales||…||…||48,987,700||9,292||987||10,279||4,766|
|Kingston upon Hull||…||…||290,270||42·0||—||42·0||6,911|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||…||…||236,730||42·7||3·5||46·2||5,124|
|Stoke on Trent||…||…||270,800||42·5||—||42·5||6,372|
|*Numbers in whole-time equivalents.|
|Population June, 1970:|
|Later figures are not yet available for the whole country. The figures for Portsmouth for 30th September, 1971 show a significant improvement as follows: 204,280 population, 30·5 home nurses, 24·7 auxiliaries giving a total of 55·2 staff and an improved staff/population ratio of 1:3,700.|
Chronically Sick And Disabled Persons Act, 1970
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will issue information to local Departments of Social Services of the action taken in the London Borough of Brent, to implement the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, Section 1, as outlined in the information sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West.
We shall be receiving reports on this from all responsible local authorities in the spring and I do not think it would be appropriate to commend one particular approach before this information is available.
Nurses And Auxiliaries
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT details of the ratio of qualified nurses and auxiliaries to population in the district nursing services in each of the 20 largest county boroughs and cities in England and Wales outside London; and whether he will make a statement on the adequacy of staffing in the city of Portsmouth.
The information as at 30th September, 1970, is as follows:
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will next lay a statement about the residential care of younger handicapped persons as required by Section 18 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, 1970.
In the foreword to the statements which the Secretary of State for Wales and I laid before Parliament on 4th August we stated that we intended to lay the next statements in May, 1972, in respect of the position at 31st December, 1971, and thereafter to lay annual statements each November in respect of the position at the previous 30th June. However we have now changed the reporting date for most other personal social services statistics supplied by local authorities from 31st December to 31st March and accordingly we propose to fix 31st March as the reporting date for the submission by authorities of the information required under Section 18. The Secretary of State for Wales and I intend therefore to lay the next statement in July in respect of the position at 31st March, 1972.
Kidney Complaints (Treatment)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the present facilities available to deal with kidney complaints under the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
Development of facilities proceeds within available resources. I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. John Page) on 12th November, 1971.—[Vol. 825, c. 282.]
Tuberculosis (Hospital Accommodation)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what additional hospital accommodation he has arranged for those areas where there has been an increased incidence of tuberculosis, particularly among those born outside the United Kingdom.
Most patients with tuberculosis now no longer require hospital in-patient treatment. For those that do, I am not aware that the existing provision has proved inadequate, even in those areas where above average rates of tuberculosis have been experienced.
Supplementary Pensions (Eligibility)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the additional cost to the Exchequer of assessing only the income at a notional rate from personal savings of not more than £2,000, rather than the capital sum itself, for the purpose of deciding eligibility for supplementary pension.
In accordance with the Ministry of Social Security Act, 1966, the Supplementary Benefits Commission already treats capital as equivalent to weekly income at a fixed rate, as opposed to regarding the whole capital as available to meet the claimant's weekly requirements. The rate fixed is 5p a week for each £25 of capital between £300 and £800 and 12½p a week for each £25 above £800.
Pensions (Cost Of Increase)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the cost of doubling the present retirement pension and of the resultant increase in the cost of the National Insurance stamp for those in employment.
For flat-rate retirement pensions alone, about £2,210 million a year which would require an increase of 90p a side on the employed man's flat-rate contribution if the cost were to be met in that way with the normal Exchequer supplement.
Rampton Special Hospital
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) why he changed the hours of duty for staff at Rampton Special Hospital; and what estimate he has made of the extra staff required and their cost;(2) what consultations he held with the Prison Officers' Association before he changed the hours of duty for staff at Rampton Special Hospital;(3) what assessment he made of the effect of his change in the hours of duty for staff at Rampton Special Hospital on the welfare of patients;(4) what action he proposes to take in regard to objections made by the staff to the new shift hours he has instituted at Rampton Special Hospital;(5) what estimate he has made of the overtime which will have to be worked under the new shift hours for staff at Rampton Special Hospital.
