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Written Answers

Volume 170: debated on Wednesday 28 March 1990

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 28 March 1990

Education And Science

Science Students

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the cost of educating a science student to Ph.D. level in a university in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Japan, (c) the United States of America, (d) Scandinavia and (e) the countries of the European Community.

Universities (Capital Expenditure)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the figure for 1990–91 for planned capital expenditure for universities in the public expenditure White Paper, Cm. 1011, is on a basis consistent with that for polytechnics and colleges.

I regret that the figures for planned capital expenditure by the Universities Funding Council in table 11.1 of the public expenditure White Paper (Cm. 1011) are not shown on a consistent basis for each year. Figures on a consistent basis are shown in the following table. The percentage increase in planned capital expenditure in 1990–91 is broadly the same for each sector of higher education.

£ million
1988–891989–901990–91
Universities
Funding
Council
Capital141139152(175)
Current1,5851,7131,685(1,661)

Note: Figures as shown in Cm. 1011 in brackets.

Consultancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total amount spent by his Department in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by his Department in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that his Department has budgeted to spend in the current year.

This Department spent £685,000 on computer and management consultancies in the 1989–90 financial year and has budgeted for £540,000 for 1990–91. Contracts awarded in 1989–90 were as follows:

  • Peat Marwick McLintock—Financial management survey of SERC
  • Peat Marwick McLintock—Student loans
  • Price Waterhouse—Student loans
  • PAS Limited—Parent awareness survey
  • Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte—Financial computer system consultancy
  • Peat Marwick McLintock—Financial computer system consultancy
  • SCOLL—IT Specialist productivity
  • FI Group—Grants payments system
  • BIS—CRAMM Reviews
  • Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte—Network security
  • LBMS—INGRES
  • Digitus—Desk Top Publishing
  • Fernhart—Service Desk
  • Butler Cox—Further Education Statistical Records
  • BIS—Telecommunications Darlington
  • Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte—Mainframe replacement
  • Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte—Financial system testing
  • ICL—CRIS-F Report writing
  • CMG—Data modelling
  • BIS—Data collection and electronic data interchange

History Working Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) when he first received the draft of the final report of the history working party;(2) when he first received the final report of the history working party;(3) on what dates in the last year he has met Commander Saunders Watson, chairman of the history working party;(4) when he expects to publish the final report of the history working party.

My right hon. Friend saw a draft of the history working group's report just before Christmas, and received the final report on 31 January. He will publish it soon. He met Commander Saunders Watson on 4 August last year and 10 January this year.

Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the average pension paid to head teachers who retired in 1989; and what was the average pension received by head teachers who retired in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;(2) what is the value at current prices of the average pension received by lecturers in higher education on their retirement in

(a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(3) what is the value at current prices of the average pension received by lecturers in further education on their retirement in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(4) what is the value, at current prices, of the average pension received by head teachers on their retirement in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(5) what is the value at current prices of the average pension received by teachers on their retirement in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(6) what was the average pension paid for lecturers in higher education who retired in 1989; and what is the average pension currently received by lecturers in higher education in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(7) what was the average pension received by lecturers in further education who retired in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969;

(8) what was the average pension paid to teachers who retired in 1989; and what is the average pension currently received by teachers who retired in (a) 1979 and (b) 1969.

[pursuant to his reply, 26 March 1990, c. 35-36]: The average rate of pension paid to teachers, head teachers and lecturers who retired in 1989 was as follows:

£
Teachers5,010
Head teachers8,460
Lecturers5,990

Wales

Footpaths And Bridleways

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list, for each of the years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989, the number of temporary traffic regulation orders made by local authorities under section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to restrict or prohibit the use of footpaths or bridleways for which he gave consent under section 15(2) of that Act for an extension of the period for which the order was in force.

Temporary traffic orders affecting footpaths and bridleways are not separately identified from those affecting road traffic and no records are kept.

Infertility Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the infertility services provided by each health authority in Wales.

