Written Answers To Questions
Friday 12 November 1982
Falkland Islands (United Nations Resolution)
asked the Prime Minister whether she will publish in the Official Report the text of the statement which she made in Paris on 4 November in reply to questions from representatives of the media on her views regarding the United States vote in support of the South American resolution at the United Nations concerning Argentina's claim for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
European Community (Regional And Social Funds)
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement about the Government's objectives in the review of the European Community's regional and social funds with a view to achieving the satisfactory outcome referred to in the Gracious Speech.
The Government's key objectives are that these funds should give greater priority to the current regional and social problems in the Community which particularly affect the United Kingdom. The regional fund should concentrate its resources more on the areas of greatest need while remaining flexible in its operational rules and administration; and the social fund could be made more effective in tackling the major employment problems facing the Community, specifically Youth unemployment and regions of persistently high unemployment.
"Alcoholic Policies" (Think Tank Report)
asked the Prime Minister if, given that it is now available abroad, she will publish the May 1979 Think Tank report on "Alcoholic Policies".
Young Persons (Education)
asked the Prime Minister whether she is satisfied with the existing arrangements for technical and vocational education for young people; and if she will make a statement.
Growing concern about existing arrangements has been expressed over many years, not least by the National Economic Development Council. I have asked the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission, together with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Education and Science, for Employment and for Wales, to develop a pilot scheme to start by September 1983, for new institutional arrangements for technical and vocational education for 14 to 18-year-olds, within existing financial resources, and, where possible, in association with local education authorities.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, how much was spent on redecorating Lambeth palace at each change of occupancy starting with Archbishop Ramsey; and if he will also express these sums in constant prices.
Lambeth palace, containing as it does the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is vested in the Church Commissioners, who are responsible for its care and maintenance. The amounts which were spent by the commissioners on redecorating the archbishop's lodging within the palace at each change of occupancy starling with Archbishop Ramsey are as follows. The figures are also presented at constant prices related to 1980 in accordance with the increase in the building indices.
|Cost||In constant prices|
|1961 Archbishop Ramsey||1,995||8,663|
|1974 Archbishop Coggan||2,743||4,910|
|1980 Archbishop Runcie||—||*12,434|
* Including a substantial sum directly related to rewiring.
asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, of those new churches opened for worship, if he will detail how many were consecrated and how many dedicated; and if he will list this information for each year since 1960, and present the data according to each diocese.
The Church Commissioners do not have any official responsibility for the maintenance of statistics about new churches. The outcome of a recent inquiry that the commissioners decided to make of their own initiative, however, was that by the end of 1981, 1,140 new churches had been opened since 1945 and that, of these, 303 had been opened since 1969—when the Pastoral Measure 1968 came into operation. I regret that the figures for the period from 1960 to the present day are not available; nor, except at disproportionate cost, is the information obtainable as to how many churches were consecrated and how many dedicated.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the level of increase in electricity prices in Scotland from 1 April 1983.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Energy, has announced today that he has agreed with the electricity supply industry in England and Wales that there should be no increase in the average level of electricity prices next year. I have asked the Scottish electricity boards to follow suit and they have agreed not to increase their average level of prices next year. Details of the tariffs which will apply from 1 April 1983 will be announced by the boards in due course. The cost will be accommodated within the boards' external financing limits, which have already been announced.I shall be discussing the implications of this announcement with the boards and shall announce financial targets and performance aims for the boards as soon as possible.
Marriage Conciliation Service
asked the Attorney-General when he expects his committee to report on a marriage conciliation service scheme; if he will give details of progress the committee is making; and if he will make a statement.
I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to her previous questions on this subject on 8 March 1982—Vol. 19, c. 348.]—and 15 June 1982—[Vol. 25, c. 240.]The committee of officials examining matrimonial conciliation services is expected to report to Ministers in March 1983.
asked the Attorney-General what funds the Lord Chancellor's Department gives the Bristol conciliation marriage scheme; how much he proposes to give it in the financial year 1983–84; and if he will ensure that the scheme can continue until his departmental committee has reported on this matter.
The Lord Chancellor has no power to provide direct funding to the Bristol scheme. The Government are considering a request for further funding.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the measures taken by Her Majesty's Government since May 1979 to achieve benefits from the European Economic Community for the United Kingdom.
The Government's aim in the European Community has been to sustain British interests within the wider context of seeking to advance and develop the Community as a whole. Measures have been taken in a wide variety of fields in accordance with this aim and it would not be practicable to list them. I refer my hon. Friend to the White Papers on developments in the European Community, which the Government publish at regular intervals. The latest in the series is due to be debated today.
Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what grants have been made by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to Turkey in the past five years.
Over the past five years the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has made grants totalling £40,000 to the Government of Turkey under its information programme. Grants have been made to individuals in Turkey for aerospace and scientific research. NATO also sends technical experts to Turkey under the science for stability programme.
British Indian Ocean Territory
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many workers from Mauritius and Seychelles have been used by the Government and British contractors and by the Government of the United States of America and American contractors, respectively, in the British Indian Ocean Territory for each year since 1967.
This information is not readily available. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aid has been given to Kwa Zulu in the past three years; and what further aid is proposed.
Since 1979 the British Government, through the Overseas Development Administration, have financed a modest programme of assistance for black South Africans, including those resident in Kwa Zulu. In the latter case, assistance has mainly taken the form of United Kingdom training awards for teachers of English language, mathematics and science. In addition we are funding the two-year appointment of a science education adviser and a short-term advisory visit of an English language training specialist. The approximate cost of this assistance is £30,000 in 1980–81, £58,000 in 1981–82 and an estimated £72,000 in the current financial year.It is anticipated that assistance will continue at about the present level.The British Council, which is partly funded from the aid programme, also provides assistance in Kwa Zulu through advisory visits, overseas courses and sponsored visits to Britain.
Accountants And Consultants
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the occasions on which his Department has used from outside the Civil Service (a) accountants, (b) management consultants and (c) other consultants since June 1979, giving in each case the dates and nature of the assignment, together with the names of the individuals, partnerships or institutions involved.
Details of consultancy assignments commissioned by the Welsh Office since June
|Name of Individual/Partnership||Status||Dates||Nature of Assignment|
|Arthur Anderson & Co.||Accountants||February 1981||Review of Welsh Water Authority charges.|
|Price Waterhouse||Accountants||December 1981–January 1982||Review of Welsh Water Authority budget submission for 1982–83.|
|Tyzack and Partners||Management Consultants||November 1981–13 April 1982||Recruitment of Chairman of the Welsh Water Authority|
|Spencer Stuart||Management Consultants||June 1982 continuing||Recruitment of Chariman of Welsh Development Agency|
|John Brown Tourism, Marketing and Development Services||Marketing||August 1982||Study of marketing and presentation of Ancient Monuments in Wales.|
|Water Research Centre||Hydrogeologists Consultant||January 1981||Llanreath Oil Storage Report—documentation of the hydrogeobgical conditions.|
|D. P. Sanders (Industrial) Ltd.||Structural Engineers||October 1981||Llanreath Oil Storage Report—oil storage tank survey.|
|National Building Agency (Wales)||1974–February 1982||Insulation of Public and Private Dwellings against traffic noise.|
|Bowen, Dann and Davies||Architects||June 1981 continuing||Insulation of public and private dwellings against traffic noise Bangor By-Pass.|
|Messrs. W. S. Atkins||Civil Engineers||June 1981 continuing||Insulation of public and private dwellings against traffic noise. Kilgetty/Stepaside By-Pass|
|Howard Humphries and Partners||Civil Engineers||February 1981 August 1982||Insulation of public and private dwellings against traffic noise. Llanbadarn Fawr By-Pass|
|Husband and Co.||Civil Engineers||August 1981 continuing||Insulation of public and private dwellings against traffic noise. Llanfair PG Anglesey By-Pass|
|Professor G. Margerison Dr. K. Karabadsi Cranfield School of Management||Consultants||October 30–31 1982||Seminar for Health Service Chairman or Representativs on Managemen of Change in NHS. Preparation for reorganisation.|
|Consultants for major trunk road improvements and motorways schemes|
|Consultants||Number of commissions* since June 1979|
|W. S. Atkins & Partners||16|
|C. H. Dobbie & Partners||1|
|Freedman Fox & Partners||2|
|Sir William Halcrow & Partners||1|
|Howard Humphreys & Partners||24|
|Husband & Co.||3|
|Mander Raikes & Marshall||3|
|L. C. Mouchel & Partners||2|
|Ove Amp & Partners||3|
|Rendel Palmer & Tritton||3|
|R. Travers Morgan & Partners||4|
|Wallace Evans & Partners||2|
|Ward Ashcroft & Parkman||1|
|Sir Owen Williams & Partners||5|
|James Williamson & Partners||1|
|Wardell Armstrong & Partners||1|
|Gifford & Partners||1|
|Veryard & Partners||1|
|Consultant Landscape Architects|
|Derek Lovejoy & Partners||2|
|Wyn Thomas & Partners||3|
|William Gillespie & Partners||2|
1979 are in the following tables. To provide fuller details of consultants used for major trunk road improvements and motorway schemes would involve disproportionate cost.
