Written Answers To Question
Wednesday 30th January 1980
Education And Science
Medical And Dental Students
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in light of the reduction in the grant being made by his Department to the University Grants Committee, if he is prepared to advise the University Grants Committee to make earmarked grants to universities which are being required by Government policy to increase their intake of medical and dental students; and if additional moneys for this purpose will be set aside.
The University Grants Committee is at present engaged in a series of consultations with universities about the implications of the Government expenditure plans for, inter alia, the size of the university intake, including the medical and dental school intakes. It is expected that these consultations will be completed in the spring and that UGC advice will be available towards the end of the summer.I can see no reason for departing from the long-standing principle that the allocation to individual universities of the total resources made available by the Government is a matter for the University Grants Committee.
Shop Stewards (Training)
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the aggregate cost to public funds of the grant paid to the Trades Union Congress for the training of shop stewards in each year since its inception; what is the current estimated cost of this grant in 1980–81; and if he will publish in the Official Report full details of all conditions governing the expenditure of these moneys.
Grant has been paid to the TUC as follows:
The conditions attaching to the payment of grant are set out in the memorandum of arrangements agreed with the TUC: a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
Assessment Of Performance Unit
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when his Department's Assessment of Performance Unit expects to publish its first report.
The Assessment of Performance Unit's first report, of a survey of the mathematical performance of 13,000 11-year olds in England and Wales, has been published today by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, price £5. A separate report about the performance of pupils in Welsh schools is being published concurrently by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales. Copies of both reports are available in the Vote Office and in the Library of the House.
Lost Working Days
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many working days were lost in Northern Ireland through (a) industrial disputes and (b) terrorist activies for each year over the last five years.
The number of working days lost through industrial disputes is as follows:
|Year||Number of working days lost|
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what arrangements have been made to fill the offices of Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints.
The Queen has appointed Mr. C. M. Clothier, Q.C., the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, to hold additionally the offices of Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints. The offices have been vacant since the retirement of Mr. Stephen McGonagle on 31 December last year. It is intended that Mr. Clothier will retain these offices for only a short period until a Northern Ireland successor is found.
Coastal Shipping (Surveillance)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied with the co-operation between the security forces in Northern Ireland and Her Majesty's forces in the rest of the United Kingdom regarding the surveillance of vessels around the coasts of Northern Ireland and the coasts of the Republic of Ireland; and whether any steps have been taken to improve the watch on such vessels in recent years.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 January 1980]: Yes. There is close and continuing co-operation between the security forces in Northern Ireland and the authorities in Great Britain to prevent the illegal importation of arms and explosives into Northern Ireland by sea. In the interests of security it would not be appropriate to disclose details of these operations. The question of surveillance within their own territorial waters is, of course, a matter for the Government of the Irish Republic.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what response Her Majesty's Government are making to the appeal by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for repatriating refugees to Rhodesia.
We have agreed, subject to parliamentary approval, to contribute up to £1,150,000. Of this amount, up to £150,000 will be provided in kind in 1979–80 and approval for this new service will be sought in the Spring Supplementary Estimates for the overseas assets of the board to be paid to the aid Vote. The repatriation operation is now under way, and the contribution is required urgently. Pending the approval of the Spring Supplementary Estimates, therefore, the necessary expenditure will be met by a repayable advance from the Contingencies Fund.
Incorporated Crown Agents
asked the Lord Privy Seal what financial regime is being applied to the incorporated Crown Agents.
The incorporated Crown Agents came into being on 1 January 1980 by virtue of an order made under section 1(1) of the Crown Agents Act 1979.In accordance with section 17, the Crown Agents have assumed a commencing capital debt of £30 million. The difference between the commencing capital debt and any excess of net assets over the commencing capital debt will be paid into the Consolidated Fund when audited figures are available.Section 17 of the Act provides for an initial period during which interest on the commencing capital debt shall only be payable if the Minister so determines. I have determined that the interest to be paid for the first year shall be 20 per cent. of the rate determined by the Treasury under the National Loans Act 1968 which would apply to a loan of the same class and maturity. During the course of the first year I intend to set the level of interest payments for the later years of the initial period and will also be considering the appropriate financial targets under the provisions of section 13(3).Under section 26 of the Act the liability of the unincorporated agents to make repayments in respect of the grants made in December 1974 and March 1978 towards the losses incurred by the unincorporated agents on investments made by them for their own account ceases immediately before the appointed day. Under paragraph 7 of schedule 5 the benefits of the grants and of the interest earned thereon accrue to the Holding and Realisation Board. Under paragraph 14 of schedule 5 any surplus reserves or assets of the board fall to be paid to the Consolidated Fund.Copies of the Crown Agents Investment Regulations made under sections 5(4) and 15 of the Act and paragraph 13 of schedule 5 to the Act are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Foreign Parliamentarians (Pay And Allowances)
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish in the Official Report the latest information available to him regarding the pay and allowances of parliamentarians in other countries, including West Germany and the United States of America, in the form in which it appears in appendix D of Cmnd. 7598.
:The information in the appendix referred to was collected as a special exercise for the Review Body on Top Salaries report. However, in recent years, embassies in the EEC and certain other countries have supplied information in standard form—covering pay, special allowances, secretarial services, travel concessions, and postage and telephone services—about once every year, but totally disproportionate costs would be incurred in extending the scope of these exercises.
House Of Commons
Members Of Parliament (Pay And Allowances)
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he
|Operative date||Parliamentary salary £||Percentage increase over previous year||Equivalent in December 1979 real terms* £|
|1 April 1946||…||…||…||1,000||—||8,140|
|24 May 1954||…||…||…||1,250 (including sessional allowance)||25·0||7,020|
|1 July 1957||…||…||…||1,750||40·0||8,820|
|16 October 1964||…||…||…||3,250||85·7||13,820|
|1 January 1972||…||…||…||4,500†||38·5||13,000|
|13 June 1975||…||…||…||5,750†||27·8||10,040|
|13 June 1976||…||…||…||6,062||5·4||9,300|
|13 June 1977||…||…||…||6,270†||3·4||8,180|
|13 June 1978||…||…||…||6,897†||10·0||8,370|
|13 June 1979||…||…||…||9,450†||37·0||10,300|
|* As measured by the movement in the Consumers' expenditure deflator for the period 1946 to 1962 and the General Index of Retail Prices from 1962 to 1979.|
|† Members' remuneration prior to 1972 contained an unquantifiable element to cover their expenses. Separate allowances for these expenses have been payable since 1972.|
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland how many replies have been received by Her Majesty's Government to the publication of the draft EEC convention on law applicable will publish in the Official Report a comparison of the severance or redundancy payments payable to hon. Members with those payable to persons employed in the Palace of Westminster on salaries close to that received by hon. Members.
