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Written Answers

Volume 983: debated on Wednesday 23 April 1980

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 23 April 1980

Education And Science

Educational Disadvantage Centre

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will visit the Centre for Information and Advice on Educational Disadvantage to see the work which it carries out.

My right hon. and learned Friend has at present no plans to visit the centre.

Teachers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is yet ready to announce his plans for an advisory committee on the supply and education of teachers.

I have decided to constitute an advisory committee for an initial period of five years. Dr. Clifford Butler has agreed to become the first chairman.The terms of reference will be:

" To advise the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Wales on the development and implementation of national policy for the supply and education of teachers for maintained schools and establishments of further education in England and Wales. "

I am inviting bodies to nominate members as follows:

Association of County Councils5
Association of Metropolitan Authorities4
Welsh Joint Education Committee1
National Union of Teachers2
National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education3
National Association of School-masters/Union of Women Teachers1
Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association1
Secondary Heads Association1
National Association of Head Teachers1
Association of University Teachers1
Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals2
Committee of Directors of Polytechnics1
Church of England Board of Education1
Catholic Education Council1

In addition, the chairman of the Schools Council is being invited to serve ex officio. I will also continue to appoint a few members directly, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will appoint two members directly. The names of directly appointed members will be anounced shortly.

House Of Commonsproceedings (Attendanceby Ministers)

asked the Prime Minister if she will ensure that a Minister from the Department responsible for the matter under discussion is present in the House whenever an hon. Member seeks leave to introduce a Bill under the Ten Minutes Rule procedure.

I agree that this is a desirable practice and I hope that it will be generally observed in future.

Employment

Unemployment Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will publish a table showing the comparison, for the latest date for which information is available to his Department, between unemployment levels in the United Kingdom and those in Austria, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland;(2) if he will publish a table showing for England the proportion of unemployed persons who (

a) have been unemployed for more than four weeks, and ( b) who are under the age of 20 years for 1966, 1971, 1976 and for the latest time for which comparable figures are available;

(3) if he will publish a table showing for England, the average percentage total unemployment for each year from 1966 to 1980.

National Income

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will circulate in the Official Report a table showing the share of (a) wages and (b) wages and salaries as a percentage of national income in the principal industrial countries in 1958, 1968 and in the latest available year.

COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES AS A PERCENTAGE OF NATIONAL INCOME*
Per cent.
United KingdomFranceGermany (FR)ItalyJapanUSA
1958725960505271
1968746264575374
1977807172716877
Notes
* Compensation of employees refers to wages and salaries and employers' contributions to pensions and social security schemes. National income is at factor cost ie excluding indirect taxes and including subsidies.
† 1958 United Kingdom figures does not strictly correspond to OECD definitions.

Source:

OECD— 'National Accounts of OECD Countries' (1952–1977 Vol I and 1960–1977 Vol II).

These figures should be compared with caution owing to differences between countries in definitions and coverage of the statistics. The comparisons are also affected by differences in the composition of outputs, in terms of factors of production, and differences in income from self-employment in the various countries.

Witley Court Chapel,Worcestershire

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) as representing the Church Commissioners, whether there is any ecclesiastical responsibility for the chapel which is part of Witley Court, Great Witley, Worcestershire.

The Church Commissioners have no responsibility for the building to which the hon. Member refers. I am, however, writing to him.

Home Department

Medical Reports(Prisoners And Detained Persons)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many medical reports were prepared in 1978 and 1979 on an out-patient basis at Holloway, Brixton and Durham prisons and Risley remand centre.

The information is as follows:

19781979
Brixton4342
Durham86
Holloway75
Risley84122

The available figures for principal industrial countries are shown in the following table.

Naturalisation (Members' Correspondence)

50.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why it is taking so long for him to reply to the communication from the hon. Member for Newham, North-West inquiring as to the methods he should adopt in obtaining naturalisation; when he may expect a reply to this letter dealing with the case of Ms. A. H. of Stratford, E15; and whether he will take action to expedite his replies to letters in the future.

I wrote to the hon. Member on 22 April and do not consider that there was any undue delay in replying to his letter which was received in the Home Office on 31 March.As to the other parts of the question, I am satisfied that every effort is made to reply to hon. Members' letters as quickly as possible.

Immigration

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the numbers of (a) prosecutions from 1 January 1960 to 1 January 1973, and from 1 January 1973 to date, respectively, under (i) section 3(1) of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 and (ii) section 3(2) of the Act, (b) convictions under each of these subsections and (c) deportations following convictions under each of these subsections; and what was the date of the last prosecution.

The information requested is not available separately for each section or subsection of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919. The information available relates to persons proceeded against and found guilty at magistrates' courts for all offences under the operative Acts or Orders in Council thereunder and is published annually in " Criminal Statistics, England and Wales" (offence classification 102 of table 1(a) of the volume for 1978, Cmnd. 7670). This information shows that a prosecution under the Act of 1919 was completed during 1978. Information on the number of persons deported following convictions under the Acts is not available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the monthly total of persons seeking admission at Heathrow airport who were refused admission in each month from November 1979 to the latest available date; and how many of these persons were Iranians.

The information requested is given in the following table.

REFUSALS OF LEAVE TO ENTER AT HEATHROW AIRPORT, NOVEMBER 1979–FEBRUARY 1980
Number of persons
TotalOf which Iranian nationals
November 19791,020338
December 19791,170354
January 1980934*329*
February 1980836*209*
*Provisional.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown of the prison population detained under Immigration Act powers on the latest convenient dates (a) alleged illegal entrants, (b) recommended for deportation by the courts without custodial sentence, (c) recommended for deportation and custodial sentence discharged, (d) under section 3(5)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971 and (e) under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971.

The information on 18 April 1980 for England and Wales was as follows:

(a)56
(b)37
(c)48
(d)48
(e)5

Commercial Vehicles (Police Protection)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases individual firms have requested police protection for the transport of their loads of goods; in how many cases police protection was granted or refused; and who bears the cost of such protection.

There is no centrally available statistical information about requests for police protection for the transport of goods. It would be for the chief officer to decide whether to provide protection in any particular case and, if so, whether on a chargeable basis.

Deportation

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what stage during the service of short, medium and long custodial sentences, respectively, consideration is given to a court's recommendation for deportation; and what procedures are employed to ensure that decisions are made and, where appropriate, communicated to authorities responsible for parole before completion of sentence or eligibility for parole.

Section 6(6) of the Immigration Act 1971 precludes the making of a deportation order on the recommendation of a court while an appeal can be brought against it or against the conviction on which it was made. An appeal can be brought within 21 days in the case of a magistrates' court—28 days for a Crown court—in England and Wales and 28 days for all courts in Scotland.Thereafter, if the custodial sentence is of 12 months or less, consideration of the recommendation begins as soon as the court certificate and police report on the convictions are received. The decision is notified to the prison authorities as soon as it has been taken. If the sentence is longer than 12 months, the recommendation is considered upon receipt and a preliminary decision taken. A decision not to deport is notified to the prison authorities without further delay. If deportation appears to be merited, the recommendation is reconsidered several months before the earliest date on which the person could be released, whether on parole or otherwise. A decision to deport taken then is notified to the prison authorities as soon as the order has been made.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what stage during the service of short, medium or long custodial sentences, respectively, where the court has not recommended deportation, consideration is given to making a deportation order under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971.

The possibility of serving notice of intention to deport under section 3(5)(b) of the Immigration Act 1971 on a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment, but not recommended for deportation, is considered as soon as possible during the sentence. The stage at which such consideration begins varies from case to case. When notice of intention to deport is served, a deportation order may still not be made while an appeal (which lies to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal) remains undetermined.

Ashford Remand Centre

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in the light of the refusal of prison officers at Ashford remand centre to allow persons detained under Immigration Act powers to attend education classes, if he will ensure that such persons are to be treated as if remanded for trial although only detained under administrative powers by the Immigration Act 1971.

A person detained under the Immigration Act 1971 is treated as an unconvicted prisoner. At present education classes for unconvicted prisoners are not provided at Ashford remand centre.

Convicted Persons (Payment Of Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to change the law to make persons convicted of criminal offences against the person or criminal damage to property fully liable to compensate the victims and to render them bankrupt if the necessary funds are not available.

We see no need to change the existing powers of the courts to order and enforce payment of compensation by offenders. Under section 35 of the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 a court may order a person convicted of an offence to pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from that offence or any other offence which is taken into consideration in determining sentence. The enforcement measures available include the attachment of earnings, distraint on goods and the initiation of proceedings in the civil courts, which have further powers to compel payment. Under section 39 of the 1973 Act, where the Crown Court has convicted a person of an offence and that offence together with any other relevant offences has resulted in loss or damage exceeding £15,000, the court may make a criminal bankruptcy order against him. These provisions of the criminal law do not affect the rights of persons who have suffered injury or loss to sue the offender for damages in the civil courts.