Number of commissions* since June 1979
|R. T. M. Planning||1|
|Janie Thomas Associates||1|
|Gareth D. West||1|
* The numbers of commissions are not indicative of the value of the works commissioned.
Education And Science
North Cheshire College
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what criteria he used in arriving at his decision to close initial teacher training at North Cheshire college, Warrington; what savings will be made by this decision; and what other courses at North Cheshire college, other than teacher training, will be affected.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Cartwright) on 9 November 1982.—[Vol. 31, c. 118.] The reduction of intakes to initial teacher training will contribute to the planned contraction of higher education expenditure nationally. It is for the college and its maintaining local education authority in the first instance to identify what savings may be secured and which other courses will be affected at the college.
Transfer Of Children
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list those local education authorities whose systems involve the transfer of children from first to middle schools at or before the age of nine years.
In January 1982, the latest date for which figures are readily available, 45 local education authorities had systems which included the transfer of children to middle schools at or before the age of nine. These authorities are as follows, together with the age(s) of transfer and, in brackets, the number of schools involved.
|Dudley||8 (2) and 9 (5)|
|Doncaster||8 (24) and 9 (13)|
|Kirklees||8 (7) and 9 (8)|
|Leeds||8 (4) and 9 (62)|
|Wakefield||8(11) and 9(26)|
|North Tyneside||9 (20)|
|Berkshire||8 (17) and 9 (6)|
|Buckinghamshire||8 (71) and 9 (4)|
|Devon||8 (12) and 9 (5)|
|Dorset||8 (11) and 9 (16)|
|East Sussex||8 (25)|
|Hereford and Worcester||8 (4) and 9 (34)|
|Humberside||8 (19) and 9 (56)|
|Isle of Wight||9 (16)|
|Staffordshire||9 (35) and 9 (36)|
|Surrey||8 (118) and 9 (3)|
|West Sussex||8 (17) and 9 (2)|
Accountants And Consultants
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the occasions on which his Department has used from outside the Civil Service (a) accountants, (b) management consultants and (c) other consultants since June 1979, giving in each case the dates and nature of the assignment, together with the names of the individuals, partnerships or institutions involved.
The information is as follows:
|Directorate of Telecommunications|
|July 1979–October 1980||Automatic vehicle location||Laserscan Laboratories Ltd.|
|July 1979–July 1982||Compatible single sideband||University of Leeds|
|February-May 1980||Mobile date highway||Cambridge Consultants Ltd.|
|March-December 1980||Mobile data interface||Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd.|
|March-September 1980||Mobile data interface||Focom Systems Ltd.|
|June-September 1980||Mobile date interface||ITT Ltd.|
|July-October 1980||Automatic VHF survey||Laserscan Laboratories Ltd.|
|July-August 1980; October 1980||Motor cycle helmets, wind tunnel tests||University of Southampton|
|September 1980–March 1981||Multi-modulation, mobile radio||Pye Telecoms Ltd.|
|November 1980–May 1982||Foreign broadcasting interference||Laserscan Laboratories Ltd.|
|January 1981–April 1982||Link measuring techniques||Cambridge Consultants Ltd.|
|January 1981–(continuing)||Spread spectrum signalling||University of Leeds|
|November 1981||Line synchronisation study||University of Bath|
|January 1982; September 1982||Computing aids for radio frequency planning||PE Consulting Group|
|January-February 1982||Aerial testing||Underwater Technology and Scientific Consultants|
|February 1982||Management information for frequency conversion programme||Systems Designers Ltd.|
|February 1982–(continuing)||Interference analysis, mobile radio services||University of Southampton|
|July 1982–(continuing)||Vehicle container for radio equipment||International Automotive Design Ltd. ERA Technology Ltd.|
|August 1982||Mobile data communications||Plessey Electronic Systems Ltd. Preece, Cardew and Rider Ltd. Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd.|
|November 1982||Equaliser computation||University of Bath|
|Police National Computer Unit|
|July 1979–1980||Engineering services||J.H. Buckle and Partners|
|October 1981||Cooling capacity of air conditioning equipment||Matthew Hall|
|June 1982||Stand-by Battery condition||Tungsten Batteries|
|Scientific, Research and Development Branch|
|July 1979||Scientific advice to Brance||Professor R. J Elliot|
|July 1979||Scientific advice to Branch||Professor K. W. H. Stevens|
|July 1979–September 1981||Scientific advice to Branch||Dr. C. S. G. Phillips|
|July 1979–March 1981||Scientific advice to Branch||Professor B. H. P. Rivett|
|Forensic Science Service|
|July 1979–August 1984||Advice on research and development||Professor D. J. Gee|
|July 1979–(continuing)||Advice on research and development||Professor Dr. B. W. Langley ICI Ltd.|
|January 1982–(continuing)||Advice on research and development||Professor J. M. Thomas|
|RESEARCH AND PLANNING UNIT|
|July 1979–September 1981||General advice to unit||Professor A. B Cherns|
|September 1979||Criminological issues||Professor Norval Morris|
|October 1979–September 1982||Operational research||Professor B. H. P Rivett|
|November 1980; April 1981||Crime Survey||Dr. W. G. Skogan|
|September 1981–August 1982||Crime Survey||Ms. Hazel Genn|
|December 1981–May 1982||Crime survey||Mr. Clive Payne|
|January 1982–June 1982||Magistrates' courts research||Mr. Tom Church|
|April 1982–(continuing)||General advice||Professor B. Abel-Smith|
|May 1982||Criminological research||Professor M. Wolfgang|
|September 1982||Resource allocation||Dr. D. K. H. Begg|
|January 1980, November 1980, September 1981 and August 1982||Technical and commercial advice to the Directorate of Industries and Farms||Spiralux Ltd.|
|January-February 1980, November 1980; January-March 1982 April–1980; September–1980; January 1981||Technical and commercial advice to the Directorate of Industries and Farms||Furniture Industry Research Association Lyken Electronics Ginburka International Jern Holdings Ltd.|
|May 1981||Technical and commercial advice to the Directorate of Industries and Farms||Euro Projection Ltd.|
|September 1982||Technical and commercial advice to the Directorate of Industries and Farms||Large and Associates Ltd.|
|1980–(continuing)||Advice to the Prison Department on a costing system and to the Directorate of Industries and Farms on organisational structure, management information and accountancy systems and profitability||Arthur Young, McClelland, Moores and Company*†|
|July 1979–April 1980||Advice on propagation in relation to radio-communication||Dr. J. A. Saxton|
|May 1981||Adevice on propagation in relation to radio-communication||Dr. J. A. Lane|
|January 1980||London taxi costs||Dixon, Wilson and Co.*|
|April-July 1981||Police expenditure||Coopers and Lybrand Associates Ltd†|
|November 1981||Dissolution and distribution of funds of licensing compensation authorities||Mr. P. J. Dickerson Howard Tilly and Co.|
|December 1981||Horserace betting levy scheme||Mr. R. N. D. Langdon, Spicer and Pegler*|
|March 1982||Frequency assignment and licensing computer system||Mr. M. N. Williams LA Computer Service|
|March 1982||Magistrates' courts criminal statistics computerisation||Sound Techniques Ltd.|
† Management Consultants
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received opposing the current White Paper on immigration; and if he will make a statement.
Since the White Paper was published we have received about 80 letters from Members of Parliament, most of whom were writing on behalf of constituents, and about 500 letters from members of the public opposing the White Paper proposals for revision of the immigration rules.
Police (Baton Round Training)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police authorities refuse to provide their forces with training in the use of baton rounds in accordance with his policy that these should be available for use as a last resort in the event of serious breakdowns in public order.
It is chief officers of police who arrange training in the use of baton round equipment. There is no central record of the arrangements; but we are not aware that any chief officer who wishes to make such arrangements has been asked by his police authority not to do so.