Members are entitled to claim a severance grant equivalent to three months' salary if they lose their seat following a General Election, or if they are displaced due to boundary changes. The redudancy and severance entitlements of persons employed in the Palace of Westminster are analogous to those of civil servants. Full details of the provisions currently applying to civil servants are contained in section 10 of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, a copy of which is available in the Library.
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list, from 1945, the number of salary increases awarded to hon. Members, the amounts paid and the percentage increase over the previous figure in each case; and what has been the real value of such increases to date, taking 1945 as a base.
The information is given in the following table. There was no increase in the parliamentary salary in 1945.to contractual obligations; and whether these have yet been submitted to the European Economic Community group of experts in Brussels.
In all, 26 individuals and organisations responded to the request of the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Scottish Courts Administration, made in August 1979, for comments on the text of a draft EEC convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations. Account is being taken of these in the preparation of the observations on the terms of the draft convention which Her Majesty's Government will shortly submit to the Council of the European Communities.
Law Commission Library
asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland what is the current estimate of required extensions to the Scottish Law Commission's library facilities; what plans there are for such extensions; and what grants Her Majesty's Government envisage making available to fund such extensions.
In the longer term approximately 5,000 sq. ft. will be required to house the Commistion's library. Proposals to make the necessary accommodation available within the existing premises are under consideration. Accommodation for the Commission is provided by the Department of the Environment, which estimates that only modest expenditure will be involved when the library accommodation is being provided.
Television Reception (North Wales)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is satisfied with the present state of television reception in the area of Cyffylliog, Clwyd, North Wales; and what proposals he has in mind for its improvement;(2) whether he will ensure that television boosters are erected in the area of Llangynhafal, near Denbigh, and in that of the Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen, for the purpose of improving television reception in those parts of the county of Clwyd.
The primary responsibility for extending the coverage of the UHF television services lies with the BBC and the IBA which are jointly engaged on an engineering programme to extend coverage to communities with per- manent populations of 500 or more. This programme still has some years to run.I am informed that both Cyffylliog and the Horseshoe Pass are regarded as unserved by UHF television in terms of the strict technical standards laid down by the broadcasting authorities, but in each case the population is below the minimum of 500 necessary to qualify for a relay station under the existing engineering programme. However, BBC engineers have visited both areas to give advice on the possibilities for improving television reception.I understand that Llangynhafal lies within the coverage area of the Moly-yParc transmitter and reception in the area should be satisfactory. If my hon. and learned Friend has a particular instance of unsatisfactory reception in mind, perhaps he would write to me.
Brixton Prison (Board Of Visitors)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will appoint a black person to the board of visitors at Brixton prison.
We shall consider all the nominees, who include several members of the ethnic minorities, when we appoint to the vacancy on the board.
Miss Patricia Letby
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Miss Patricia Letby is in Holloway prison.
Miss Letby was sentenced to three months' imprisonment at the Isle of Wight magistrates' court on 14 January 1980 and her earliest date of release is currently 19 February 1980.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up an inquiry into the government and operation of the sport of greyhound racing.
I have no plans to do so
Terrorist Offences (Trial Powers)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that adequate provision exists in United Kingdom law to enable courts to hear cases brought under the extraterritorial provisions of the European convention for the suppression of terrorism, and of the protocol thereto, signed at the European Summit in Dublin in December 1979.
:Yes, Section 4 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978 confers on United Kingdom courts the jurisdiction required by article 6 of the European convention on the suppression of terrorism. The jurisdictional obligations of the agreement concerning the application of the European convention on the suppression of terrorism among the member States of the European Communities are those of the European convention itself. Section 4 of the 1978 Act would therefore enable the United Kingdom also to meet these obligations when the agreement enters into force.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the numbers of women and girls in each penal establishment on 22 November 1979; and, in each case, how many were on (a) night sedation and (b) day sedation.
The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the serious crime rate for children and young persons generally differs in the case of those in the care of local authorities.
The information available centrally does not indicate whether an offender was in the care of a local authority. The only readily available information relates to the total number of offenders found guilty of, or cautioned for, indictable offences per 100,000 population by age group over the period 1958–78, which is published in table 5.18 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1978"—Cmnd. 7670.
Members Of Parliament (Correspondence)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the delays experienced by hon. Members in getting replies when writing to his Department or direct to the Metropolitan Police, he will take action to ensure that the police reply to correspondence as expeditiously as Government Departments; and whether he can ascertain when the hon. Member for Newham, North-West can expect a reply to his communication dealing with Walter Probyn.
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State replied on 23 January to the hon. Member's letter of 12 December to me. Responsibility for correspondence addressed direct to the police rests with the chief officer of police concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he plans to undertake experimental schemes of weekend imprisonment, as recommended by the fifth report of the Expenditure Committee on prison pressures; and what plans exist for monitoring the effectiveness of such schemes.
We have no plans at present to introduce such schemes.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1)which bodies will be asked to provide evidence to the inquiry into the parole system; and if an independent chairman will be appointed;(2) when the inquiry into the parole system, as recommended by the 15th Expenditure Committee report on prison pressures will be set up; and what will be its terms of reference.
I am not persuaded that an inquiry into the parole system is necessary. It is my intention, however, that a review of the working of the parole scheme should be published shortly.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deportation orders were (a) made and (b) enforced under sections 3(5)(a), (b) and (c) and 3(6), respectively under the Immi- gration Act 1971 during the third and fourth quarters of 1979; and how many decisions to deport were made during the same periods.
The information is as follows:
|THIRD QUARTER 1979|
|Immigration Act 1971 Sections||Deportation Orders made||Deportation Orders enforced|
|FOURTH QUARTER 1979|
|Immigration Act 1971 Sections||Deportation Orders made||Deportation Orders enforced|
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the latest numbers of immigrants entering the United Kingdom over the latest recorded quarter and the origin of entry of those immigrants.
Acceptances for settlement on arrival, up to the third quarter of 1979, were published by broad citizenship/nationality groups in table II of Home Office Bulletin Issue No. 12/79 "Control of Immigration Statistics—Third Quarter 1979"on 17 December 1979, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. A detailed breakdown by citizenship of acceptances on arrival of Commonwealth citizens in the third quarter is included in the more detailed table—"Control of Immigration Statistics: table 5.1Q"—placed on the same day in the Library of the House.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many recommendations for deportation were made by the courts in 1979.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases during the second half of 1979 his Department has agreed to supervised departures in place of deportation.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions during each quarter of 1979 he decided to make a deportation order under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971 when a court had convicted a person settled in this country of a criminal offence, but not recommended deportation.