The introduction of a 40-hour week for nurses from 1st January, 1972, requires a change in the hours of duty and an increase in the number of staff. Some overtime will be necessary until additional staff, who are now being recruited, are in post. No change in shift hours has yet been made, but I am satisfied that a change to a system of shorter shifts will be beneficial both to staff and patients. Proposals for new shifts have been made, on which views have been invited from the local branch of the Prison Officers' Association, which has been consulted throughout. The number of extra staff and their cost will depend on the new shift system eventually adopted.
Special Hospitals (Rampton, Broadmoor And Moss Side)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will compare the methods used to care for patients at each of the three special hospitals, Rampton, Broadmoor and Moss Side.
Such comparisons as are relevant are continually being made by my Department.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what precautions are taken to ensure the resuscitation and intensive care of infants from prematurity as a result of abortions.
The precautions to be taken on any particular occasion are for the clinician in charge of the patient. I am advised that at any surgical operation for termination where the foetus might prove viable an anaesthetist would be present and apparatus for resuscitation at hand.
Unemployment Benefit (Conditions Of Payment)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now extend the period for which unemployment benefit is payable and relax some of the conditions which have to be fulfilled.
No. We agree with the view of the previous Administration that one year's unemployment is the appropriate period to be covered by this insurance benefit. Supplementary benefit is available for long-term needs.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many old-age pensioners were drawing supplementary allowances at the latest known date before the last pension increase; and how many are in receipt of supplementary allowances now.
On 24th August, 1971, 1,851,000 retirement pensioners were receiving supplementary pensions; on 23rd November the number was 1,811,000, including women over 60 receiving widow's pension.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many initial awards of supplementary allowance for four weeks only, and how many awards limited to a further four weeks after a three-month review, were made during the last month at each supplementary benefit office in England and Wales where the four-week and three-month rules are currently applied.
I regret the information requested could not be made available without undue use of resources.
Mr E Browne (Letter)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has received the communication from the hon. Member for West Ham, North, enclosing a letter from Mr. E. Browne, of Forest Gate, E.7, showing that, notwithstanding the rise in prices since retirement pensions were raised last September, he and his wife have only had a 75p per week increase in their income; and whether he will take administrative action to assist Mr. and Mrs. Browne.
I received the hon. Member's letter on 16th December and will write to him when inquiries have been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much time has been spent by his Chief Medical Officer in broadcasting matter connected with fluoridation; whether fees were received for such broadcasts; and whether these broadcasts were made with his authority.
He has spent no time broadcasting specifically on fluoridation. He referred to it once incidentally in an interview as one of the opportunities for promoting better health. This broadcast had my approval. He accepts no fees for broadcasting.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the average world price of grain as the result of this year's harvest; and how this price compares with last year's price at the same time.
It is not possible to estimate an average world price for all grains, but the following are the approximate offering prices for wheat and maize in the United Kingdom, which account for a large proportion of our cereal imports:
European Economic Community
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what communications he has received from the various Northumberland fishing associations arising from the agreement reached with the European Economic Community in regard to the Community Fisheries Agreement; and if he will make a statement.
None, and I have nothing to add to the statement by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon) on 13th December and to what was said in the debate on 15th December.—[Vol. 828, c. 51–65 c. 725–37.]
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what decisions were reached at the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Conference beginning 14th December in Moscow regarding the quota system of catch-conservation of cod stocks and the preparation for the Law Of The Sea Conference at the United Nations in New York 1973; and if he will make a statement.
Pending the approval of new powers to enable the Commission to adopt measures of quota regulation, Ministers agreed to consider interim measures of catch regulation outside the present framework of the Convention. My right hon. Friend made the specific proposal that in the North-East Atlantic and Icelandic areas, catches of cod and haddock in 1972 should as an interim measure be limited to a tonnage not exceeding the average of the ten years 1961–70.The Conference was not an appropriate forum for discussing issues relating to the Law of the Sea which are excluded from the scope of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Convention.I am arranging for a copy of the communiqué to be placed in the Library.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he discussed with the Wines and Spirits Association the question of the title and designation of British wines before agreeing in Brussels that by 1976 British wines should cease to be so called; and to what extent he estimates this will adversely affect Great Britain's export trade.