Metropolitan Police Area (Vigilante Groups)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any evidence of self-styled vigilante groups financed in part or whole out of public funds interfering in the operations of the Metropolitan Police; what is his policy towards the establishment within the Metropolitan Police area of private police monitoring groups; and if he will make a statement.
We know that there are some groups which claim that they act as vigilantes, although we do not know how they are funded. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and his officers will take whatever action may be necessary if there is evidence that members of any such group have acted in breach of the criminal law. We do not believe that the approach of so-called monitoring groups is the right or effective way to improve relations between the police and the community. My right hon. Friend has already made clear his desire to see a development of consultation arrangements in each borough which include a wide cross-section of representatives and the police themselves.
Private Swimming Pools
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young children have drowned in unsupervised private swimming pools since 1975; and whether he will introduce legislation to provide greater protection.
Published drowning statistics cover only the years 1975 to 1980 and are not broken down to show this category of drowning deaths; but it has been possible to extract the following data for the years 1978 to 1980:
|Deaths by drowning of children aged 14 or under at unsupervised private swimming pools|
Animals (Medical Experiments)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has to report on updating the 1876 Act on experiments on live animals; whether this will take the form of the draft Council of Europe convention and be subject to debate in the House before signature; and if he has taken cognisance of the proposals at the recent conference of the fund for the replacement of animals in medical experiments, copies of which have been sent to him.
The Government intend to improve and modernise the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 when final agreement has been reached on the draft Council of Europe convention on this subject and parliamentary time permits. Substantial progress has already been made in drafting the convention, but some matters remain to be settled and these will be considered by the ad hoc committee of exports from 23 to 26 November. The complete text will then be submitted to the Committee of Ministers for approval. In the meantime we are continuing our study of detailed proposals for giving effect to this intention with particular reference to the provisions of the draft convention. Our plans for carrying the matter forward will be announced when the study is completed. We have taken note of the proposals contained in the preliminary report of the toxicity committee of the fund for the replacement of animals in medical experiments.
European Parliament (Voting System)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he anticipates that the European Economic Community Council of Ministers will give effect to the proposals passed by the European Parliament for implementing a common voting system for elections to that body.
The Council of Ministers is still considering the European Parliament's proposals with a view to deciding whether it should recommend them to member States for adoption. It is too early to say when it will reach a decision.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards Council of Europe document 4934 on the voting rights for nationals of Council of Europe member States with particular reference to an early extension of the United Kingdom franchise to Britons living abroad.
While the proposals in Document 4934, as subsequently amended and adopted by the Assembly of the Council of Europe, are not primarily directed to the extension of voting rights by Governments of member States to their nationals resident in other member States, the Government are sympathetic to them. We also accept that there is a strong case for giving the vote to British citizens resident abroad. This is a complex issue, and we welcome the decision of the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs to examine it as part of its inquiry this Session into the Representation of the People Acts.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Hove on 22 October, Official Report, c 226., whether he will give his reasons for not establishing an inquiry into shop hours.
The relevant considerations are already well known, and there is no reason to suppose that an inquiry would make the issues easier to resolve.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was, for each of the last five years, the number of suicides and the number of attempted suicides of persons detained in prison;(2) what were the numbers of suicides or attempted suicides in each of the past five years of persons in the population as a whole, other than those in prison.
Information on the number of suicides in prison department establishments for the last 11 years is published in "Prison statistics England and Wales"—table 10·4 of the volume for 1981, Cmnd. 8654.In relation to the population as a whole, the numbers of verdicts of suicide returned at coroners' inquests in England and Wales in the same years were published in table 5 of Home Office Statistical Bulletin, issue No. 23/82 on 9 November 1982. Figures are not collected centrally on the number of attempted suicides in prison department establishments or for the population as a whole.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of cases coming before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for each month over the past three years to the nearest convenient month; and what are the longest, shortest and average times taken for applications to be dealt with.
The number of applications received by the board in each month of the last three complete financial years is as follows:
* Provisional figures.
Information about the time taken to resolve cases is not available precisely in the form requested, but the following indication of the time taken to deal with cases resolved in the last three years may be helpful.
1979–80 per cent.
1980–81 per cent.
1981–82* per cent.
|3 months or less||1·8||4·0||5·3|
1979–80 per cent.
1980–81 per cent.
1981–82* per cent.
|Over 3 but not more than 6 months||22·7||30·0||31·6|
|Over 6 but not more than 9 months||31·6||26·4||29·9|
|Over 9 but not more than 12 months||18·7||15·9||15·1|
|Over 12 months||25·2||23·7||18·1|
* Provisional figures.
The longest outstanding application is one received on 29 April 1968 from a very seriously injured man who received a first award within a month and has since received 12 further interim awards. The application is being reviewed annually in the applicant's interests because of the instability of his medical condition.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is yet in a position to announce any further contracts for the Sea Eagle missile; and if he will make a statement.
A further order is currently under consideration.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what additional construction and engineering work, and its total cost, will be required at Coulport following his announcement on 9 September; and what land, if any, on the Roseneath peninsula will not now be required for the project.
As my right hon. Friend announced on 9 September, the decision to process our Trident missiles in United States facilities will give rise to major savings. The precise scale of the reduced facilities that we shall now need at Coulport, and their cost, and the requirement for land, are still under detailed study.
Raf Honington (Tornado Force)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he is making to provide suitable accommodation for the increasing number of airmen and their families who will be required to live within reasonable distance of RAF Honington in connection with the building of the Tornado force.
There are sufficient modern airmen's married quarters available to accommodate all the Service men to be based at RAF Honington. However, a number of airmen and their families are at present located further away from Honington than we would wish and it is hoped to be able to move a major proportion of these closer to the station during the next 18 months or so.
Ulster Defence Regiment
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the number of full-time and part-time members of the Ulster Defence Regiment in each battalion as at 1 November 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982.
The numbers of full and part-time members in the Ulster Defence Regiment on the dates mentioned are as follows. It is not the practice to give detailed breakdowns by battalions:
|1 November 1979||2,534||4,909|
|1 November 1980||2,696||4,846|
|1 November 1981||2,742||4,632|
|1 November 1982||2,784||4,307|
* Excluding Regular Army.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans any reduction or increase in the establishment of the Ulster Defence Regiment, either full-time or part-time. in the next 12 months.
I have no such plans.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many patrols were carried out by each battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment in the months of September 1982 and October 1982 and in the same months in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
It is not the practice to disclose this information.
Falkland Islands (Military Commissioner)
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will state the powers and responsibilities of the military commissioner for the Falkland Islands.
The military commissioner's powers are set out in the Falkland Islands and Dependencies (Interim Administration) Order 1982—S.I. 824/1982 dated 18 June 1982.It is the task of the military commissioner to protect the Falkland Islands and their dependencies against external aggression. This includes the safety of shipping around the islands. Subject to his operational and other military commitments, he also has the task of providing assistance to the civil authorities in the rehabilitation of the civil community and the maintenance of essential public services. He attends the Falkland Islands Executive and Legislative Council meetings to represent the military view. There are arrangements to ensure close consultation between the military and civil commissioners.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the response of the Zimbabwe Government regarding allegations of ill-treatment of several members of the Zimbabwe air force, at present under detention, during his talks on his recent visit to that country.
I was told that the Zimbabwean Government do not accept the allegations of mistreatment but that the facts would be established when the detainees were brought to trial.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what ships were brought back into service from the standby squadron or from the disposal list as a result of the South Atlantic campaign.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to our hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) on 27 May.—[Vol. 24, c. 396–97.]
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the warships referred to in his answer of 8 November, Official Report, c. 88–89, will be assigned to the standby squadron.
On current plans, four. However, these plans remain flexible, especially in the light of the Falklands operation.
Company Liquidations (Wales)
asked the Minister for Trade how many industrial and commercial companies in Wales have gone into liquidation since 1 January 1980.
I regret that figures of company liquidation are only available for England and Wales together. In addition, the existing industrial analysis does not provide a clear distinction between industrial and commercial companies and financial companies.
Invisible Exports (Study)
asked the Minister for Trade whether he will place in the Library a copy of the study commissioned by his Department from the Committee on Invisible Exports, concerning the removal of barriers to free trade in services.
asked the Minister for Trade whether it is his intention to establish a body to monitor imports.
asked the Minister for Trade what stage the European Economic Community proposal to change the brewers' tied house system has now reached.