I regret that this information could not be provided without disproportionate expense.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the current level of unemployment in south-east Northumberland.
On 10 January 1980 there were 5,431 persons registered as unemployed in the Morpeth travel-to-work area. The unemployment rate was 8·9 per cent., which was slightly lower than the rate for the Northern region as a whole.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if any vacancies are available at Remploy in Bridgend; and on what date the last vacancy for a sheltered person was filled.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that there are currently no vacancies at Remploy, Bridgend, although six severely disabled people have recently been recruited and are due to start work there on 4 February. Previously one vacancy for a severely disabled worker was filled on 16 March 1979.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs would have to be created to reduce the unemployment rate amongst registered disabled workers to the average level of unemployment.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that 33,113 registered disabled people would need to be found jobs to reduce the unemployment rate amongst registered disabled people to the general level of unemployment.
Health And Safety Executive
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the Health and Safety Executive has curtailed travelling by Health and Safety Executive inspectors in the current financial year due to a shortage of funds.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons in the Keighley travel-to-work area have been (a) given temporary employment subsidy since its inception, (b) receiving support from the temporary short-time working scheme and (c) taking advantage of the job retirement scheme since its inception.
In the Keighley travel-to-work area, 1,747 jobs have been supported by the temporary employment subsidy and there have been 441 applications approved for the job release scheme. 17 firms have entered the temporary short time working compensation scheme, applications current at 16 January 1980 provided for 779 employees to work short-time in order to save 349 potential redundancies.
Job Retirement Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether the Government will retain the job retirement scheme.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Leek (Mr. Knox) on 22 January.—[Vol. 977, c. 121.]
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the numbers of school leavers registering for work at the end of the school year and the numbers remaining unemployed for each of the following six months for each year since 1970.
I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Training And Advisory Services (Closures)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report the closures and reductions he is proposing in careers advisory services, rehabilitation centres and skillcentres.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1980]: My Department has no proposals about reductions in the careers advisory service as this is the responsibility of local authorities under the terms of the Employment and Training Act 1973.In respect of employment rehabilitation centres I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 21 January 1980 to the right hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walker).In respect of skillcentres I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 25 January 1980 to the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk).—[Vol. 977, c. 26 and 405.]
Jobcentre, Liverpool (Advertisements)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that the advertisement in the jobcentre, Williamson Square, Liverpool, for jobs as nude photographic models for 18 to 20-year-old girls is a proper use of public funds.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 January 1980]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that action to fill the vacancies in question has been suspended and the matter is being investigated.
Health And Safety
asked the Secretary of State for Employment when he proposes to introduce regulations or orders to give effect to the provisions of section 3(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1980]: I understand that the Health and Safety Commission has identified some circumstances in which it would be appropriate to make regulations under section 3(3). However, the work is still at an early stage and it will be some time before its proposals are available.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what recommendation has been made by the Manpower Services Commission about the future of the skillcentre at Doncaster.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 January 1980]: The Manpower Services Commission agreed on 28 January to rationalise the skillcentre network, but has taken no decision affecting any particular centre pending further consultation.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will ensure that, in supplying arms to Pakistan, a condition is made that these are not to be sent across the frontier into Afghanistan.
Any arms supplied by Her Majesty's Government will be to meet the requirements of the Government of Pakistan.
Diplomatic Mission Premises (Rates)
asked the Lord Privy Seal what measures he proposes to take to aid the council of the city of Westminster to recover rate money on arrears of contributions in lieu of rates, in respect of diplomatic mission premises used by (a) the Iraqi Embassy at Consort Lodge, NW8, and (b) the Uganda High Commission at 58–59 Trafalgar Square, WC2.
:The arrears of rates on the premises at Consort Lodge, NW8 have only just been brought to our attention. I understand that the property consists of several flats, some of which are apparently empty. None of them has been accepted by Her Majesty's Government as premises of a diplomatic mission. We are now making inquiries into this matter to see whether there are any ways in which we can assist the council.The arrears of rates on 58–59 Trafalgar Square, which arose largely from the period 1977–79 when diplomatic relations with Uganda had been broken, have been brought to the attention of the Ugandan High Commission at a recent meeting. The High Commission has been urged to make payment to the City of Westminster as soon as possible.
Official Envelopes (Minister's Name)
asked the Lord Privy Seal what are the reasons and the costs involved in having printed on On Her Majesty's Service envelopes the name of the hon. Member for Mid-Oxon (Mr. Hurd) on the botton left hand corner; and whether, in view of the Government's policy of cutting unnecessary Government expenditure, he will cease this practice.
No, because it is a common office practice. The name is not printed but stamped with a rubber stamp—price approximately £5·50—and the annual cost is about that of answering this question.
European Community (Regional Development Fund)
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table showing the proportion of EEC quota aid which has been allocated to Ulster in each of the last five years compared with that allocated to the respective development areas in Great Britain.
I have been asked to reply.The following table shows the amounts, and relative percentages, of aid from the quota section of the European regional development fund which has been allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the regions of England for each of the years 1975 to 1979 inclusive:
|Yorkshire and Humberside region||…||…||1·00||2·8||2·10||3·5||2·34||4·2||4·06||4·0||7·24||4·4|
|East Midlands region||…||…||0·11||0·3||0·39||0·7||0·33||0·6||0·30||0·3||1·03||0·6|
|West Midlands region||…||…||0·01||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||0·04||—|
|TOTAL UNITED KINGDOM||…||…||35·90||100·0||59·13||100·0||55·32||100·0||99·71||100·0||162·93||100·0|
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many children aged 16 years or under from Wales were sterilised in each of the years 1975 to 1979 inclusive.
This information is not readily available and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost.
Mentally Iii Patients
asked the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions patients in mental illness and mental handicap hospitals were sterilised during the years 1975 to 1979 in Wales; whether he is satisfied that in each case the patient was capable of giving valid legal consent; and if the patient was not capable, what form of consent was accepted.
Sterilisation operations are not carried out in mental illness or mental handicap hospitals. Patients in these hospitals who require to be sterilised are treated in general hospitals which do not record the mental status of the patient. It is for the doctor in charge to ensure that legal and ethical requirements as to consent are observed.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what interim secure units and regional secure units are now operating in Wales; and when he expects all the planned secure units to be operating.
