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Written Answers

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Tuesday 13 March 1990

Home Department

Civil Emergencies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will identify the costs to his Department in 1989–90 to date allocated for 1990–91 of (a) maintaining the civil emergencies secretariat, (b) the employment of a civil emergency adviser and associated costs, (c) commissioned work by outside bodies relating to civil emergency planning and (d) other expenditure relating to civil emergency planning.

The costs are as follows:

1989–90 £1990–91 £
Civil Emergencies Adviser and Secretariat60,000107,000
Travel and subsistence for Adviser and Secretariat13,50016,500
Emergency Planning College Civil Emergencies Tutorial Group238,000159,000
1 Estimated outturn.
2 Includes travel and subsistence.
No costs have been incurred for work undertaken by outside bodies. Other expenditure relating to civil emergency planning is incurred by the police staff college and the fire service college and other Home Office departments, but figures could not be broken down without disproportionate cost.

Civil Emergency Adviser (Meetings)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the itinerary of conferences and meetings with outside bodies which his Department's civil emergency adviser has attended, or agreed to attend, in 1990;(2) if he will make it his policy to send his Department's civil emergency adviser, Mr. David Brook, to the conference for local authorities on disaster planning for the 1990s to be held on 15 March.

The functions of the civil emergencies adviser were set out by my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr. Hurd) in answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Lester) on 15 June 1989 at columns 514–15; it is for Mr. Brook as civil emergencies adviser to determine how best to fulfil that remit.

Housing, Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many houses are in the ownership of his Department in each district in Greater Manchester; and what percentage of these are empty.

The information is as follows:

DistrictNumber of housesPercentage empty
Bolton
Bury
Manchester4918
Oldham
Rochdale40
Salford
Stockport
Tameside
Trafford
Wigan2789
Twenty-one surplus empty houses in Wigan and four in Manchester will shortly be placed on the open market for sale.

Arson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in regard to the investigations into the arson campaign in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

I understand from the chief constable of North Wales police that a special squad was set up at Bangor in March 1988 to investigate these offences. Effective liaison has been established between all the forces concerned and police inquiries are continuing as a matter of priority.

Pop Concerts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been made to local authorities during each of the past five years for which records are available for licences to hold pop concerts; and how many and what percentage have been refused.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Crowd Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with what agencies he is, or his officials are, in consultation concerning what further guidance should be issued to local authorities about crowd safety at public musical entertainments; when such consultations will be concluded; and if he will make a statement.

The Home Office is consulting the Health and Safety Executive, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of District Councils about this issue. The recent announcement from the Health and Safety Commission explained that work has been commissioned to produce new guidance on safety at pop concerts, but it is too early to predict when this will be available, bearing in mind the many factors involved.

Non-English Speaking Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the policy of his Department on informing inmates in prisons in England and Wales who do not speak or understand English as to the rules existing in prison; and if he will make a statement.

All prisoners, when they are first received into prisons, are provided with an information booklet which they are allowed to keep in their possession during their sentence. There are versions of this booklet in English and 12 other languages.If a prisoner cannot for any reason understand this written information, the governor will arrange for an oral explanation using interpreting facilities where necessary.

Incitement To Murder

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he has any plans to strengthen present legislation on incitement to murder; and if he will make a statement;(2) how many prosecutions have taken place in the last 12 months for incitement to murder; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 15 February 1990]: We have no present plans to change the law on incitement to murder, but we keep it under review.In 1988 there were 30 prosecutions under section 4 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977: together, these provisions make it an offence to solicit or propose to another to commit murder or to conspire to do so. Figures are not kept separately for each provision. There were also 1,030 prosecutions under section 16 of the 1861 Act, which makes it an offence to make threats to kill with intention that the recipient of those threats should fear that they will be carried out. Information for 1989 will not be available until autumn 1990.

Security Service Tribunal

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints have been received by the Security Service Tribunal since 18 December 1989; and how many have been rejected because they referred to events prior to that date.

The Security Service Tribunal operates independently under the provisions of the Security Service Act 1989. I do not propose to make available details of its work. It will be for the Security Service Commissioner to decide in consultation with the tribunal what information might be included about the tribunal in his annual report to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Northern Ireland

Electricity Tariffs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about electricity tariffs in Northern Ireland.

The Government have decided to end the tariff subsidy arrangement whereby electricity tariffs in Northern Ireland are linked to the highest in England and Wales. This decision, which will have effect from 1 April, follows a detailed review of existing tariff policy. The review concluded that, on the basis of oil price projections, the tariff link arrangements are no longer appropriate. The review recommended that NIE should, therefore, return to setting its tariffs on the basis of its own costs rather than by reference to the tariffs of area boards in England and Wales. It is clear, moreover, that the privatisation of the electricity supply industry in England and Wales and the decision to privatise NIE also have made the link less appropriate.For the future, NIE's tariffs will have to be based on the economic price of producing and delivering electricity in Northern Ireland. In the year beginning 1 April 1990, a tariff increase of around 8 per cent. on average would, in the Government's view, be consistent with that objective.I expect to receive within the next week or so NIE's detailed proposals for the different categories of consumer. When agreement is reached on these, NIE will make a full announcement.

Civil Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing the Government establishments in (a) the Coleraine council area, (b) the Magherafelt council area, (c) the Larne council area, (d) the Carrickfergus council area and (e) the Strabane council area, in which civil servants are employed at present, five years and 10 years ago, together with his projections for the next three years of the number of such employees in each establishment;(2) if he will publish a table in the

Official Report to show the Government establishments in the (a) Omagh council area, (b) Moyle council area, (c) Ballymoney council area, (d) Fermanagh council area and (e) Craigavon council area, in which civil servants are employed at present, five years and 10 years ago, together with his projections for the next three years of the number of such employees in each establishment;

(3) if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show the Government establishments in the (a) Dungannon council area, (b) Banbridge council area, (c) Armagh council area, (d) Ballymena council area and (e) Antrim council area, in which civil servants are employed at present, five years and 10 years ago, together with his projections for the next three years of the number of such employees in each establishment;

(4) if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show the Government establishments in the (a) Belfast council area, (b) Ards council area, (c) Castlereagh council area, (d) Down council area and (e) Lisburn council area, in which civil servants are employed at present, five years and 10 years ago, together with his projections for the next three years of the number of such employees in each establishment;

(5) if he will publish a table in the Official Report to show the Government establishments in (a) the Londonerry council area, (b) the Newtonabbey council area, (c) the Cookstown district council area, (d) the North Down district council area, (e) the Limavady council area and (f) the Newry and Mourne council area in which civil servants are employed at present, five years and 10 years ago, together with his projections for the next three years of the number of such employees in each establishment at each period.

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: Information in the form requested is not readily available and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost. However, the table lists the total number of Northern Ireland civil servants employed in each district council area in Northern Ireland at present and five years ago. Given the extent of change, firm projections of numbers in district council areas cannot be provided for the next three years.

