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Written Answers

Volume 22: debated on Monday 19 April 1982

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday 19 April 1982

Trade

Exports

asked the Minister for Trade whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each of the countries listed in table 6.8 of the Employment Gazette the export price of manufactures in December 1981 as a percentage of the 1975 price together

PRICE OF EXPORT MANUFACTURES
Main Manufacturing Countries
1975=100 in US dollar terms
UKUSFranceGermany (F.R.)ItalyNetherlandsBelgium
197056635148555154
197160645355595355
197265665860636061
197371717275707275
197485868288859193
1975100100100100100100100
197697107981029396100
1977112112105110106106108
1978136121121131117124124
1979164140141147137140143
1980201153157156158153157
1981*172136****
Q4·1980210161155152157149*
Q1 1981*165144136151139130
Q2 1981*169134127141130131
Q3 1981*174132121*126*
Q4 1981181179136****
SwedenSwitzerlandCanadaJapanDenmarkAustriaNorway
197048467056495046
197150507258525348
197257557465575750
197368707979716960
1974838494101868781
1975100100100100100100100
1976104102109991019796
1977111108109108110105103
1978121140113131123123112
1979142154125141141139125
1980164169142150153147146
1981*******
Q4 1980166170145159153143146
Q1 1981*153151165145*141
Q2 1981*142151159138120132
Q3 1981*140154154132*131
Q4 1981*******
* Not available.

Trading Deficit

asked the Minister for Trade what was the United Kingdom trading deficit in manufactures less precious stones with the EEC Six in the four months with the average for each year since 1970; and where export prices are not available, if he will publish the corresponding domestic price.

The available information is in the attached table. Corresponding domestic prices are not available.ended December 1981, expressed at an annual rate; and what was the EEC's deficit with Japan over the same period both expressed in per capita terms.

The United Kingdom's crude trade deficit with the original six member States of the European Community in manufactures less precious stones, was about £90 per capita, at an annual rate, between September and December 1981; the present European Community's crude deficit in total trade with Japan was about £25 per capita, at an annual rate, between September and November 1981.Annualised figures can be very unreliable as a guide to the outturn for the year.

asked the Minister for Trade whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the United Kingdom deficit with the European Economic Community Six on trade in manufactures less precious stones for the month of January at an annual rate and the corresponding surplus with the rest of the world.

The crude deficit with the European Community Six was £4·7 billion and the crude surplus with the rest of the world was £3·7 billion, expressing the January figures at an annual rate; as monthly trade data are very variable these figures should be treated with caution.

Liverpool Airport

asked the Minister for Trade if he is now able to offer any upgrading of Liverpool airport; and if he will make a statement.

No. The Government have stated that they support the categorisation of airports given in the 1978 White Paper on airports policy—Cmnd. 7084—but that this should not be interpreted rigidly or in such a way as to frustrate the natural growth in demand for services from any individual airport.

Energy

Power Transmissions

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the electricity losses for every 100 miles of power transmission by overland lines and the expected losses for the 2000 megawatt cross-channel cable due for commissioning in 1985–86.

I am advised by the CEGB that the power loss on a 100 mile long 400 KV AC overhead line circuit is about 5·8 per cent. at 3,000 MW and about 3·8 per cent. at 2000 MW power flow. For the 2000 MW cross Channel link, including submarine cable and converter stations at both ends, the power loss is expected to be about 3·2 per cent. at full load.

Electricity Production

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the production of generating stations in terms of men per megawatt of electricity produced in 1960, 1970 and 1980 and at the latest available date.

Such information as is readily available is as follows:

Employees per thousand megawatt hours of electricity produced at Public supply power stations in England and Wales
Number
1960–610·53
1970–710·38
1980–810·28
*1981–820·26
* provisional

High-Load Factor Electricity Consumers

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many large high-load factor, plus 70 per cent. electricity customers there are in the United Kingdom; which industries they cover; and what is the total annual consumption by sector.

I am advised by the Electricity Council that the number of large, high-load factor consumers in England and Wales in 1980–81 and their aggregate consumption was as follows:

Consumers in England and Wales with Maximum demand over 10 MW and Load factor over 70%
SectorNo. of ConsumersAggregate Consumption (in KWh)
Mining (other than coal) and quarrying193
Coal and petroleum products2261
General chemicals102,333
Pharmaceuticals, soaps, synthetic resins and fertilisers4469
Manufacture of copper, brass and other base metals2232
Motor vehicle manufacture1210
Textiles4344
Glass and Cement3221
Paper and Board2204
Air transport167
Total304,435
Electricity supplies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the value of improved load management assessed at about £70 million, to each industrial sector accommodating large high-load factor electricity customers.

I am advised by the Electricity Council that it is not yet possible to give definitive figures, but it is anticipated that about one third of the benefit from the new contracted consumer load arrangements will fall to consumers in the steel sector, one third to the chemicals sector and the remaining third to consumers in a number of other sectors including non-ferrous metals, tubes and castings, the engineering industry generally and cement, paper and board. The benefit will go to consumers ready to subscribe to the terms and conditions of the scheme and will not be restricted to those with a very high load factor.

Electricity Generation

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy towards the proportion of electricity to be generated by coal; if any changes in this policy have been made recently or are contemplated; and if he will make a statement.

In 1980–81, 82·3 per cent. of the electricity supplied by the CEGB was generated from coal, 10·7 per cent. from nuclear power, and 7 per cent. from oil.

The proportions are likely to have been similar in 1981–82. The precise proportions in the future will depend upon the development of electricity demand and on the availability and relative prices of fuels. There is at present adequate coal-fired capacity on the CEGB's system to ensure that coal burn can generally be maintained at the economic maximum.

It continues to be the Government's policy to ensure that supplies of fuel for electricity generation are available at competitive prices. Provided that such supplies of coal are available, there is unlikely to be any significant downturn in coal-burn in the short term. In line with the Government's international commitments to reduce the use of oil where possible, the CEGB minimises its oil burn to that which is necessary economically, for technical reasons, or because of short term problems of fuel supply. In the longer term we are likely to need an increasing contribution from nuclear power to complement coal.

Electricity in Scotland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Energy Costs

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for the British Gas Corporation, the Central Electricity Generating Board, the area electricity boards, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and the South of Scotland Electricity Board (a) the estimated cost of the concessions to industrial users introduced (i) in the summer of 1981 after the publication of the National Economic Development Council's task force report and (ii) in the 1982 Budget (b) any consequential changes in external financing limits for 1981–82 and 1982–83 (c) any consequential adjustment to financial targets and (d) any compensation paid or proposed to be paid from central Government funds in respect of these requirements made upon each board to offset the costs borne by them.

A full reply to the hon. Member's question does not lend itself easily to a tabular format.The freeze of industrial gas contract renewal terms announced in the 1981 Budget cost the British Gas Corporation £73 million in lost revenue. The freeze on industrial contract prices, after the first 25,000 therms taken in the contract year which are on tariff terms, announced in this year's Budget is estimated to cost £61 million. The corporation is being compensated for the effects of both freezes by a reduction in the rate of the gas levy in 1982–83 from 5p per therm to 4p per therm, which will reduce its costs by about £140 million in the financial year 1982–83. The corporation's external financing limit for 1981–82, which was on a pre-levy basis at the time, was increased by £73 million from minus £390 million to minus £317 million in respect of the 1981 freeze.There was no need to adjust the corporation's 1982–83 EFL in respect of the 1982 freeze as it is on a post-levy basis. However, because the compensating reduction in the levy for the 1981 freeze is also being made in the financial year 1982–83, it was necessary to reduce the corporation's 1982–83 EFL by £73 million from minus £2 million to minus £75 million. The net result of these changes is to leave British Gas' profits over the period of the present financial target unaffected by the direct impact of the two freezes. There was therefore no need to make any changes to the corporation's financial target.

The estimated loss of revenue to the electricity supply industry arising from the electricity pricing measures announced in the 1981 Budget was £45 million. The further measures which were announced in this year's Budget are estimated to result in a loss of revenue of £71 million to the Central Electricity Generating Board and £16 million to the area electricity boards in England and Wales. The external financing limits for the electricity supply industry in England and Wales were consequently adjusted by £45 million from minus £210 million to minus £165 million in 1981–82 and by £87 million from minus £319 million to minus £232 million in 1982–83. The Government is currently discussing with the Electricity Council the implications of these measures for the industry's financial target. No compensation is to be paid from central Government funds.