Criminally Injured Persons (Compensation)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department it he will seek to extend the scheme to compensate persons injured during the commission of criminal offences.

A revised and extended criminal injuries compensation scheme was introduced with effect from 1 October 1979. We have no plans to extend the Scheme further.

Offences By Minors (Parental Responsibility)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to make it easier for persons whose property is damaged or destroyed by minors to recover damages awarded as a result of compensation orders or through civil actions by means of attachment orders on the earnings of the parents.

There is already power in criminal proceedings for the courts to make an attachment of earnings order against a parent or guardian whom the court has ordered to be responsible for the payment of compensation for damage caused by a juvenile. The recovery of damages awarded as a result of a civil action is a matter for my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor.

Interception Of Communications

asked the the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the criteria set out in paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of the White Paper " The Interception of Communications in Great Britain", Cmnd. 7873, cover the use of interception in trade disputes.

I have nothing to add to the description given in the White Paper of the conditions governing the issue of warrants.

Crown Agents Tribunal

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his best estimate of the value of the further substantial amounts referred to in his reply of 3 April to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury on the Crown Agents tribunal.

Woolworth's Store, Manchester (Fire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has now received the report of the subcommittee of the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Councils on the fire at Wool-worth's store in Piccadilly, Manchester, in May 1979; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the sub-committee has completed its work on this fire. Its report will be considered by its parent committee later this month, and then submitted to us after which we shall make a statement.

National Front March (Lewisham)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost of policing the National Front march in Lewisham on Sunday 20 April.

I understand from the Commissioner that this is estimated at £300,000.

Health And Social Services Premises (Fire Precautions)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has completed his consultations regarding the designation under the Fire Prevention Act 1971 of premises in the health and social services sector; and if he will make a statement.

The Central Fire Brigades Advisory Councils for England and Wales and for Scotland have recommended two classes of use of premises for future designation under the Fire Precautions Act 1971: hospitals catering predominantly for the mentally ill or mentally handicapped and homes for the elderly.I have considered these recommendations in the light of the factors concerning such designation to which the councils have themselves drawn attention, such as the life saving potential of improvements in fire precautions in the occupancies concerned and the additional burden of work which this extension of certification will impose, and also having regard to the financial implications for both the public and private sectors. I have decided, in consultation with my right hon. Friend, that it would be right as a next step to issue draft guides setting out basic standards for means of escape and related fire precautions in hospitals of all kinds and personal social services residential premises in England and Wales. These guides are at an advanced stage of preparation. In addition, a supplementary memorandum of guidance on fire precautions in hospitals will be prepared by the Home Office and DHSS for use by health authorities and those fire brigades which they might call in to advise them. This will highlight the most urgent features of the draft hospital guide and will cover other important aspects such as staffing, staff training and furnishings, which are not appropriate to the draft guide.These documents will enable health authorities, local authorities and other bodies to plan future fire precautions in premises on an informed basis in advance of any designation which may ultimately be made under the 1971 Act. The prospects for designation will be kept under review in the light of experience of the implementation of the guides and the classes of occupancy concerned will remain subject to the requirements of any other relevant legislation concerning the provision of reasonable standards of fire safety.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is considering what action on similar lines might be taken in Scotland.

National Finance

Inland Revenue Staff

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reductions have been made in Inland Revenue staff in the last nine months; and what further changes are planned.

Including staff on short-term engagements, the number of staff in the Inland Revenue fell by 5,399 in the nine months from 1 July 1979 to 1 April 1980. A further reduction of the order of 2,500 is expected by 1 April 1982.

Registered Charities

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give further consideration to allowing donations to registered charities, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Group, to become tax deductible.

Charities such as the Muscular Dystrophy Group should benefit considerably from the measures announced in my right hon. and learned Friend's Budget Statement. The minimum period for which charitable covenants need to run to qualify for tax relief will

Thousand
RegionAll taxpayars (counting married couples as one)Higher rate taxpayersTaxpayers liable to investment income surcharge*
Borders3111
Central10052
Dumfries and Galloway4624
Fife10032
Grampian147118
Highland6333
Lothian2701410
Strathclyde8443420
Tayside14165
Island Authorities241
Scotland1,7708055
* The figures given do not necessarily equal the totals due to rounding.
† The last two columns are not mutually exclusive.

Source: Survey of Personal Incomes 1977–78.

Treasury Long Tap Stock

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the Government's intention to reduce the rate of inflation to 5 per cent. or under in the be reduced from over six years to over three years and, from 1981–82, relief on such covenants will be allowed at rates above the basic rate.

Income Tax

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the number of people who will pay income tax in 1980–81; and what is the comparable figure for 1979–80.

The estimated number of persons paying income tax in 1980–81, taking account of the proposed increases in personal allowances, is 25.9 million. This is the same as the corresponding figure for 1979–80. Earning wives are counted separately from their husbands.

Taxpayers (Scotland)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers there are in Scotland; how many are subject to higher rates of taxation above the standard rate; and if he will provide a breakdown in each case for administrative units within Scotland.

Estimates of the numbers of taxpayers in Scotland and in the Scottish regions for the income tax year 1977–78, the latest for which data are available, are given in the table below. The classification relates to the place of residence of the taxpayers—or, if self-employed, to the place of business.next three years, why the Treasury is issuing a long tap stock at 13½ per cent. 2004–8 instead of index-linking the stock with a real yield of 1 per cent.

[pursuant to his reply, 21 April 1980, c. 22]: The authorities keep under review the range of debt instruments available. There was some discussion of the possibility of index-linked marketable Government securities in an article on the gilt-edged market in the June 1979 Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin. If the Government were to issue such stock this could, as the article pointed out, have a substantial impact on financial markets and the flow of funds in the economy. The question of index-linking in this area must therefore be considered in a wider context

CONSUMER PRICES INDICES
19791980
NovemberDecemberJanuaryFebruary
(a) Food prices*
Belgium†‡102·5102·8103·8
Denmark104·8104·8
France†104·8105·5106·7
Irish Republic§103·3
Italy106·2107·7
Luxembourg‡101·2101·6
Netherlands†101·1101·4102·4
United Kingdom107·5108·7110·8
West Germany||100·3100·7102·0
(b) All items
Belgium103·2103·6105·1105·8
Denmark107·8108·1108·9110·1
France106·0106·8108·9110·2
Irish Republic§107·9
Italy109·0111·0114·5116·4
Luxembourg¶103·1103·5104·1104·9
Netherlands102·5102·6102·8103·3
United Kingdom110·0110·9113·6115·0
West Germany102·2102·6103·1104·2
Notes—Not available.
* Including meals in restaurants, etc.
† Including beverages.
‡ Excluding restaurant meals.
§ Quarterly index.
║ Including beverages and tobacco.
¶ Excluding rent and restaurant meals.

Sources:

OECD Main Economic Indicators.

Eurostatistics Data for Short-Term Economic Analysis.

Any inter-country comparisons should be made with caution since the figures are not compiled on a standardised basis, and methods may vary among countries.

Taxation

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, for those with earnings in each band, respectively, up to £2,000 a year, £4,000, £5,000, £6,000, £8,000, £10,000, £15,000, £20,000, £30,000 and above £30,000, the value of the total Budget tax cuts and, separately, the value of the total Budget tax increases, showing the amount this represents of the total in each case and than gilt-edged market management and the impact on Government finances.

European Community (Consumer Prices)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the changes in (a) food prices and (b) all consumer prices in each Common Market country since May 1979, taking the May 1979 index as 100.

Following is the information:the average per tax unit in each of these bands; and if he will provide the same information for the rise in average mortgage interest repayments at each earnings band arising from the increase in interest rates in, separately, June 1979 and November 1979.