Information on infertility services provided by health authorities is not held centrally.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he proposes to charge-cap any Welsh local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

I will decide whether to introduce community charge limitation in Wales in 1990–91 in the light of my consideration of Welsh authorities' expenditure plans.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the rules he intends to use for poll tax-capping in Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give details of the number of additional staff employed to administer the community charge in Wales (a) in total, (b) by county council and (c) by district council.

Pupil-Teacher Ratios

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the present pupil-teacher ratio for (a) primary and (b) post primary schools in Wales.

At January 1989, pupil-teacher ratio was 22·3 for primary schools and 15·4 for secondary schools.

Health Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what are the figures provided to him by each health authority in Wales in respect of (a) the authority's own estimate of the shortfall due to inflation in 1989–90 and (b) the figure by which each authority estimates it is underfunded for 1990–91.

My right hon. Friend and I have seen copies of reports from the treasurers of district health authorities in Wales to their chairmen's committee concerning the financial position of Welsh DHAs generally in the current financial year and their projections for 1990–91. These reports give estimates of shortfalls in funding in both years on the basis of estimates of inflation and other financial pressures. However, they fail to take account of the resources to be released to supplement allocations through the attainment of targets for cost improvements and income generation. They therefore understate the resources available to authorities to meet the financial pressures which they face. So long as minimum cost improvement and income generation targets are achieved—which should be possible in any well-managed authority—allocations in both years should be more than sufficient to meet these financial pressures.

Consultancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total amount spent by the Welsh Development Agency in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by the Welsh Development Agency in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that the Welsh Development Agency has budgeted to spend in the current year.

The Welsh Development Agency has spent £139,534 on the following consultancy contracts in 1989:

CompanyAssignment
Ernst and YoungDocumentation for users of new computer systems and advice on implementing new systems.
P J SullivanDevelopment of integrated data bases from existing computer systems.
Beaufort ResearchMonitoring effectiveness of Agency marketing campaign in Wales
Numbers ResearchMonitoring effectiveness of Agency marketing campaign outside of Wales.
Taylor NelsonMonitoring effectiveness of Agency food initiative marketing campaign.
BJMCustomer attitudes monitoring.
The agency estimates that £150,000 will be spent on such contracts in 1990.

Myodil

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the number of people in each health authority area in Wales who have been affected adversely by the use of myodil in connection with X-ray tests.

I shall write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.

Energy

Consultancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was the total amount spent by his Department in 1989 on management and computer contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by his Department in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that his Department has budgeted to spend in the current year.

My Department spent £618,000 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases, in the financial year 1989–90.Contracts placed with private sector firms and companies for management and computer consultancies during 1989–90 were:

ConsultantsSubject
Price WaterhouseAdvice on, and implementation of, databases related to North Sea oil and gas activity.
KPGTransfer of data from magnetic tape to optical disk.
J. P. KennyAdvice on electronic storage of petroleum maps.
BISAdvice on local area networks for computers.
BusinesslandAdvice on data communication links.
Specialist ServicesDevelopment of industrial capabilities
Scotlanddatabase for the Offshore Supplies Office
Oracle (UK) LtdDevelopment of a database for recording offshore safety incidents.
Saxton BampfyldeRecruitment consultants for chairman of North Western Electricity Board.
Russell ReynoldsRecruitment consultants for chairman of National Power.
TDA Consulting group Ltd.Management training.
Jonathan Coates and AssociatesManagement training.
TFC Ltd.Management training.
Brewster Computer Training Ltd.IT training.
FI Word Processing Services Ltd.IT training.
PST Ltd.IT training.
My Department has budgeted to spend an estimated £750,000 on management and computer consultancy in the financial year 1990–91.

Foreign And Commonwealth Affairs

Disarmament

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all the current fora in which east-west disarmament talks are taking place.

NATO and the Warsaw pact are negotiating on conventional armed forces in Europe in Vienna, and at the open skies conference due to resume in Budapest next month; and (together with the neutral and non-aligned countries) on confidence and security-building measures in Vienna. Forty nations take part in the chemical weapons talks at the conference on disarmament in Geneva. The United States and the Soviet Union are negotiating on START and on nuclear testing, also in Geneva.