The electricity industry in Scotland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Anglesey Smelter

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report an estimate, in a form as comparable as possible to the Invergordon smeller account, of the cost in each of its years of operation of the contract by the Central Electricity Generating Board to supply electricity to the Anglesey smelter.

Details of the contract between the Central Electricity Generating Board and Anglesey Aluminium are a confidential matter between the two parties.

National Finance

Unit Labour Costs And Prices

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his written reply dated 24 March, Official Report, c. 192, concerning unit labour costs and wholesale prices, and so on, whether he will publish in the Official Report (i) the increase in the price of input materials including fuel and the effect on output prices, all other things being equal, (ii) any evidence he has showing that the product mix was responsible for the lower export figures and (iii) any evidence he has that profit margins improved in home and export markets over this period

(i) The following table provides the required information on input prices:

Year on Year Increase in the Price of Manufacturers' Inputs of Materials and Fuels
Per cent.
1977 on 1976+ 15
1978 on 1979- 1
1979 on 1978+ 16
1980 on 1979+ 20
1981 on 1980+ 14
While one would expect movements in input and output prices to be related in the long run, it is not possible to provide reliable estimates of this relationship.(ii) No conclusions can be drawn from a comparison of the figures for export prices with those for wholesale prices in my written reply of 24 March, due to differences of coverage between the two series.

(iii) The absence of a reliable indicator of total unit costs for manufacturing—as opposed to unit labour costs—means that no firm conclusions can be drawn on fluctuations in margins in home and export markets.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his written reply dated 30 March, Official Report, c. 95–96, concerning the increase in unit labour costs, whether he has any evidence that the 10 per cent. increase in the price of exported finished manufactures in the fourth quarter of 1981 compared with a year earlier was wholly or largely due to (a) an increase in profit margins on exports or (b) changes in non-labour costs; and if he will give his assessment of the impact of these two factors and in particular the effect on United Kingdom competitiveness of the contraction of output.

The only information available on manufacturers' costs relates to unit labour costs, for which I would refer the hon. Member to my written reply of 24 March, Official Report, c. 192. Information on profit margins on exports or changes in non-labour costs which would enable me to offer the assessment of the impact of these factors which the hon. Member requests is not available. The productivity gains achieved over the past year in the first stages of the recovery of output from recession have taken output per person hour in manufacturing to a level 4½ per cent. higher than at the previous cyclical peak in 1979, and this has contributed to improved competitiveness.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his written reply dated 30 March, Official Report, c. 95–96, concerning the rise in unit labour costs in 1981, whether the statements made in his fourth and fifth sentences referred to relative labour costs denominated in a common currency; if so, whether the figures were based on weekly or hourly earnings; and whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing how much of the 10 per cent. improvement was due to the fall in the effective exchange rate between the "end of 1980" and the third quarter of 1981 and how much to other factors.

The statement referred to the index of United Kingdom relative actual unit labour costs compiled by the IMF and published regularly in "Economic Trends". In compiling this index, unit labour costs for the United Kingdom and other countries are adjusted for exchange rate changes and thus, in effect, denominated in a common currency. The labour costs data used in compiling this index are in terms of hourly earnings. The IMF estimates show an improvement show an improvement of around 2 per cent. in United Kingdom unit labour costs relative to competitors measured in domestic currencies between the fourth quarter of 1980 and the third quarter of 1981. The remainder of the improvement in relative actual unit labour costs reflects exchange rate changes.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his reply of 30 March, Official Report, c. 95–96, concerning the increase in unit labour costs in 1981, whether he will publish in the Official Report an estimate of the normal unit margin of profit on sales in manufacturing industry, his estimate of the margin in 1981 in the case of the United Kingdom output and his estimate of the labour and other components of the 10 per cent. increase in unit costs in manufacturing industry in 1981.

Unit wage and salary costs in United Kingdom manufacturing are estimated to have risen by 2½ per cent. in the year to the fourth quarter of 1981. Comparable quantitative estimates of associated movements in total unit costs or profit margin are not available.

Personal Taxation

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the saving if mortgage tax relief were allowed at the same rate as life insurance premium tax reliefs; and what would be the effect on the average relief received by mortgagors with earnings at average earnings and at half, three-quarters, one and a half, twice, three, four and five times average earnings.

The saving in a full year at 1982–83 income levels is estimated at £1,170 million. This figure does not include the effect of a corresponding change in the option mortgage scheme. The average effect of mortgage interest relief in reducing the income tax payable can only be calculated for all mortgagors with total income lying within the ranges shown, within which fall the multiples of average earnings specified.

Multiple of average earnings*Corresponding range of total incomeAverage increase in income tax per mortgagor if relief allowed at 15 per cent, only
££
½4,000–4,500110
¾6,000–6,500150
18,000–8,500160
12,000–13,000180
216,000–17,000240
320,000–30,000550
430,000–40,000830
540,000–50,0001,040
* The average earnings of full-time adult male workers in all occupations in 1982–83 are broadly estimated to be some £160 per week.

Money Supply

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will bring up to date the information on money supply given in the reply dated 18 December 1979, Official Report, c. 131, to the hon. Member for Grimsby.

The information is as follows:

Percentage increase in real money supply* (not seasonally adjusted)
YearPer cent.
1973
1st Quarter1·1
2nd Quarter3·5
3rd Quarter3·0
4th Quarter3·5
1974
1st Quarter-4·3
2nd Quarter-3·7
3rd Quarter-3·4
4th Quarter0·3

Year

Per cent.

1975

1st Quarter- 7·1
2nd Quarter- 2·9
3rd Quarter- 1·4
4th Quarter- 1·3

1976

1st Quarter- 3·8
2nd Quarter0·8
3rd Quarter0·7
4th Quarter- 1·5

1977

1st Quarter- 6·0
2nd Quarter1·3
3rd Quarter0·8
4th Quarter3·3

1978

1st Quarter-0·3
2nd Quarter1·4
3rd Quarter0·7
4th Quarter3·0

1979

1st Quarter-4·2
2nd Quarter0·1
3rd Quarter- 1·3
4th Quarter1·0

1980

1st Quarter- 5·9
2nd Quarter3·3
3rd Quarter1·4
4th Quarter5·1

1981

1st Quarter- 4·1
2nd Quarter3·5
3rd Quarter2·4

* Sterling M3 deflated by the implied deflator for total domestic expenditure (mid-1975= 100).

Tax Avoidance

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, pursuant to the speech of the Minister of State, Department of Energy on 31 March, Official Report, c. 407, he will examine the extent of tax avoidance or tax evasion by personnel in the North Sea; what provision is made to safeguard against tax avoidance or evasion in this area; and if he will make a statement.

This area is one that we keep under close review. The most recent evidence is that in general employers are operating PAYE correctly on the emoluments of employees working in the North Sea.

Value Added Tax (European Community)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether States members of the European Economic Community are at liberty to require payment of value added tax by importers of goods from other member States at the point and time of entry; and whether he has drawn the attention of the European Commission to the introduction of such a requirement by a member country.

The answer to the first part of the right hon. Member's question is "Yes: under article 23 of the EC sixth directive on VAT." The answer to the second part is "No."

North Sea Oil (Taxation Payments)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the new system of North Sea oil taxation how many months revenue will fall due for payment in the fiscal year 1983–84.

In 1983–84 companies will pay their PRT liabilities—including APRT—for the two six-month chargeable periods ending in 1983, and one year's ring-fence corporation tax liability—normally for 1982–83—except that:

  • (a) Under the existing tax system an advance payment of PRT for the first half of 1983 will have been paid before the start of 1983–84—in March 1983—equal to 15 per cent. of the previous period's PRT liability—which excludes any SPD or APRT—and
  • (b) Under the proposed tax system, the first instalment of PRT and APRT for the first half of 1984 will be paid in 1983–84—in March 1984—equal to 12½ per cent. of [he combined PRT and APRT liability for the previous period.
  • Overseas Income (Taxation)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his written reply dated 25 March, Official Report, c. 393–4, concerning the taxation of overseas income, whether he will publish the details referred to for the two most recent years for which the information is available.