[pursuant to his reply, 14 April 1980, c. 519]: Information is available only by reference to ranges of total income subject to tax, which includes unearned income but excludes non-taxable social security benefits. The estimated cost relates to the changes in personal allowances, higher rate thresh-holds and investment income surcharge threshold and the withdrawal of the lower rate band. The information is for a full year at 1980–81 income levels, but because it is not accurate enough to subdivide the range over £20,000 no

Range of total income 1980–81Total budget costPercentage of total costAverage per tax unit*
£ millionPer cent.£
Up to £2,000533·537
£2,000–£4,0002191·241
£4,000–£5,0001368·949
£5,000–£6,00015610·162
£6,000–£8,00028918·868
£8,000–£10,00020313·275
£10,000–£15,00021213·897
£15,000–£20,0001157·4240
Over £20,00015610·1485
* A tax unit includes married couples counted as 1 unit, The figures are averaged over all tax units who would be liable to tax at 1979–80 allowances.
The following is the available information regarding mortgage interest. The estimated amount of interest relates to all allowable mortgage interest but incorporates a rate of 15 per cent. for a full year in respect of building society

Range of total income 1980–81Allowable mortgage interestPercentage of total allowable interestAverage allowable interest per mortgagor
££millionPer cent.£
Up to 2,000350·6620
2,000 to 4,0001943·1710
4,000 to 5,0002654·3810
5,000 to 6,0004907·9880
6,000 to 8,0001,29621·0950
8,000 to 10,0001,23620·01,010
10,000 to 15,0001,70827·71,360
15,000 to 20,0004998·11,750
Over 20,0004497·32,690

Tobacco Duty

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect of his proposed increases in duty on tobacco products in the Budget on revenue and the retail price index and the corresponding figures of an increase in duty twice as large.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 April 1980, c. 126]: As recorded in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 1980–81, the Budget increase in tobacco products duty is expected to yield £180 million in 1980–81 and £195 million in a full year. A duty increase twice as large would raise £370 million in a full year including consequential VAT. The impact effects on breakdown has been shown above this amount. Information on a similar basis for the indirect tax increases is not available.mortgages in accordance with the current rate recommended by the Building Societies Association. If the rate had been 11¾ per cent. the rate applying in June 1979 the amounts would be reduced on a pro rata basis.the retail price index would be about 0.3 and 0.6 per cent. respectively.

Family Income

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update, in line with his Budget changes, the replies given to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, Official Report 21 February, column 335, and 19 March, column 221, showing tax-free incomes and tax break-even points as percentages of average earnings in 1979–80 and 1980–81, and also comparing the new figures with post-November family income supplement and supplementary benefit entitlement levels for the same family types as in the previous replies.

SINGLEMARRIED COUPLE
BREAK EVEN POINT AND TAX FREE INCOMEBREAK EVEN POINT AND TAX FREE INCOME

Break even point and tax free income

As a percentage of average earnings of a manual worker

As a percentage of supplementary benefit

Break even point and tax free income

As a percentage of average earnings of a manual worker

As a percentage of supplementary benefit

££
1979–801,16522·1122·41,81534·5117·6
1980–811,375124·12,145119·2
BEARK EVEN POINTTAX FREE INCOME

Beark even Point£

Tax free Income£

As a percentage of average earnings of a manual worker

As a percentage of family income supplement

As a percentage of supplementary benefit

As a percentage of average earnings of a manual worker

As a percentage of family income supplement

As a percentage of supplementary benefit

MARRIED COUPLE WITH ONE CHILD UNDER 11 YEARS
1979–802,6332,02350·0900142·936·969·5109·8
1980–812,8862,36782·8132·567·9108·6
MARRIED COUPLE WITH ONE CHILD UNDER 11 YEARS
1979–803,3272,23163·2105·8155·539·370·9104·3
1980–813,6272,58994·3141·867·3101·2
MARRIED COUPLE WITH THREE CHILDREN, TWO CHILDREN UNDER 11 YEARS ONE AGED 11–16 YEARS
1979–804,0202,43976·3118·9155·641·472·294·4
1980–814,3672,812103·7139·766·890·0
MARRIED COUPLE WITH FOUR CHILDREN, TWO CHILDREN UNDER 11 YEARS ONE AGED 1–6 YEARS AND ONE OVER THE AGE 10 YEARS
1979–804,7132,64789·5130·4147·143·473·282·6
1980–815,1083,034111·6134·266·379·7

For each year the post-November family income supplement and supplementary benefit entitlement are used in the calculations, as was done in the previous answer. The family income supplement levels used are those income levels below which the supplement becomes payable.

Figures for average earnings in 1980–81, on the same basis as in previous answers, will not be available until early next year.

Foreign Exchange Gains And Losses

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what principles are applied by the Inland Revenue in its current practice concerning the treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses, whether realised or unrealised, in respect of foreign currency borrowings and loans made by companies registered in the United Kingdom pursuant to the Inland Revenue statement dated 6 October 1976 in drawing the distinction, mentioned in the 1976 statement, between borrowings regarded as being from fixed as distinguished from those on circulating capital accounts;(2) whether any distinction is drawn by the Inland Revenue in its current practice concerning the treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses, whether realised or unrealised, in respect of foreign currency borrowings and loans made by companies resident in the United Kingdom pursuant to the Inland Revenue statement dated 6 October 1976 between borrowings for a short term and those for a longer term;(3) whether any distinction is drawn by the Inland Revenue in its current practice concerning the treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses, whether realised or unrealised, in respect of foreign currency borrowings and loans made by companies resident in the United Kingdom pursuant to the Inland Revenue statement dated 6 October 1976 between borrowings raised by companies from external lenders, whether or not with the benefit of guarantees from other members of the borrowing company's group, and those raised from lenders within the borrower's group;(4) if he will outline the current Inland Revenue practice concerning the treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses, whether realised or unrealised, in respect of foreign currency borrowings and loans made by companies resident in the United Kingdom and in particular to supplement the Inland Revenue statement dated 6 October 1976;(5) whether any particular criteria are applied by the Inland Revenue in its current practice concerning the treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses, whether realised or unrealised, in respect of foreign currency borrowings and loans made by companies registered in the United Kingdom pursuant to the Inland Revenue statement dated 6 October 1976 to finance companies controlled from overseas which borrow foreign currency for conversion into £ sterling to lend out in the United Kingdom in the course of their business operation.

Capital Gains Tax (Retirement Relief)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will extend to women selling a business within a period of five years before their age of eligibility for a State pension a similar exemption from capital gains tax up to a realised sum of £10,000 as is allowed for men selling a business within five years before their State pension age.

We intend to examine all aspects of the capital gains tax retirement relief. It is too early to say what changes will be made but my hon. Friend's suggestion will be borne in mind.

Overseas Development

Zimbabwe

49.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what assistance the Civil Service has given to the Governor of Southern Rhodesia since the election.

The Government have provided a three-man team to advise the incoming Government of Zimbabwe on the structure and development of the public service. The team leader is an Under-Secretary in the Civil Service Department. He is supported by a former under-secretary from the Overseas Development Administration and by an adviser from the technical education and training organisation for overseas countries (TETOC).

National Water Council (Training Funds)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what funds have been provided by his Department to the National Water Council over the past five years for training students and trainees from developing countries; what plans he has to use the facilities of the National Water Council in the future; and what funds have been allocated for that purpose.

No direct grants are provided by the Overseas Development Administration to the National Water Council for the training of students and trainees from developing countries, but the Council's overseas manpower development group at Newbury is reimbursed the cost of the training attachments made under the technical cooperation training programme. Total expenditure for the period 1975–1979 was some £50,000. In addition, the ODA reimburses the costs of NWC staff released for training assignments in developing countries: separate figures are not available.No funds are specifically allocated for NWC training attachments. We expect the demand for training in the United Kingdom of water industry personnel to continue, but future numbers will relate to availability of finance and to priorities agreed with individual developing countries.

Former Colonial Employees

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proportion of the aid budget is for payments to United Kingdom citizens who have worked in former colonial territories.

In the 1980–81 Supply Estimates £25 million is provided for pensions and associated payments to those who worked in former colonial territories—that is about 2.8 per cent. of the total aid budget. But these payments are made to all overseas officers who served on expatriate and pensionable terms in those territories, not only to United Kingdom citizens. To identify the figure which related to United Kingdom citizens only would involve disproportionate cost.

Civil Service

Public Service Pensions

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a further statement regarding the Government's plans for independent scrutiny of the Government Actuary's calculation of the value of index-linkage of public service pensions.

I refer my hon. Friend to the remarks of my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Statement. A detailed announcement will be made in due course.

Manpower

56.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the size of the Civil Service on 1 April 1979 and 1 April 1980, respectively.

60.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress has been made so far in reducing the size of the Civil Service.

At 1 April 1979, there were 732,300 staff in post in Government Departments. The corresponding figure for 1 April 1980 is 705,100.

57.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service by how much he expects to reduce Civil Service manpower over the next four years.

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made in the House on 6 December 1979.—[Vol. 974, c. 627–40]. It is difficult to make forecasts in this field, but the general trend is clearly downwards.

64.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many Government Departments have achieved staff reductions since 4 May 1979.

Since 1 April 1979 there has been a reduction of over 27,000 in the total number of staff in post in Government Departments. Reductions have occurred in all major Departments with the exception of the Home Office, where the increase reflects the priority the Government attach to prisons and to other law and order services.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what are the total numbers of civil servants employed by each Government Department at the latest convenient date; and what percentage increase or decrease these represent from May 1979.