Northern Ireland civil service
District council areaStaff in post
19851990
Coleraine892816
Magherafelt169209
Larne185189
Carrickfergus153245
Strabane194175
Omagh1,0611,080
Moyle6755
Ballymoney145164
Fermanagh845716
Craigavon9871,041
Dungannon271265
Banbridge207209
Armagh916832
Ballymena907914
Antrim471493
Belfast14,16714,763
Ards267239
Castlereagh357866
Down728815
Lisburn863805
Derry1,0651,117
Newtownabbey328279
Cookstown389375
North Down9691,018
Limavady220242
Newry and Mourne647520
Organisation
Merchant BanksN M Rothschild & Sons Ltd
Goldman, Sachs & Co (US)*
Wood Gundy Inc (Canada)*
Swiss Bank Corporation International Ltd (Europe)*
Nomura International Ltd (Japan)*
BrokersCazenove & Co
UnderwritersN M Rothschild & Sons Ltd
Kleinwort Benson Ltd
Barclays de Zoete Wedd Ltd
Barings Brothers & Co Ltd
Charterhouse Bank Ltd
County Ltd
Robert Fleming & Co Ltd
Hambros Bank Ltd
Hill Samuel & Co Ltd
Lazard Brothers & Co Ltd
Lloyds Merchant Bank Ltd
Samuel Montagu & Co Ltd
Morgan Grenfell & Co Ltd
J Henry Schroder Wagg & Co Ltd
S G Warburg & Co Ltd
SolicitorSlaughter and May
Tax and AccountancyTouche Ross & Co
Multiple Applicant InvestigatorTouche Ross & Co
Reporting AccountantsPrice Waterhouse
Public Relations AdvisersDewe Rogerson*
Advertising AgentsYoung and Rubtcam Ltd*

Energy

Severn Barrage

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the Government's position, from energy, environmental and financial aspects, on the Severn tidal barrage.

A Severn tidal barrage is by far the largest single renewable energy project which could be built in the United Kingdom. Its average annual output would be some 17 Twh, which constitutes 7 per cent. of present electrical energy consumption in England and Wales. Before a Severn tidal barrage could go ahead, a full environmental impact assessment would need to be completed.Over the next two years some further work on the Severn barrage will be undertaken. This will include some site specific environmental work and a study of the financing issues for a barrage. The Department is presently funding generic tidal R and D in support of site specific work on the Severn, Mersey and other estuaries. The total cost of generic environmental studies completed since 1986 and currently under way amounts to £1 million.

British Gas

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list all the organisations which advised his Department on any aspect of the privatisation of British Gas giving in each case the dates of their involvement and in each case the aspect on which they advised.

The lead organisations and the role they played during privatisation of British Gas plc are listed in the table. The dates of their involvement are not readily available.

Organisation

Reporting Petroleum ConsultantsERC Energy Resource Consultants Ltd
Lead Receiving BankNational Westminster Bank plc
PrintersBurrup, Mathieson & Co Ltd

*Also advised British Gas Corporation

Wales

Flooding

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he has anything to add to his announcement on 1 March about Government help for the victims of the recent flooding in the area of Towyn.

Yes. I am pleased to say that the Government have decided to increase the donation to £150,000. As I made clear on 1 March, parliamentary approval for this expenditure will be sought by means of a summer supplementary estimate. Pending this approval, the contribution will be met by a repayable advance from the contingencies fund.

Cancers

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the information available to him on trends during the past six years in the incidence of leukaemia, lung cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer (a) in Wales generally and (b) in each district in Wales.

The most recently available information on the incidence rates for these illnesses is presented in the Welsh Office publication "Cancer Registration in Wales, 1974–84"; a copy of which is in the Library.

Channel Tunnel

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he will respond to the Welsh Affairs Committee report "The Channel Tunnel: Implications for Wales" published on 21 June 1989.

[pursuant to the reply, 22 February 1990, c. 861.]: I am pleased to announce that the response has been published today.

Education And Science

Bluecoat School, Liverpool

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he now expects to make a decision on the application by Bluecoat school, Liverpool 15, to increase its entry from three forms to four forms.

My right hon. Friend still has the matter under active consideration and will come to a decision as quickly as is compatible with a full and careful consideration of all the issues involved.

Capital Allocation, Buckinghamshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be able to provide Buckinghamshire county council with a detailed breakdown of the capital allocation for Buckinghamshire for 1989–90 and 1990–91, showing the amounts attributed to each project as agreed at his meeting with the chairman of Buckinghamshire county council on 5 February.

I shall be writing to the chairman of Buckinghamshire county council shortly about allocations made to Buckinghamshire LEA. I shall send a copy to my hon. Friend.

Fun Eating At School Today

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which local education authorities in the seven counties of south-west England have joined in FEAST—fun eating at school today.

The information requested is as follows:

AvonGloucestershire
CornwallSomerset
DevonWiltshire

Local Management (Ealing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he plans to respond to the proposals from the London borough of Ealing for local management of schools.

The scheme for local management of schools submitted by the London borough of Ealing was approved by my right hon. Friend, with certain modifications, on 1 March.

University Of Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what, over the last five years for which figures are available, have been the proportions of University Grants Committee-Universities Funding Council grants to universities in the United Kingdom allocated to the university of Wales.

[pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1990, c. 396]: Total University Grants Committee-Universities Funding Council grants received by the university of Wales were as follows:

Academic yearWales (£ million)All Great Britain (£ million)Wales as a percentage of total
1984–8576·451,258·06·08
1985–8676·571,312·05·84
1986–8780·611,367·05·90
1987–8891·991,482·36·21
1988–8993·071,619·65·75

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Gibraltar

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has any proposals to give Gibraltar total independence.

Unesco

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the decision on whether to rejoin UNESCO.

We are currently looking at the question of United Kingdom membership of UNESCO. As part of the process we have consulted a large number of bodies with an interest in UNESCO activities. We are now assessing their replies. Before reaching a final decision we will also take account of the forthcoming report by the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Chad

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Chadian Government concerning human rights in Chad.

We have not yet made any representation to the Chadian Government on human rights abuses. The Amnesty International report of 7 March has just been received and will be given careful consideration.

Nuclear Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the implications of the decision of the Soviet Union to move its nuclear warhead-testing site to Novaya Zemlya for Her Majesty's Government's policy on a verifiable nuclear test ban.

Law Of The Sea Convention

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the United Kingdom to sign the third United Nations conference on the law of the sea treaty; and what reasons the Government have for delaying their signature.

The United Kingdom has not signed the United Nations law of the sea convention because the deep sea bed mining regime for which it provides is unacceptable to us. Nevertheless, we participate in the preparatory commission in the hope that within the long period before mining can start a regime acceptable to all can be achieved. We see many of the other parts of UNLOSC as valuable and as reflecting current state practice.

Namibia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Britain's help with military training for Namibia.

In response to a request from the president-elect, we sent a fact-finding team to Namibia in January to assess the requirements for establishing and training an army after independence. I am glad to tell the House that, following discussions with the future Government of Namibia, we have agreed to help with military training for the new Namibian defence force under the United Kingdom military training assistance scheme. We shall be assisting in the establishment of a Defence Ministry and the creation of a Namibian defence force able to carry out the tasks placed on it and sustainable in resource terms. The advance party of our military training team arrived in Namibia today, 13 March, and will start work immediately. The main body of the training team is due to arrive shortly after independence. I believe that this assistance and other help, which we as friends of Namibia are providing, are important in helping Namibia to establish itself successfully as an independent country and as the newest member of the Commonwealth.