    Gross income assessed to tax under cases IV and V of schedule D in the years of account 1980 and 1981—that is, for the two years ended 5 April 1981—amounted to £109·9 million and £136·9 million respectively. This income would consist mainly of the kinds referred to in paragraphs 23, 27 and 41 of the Tax Return Guide 1981–82.Gross foreign and public revenue dividends paid by or through United Kingdom paying and collecting agents and assessed to tax in the two years ended 5 April 1981 amounted to £275·1 million and £360·9 million respectively. These figures represent income received by both individual and corporate investors. I am afraid that it is not possible to report the amounts that relate to each category.

    "Economic Progress Report"

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his written reply dated 23 March, Official Report, c. 324–7, concerning the charts published in the January issue of "Economic Progress Report', whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the increase in productivity for manufacturing industry in the third quarter of 1981 compared with the first half of 1979, using third quarter 1981 weights instead of the 1979 weights for the various sectors of industry.

    In common with most other economic series, labour productivity statistics are published on the basis of 1975 weights. The January "Economic Progress Report" article did not use 1979 weights. Alternative weightings are not available.

    Dependent Relatives Allowance

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the dependent relatives allowance for each of the tax years since 1970–71; and what it would have to be for the present tax year if its value were to be the equivalent for each of the tax years since 1970–71, respectively.

    The information is as follows:

    Dependent relative maintained by single womenOther cases
    Level of allowance in year shown £Level of allowance for 1982–83 equivalent to level in year shown £Level of allowance in year shown £Level of allowance for 1982–83 equivalent to level in year shown £
    1970–7111048775332
    1971–7211044575304
    1972–7311041675284
    1973–74145496100342
    1974–75145421100290
    1975–76145338100233
    1976–77145293100202
    1977–78145257100177
    1978–79145237100164
    1979–80145205100141
    1980–81145176100122
    1981–82145158100109
    1982–83145145100100
    The levels of allowances in each year have been revalorised to 1982–83 levels in line with movements in the retail prices index.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals claimed dependent relatives allowance for the most recent tax year.

    It is estimated that about 750,000 taxpayers are currently claiming the dependent relatives allowance.

    Housing Repair Costs (Value Added Tax)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the revenue that would be forgone in a full year if housing repair costs were zero-rated for value added tax.

    It is estimated that the zero-rating of housing repair costs, including materials used by householders, would cost about £425 million in a full year.

    British Banks (Argentine Loans)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will take steps to prevent British banks from completing contracts for the provision of 200 million dollars in loans to SEGBA of Buenos Aires;(2) whether he will take steps to prevent British banks from bidding for the 250 million dollar eight year credit being sought by Gas del Estado of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The Treasury's directions issued on 3 April 1982 prohibit inter alia any bank in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands from making new loans at the request of residents of the Argentine Republic unless permission is given by or on behalf of the Tseasury. Permission would not be given for banks in the United Kingdom to participate in the two loans the hon. Member mentions, or in any similar operations.

    Livestock Markets (Capital Allowances)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) why livestock markets are regarded as being used for commercial purposes and not for husbandry of agricultural land under section 68 of the Capital Allowances Act 1968; and if he will make a statement;(2) what items of capital expenditure on

    (a) new buildings and (b) existing buildings in livestock auction markets qualify for tax relief under section 68 of the Capital Allowances Act 1968; and if he will make a statement.

    A market is a centre for commercial transactions whatever the nature of the commodity or product that is traded. As commercial premises, livestock and other market buildings do not qualify for any buildings capital allowances. An element of the construction costs of most commercial buildings—which in some cases can be significant—normally qualifies for plant and machinery allowances.

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has recently received from farming and landowning organisations concerning tax relief on the capital cost of constructing new livestock market buildings;(2) whether he will extend the system of capital allowances to include tax relief on all capital expenditure in livestock auction markets; and if he will make a statement.

    No representations from farming and land owning organisations have come to my attention but I have noted my hon. Friend's suggestion.

    Capital Allowances Act 1968

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is satisfied with the workings of section 68 of the Capital Allowances Act 1968; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer my hon. Friend to the corporation tax Green Paper—Cmnd. 8456—published in January in which the form and scope of the capital allowance system is discussed and on which representations have been invited. I shall be pleased to consider any views he may wish to offer.

    European Community Budget

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums have been paid to the United Kingdom under the 30 May agreement; and if he will give a regional breakdown of the money received, and committed but still to be received.

    As a result of the budget agreement of 30 May 1980, the United Kingdom has so far received gross payments totalling £1,612·2 million in respect of commitments totalling £1,702·6 million. These sums have been granted in the form of Community contributions under the supplementary measures scheme to public sector investment programmes principally in the United Kingdom's assisted areas. The regional breakdown of grant commitments, receipts and amounts outstanding are given in the following table.

    Community contributions in respect of UK public sector investment programmes
    £ million
    Northern EnglandNorth-West EnglandSouth-West EnglandYorkshire and HumbersideScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandOther Trunk Roads ProgrammeTotal
    Grant commitments
    158·7320·845·5259·2283·7219·9203·2211·61,702·6
    Receipts to date
    150·9302·143·2245·4268·2209·7192·0200·71,612·2
    Amounts outstanding
    7·918·72·313·815·510·211·210·990·4
    In addition to the amounts already committed, the United Kingdom expects to receive further support under the supplementary measures regulation amounting to some £100 million. This represents the balance of the United Kingdom's estimated entitlement to refunds in respect of its net contribution to the 1981 budget. Since commitments under the supplementary measures regulation are denominated in European currency units, the precise sterling value of payments still to be received will depend on the exchange rate prevailing at the time of payment.For further information about the operation of the supplementary measures scheme, I refer my hon. Friend to the replies that I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Plymouth, Drake (Miss Fookes) and Banff (Mr. Myles) on 22 December and 25 March, respectively. —[Vol. 15, c.

    390–94, and Vol. 20, c. 395–97.]

    Blind Persons Allowance

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many blind people currently claim the blind persons

    1978–791979–801980–81
    Employees' national insurance contributions (£ billion)3·84·45·4
    Income tax receipts (£ billion)18·720·624·3
    Increase in employees' national insurance contributions over previous year (£ billion)0·30·61·0
    Employees' national insurance contributions as a proportion of income tax receipts (per cent.)0·200·210·22

    Finance Bill

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether notes on clauses in respect of those clauses of the Finance Bill to be taken in Committee of the whole House are yet available in the Vote Office.

    Yes, Sir. Notes on the appropriate clauses were placed in the Vote Office this morning.

    Indexed Borrowing

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts are included in "Public Expenditure Plans", Cmnd. 8494, in respect of the cost of servicing indexed borrowing; and how they are computed.

    allowance; and how many such claimants earn sufficient to receive the full amount of the £180 rise in allowance during 1981–82.

    About 35,000 blind people currently claim the blind persons allowance, of whom, it is estimated, about 30,000 will have sufficient income in 1982–83 to benefit either wholly or in part. Of the latter, it is estimated that approximately 90 per cent.—that is, about 27,000—will benefit in full.

    National Insurance Contributions

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much national insurance contributions by employees have risen during each of the past three years for which figures are available; and as against income tax during that period what proportion of revenue the national insurance contributions raised.

    The last year for which figures are available is 1980–81; on a United Kingdom basis the information is as follows:

    [pursuant to his reply, 5 April, 1982, c. 221]: The cost of servicing indexed borrowing is included in the figures for both net and gross debt interest shown in the "Public Expenditure Plans", Cmnd. 8494. This includes both indexed gilts and index linked national savings. As in the national accounts, the index linked capital uplift as well as the interest at the coupon rate is treated as debt interest as it accrues. The capital uplift is calculated by reference to the amounts of such debt issued and the estimated rate of inflation. The figures shown below are only estimates because the precise amount of indexed borrowing cannot be known in advance. The Government do not have a target for the share of debt to be raised in indexed form. Indexed instruments will be sold alongside conventional ones. The shares will depend on demand.