DepartmentStaff in post (full-in time equivalents) 1April 1980Percentage increase/decrease from 1April 1979(+ or -)
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food13,800-1·4%
Customs and Excise27,200-1·5%
Inland Revenue78,300-7·5%
Department for National Savings10,400-3·7%
Ministry of Defence218,000-3·0%
Royal Ordnance Factories21,800-5·3%
Department of Employment Group50,000-5·4%
Department of the Environment (including PSA)48,300-8·0%
Department of Transport13,600-2·0%
Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Overseas Development Administration11,600-4·2%
Home Office34,100+1·8%
Lord Chancellor's Department10,000-2·0%
Scottish Office11,000-1·5%
Department of Health and Social Security96,200-2·2%
Other departments60,100-2·1%
Total (rounded to nearest 100)705,100-3·7%

Dispersal

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he is yet in a position to indicate the date when the new jobs will be created by the movement of Civil Service Departments from England to Scotland.

The dispersal of 1,400 Ministry of Defence posts to Glasgow, the composition of which was announced by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army on 1 February—[Vol. 977, cc. 797–89]—is expected to take place in the mid-1980s. The possibility of an earlier move into temporary accommodation is being considered.Planning for the dispersal of the 650 posts to East Kilbride is well advanced and the movement of the first tranche of posts will be completed in January 1981. On present plans the larger part of the dispersal should be completed by August 1981.

Pay Research

63.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what relationship the use of cash limits will have to the pay research system.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 April 1980, c. 130]: The following table gives the staff in post at 1 April 1980 and the percentage increase or decrease from 1 April 1979 for the main departments. Corresponding figures are not available centrally for May 1979.pay research with cash limits. The staging of this year's settlement has permitted pay research to determine the pay rates while keeping the cost within the cash limit the Government have set in the light of their wider economic objectives.

Civil Servants (Official Journeys)

61.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will bring forward proposals to encourage travel by public transport by civil servants on duty journeys.

My officials are continually studying the rules on official travel by civil servants to ensure that public transport is used whenever possible. In addition to the actual cost of the travel, it is necessary to take into account the adequacy of public transport and the costs involved by way of official time and subsistence payments.

Senior Civil Servants

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what have been the numbers of permanent secretaries, under secretaries, assistant secretaries and principals, employed in the Civil Service for each of the last 15 years.

The information for the grades named in the non-industrial Home Civil Service is set out in the table below.

STAFF-IN-POST 1965 TO 1979(1)

Full time equivalents(2)

At 1 April

Grade

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

Permanent Secretary374034343635353740434244444141
Deputy Secretary114122128136135133136135154157165165160160162
Undersecretary400437463472493497531561595607651663652637635
Assistant Secretary9499819871,0431,0881,0941,1471,1921,2471,2731,2601,2031,245
Principal2,6842,8562,9873,1543,4013,6663,9574,1564,4054,5724,5614,5344,662

Source: Staff-in-post returns.

Notes:

(1)(a) For purposes of consistency the staff of the Manpower Services Commission are included in 1974 and (with ESD, TSD) in 1975 although they were not then part of the Manpower Count.
(b)(i) For the purposes of this table, the figures for Deputy Secretary include those paid at rates between Permanent Secretary and Deputy Secretary, and the figures for Under Secretary include those paid at rates between Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary.
(ii) Figures for Under Secretary and above comprise agreed posts since consistent data on staff in post is not available for the full period. All other figures relate to staff in post.
(iii) Figures for staff in post in Assistant Secretary and Principal grades in 1965 and 1966 consistent with those for later years are not available centrally.
(iv) For the earlier years the staff in post figures relate to the former Administration, Executive and departmental grades which were subsequently combined to form the Administration Group grades given above.
(2) Part-timers are counted as half units.

Sir Derek Rayner

62.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress is being made by Sir Derek Rayner in his scrutiny of the Civil Service.

I should make it clear that Sir Derek Rayner is assisting Ministers in their scrutinies of the work of their Departments and that he is not engaged in a separate " scrutiny of the Civil Service ".The work undertaken by Sir Derek Rayner is as follows:

—Assistance to Ministers on 29 projects undertaken by their Departments last year, the recommendations for which have been or are now being pursued through to action.
—Assistance to Ministers on 39 scrutinies being undertaken by Ministers this year.
—Co-ordination of a review of Government statistical services to be completed later this year.
—Conduct of a review of the question whether goods and services should be provided by the Property Services Agency on allied service terms (as now) or on repayment terms, to be completed later this year.
—Advice to Ministers on the scrutiny of the running costs of their Departments.

More generally, Sir Derek Rayner offers advice as requested by Ministers and by my right hon. friend the Prime Minister.

Findings from last year's projects are being announced to the House by the Ministers concerned from time to time as occasion warrants.

Redundancies

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many redundancies there have been in the Civil Service since he took office.

I refer my hon Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Smith) on 25 March.—[Vol. 980, c. 536].

Civil Servants (Research)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants are employed in the research departments of all Government Departments and at what total annual cost, including salaries, pension contributions, accommodation, heating and lighting, and other services, including research contracted out and grants.

I regret that information is not collected centrally in this form, and could be assembled only at inordinate cost. A considerable amount of information on voted expenditure on in-house research and on research contracts and grants is given on a departmental basis in the Supply Estimates.

Parliamentary Questions

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether there is any proposal to raise the advisory limit of £50 to be spent in answering parliamentary questions; and what would be the maximum amount now if the limit were raised in line with inflation.

This advisory figure was set in 1965. At today's costs the figure would be nearly £200. I am considering whether fresh guidance is needed.

Civil Servants (Comparability Award)

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what will be the effect on the Civil Service of the Clegg Commission comparability award.

The Clegg Commission does not deal directly with the pay of any Civil Service grades. There is however, a relatively small number of civil servants—about 6,000, mainly nursing and teaching staff—whose pay and conditions of service are based upon those which apply to those doing similar work elsewhere in the public service. Some of these outside groups have been the subject of work by the Clegg Commission, and the resultant settlements will therefore affect civil servants in the grades in question.

Defence

Holly Hedge House, Blackheath

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the dwellings at Holly Hedge House, Blackheath, London S.E.3, were occupied at any one time on average during the last period of 12 months for which figures are available.

Of the nine dwellings at Holly Hedge House, Blackheath, London, S.E.3, eight have been occupied throughout the past 12 months.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many persons on average made use of the training facilities at Holly Hedge House, Blackheath, London S.E.3, during a typical week in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

Three permanent staff employees are present daily at Holly Hedge House. The average weekly attendance of Regular Army instructors, ACF officers, adult instructors and cadets is about 200 mainly for evening and weekend training sessions.

Dan Air Flight Da064 (Near Collision)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence which plane was involved in a near collision with DanAir flight DA064 on 31 March; whether the plane was from the Royal Air Force or the United States Air Force; whether it carried nuclear arms; what action he has taken to prevent a recurrence; and if he will make a statement.

Hrh Princess Margaret (Helicopter Flight)

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what ministerial permission was sought or given for the use on the evening of 17 April by Princess Margaret of a helicopter of The Queen's Flight for the purpose of attending a function within 50 miles of the centre of London.

Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret visited Leeds Castle to attend a dinner given by the Royal College of Nursing. As is the practice in these cases, the use of a helicopter of The Queen's Flight was approved by both the Palace and by the Ministry of Defence.

Queen's Flight

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to tighten up ministerial control over the use of aircraft of The Queen's Flight.

The rules governing use of The Queen's Flight were reviewed shortly after the Government assumed office. I am satisfied that they provide for adequate control.

Industry

Postmen (Recruitment)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the recruitment figures for postmen in the United Kingdom in each month since May 1979 up to the latest month for which figures are available.

Shipbuilding (Cost Escalation Scheme)

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the future of the cost escalation scheme for ships.

The Government have decided that, in view of the support for merchant ship orders through the intervention fund, the cost escalation scheme for merchant ships should cease. The date of termination is still under review but it will be not later than the end of June this year.Warship export orders do not receive support through the intervention fund and they will be eligible for the general cost escalation scheme administered by ECGD.

Scotland

Fishing Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken and are proposed regarding the submission to him on the plight of the fishing industry by Aberdeen district council.

My noble Friend the Minister of State offered to meet representatives of Aberdeen district council and the local fishing interests on 11 April to discuss the council's submission, but this meeting has had to be postponed at the request of the district council. It is hoped that agreement can be reached on a new date soon.Since receipt of the district council's submission, the Government have announced a package of aid to the United Kingdom fishing industry as a whole. Aberdeen vessels will benefit from the aid amounting to £2 million which is being made available to the industry through producer organisations. Some Aberdeen vessels are also among those which have submitted tenders for participation in the programme of exploratory voyages for which the Government are making up to £1 million available.