Transport

Railway Inspectorate

86.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received calling for the railway inspectorate to become the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive; and if he will make a statement.

I am aware of only two representations since the beginning of this year, one in favour and one against such a move.As my right hon. Friend said in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin) on 27 February,

Official Report, column 143, the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission has agreed to discussions on the possible transfer of the railway inspectorate to the Health and Safety Executive.

Jubilee Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much British Gas is expected to contribute to the cost of constructing the Jubilee line extension;(2) how much British Urban Developments plc is expected to contribute to the construction of the Jubilee line extension.

Agreement has been reached with British Gas on behalf of its joint development on the Greenwich peninsula. It will contribute towards the cost of the Jubilee line extension cash and benefits in kind that have been evaluated by the Department and its advisers as having a present value of more than £25 million in September 1989 prices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the construction of the Jubilee line extension is expected to cost if built at current Underground gauge; and how much it would cost if built to BR gauge.

The cost of building the Jubilee line extension via Greenwich is estimated at about £1,030 million at September 1989 prices. This assumes the building and equipment of the extension to current LUL gauge and specifications. No estimate has been made of the additional costs if the extension were built to BR gauge and specifications, but they would certainly be considerably greater.

Debris On Railway Land

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will discuss with the chairman of British Rail at their next meeting the amount of debris on railway land to the west of the M1/A406 junction.

The condition of railway land is a matter for the British Railways Board, so I would recommend my

British Rail
Year1AR1ER1LMRScRSRWRLULOtherTotal
197943
198032
198127
198227
198328
19845104113125
19854113141125
1986064411016
1987631510016
19880451420016

Notes:

AR Anglia Region

ER Eastern Region

LMR London Midland Region

SCR Scottish Region

SR Southern Region

WR Western Region

LUL London Underground Limited

1 Prior to 1988 the returns for Anglia Region were included with those for Eastern Region.

Vehicle Insurance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the number of vehicles being driven without third party insurance cover.

In 1988, the most recent year for which figures are available, there were 208,568 findings of guilt by magistrates courts in England and Wales for using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks. I am not aware of any reliable estimate of the number of vehicles actually being used without insurance.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the present number of heavy goods vehicles taxed at the 38-tonne limit; and what was the number of such vehicles registered in the past five years.

The number of heavy goods vehicles licensed at the maximum gross vehicle weight was 58,094 as at the end of December 1989. Figures for the previous five years are as follows:

Number
198850,453
198739,928
198632,967
198526,309
198419,071

hon. Friend to pursue the matter directly with the chairman, who, I am sure, will wish to investigate the complaint.

Railway Staff (Fatalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by region and by year for the last 10 years the number of railway staff who have been killed during their work.

The following details, which cover all railways, are for the period 1979–88; figures for 1989 are not available. I am unable to provide a regional breakdown for the years before 1984.

Crash Barriers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to make the crash barriers along Britain's motorways of sufficient height to eliminate the glare from oncoming cars at night.

The purpose of central reserve safety fences is to mitigate the risks and consequences of errant cars crossing into the opposite carriageway. Their ability to reduce or eliminate glare on most of the motorway network is incidental.A trial involving the provision of an anti-dazzle screen on top of the safety fence has been carried out on 19 km of the M6 between junctions 2 and 4. The evaluation showed that while it further reduced or eliminated glare there was no significant effect on accidents. Nonetheless, where glare has been or is identified as a serious problem because of the alignment of a particular stretch of motorway, the Department erects such a screen if it is justified on safety and financial grounds.

Railway Tracks (Chemicals)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to limit the use of the chemical Atrazine by British Rail on railway tracks.

I understand that the use of herbicides containing Atrazine is an effective way of preventing weed growth on the railway tracks. British Rail regularly review the methods used by other railway organisations and conduct trials with other methods, but has not found any other as effective.

Regional Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the regional distribution of spending by his Department over the three most recent financial years.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: Two thirds of the Department of Transport's own expenditure on transport is spent on the national roads system; that expenditure can be broken down between the Department's own administrative regions, as shown in table 1·20 of "Transport Statistics Great Britain". Transport supplementary grant, though paid to local authorities rather than regions, can be broken down according to the geographical location of those authorities in DTp regions. Statistics for the three most recent available financial years are shown in the table.The balance of central Government expenditure, as shown in table 7·1 chapter 7 of the "Government's Expenditure Plans 1990–91 to 1992–93" (CM 1007) is neither planned nor controlled on a regional basis, so a comparable breakdown cannot he made.

Regional expenditure on motorway and trunk roads by DTp region
1985–861986–871987–88
£ million£ million£ million
Northern24·024·553·1
Yorkshire and Humberside47·665·183·1
North West54·183·488·9
West Midlands117·1122·5116·1
East Midlands73·472·965·2
Eastern197·2171·2118·6
South West47·064·598·2
South East136·086·3183·8
London43·860·382·2

Notes:

1. Figures include some estimates

2. Sum of figures for England, differ from those voted in the Supply Estimates because of differences in sources.

Transport supplementary grant by DTp region

1986·87

1987·88

1988·89

£ million

£ million

£ million

Northern9·7610·7012·24
Yorkshire and Humberside14·4614·6912·91
North West23·3124·2815·15
West Midlands17·2118·7221·30
East Midlands12·9313·1312·03
Eastern5·277·526·15
South West14·3115·6819·05
South East34·4936·4540·37
London32·2738·7841·78

The sums involved are as follows:

£000s

Privatisation

1981–82

1982–83

1983–84

1984–85

1985–86

1986–87

1987–88

1988–89

11989–90

11990–91

Sales of Shares in National Freight Corporation151
Sale of Shares in Associated British Ports1,8092601,494
Sale of Shares in British Airways plc501,01267420,80411,364725703
Sale of Shares in BAA plc56441,1493,095171,500

Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts, in the press and public relations office of his Department; and what is the proposed complement for 1990–91.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: The Department has a current complement, within its information division, of 16 posts for press and public relations, with no vacancies. The proposed complement for 1990–91 is 16.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total expenditure by his Department on press and public relations in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: The total expenditure on the Department's press and public relations office since 1984–85 is as follows:

£
1984–85339,426
1985–86354,393
1986–87363,446
1987–88389,473
1988–89437,950
11989–90451,214
21990–91480,000
1 estimate
2 budget
These figures cover the overall costs of running the press office, calculated using HM Treasury simplified ready reckoner for staff and other costs. Before 1984–85 the information division was a common service of the Departments of Transport and of the Environment and the Property Services Agency.

Privatisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total sum paid out in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation by his Department in 1979–80 and in each subsequent year; and what is his estimate for 1990–91.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: The information is as follows:

Privatisation1981–821982–831983–841984–851985–861986–871987–881988–8911989–9011990–91
Sale of National Bus Company Operations6353241393815
British Rail Privatisation Study (Consultants' Fees)94542270
1 Estimate.
No expenditure was incurred before 1981–82.