The association directly concerned is the National Association of British Wine Producers. We have had consultations with them throughout the discussions in Brussels, and the agreement we have reached with the Community is consistent with those consultations. I have no reason to expect any adverse effect on our export trade and under appropriate designations the products concerned will enjoy freedom of movement in the enlarged Community
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will give for the latest and most convenient stated date the total annual amount of imports of Israeli citrus fruits and juices into Great Britain on a tonnage and sterling basis; and to what extent an increase of 7 per cent. on citrus fruits and a 20 per cent. duty on juices would raise the costs of these items on Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community.
In 1970 United Kingdom imports from Israel of fresh citrus and of citrus juices were, respectively, 220,000 tons valued at £ 14·7 million and 35,000 tons valued at £3·2 million. I cannot identify the precise figures used by the hon. Member in the second half of his Question, but in any event it is not possible to relate tariff changes directly to market prices.
Works Of Art (Insurance Premiums)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to enable the insurance premiums on exempted works of art to be paid out of pre-tax income.
|Year ended||Northern D.A.||South-West D.A.||Merseyside D.A.||Welsh D.A.||Scottish D.A.||Total|
|June, 1968 4th September 1967)||16·5||0·7||11·1||6·7||23·4||58·4|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he has received regarding his decision to withdraw the regional employment premium in 1974; and how many of these welcomed the proposed change.
This matter has been raised in general discussions in N.E.D.C. My right hon. Friend has received three letters on this point. They made representations against the withdrawal of R.E.P.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what new scheme he now proposes to introduce to replace the regional employment premium from 1974.
I have nothing to add to the statements made by my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the debate on the Address.—[Vol. 825. c. 45 and 184–5.]
Estate Duty (Historic Buildings)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will seek to exempt from estate duty historic buildings used as dwelling houses so long as they remain in the possession of the family of the deceased.
I do not think that tax relief for the cost of insuring privately owned works of art could be justified.
Regional Employment Premium
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount paid to each of the development areas in respect of regional employment premium in each year ended June, 1968 to 1971; and what he estimates will be the amount paid in respect of 1971–72.
Following is the information:—
I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will locate the Inland Revenue office for the repayment of post-war credits on Merseys, de, thereby assisting the unemployment situation in that area.
As my right hon. Friend said in his statement of 14th December, there is a good deal of planning and organisation to be done and it is not yet possible to say how much of the work will be concentrated in postwar credit repayment centres or where the centres will be located.
Post Offices (Stamping Of Documents)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the average time taken between the handing in of a document requiring an Inland Revenue stamp at a post office, and its completion and availability for collection there.
Not more than four working days, including the day on which the document is handed in and the day on which it is available for collection.
Companies (Sponsorship Of Sports)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he treats the cost to companies of promoting sporting events unconnected with such companies' articles of association as a business expense eligible for tax allowance.
Not unless the costs are incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the company's business.
Taxation Of Interest
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest annual figure of receipts from taxation on interest received by taxpayers; and what was the average receipt from each taxpayer who received interest payments.
The information is not available.
Irish Land Acts (Annuitants)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many advances under the Irish Land Acts, 1903 and 1909, will be affected by the Irish Land (Finance) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules, 1971; and what is the maximum potential saving to an annuitant of this amendment of the rules.
There are 239 advances repayable by means of 3½ per cent. annnuities which are affected by this Statutory Instrument. Compared with the previous percentage rate, the new rate is likely to mean that one fewer half-yearly instalment will be required before the original advance is deemed to have been repaid.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now consider commencing repayment of 3½ per cent. 1932 War Loan to all original holders.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to him in reply to a similar Question on 20th July.—[Vol. 821, c. 236–7.]