No unit is at present in operation in Wales. Approval has been given to the invitation of tenders for a psychiatric intensive care unit at North Wales hospital, Denbigh and planning is going ahead for a unit at Whit-church hospital, Cardiff. Both units will be brought into use as quickly as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales in how many cases in the last five years the power to transfer a patient from a special to a local psychiatric hospital under section 99(2) of the Mental Health Act 1959 has been used in Wales; and in what circumstances he would consider its use to be appropriate.
:There are no special hospitals in Wales and exercise of this power does not therefore arise.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what money has been allocated to area health authorities for secure units in Wales; and whether he is now satisfied that all money allocated for secure units in Wales is now being spent by area health authorities for the intended purposes.
No money has so far been allocated to health authorities for secure units in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the annual cost of maintaining a patient in an interim secure unit in those cases where such units are currently in operation in Wales.
There is no such unit in operation in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what in 1979 prices will be the likely annual cost of maintaining a patient in a secure unit in Wales, (a) taking account of capital costs and (b) discounting capital costs.
Schemes for psychiatric intensive care units in Wales are not sufficiently far advanced for close estimates to be given.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he has taken since 3 May 1979 to facilitate the transfer or discharge of patients from Wales from special hospitals in those cases where their detention is no longer necessary in conditions of special security.
The Welsh Office and the Department of Health and Social Security co-operate closely to facilitate the transfer or discharge of patients from special hospitals.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had since 3 May 1979 with the Confederation of Health Service Employees and the National Union of Public Employees in Wales concerning the imposition of bans by staff in local psychiatric hospitals on the reception of patients detained under part V of the Mental Health Act 1959.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is satisfied that special hospitals provide an appropriate environment for the care and treatment of children and adolescents requiring special security; what the alternative facilities are for this group of patients; and whether he has any plans for creating new facilities for patients of these kinds in Wales.
:The decision to admit a young person to a special hospital is taken only after careful consideration of all the facts. Only if there are no other facilities offering the care and treatment required in the degree of security thought necessary is it decided to admit a young person to a special hospital.No new facilities for this small group of young persons are planned.
|Up to 1 month||1 to 2 months||2 to 3 months||3 to 4 months||Over 4 months||Total|
Health Services (Costs)
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what change is proposed in the WO2 cash limit to cover increases in the cost of the health services in Wales.
Cash block WO2 has been increased by £16,329,000 from £441,971,000 to £458,300,000 to cover the additional cost of pay awards and a greater number of awards under the vaccine damage payments scheme. The Spring Supplementary Estimates will take account of this increase.
Family Allowances (Children In Care)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to give powers to local authorities to collect family allowances for children taken into care as is done for pensions of pensioners in local authority homes for the elderly.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many of the patients currently detained in each of the special hospitals in Wales are in the following age groups (a) less than 12 years of age, (b) 12 to 14 years, (c) 14 to 16 years, (d) 16 to 18 years, (e) 18 to 21 years, (f) 21 to 65 years, (g) 65 to 75 years and (h) more than 75 years of age.
There are no special hospitals in Wales.
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to reduce the length of time between the receipt of a patient's application for or reference to a mental health review tribunal and the date of the hearing.
Waiting times in Wales over the past three years have been as follows:
No. The cases are different. Child benefit is intended to help families with the keep of a dependent child and entitlement to child benefit ceases after a child has been in care for eight weeks. When the local authority assumes responsibility for a child by taking it into care, the central Government contribution towards local government expenditure is through the rate support arrangements. By contrast, a State retirement pension belongs to the pensioner, although arrangements may be made for the pension to be cashed by someone else for him.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if it remains Her Majesty's Government's policy to proceed with their plans for an increased intake of medical students to medical schools in the United Kingdom in order to reduce the reliance of the National Health Service upon overseas doctors.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Dr. Thomas) on 8 November1979.—[Vol. 973, c 302.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what analysis he has made of the extent to which it would be possible to increase the level of the death grant if it were restricted to those in real need of it.
This is one of the many aspects of the death grant which we are currently considering. It is difficult to give a precise answer since this turns on the definition of real need. If the death grant were paid only where those incurring funeral expenses were in receipt of certain benefits related to need—for example, supplementary benefit or family income supplement—it would be possible for the grant to be raised to over £100 without incurring additional expenditure
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) on 22 November, Official Report, Volume 974, column 318, when he expects to make an announcement about his proposals on the death grant.
My right hon. Friend and I have not yet completed our consideration of the death grant. We shall make an announcement as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the 23 local authorities which are running professional fostering schemes, the weekly payment made by each scheme to professional foster parents and the number of children that each scheme has in placement.
Some further schemes have come to our attention since my reply of 11 December 1979 to the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Soley)—[Vol. 975, c. 592.]—and we now know of professional or specialised fostering schemes in Avon, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Coventry, Cum- bria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Dyfed, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Humberside, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Manchester, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Salop, Somerset, Staffordshire, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Wandsworth, West Glamorgan, and Wirral. In addition, most local authorities pay enhanced boarding out allowances for children with special needs. Records are not kept centrally of the weekly payments made or of the number of children placed under these schemes.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what payments of benefits by his Department now take place fortnightly; and if there has been any consequential reduction in the number of civil servants employed by his Department.
For over 20 years some payments of sickness, injury and invalidity benefit have been made fortnightly, but information is not available on any staff savings that may have resulted from the change. Since September 1979 payment of unemployment benefit and supplementary benefit to the unemployed has generally been made fortnightly by the Department of Employment, which administers benefit for the unemployed on behalf of this Department. It is for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment to say what savings have resulted from this change.
Central Nottingham Shire Health District
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received a copy of the central Nottinghamshire community health council counter proposals to the area health authority's proposed closure of health services within the central Nottinghamshire health district; and if he will make a statement.
The Department has received a copy of the Central Nottinghamshire community health council's response to the Nottinghamshire area health authority's proposals. Consideration of all responses received to the consultative document issued by Nottinghamshire area health authority (teaching) is, in the first instance, for the authority, and I understand that the matter is to be discussed at its meeting on 6 March.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will research the
|CHILDREN IN FAMILIES WITH THREE OR MORE CHILDREN ("LARGE FAMILIES") AT SPECIFIED INCOME LEVELS IN 1977|
|Family income below supplementary benefit level||Family receiving supplementary benefit||Family income between supplementary benefit level and 140 per cent. of that level|
|Number of children in "large families"||210,000||510,000||1,110,000|
|Percentage of all children in each group||50||52||52|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total number of social workers employed in local authorities in the years 1959, 1969 and 1979; and what were the total salaries paid for each year.