[pursuant to his reply, 11 November 1982, c. 203]: I understand the Commission is now proposing to extend the existing regulation—which grants a block exemption to exclusive dealing and exclusive purchasing agreements—for six months or a year beyond its present expiry date of 31 December 1982. This will allow more time for discussion of the proposed successor regulations.
Tax Break-Even Points
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the figures on tax break-even points provided in his reply of 30 March to the hon. Member for Wolwich, West, Official Report, c.100–1, in the light of the latest information on earnings levels.
The information, including small revisions to some of the index numbers for 1981–82, is as follows:
|Threshold at current prices||£1,375||£1,565|
|Threshold at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||108·2||115·1|
|Threshold as percentage of average manual earnings:||20·6 per cent.||21·5 per cent.|
|Married Man without children|
|Threshold at current prices||£2,145||£2,445|
|Threshold at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||106·0||112·9|
|Threshold as percentage of average manual earnings||32·1 per cent.||33·5 per cent.|
|Married Man with two children under 11|
|Threshold at current prices||£2,145||£2,445|
|Threshold at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||66·8||71·1|
|Threshold as percentage of average manual earnings||32·1 per cent.||33·5 per cent.|
|Tax free income at current prices||2,658||3,014|
|Tax free income at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||79·9||84·6|
|Tax free income as percentage of average income*||36·9 per cent.||38·3 per cent.|
|Break even point at current prices||3,855||4,341|
|Break even point at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||97·6||102·6|
|Break even point as percentage of average manual earnings||57·6 per cent.||59·5 per cent.|
|Married Man with four children†|
|Threshold at current prices||·2,145||£2,445|
|Threshold at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||50·0||53·2|
|Threshold as percentage of annual manual earnings||32·1 per cent.||33·5 per cent.|
|Tax free income at current prices||3,171||3,583|
|Assumed indexation percentage for 1983–84||Difference in levels* for||Extra tax payable per year by basic rate† taxpayer entitled to|
|Married man's allowance||Aged married allowance||Married man's allowance||Aged married allowance|
* These amounts represent the difference in 1983–84 between the level of allowance if (a) the whole allowance were indexed by the appropriate percentage and (b) if only that part of the allowance equivalent to the corresponding single allowance were indexed. The rules for rounding set out in section 24 of the Finance Act 1980 have been followed in each case.
† Assuming a basic rate of 30 per cent.
Mortgage Interest (Tax Relief)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the saving in 1983–84 if the tax relief on mortgage interest were reduced to the same rate as that on life insurance premiums.
The saving in a full year at 1982–83 income levels and current mortgage interest rate levels is estimated at £1,100 million. As a result of the fall in interest rates, this figure has been revised downwards from the estimate given in my answer to the hon. Member for Barking (Miss Richardson) on 19 April.—[Vol.22, c. 8.] The estimate does not include the effect of corresponding change in the option mortgage scheme. Estimates for 1983–84 of the total cost of mortgage interest relief, and
|Tax free income at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||68·5||72·2|
|Tax free income as percentage of average income*||41·1 per cent.||42·5 per cent.|
|Break even point at current prices||5,565||6,237|
|Break even point at 1949–50 prices (index) 1949–50=100||93·2||97·5|
|Break even point as percentage of average manual earnings||83·2 per cent.||85·5 per cent.|
* Average income for the financial year is defined as the average earnings of a full time adult male worker plus child benefit as appropriate.
† Two children under 11; one child aged between 11 and 15; one child 16 or over.
Married Man's Tax Allowance
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the saving in the financial year 1983–84, if only the first £1,565 of the married man's tax allowance were uprated in line with the increase in the retail price index under the formula introduced in section 22(2) of the Finance Act 1977, assuming that that increase is (a) 6·5 per cent., (b) 6 per cent., (c) 5·5 per cent. and (d) 5 per cent.; how much of that saving would be attributable to those below the age of 65 years; and what would be the net losses to married men in each case.
The difference between allowances levels on the assumptions stated is shown in the following table. The loss for a married mart paying tax at the basic rale is also shown. Broad estimates of the corresponding total revenue savings at 1983–84 income levels can be obtained using the "ready reckoner" published at table 5·5 of the autumn statement. About 85 per cent. of the total saving would be attributable to men below the age of 65.hence of the saving if the rate of relief were reduced, cannot be provided until income tax rates, allowances and thresholds for that year have been fixed.
Customs And Excise Staff
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Customs and Excise staff were in post at each of the following ports: Harwich, Dover, Folkestone and Newhaven on or about 1 January 1973 and on the most recent date for which information is available.
The numbers of Customs and Excise staff employed at the four ports on 31 December 1972 and 1 November 1982 were:
|31 December 1972||1 November 1982|
Child Tax Allowances And Benefits
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update to 1981–82 and 1982–83 the figures on child
|Value of the child tax allowance/child benefit for a married man on average earnings as a percentage of gross earnings of manual workers|
|Under 11 years||3·0||3·1||3·7||4·0||3·6||3·8||3·9|
|Between 11–16 years||3·3||3·4||4·0||4·0||3·6||3·8||3·9|
|Over 16 years||3·6||3·6||4·2||4·0||3·6||3·8||3·9|
|Under 11 years||6·8||6·6||7·4||7·9||7·3||7·7||7·8|
|Between 11–16 years||7·5||7·2||8·0||7·9||7·3||7·7||7·8|
|Over 16 years||8·1||7·7||8·4||7·9||7·3||7·7||7·8|
|Two under 11 years, two 11–16 years||15·2||14·2||15·4||15·8||14·5||15·3||15·6|
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update for the 1983–84 tax year the information on tax cuts provided in his reply of 21 December 1981 to the hon. Member for Hornchurch, (Mr. Squire) Official Report, c. 300.
The estimated full-year cost at 1983–84 income levels of a reduction of 1p in the basic rate of income tax—after indexation of allowances and thresholds by 6 per cent.—is given as £975 million in table 5·5 of the autumn statement 1982. The effect of this change and that of increasing the main personal allowances or child benefit at the same overall cost is shown in the following table. The calculations have been carried out on the same basis as in the previous answer. Average earnings are for full-time adult males—all occupations. For illustration, growth of 6† per cent. between 1982–83 and 1983–84 has been assumed.
|Increase in net income (£ per week)|
|Level of earnings||1p cut in basic rate||Increased personal allowances||Increased child benefit for two child family|
|1½ x Average||2·12||0·81||3·50|
Customs And Excise
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report,the Customs and Excise notice No. 457; if he will state his policy with regard to this notice in respect of small printing establishments, such as The Bingo Ticket Company Ltd. of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, which has a large market of small users; and if he will make a statement.
tax allowances and child benefits provided in his reply of 14 January 1980 to the hon. Member for Barking (Miss Richardson) Official Report, c. 640–43.
The information, including some revisions to earlier years, is as follows. Figures for 1982–83 are provisional.
Customs and Excise notice No. 457 is 15 pages long and copies can be obtained from the office of any collector of Customs and Excise. The notice offers general guidance on legal obligations relating to bingo duty and has no direct relevance to the activities of small printing establishments. I am arranging for a copy of the notice to be sent to my hon. Friend.I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the requirements relating to the numbering of bingo cards. Hitherto registered bingo promoters have largely been commercial bingo clubs and have been required by Customs and Excise to use numbered cards in a series of not less than 99,999; but there has been no similar requirement for members' clubs and societies providing bingo exempt from duty. Under the provisions of the Finance Act 1982 some clubs and societies have become liable for bingo duty for the first time. For control purposes it is necessary for these clubs to adopt numbered cards; but Customs and Excise has agreed to representations that a series of not less than 9,999 with two additional letters should be acceptable in place of the series of 99,999 which licensed bingo clubs are required to use. Printing requirements should not be substantially changed: the large majority of members' clubs and all licensed bingo clubs will continue with the same form of cards as they have used until now.
Republic Of Ireland (Coin Frauds)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any discussions have taken place with the Government of the Republic of Ireland about the danger of fraud arising out of the fact that, despite their present disparity in value, coins of the United Kingdom and of the Republic are of identical weight and dimensions; and whether any action is proposed to avert the danger of such fraud.
No formal discussions have taken place with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on this subject. The fraudulent use of such coins in the United Kingdom may to some extent have been increased by the divergence of exchange rates between the pound sterling and the Irish pound which has taken place in recent years. But the problem is not on a sufficient scale to warrant the high cost of any special action which might be taken. We are of course keeping the form of our own coinage relative to that of other countries, including the Republic of Ireland, constantly under review.
Public Service Pensions (Indexation)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the percentage increase over the previous year in each year since 1965 of the gross national product, the retail price index and the amount of the uprating of public service pensions; and, in each, what were the reasons stated for the uprating.