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he will not seek powers to introduce a system of licensing of all horses used for pleasure and in horseracing on a basis of £10 per annum.
I do not think this would be a useful form of taxation. The yield would be low, the criteria of application uncertain and the cost of collection relatively high.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in future public expenditure White Papers, he will show the average annual percentage change between year one and year five for each item of expenditure listed in each table.
The form of presentation of the expenditure figures in future White Papers will be considered in the light of any recommendations made by the Select Committee on Expenditure
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Rate Support Grant (Increase) (No. 1 and No. 2) Orders. 1971, were taken into account in the figures for Government expenditure set out in Command Paper No. 4829
These orders relate to the effects on local authority revenue expenditure in England and Wales of pay and price increases which occurred between November, 1970, and November, 1971. The figures for local authority expenditure "at 1971–72 out-turn prices" in table 1·4 of Command Paper No. 4829 include estimates of the effects of pay and price increases over the whole period from November, 1970. to March, 1972, and include provision for the period covered by these orders
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware, in view of the income tax rates being paid by old people who may be in receipt of more than one pension, of their difficulties over income tax payments; and whether he will introduce arrangements to ensure that income tax can be deducted at source or regularly collected by members of his staff.
Where it is not possible for tax on pensions to be collected through P.A.Y.E., the system already provides for payment to be made in four equal instalments at regular intervals.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation substantially to increase the amount of earnings allowed to retirement pensioners, still working, before becoming liable to tax.
I assume the hon. Member is referring to the income tax age exemption which exempts from tax elderly people whose total income does not exceed certain limits. This year's Finance Act made an increase in these limits for the current tax year and a further increase for next year, as in the table below. I have noted his suggestion that the limits should be further raised.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to abolish the deduction of income tax from retirement pensioners still at work at 65 years of age instead of 70 years of age as at present.
There is no special income tax exemption for the earnings of pensioners aged 70 or over. Under present law, however, elderly people aged 65 or over are exempted from tax if their total income, including earnings, does not exceed certain limits.
Capital Payments (Tax)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the practice of the Inland Revenue with regard to the payment of tax on large capital payments received by persons resulting from prizes, fees, awards, earnings, etc., resulting from the person's normal duties, earnings, or business activities.
The Inland Revenue would seek to charge tax upon any such payments which appeared to it to fall within the provisions of Schedule D or Schedule E of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act, 1970.
Taxation And Net Income
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table of figures giving the net return to a single man after payment of normal taxation receiving a salary of £14,000 per annum of which £4,000 is tax free, £20,000 of which £5,000 is tax free, and what a capital sum of £37,000 to such a person would be worth if normal taxation were paid thereon, if no tax were paid and if capital gains tax were levied.
The net amounts after tax are as follows:
|Salary of £14,000||Salary of £20,000|
|Net income from salary||10,088||12,914|
|Net addition if the extra £37,000 were treated as:|
|(a) earned income||9,877||9,279|
|(b) investment income||4,951||4,353|
|(c) not taxable||37,000||37,000|
|(d) a realised capital gain||25,900||25,900|
Group Of Ten (Monetary Agreement)
(by Private Notice) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the meeting in Washington of the Finance Ministers of the Group of Ten.
pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th December, 1971, c. 1115–18] gave the following information:
International Monetary Discussions
Text of communiqué of the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Ten. Washington, 17–18 December, 1971.
The Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Ten countries participating in the General Arrangements to Borrow met at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington on 17–18 December, 1971, in executive session under the chairmanship of Mr. J. B. Connally, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. Mr. P. P. Schweitzer, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, took part in the meeting, which was also attended by the President of the Swiss National Bank, Mr. E. Stopper, and in part by the Secretary General of the O.E.C.D., Jonkheer E. Van Lennep, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, Mr. R. Larre, and the Vice-President of the Commission of the E.E.C., Mr. R. Barre. Ministers and Governors welcomed a report by the Managing Director of the Fund on a meeting held between the deputies of the Group of Ten and the Executive Board of the Fund.