The latest available information shows that the whole-time equivalent of 21,500 social workers were employed by local authorities in England at 30 September 1977. The salary cost for 1977–78 at November 1977 prices was £102,199,000.Comparable information for 1959 and 1969 is not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether child benefit is payable on behalf of the children of immigrants where the children are resident in the Indian Sub-continent; and, if not, what action is taken to ensure that where claims are made for child benefit the children are actually resident in the United Kingdom.
No. In accordance with the Child Benefit Act, the children must be in Great Britain. The claim form requires claimants to identify where the children for whom they are claiming are living. Claims for children who are not living with the claimants are subject to further inquiries, for example, as to the children's whereabouts, before award of benefit is considered.
data given in answer to the hon. Member for Kensington (Sir B. Rhys Williams), Official Report, 20 December 1979, c. 365–6, presenting the number of children in large families as a percentage of all poor children in each group.
The following table gives the percentages requested.
National Assistance Act 1948 (Referred Cases)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will lay before Parliament full details of all cases referred to him under section 36 of the National Assistance Act 1948 after he has reached his decision, along the lines of the reports of the Commission for Local Administration; and if he will make a statement.
The work entailed by the hon. Member's proposal would be disproportionate, but, where an hon. Member has a particular interest in a specific case, I am always ready to keep him informed of developments.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total value of pensions as a percentage of gross national product for each year since 1948; and if he will detail the extent to which any increasing share of gross national product given in pension is due to (a) an increase in the value of pensions and (b) a real increase in the pensioners' share of national income.
In reply to the first part of the question, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Dean) on 18 December 1979.—[Vol. 976, c. 153.] As to the remainder of the question, variations in the percentages cannot be separately attributed in the way requested.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many abortions were carried out on girls under the age of16 years in England and Wales in 1977 and in 1978 according to (a) premises (National Health Service or approved places), (b) gestation and (c) statutory grounds;(2) how many abortions were carried out on girls under the age of 16 years in England and Wales in 1977 and 1978 (
a) from the 20th to 22nd week of preg-
|LEGAL ABORTIONS TO RESIDENTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES AGED UNDER 16 YEARS, 1977 AND 1978|
|(i) According to period of gestation and category of premises.|
|24 and over||…||…||…||7||3||8||12|
|(ii) According to statutory grounds.|
|1 (with other)||…||…||21||20|
|3 (with other) (except 1)||…||…||37||38|
|4 (with 2)||…||…||9||18|
|5 and 6||…||…||—||—|
|1. The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.|
|2. The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.|
|3. The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing children in the family greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.|
|4. There is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.|
|5. To save the life of the pregnant woman.|
|6. To prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the patient population of Broadmoor at the end of each of the last five years; what the population is now; and when he expects that there will be no overcrowding at the hospital.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) on nancy, (b) the 22nd to 24th week of pregnancy, and (c) the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy according (i) to statutory grounds and (ii) to premises;(3) how many abortions were carried out on girls under the age of 16 years in England and Wales in 1977 and 1978 in approved places (
a) after the 20th to 22nd week of pregnancy, ( b) after the 22nd to 24th week of pregnancy and ( c) after the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy on statutory grounds in approved places.
Details which are readily available are as follows:Wednesday 16 January.—[Vol. 976, c.
The number of patients on the register at the end of 1979 was 720, and on 28 January 1980, 717.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines are in operation in each special hospital concerning the use and conditions of seclusion; and if he will publish them.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Irving) on 23 January 1980.—[Vol. 977, c. 257–59.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many disciplinary proceedings took place in each of the special hospitals during 1976, 1977 and 1978 involving members of staff; in how many cases members of staff were suspended; and in how many cases professional bodies were notified.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) on 16 January.—[Vol. 976, c. 769–70.]
Benefits And Allowances
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe on 21 January,
|£ million||Number of beneficiaries on day of count million (thousands)||Month of count in 1977|
|Non-contributory invalidity pension||…||…||37||103||June|
|Housewives' non-contributory invalidity benefit||…||…||7||Not available|
|Invalid care allowance||…||…||3||6||March|
|Industrial disablement benefit||…||…||191||201||September|
Regional Health Authorities
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he will make new appointments to regional health authorities; and if he will make a statement.
Half the membership of the regional health authorities will complete its present term of office on 30 September 1980. My right hon. Friend hopes to be able to announce next July any changes and reappointments to the membership. Appointments are made only after widespread consultation. If hon. Members wish to make recommendations, I invite them to write to me before Easter.
why he is unable to give figures on an annual basis for both estimated expenditure and actual expenditure, and numbers eligible, for non-contributory invalidity pension, housewives' non-contributory pension, invalid care allowance, attendance allowance, mobility allowance, invalidity pension, invalidity benefit, and all other cash benefits and supplements payable to long-term sick and disabled people in 1978–79; when he will be able to do so; and if he will provide these figures for 1977–78.
As explained in my reply to the right hon. Gentleman on 21 January—[Vol. 977, c. 65–6]—the Department's estimates of numbers of beneficiaries and expenditure are subject to continuous review. The estimates made in the autumn of each year are published in the social security chapter of the annual public expenditure White Paper. The expenditure figures for 1977–78 and the estimated number of beneficiaries at spot dates are as follows:
Social Security Payments
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail the percentage of all social security payments paid for from the national insurance fund for each year since 1949.
The information requested—relating to the United Kingdom and by calendar years to 1978—can be obtained from the relevant editions held in the Library of the Central Statistical Office's publications "National Income and Expenditure" in the current account table of the central Government section.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients were transferred from special to local hospitals in Wales during 1976, 1977 and 1978; and how many were accepted by each area health authority.
|Area Health Authority||1976||1977||1978||Totals|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients who were admitted to each of the special hospitals from Wales during 1976, 1977 and 1978 had previously been detained in special hospitals.
The numbers of patients admitted to special hospitals from Wales during 1976, 1977 and 1978 who had previously been detained in special hospitals are given in the table below:
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients from each area health authority in Wales are currently detained in each special hospital.
I regret that the information is not readily available, and the costs of obtaining it would be excessive.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients from Wales in each of the special hospitals do not now, in his opinion, require treatment under conditions of special security.
At 1 January 1980 there were 236 patients in special hospitals who had been recommended for transfer or discharge from those hospitals. The number of such patients with Welsh origins is not readily available and the cost of obtaining it would be excessive.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that patients from Wales who are less than 16 years of age in special hospitals are receiving adequate full-time education.