    Cost of Serving Indexed Borrowing by Central Government Included in Public Sector Debt Interest
    £ million
    YearTotal public expenditure effect
    1977–78100
    1978–79100
    1979–80300
    1980–81400
    1981–82600
    1982–831,100
    1983–841,200
    1984–851,400

    Tax Evasion Campaigns

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what expenditure has been incurred by his Department of tax evasion and value added tax exemptions campaign in (a) the national press, (b) the provincial press, (c) television, (d) radio and (e) elsewhere.

    [pursuant to his reply, 8 April 1982, c. 488]: My Departments do not incur any direct expenditure on publicity in the media about tax evasion. Customs and Excise incurred the following expenditure on advertisements to inform the public of the new limits for exemption from registration for VAT.

    National papers £Provincial papers £
    198116,034·30908·37
    198220,661·921,649·34
    There was no expenditure on radio or television advertising.

    Stamp Duty

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what level the threshold for the exemption of the conveyance of owner-occupied dwellings from stamp duty would need to be increased to take account of increases in house prices since the threshold was increased (a) in 1974 and (b) in 1980.

    [pursuant to his reply, 8 April 1982, c. 449]: The threshold for exemption from stamp duty applied to transfers of all property other than stocks and shares, and conveyances of owner-occupied dwellings are not treated distinctively. On the basis of the most recent Building Societies Association figures available showing the movement of average house prices, the 1974 threshold of £15,000 would need to be increased to £32,900 and the 1980 threshold of £20,000 to £20,800.

    Estates (Statistics)

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of persons in 1980 and 1981 who left estates of less than (a) £1,000, (b) £1,500, (c) £2,000, (d) £2,500, (e)£3,000,(f) £3,500, (g)£4,000, (h) £4,500 and (i) £5,000.

    [pursuant to his reply, 8 April 1982, c. 449]: I regret that the information is not available. Statistics on estates passing on death are published by Inland Revenue but coverage is limited to those estates where probate or letters of administration are required. These estates cover less than half of all deaths. The coverage of estates of less than £5,000 is low.

    Attorney-General

    Mr David Fingleton

    asked the Attorney-General whether he will publish in the Official Report a copy of the communication which his Department sent to Mr. David Fingleton on 21 January inviting his comments on the press reports on that day and the nature of his reply to this communication.

    The Law Officers' Department did not communicate with the magistrate. All communications between the Lord Chancellor and the judiciary are confidential.

    Highbury Magistrates' Court (Miss Puttock)

    asked the Attorney-General, pursuant to the reply of the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Ealing, North on 21 January, what information has been discovered by the officials from the Lord Chancellor's Office with regard to the remarks made by the magistrate at Highbury court in the case of Miss Puttock.

    The information received by the Lord Chancellor is somewhat conflicting, but the Lord Chancellor has sent a letter to Miss Puttock, a copy of which he has already sent to other hon. Members. He has arranged for a further copy to be sent to the hon. Member.

    Land Registry (Offices)

    asked the Attorney-General whether Her Majesty's Government will decide in April to build on the old market site in Birkenhead to provide permanent offices for the Land Registry; and if he will make a statement.

    Discussions are currently taking place between Her Majesty's Treasury, the Property Services Agency and Her Majesty's Land Registry as to the requirements for accommodation at the Birkenhead district land registry. A decision will be made at the earliest possible date and Wirral council will be informed.

    Road Injuries (Statistics)

    asked the Attorney-General what statistical information is available relating to proceedings in the courts relating to injuries sustained on the roads.

    I regret that the information is not collected in this form. The numbers of proceedings commenced during 1980 for claims arising from personal injuries however sustained were 36,803 in the High Court and 17,813 in the county court.

    Injuries At Work (Statistics)

    asked the Attorney-General what statistical information is available relating to proceedings in the courts on claims for compensation for injuries sustained at work.

    I regret that the information is not collected in this form. The numbers of proceedings commenced during 1980 for claims arising from personal injuries however sustained were 36,803 in the High Court and 17,813 in the county court.

    Home Department

    Police Manpower

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for North, Norfolk, 9 February, regarding numbers employed by police forces in England and Wales, why figures at constant prices are not now readily available.

    Detained Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give a breakdown of the estimated 100 persons on remand and who are in prison awaiting trial for more than 12 months referred to in his answer of 1 April, Official Report, c. 155; whether he will give a summary of the charges being made aginst them; and whether any of them were involved in or are charged with throwing petrol bombs and taking part in the various riots of more than 12 months ago.

    Information on the offence with which remand prisoners are charged is not collected centrally and could be made available only at disproportionate cost.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West, Official Report, 18 March, c. 174, what are the circumstances in which he would envisage directing the release of unsentenced prisoners under the Imprisonment (Temporary Provisions) Act 1980.

    It is not possible to predict the circumstances in which my right hon. Friend would ask Parliament to bring into force any of the powers conferred upon him by the Imprisonment (Temporary Provisions) Act 1980.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give an estimate of the costs to public funds of keeping in prison the estimated 5,000 people unconvicted awaiting trial for periods of between one month and over 12 months.

    No separate figure for the cost of keeping unconvicted prisoners is available, but they are in local prisons or remand centres, where the average cost per prisoner per week was £122 in the financial year 1979–80.

    "Countryman" Inquiry

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been dismissed from (a) the City and (b) the Metropolitan police forces as a result of disciplinary proceedings following the Countryman inquiry; what was their rank; and what are their current pension entitlements.

    A detective inspector and two detective constables have been required to resign from the City of London police. Appeals to me against punishment are outstanding. Each of these officers is entitled to a deferred pension payable at the age of 60 in accordance with police pensions regulations. No officers have been dismissed or required to resign from the Metropolitan Police.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has discretionary powers to permit all citizens of British dependent territories from the Falkland Islands to settle in the United Kingdom with restriction.

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, having regard to the fact that the British Nationality Act does not become law until early in 1983, he will introduce amending legislation so that those Falkland Islanders who are meantime classified as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies without the right of abode in the United Kingdom unless their parents or grandparents were born in the United Kingdom, will be classified as British citizens and not citizens of the British dependent territories without right to abode in the United Kingdom, when the new Nationality Act comes into operation.

    I have already announced that no Falkland Islander, whether he has the right of abode or not, will have any difficulty over admission to this country. I have no plans for amending legislation but will keep the matter under review.

    Mr Paul Cleeland

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a synopsis of relevant passages from the report of the assistant chief constable of Northamptonshire, Mr. Boothby, on the case of Mr. Paul Cleeland.

    No. It is a general principle of long standing that police reports are confidential and are not disclosed either wholly or in part.

    Remanded Persons

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are currently being held on remand in police cells; and what action is being taken by his Department to reduce their numbers.

    The number of prisoners held overnight in police cells has fallen to about 35 for the night of 14 April and two for the night of 15 April. The majority of these were untried prisoners. The current need to use police cells is primarily the result of industrial action by members of the Prison Officer's Association at Wandsworth prison. Every effort is being made to resolve this dispute and in the meantime all possible steps are being taken to reduce the numbers held in police cells, for example by transferring prisoners to prisons outside the London area.

    Immigrants (Voluntary Resettlement)

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, with a view to introducing such a scheme by way of legislation, he will investigate the likely demand among ethnic minorities for a voluntary resettlement grant equivalent to transport plus one year's likely level of support cost in terms of unemployment pay, supplementary benefit and rate and rent rebate.

    No. Assistance with travelling expenses is already available for immigrants who wish to return permanently overseas but lack the means. We have no plans to extend the present arrangements.

    Detained Children

    asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children aged under 17 years are currently detained under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933; and of these, how many are detained in prison department establishments, community homes and youth treatment centres, respectively.

    [pursuant to his reply, 19 February 1982, c. 231]: Persons aged under 17 detained in England and Wales under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 on 31 December 1981 by location:

    LocationNumber of persons
    In prison department establishments42
    In community homes11
    In youth treatment centres25

    Prime Minister

    Computers

    asked the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, 16 March, Official Report, c. 71, regarding computers currently in use in Government Departments, what was the total cost of (a) 650 major computers and (b) 700 micro-computers currently in use in central Government Departments.(2) pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, 16 March,

    Official Report, c. 71, regarding computers currently in use in Government Departments, how many jobs have been (a) saved or (b) created by the use of these computers.

    We do not compile separate information on the cost of computers nor on the number of jobs saved or created. I regret therefore that the information requested is not readily available.