Advertising Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the figures for the spending by his Department on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: The spending by my Department on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979–80 and in each following year is as follows:

TelevisionRadioNewspaperOther
£'000s£'000s£'000s£'000s
1979–804,141621051,532
1980–813,5023361291,737
1981–823,61564101,457
1982–832,319988161,415
1983–844,655223341,488
1984–851,7232074762,873
1985–86708588344,026
1986–87725207384,489
1987–882,310501403,010
1988–891,8671103653,367
1989–901,9301133323,189
Detailed decisions have not yet been taken on expenditure by media for 1990–91, but the overall figure is expected to be £6·6 million.

A2

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the likely timetable for implementation of the proposal to dual the A2 road between Lydden and Dover.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: It is too early to forecast the timing of construction of the A2 Lydden (B2060)-Dover improvement scheme which has only just entered the national trunk road programme. Detailed programmes have not yet been prepared. Meanwhile the roads report, "Trunk Roads, England—Into The 1990s", shows "Preferred Route" as the next key preparation stage, with a target date of 1993. This would be followed by detailed design work, leading to publication of formal draft order proposals under the Highways Act.The first step will be the appointment of design agents to work up options.

M1

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 1 March, Official Report, columns 279–80, what are the peak hours on the M1 between junctions 6 and 12.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: Peak hours are 0700 to 1000 southbound and 1630 to 1900 hours northbound on most weekdays, Friday afternoons in both directions and Sunday evenings southbound.

Palmer Report

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the leaflet explaining the role of the traffic commissioners and the traffic area offices promised following the Palmer report will be available; and if he will place a copy in the Library.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: The Palmer report recommended that the Bus and Coach Council should be asked to draw up a code of practice on complaints from passengers, covering in particular the provision of suitable notices notifying passengers where complaints should be addressed. The Bus and Coach Council has agreed to undertake this task, in association with my Department, and work is due to begin on it shortly. I will place a copy of the code of practice in the Library when it is ready.

Kleinwort Benson

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions and for what purpose his Department has commissioned work from Kleinwort Benson since July 1988.

Badgers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration is given to resident badger populations when (a) designing and (b) constructing new roads.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: We aim, where possible, to design trunk roads to avoid interfering with badgers. Where setts or runs may be affected, advice is obtained from the Nature Conservancy Council and local wildlife trusts about steps to be taken to move the badgers or maintain their runs. Badger-proof fencing alongside the road and badger tunnels under the carriageway are provided where appropriate. There are examples on the M3, M25 and M40.Badgers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the respective Secretary of State.

Social Security

Pensioners (Incomes)

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the latest figures of average mean household income in Britain for retired people; what are the latest comparable figures for each European Community state; and whether he will launch a survey to calculate costs facing pensioners as against those in full employment.

Analysis of data in the 1987 family expenditure survey shows that the average pensioners' total net income in 1987 was £99–90 a week1. There are no comparable figures available for other European Community states. We do not see a need for a survey along the lines proposed.

Footnote: Family Expenditure Survey.

1 This refers to pensioner tax units.

Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his estimate of the cost of paying full retirement pension regardless of contribution record to persons who were excepted from liability to pay non-employed contributions to the original national insurance scheme;(2) what is his estimate of the number of men and women who are excepted from liability to pay non-employed contributions to the national insurance scheme from 1948, who, as a result of this are now receiving a reduced retirement pension.

I regret that the information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Child Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the rate of child benefit at the present time if it had been uprated with inflation since 1987.

Unclaimed Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the amount saved by his Department in respect of unclaimed benefit in the last financial year.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) on 7 December 1989 at column 342. Information is available only for income-related benefits.

Disabled People

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the advantages that will accrue to people with disabilities in 1992 on completion of the single market in relation to any benefits, goods or services they receive in respect of their disabilities; if he will list them; and if he will make a statement.

The United Kingdom is currently included in the European Communities' second action programme in favour of disabled people called HELIOS. A major component is the development of "Handynet", a multilingual, multinational computerised database of information for people with disabilities. The first module "Handyaids" is expected to have beneficial effects by stimulating consumption production and competition. This should give rise to economies of scale, leading to a reduction in the price of products and improving their quality.As for social security, the completion of the internal market will not in itself have any effect on the situation of people with disabilities in the United Kingdom.

Invalidity Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are in receipt of invalidity benefit; and how many of those are also in receipt of income support.

At April 1988, the latest date for which information is available, there were 1,047,500 people in receipt of invalidity benefit. Information for income support is not available for precisely the same period, but in May 1988 there were 101,705 people in receipt of both benefits.

Disability Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy that, following the introduction of the disability allowance, children under two years with attendance needs will qualify for attendance allowance after a three-month waiting period.

Family Credit

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the uptake of family credit in (a) the Liverpool area and (b) other areas in the north-west.

The latest available information about the families receiving family credit who, at the time their award was made, were living in the areas concerned is as follows:

  • (a) In the areas covered by the local social security offices in Liverpool—5,600;
  • (b) In the areas covered by all the local social security offices in the Department of Social Security's North Western Region—56,000.
  • Information about the total number of families eligible for family credit can be obtained only for Great Britain, and only retrospectively, from the family expenditure survey data.

    National Insurance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of national insurance contributors are currently benefiting from the existence of the ceiling on contributions.

    It is estimated that approximately 16 per cent. of contributors have earnings in excess of the upper earnings limit for class 1 primary national insurance contributions.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many employers have been tried and found guilty of fraud in respect of national insurance contributions over the last 10 years; and what was the sentence in each case.

    [holding answer 8 March 1990]: In the last five years, the number of employers against whom either civil or criminal proceedings have been taken by DSS in respect of non-payment of national insurance contributions is as follows:

    YearNumber of cases
    1984–852,896
    1985–861,272
    1986–871,523
    1987–881,264
    1988–891,528
    Information for earlier years is not available. It is not possible to identify the number of these cases involving fraud.

    Prime Minister

    Conservation

    Q24.

    To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations she has received relating to Government action to conserve biodiversity.

    I receive many representations on a wide range of subjects concerned with the environment. These include the need to conserve biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests. The further £100 million which we have allocated over the next three years to tropical forestry activities will contribute to the maintenance of biological diversity. In my speech to the United Nations General Assembly last November I indicated my support for a global convention on the environment which would help to conserve biodiversity.

    Demersal Fisheries

    Q135.

    To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations Her Majesty's Government have received regarding proposals to reduce fishing effort in the North sea demersal fisheries from 1 March 1990.

    My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland have consulted representatives of the fishing industry about the measures necessary to reduce fishing for North sea haddock in 1990 by 30 per cent. and they have taken careful account of the representations that they have received., The decision on the necessary measures was announced on 8 March at column 855.

    Exchange Rate Mechanism

    Q182.

    To ask the Prime Minister what progress is being made towards fulfilling the Government's conditions for joining the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system; and if she will make a statement.

    There has been significant progress on capital liberalisation, in competition policy and liberalisation of financial services, but further important decisions have yet to be taken. Further progress is needed to get inflation down.

    London Assessment Studies

    Q218.