Unemployment Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing, for Scotland, the average percentage total unemployment for each year from 1966 to 1980.

The following table gives the annual average unemployment rates for Scotland from 1966 to 1979, inclusive.

YearPercentage Rate
19662.7
19673.7
19683.7
19693.6
19704.2
19715.8
19726.4
19734.5
19744.0
19755.2
19766.9
19778.1
19788.2
19798.0
NOTE: The average for 1979 is not strictly comparable with those for earlier years because of the introduction of fortnightly attendance and payment of benefits. This had the effect of raising the monthly unemployment figures for Scotland by about 2,600 from October 1979.

European Community Industrial Grants

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the names of companies in Scotland which qualified for and received from Brussels the 50 per cent. European Economic Community industrial grant in the years 1978 and 1979, together with the nature of the project and the amounts which were paid.

It is not the practice for aid received for industrial projects under the European regional development fund to be passed on to the companies concerned. In accordance with the governing Community regulation, and recognising that the firms concerned have all necessarily already received national regional aid, grants received from the fund for these projects are retained by the Exchequer as partial reimbursement of expenditure on national regional industrial policy.

Microelectronics

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about his proposals for development programmes in microelectronics for schools and colleges in Scotland.

My hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for industry and education in Scotland announced in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Mackay) on 15 January 1980—[Vol. 976, c. 701–2]—that about £0·3 million would be made available in 1979–80 for the provision of microelectronics equipment for loan to schools and colleges through the Scottish Council for Educational Technology. A further sum of about £1 million will be provided over the next four years for a research and development programme. The main emphasis of this programme will be to promote an awareness in schools and colleges of the implications of microelectronics and the study of applications. In addition, an educational development centre in microelectronics is to be established, with grant-aid from my Department, at Paisley college of technology to provide courses for technologists, technicians and, on an in-service basis, for lecturers, and to disseminate information on new educational developments in microelectronics.

House Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he proposes to make any increases in house improvement grants.

Yes. I shall shortly be laying an order to increase the levels of maximum eligible expense for repair grants and standard amenities grants by some 30 per cent. over present levels. I shall also be prepared to consider representations by local authorities for increases which they consider to be justified for houses which are below the tolerable standard.

Social Services

Unemployment

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his reply to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), Official Report, 7 March, c. 361, if he will now show the numbers of unemployed males in each family category as percentages of all males in the same family category.

GREAT BRITAIN
(thousands)
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
Type of familyNumber of unemployed males receiving benefitNumber of families headed by a male (aged 16–64)Column (2) as a percentage of column (3)Number of unemployed males receiving benefitColumn (5) as a percentage of column (3)
All periodsOver 1 year
Singal(402)4,820881·8
Married couples
No children(110)4,960360·7
All with children2246,4103·5711·1
1 child692,4202·9200·8
2 children732,7102·7200·7
3 children449304·7151·6
4 or more children3735010·6174·9
Sources: 5 per cent. sample of claimants for unemployment benefit or credits on 9 November 1978; 2 per cent. sample of supplementary benefit recipients on 29 November 1978; 4 per cent. sample of child benefit recipients at 31 December 1978 and OPCS population figures.
Notes:
(i) Column (2) figures in brackets—Married recipients of unemployment benefit without supplementary allowance are shown in the table as single, unless they were receiving benefit for a dependant. Thus single males and married couples without children arc not expressed in column (4) as a percentage of families headed by a male. A percentage figure is given, however, for the single males and married couples without children shown in column (5) since the number still receiving unemployment benefit after 1 year is very small.
(ii) Column (3)—A deduction, estimated from the family finances survey October 1978–79, has been made in respect of one parent families headed by a female, for those categories listed as married with children.

Detained Immigrants' Dependants (Travel Warrants)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, following the transfer of persons detained under the Immigration Act 1971 to Ashford remand centre rather than Her Majesty's prison, Pentonville, and in view of the consequent expense which falls upon dependants who visit the more remote establishments, if he will issue travel warrants to dependants to visit Ashford.

Under the standard arrangements administered by the Supplementary Benefits Commission, a dependant on a low income and not in full-time work can get help with travelling expenses

The information is not available in precisely the form requested, but the table below gives, for the family types shown, the estimated numbers of registered unemployed males receiving unemployment benefit and/or supplementary allowance in November 1978—the latest date available—and expresses them, where possible, as a percentage of the estimated total number of families of each type headed by a male. No comparable information is available for unemployed men who were not in receipt of benefit.to Ashford. There are no proposals to extend this help to others.

Fuel Allowance

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will consider giving people over 80 years who are not in receipt of supplementary pensions a fuel allowance as of right; how many people would be involved; and what the estimated cost would be.

The substantial package of fuel help, announced by my right hon. Friend on 27 March—[Vol. 981, c. 1658–63]—directs assistance to specific groups of low income consumers likely to incur large fuel bills, in particular, the elderly and disabled on supplementary benefit. Some elderly people on low incomes, not previously eligible for supplementary benefit, may, as a result of the measures in this package, become eligible, and they should apply for benefit. Given current economic constraints, help to consumers on higher incomes is not at present envisaged.An estimated 1 million people are aged over 80 and not in receipt of supplementary benefit. The cost of paying a fuel allowance to them would depend upon the level of that allowance. At a weekly rate equivalent to the basic rate of supplementary benefit heating allowance in November 1980—£1·40—the cost would be over £70 million a year.

Fund Raisers

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy concerning full-time fund raisers in the health and social service sectors paid for out of public funds; and if he will make a statement.

Legislation is already before the House which will give health authorities the power to engage in fund-raising activities to supplement their exchequer funds. There may be occasions when a health authority will wish to employ someone to organise such activities; this will be a matter for individual authorities to decide. However, it is envisaged that health authorities' fund raising activities will be largely self-financing; and to this end the Health Services Bill includes provisions requiring that the first call on any funds raised will be to defray any expenses incurred in raising them.Local authorities have powers enabling them to raise funds in certain circumstances. The extent to which they use them for the personal social services is a matter for them.

Disablement (Classification And Assessment)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Eccles on 27 July 1979, whether his Department's in-house project on the classification and assessment of disablement has been completed; and if he will make a further statement.

No, this work is still going on. I hope it will be finished before the end of this year.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received the report on classification of impairment disability and handicapped prepared for the World Health Organisation; and if he will make a statement.

National Health Insurance (First-Year Apprentices)

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimated cost to the Treasury of exemption from national health insurance contributions both for employer and employee in respect of first-year apprentices.

Information on the numbers of first-year apprentices and their pattern of earnings is not available and no estimate of the cost of exemption can be made.

Regional Health Authorities

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total administrative cost of each regional health authority in the last year to a convenient date and including the amounts for expenses and remuneration of chairmen and committees, the number of staff and the total of salaries and wages paid; the cost of rent and equipment, and all other significant items of expenditure.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 February 1980, Vol. 979, c. 464]: Information in the form requested is not available, but the following table sets out an analysis of the total revenue expenditure on headquarters administration for each regional health authority shown in its accounts submitted for the financial year ended 31 March 1979, the most recent for which accounts are available. Also shown in the table are the numbers of staff—in whole-time equivalents—in the National Health Service administrative and clerical group in post on 30 September 1978 at regional health authority headquarters.