    National Health Service (Expenditure)

    asked the Prime Minister how many auditors or other public servants audit National Health Service expenditure; and how many of these are (a) internal National Health Service audit staff including the staff of any central Government Department other than the Department of Health and Social Security and any other separate National Health Service entities, (b) statutory auditors of the Department of Health and Social Security staff, (c) Treasury personnel or (d) staff of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

    The total staff of Government Departments employed, at the end of March 1982, on the audit of National Health Service expenditure was 344. Of these, 239 were staff of the Department of Health and Social Security, 44 of the Scottish Home and Health Department, 25 of the Northern Ireland DHSS, and 36 were staff of the Comptrollers and Auditors General. Treasury staff are not employed in the audit of National Health Service expenditure. Recent figures for National Health Service staff employed on internal audit in England and Wales are not available; a study undertaken in 1978 showed that there was the equivalent of 580 whole time staff engaged on such duties. In Scotland in July 1981 the equivalent of 69 whole time staff were so employed. Health authorities in Northern Ireland currently employ 20·5 staff—whole-time equivalents—on internal audit.

    asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that National Health Service staff have increased by over 100 per cent. since 1960 and in the same period hospital beds have decreased by over 20 per cent., she will review the extent of financial control; and if she is now satisfied that proper financial control is being applied.

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has announced new arrangements to improve financial and policy accountability in the National Health Service. Each year Ministers will lead a departmental review of the long-term plans, objectives and effectiveness of each Region with the chairmen of the regional authorities and chief regional officers. The aims of the new system will be to ensure that each region is using the resources allocated to it in accordance with the Government's policies—for example giving priority to services for the elderly, the handicapped and the mentally ill—and also to establish agreement with the chairmen on the progress and development which the regions will aim to achieve in the ensuing year. Successive reviews will thus enable Ministers to measure the progress made by regions against the agreed plans and objectives, as well as to determine action necessary in the year ahead.

    North Sea Oil (Price)

    asked the Prime Minister whether Her Majesty's Government considered the implications of the recent reduction in the price of North Sea oil before the British National Oil Corporation decided to reduce the level of oil prices; and to what extent account was taken of the likely effect on United Kingdom exports to the oil-producing countries.

    BNOC negotiates its prices with some 50 companies in the light of market conditions. The Government do not control prices.

    Argentine Government

    asked the Prime Minister whether she is confident that adequate measures exist to prevent the Argentine Government from threatening any part of the United Kingdom or of British territory overseas by means of armed force or terrorist action.

    I have already informed the House of the diplomatic, military and economic steps we are taking to end the Argentine occupation of the Falkland Islands. There are already measures to deal with terrorist acts in Britain. I believe that adequate measures exist to prevent the other potential Argentine threats mentioned by the hon. Member.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West on Thursday 8 April, Official Report, c. 417, she will state what reply she has received from the Holy See to her approach seeking their support in the international condemnation of the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

    The Holy See have informed us that it has made clear to the Argentine authorities its disapproval of the Argentine action.

    asked the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply of 8 April, Official Report, c. 1085, she intends to consult the Leader of the Opposition regarding the form of the proposed inquiry into the conduct of matters relating to the Falkland Islands.

    Employment

    Falkland Islanders

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has discretionary powers to permit all citizens of British dependent territories from the Falkland Islands to take up employment without restriction or controls in the same way as Common Market nationals and citizens of France's overseas territories may do.

    No. Non-patrial citizens of the United Kingdom's dependent territories normally require work permits.However, I understand that the majority of Falkland Islanders have the right of abode in the United Kingdom and are therefore exempt from immigration and work permit controls. The exercise of discretion to admit non-patrial citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies without restrictions is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. My right hon. Friend has already stated that in the present circumstances all Falkland Islanders, whether they have the right of abode or not, will be admitted for settlement in the United Kingdom; consequently there will be no restriction on their taking employment. —[Vol. 21, c.

    421–22].

    European Community

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the work force is in part-time employment in each of the member countries of the European Community.

    For the latest available information I refer the hon. Member to the report of the 1979 European Community labour force sample survey, table 20, published by Eurostat, a copy of which is available in the Library.

    Females

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the most recent numbers of registered unemployed women in England by regions; what were the figures for the same date in 1979; and what are the respective increases in percentage terms.

    The following table gives the numbers of females registered as unemployed in each region in England at March 1979 and March 1982 and the percentage increases between the two dates.

    March 1979 NumberMarch 1982 NumberPercentage increase
    South East73,501183,695149·9
    East Anglia9,15520,309121·8
    South West29,30954,21285·0
    West Midlands35,48494,294165·7
    East Midlands20,07746,842133·3
    Yorkshire and Humberside33,95174,816120·4
    North West57,742122,256111·7
    North33,20859,02977·8

    Unemployment Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the average percentage unemployment rate in Wales and the North of England for each of the last 10 years and during the current year.

    The following table gives for Wales and the North region the annual average percentage rates of unemployment from 1972 to 1981 and the averages for the first quarter of 1982.

    Wales per cent.North region per cent.
    19724·86·3
    19733·44·7
    1974*3·7*4·6
    19755·65·9
    19767·37·5
    19778·08·3
    19788·38·9
    19797·98·7
    198010·310·9
    198114·815·3
    1982 January to March16·316·3
    * Average of 11 months.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of persons unemployed, the percentage rate of unemployment, and the total number of vacancies for (a) the Workington travel-to-work area and (b) Cumbria at the latest date for which figures are available.

    At 11 March the number of people registered as unemployed in the Workington travel-to-work area was 5,375 and the unemployment rate was 17·1 per cent. The corresponding figures for Cumbria were 22,507 and 11·5 per cent.At 5 March the numbers of notified vacancies remaining unfilled at employment offices and careers offices in the Workington travel-to-work area were 147 and 8, respectively. The figures for Cumbria were 1,452 at employment offices and 72 at careers offices. Vacancies notified to employment offices are estimated to be about one-third of all vacancies in the country as a whole. Because of possible duplication the figures for employment offices and careers offices should not be added together. The number of vacancies unfilled at a particular date takes no account of the flow of vacancies being notified, filled or withdrawn which would reflect activity more closely. For example, during the 12-month period to March 1982, 10,544 people were placed in jobs by employment offices in Cumbria. It is estimated that the public employment service accounts for about one in four of all placings.

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what are the unemployment figures for the county of Cumbria, categorised by sex, age and the duration of unemployment, for the last month for which statistics are available.

    The numbers registered as unemployed are analysed by age and by duration of unemployment quarterly and there are no later figures than those for January 1982, which were given to the hon. Member in my reply to his question on 5 March 1982.—[Vol. 19, c. 57.]

    Allerdale

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many additional places were sponsored by Allerdale district council under the youth opportunities programme and the community enterprise programme separately for the last month for which statistics are available; and what is the total number of places now being supported by that authority under each scheme.

    Allerdale district council sponsored no new places for unemployed young people under the youth opportunities programme, and no new places for unemployed adults under the community enterprise programme in March 1982.The authority now supports a total of 108 places on the youth opportunities programme, and 100 places on the community enterprise programme.

    Young Persons (Cumbria)

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total of young people who have registered at careers offices in each of the travel-to-work areas in Cumbria in the last month for which statistics are available.

    The following is the information at 11 March.

    Carlisle565
    *Furness295
    *Kendal74
    Keswick26
    Penrith150
    *Whitehaven269
    *Workington313
    * Travel-to-work area comprising two or more employment office areas.

    Community Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the monthly increase and the total number of persons employed by community industry in West Cumbria during the last month for which statistics are available.

    In March 1982 there were 105 young employees in community industry places in West Cumbria, a decrease of eight young employees compared with February. In addition, 18 adult staff are employed at the community industry unit in West Cumbria.

    Workington

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons, both male and female, were placed in employment by the Workington jobcentre in the last month for which statistics are available.

    Workington jobcentre placed 102 people—55 males and 47 females—in the four-week period ending 11 March 1982, the latest date for which statistics are available.There is likely to have been a substantial number of people who found jobs in the area otherwise than through the jobcentre. Nationally, the Manpower Services Commission has estimated from a 1977 survey that about a quarter of all placings are made through its offices.