Conference On Security And Co-Operation In Europe

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there is likely to be a conference on security and co-operation in Europe this year.

A meeting of the Heads of State or Government of the CSCE participating states is likely to be held in the course of this year. The CSCE intersessional meetings for 1990 agreed at the Vienna follow-up meeting will also take place.

Purchasing Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department achieved the target of a 5 per cent. saving in purchasing costs in 1988–89 through use of the central unit on purchasing.

Yes. In 1988–89, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office achieved purchasing savings of 9·1 per cent.

Cuba

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the United States of America to restore normal relations with Cuba; and if he will make a statement.

Nigeria

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will request the Nigerian authorities to expedite the issue of temporary employment visas for United Kingdom nationals carrying out duties in Nigeria with a stay of less than 90 days.

Under Nigerian rules, applications for temporary employment visas have to be referred to Nigeria for decision. We regularly press the Nigerian authorities to reduce delays to a minimum, and have been able to help with some individual cases.

German Democratic Republic

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the elections in the German Democratic Republic.

We welcome the recent elections in the GDR, which all observers consider to have been free and fair. We look forward to developing relations with the new Government once formed.

Baltic States

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards self-determination in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

We have never recognised de jure the incorporation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the Soviet Union in 1940. We recognise the right of the Baltic peoples to say what their own future should be.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards political developments in (a) Lithuania, (b) Estonia and (c) Latvia.

We support the right of the Baltic peoples to decide their own future, and have welcomed the considerable progress made in the past two years.Against the background of recent developments we now think it vital that the dialogue between the Soviet authorities and the Lithuanians should continue. We attach particular importance to the repeated statements by the Soviet leadership that there is no question of use of force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will meet leaders of the Sajudis Popular Front of Lithuania.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has no plans for any such meeting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the political situation in (a) Lithuania, (b) Estonia and (c) Latvia.

The Soviet Union is well aware of our view that the Baltic peoples should be enabled to determine their own future. We have made clear to the Russians our concern about the situation in Lithuania and our firm view that continued dialogue between the Soviet authorities and the Lithuanians is essential.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by the Baltic states to the British Government concerning the Baltic gold deposited for safekeeping with the Bank of England at the outbreak of the war.

The criteria which we apply to the recognition of a state are explained in the answer which the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave) gave to a question by the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 19 March. It would be open to the Government of any future independent state in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania to make representations on the subject of gold deposits.

Buchenwald Exhibition

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to Buchenwald concentration camp to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 11 to 15 June.

Consultancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total amount spent by his Department in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by his Department in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that his Department has budgeted to spend in the current year.

We estimate that our expenditure in the financial year 1989–90 on management and computer consultancy will be:

£
Management consultancy232,100
Computer consultancy1,691,710
Individual contracts awarded during the year were:

Management consultancies

  • W. S. Atkins Energy Limited—Energy survey
  • MWH Project Services Limited—Refurbishment project
  • The Anne Shaw organisation—Review of car pool
  • Pergamon Technical Services—Revision of regulations
  • Coopers and Lybrand—Study of Personnel Department
  • Coopers and Lybrand—Entry clearance study
  • Market and Opinion Research International—Staff communications Survey
  • Duhig Berry Limited—Scoping study of Project Support Office