The information is as follows:
There are no patients from Wales in special hospitals who are less than 16 years old.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients from Wales currently in each of the special hospitals are detained under (a) section 26, (b) section 60, (c) section 60 and 65, (d) sections 71, 72, 73 and 74 and (e) sections 29, 25 or 136 of the Mental Health Act 1959.
I regret that the information is not readily available, and the costs of obtaining it would be excessive.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients from Wales there are in each of the special hospitals currently awaiting transfer to a local hospital; how many of these are restricted patients; and into which area health authorities they are to be transferred.
The information, as at 29 January 1980, is as follows:
|Area Health Authority|
|Mid Glamorgan||South Glamorgan||Totals|
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when claimants aged under 5 years and over 75 years will be paid the automatic additional 95p for heating
Existing claimants who are entitled to the addition will receive it on the first occasion on which their payment is reviewed between the period November 1979 to May 1980 with arrears from 12 November 1979. Those starting to receive supplementary benefit will, of course, receive the addition at once.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what progress has been made on the European Commission's proposal on Community aid for restructuring, or conversion investments in the textile industry, (COM(78)769 final), dated 11 January 1979; and what the Government's attitude has been towards the inclusion of wool textiles within the terms of the regulation.
Following discussions between member States and the Commission on COM(78)532 final—proposal for a Council regulation on Community aid for industrial restructuring and conversion operations—to which instrument COM(78)769 final was linked, the Commission failed to secure the agreement of member States to its proposals. The Commission is currently reconsidering both instruments in the light of these discussions. When this proposal was under consideration, the second stage of the wool textile scheme directed to rationalisation was in progress and the question of including wool textiles did not arise. The question of sector coverage is clearly one the Government would need to consider carefully in any further discussion of COM(78)769 final or any other proposal for Community aid to restructuring in the textile industries.
Herbicide 2, 4, 5—T
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, following the Advisory Committee on Pesticides' recommendation to Government Departments that experimental work first be carried out to devise a method for the determination of TCDD in formulations, what progress has been made in carrying out this recommendation and in improving the methods and techniques of measuring the amounts of TCDD in 2, 4, 5—T.
:The Laboratory of the Government Chemist has continued to study procedures for the estimation of the TCDD content of 2, 4, 5—T and its formulations. It is now possible to achieve limits of determination of less than 0·1 milligrams of TCDD per kilogram of sample for technical 2, 4, 5—T and for some of its commercial formulations. Those formulations which contain low proportions of 2, 4, 5—T and certain types and grades of oil still present analytical difficulties and further work on these is in progress.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will introduce unilateral action within the terms of the Treaty of Rome to restrict the import of men's and boys' wear, similar to that recently undertaken by France, Italy and Ireland on other textile goods, in view of the fact that over 50 per cent. of the men's outerwear market is for the first time taken by imports; if he will make a statement on the Government's attitude towards introducing such unilateral measures; and what evidence he requires in support of such action.
No. Restrictions on imports from other EEC member States would be contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Rome and would be illegal. No such restrictions have been imposed by France, Italy or Ireland. France does require certificates of origin for intra-Community trade in certain textile goods, but the Commission believes this requirement may also be contrary to the Treaty of Rome and has initiated infraction proceedings.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what are the terms of the present draft regulation on outward processing being considered within the EEC Commission; what are the views of the United Kingdom Government on the draft regulation as it stands at present; and what is the present timetable to which the European Commission is working for the approval or otherwise of the regulation.
The draft Commission regulation on outward processing is intended to establish a common regime for the administration of voluntary restraints on trade in outward processed clothing and textiles between the EEC and those Mediterranean countries with which the Community has preferential trade agreements. It would permit member States to give preference to manufacturers in allocating any special outward processing facilities. The draft regulation is still being discussed between the Commission and member States, and the United Kingdom is playing a constructive part in these discussions. No date has
|Imports* as a percentage of United Kingdom consumption†|
|Product group||1979||12 months to 1970 June|
|Food and drink‡||…||…||…||18||17|
|Coal and petroleum products||…||…||…||17||15|
|Chemicals and allied industries||…||…||…||18||30|
|Shipbuilding and marine engineering||…||…||…||43||42|
|Metal goods not elsewhere specified‡||…||…||…||6||13|
|Leather and leather goods‡||…||…||…||21||36|
|Clothing and footwear||…||…||…||12||29|
|Bricks, pottery, glass cement etc.||…||…||…||6||10|
|Timber, furniture etc. ‡||…||…||…||26||28|
|Paper, printing and publishing||…||…||…||19||20|
|Other manufacturing industries||…||…||…||9||18|
|Source: Business Monitor MQ12.|
|* Imports include re-imports and imports for re-export and thus tend to overstate the value of imports intended for United Kingdom consumption.|
|†For the major statistical aggregates, especially total manufacturing, there is an element of double-counting in the measurement of United Kingdom consumption which tends to understate the share taken by imports. Nevertheless changes over time should provide a reasonable indication of trends.|
|‡A few product groups are omitted from the table because suitable data are not available.|
Country Of Origin Marking
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will amend form T2 or T2L movement certificates such that the country of origin of goods imported from the European Economic Community is shown; and what other steps have been taken to ensure that textile goods, subject to a bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and a non-European Economic Community country, do not escape these restrictions by entering the United Kingdom via a second European Economic Community country.
There is no need to modify forms T2 or T2L for this purpose,
yet been set for adoption of the regulation.
Manufactured Goods (Imports)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will estimate the approximate percentage by value of manufactured goods consumed in the United Kingdom that were imported in the years 1970 and 1979, respectively, together with any convenient breakdown, into major categories.
Information for 1970 and for the 12-month period ended June 1979, the latest available, is as follows:since the country of origin of all goods imported into the United Kingdom must be shown separately on the Customs entry. Where quota'd goods are in free circulation it is open to a member State to seek Commission agreement under article 115 of the Treaty of Rome to deny them entry. The United Kingdom seeks such agreement as necessary, and has done so successfully some 20 times since May 1979.
Export Credit (Soviet Union)
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether it is his intention to renew the £950 million export credit with the Soviet Union in the next few weeks.
:The Government do not intend to renew the Anglo-Soviet credit agreement when it expires on 16 February next.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list those countries which have exported car tyres to the United Kingdom for the replacement market for each of the five years 1975 to 1979; and what percentage of the home market this represented in each case.