14978/79—REGIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES REVENUE EXPENDITURE ON HEADQUARTERS ADMINISTRATION
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)

Regional Health Authority

Secretariat & Finance

Medical, Dental & Nursing Administration

Works & Maintenance Administration

Other Administrations

Management Services

Training & Education

££££££
Northern872,333117,90460,80948,321799,20622,832
Yorkshire776,434220,15445,17952,316875,731150,454
Trent1,125,138219,78833,85675 312842,579519,313
East Anglian587,858185,47832,86583,232644,297177,480
North-West Thames1,165,913214,01729,77653,517520,34453,773
North East Thames949,010204,09069,09177,5661,412,460168,680
South East Thames1,029,083294,78977,091732,053677,217
South West Thames1,100,220192,60990,710777,283329,305
Wessex699,248124 93882,49879,652542,148298,470
Oxford526,081192,72018,063363,25535,792
South Western833,755185,58820,694121,990933,411125,436
West Midlands1,343,778335,658159,7801,780,835116,160
Mersey737,868242,24217,47582,413207,16284,616
North Western1,285,365205,78231,452139,102647,750657,928
Total13,032,0842,935,757423,6951,159,06511,078,5143,417,456

£(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)

Regional Health Authority

Office Services & Expenses

Accommodation Services, overheads, etc

Members Expenses

Other Expenditure

Total Revenue Expenditure

Administration and clerical Staff at RHA HQs 30 Sept. 1978(whole time equivalents)

£££££
Northern286,338200,27511,73014,1712,433,919333
Yorkshire256,358336,2408,83211,9842,733,682382
Trent401,959350,39420,4833,588,822489
East Anglian126,903131,33913,1356231,983,210256
North West Thames155,748577,54511,9062,782,539341
North East Thames241,105573,0423,7781,2973,700,119413
South East Thames183,249624,58310,91352,3453,681,323431
South West Thames398,645637,9628,59612,5573,547,887368
Wessex269,304208,3817,57411,6772,323,890291
Oxford223,495169,9078,4366,8851,544,634314
South western230,616377,15513,9781,0002,843,623466
West Midlands483,001454,5095,2024,678,923680
Mersey216,284297,20910,5942221,896,085379
North Western412,511478,8734,9613,863,724507
Total3,885,5165,417,414140,118112,76141,602,3805,650

Notes

(a) Salaries and wages paid are not separately identified but are included as an element in all items in the analysis with the exception of item 9. Items 1 to 4 consist very largely of this element.
(b) Item 9 includes chairmen's remuneration, travelling and subsistence allowances and payments for loss of remunerative time etc.
(c) Expenditure on rent is not separately identified but is included at item 8.
(d) Administrative and clerical staff numbers shown under item 12 are not related to any single one of the administration functions shown in the expenditure analysis.
(e) Numbers of staff in groups other than NHS administrative and clerical engaged in administrative duties at RHA headquarters cannot be identified reliably in the central manpower records.

Widows

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his most recent estimate of the number of widows receiving (a) widow's allowance, (b) widow's pension, (c) widowed mother's allowance and (d) industrial injury benefit.

It is estimated that in March 1980, 34,000 widows were receiving widow's allowance; 114,000 were receiving widowed mother's allowance; 313,000 were receiving national insurance widow's pension; and 30,000 were receiving industrial death benefit widow's pension.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail the effects of the Social Security (No. 2) Bill on the widows and recipients of industrial disease benefits, with particular reference to the percentage cuts in payment of benefits.

The Bill, as presented, does not propose any change in entitlement to industrial death benefit, unless the widow receiving a pension under the industrial injuries provisions also qualifies for an earnings-related addition by virtue of her underlying title to national insurance widows' allowance. At present, such widows can receive this addition together with their industrial injuries widows' pension for the first 26 weeks of widowhood. The Bill proposes to reduce and subsequently abolish the earnings-related supplement. The abolition will also affect those recipients of injury benefit who have an underlying title to a national insurance incapacity benefit which presently attracts the supplement.Injury benefit, an increase of that benefit for an adult dependant, unemployability supplement for those under pension age and an increase of that supplement on account of age are all affected by the reduction in the uprating increase.Industrial disablement benefit, special hardship allowance and constant attendance allowance are not affected by the Bill.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Common Agricultural Policy

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress was made at the European Council meetings in Luxembourg on 21 and 22 April regarding an agreement on the common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement.

This meeting is still in progress. I will inform the House of the outcome.

Energy

Electricity Demand

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how the reduced forecasts of electricity demand by the supply side of the industry compare with the latest de-partmental figures: and what will be the implications for the industry and heavy electrical manufacturers.

The Department of Energy's 1979 projections assumed an annual average rate of growth in United Kingdom electricity sales in the range 1.7 per cent.—2·3 per cent. over the period from 1977 to 2000. Following the growth in sales in 1978 and 1979 the rate of growth from 1979 to 1990 implied by the projections is estimated to be in the range 1·4 per cent.—2 per cent. The revised medium-term forecast by the electricity supply industry in England and Wales covers only the first part of this period up to 1986–87. Its sales are forecast to remain static between 1979–80 and 1981–82 and to grow thereafter at an annual rate of 12 per cent.As the hon. Member knows, my right hon. Friend announced in answer to questions on 14 April that work is in hand on all measures announced in my right hon. Friend's statement of 18 December, which provides a framework for the development of the nuclear programme.

Departmental Manpower

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the proposed reductions in the number of civil servants employed in his Department; and what reductions so far have been carried out.

My Department's manpower costs provision is expected to reduce from the equivalent of about 1,300 staff in 1979–80 to about 1,160 in 1982–83. The number of staff in post on 1 April 1980 was 1,263 compared with 1,267 on 1 May 1979. This represents a saving of 24 staff across the Department as a whole, offset by an increase of 20 staff to meet the Department's expanded work load in connection with the development and monitoring of the United Kingdom's offshore oil and gas reserves, consequent upon a transfer of functions from BNOC.

Nuclear Waste

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will itemise the quantities of categories of nuclear waste stored in the United Kingdom and estimate the length of time required before such waste can be safely released in the environment.

Current holdings for nuclear waste, as categorised in my reply of 17 January to the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Foulkes), are as follows:

Holding at 1979 (Cubic metres)
Concentrated high level waste in liquid form1,000
Fuel cladding, sludges and miscellaneous waste from earlier processes19,000
Plutonium contaminated wastes3,500
Wastes stored at power stations20,000
Liquid high-level waste will be vitrified and stored for a further period to permit cooling. The time scale for disposal depends upon establishing the route and on the optimum storage period, but it will not be before the beginning of the next century.In general, the other categories of waste also need to be retrieved from storage, treated and packaged, before disposal. Some, including some of the plutonium contaminated waste, is being disposed of to the deep ocean under the London dumping convention. Disposal of other wastes of higher activity depends upon the development of treatment processes, the radioactivity of the treated waste, and the identification of disposal routes. Current research should enable disposal routes to be developed before the end of the century.The safe management and disposal of nuclear waste is a matter to which the Government and the nuclear industry give the highest priority.

Trade

Stock Exchange Practice

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will change the reference of Stock Exchange practice from the Restrictive Practices Court to an independent review body.

My right hon. Friend informed the House on 23 October last year that he had decided not to accede to the Stock Exchange's request for exemption from the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976. Since then, however, the Government have introduced amendments to the Act which will enable the Restrictive Practices Court to deal more flexibly with cases before it. This will be of potential benefit to bodies such as the Stock Exchange.

Textile Industry

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has studied the comments on the effect on the British knitwear industry of the high level of the £ sterling as contained in the annual report of the Leicester and District Hosiery Manufacturers' Association, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Melton; and whether he proposes to discuss these problems with the industry.

Yes. I have had a number of meetings and extensive correspondence with representatives of the knitwear industry. I also visited Leicester on 2 April with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Employment and had a full programme of visits and discussions with representatives of the industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has studied the comments on the effect on British Jersey fabric knitters, and underwear manufacturers, as contained in the annual report of the Leicester and District Hosiery Manufacturers' Association, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Melton, on the possible entry into the EEC of Greece, Portugal and Spain; and what action he envisages to protect British interests in this regard.

Yes. The Greek Accession Treaty includes a safeguard clause which will enable action to be taken against disruptive imports during the transitional period. In the case of Spain and Portugal the United Kingdom is seeking more specific arrangements to cover trade in textiles, and there will also be safeguard clauses in the accession treaties.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will make a statement on imports of Shetland wool fully-fashioned pullovers into the United Kingdom from Mauritius; what is the present level of penetration of the United Kingdom market of this product; what current arrangements exist for surveillance or quotas; and what action he is taking to ensure that all pullovers described as made in Mauritius were actually made there.

The European Community has concluded a two-year agreement with Mauritius under which her exports to the United Kingdom of four categories of textile and clothing products have been made subject to voluntary restraints. There are no formal quotas. Estimated Mauritian penetration of the United Kingdom Shetland wool pullover market in 1979 is approximately 40 per cent. In 1979 exports to the United Kingdom of jerseys, pullovers, and so on, amounted to 4·3 million pieces. The agreement specifies that exports must not exceed 3·2 million pieces in 1980 and 3 million in 1981. Import statistics are monitored by the Department of Industry to ensure that the voluntary arrangement is adhered to. An investigation carried out last year produced no evidence that jerseys imported from Mauritius were not of genuine Mauritian origin.

South Korea

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will take steps to stop South Korean manufacturers trading on the reputation of British standards by utilising the stamping of their goods with the word " England " and the Union Jack.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 April 1980, c. 730]: The Republic of Korea has recently acceded to the Paris convention for the protection of industrial property 1883, as amended. With effect from 4 May 1980, the accession will place on Korea the obligation to assure effective protection against unfair competition and in particular to prohibit confusing, false or misleading indications as to the nature, manufacturing process, characteristics or suitability of the goods.