Computer consultancies

  • BIS Applied Systems Limited—Systems Development
  • Casu Electronics Limited—Systems Development
  • Logica UK Limited—Requirements Analysis
  • The Instruction Set Limited—Requirement Analysis
  • Price Waterhouse—Project Management
  • BRS Europe—Systems Development
  • Software Sciences Limited—Systems Development/Training Consultancy
  • Infosound Limited—Training Aids
  • Secure Information Systems Limited—Systems Strategy
  • Towngate Software Limited—Systems Development
  • Technological Solutions Limited—Programming
  • Praxis Systems plc—Systems Analysis and Design/Project Management
  • Applied Learning International Limited—Training Aids
  • Management Systems Development Limited—Feasibility Study/Systems Development
  • Casu Europe Limited—Systems Development
  • SCICON—FOLIOS Development
  • Duhig Berry Limited—Project Control Systems
  • Computer Learning Centre Limited—Traning Aids
  • Ashford Associates Limited—Post-Implementation Review
  • Softlab Limited—Risk Analysis
  • Kinesis Computing Limited—Systems Development
  • Mega Consultancy—Building and Cabling Works
  • Absolute Solutions—Technical Documentation
  • Digitus—Systems Development
  • System Assurance Limited—Strategy Support
  • PA Limited—Organisational Issues
  • P + P Corporate Systems Limited—Systems Development
  • NCR Limited—Systems Development
  • BOS Software Limited—Systems Development

There is no specific budgetary provision of management consultancy for the financial year 1990–91, but our present estimated expenditure is £37,500. The budget for computer consultancy is £1,430,000.

Attorney-General

Crown Prosecution Service

To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the number of cases where the Crown prosecution service has failed to prosecute when a coroner's court has brought in a verdict of unlawful killing during the last five years.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Consultancies

To ask the Attorney-General what was the total amount spent by his Department in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by his Department in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that his Department has budgeted to spend in the current year.

No expenditure on management and computer consultancy contracts was incurred by the legal secretariat to the Law Officers in 1989–90, and no such expenditure is expected by the Treasury Solicitor's Department. In 1989–90 the Crown prosecution service spent £550,000 on management and computer consultancy contracts, while the Serious Fraud Office estimates its expenditure to be nil in respect of management consultancy contracts, but £213,000 in respect of computer consultancy contracts in 1989–90. The contracts awarded by the Crown prosecution service in 1989–90 were as follows:

PA Management Consultants—staffing model development study,
The Human Science and Advanced Technology Research Centre, Loughborough University—evaluation of the use of information technology to present evidence in court,
Kinesis Computing Limited—assistance with legal information feasibility study,
Cumulus Software Limited—training and assistance with changes to case tracking software,
Aims Systems Limited—assistance with formal specification of SCOPE case management project,
Yale Data Management Limited—assistance with the production of the SCOPE operational requirement and procurement.
The computer consultancy contracts awarded by the Serious Fraud Office were as follows:

Digitus—systems analysis, design and implementation of computerised case tracking system,
ITL—preparation of computer manual for document control system,
Digitus—programming amendments to computer system for document control,
Digitus—systems acceptance of case tracking and investigation system,
Ultracomp—preparation of performance tests for case tracking and investigation system,
CCTA—IT strategy study,
S & S Enterprises Limited—recovery of data from disc.
The total amounts the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Crown prosecution service and Serious Fraud Office have budgeted to spend in 1990–91 are nil, £5,000, £395,000 and £200,000 respectively.

To ask the Attorney-General what was the total amount spent by the Land Registry in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by the Land Registry in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that the Land Registry has budgeted to spend in the current year.

Management and computer consultancy contracts were awarded by the Land Registry in 1989 as follows:

Management Consultancy

Industrial Training Service Ltd.—Programme to develop management training.

Computer Consultancy

Business Information Management—Technical advice on a requirement document for procurement of a new digital mapping system.
PAFEC Ltd.—An investigation into techniques for the colour scanning of map records.
Intergraph (UK) Ltd.—Software development of the Registry's Intergraph System.
Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency—Departmental Support Agreement providing ongoing technical advice support and Information Technology procurement services.

The Land Registry estimates that its expenditure in the financial year 1989–90, including expenditure on CCTA will be £42,899·70, and for 1990–91 a budget of £50,000 has been set.

Prime Minister

Consultancies

To ask the Prime Minister what was the total amount spent by the Cabinet Office in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if she will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by the Cabinet Office in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that the Cabinet Office has budgeted to spend in the current year.