    Temporary Short-Time Working Compensation Scheme

    asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs in total are supported by the temporary short-time working compensation scheme for (a) each of the travel-to-work areas that comprise the county of Cumbria, (b) the Northern region and (c) the North-West region for the last month for which statistics are available.

    The following table shows the figures requested:

    February 1982
    AreaNumber of potentially redundant jobs covered in applications that were current in February 1982
    Furness travel-to-work area
    Kendal travel-to-work area
    Whitehaven travel-to-work area11
    Workington travel-to-work area146
    Carlisle Employment Office area87
    Keswick Employment Office area
    Penrith Employment Office area
    Northern region1,830
    North-West region18,066

    Industry

    Scottish Development Areas (Plant And Equipment)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if he will provide a list on the basis of firms and development areas of the amount of plant and equipment removed from development areas in Scotland, together with details of grants repaid;(2) if he will give details of the total value of plant and equipment on which regional development grants have been paid which has been removed from development areas in Scotland in the period from May 1979 to the present, together with the amount of grant repaid.

    I regret that the information requested is not readily available, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

    Industrial And Service Development (Cumbria)

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how many applications for information of an industrial or service development nature his Department has received in the North-West region during the last month; and how many of these his Department has referred to the Cumbria council's industrial development unit;(2) how many steering location inquiries had been received in the North-West region of his Department; and of these how many had been referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit during the last month for which statistics are available.

    In March 1982 the North-West regional office received 696 inquiries of an industrial or service development nature, of which 647 related to Government financial assistance and 24 of which were locational inquiries. None were specifically referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit but the North-West regional office maintains close contacts with its officers who had referred many of the inquiries to the Department.The small firms service in the North-West region received some 2,865 inquiries in March 1982 many of which would have been concerned with information of an industrial or service development nature. Information on whether any of the inquirers were referred to the Cumbria county council industrial development unit is not recorded.

    Regional Assistance

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total number and value of offers of regional assistance made to companies in West Cumbria travel-to-work areas, in Cumbria as a whole, in the North-West region and in the Northern region for the last month for which statistics are available.

    In February 1982, eight offers of assistance totalling £726,000 were made under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 towards projects in the North-West region. Of these, one offer of £45,000 was made towards a project in Cumbria but no offers were made to companies in the West Cumbria travel-to-work area. One offer of £500,000 was made towards a project in the North-East region.

    Industrial Floor Space Allocations

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total area of industrial floor space allocated for industrial or service trade occupancy by the English Industrial Estates Corporation in each of the travel-to-work areas in (a) Cumbria, (b) the Northern region and (c) the North-West region in the last month for which statistics are available.

    During the month of February 1982 the English Industrial Estates Corporation allocated the floorspace indicated below, subject to contract:

    Square metresUnits
    (a) Cumbria:
    Workington471
    Whitehaven2581
    Total Cumbria3052
    (b) North-East Region
    North Tyne5261
    South Tyne4,0975
    Wearside1621
    Hartlepool2,4951
    North West Durham1,0215
    Darlington and South West Durham4491
    Morpeth1,2871
    Loftus5341
    Total North East Region10,57116
    (c) North-West Region (excluding Cumbria):
    Liverpool5112
    Birkenhead1443
    Total North-West Region (excluding Cumbria)6555

    Steel Industry

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will bring up to date the information on the steel industry given in the replies of 4 February 1980, Official Report, c. 15–16, to the hon. Member for Grimsby.

    [pursuant to his answer, 8 April 1982, c. 477–78]: Information as is available to answer the other question is as follows:

    Crude Steel Produced per Process Worker*
    Tonnes †1978197919801981
    USA333325306330
    Japan‡466541563523
    West Germany273306296297
    Italy316311330313
    France259292323338
    United Kingdom176195**124††250
    Belgium321337319337
    Spain180197nana
    Australia254261233na
    Luxembourg375377374369

    Source: OECD.

    Notes:

    * Including workers in auxiliary departments and services

    † The definition of process workers used in the reply given in 1980 has since been changed in the OECD statistics. The table gives the revised 1978 figures.

    ‡Including apprentices.

    ** Production was reduced as a result of the steel strike.

    †† Estimated.

    Manchester And Salford

    asked the Secretary of State for Industry, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, Official Report, 2 March, c. 90, if he has now responded to the further evidence about the Manchester-Salford partnership area's circumstances sent to him under cover of a letter of 17 February from the town clerk of the city of Manchester council; and what were the terms of his reply.

    [pursuant to his reply, 10 March 1982, c. 414]: A copy of my reply has been placed in the Library of the House.

    Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

    Farm Incomes

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of farming income in the latest available period is accounted for by the top 10 per cent. of incomes and the top 25 per cent., respectively.

    Livestock Marketing

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will bring forward proposals for a sectoral or regional programme of projects for the improvement of livestock marketing in England in order to meet the European Economic Community criteria for the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund grants under European Economic Community regulation 355/77.

    Regulation 355/77 is due to expire in December of this year. If the European Commission issues proposals for a new scheme on similar lines to the present one, the coverage of our existing sectoral programmes will then be reviewed.

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why livestock markets in England and Wales are not eligible to qualify for aid under the European Economic Community farm fund—the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund—1982 grants for projects which improve the condition under which agricultural and fish products are marketed and processed; and if he will make a statement.

    Funds available under regulation 355/77 for the improvement of marketing and processing of agricultural and fisheries products are extremely limited. Member States are accordingly required to draw up sectoral or regional programmes for priority investment areas, and only projects falling within those programmes are eligible for aid. For the meat sector in England, programmes exist for red meat slaughterhouses and for pigmeat processing. These were identified as priorities after consultation with the appropriate producer and processor interests. Priorities vary between different parts of the United Kingdom and in Wales livestock markets are eligible under the Welsh livestock programme.

    Live Food Animals

    asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress he has made in persuading the European Economic Community to restrict the maximum permitted length of journeys of live food animals exported for slaughter.

    This matter was discussed before the adoption of Council directive 81/389/EEC on the protection of animals during international transport but no agreement was reached on this point. However the Council of Ministers asked the Commission to set in hand, through its standing committee on agricultural research, an examination of the physiological, ethological and economic arguments for limiting animals' journeys to the abattoir and, if appropriate, to recommend a maximum duration for such journeys. The committee has started its work.

    Live Sheep (Transportation)

    asked the Minister of Argiculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he will publish in the Official Report the results of any inquiries made by his Department into allegations of breaches of regulations during the transport of a consignment of 500 live sheep from Dover to an abattoir at Prudhomat, in the Lot department of France, after a journey of 25½ hours;(2) what details of feeding arrangements were

    (a) sought and (b) received by his Department for the proper handling of a consignment of 500 live sheep recently exported from Dover for slaughter at an abattoir in Prudhomat, in the Lot department of France, in accordance with the conditions of issue of an animal export licence where live animals are expected to travel for more than 18 hours.

    I take it that the hon. Member is referring to the case which was reported in the News of the World on 21 March last.The central allegation in that report relates to the failure to provide food and water on a long journey. This is governed by European Community directives which both exporting and importing countries are required to enforce.Exports of live food animals from Great Britain are subject to licensing under the Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981. Applicants for licences are required to state the port of disembarkation of the consignment and the final destination of the consignment. Licences are only issued, in cases where the distance between the two is more than 350 miles, if satisfactory arrangements for feeding and watering en route are given on the application form. An applicant would be committing an offence against section 69 of the Animal Health Act 1981 if he deliberately made a false statement on his application form with the purpose of obtaining a licence. It is not the practice to reveal details of investigations made, since the information collected may be used in evidence. However, I can assure the hon. Member that I will take appropriate action in any case where investigations reveal clear evidence that an irregularity has taken place.

    Northern Ireland

    District Heating Systems

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many homes in Northern Ireland are served by district heating systems; and how many such systems there are;(2) what is the cost of the replacement of the Twinbrook district heating system; what was its projected life when installed; what was the total cost and the cost per dwelling when installed; and how much cheaper it was in total and per dwelling when installed than individual solid fuel heating systems as installed in other comparable houses;(3) what is the expected life of each district heating system in Northern Ireland; and when they are each due for replacement;(4) if it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to replace worn out district heating systems in Northern Ireland by a new district heating system or by individual heating systems in each dwelling.