I shall let my hon. Friend have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, taking the value of the £1 as 100 in 1964, what was its value in each succeeding year to 1982.
[pursuant to his reply, 11 November 1982, c. 241]: Taking the internal purchasing power of the £ sterling as 100p in 1964, its average value in each succeeding year is given in the following table:
|NHS Directly Employed Staff: Great Britain (Whole time equivalents)|
|Medical and dental||19,900||27,500||43,700||44,900||45,900|
|Nursing and midwifery||235,800||290,500||432,800||448,800||474,500|
|Professional and technical||24,100||40,700||72,000||74,200||77,900|
|Administrative and clerical||39,700||59,500||117,800||120,500||124,400|
1. The classification of staff groups in 1960 and 1970 differ in some respects from later years.
2. Community health service staff are not included in the figures for 1960 and 1970.
3. Figures for 1960 are a mixture of numbers and whole-time equivalent staff, and for other years whole-time equivalent only.
4. The slight discrepancy between the figures shown for individual staff groups and the totals arises through independent rounding of the figures in each group.
5. All figures exclude DEB and PPA staff. Medical and dental staff excludes locums and Nursing and Midwifery staff excludes Agency staff. This is because comparable figures over the whole period are not available.
Agriculture, Fisheries And Food
Historic Fishing Rights
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what historic rights have been conceded to British vessels and where by (a) France, (b) Holland and (c) Denmark in the waters up to 12 miles round their coasts.
* Based on information for the first nine months of the year.
National Health Service (Staff)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1), pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 23 November 1981, Official Report, columns 269–70, if he will publish similar details of National Health Service directly employed staff in Great Britain for 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1981;(2) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 31 July 1981,
Official Report, c. 695, if he will provide a breakdown of the staff increases into doctors, nurses, administrators and ancillary workers for 1979, 1980 and at the latest date available.
I have been asked to reply. Following is the information requested:
In relation to the arrangements envisaged for the period after 1 January 1983 to which my right hon. Friend referred in his statement to the House on 27 October, in the six to 12-mile belt of the countries mentioned United Kingdom vessels would have the following rights:
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will require that vessels participating in the new scheme of aid for the fishing industry must have 75 per cent. British, or 75 per cent. European Economic Community crews.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 8 November to my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Sir P Wall).—[Vol. 31, c. 62.]
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the average level of British fishing as compared to the new quota allocations under the common fisheries agreement for each of the last four years, together with his estimate of the increase in the size of the British fishing fleet which would be necessary to allow the United Kingdom to catch its full quotas.
The figures requested are as follows for those stocks for which the proposed United Kingdom allocation was altered in the compromise proposals put forward by the Commission during the meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 26 October.
|Stock||Average Catch (1978–81)||Proposed Quota 19820|
|(thousand tonnes)||(thousand tonnes)|
|North Sea cod||102||114·7|
|North Sea haddock||77·5||117·1|
|West of Scotland haddock||14·3||30·7|
|West of Scotland herring||*33·9||40|
|Southern North Sea herring||*0·2||21|
* Catches taken in 1981 only.
Note: The proposed 1982 quotas for North Sea cod and North Sea haddock are dependent on negotiations with Norway.
The capacity of the United Kingdom fishing fleet should be adequate to catch the quotas proposed for 1982.
European Community (Modernisation And Construction Grants)
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will supply further details of the advantageous system of modernisation and construction grants to be provided by the European Economic Community, as mentioned in his statement of 27 October, Official Report, c. 1052; and whether these grants will be made conditional on decommissioning.
Nine of the ten member States of the European Community have agreed a number of measures as part of a revised Common Fisheries Policy one of which would provide for Community financed aid towards projects to modernise or build fishing vessels of between 12 metres and 33 metres in length. Priority would be given to bringing modernised or new vessels into service to replace old vessels, and to vessels based in coastal areas where fishing is traditionally an important economic activity. Expenditure by the Community of 118 million ECUs is envisaged over a three-year period.Detailed arrangements to implement these grants remain to be agreed by the Council of Ministers.
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the amount of European Economic Community subsidies per unit of sale now being paid to United Kingdom exporters of foodstuffs under the common agricultural policy to (a) other European Economic Community members and (b) third world countries.
MCA refunds on United Kingdom exports to other Community member States, before taking account of MCAs paid or charged on imports into other member States, and net refunds on United Kingdom exports to third countries for the main products, at the rates applicable on 5 November, are shown in the following table:
|Commodity and CCT Heading||Exports to other member States MCA refund P/lb||Exports to third countries Net United Kingdom export refund* P/lb|
|Common Wheat (10.01B1)||•0·60||†2·47|
|White Sugar (17.01A1B)||║1·67||‡10·16|
|Butter 82–84 per cent. fat content (04.03 EXAIV)||10·50||41·82|
|Cheddar Cheese (04.04 El(b)EX1)||8·17||35·62|
|Skimmed Milk Powder (04.02A11B1)||4·39||15·17|
|Poultry Meat 70 per cent. Chickens (02.02A1B)||1·18||▀6·32|
* Converted from ECUs at the representative rate of 1 ECU = £0·618655 and multiplied by the monetary coefficient of 0·893. the resultant figure has been increased by the MCA which currently acts as an export subsidy.
† Selected destinations only; different rates are normally available for other destinations under the tendering system.
‡ Different rates may be available under the tendering system.
║ Does not apply to "C" quota sugar.
¶ Refunds vary greatly according to the category of animal, type of meat, etc. It is not possible to give a representative figure.
≥ Exports of wheat and barley to Italy, by sea, are subject to an additional subsidy of 2 ECU/tonne.
▀ Applies to all destinations except United States of America.
Training Opportunities Programme (Age Limits)
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list all training opportunities programme scheme courses with age limits indicating (a) current limits and (b) any previous limits.
An applicant for a training opportunities scheme course must be 19 or over at the start of the course or, for post-graduate courses, 27. For entry to certain courses higher minimum ages are specified, either nationally or as being appropriate to local needs. For a limited number of courses, applicants over a certain age may not be considered, for example for safety reasons. To gather comprehensive information on current and previous age limits would entail a disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will bring up to date the information in his answer of 1 December 1981, Official Report, c. 80, concerning the number of long-term unemployed.
The following is the information for the United Kingdom at October 1982.
|Duration of unemployment||Number|
|Over 52 and up to 104 weeks||693,290|
|Over 104 and up to 156 weeks||278,523|
|Over 156 weeks||197,745|
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many school leavers who ceased full-time education in the borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, during the school years 1980–81 and 1981–82, respectively, have not yet found full-time employment; and, in respect of each year, how many are currently registered for industrial training on State schemes.
The information requested is not available because statistics on school leaver unemployment are not analysed according to the year in which young people left school. However, the total number of school leavers under 18 years of age registered as unemployed in the borough of Knowsley on 14 October was 1,578. Training is provided for unemployed school leavers under the youth opportunities programme, but figures of those currently on the programme in particular local authority areas are not available.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many school leavers who ceased full-time education in the United Kingdom during the school years 1980–81 and 1981–82, respectively, have not yet found full-time employment; and, in respect of each year, how many are currently registered for industrial training on State schemes.
The information requested is not available because statistics on school leaver unemployment are not analysed according to the year in which young people left school. However, the total number of school leavers under 18 years of age registered as unemployed in Great Britain on 14 October was 197,310.Training is provided for unemployed school leavers under the youth opportunities programme. The number of school leavers on the programme is not known, but the total number of places occupied in Great Britain at the end of September was 252,100. All but a few of these places would have been occupied by young people who left school in 1981 or 1982.In addition Government measures to support apprentice training will be assisting 35,000 young people this year.
National Dock Labour Board
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will publish in the Official Report as much detailed information as may be readily available showing the amounts of indebtedness of the National Dock Labour Board in respect of money borrowed for financial assistance towards the financing of severance payments to registered dock workers; what payments have been made for the stated number of clock workers and the amounts paid per docker; and on what basis such payments have been made.
The total current indebtedness of the National Dock Labour Board in respect of voluntary severance schemes for registered dock workers is £71·8 million, made up of three Government loans totalling £69·8 million and bank overdraft of £2 million.During 1982 severance payments totalling £59·8 million have so far been made to 2,777 registered dock workers, an average payment of £21,520 per worker.The severance payments are administered by the National Dock Labour Board and are on terms established in agreements reached by the national joint council for the port transport industry.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what questions are asked of unemployment payment benefit claimants on form UB671; and for what purposes the answers are required.