The expenditure by the Cabinet Office on management and computer consultancies, excluding purchases of hardware and software, is estimated to be £163,900 in 1989–90. The management and computer consultancy contracts let by the Cabinet Office during 1989–90 are as follows:

FirmAssignment
Coopers and LybrandPilot study on evaluation
Infomet LtdSystem building for local area network
National Children's BureauAdvice on the London Childcare Project
Nettel LtdAdapting software to user requirement
Oracle Corportation UK LtdRedevelopment of management information system
Peter Williams AssociatesAdvice on the London Childcare Project
Praxis SystemsAssistance in the analysis, design and formulation of software
Price WaterhouseAdvice on performance indicators and management information systems
FirmAssignment
Price WaterhouseDesign and write database system
Psytech LtdDevelopment of computerised system to support use of psychometric testing in recruitment schemes
Shaista FaruqiDesign of recruitment monitoring system
Systematika LtdSoftware development for personnel record system

Overseas Development

Aids

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the reasons for the resignation of Dr. Jonathan Mann, the director and founder of the World Health Organisation's global programme on AIDS; and if he will make it his policy to freeze the British contribution to that programme until he is satisfied about the future effectiveness of that programme in the absence of Dr. Mann.

The reasons for Dr. Mann's resignation are a matter between him, the World Health Organisation and its director general. The Government's interest is to work for the continuation of an effective global programme on AIDS.An acting director of the WHO global programme on AIDS, Dr. M. Merson, has taken office. We shall be working closely with him and will continue to monitor carefully, with other donors, the progress of the programme. We shall consider future United Kingdom support and its timing in the light of real practical progress and developments.

Home Department

Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many intravenous drug users in Her Majesty's prisons were HIV sero-positive in each of the last five years.

Because HIV antibody tests are carried out only with informed consent, the antibody status of intravenous drug users identified while in prison custody will not always be known. Since June 1987 prison medical officers have reported the risk category or categories of identified HIV-infected prisoners. In the last seven months of that year, 41 of the cases were reported to be in the intravenous drug user category. The corresponding figures for the full calendar years 1988 and 1989 were 60 and 44 respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the breakdown of known drug users on the Home Office notification index by enumeration districts of the small area statistics of the 1981 census in the last year for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available. The tables on addicts notified to the Home Office in 1989 published in "Statistics of the Misuse of Drugs: addicts notified to the Home Office, United Kingdom, 1989 Area tables", a copy of which is in the Library, break down some information by police force and local authority areas. Figures for district health authorities are also available on request, for England, from the Department of Health.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) black or other ethnic minority and (b) white drug possession offenders were (i) cautioned and (ii) charged for each police force in 1989.

Information on the ethnic background of drug possession offenders is not held centrally.

Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many defendants found guilty of crimes of violence have been recommended for deportation by the courts over the past five years;(2) where the Home Office has served a notice to deport, in how many cases over the last five years this was following a drugs-related offence; and in how many cases it was following an offence of violence to the person.

Farzad Bazoft

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what name Farzad Bazoft first entered the United Kingdom.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on what grounds the recommendation of the judge for the deportation of Farzad Bazoft was overruled;(2) what evidence was available at the time the decision was made not to deport Mr. Farzad Bazoft to indicate that his life would be at risk if he were to return to Iran; and what was the source of that evidence.

It was decided not to deport Mr. Bazoft to Iran because of documentary evidence that he would be arrested by the Iranian authorities because of his political opinions. It is not the practice to disclose sources of evidence in individual asylum cases.

South Yorkshire Fire And Civil Defence Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the result of the discussions he had with members of the South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority in respect of their 1990–91 financial situation.

My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State met at their request a delegation from South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority on 15 January to listen to their concerns about the standard spending assessment for the authority for 1990–91, which is 11·8 per cent. greater than their grant-related expenditure assessment for 1989–90.

My right hon. and noble Friend took note of the concerns expressed and Her Majesty's inspectorate of fire services will monitor closely the operational capacity of the South Yorkshire fire service. Ministers have agreed to consider any new evidence on standard spending assessments with regard to the possibility of making changes for 1991–92 if this should prove necessary.

National Finance

Value Added Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he has received concerning value added tax on food; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has received a number of representations.