    There are 25 district heating schemes serving about 8,200 Northern Ireland Housing Executive homes.The cost of replacing the district heating system at Twinbrook is estimated to be £2 million. The final cost will, however, depend on the extent to which internal pipework and radiators can be re-used; and a decision on the form of heating to be provided in flats and maisonettes. The additional financial information asked for is not readily available but I shall write to the hon. Gentleman.Normally district heating systems have an expected life of about 25 years. However, at Twinbrook serious defects in underground piping led to an unacceptable level of breakdowns and made it necessary to replace this particular system earlier. Elsewhere most systems are operating satisfactorily. If any system has to be replaced in the future, the form of heating used would depend on the circumstances of the particular case.

    Roads (Expenditure)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what sums will be expended on road works in the council districts of Coleraine, Londonderry and Limavady in the 1982–83 financial year;(2) what sums were required to make good the damage caused to the road system in Northern Ireland as a result of the severe weather in the winter of 1981–82 in Northern Ireland; what sums were required in the council districts of Londonderry, Limavady and Coleraine; and when he expects the work to be completed.

    The Department's divisional roads managers have been given provisional details of the total funds to be allocated in 1982–83. They will begin consultations shortly with the district councils on detailed programmes.About £13 million would be needed to make good the damage to the roads of Northern Ireland caused by the severe winter weather in 1981–82. Of this, some £1·5 million will be allocated to roads in the three district council areas referred to. All work will be done as quickly as possible, but I cannot say now when it will be completed.

    Royal Ulster Constabulary (Weapons)

    asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether any spares for the Ruger rifles and pistols in the possession of the Royal Ulster Constabulary have been imported into Northern Ireland since the order was frozen; and whether they were obtained from the manufacturers;(2) whether the Ruger pistols and rifles at present in the possession of the Royal Ulster Constabulary have been paid for;

    (3) whether the order of Ruger rifles and pistols for the Royal Ulster Constabulary frozen in the United States of America by President Carter in 1979 has been paid for.

    It is not the practice to publish details of the Royal Ulster Constabulary's arms holdings, requirements and sources of supply, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the RUC continues to have adequate weapons to carry out its duties. The weapons it holds have been paid for; and it has not paid for any weapons not delivered.

    Education And Science

    Free School Meal Allowances

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what would be the cost of providing free school meal allowances throughout school holidays to those at present entitled to receive them.

    Information on the number of pupils entitled to receive free meals is not available. However, if the 856,000 pupils receiving free meals in the autumn term 1981 received a cash benefit of 50p per day during school holidays—excluding weekends—the cost would be about £30 million.

    Psionic Medicine

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if the Medical Research Council is sponsoring any research work into psionic medicine; and if he will list the projects being sponsored;(2) if he is sponsoring research work into psionic medicine; and if he will list those projects being supported.

    I understand that psionic medicine, which has been developed during the first half of this century, aims to link homoeopathy, radiesthesia and orthodox medicine. It would be open to proponents of this form of treatment to approach the appropriate Government agencies with specific research proposals. The Medical Research Council is always propared to consider soundly based biomedical research proposals but, to date, no applications for support of work involving psionic medicine appear to have been made to the council.

    School Playing Fields (Sales)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those local education authorities which have sold school playing fields in the years 1979, 1980 and 1981, respectively; how many individual playing fields have been sold; and what acreage has been sold by each authority.

    School Closures (Sheffield)

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consideration he has now given to school closures in Sheffield; and what representations he has received since the deputation brought to him by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam asking him to give special consideration to Clifford school, Nether Edge.

    On 16 April my right hon. Friend informed the Sheffield education authority that he has rejected their proposals to cease to maintain Clifford Church of England (controlled) school. In reaching this decision he took account of all the circumstances of the case, including the views of objectors and representations by my hon. Friend and the deputation he brought to see me on 12 November 1981.My right hon. Friend has also recently approved proposals to cease to maintain: Crookesmoor county first school; St. Stephen's CE(c) J and I school; Stocksbridge CE(c) J and I school; St. Silas CE(c) J and I school; and Porter Croft county J and I school. He has approved proposals by the Sheffield diocesan education committee to establish an aided Church of England school for pupils aged 5 to 11 in the premises of the Porter Croft school. He has rejected proposals to cease to maintain Low Bradfield county junior school and to make a significant enlargement to the premises of Dungworth county J and I school.

    Export Of Works Of Art

    asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that the annual reports of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art include in all cases the names of the owners of items in relation to which applications for export licences were referred to the reviewing committee.

    I am replying as matters relating to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art are my responsibility. I do not consider that it would be desirable to invite the committee to give the names of owners in all cases. Information is supplied in confidence on a commercial basis, and should only be given with the owner's consent. In many cases this consent is given; in others the owner may wish to remain anonymous for various reasons, including security.

    Scotland

    Unemployment Statistics

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing a breakdown of those unemployed in Kilmarnock by age; and how this compares with May 1979.

    The following table provides an analysis by age of the number unemployed in Kilmarnock at 14 January 1982, the latest date for which information is available, and 10 April 1979, the nearest date to May 1979 for which information is available.

    Unemployment by Age in Kilmarnock
    January 1982April 1979
    Under 18508205
    18 years272165
    19 years290169
    20–241,256652
    25–29886423
    30–34725283
    35–441,076416
    45–49517171
    50–54514183
    55–59542179
    60 and over413186
    Total6,9993,032

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many young people in Kilmarnock under the age of 18 years have never had a job since leaving school.

    At 11 March 1982, there were 391 young people under the age of 18 years registered as unemployed at the employment and careers offices in Kilmarnock, who had never been in employment since completing full-time education.

    :asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which firms in Kilmarnock have ceased operations since May 1979; and how many jobs have been lost thereby.

    Comprehensive information on redundancies is not available. However, between 1 May 1979 and 31 March 1982 17 instances of redundancies involving 10 or more workers and leading to closure were notified to the Manpower Services Commission as due to occur in Kilmarnock, with a total loss of 3,113 jobs. Information on redundancies and closures is given to the commission in confidence and the names of the companies involved cannot therefore be disclosed.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide analysis by duration of unemployment by number and percentage for Kilmarnock for the following groups: (a) up to one year, (b) over one and up to two years, (c) over two and up to three years and (d) over three years; and what are the comparable percentage figures for Scotland.

    The following table provides information on duration of unemployment at 14 January 1982, the latest date for which information is available.

    Unemployment by Duration
    KilmarnockScotland
    NumberPercentagePercentage
    Up to 1 year4,79868·670·1
    Over 1, up to 2 years1,26218·018·7
    Over 2, up to 3 years4145·95·3
    Over 3 years5257·55·9
    Total6,999100·0100·0

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out the current number of unemployed persons in Kilmarnock by standard industrial classification; and what were the comparative figures for May 1979.

    The following table provided by the Manpower Services Commission gives an analysis by standard industrial classification of the numbers registered as unemployed at employment and careers offices in Kilmarnock on 10 May 1979 and 12 August 1981, the latest date for which information is available.

    Analysis by SIC of numbers registered as unemployed in Kilmarnock
    12 August 198110 May 1979
    Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing8842

    12 August 1981

    10 May 1979

    Mining and Quarrying2721
    Food, Drink and Tobacco227108
    Coal and Petroleum Products5
    Chemical and Allied Industries3315
    Metal Manufacture2417
    Mechanical Engineering952153
    Instrument Engineering41
    Electrical Engineering128
    Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering912
    Vehicles9235
    Metal Goods not elsewhere specified10438
    Textiles456327
    Leather Goods and Fur61
    Clothing and Footwear7752
    Bricks, Pottery, Glass, Cement etc.23140
    Timber Furniture etc.278
    Paper Printing and Publishing2722
    Other Manufacturing Industries136
    Construction746427
    Gas, Electricity and Water1315
    Transport and Communication234107
    Distributive Trades505296
    Insurance, Banking, Finance, and Business Services8431
    Professional and Scientific Services16188
    Miscellaneous Services486288
    Public Administration and Defence356224
    Not Classified by Industry1,103555
    Grand Total6,1022,937

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the years in which there was (a) the lowest and (b) the highest average annual unemployment numbers and rates in the following periods in Kilmarnock:(i) 1950 to 1959, (ii) 1960 to 1969" (iii) 1970 to 1979 and (iv) 1979 to 1982.