[pursuant to his reply, 29 January 1980]: Information in the form requested is not available. Production and trade statistics do not differentiate between tyres for the replacement market and those for fitting as original equipment.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what discussions he is having with the European Economic Community and other countries regarding the import of car tyres for the replacement market into the United Kingdom.
|Actual net contribution||…||…||87||21||-32||79||151||308|
|Estimated annual contributions in Cmnd. 4715||…||…||100||115||140||170||200||..|
|I regret that comparable information for 1979 is not yet available.|
Spirits, Wine And Beer
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the extra yield of duty, on spirits, wines and beer if the respective duties were increased by 10 per cent.
The extra revenue, including the additional receipts of VAT, would be about £20 million, £25 million and £90 million, respectively, in a full year.
Income Tax (Evasion)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the present yearly financial loss to the Inland Revenue caused by income tax evasion.
It is not possible to give worthwhile estimates of the annual
[pursuant to his reply, 29 January 1980]: The European Commission is investigating the alleged dumping of crossply and fabric braced radial car tyres on the EEC market by certain East European countries. This investigation, which was undertaken largely on behalf of United Kingdom tyre manufacturers, is expected to be completed shortly.
European Community (United Kingdom Contribution)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the size of Great Britain's net contribution to the EEC, at July 1971 prices, in each year since 1973 and cumulatively; and how this compares with the estimates in "The United Kingdom and European Communities" Cmnd. 4715.
The United Kingdom's contributions to the Community budget, at 1971 prices, net of public sector receipts, compared with the estimates in Cmnd. 4715, have been as follows:loss of revenue from tax evasion, since by definition successful evasion goes undetected.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report the present tax rates on hydrocarbon oil, tobacco, alcoholic drink, betting and gaming and vehicle excise duty (a) showing the increase in the existing rate to take account of the rise in retail prices in 1979, (b) an estimate of the increase in revenue that will result from the increase to take account of the increase in prices in 1979, (c) an estimate of the effect on the retail price index of the items concerned of indexation to take account of the increase in retail prices in 1979 and (d) an estimate of the effect on the retail price index of indexation to take account of the increase in prices during 1979.
|Present rate£||Increase in the present rate* £||Increase in revenue in a full year £ million||Impact of increase on retail price index Per cent.|
|(a) Petrol||…||0·081 (per litre)||…||0·0139||420||0·3|
|(b) Heavy oil used as road fuel (derv).||…||0·092 (per litre)||…||0·0158||Nil|
|(c) Rebatable oil†||…||0·0066 (per litre)||…||0·0011||50||Negligible|
|(a) Cigarettes||…||21 per cent, of the retail price plus 11·77 (per thousand).||2·0244||230||0·4|
|Additional rate for cigarettes with a tar yield of 20 mg or more.||…||2·25 (per thousand)||…||0·3870|
|(b) Cigars||…||20·94 (per kilogram)||…||3·6017|
|(c) Hand-rolling tobacco||…||20·28 (per kilogram)||…||3·4882|
|(d) Other tobacco||…||16·09 (per kilogram)||…||2·7675|
|(a) Spirits‡||…||10·44 (per litre of alcohol)||…||1·7957||25||0·1|
|(b) Beer||…||13·135 (per hectoliter at 1,037 degrees of gravity).||2·2592||150||0·2|
|Lower (not exceeding 15 per cent.).||…||71·49 (per hectolitre)||…||12·2963||40||Negligible|
|Middle (15 to 18 per cent.)||…||82·48 (per hectolitre)||…||14·1866|
|Higher (18 to 22 per cent.)||…||97·11 (per hectolitre)||…||16·7029|
|Lower (not exceeding 10 per cent.).||…||46·41 (per hectolitre)||…||7·9825|
|Middle (10 to 15 per cent.)||…||69·51 (per hectolitre)||…||11·9557|
|Higher (15 to 18 per cent.)||…||76·43 (per hectolitre)||…||13·1460|
|(e) Cider and perry||…||5·32 (per hectolitre)||…||0·9150||Negligible||Negligible|
|Betting and gaming:|
|(a) Gaming machine licence duty.||…||7·5–200 (per machine per year).||…||1·29–34·40||5||Negligible|
|(b) Gaming licence duty||…||500–11,250 (per table per half-year)||…||86·00–1,935·00.|
|Vehicle excise duty (per year):||…||50 (per vehicle)||…||8·60||195||0·1|
|Variable according to type of vehicle e.g. private cars.|
|* Applying to present rates the 17·2 per cent, increase in the retail price index (all items) in the year to December 1979.|
|†Kerosene is charged at a lower rate.|
|‡ The figures given apply to mature spirits.|
|§ There is surcharge for sparkling wine and made-wine.|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the proportion of gross national product devoted to child support, that is family allowances and child tax allowances or child benefit, in each member of the European Economic Community at the latest date for which information is available.
I regret that information in the form requested is not readily available. My hon. Friend may, however, find it helpful to consult the recent publication
The information requested is as follows: by the Commission of the European Communities, "The European Social Budget 1980", especially tableIII.25, which contains information on cash transfers for 1975. In addition the OECD publishes a document which compares taxation and transfers for a typical married couple with two children in each member country, the most recent edition of which is entitled "The 1978 Tax/Benefit Position of a Typical Worker in OECD Member Countries". The 1977 publication," The Treatment of Family Units in OECD Member Countries under Tax and Transfer Systems", contains information for 1974 and may be of interest.
Industrial Disputes (Tax Rebates)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total sum to date that has been paid in tax rebates to those engaged in strike action in the steel industry.
I regret that the information is not available.
Share Dealing (Stamp Duty)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to abolish stamp duty on share dealings.
I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied that the two measures of money supply currently used by the Treasury, namely, sterling M1 and sterling M3, include all near-money which can be mobilised to circumvent conventional controls on money.
[pursuant to his reply, 17 January 1980, c. 860]; In carrying out monetary policy the Government pay regard to a whole range of monetary aggregates. However, for target purposes, sterling M3, which includes M1, has the advantage that it relates to a range of Government policies, in particular the fiscal stance.
Capital Gains Tax
asked the Chancellor of the Exchquer what estimate he has made of the yield from capital gains tax for 1979–80 and 1980–81 at current rates, assuming the tax is payable only on gains greater than the rise in the retail price index since the purchase of the asset or 1965 whichever is the later.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1980]: If capital gains tax on disposals in 1979–80 and earlier years had been charged on any excess of net disposal value over acquisition cost, adjusted by reference to the subsequent increase in the retail price index, the yield in 1979–80 would have been between £50 million and £100 million. This estimate does not include corporation tax on companies' gains. It is not the practice to give forecasts for 1980–81 before the Budget.