    To ask the Prime Minister what has been the number of letters sent to her by London residents (a) supporting and (b) opposing the London assessment studies; and if she will make a statement.

    I have received several letters from residents of various parts of London. I have passed them on to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, who will consider them alongside the other comments he has received.

    Polish Borders

    To ask the Prime Minister what is her policy on the use of Her Majesty's Government's armed services to guarantee the existing borders of Poland.

    We have no such policy. We are committed to fulfil Britain's collective defence obligations arising from the North Atlantic and modified Brussels treaties within the areas covered by these treaties. We are also committed to the principles set out in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, including the inviolability of frontiers. The question of Poland's borders needs to be finally settled by a binding treaty instrument. We welcome the Federal German Government's intention to reaffirm the inviolability of Poland's borders.

    South Africa

    To ask the Prime Minister how many representations she has received from British investors in South Africa supporting the lifting of sanctions.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she has received any communications from President de Klerk following the release of Nelson Mandela.

    We are in frequent contact with the South African Government at all levels on a wide range of issues, both here and through Her Majesty's ambassador.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will seek to persuade the South African Government to allow the free flow of funds from outside South Africa to the United Democratic Front.

    I understand that there are no impediments to the flow of funds from outside South Africa to the United Democratic Front.

    To ask the Prime Minister what methods it is her policy to use to facilitate the abolition of apartheid in South Africa; and if she will make a further statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) on 7 March at column 692.

    To ask the Prime Minister what representations the Government has made to South Africa about its activities in Mozambique; and if she will make a statement.

    The South African Government have publicly declared that neither they nor the South African defence force are providing support for Renamo and that South Africa is committed to a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. The South African Government are in no doubt of our views about the territorial integrity of neighbouring states.

    Engagements

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 13 March.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 13 March.

    To ask the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Tuesday 13 March.

    This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I hope to have an Audience of Her Majesty the Queen.

    Scotland

    Loch Lomond

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to confer on the Loch Lomond area the status of a national park.

    There no such plans at present. The designation of the area as a regional park was confirmed by the Secretary of State in April 1988 and it would therefore be appropriate to allow this new arrangement to be developed.The Government will however carefully consider any proposals from the Countryside Commission for Scotland following its review of the management of popular mountain areas.

    Community Charge

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the number of people in Scotland who have had their property confiscated as a result of not paying the community charge.

    Information as to the number of poindings and warrant sales undertaken in respect of community charge arrears is not held centrally.

    Student Finance

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many students will be grant or loan funded by the Scottish Office in 1990–91 as against 1989–90.

    For session 1990–91, the estimated number of students who will be assisted by the Scottish Education Department is 66,000. The latest available figure for session 1989–90 is 66,024. The number of eligible students who will take advantage of the loans facility in session 1990–91 is estimated at 52,600.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what will be the expenditure by the Scottish Office in 1990–91 (a) on student grants and (b) on student loans.

    Self-Governing Schools

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been allocated in the Scottish Office budget for 1990–91 to meet the cost of balloting parents and preparing proposals for self-governing status in schools, and for transitional and special purpose grants to any schools which become self-governing in 1990–91.

    Forecast expenditure of £300,000 has been included in financial plans for 1990–91. Actual provision will be published in the supply estimates for 1990–91 to be laid before the House shortly.

    Assisted Places

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what will be the cost of the assisted places scheme in 1990–91; and what it was in 1989–90.

    The estimated cost of the scheme in the current school year is £6·8 million. Planned expenditure in the 1990–91 school year is £7·8 million.

    Red Deer Commission

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received concerning the funding of the Red Deer Commission; and if he will make a statement.

    The report of the Agriculture Committee on land use and forestry recommended that the commission should be given the powers and resources necessary to achieve a programmed reduction in the open hill population of red deer. The Government's response to the Committee's report is currently being considered.My right hon. and learned Friend has also recently received the Red Deer Commission's annual report for 1988, which comments on the resources available to the commission. The annual budget for the commission's work is determined within the normal public expenditure procedures.

    Heart Disease

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has received the report of the management consultants who were appointed to review health education in Scotland; and if he will make a statement on the position of coronary heart disease prevention in Scotland.

    Touche Ross Management Consultants submitted their report on health education in Scotland on 21 December. A copy of their report has been placed in the Library.The consultants have produced a comprehensive study and detailed recommendations which will require careful consideration. In the light of their proposals, the Government intend to take the following steps:

    A national policy statement on health education in Scotland with a positive orientation towards health promotion will be prepared and, following consultation, will be widely disseminated;
    The statement will provide guidance on approaches to health education appropriate to Scottish needs and circumstances; and it will provide guidance on the relationship between a general positive life styles approach and more specifically targeted approaches;
    Powers will be sought in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, enabling a new national health education organisation to be established. It is envisaged that the new organisation, which will replace the Scottish Health Education Group, will come into operation on 1 April 1991;
    The new health education organisation will operate within the framework of the national policy statement and on the basis of policy guidance from the Scottish Home end Health Department;
    The organisation will take steps to improve the publication and supply of health education material to health boards and other interested groups;
    Health boards will be required to develop a strategy for health education within guidelines set by the national policy statement;
    Liaison between the national organisation and health boards will be improved by the establishment of a formal liaison group;
    The national organisation will commission research to establish the cost-effectiveness of health education/promotion programmes.

    The Scottish Health Education Group will continue its activities in the meantime and provide the main staffing and expertise of the new organisation.

    A study on coronary heart disease in Scotland undertaken by a working group of the Scottish Health Service Planning Council on Prevention and Health Promotion has also been completed and a copy of the group's report has been placed in the Library.

    The group has confirmed the serious incidence of coronary heart diseases in Scotland and advised that the general positive life styles approach, already adopted in Scotland, is the most effective means of preventing coronary heart disease. It recommends, however, that this general approach should be presented more aggressively than at present and should be reinforced by an approach which targets health education at individuals most at risk, principally through the primary care sector.

    The prevention of coronary heart disease will be one of the specific subjects that will be addressed in the Government's national policy statement and in the remit given to the new health education body. The details of the proposed individual approach will be carefully examined and taken into account in the continuing development of our approach to coronary heart disease prevention.

    The Government acknowledge the capable work of Touche Ross Management Consultants and the Scottish Health Service Planning Council Working Group on Prevention and Health Promotion and believe that the strategy outlined in this answer, which is based on their conclusions, will enable health education generally, and coronary heart disease in particular, to be tackled more effectively in Scotland.

    City Technology Academies

    To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was or is planned to be spent on city technology academies in 1988–89, 1989–90 and 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: There was no expenditure on technology academies in 1988–89. In the current financial year, following the appointment of a project director in March 1989, around £100,000 has so far been spent, on salary costs, professional fees for site assessments and so on, and travel and office costs. Planned expenditure for 1990–91 is £3·3 million.

    National Finance

    Negligence

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances the Treasury indemnifies private undertakings for their negligence; and if he will list the undertakings so protected.