The Ministers and Governors agreed on an interrelated set of measures designed to restore stability to international monetary arrangements and to provide for expanding international trade. These measures will be communicated promptly to other Governments. It is the hope of the Ministers and Governors that all Governments will cooperate through the International Monetary Fund to permit implementation of these measures in an orderly fashion.
The Ministers and Governors reached agreement on a pattern of exchange rate relationships among their currencies. These decisions will be announced by individual Governments, in the form of par values or central rates as they desire. Most of the countries plan to close their exchange markets on Monday. The Canadian Minister informed the Group that Canada intends temporarily to maintain a floating exchange rate and intends to permit fundamental market forces to establish the exchange rate without intervention except as required to maintain orderly conditions.
It was also agreed that, pending agreement on longer-term monetary reforms, provision will be made for 2¼per cent. margins of exchange rate fluctuation above and below the new exchange rates. The Ministers and Governors recognised that all members of the International Monetary Fund not attending the present discussions will need urgently to reach decisions, in consultation with the International Monetary Fund, with respect to their own exchange rates. It was the view of the Ministers and Governors that it is particularly important at this time that no country seek improper competitive advantage through its exchange rate policies. Changes in parities can only be justified by an objective appraisal which establishes a position of disequilibrium.
Questions of trade arrangements were recognised by the Ministers and Governors as a relevant factor in assuring a new and lasting equilibrium in the international economy. Urgent negotiations are now under way between the United States and the Commission of the European Community, Japan, and Canada to resolve pending short-term issues at the earliest possible date and with the European Community to establish an appropriate agenda for considering more basic issues in a framework of mutual co-operation in the course of 1972 and beyond. The United States agreed to propose to Congress a suitable means for devaluing the dollar in terms of gold to 38·00 dollars per ounce as soon as the related set of short-term measures is available for Congressional scrutiny. Upon passage of required legislative authority in this framework, the United States will propose the corresponding new par value of the dollar to the International Monetary Fund.
In consideration of the agreed immediate realignment of exchange rates, the United States agreed that it will immediately suppress the recently imposed 10 per cent. import surcharge and related provisions of the job development credit.
The Ministers and Governors agreed that discussion should be promptly undertaken, particularly in the framework of the International Monetary Fund, to consider reform of the international monetary system over the longer term. It was agreed that attention should be directed to the appropriate monetary means and division of responsibilities for defending stable exchange rates and for insuring a proper degree of convertibility of the system; to the proper rôle of gold, of reserve currencies, and of special drawing rights in the operation of the system; to the appropriate volume of liquidity; to reexamination of the permissible margins of fluctuation around established exchange rates and other means of establishing a suitable degree of flexibility; and to other measures dealing with movements of liquid capital. It is recognised that decisions in each of these areas are closely linked.
Widows And Retirement Pensioners (Tax Relief)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the proposal that tax relief be given to widows and retirement pensioners, still working, in respect of rent, rates, heating, lighting, house maintenance, etc.
I do not think it would be right to single out this element in the expenses of working widows and elderly people for special tax relief.
Sports Council (Chairmen)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what salary and other financial arrangements are to be made for the Chairman of the Sports Council of Great Britain, the Chairman of the Welsh Sports Council, and the Chairman of the Scottish Sports Council, respectively.
The duties of the Chairman of the Sports Council are part-time and the arrangements are that remuneration will be proportionate to that for full-time appointments at this level in other comparable bodies. He will also be able to claim travel and other out-of-pocket expenses on scales similar to those in Government service. The arrangements concerning the Chairmen of the Scottish Sports Council and the Sports Council for Wales are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales.