Mr George Lindo

asked the Attorney-General why the facts of the innocence of Mr. George Lindo were withheld from his solicitors by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals and by the Director of Public Prosecutions; and if he will take steps to ensure that a similar situation does not arise again.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 April 1980, c. 746]: I now give the following information:

On 15 February 1978 Mr. George Lindo was convicted of an offence of robbery committed on 3 August 1977. He immediately lodged a notice of appeal.
On 7 November 1978, in a letter to the Court of Appeal concerning other aspects of Mr. Lindo's appeal, the deputy chief constable of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police informed the court that the police were investigating allegations against one of the police officers who gave evidence at Mr. Lindo's trial, that he had manufactured statements in another, unconnected inquiry. On 5 December 1978 the deputy chief constable wrote again to say that the investigations into this officer's conduct had been completed and the papers had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for him to consider whether or not any offences of forgery were disclosed. The deputy chief constable pointed out that this officer had not himself taken any statement from Mr. Lindo, being the junior in a team of three; and stipulated that the information given should remain confidential to the Registrar and should in no circumstances be disclosed to the defence.
On 8 December 1978 the Director of Public Prosecutions received the report of the investigation from the deputy chief constable. One paragraph of the report mentioned a complaint made by Mr. Lindo's solicitors, that the officer was one of three instrumental in obtaining admissions from Mr. Lindo under duress.
At the hearing of Mr. Lindo's application for bail on 18 January 1979, Mr. Justice Phillips gave instructions that the directions of the Lord Chief Justice be taken on the letter of 5 December 1978. At the beginning of February the Registrar was consulted personally for the first time and immediately, after referring to the Lord Chief Justice, invited the Director of Public Prosecutions to take over the case for the Crown and to consider disclosure to Mr. Lindo's advisers of the information received from the police.
The Director called for all the police papers forthwith, consulted prosecuting counsel and then informed defence solicitors of the position, and assisted in arranging a further application for bail which was successfully made unopposed on 8 March. On 8 June the conviction was quashed.
In cases of this sort, it is not open to the Registrar to act as an investigator. The proper course is to refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions. If the Registrar had been informed personally of the letter of 5 December on its receipt, he would have taken such action forthwith. He has instructed his staff to be alert to any indications in papers received of fresh evidence or information which casts doubt on the safety of a conviction and to inform him immediately if such material has come to light.
The Director's view, which he has expressed to the deputy chief constable, is that any factor which could cast doubt on the evidence an officer is to give, or has given, in any proceedings, should immediately be brought to the attention of the solicitor or counsel who has, or had, the conduct of the prosecution for advice as to what action should be taken.

European Community

Prison Population

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will update his reply to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East Official Report, 20 April 1978, Volume 984, column 319–20, stating how many convicted and unconvicted prisoners there are separately and as a whole in each of the countries of the EEC and for the whole of the Community, and in each case the number per 100,000 population and the date of the figures given.

The information is not readily available. I shall circulate it in the Official Report as soon as it has been assembled.

Prison Sentences

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will give for each of the countries of the EEC, the number of prison sentences imposed during the most recent year for which figures are available, and the proportion of sentences up to one month, over one and up to six months, over six months and up to four years, over four years, and life.

The information requested is not available, and could not be obtained without disproportionate expenditure of public money.

Commission Of The European Communities (Official Documents)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the official language in which European Economic Community Commission official documents are prepared in the first instance.

Commission documents are usually drafted in English or French, but the other official languages of the Community are also used occasionally.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Iran (Captain Michael Green And Chief Engineer Martin Hanmore)

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations he has made to the Government of Iran concerning the situation of Captain Michael Green and Chief Engineer Martin Hanmore.

Representations about the detention of these two men were made on several occasions. We are urgently seeking to clarify their present position, about which there have been conflicting reports, and to secure their safe departure from Iran.

Cambodian Refugees

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has made recent representations to the Thailand authorities not to pursue a policy of forced repatriation of Cambodian refugees.

The Thai Government are well aware of the concern which we and many other Governments would feel at any policy of forced repatriation of Cambodian refugees. There can, however, be no such objection to the assistance which the Thai authorities are currently giving to refugees who wish to return to their own country.

Zimbabwe

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement about the representation of the United Kingdom in Zimbabwe.

It was announced on 18 April that Mr. R. A. C. Byatt, CMG has been appointed British High Commissioner in Salisbury.

Anguilla

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on progress towards the separation of Anguilla from the Associated State of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla following the recent visit to the United Kingdom of the Chief Minister of Anguilla.

The new Government in St. Kitts-Nevis, which came to office after the general election there on 18 February, have stated that they regret that they are unable, at this time, to pass the necessary resolution in the State's Legislature to facilitate Anguillan separation, as their predecessors had agreed to do and as I reported to the House on 20 December 1979.—[Vol. 976, c. 321.] It has accordingly been agreed with the St. Kitts-Nevis Government that Her Majesty's Government should take steps unilaterally to bring about formal Anguillan separation. To this end an appropriate Bill will be introduced as soon as possible. During talks at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 17 April, the Chief Minister of Anguilla welcomed this decision but pressed for action to effect separation immediately. I had to explain that because the current Parliamentary programme is fully committed the Bill could not be introduced until early in the next Session.

Diplomatic Representation

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list in the Official Report those countries with which Her Majesty's Government do not have diplomatic relations, indicating the reason for non-recognition.

Her Majesty's Government do not have diplomatic relations with the following States: Albania, Cambodia and Guatemala. Guatemala broke off relations with the United Kingdom. As for Cambodia the situation remains as set out in my right hon. Friend's speech of 6 December 1979.—[Vol. 975, c. 723.] The Albanian Government have not so far been prepared to discuss the resumption of relations before a resolution of the long-standing problem of the gold formerly belonging to the pre-war Bank of Albania.

United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many soldiers in UNIFIL have been killed or injured as a result of the recent aggression by Israeli regular forces against Southern Lebanon.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take to strengthen the effectiveness of UNIFIL against the repeated attacks by Israeli forces and the so-called militia operating unlawfully in Lebanese territory.

This question is being urgently considered by the United Nations Security Council. We are prepared to support any reasonable proposals which would enable UNIFIL to fulfil its mandate and resist the unjustified and deplorable attacks of the Haddad militia.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many members of UNIFIL have been killed or injured in the current year by the activities of the fascist militia of Major Haddad in Southern Lebanon.

Reports from the United Nations indicate that since the beginning of this year four members of UNIFIL have died and six have been injured in clashes with the de facto forces of Major Haddad.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what incidents have occurred in the current year involving UNIFIL and the PLO.

There have been two serious incidents involving UNIFIL and Palestinians this year. In the first, Palestinian elements fired on a United Nations helicopter, and in the second a United Nations vehicle was ambushed.There have also been frequent minor incidents in which Palestinians have attempted to infiltrate UNIFIL's area of control. There have been no UNIFIL casualties this year as a result of Palestinian attacks.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on his discussions with Dr. Waldheim about the situation in Southern Lebanon and in particular the effectiveness of UNIFIL.

I cannot disclose the details of my right hon. Friend's exchanges with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. But the Secretary-General was left in no doubt about our support for UNIFIL and the seriousness with which Her Majesty's Government view the most recent developments in South Lebanon.

Palestine

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the value of aid given to the Palestinian people and Palestinian organisations by the British Government for the last five years, including the current year.

The value of Government aid—excluding British Council funded expenditure—given to Palestinians including those in the Israeli-occupied territories in the last five years is as follows.

YearContributions to United Nations Relief and Works AgencyEducational assistance, capital aid and technical co-operation awards for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
£million£
1976–773·00
1977–783·508,000
1978–794·0561,000
1979–804·4076,000
1980–814·50*49,000†
* Pledged of which £2·25 million has already been remitted.
† Current estimate.
In addition to these figures approximately £4,000 worth of medical equipment

AVERAGE MONTHLY RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT
197419751976
CountyMalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemales
South Glamorgan4·30·96·61·78·03·0
Mid Glamorgan5·82·18·23·89·55·9
West Glamorgan3·72·14·93·16·64·6
Gwent3·81·86·23·58·25·5
Dyfed5·01·97·23·49·35·3
Powys3·21·25·83·47·33·3
Gwynedd8·12·411·42·512·35·4
Clwyd5·81·99·34·011·06·1

was given in 1978–79 to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

International Conference On The Law Of The Sea

asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress has been made in the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference on the proposals for a sea bed mining system, the financing of the system, a definition of the continental shelf and rules for marine scientific research; what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on these matters; and if he will make a statement.