The form UB671 is issued to unemployment benefit claimants who have indicated on their basic claim form that they are placing some restrictions upon their availability for work. The questions are:
Are you able and willing to take a full-time job?
If "NO" please give the reason and state against each clay the hours you can work.
Can you start a new job immediately?
If "NO" please say why and when you can start.
Are you willing to take a job in your usual occupation?
Are you willing to take some other kind of job?
If "YES" please say what.
What was your weekly wage or salary, before deduction, in your last job?
What is the minimum weekly wage or salary you are willing to take?
Are you willing to travel anywhere to work?
If "NO" please state where you are willing to work (eg "home-town only", "within daily travelling distance")
Do you have your own transport?
Do you have any children or anyone else who needs your care during working hours?
The answers are required to determine whether a claimant is available for work and therefore eligible for unemployment benefit.If "YES" will you be able to make arrangements for their care if you get a job?
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what changes have been made to the procedures for questioning claimants for unemployment benefit and to the question asked; and why these were made.
To qualify for Unemployment Benefit claimants must be available for work. Following the Government's decision to make registration for work at jobcentres voluntary, the initial test of availability has been transferred from the jobcentre to the unemployment benefit office. As a result the test is now written rather than oral, but the law on this subject has not been changed and the questions remain much the same as they were before.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what questions are asked of those claiming unemployment benefit concerning the day care of their children; and for what purpose;(2) what guidance is given to officers of unemployment benefit offices concerning the advice they should give to claimants about the care of children.
Claimants who indicate some restriction on their availability for work are asked questions about the care of their children in order to decide whether the restrictions they are placing on their availability prevent them having reasonable prospects of getting work. The questions are:
Do you have any children or anyone else who needs your care during working hours?
It is not possible to give standard guidance to unemployment benefit office staff about advice they might give as the circumstances of individual cases differ widely. However, staff are expected to treat such issues as helpfully and as sensitively as possible.If "YES" will you be able to make arrangements for their care if you get a job?
Fair Wages Resolution
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he intends to bring forward in the current Session of Parliament a motion to repeal the fair wages resolution of the House of Commons.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has yet denounced International Labour Organisation convention 94; and if he consulted any organisation about his intention.
The United Kingdom's denunciation of ILO Convention No. 94 was registered by the International Labour Office on 20 September 1982. Before denouncing the Convention the Government consulted the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress as required under the terms of ILO Convention No. 144 which deals with tripartite consultations. These consultations took place at the same time as the Government consulted both these and other organisations on the related question of the rescission of the fair wages resolution.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what consultation he has engaged in, and what representations he has received, about his intention to rescind the fair wages resolution of the House of Commons and to derogate from International Labour Organisation Convention 94.
The Government sought the views of organisations most representative of employers and employees and received various representations from them and others.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he intends to introduce an order in the current Session of Parliament to increase redundancy rebates to employers.
I have no plans to do so.
Employment Protection Act
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what adjustments would be needed to each of the limits listed in the Employment Protection (Variation of Limits) Order 1981 to restore them to their values at the time of introduction.
I have assumed that, as there was no 1981 order, the question refers to the 1982 order. The weekly earnings limit for redundancy payments was fixed at £40 in 1965. An increase to approximately £217 would be necessary to keep in line with increases in the retail price index to September 1982. The earnings limits for the insolvency provisions and for basic awards under the unfair dismissal provisions of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 have, since their introduction, been the same as that applied to redundancy payments.The limit for guarantee pay was fixed initially at £6 per day in February 1977. Based on the RPI increase to September 1982 a current figure of approximately £11 would have the same value.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what have been the percentage increases in each of the limits listed in the Employment Protection (Variation of Limits) Order 1981 for each year since their introduction; and how this compares in each of those years with the increase year-on-year at the time the order was made in retail prices, average earnings, and, where relevant, the tax and prices index.
I have assumed that, as there was no 1981 order, the question refers to the 1982 order.Under the Redundancy Payments Act 1965, the maximum amount of a week's pay that could be used for calculating redundancy payments was £40. This sum was increased to £80 in 1974. Under the Employment Protection Act 1975 an £80 limit on a week's pay was adopted from April 1976 for amounts payable under the insolvency provisions and from June 1976 for the basic and additional awards of compensation for unfair dismissal. The guarantee pay provisions of the Act were brought into operation in February 1977 at the rate of £6 per day.These limits remained unchanged until the first annual review under the Act took place in autumn 1977 which varied the limits with effect from February 1978. Each year since then orders have been laid in November or December after the annual review varying the limits with effect from the following February.The following table shows the year on year percentage increases in the limits (February to February from 1977) compared with the increases in retail prices, average earnings and the tax and prices index for the year to the September preceding the laying date.
|Percentage increase year on year|
|Limit on a week's pay per cent.||Guarantee pay per cent.|
|February to February|
|1982–83||Under review||Under review|
|Percentage increase year on year|
|Retail prices per cent.||Average earnings per cent.||Tax and prices per cent.|
|September to September|
* August to August.
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of surplus in the redundancy fund.
On 11 November the redundancy fund had a deficit of £232·7 million.
asked the Secretary of State for the Employment when he proposes to publish the account of the redundandcy fund for the year 1981–82.
I expect the account to be published on 1 December.
Engineering Practice Scholarship Scheme
asked the Secretary of State for Employment why the Manpower Services Commission no longer funds completely the engineering practice scholarship scheme run by the engineering industry training board; what difference he expects this to make to the numbers of students who are able to participate in this scheme; and if he will make a statement.
The Manpower Services Commission has changed the basis of its support for the engineering practice scholarship scheme run by the Engineering Training Board. The aim is to bring the arrangements for funding college-based sandwich course students who go on industrial placements with firms in scope to the engineering industry training board into line with the arrangements for funding students on placements with other firms. This has enabled the Commission to increase the total number of sandwich course students who can be supported in this way from 2,000 in 1981–82 to 2,500 in 1982–83. The extra places will be concentrated in key engineering and technology occupations.
Accountants And Consultants
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the occasions on which his Department has used from outside the Civil Service (a) accountants, (b) management consultants and (c) other consultants since June 1979, giving in each case the dates and nature of the assignment, together with the names of the individuals, partnerships or institutions involved.
I regret that comprehensive information on the lines requested by my hon. Friend could not be produced without disproportionate effort. However the following list, produced from centrally held records, includes the more significant instances since June 1979 when the Department has used accountants and consultants from outside the Civil Service.