Payroll Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to the implementation of a payroll tax similar to that in the United States of America.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has no plans to introduce such a tax.

Married Couple's Allowance

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the cost to the Exchequer at the 1990–91 tax rates announced in the Budget of the married couple's allowance; and how much of this cost is attributable to taxpayers aged below 65 years.

The direct revenue cost in a full year, at 1990–91 levels of income, of the married couple's allowance is estimated to be about £5·5 billion, of which £4·8 billion is attributable to married couples where both the husband and wife are aged under 65. The extra relief is worth £8·27 per week to a basic rate taxpayer not entitled to a higher, age-related, allowance.Estimates are based on a projection of the 1987–88 survey of personal incomes and are provisional.

Budget (Gains)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the gain per individual arising from each relevant component of the 1990 Budget, both at current prices and net of indexation for those at one half and three quarters of average earnings, average earnings and one and a half, two, five and 10 times average earnings; and if he will provide comparable figures for each Budget since 1979.

Individuals will benefit directly or indirectly from many Budget measures. These gains will vary

Consultancy firmContracts
A. PalmerDevelopment Training
Aims SystemsSSADM
AlkemiStandby Disaster Plan
Ashvent LimitedComputer Training

according to their specific circumstances, as well as their level of earnings, and it would be impracticable to attempt to estimate the effects of all the measures listed in table 4.1 of the 1990 FSBR, let alone for each Budget since 1979. Information on the effects of specific measures may be found in the press notices issued each Budget day by Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.

Mortgage Interest

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Preston (Mrs. Wise) of 15 March, Official Report, column 654, if he will give for the years 1988 and 1989 the total amount of mortgage interest paid, distinguishing between changes due to changes in the level of interest rates and changes due to changes in the stock of mortgages; and what is the number of mortgages outstanding and their average size as at 31 December 1987, 31 December 1988 and 31 December 1989.

The latest estimates are that total mortgage interest payments grew from £22·1 billion in 1988 to £32·3 billion in 1989; 53 per cent. of the increase was due to the effect of the increase in interest rates on the stock of mortgages in 1988 and 47 per cent. to the effect of the increase in stock in 1989, including the effect of the rise in the interest rate on the increase in stock. Estimates of the numbers of mortgages outstanding and their average size in the last three financial years are given in the table:

Mortgages qualifying for income tax relief
Outstanding mortgages (thousands)Average size of mortgage (£)
1987–888,75017,000
1 1988–899,10021,000
1 1989–909,30024,500
1 Provisional.

Consultancies

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount spent by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that Her Majesty's Customs and Excise has budgeted to spend in the current year.

The total amount spent by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in the financial year 1989–90 was £3,251,798.The consultancy firms awarded contracts in management and computer consultancy, excluding hardware arid software purchases, are as follows:

Consultancy firm

Contracts

BIS Applied SystemsCabling Requirement Partnership Agreement
Branton KentonGeneral Training Consultancy
British TelecomDAS Network Consultancy
Bull HNCedric Technical Support
CCTAService and Support Agreements
Change MattersDevelopment Training
ComshareOperational Planning System
Consultancy LecturingComputer Training
Coopers LybrandManagement Information System
D. Megginson AssociatesDevelopment Training
DatafitVAT System Software Development
Deloitte Haskins SellsPersonnel System
EOSYSCabling Study
Ernst and YoungInformation Management Study Expert System for VAT Control Staff
ExpertechExpert System Development
F. E. J. PeachComputer Training
Hoskyns Group plcChief Consultancy
ICLLocal User Requirement Analysis Computer Training
InforemBusiness Analysis
Langdon Systems Ltd.Computer Training
LBMSVAT II Consultancy
Logica UK Ltd.Seizure System for Heathrow Partnership Agreement
M. E. ParkinsonVAT Training
Max A. EggartGeneral Training Consultancy
Meritkeen Ltd.General Training Consultancy
MetronCapacity Management Planning
MFT Computer SystemsCentral Tariff Quota Unit Mini Computer Strategy Study
Oasis Ltd.Knowledge Based System
OctagonTelephone Management Initiative
Onsite Training Ltd.Computer Training
P. A. Consulting GroupChief Project Support Forward Plan Study Project Management Cadre VAT II Relocation Study
Performance Systems IncorporatedCapacity Management Consultancy Personnel Recruitment System
PPAComputer Training
PraxisProject Planning System Performance Related Pay