    The information is set out in the following table:

    Year in which numbers registered as unemployed and percentage rates

    in Kilmarnock were:
    Period(a) Lowest(b) Highest
    1950–195919511959
    1960–196919661967
    1970–197919701979
    1979–198219791982

    Note: The above table has been complied on the basis of annual averages, with the exception of 1982 which relates only to the first quarter of the year.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total number of people unemployed in Ayrshire on average in 1966 and in 1981.

    The information is as follows:

    Numbers registered as unemployed in Ayrshire (annual average)
    19664,229
    198126,822

    Note: Ayrshire comprises the following employment office areas—Ayr, Troon, Cumnock, Girvan, Irvine, Kilwinning, Saltcoats, Kilmarnock. Largs and Kilbirnie.

    Redundancies

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in how many instances the Manpower Services Commission has been notified of redundancies involving 10 or more people taking place in Kilmarnock since may 1979; and how many jobs have been involved in total.

    There are no comprehensive statistics of redundancies. However, 41 instances of redundancy involving 10 or more people were notified to the Manpower Services Commission as due to occur in Kilmarnock between I May 1979 and 31 March 1982, with the loss of 5,051 jobs. These figures include redundancies leading to closure.

    Job Vacancies

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the current number of registered vacant jobs in Kilmarnock; what was the corresponding figure for May 1979; and if he will provide a breakdown by standard industrial classification in both cases.

    The following table shows an analysis by their standard industrial classification of the numbers of unfilled vacancies held at employment and careers offices in Kilmarnock on 4 May 1979 and on 5 February 1982, the latest date available.

    February 1982May 1979
    E0C0E0C0
    Agriculture, forestry and fishing1
    Food, drink, tobacco113
    Mechanical engineering73
    Vehicles1
    Metal goods not elsewhere specified22
    Textiles1441
    Clothing and footwear1
    Bricks, pottery, glass, cement, etc.1
    Paper, printing and publishing15
    Other manufacturing industries111
    Construction2327
    Gas, electricity and water21
    Transport and communication4
    Distributive trades191161
    Insurance, banking, finance and business services15
    Professional and scientific services5223
    Miscellaneous services221382
    Public administration and defence2358
    Grand Total16622308

    Note: Because of possible duplication, the figures for employment offices and careers offices should not be added together.

    Highland Craftpoint

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the Highlands and Islands Development Board contribution to Highland Craftpoint in the year ended 31 March 1982; and on what basis this and previous contributions have been made in terms of the formal arrangements anent financial assistance which came into effect in 1978.

    The Highlands and Islands Development Board provided grant amounting to £228,000 towards Highland Craftpoint Limited's operating costs in the year ended 31 March 1982. This grant assistance was given in accordance with the agreement dated July 1978 under which the board and the Scottish Development Agency—in the proportion of two-thirds and one-third, respectively—meet the annual operating costs of the centre after account is taken of the income earned by the company from trading, fees, charges and other sources.

    Rent And Rate Rebates

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, for the latest available date, what are the numbers of (a) retirement and (b) invalidity pensioners in Scotland in receipt of rent rebates and rate rebates, respectively.

    Information is available only for all pensioners. There were 173,000 pensioners in receipt of rent rebates at 30 September 1981. Rate rebates were received by 249,000 pensioners in 1980–81.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the numbers of local authority and private unfurnished tenants in Scotland receiving rent rebates and rent allowances, respectively, from April 1975 to the latest convenient date; and if he will express these figures as a percentage of those estimated to be eligible for each benefit.

    The information requested in respect of the year to 30 September 1981 is:

    Number
    Local authority tenants receiving rent rebates250,726
    Private tenants receiving rent allowances*19,589
    * Figures for private unfurnished tenancies are not available.
    The corresponding figures for earlier years are in Scottish Housing Statistics No. 15, page 8, a copy of which is in the Library.The latest survey information suggests that about three-quarters of eligible public sector tenants actually receive rent rebates.

    List D Schools

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many representations he has received opposing or asking him to reconsider his decision to terminate the advisory committee on list D Schools.

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will reconsider his decision to wind up the advisory committee on list D Schools.

    Private Beds

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many hospital beds within the Scottish Health Service are available to private patients; what percentage of Health Service beds this figure represents; and what was the estimated income from these beds in the year 1981–82.

    Homes Insulation

    asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is his latest estimate of the number of Scottish public sector houses which have (a) no loft insulation and (b) loft insulation which is not thick enough to meet current building regulation requirements; and if he will express the number as a percentage of all Scottish public sector housing;(2) what is his latest estimate of

    (a) the number and (b) the percentage of Scottish homes which have (i) no loft insulation or (ii) have loft insulation which is not thick enough to meet current building regulations requirements.

    My latest estimate, at 31 March 1981, is that the number of public sector houses with no loft insulation was approximately 180,000 and the number with some insulation but less than the current building regulation requirement was approximately 220,000. These figures taken together represent 38 per cent. of the public sector housing stock.Comparable figures for the private sector are not readily available.

    Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

    Namibia

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report the description of the system of proportional representation proposed for the Namibian Constitutional Assembly given by Lord Trefgarne in the House of Lords on 30 March, Official Report, c. 1276, together with any additional information he is now able to provide.

    The Namibia Five have proposed a mixed system for elections to the Namibian Constituent Assembly, under which half the members would be elected from single-member constituencies and half on a nationwide proportional representation basis. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State explained in a reply to the hon. Member on 2 April, details of the Five's proposals remain confidential between the parties.

    Falkland Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any persons normally resident in the United Kingdom but temporarily resident in the Falkland Islands as visitors or for some other purpose have not yet been evacuated from the Islands.

    A number of United Kingdom residents temporarily in the Falkland Islands at the time of the invasion by Argentina have since left. The Government is not in a position to say how many are still on the islands.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report any formal statements made by the European Community and by its member States, other than the United Kingdom, on the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

    All the member States of the European Community have supported the Government's position on the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands and their dependencies. The European Commission, the Presidency in the name of the Foreign Ministers of all the member States, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium and Greece have issued formal statements, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what notification he has received of actions taken by countries of the Commonwealth in support of Her Majesty's Government's decision to send the task force to the South Atlantic.

    The majority of Commonwealth countries have issued statements condemning the use of force by Argentina and have called for an Argentine withdrawal from the Falkland Islands. Three members of the Commonwealth have taken practical measures against Argentina in order to help bring about her withdrawal.

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the approximate resident population of the Falkland Islands for each decade, or other intervals for which the figures are conveniently available, during this century.

    The population in the census years 1901–1980 is as follows:

    YearPopulation
    19012,043
    19112,272
    19212,094
    19312,392
    19462,239
    19532,230
    19622,172
    19721,957
    19801,813

    South Sandwich Islands

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts have been made by Her Majesty's Government to remove the illegal presence of Argentinian nationals from the South Sandwich Islands since 1978.

    Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly protested to the Argentine Government, most recently at the Anglo-Argentine talks in New York in February 1982, about their illegal scientific station in Southern Thule. We have adhered to international law and the United Nations charter which requires disputes to be settled by peaceful means. Britain's legal position is fully protected.

    South America (British Citizens)

    asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a table showing the estimated number of people with British citizenship in each of the countries of South America.

    The latest figures we have are as follows:

    Number
    Argentina17,706
    Brazil10,753
    Chile3,191
    Colombia1,116

    Number

    Bolivia231
    Ecuador582
    Paraguay252
    Peru2,559
    Uruguay1,543
    Venezuela7,114

    Wales

    Livestock Marketing And Processing

    asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will give details of the grant recently approved for Newport Market Auctioneers (Gwent) through the "Programme for the Improvement of Livestock Marketing and the Processing of Livestock Products in Wales" drawn up by the Welsh Office Agriculture Department.

    A grant of £15,522 was awarded by the European Commission in December 1980 under regulation 355/77 for the improvement of a livestock market in Newport. Additionally, a United Kingdom grant of £4,967 has been awarded under the Agricultural Products Processing and Marketing (Improvement Grant) Regulation 1977.

    Forestry Commission Property