|Date commissioned and assignment||Contractor|
|1981—Design of a budgetary control system for DHSS||Price Waterhouse Associates|
|1982—Implementation of the budgetary control system||Price Waterhouse Associates|
|1982—Control of expenditure in the family practitioner service||Binder Hamlyn|
|Date Commissioned and Assignment||Contractor|
|East Cumbria DHA||Robson Rhodes Chartered Accountants|
|South Cumbria DHA||Robson Rhodes Chartered Accountants|
|West Cumbria DHA||Neville Russell Chartered Accountants|
|Hammersmith and Fulham DHA||Armitage and Norton Chartered Accountants|
|Hounslow and Spelthorne DHA||Armitage and Norton Chartered Accountants|
|Ealing DHA||Coopers and Lybrand Chartered Accountants|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly DHA||Ernst and Whinney Chartered Accountants|
|Isle of Wight DHA||Deloitte Haskins and Sells Chartered Accountants|
|Date commissioned and assignment||Contractor|
|(b) Management Consultants|
|1979—Taxation of Unemployment Benefit||Arthur Young Management Services|
|1979—Market research into methods of payment of benefit||Research Survey of Great Britain Ltd.|
|1979—Review of the usuage of periodicals and branch libraries||Capital Planning Information|
|Date Commissioned and Assignment||Contractor|
|1980—To devise a methodology to identify areas of work amenable to computer assistance||Pactel|
|1980—A study to consider the effectiveness of DHSS forms, and to suggest improvements||Social and Community Planning Reserach|
|1980—A study of the arrangements for determining staffing levels in certain areas of DHSS Newcastle Central Office||The Anne Shaw Organisation|
|1980—Assistance with a questionnaire sent to local office managers||Buller Cox and Partners|
|1982—Development and testing of a new form||Open University|
|1982—Staffing and equipment requirements for a forms unit||E. Hoch|
|(c) Other consultants|
|1979—Amendment of Resource Allocation Working Party||Trace (Manpower) Ltd.|
|1979—Second phase of a study to assist the Review of Policy for the mentally handicapped||A. Anderson and Co.|
|1979—Study of the wider use of the balance of care approach||A. Anderson and Co.|
|1979—Manpower implications of the run down of a large psychiatric hospital||Institute of Manpower Studies|
|1979—Comparative study of ORS planning methodologies||Logica|
|1979—Guidance on "Uses of Manpower Information for Operational Planning" for NHS use.||IMS in conjunction with an NHS officer|
|1980—A labour market study in the Tyneside conurbation||IMS|
|1980—A study of Nurse Manpower Systems in South West Thames RHA||IMS|
|1980—Extensions to "Portable balance of care" study||A. Anderson|
|1980—Hospitalisation rates and patient flows||Arthur Young Management Services|
|1980—Location of social security work||Logica|
|1980—Study of the capacity of schools of nursing—plus extension||Coopers Lybrand Ass.|
|1980—Local health care planning studies—balance of care||IBCM Exeter University|
|1980—Studies in connection with cancer||Research Centre for the mathematical Modelling of Clerical Trials University of Warwick|
|1980—Second phase of a project to design and program a medical manpower planning model||Scientific and Business Systems|
|1980—OR studies of hospital stores, manpower planning, and social security benefits||National Coal Board Operational Research Executive|
|1981—Number and location of Social Security Training Courses||Logica Ltd.|
|1981—Nursing manpower planning: linking supply and demand modelling||Institute of manpower studies|
|NHS directly employed staff (UK)—Thousands||not available||565||741||1,228||1,264|
Note: These figures are from Department of Employment returns. This is the only source to yield overall totals of directly employed NHS staff for the years in question. A strict comparison of the 1980 and 1981 figures with those of earlier years is not possible because of the effects of the 1974 reorganisation of the NHS, when a considerable number of local authority employees in the community services were transferred to the NHS.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will require local family practitioner committees when publicising the details of services provided by family medical practitioners to state whether
Date Commissioned and Assignment
|1981—Consulting and modelling/Sizing Work, in relation to Social Security Strategy||Software Sciences Ltd.|
|1981—Study of CAMELOT project—resources implementation etc.||LEASCO Software Ltd.|
|1981—Advice on implementation of the Welfare Benefits Information Services||Dr. G. N. Gilbert|
|1981—Development of User Interface for Welfare Benefits Information System||Medical Research Council|
|1981—Assistance with Medical Manpower Planning Model||SBS Ltd.|
|1981—Production of risk analysis model for social security value||Logica Ltd.|
|1982—Study of possible expert systems techniques, Welfare Benefits Information Service||Intelligent Terminals Ltd.|
|1982—Study for purpose of evaluating Welfare Benefits Information Service||Research Institute for Consumer Affairs|
|1982—Programming and analysis assistance for ORS on Regional Reviews, Performance Indicators||Control Data Ltd.|
|1982—Pilot study of microcomputer systems for Private Office||Computer Analysts and Programmers (London) Ltd.|
|1982—Assistance with database design for Local Office Project||BIS Applied Systems Ltd.|
|1982—Assistance on the use of ADABAS equipment for Newcastle Central Office||ADABAS Software Ltd.|
|1982—Advice on Local Office Project systems interface design||HUSAT Research Group|
|1982—The liable Relatives Study||Scicon|
|1982—Aligning pay periods for unemployment and supplementary benefit||Atkins Planning|
|1982—Service to the public on Social Security Offices||Atkins Planning|
|1982—Simulation of the training of Liable Relative Officers||CMA Ltd.|
The Department has made extensive use of the expertise of the Institute of Manpower Studies to conduct a network of training seminars and workshops on Manpower Planning in the NHS. The funding for this ceased in early 1982.
National Health Service
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons in total were employed by the National Health Service in each of the years 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1981 and at the latest date for which figures are available.
The information is set out in the following table. The figures include both part-time and full-time staff and, accordingly, are considerably higher than the figures of wholetime equivalent staffing normally used for the NHS.individual doctors are or are not prepared to offer patients on their registered list help to obtain therapeutic termination of pregnancy as defined by the Abortion Act 1967.
No. Assessment of patients under the Abortion Act is a matter for individual professional judgment.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will implement further recommendations of the Black report on medical inequalities.
The Government's position on the Black report on inequalities in health remains unchanged. Some of the report's recommendations aim at objectives similar to those identified in "Care in Action", which sets out the Government's policies and priorities in the health and personal social services fields. Others would involve expenditure on a scale which could not be contemplated.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 7 April, Official Report, c. 409–10, whether a register of computers in use in the National Health Service is now in operation.
The computerised register which contains information about the use of computers in the National Health Service is now operational. The first quarterly report is expected to be available in December 1982.
Industrial Diseases (Deaths)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the response of the medical profession to the pilot scheme arranged by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys with a view to obtaining greater detail from doctors on deaths caused by industrial diseases; and if he will seek a greater degree of co-operation on this matter from the medical profession.
The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys is discussing with the British Medical Association the proposed pilot scheme to obtain additional particulars at death certification, following the Industrial Diseases (Notification) Act 1981. It is hoped that the BMA's queries over the pilot will be resolved and the testing of the additional questions carried out.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will investigate complaints that there is overprescribing of drugs to patients over 65 years of age.
Prescribing practice is basically a matter for the clinical judgment of the doctor concerned. Specific complaints about individual cases are a matter for the relevant family practitioner committee—in the case of a general practitioner—or health authority—for a hospital doctor—in the first instance.
New Cross Dental School
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will ensure that facilities are made available for those who fail their examinations in the summer of 1983 at the New Cross dental school to take the normal 12-week re-take course.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Fluoride And Kidney Disease
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what evidence he has that the presence of fluoride in drinking water is a potential problem in kidney disease; and what steps he intends to take in the light of such evidence.
The Royal College of Physicians, when reviewing the literature on fluoridation, considered various allegations of harm to health from fluoridation, and in its report, "Fluoride, Teeth and Health" (Pitman 1976) stated that no symptomatic cases had been reported in patients using kidney machines where these had been supplied with water containing fluoride at one part per million. The report also concluded that there was no evidence that fluoridated water could cause or aggravate renal damage. The Department knows of no sound evidence published since that report to change this conclusion.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to be able to make an announcement concerning the implementation of the Acheson report on health care in inner city areas.
In the debate on the Address on the Welfare State on 8 November—[Vol. 31, c. 331]—my right hon. Friend said that among the areas likely to benefit from the additional funds for the NHS is primary health care in inner cities, and that a statement will be made in due course.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to be able to advise health authorities on the use of outside contractors to provide National Health Service support services.
I hope to issue advice to health authorities shortly.
Hospital Waiting Lists (Statistics)
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people were waiting for hospital operations under the National Health Service in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1981 and at the latest date available.
The numbers of people on waiting lists for inpatient treatment in surgical specialties in England on 31 December of each year were:
* 30 September.
† December figure not yet available.
The figure for 31 March 1982 is provisionally estimated at 600,000. Total waiting lists are estimated to have increased by some 145,000 as a result of the dispute in the health services, but we have no information about the specific effect on surgical specialties.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what would be the cost of raising (a) the ordinary supplementary benefit scale rates to the long term rates and (b) the short term national insurance rates to the higher national insurance rates;(2) what would be the cost of increasing the rate of noncontributory invalidity benefit to the rate paid to claimants drawing the contributory invalidity benefit.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of introducing a disaggregation between men and women claiming supplementary benefit on the assumption that no one is made worse off.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) on 4 May 1982,—[Vol. 23, c. 30.]
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the cost of raising the death grant by £20.
On the present basis of entitlement about £11·5 million in a full year.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost of increasing by 25 per cent. the children's supplementary benefit rates.
About £180 million in a full year at November 1981 rates of benefit.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost of excluding the surrender value of insurance policies from the capital rate calculations for eligibility for supplementary benefits.
The information necessary to make a precise costing is not available. However, such information as we have suggests that the cost at the present time might be something under £250,000.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of ensuring that no claimant is caught in the invalidity benefit trap.
The estimated benefit cost of removing the invalidity benefit trap is about £18½ million at 1982 benefit rates. In addition there would be administrative costs of about £2½ million.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what have been the savings in each year since 1979 from changes made in the rules governing the claims of students to supplementary benefit since 1979.
I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the criteria for payment of supplementary benefit by order book for (a) the long-term sick and (b) the long-term unemployed.