    As a general rule the Government do not indemnify private undertakings for their negligence.However, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales have, with the agreement of the Treasury, issued to certain water undertakers (i) statutory indemnities under section 172 of the Water Act 1989 and (ii) non-statutory indemnities in accordance with minutes laid before Parliament on 23 November 1989. These indemnities cover liabilities incurred by the water undertakers concerned in connection with the addition of fluoride to the water they supply. The indemnities specifically exclude any liabilities, costs, expenses or expenditure incurred in respect of any criminal proceedings.

    European Investment Bank

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer at what interest rate and for what amount the loan was given by the European Investment Bank in respect of the Channel tunnel; and when it will be fully paid back.

    The European Investment Bank approved a loan of £1 billion in 1987 in respect of the Channel tunnel. The loan will primarily be at fixed interest rates and for a range of maturities of up to 25 years. The terms will reflect prevailing market conditions. Because the loan will be drawn down through a series of finance contracts phased over seven years, and not all the loan has been drawn yet, it is impossible to say at this stage when the loan will be fully paid back.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government have underwritten or offered guarantees on the European Investment Bank's loans to the Channel tunnel promoters.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will name the United Kingdom representative directors on the European Investment Bank board and the number of meetings each has attended in each of the years they have been directors.

    The United Kingdom has three full-time representative directors on the European Investment Bank board—Mr. H. P. Evans from Her Majesty's Treasury, Miss E. Llewellyn-Smith from the Department of Trade and Industry and Mr. A. J. O. Ritchie from the Union Discount Co. plc. The number of meetings each has attended in each of the years they have been directors is:

    YearsAttendance
    Mr. H. P. Evans19892 meetings
    Appointed in October 198919901 meeting
    Miss E. Llewellyn-Smith19874 meetings

    Years

    Attendance

    Appointed in May 1987

    19889 meetings
    19898 meetings
    19902 meetings
    Mr. A. J. Ritchie19861 meeting

    Appointed October 1986

    19877 meetings
    19889 meetings
    19897 meetings
    19902 meetings

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what loans or guarantees were given to United Kingdom projects by the European Investment Bank since 1979, with the amount in each case.

    The total amount of loans given by the European Investment Bank to United Kingdom projects in each year since 1979 is as follows:

    £ million
    1979553·3
    1980417·3
    1981139·5
    1982273·8
    1983410·7
    1984547·0
    1985660·1
    1986873·8
    1987801·3
    1988790·2
    19891,084·3
    The European Investment Bank only rarely guarantees loans within the Community. As a general rule the guarantees on the bank's loans are provided by member states' Governments, public authorities or first-class financial institutions.

    Corporation Tax

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will express the current level of corporation tax in the United Kingdom as a percentage of gross domestic product and provide comparable figures for other European Community countries and the United States of America.

    On the first part of the question I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for

    Stamp duty yield attributable to residential property and average house prices
    1985–861986–871987–881988–89
    RegionStamp duty yieldAverage house priceStamp duty yieldAverage house priceStamp duty yieldAverage house priceStamp duty yieldAverage house price
    £ million££ million££ million££ million£
    North522,7541025,0581523,1321530,667
    Yorkshire and Humberside1023,7561525,9282528,4174034,805
    East Midlands1525,8632029,1713033,1385543,272
    East Anglia1532,5491526,5463545,6114561,310
    South East14546,39220557,10229568,09336080,249
    Greater London10542,00215050,06121060,33925076,999
    SouthWest4034,2616039,8119546,71312561,985
    West Midlands2026,3862528,8104033,8736045,179
    North West1525,6542028,0723529,9895035,583
    Wales525,3331027,5021530,2102536,007
    Scotland2027,2603028,1153029,4284032,031
    Northern Ireland 23,51326,74928,09430,335
    Total4005708201,065

    Note: Regional figures may not add to totals due to rounding.

    Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 1 March 1990, Official Report, column 265. The most recent comparable figures for European Community countries and the United States of America are given in table 12 of "Revenue Statistics of OECD Member Countries 1964–1988" which is available in the Library.

    Employee Share Ownership

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies have taken up the employee share ownership plan; and if he will make a statement.

    I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) on 6 March 1990, Official Report, column 593.

    Stamp Duty

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the increase in the yield of stamp duty from house purchase by regions and valuation districts for the last five years; and if he will tabulate this against property value averages and stamp duty thresholds.

    The table gives the estimated yield from stamp duty on residential property, broken down by regions, for each of the years 1985–86 to 1988–89. The estimates for Scotland and Northern Ireland are very tentative since the available information does not distinguish receipts from residential property in those regions. Estimates of stamp duty on residential property broken down by valuation districts are not available.The table also sets out average regional house prices for the same years, at mortgage completion stage. This information is derived from "Housing Finance" published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.The latest estimate of stamp duty receipts in 1989–90 attributable to residential property was given in the reply to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 7 February 1990,

    Official Report, column 643. A regional breakdown of this figure and average regional prices for 1989–90 are not yet available.

    The stamp duty threshold of £30,000 was set in 1984.

    Rented Property

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new lettings have been made available as a result of the introduction of the business expansion scheme in (a) inner London, (b) Greater London, (c) other metropolitan areas and (d) the United Kingdom as a whole, expressed both as a figure and as a percentage of (i) all privately rented property and (ii) all rented property.

    Provisional estimates for new lettings from investments under the business expansion scheme in 1988–89 are as follows. Separate figures for inner and Greater London and other metropolitan areas could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

    New lettings
    TotalAs a percentage of:
    all privately rented propertyall rented property
    South East England2,2500·40·1
    United Kingdom6,5000·40·1
    Information for 1989–90 is not yet available.

    Budget Statement

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whom it is his practice to consult in the preparation of his Budget statement.

    My right hon. Friend the Chancellor consults a number of people and interest groups in preparation for the Budget statement. He also receives a large number of written representations.

    Council House Sales

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much additional lending has been injected into the economy since 1979 as a result of council house sales; and if he will make a statement.

    Council house sales increase personal sector borrowing and reduce public sector borrowing. No estimates of the net effect on borrowing are available.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what inflationary impact the sale of council houses has had on the economy.

    Council house sales have contributed to the improvement in the supply side of the economy and so should help the Government in their objective of reducing inflation.

    Inflation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the current rate of inflation if mortgage interest payments were excluded from the calculation of the retail price index.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which European Community countries (a) include and (b) exclude mortgage interest payments in the assessment of consumer inflation.

    Of EC countries, only the United Kingdom and Ireland include mortgage interest payments in their calculation of the consumer price index. Three other countries, Germany, Netherlands and Spain include some other indicator of owner-occupiers' costs. The remaining seven make no such allowance.

    Mortgages

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in tabular form, and at constant prices the amounts which would be payable each month (a) at 15 per cent. and (b) at 9·8 per cent., on a standard repayment mortgage repayable over 25 years, of each of the regional average mortgages listed in his answer of 19 February, Official Report, column 518, to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen).

    [holding answer 8 March 1990]: The monthly interest payments, after deduction of basic rate tax relief, for part (a) are given in the table. For part (b), I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 26 February 1990, Official Report, column 12.