Beaumont Leys Sewage Area
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what tests have been carried out on the Beaumont Leys sewage area in Leicester, North-West, to ascertain what quantities of beryllium are in the soil;(2) what tests have been carried out on the Beaumont Leys sewage area in Leicester, North-West, to ascertain what quantities of arsenic are in the soil;(3) what tests have been carried out on the Beaumont Leys sewage area in Leicester, North-West, to ascertain what quantities of mercury are in the soil;(4) asked what tests have been carried out on the Beaumont Leys sewage area in Leicester, North-West, to ascertain what quantities of barium are in the soil;(5) what tests have been carried out on the Beaumont Leys sewage area in Leicester, North-West, to ascertain what toxic metals other than lead, cadmium, nickel, chrome, copper, mercury, arsenic, barium or beryllium are in the soil.
On 25th November I sent the hon. Member a statement which included details of the tests which have been carried out and the results. If the Government's expert advisers had been aware of any other tests I have no doubt that I should have been informed; but the hon. Member will realise that the testing programme is in the first instance the responsibility of officials of the Leicester City Council.
European Economic Community
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the OFFICIAL REPORT those European Economic Community regulations or directives which relate to transport, give the general purpose of any such regulations or directives and indicate which statutes or regulations in this country would need amendment or would be affected should Great Britain join the European Economic Community.
English texts of Community legislation will be published shortly. It would be impracticable to summarise in the OFFICIAL REPORT the general purpose of those relating to trans port. As regards the last part of the Question, I would ask my hon. Friend to await the introduction of legislation.
Local Government Reform (Plymouth And Cornwall)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what communications he has received from the Plymouth City Council and the Cornwall County Council concerning new local government boundaries; and what reply he has made.
My right hon. Friend has received representations from Plymouth City Council in favour of a Tamarside county based on the City, and from Cornwall County Council opposing such a county. I have visited Plymouth and discussed the proposal with the two authorities and other local authorities involved.Since the Bill was published Plymouth City Council have made fresh representations and Cornwall County Council have asked to be represented at any Government meeting with the City about boundary changes. This request will be borne in mind if a meeting with the City Council on local government reorganisation should be proposed.
Listed Buildings (Demolition Penalties)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will review the penalties for demolishing listed buildings with a view to seeking to amend them.
No. The maximum penalties were fixed as recently as 1968 and are adequate. The penalty in any particular case is for the Court to decide.
Housing Subsidies And Mortgage Interest Relief
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the total central Government subsidy to local government housing for each year since 1945; and if he will accompany this with a table giving the total income tax mortgage concessions to owner-occupiers.
The total payments of subsidies (including improvement contributions) to local authorities, new towns and housing associations in Great Britain are in column 1 of the following Table. Tax relief on mortgage interest payments for owner-occupiers in the United Kingdom is in column 2. As Great Britain's figures for tax relief are not available the two columns are not directly comparable.
|Column 1 Great Britain Subsidies to local authorities||Column 2 United Kingdom Tax relief on mortgage interest payments|
|The figures before 1960–61 are very approximate.|
Questions To Ministers
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the OFFICIAL REPORT the Questions answered by his Department on 28th April and 19th May which were based on material prepared within the Department.
Vehicles (Automatic Brakes)
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what investigation he has carried out into electronic devices which will automatically apply the brakes of a succession of vehicles if the one in front pulls up quickly.
Preliminary studies at the Road Research Laboratory indicate that the automatic application of brakes by electronic devices is technically feasible. Investigations are continuing but it is too early to say whether the introduction of such a system, taking into account the possible cost, could make a worthwhile contribution to road safety.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many flats and houses have become decontrolled and had their rent increased since the passing of the 1968 Housing Act; and whether such houses will be affected by the new Housing Finance Bill.
In England and Wales up to 30th September, 1971, 29,000 previously controlled dwellings had had fair rents registered under the procedures of the Housing Act, 1969. This includes 25,000 "already improved" dwellings, and nearly 4,000 dwellings improved under the Act's procedures. Such dwellings are affected by the Housing Finance Bill in two main ways: the tenants may become eligible for rent allowances, and the phasing period for the rent increase consequent upon registration may be shortened. The Bill also provides, in cases where the landlord has not yet undertaken improvement works needed to bring the tenancy out of control, for a simplified and speedier procedure than that laid down by the Housing Act, 1969.