Combined payments of sickness benefit and supplementary benefit are normally paid by giro order for 168 date from the day of the claim to sickness benefit, and by order book thereafter, that is, from the date when invalidity benefit becomes payable. Where there is no title to sickness benefit, it will usually be possible to pay supplementary benefit by order book at an earlier stage. In the case of unemployed claimants, supplementary benefit is paid by order book to claimants who attend quarterly at the unemployment benefit office and to those over 60 who satisfy the conditions for the long-term scale rate.
National Insurance Fund
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost for each percentage point increase in the Exchequer contribution to the national insurance fund.
It would be £214 million.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what revenue would be gained by abolishing the ceiling on employees' contributions to the national insurance fund.
On the assumption that with effect from April 1983 the ceiling would be abolished for employees' contributions, but would be retained for employers' contributions and for contracting out contributions, the additional revenue would be approximately £470 million over that shown in the report by the Government Actuary on the draft of the Social Security (Contributions, Re-rating) Order 1982.
"Your Retirement Pension"
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why N.P. 32 "Your Retirement Pension" booklet fails to advise pensioners that intent to engage in employment automatically precludes them from entitlement to a State pension; and if he will publish an amended version.
Leaflet NP32 is amended every year and the latest version was issued in October 1982. It makes clear that one does not have to give up work completely to be treated as having retired, and sets out in part 2 the circumstances in which paid employment is consistent with receipt of retirement pension.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much (a) supplementary benefit and (b) other benefits has been unclaimed in Accrington over the last five years.
Information on benefit unclaimed is not available for individual constituencies.
Killingbeck Hospital, Leeds
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will take steps to improve the staffing level at the paediatric heart surgery unit at Killingbeck hospital, Leeds;(2) what is the nursing ratio to each intensive care bed in the paediatric heart surgery unit at Killingbeck hospital, Leeds; how this compares with the recommended staffing level; and if he will make a statement.
Practices at paediatric heart surgery centres vary from place to place; at Killingbeck hospital, for instance, the intensive care unit treats both adults and children. Accordingly the Department has not issued detailed guidance on the staffing of such units and neither do they collect information centrally on nurse staffing ratios in individual units.Staffing levels at Killingbeck hospital are determined by the Leeds eastern health authority in the light of local practices, needs and resources. If the hon. Member wishes to have more detailed information I suggest that she contacts the chairman of the authority direct.
Atmospheric Lead Pollution
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps Her Majesty's Government intend to take to reduce atmospheric lead pollution, in view of recent evidence of its detrimental effect upon the central nervous system of growing children.
I have been asked to reply.In the light of the Lawther report Her Majesty's Government have, as a precaution, put in hand measures to ensure a much wider margin of safety by reducing lead pollution from whatever source. These measures were announced by my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government, on 11 May 1981. They include action on lead in old paintwork; lead in drinking water in areas where it is a problem; lead in food; and the largest ever cut in the permitted lead content of petrol by the earliest practicable date, which will reduce the atmospheric lead concentrations almost everywhere by more than half. In view of the inconclusiveness of the present evidence both the Department of the Environment and the Medical Research Council are also funding further work on any adverse health effect that low levels of lead might have on children.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce a special exemption from the old dwellings age test for properties suffering from mundic block so that a repairs grant can be obtained; and if he will make a statement.
In the reply my hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) on 10 November 1982—[Vol. 31, c. 538]—he announced that he was giving consideration to an alteration in the cut-off date for repairs grant for all dwellings. I do not consider that a change in the qualifying date for repairs grant specifically for houses built of mundic blocks would be appropriate.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had concerning the call for a public inquiry to settle the dispute concerning the environmental protection of the Halvergate Marshes in the face of the possible lowering of the water level by drainage grants to the landowners concerned; and if he will make a statement.
Various meetings were held prior to the decisions announced earlier this week. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has approved the internal drainage board's application in respect of the Acle/Tunstall scheme, but has rejected the application for the Seven Mile/Berney area where the conservation interest is greatest. The Board has, however, been informed that the Minister would be prepared to approve a revised application to install a smaller capacity pump at Seven Mile provided that this does not lead to any lowering of the water level in that area. This is the first use of powers under section 48 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which require the Minister to further the interests of conservation in land drainage schemes.
Council House Sales
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why in the explanatory and financial memorandum of the Housing and Building Control Bill (pp iii-iv) he chose 47 per cent. as the proportion of finance provided privately for council house sales; and if he will provide the evidence for, and the assumption behind, his choice of 47 per cent.
[pursuant to his reply, 10 November 1982, c. 194]: The most recent information (published in table 2.12 of "Housing and Construction Statistics", Part 2, No. 10) shows that in the second quarter of 1982 initial payments received by local authorities from the sale of dwellings were 47 per cent. of the capital value of sales, net of discount.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state, from the latest evidence available to him, what is the percentage of finance provided privately for council house sales.
[pursuant to his reply, 10 November 1982, Vol. 31, c. 194]: The figure is 47 per cent.
Merseyside Task Force
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the working of the Merseyside task force; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to his reply, 10 November, 1982, c. 199]: My task force continues to liaise with local authorities, public agencies and the private sector in taking forward an increasing list of initiatives on Merseyside. In addition to my frequent visits to the area I receive regular reports from the task force. There is increasing evidence of activity on the ground.
Bulk Supply Tariff
asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to complete his consideration of the bulk supply tariff review.
On 8 February, I informed the House that I had received from the Electricity Council its review of the bulk supply tariff, commissioned by my predecessor in 1980. The bulk supply tariff determines the price which the area electricity boards pay to the Central Electricity Generating Board for their supplies, and accounts for around 80 per cent. of the price of electricity to the user. I asked the council to make the review available and invited comments on it from consumers. I also engaged the consultants, Coopers and Lybrands to assist my Department in assessing the important issues raised. My statement today follows careful consideration of these issues in the light of the advice and comments received.The fundamental basis of the Government's electricity pricing policy, that prices should be properly related to economic costs, remains unchanged. However, since the announcement in January 1980 of the industry's present financial target, which expires in March 1983, a number of developments have occurred. It is now clear that the level of demand for electricity is and will remain lower than was foreseen. Present and expected capacity in the industry is more than adequate to meet forecast demand over the next few years at least. The cost to the industry of meeting marginal increases in demand is thus likely to be lower than was expected. More efficient fuel use has also helped.In these circumstances, and in the light of my consideration of the bulk supply tariff review, I have agreed with the electricity supply industry that there should be no increase in the average level of electricity prices next year. This will be accommodated within the industry's EFL of £300 million for 1983–84, which has already been announced. Details of the tariffs which will apply from next April will be announced by the industry in due course. I shall announce as soon as possible a new financial target and performance aim, agreed with the industry, to follow the present target. This will take full account of the conclusions the industry and I have reached on economic pricing.
Accountants And Consultants
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the occasions on which his Department has used from outside the Civil Service (a) accountants, (b) management consultants and (c) other consultants since June 1979, giving in each case the dates and nature of the assignment, together with the names of the individuals, partnerships or institutions involved.
The Department of Energy makes use of accountants, management consultants and other consultants from outside the Civil Service whenever it is felt that their expertise would usefully enhance or complement in-house expertise. Recent examples where this has been done are the Armitage Norton study of investment in energy conservation in industry, the use of S. G. Warburg & Co. Ltd. in relation to the privatisation of Britoil plc, and of N. M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd., in relation to the privatisation of Amersham International plc, the engagement—jointly with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority—of Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. to carry out an efficiency study of the authority, the use of Coopers and Lybrands to assist the Department in its work on electricity prices, and the employment of W. S. Atkins Group Consultants currently on the 3MW wind turbine project on Orkney and in the development of the Wind R & D programme. A complete list of every assignment is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what has been the percentage increase in standing charges for (a) gas and (b) electricity for the past three years;(2) if he will give the total increase in standing charges for
(a) gas and (b) electricity for the past three years.
The following table sets out the quarterly standing charge elements in the normal domestic tariffs for quarterly billed gas and electricity consumers in England and Wales at the dates shown:
|£||Gas (General zone) Percentage increase (annual)||£||Electricity (average) Percentage increase (annual)|
|Total increase (November 1979 to November 1982)||3·53||55||3·11||84|
* Between 1979 and April 1981 the British Gas Corporation had a three-part tariff for domestic credit consumers, under which the first 52 therms consumed in any quarter were charged at a higher rate than subsequent therms. In order to produce comparable figures, the amount of the standing charge element has been adjusted to take account of this effect in 1979 and 1980, using the same basis as the 1979 Price Commission report.