    RegionAverage new mortgage1Monthly payment2 15 per cent, interest rate
    ££
    Northern28,400266·25
    Yorkshire and Humberside29,600277·50
    East Midlands34,700340·00
    East Anglia44,600463·75
    Greater London60,900667·50
    South East53,200571·25
    South West43,700452·50
    West Midlands33,800328·75
    North West31,300297·50
    Wales30,200283·75
    Scotland26,500248·44
    Northern Ireland24,200226·88
    United Kingdom38,300385·00
    1 Third quarter 1989.
    2 Assuming endowment mortgage.

    Composite Rate Tax

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will update the answer given to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) on 13 February 1989, Official Report, column 80, on composite rate tax on investment income;(2) if he will update the answer on interest taxation given to the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) on 10 January 1989,

    Official Report, column 630;

    (3) if he will update the answer on taxation given to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) on 13 February 1989, Official Report, column 84.

    [holding answer 8 March 1990]: The latest information is as follows. Estimates for 1986–87 are now final.There were some 64 million accounts subject to composite rate and which earned over £1 interest in 1986–87, some of which were held by clubs or other non-individuals. Of these accounts, it is estimated that 49 million were held by investors whose composite rate interest would be wholly liable to tax in the absence of composite rate system, and 13 million by investors none of whose composite rate interest would be liable. The balance of about 2 million accounts was held by investors part of whose interest would be liable to tax if there were no composite rate system.In 1988–89, the latest year for which information is available, about £450 million of the composite rate tax accounted for by building societies, banks and other deposit takers was due in respect of interest that would not have been liable to tax in the hands of its recipients in the absence of a composite rate scheme, and about £3,050 million was due in respect of interest that would have been liable to tax.

    Business Expansion Scheme

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will give figures to show the tax revenue written off in respect of the business expansion scheme for (a) nursing homes and clinics and (b) hospitals opened for each year since 1983;(2) if he will give the total number of schemes involving

    (a) nursing homes and clinics and (b) hospitals which have taken advantage of the business expansion scheme; and if he will give the total bed numbers involved in each scheme.

    [holding answer 8 March 1990]: I regret that the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

    Statistical Divisions

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts, by grade, in the statistical divisions in the Central Office of Information; if he will differentiate between staff in statistical posts and staff in administrative posts; and if he will give the staffing complements by grade, and differentiated between statistical and administrative posts, proposed for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The Central Office of Information does not have statistical divisions or staff in statistical posts; nor are any proposed for in 1990–91.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts, by grade, in the statistical divisions in his Department; if he will differentiate between staff in statistical posts and staff in administrative posts; and if he will give the staffing complements by grade, and differentiated between statistical and administrative posts, proposed for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The information is as follows:

    Staff in Statistical Divisions1
    Staff in post 1 February 1990Budgeted complement 1989–90Budgeted complement 1990–91
    Unified Grade 51222
    Unified Grade 72887
    SEO243

    Staff in post 1 February 1990

    Budgeted complement 1989–90

    Budgeted complement 1990–91

    HEO456
    Senior assistant statistician/ Assistant statistician444
    EO111111
    AO/AA131314
    Total444747

    Notes:

    1 Defined as divisions headed by Grade 5 Chief Statistician and employed mainly on statistical work. There are other statistician posts in Her Majesty's Treasury which are not included in the above figures.

    2 At the senior levels of the service, where management forms a major component of most jobs, there are service-wide common pay and grading arrangements. These unified grades 1 to 7 are known as the Open structure and cover grades from Permanent Secretary level to Grade 7 level. Within the unified grades there are no formal barriers to movement between the former occupational groups, e.g. scientists, administrators, statisticians; each post should be filled by the person best equipped in terms of skills, ability and experience.

    Public Relations

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts, in the press and public relations office of the Central Office of Information; and what is the proposed complement for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The press office of the Central Office of Information is staffed by one information officer. No increase is proposed for 1990–91.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts, in the press and public relations office of his Department and what is the proposed complement for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The number of press and public relations staff employed in Her Majesty's Treasury on 1 February 1990 was 10 and the budgeted provision was 10; the budgeted provision for 1990–91 is 10.

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total expenditure by the Central Office of Information on press and public relations in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The cost of the press office of the Central Office of Information for 1979–80 to 1983–84 are not readily available. The costs from 1984–85 are as follows:

    £
    1984–8552,528
    1985–8635,173
    1986–8731,234
    1987–8831,185
    1988–8943,450
    1989–90148,850
    1990–91248,700
    1 Estimate.
    2 Budget.

    Privatisation

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total sum paid in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation by the Central Office of Information in 1979–80 and in each subsequent year; and what is his estimate for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: No fees have been paid by the Central Office of Information in the furtherance of privatisation. However, the Central Office of Information has been involved in the following privatisation publicity campaigns:

    DateCampaign
    December 1986British Gas
    February 1987British Airways
    May 1987Rolls-Royce
    July 1987British Airports Authority
    October 1987British Petroleum
    September 1988British Steel
    September 1989Water Authorities
    The costs of these campaigns have been included in answers provided by the Government Department concerned.

    Advertising Expenditure

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the figures for the spending by the Central Office of Information on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: Figures for the Central Office of Information on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material in 1979–80 to 1985–86 were given in the answer at columns 240–42 on 25 November 1986. Figures for the years 1986–87 to 1989–90 are listed in the table.

    Television AdvertisingRadio AdvertisingPress AdvertisingOther Promotion al Material
    £000s£000s£000s£000s
    1986–8745,5173,27833,16815,600
    1987–8845,1701,55932,66518,000
    1988–8934,7141,57641,32426,100
    1989–90149,0962,20453,31028,000
    1 Estimate
    The figures for 1986–87 and subsequent years are now shown on the basis of invoices issued to client departments in the financial year in question. This is a different basis from that used previously. The figures for TV and radio advertising also now include production costs. Privatisations are included. All figures are VAT exclusive.

    Detailed decisions on estimated expenditure on advertising through the Central Office of Information on behalf of other Government Departments for 1990–91 are for departmental Ministers.

    Management Consultants

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the total fees paid out by the Central Office of Information to management consultants in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: Fees paid by the Central Office of Information to management consultants are as follows:

    £
    1979–80nil
    1980–81nil
    1981–8267,690
    1982–83159,424
    1983–84243,868
    1984–8535–883
    1985–8649,338
    1986–871,050
    1987–88nil
    1988–89nil
    1989–90170,000
    1990–91280,000
    1 Estimate.
    2 Budget.

    Gross Domestic Product

    To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for the latest available year and on a comparable basis, the value of gross domestic product per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity for the member states of the European Community, Canada, Japan and the United States of America.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: Following is the information requested.

    GDP per capita at purchasing power parities 19891
    Thousands
    US$
    United Kingdom14·3
    United States of America21·0
    Japan15·6
    Canada19·8
    Germany15·4
    France14·7
    Italy14·0
    Belgium13·8
    Denmark14·4
    Greece7·3
    Ireland8·9
    Luxembourg16·7
    Netherlands13·9
    Portugal7·0
    Spain10·2
    1 Population data are for 1988.

    Source: OECD, provisional figures.

    Trade And Industry

    South Africa

    85.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate how many people's employment in the United Kingdom is dependent upon trade with South Africa; and if he will make a statement.