Profit Sharing Schemes
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees currently participate in an approved profit sharing scheme; and what percentage of the labour force this figure constitutes.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1980]: Returns showing the numbers of employees covered by profit sharing schemes approved under the Finance Act 1978 will not be made to the Inland Revenue until later this year. I regret therefore that the information requested is not yet available.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what alternative courses of action and forms of public inquiry would be available and appropriate to consider the possible disposal of nuclear waste in the event that the present public inquiry into the drilling of test bores in the Loch Doon area should find in favour of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority; whether he will specify which of these he would adopt; whether he will give an assurance that no radioactive matter will be deposited in the Loch Doon area before a further opportunity has been given for the public in the area to give its views at an inquiry; and if he will make a statement.
A decision on whether and where to construct a depository for nuclear waste is not expected to be required for at least 10 years. The Government of the day will decide in the light of the results of geological and other research whether it is feasible to deposit high-level radioactive waste deep in geological formations on land, or on or under the ocean bed. In the event of a land depository being chosen, planning permission would be required for any site selected. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, in a reply on 24 July 1979—[Vol. 971, c. 215–19]—gave the assurance that any proposals for demonstration disposal of radioactive waste deep underground would be the subject of separate appropriate planning procedures which would investigate thoroughly the effect of the site on the environment. I cannot specify at this stage what form these procedures would take.Radioactive matter will not be deposited as part of the test drilling programme, which is concerned to establish the characteristics of different rock formations.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with the operation of the law relating to planning, in so far as it provides for a privileged right of objection for the Countryside Commission for Scotland.
:The commission has no such right, though it is given the opportunity of making recommendations in areas of special scenic importance. If my hon. Friend would let me know of any particular case he has in mind I shall be glad to look into it.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what provision exists within Dundee and Tayside for the treatment of autistic children.
Children with autistic symptoms almost invariably suffer from other handicapping conditions which determine where they can most appropriately be placed. Five multiple-handicapped children are in Strathmartine hospital and two have been placed by the education authority in an independent special school in the region, Ochil Tower school, Auchterarder. Four others have been placed by the authority outside the region in Struan House, Alloa, and in other independent special schools.
Speech Therapy (Dundee)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many speech therapists are working in Dundee; what steps he is taking to increase their number; and what is his estimate of the number of people in Dundee with speech defects that require the services of a therapist.
17·8—whole-time equivalent—speech therapists were employed in the Dundee district of Tayside health board at 30 September 1979. In Scotland the number of students who qualified in speech therapy during 1979 was 42—a substantial increase over the previous two years. The number of student places was increased from 56 to 60 for the 1979–80 academic year. Estimates of the local need for a service are matters for the health board concerned.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much money he is awarding to each grant-aided school in Scotland; and what is his estimate of the amount that each will receive in the following year.
The grants for the schools' financial years ending in 1980 are set out in the Grant-Aided Secondary Schools (Scotland) Grant Amendment Regulations 1979. The amounts of grant for the financial years ending in 1981 are under consideration.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the pupil-teacher ratio, and average class size, in both the State and Private sectors, in both primary and secondary schools.
The provisional pupil-teacher ratios in education authority primary and secondary schools at September 1979 were20·3:1 and 14·4:1, respectively. Information about pupil-teacher ratios in grant-aided schools and about average class sizes in education authority and grant-aided schools at the same date is not yet available. Corresponding information about independent schools is not collected centrally.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will reconsider his decision not to implement the recommendations of the Programme Planning Group on the Care of the Elderly.
As my right hon. Friend indicated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Ancram) on 14 December 1979—[Vol. 975, c. 789–90]—he has not yet taken any decision on the recommendations made in this report, which will be published as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received in the last six months from professional medical and nursing organisations, from other bodies, and from individuals, concerning the abortion law; and which of the professionel organisations were in favour of maintaining the existing law substantially unchanged.
Professional medical and nursing bodies in Scotland were consulted in August 1979 about the provisions of the Abortion (Amendment) Bill which seeks to amend the existing law on abortion and the following bodies responded:
Scottish Joint Consultants Committee.
British Medical Association (Scottish Council).
Scottish General Medical Services Committee.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Scottish Executive Committee).
Royal College of General Practitioners (Scottish Council).
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (Scottish Division).
Scottish Committee for Hospital Medical Services.
Scottish Hospital Junior Staff Committee.
Central Midwives Board for Scotland.
Royal College of Midwives (Scottish Board).
In addition, the Secretary of State has received 24 letters from other bodies or informal groups and 43 from individuals.Most of the medical and nursing bodies referred to were opposed to those provisions of the Bill which sought to introduce an upper time-limit for abortions of 20 weeks and to revise the general criteria for abortion. The Royal College of Midwives supported the idea of a 20-week upper limit, and six bodies expressed support for a time limit of 24 weeks.Scottish Health Visitors Assocation.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make arrangements for the detection of radioactive emissions from French nuclear plants in Northern France in the South of England.
Under the Euratom Treaty it is the responsibility of the French authorities to ensure that discharges from nuclear sites within France comply with agreed standards. I do not consider that additional monitoring arrangements are necessary in the South of England at the present time.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will seek to ban the import of unpeeled timber to lessen the risk of further disease in British trees.
Current legislation already provides for the removal of bark from imported wood of a wide range of species where there are risks that potentially dangerous tree pests and diseases new to Britain may otherwise be introduced.These restrictions will be reinforced when the EEC plant health directive is implemented by an order which the Forestry Commission plans to lay before Parliament shortly.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) in view of the inter-relationship between private and State forestry and the dangers that any reduction in the scope of the latter would bring to industries, such as the paper and board industries, which have invested heavily in plant and are now entirely dependent on assured, long-term supplies of domestic pulp wood, if he will ensure that no reductions are made in the size of the Forestry Commission's holdings;
Forestry Ministers are taking a look at policy in general but have made no decisions on the future role of the Forestry Commission or on the future management of its holdings. The circumstances of the British paper and board industries and their interest in assured long-term wood supplies from British forests are well understood and will be taken fully into account.
Common Fisheries Policy
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on what progress was made regarding a new common fisheries policy at the meeting of Ministers in Brussels on 29 January.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement regarding his discussions upon the common fisheries policy on 29 January at the EEC in Brussels.
I refer my hon. Friend and the hon. Member to the statement that I made to the House today.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he plans to reduce the financial burdens on United Kingdom milk producers.
My right hon. Friend has already acted to improve milk producers' returns by negotiating three devaluations of the green pound and increasing the maximum retail prices for liquid milk. A further increase in the maximum retail prices is to take place on 17 February.