It was decided in New York (3 March–4 April) to include, in a second revision of the informal composite negotiating text, certain proposals on these issues which are judged to provide a better basis for consensus. This marks useful progress. But on a number of these issues, further negotiations will be required when the ninth session resumes at Geneva (28 July–29 August).

Wales

Unemployment Statistics

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a table showing the average percentage unemployment rate for males and for females, respectively, in each of the eight counties of Wales, or as close to these county units for which figures are available, for each year from 1974 to the present.

Travel-to-work areas do not always coincide with county boundaries. The best estimate available is as follows:

1977

1978

1979

County

Males

Females

Males

Females

Males

Females

South Glamorgan8·73·610·54·69·44·7
Mid Glamorgan9·27·49·48·19·18·6
West Glamorgan7·45·87·56·77·77·3
Gwent8·17·08·87·88·47·9
Dyfed10·06·99·07·47·66·9
Powys7·64·66·94·55·84·1
Gwynedd11·86·812·48·011·98·2
Clwyd12·08·511·19·59·28·7

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a table showing for Wales the proportion of unemployed persons who (a) have been unemployed for more than four weeks, and (b) who are under the age of 20 years for 1966, 1971,1976 and for the latest time for which comparable figures are available.

The following table gives the proportion of unemployed people in Wales under 20 years of age and registered as unemployed for more than four weeks. Figures relate to January 1980 (the latest available) and the corresponding month in the other years specified.

Per cent.
January 19669.1
January 19719.3
January 197615.7
January 198015.0

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a table showing for Wales, the average percentage total unemployment for each year from 1966 to 1980.

The following table gives the annual average rates of unemployment for Wales from 1966 to 1979:

YearAnnual average unemployment rates
Per cent.
19662.8
19674.0
19683.9
19694.0
19703.8
19714.4
19724.8
19733.4
19743.7
19755.6
19767.2
19777.9
19788.4
19798.0

Llanelli Hospital

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when the consultative planning stage in respect of the new Llanelli hospital will be completed.

The consultative planning stage on the content of the first phase is almost complete and we hope to make a decision shortly.

Jobs

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many of the 18,000 jobs in the pipeline in Wales were known to his Department before May 1979 and how many since May 1979.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 April 1980; c. 745]: It is currently estimated that there are 18,850 manufacturing jobs in the pipeline for Wales. Of this total, 10,650 jobs relate to projects which were allocated Government financed factories and/or offered selective financial assistance prior to May 1979, and 8,200 jobs to factory allocations and/or offers of assistance since that date.

Environment

Council House Starts

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council house starts there were in 1979; and what are his estimates for 1980 and 1981.

47,000 new council houses were started in England in the year ending 31 December 1979. In 1980 and 1981 it will be for local authorities to decide what proportion of their single block housing investment programme allocation to devote to new council house building.

United Nations International Water Decade

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what special plans his Department has to publicise and co-operate in the United Nations international water decade; and what steps he is taking to draw this important matter to the attention of firms engaged in the water industry.

The Department has no special plans to publicise the United Nations international water decade; but we are following up our suggestion to the United Nations that developed countries should establish a central fund to finance " workshops " on water problems, to be held in developing countries where the need for water is greatest and where expert advice would be most effective.No special steps have been taken to draw the attention of firms in the water industry to the decade, but in conjunction with my colleagues in the Departments of Trade and of Industry, I am exploring ways in which our manufacturers and consultants can increase their already substantial contribution to British exports.

Rate Rebates

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans for revising the ceilings on rate rebates.

LOCAL AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES IN GREAT BRITAIN
Operatives on construction:
October 1978April 1979October 1979
New work—
Housing10,1198,7698,214
Non-housing9,92710,1028,907
Repair and maintenance—
Housing74,49474,85674,533
Non-housing69,14067,52667,103
Total163,680161,253158,757
Administrative, professional, technical and clerical staff (APTC) engaged on design, management and control of construction work:
Total86,63088,12589,086

Note: Construction work controlled by APTC staff may be carried out either by direct labour or by contractors.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will list the local authorities which have received loan sanction to build dwellings by direct labour since 25 June 1979, naming the scheme in each case, the gross tender price and the number of dwellings involved;(2) whether any local authorities have received loan sanction since 25 June 1979 to build dwellings for sale by direct labour; and, if so, whether he will name the scheme in each case, the gross tender

I have just completed a review of the maximum rate rebates. I propose to increase the maxima from £4·50 a week to £6·75 a week in London and from £3·20 to £4·80 a week in the rest of England and Wales. This will restore the maxima to the value they had when they were last increased in 1978.The new maxima will be implemented later this year; the precise timing of their introduction will be a matter for consultation with the local authority associations.

Local Authority Direct Labour

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many operatives and professional, clerical and administrative staff were employed in local authority direct labour building departments in October 1978, April 1979 and October 1979 on (a) new housing, (b) other new work, (c) housing repairs and maintenance and (d) non-housing repairs and maintenance.

The information is as follows:price and the number of dwellings involved.

The information for the period 26 June 1979 to 15 April 1980, which is available to the Department is given in the table below. The Department has in this period been informed of one building-for-sale scheme being undertaken by direct labour, namely, a scheme of 21 dwellings associated with the 43 dwellings being built for rent at Poole Road, Sheffield—see table. A tender cost of these 21 dwellings is not available; the Department does not require that tender costs of buildings-for-

DIRECT LABOUR HOUSING SCHEMES
ENGLAND: 26 JUNE 1979 TO 15 APRIL 1980
Local authorityName of schemeTender price £Number of dwellings
DerwentsideLangley Phase 1156,00011
Greencroft Phase 21,098,00082
SheffieldPoole Road463,00043
DerbyBateman Street Phase 21,063,00079
HarlowWatlington Road221,00012
GreenwichPlumstead High Street Stage 2A311,00010
LambethClive Road 1A, 1B and 1C1,875,000105
Lillieshall1,079,00058
Waltham ForestAcacia Road Phase 51,226,00075
Cannock ChaseQueen Street443,00026
CoventryMoat House43,0002
SandwellHeath Street833,00064
Stoke on TrentMeir Park811,00066
BlackburnGalligreaves Street Phase 3757,00054
ManchesterBignor/Bellott Street1,296,000109
Ladybarn Village930,00068
Pioneer Street984,00066
Winston Road Area, A, B, C and D1,874,000143
St. HelensAthol Street Phase 21,059,00070
Athol Street Phase 31,292,00090
Earlstown Centre1,328,00089

Housing Action Areas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many housing action areas were declared by local authorities up to 30 April 1975; how many of these areas are now subject to resolutions by local authorities provisionally extending their five-year duration; and if he will make a statement.

Twenty-eight housing action areas were declared up to 30 April 1975 and the Department has been notified of resolutions provisionally extending the life of eight such areas. In four of these cases the resolutions were nullified because the authority failed to comply with the statutory requirement to notify the Secretary of State not later than three months before the expiry of the initial five-year life of the area.The Housing Act 1974 specifically provided that the improvement of housing action areas should be undertaken effectively within a five-year period. It is important that the momentum of improvement activity in these areas is maintained, and this may not be the case if their five-year life is generally extended. So that improvement is concentrated, extensions of housing action areas beyond five-years will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances. If a local authority feels sale schemes should be reported to it as a matter of course.that an area continues to need special designation it can consider declaring it a general improvement area.

Improvement Grants

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he proposes to make any changes in the present limits for home renovation grants; and whether he is yet able to make any statement about his proposals for wider changes to the home renovation grant system.

My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales will shortly be laying an order to increase the eligible expense limits for intermediate, repairs and special grants to the levels set out below. We are not announcing any general increase in the eligible expense limit for improvement grants whilst the Housing Bill is still before the House, but my right hon. Friends will be prepared to consider applications from local authorities for an increase in this limit in those housing action areas where such an increase would be justified by the high cost of works.My right hon. Friends will also be laying an order to increase the amount of local authority expenditure on environmental works on which Exchequer contribution is payable to £400 per dwelling in both housing action areas and general improvement areas.These increases are being made under existing powers and reflect cost increases up to the end of last year. They mark the first stage in significant changes in the system of home renovation grants which the Government intends to make using the powers contained in the Housing Bill. Details of these changes are set out in the Department's paper " The Proposed Framework of the Home Renovation Grant System" and in a similar paper covering Wales, copies of which have been placed in the Library and sent to the local authority associations today.

NEW ELIGIBLE EXPENSE LIMITS
£
Intermediate grant—repairs element2,000
Intermediate grant—standard amenities—
bath/shower250
water to bath300
basin100
water to basin150
sink250
water to sink200
WC350
Special Grant—limit as for intermediate grant per standard amenity.
Repairs grant2,000

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