    Our estimate is that about 50,000 full-time job equivalents may be involved in the export of goods to South Africa. No information is available on the level of exports of services. This is a broad estimate based on the level of visible trade with that country together with an assumption about the relationship between output and employment.

    Business Development

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the take-up in Lancashire of his various programmes of assistance to encourage business development.

    The following information details the take-up in Lancashire of current Department of Trade and Industry programmes of assistance. All figures are from the date in brackets to the end of January 1990:

    Enterprise Initiative (January 1988): 1,031 business reviews have been carried out. Of these 857 have been referred for consultancy advice, and 333 of these projects have been completed.
    Regional Selective Assistance (November 1984): In the Blackburn, Accrington and Rossendale travel-to-work area and the West Lancashire part of the Liverpool travel-to-work area, 248 offers have been made totalling £27,057,463.
    Small Firms Merit Award for Research and Technology (SMART) (October 1988): Two offers have been made totalling £74,350.

    Company Audits

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce procedures under which his Department will monitor the audit qualification appearing in the accounts of large companies with a view to taking early action to deal with the reasons for such qualifications.

    No. My Department will, however, continue to respond to specific complaints about non-compliance with statutory requirements relating to company accounts. In addition, the review panel to be established under the new Financial Reporting Council will consider instances of material departures by large companies from accounting standards.

    Insider Dealing

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans to increase the resources available for the investigation of insider dealing; and if he proposes any structural changes within his Department to increase its effectiveness in this area.

    Inspectors appointed under section 177 of the Financial Services Act 1986 to investigate possible insider dealing offences have normally been from outside my Department. However, members of the companies investigations branches of the Department have been appointed in two recent cases, and my right hon. Friend will continue to make such appointments in appropriate cases. Responsibility within the investigations division of my Department for appointment of and liaison with section 177 inspectors has recently been brought under the inspector of companies. I shall continue to keep the organisation of the work under review with a view to ensuring efficient operation.The Companies Act 1989 contains provisions enabling the Secretary of State to consent to the bringing of prosecutions, for example by the stock exchange, for insider dealing offences; and also to enable him to investigate on behalf of overseas regulators. These provisions came into force on 21 February.

    Stamps

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will discuss with the chairman of the Post Office (a) matters relating to the possible forgery and fraudulent use of the 20p commemorative penny black stamp and (b) the question of the illegal reuse of stamps made possible because of unsatisfactory franking ink; what investigation has been undertaken into possible fraud by such means; and if he will make a statement.

    The Post Office naturally keeps such issues under constant review. It does not consider stamp forgery to be a major problem or that the penny black anniversary issue is any more vulnerable than other stamps. It believes that the information obtained from a major fraud investigation last year has enabled it to tighten measures to prevent fraud.

    Mailing List Brokers

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce statutory regulation of the activities of mailing list brokers.

    I have no plans to do so. Those who own and supply mailing lists which are processed electronically will be subject to the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984.The Advertising Association also operates a code of practice on the use of personal data for advertising and direct marketing purposes.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has received any representations about the activities of mailing list brokers.

    I have received no specific representations, although my Department receives some letters from members of the public who dislike receiving unsolicited mail from sources with which they have had no previous dealings.

    Package Travel

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with his European counterparts with regard to the application of the European directive on package travel to business travel packages; whether agreement has been reached on its application to business trips the elements of which are booked separately; and if he will make a statement.

    The common position on the draft package travel directive reached by EC Ministers at the 21 and 22 December Council was formally agreed on 22 February this year. The directive will normally apply to a pre-arranged package for business purposes. However, a statement in the minutes records the agreement of the Council and the Commission that when a business trip involves separate bookings of transport and accommodation which do not constitute elements of a pre-arranged package, this will not constitute a package for the purposes of the directive. This is the position even though they are invoiced simultaneously by the travel agent.

    Credit Cards

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in seeking undertakings from credit card companies on restrictions on merchant acquisition and the no-discrimination rule following the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on credit card services.

    On 22 August 1989 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State published the MMC report on credit card services. The MMC made two recommendations applicable to both the Visa and Mastercard organisations:

    the "No Discrimination" rule, under which traders are required to charge the same price for purchases made with credit cards as those paid for by cash or other means, should not apply within the UK;
    certain rules restricting the freedom of issuers of Visa and Mastercard cards to act as merchant acquirers should not apply in the UK.
    He announced last year that he had accepted the recommendations and decided then that the Director General of Fair Trading should seek voluntary undertakings from the companies concerned to implement these recommendations.On 27 November 1989 Visa was granted leave to apply for judicial review of certain aspects of the MMC report, and certain of the subsequent actions of both the Secretary of State and the Director General of Fair Trading. Visa has subsequently confirmed that it is unwilling to enter into voluntary undertakings on merchant acquisition until after the outcome of the judicial review is known.In view of this and the delays in implementing the recommendations of the MMC which might result, the Secretary of State has decided to ask the Director General of Fair Trading not to proceed with the negotiation of undertakings.Instead the Secretary of State will begin the process of statutory consultation preliminary to the making of orders under section 56 of the Fair Trading Act. No decision has yet been taken on when these orders should come into force.The Secretary of State announced in December that credit card companies will have to provide the Director General of Fair Trading with information on their charges to retailers and on interchange fees, and to publish certain information. We are now considering representations made to us before initiating the statutory consultation procedure preliminary to the enactment of an order.

    Public Relations

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff, including vacant posts in the press and public relations office of his Department; and what is the proposed complement for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: There are 39 posts in the Department's press office; two are currently vacant. The total includes 15 clerical and support posts. The complement for 1990–91 will be broadly similar.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total expenditure by his Department on press and public relations in 1979–80 and in each following year; and what is his latest estimate for the current year and budget for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: Separate figures for expenditure on press and public relations before 1987–88 are not readily available. Expenditure in that year and subsequently was:

    £ thousands
    1987–881,155
    1988–891,633
    11989–901,847
    1estimated.
    The figures include regional press officer and other support services. I expect expenditure in 1990–91 to be broadly the same as in the current year.

    Privatisation

    To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total sum paid out in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation by his Department in 1979–80 and in each subsequent year; and what is his estimate for 1990–91.

    [holding answer 12 March 1990]: The answer given in reply to a similar question last year on 13 March 1989, Official Report, columns 102–03, gave actual figures for expenditure on expenses associated with privatisations to 1987–88. The following table, based on published information, shows gross expenditure incurred in connection with the sale of shares in British Steel, British Telecom, Rolls-Royce, and Rover Group plc since then, together with an estimate of expenditure in 1990–91. The figures exclude subscriptions for new shares and injections of funds for restructuring, but include commission and some items (such as stamp duty) which were not paid as fees to outside organisations. The Department also incurred expenses in 1988–89 and 1989–90 under individual contracts for advice to the Department in connection with the sales by the Post Office of Girobank plc and by British Shipbuilders of individual businesses and assets: figures for these are excluded on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

    (£000s)
    CompanyYearAmount
    Rolls-Royce1988–8911,155
    1989–9021
    Rover1988–8911,655
    British Steel1988–89158,262
    1989–9023,000
    British Telecom31988–89