Consultancy firm

Contracts

Price WaterhouseSingle European Market Strategy
Rede GroupQuality Management Initiative
Regional SoftwareConsultancy Support
SamnaWord Processing Study
SJB CommunicationsTelecoms Consultancy
Soft OptionsSoftware Evaluation
Style ConferencesAudio Visual Study General Training Consultancy
TDA Consultancy GroupDevelopment Training
Thorn EMIVAT Measures Consultancy
Touche RossOperational Planning System Chief Technical Assurance
University of BathLocal Delegation Study
Welcom Software InternationalChief Project Cost Management
Yale DataIntegrated Tariff

The total amount budgeted to be spent in the year 1990–91 by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise is £4,544,000.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount spent by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that Her Majesty's Stationery Office has budgeted to spend in the current year.

The total amount spent in 1989 was £290,000 and the budget for 1990 is £480,000.The following contracts were awarded in 1989:

FirmSubject of Assignment
NCCAdvice on electronic data interchange
BatalasQuality assurance audit (BS 5750)
MortiboysQuality assurance audit (BS 5750)
David Hutchins AssociatesTotal quality management
CCTAGeneral IT consultancy
OASISBusiness supplies development
Touche RossData administration standards
Touche RossPreliminary accountancy system design
D. Harris AssociatesPost implementation reviews of IT projects
Technigraphic Bristol Ltd.Design and manage building works

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount spent by the Inland Revenue in 1989 on management and computer consultancy contracts, excluding hardware and software purchases; if he will list each management or computer consultancy contract awarded by the Inland Revenue in 1989, giving in each case the name of the consultancy firm and the subject of the assignment; and what is the total amount that the Inland Revenue has budgeted to spend in the current year.

The amount spent by the Inland Revenue in the financial year 1989–90 on management and computer consultancy contracts excluding hardware and software purchases is expected to be about £16·1 million.The Inland Revenue has awarded the following consultancy contracts in 1989–90:

Touche Ross Management Consultants: Records Management
Printing Industry Research Association: Reprographics
HMSO Technical Services: Reprographics
Organisations and Systems Innovations Ltd.: BROCS Project Office
Oracle (UK) Ltd.: Systems development
Henley Business Systems Ltd.: Evaluation of MIDAS software
Expertech: Expert systems for BROCS
Gmb Support Ltd.: IR Suggestions Scheme
BIS Applied Systems Ltd.: Security risk assessment of systems
IMB UK Ltd.: Systems development
Trident Computer Services Ltd.: COVA project support
Inforem: Technical support

A budget of £17 million has been allocated by the Inland Revenue for the financial year 1990–91.

Default Surcharge

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the review of the operation and impact of the default surcharge has been completed; and if he will make a statement.

The review we announced in July 1988 has been completed. A very thorough examination of the operation and effectiveness of the default surcharge was carried out and very careful consideration was given to the submissions made by many interested parties. We have, however, no plans for changes at the present time, although the matter will be kept under constant review.

Commemorative Coins

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if Her Majesty's Government have plans to issue any new commemorative coins.

Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve my recommendation that a special £5 crown be issued to commemorate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. There will be a normal version of the coin issued at face value, and collectors' versions in precious metal and base metal, issued at a premium.

Finance Bill

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Finance Bill will be published.

Environment

Deputy Secretaries

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the responsibilities of each of the deputy secretaries in his Department and the numbers and ranks of staff reporting to each.

Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7SEOHEOEOAOAAIndustrialTotal
Planning, inner cities and rural affairs3·01·013·010·049·043·057·067·080·020·0343·0
Local government and central finance3·00·514·07·044·028·063·083·094·036·5371·5
Environmental protection5·022·533·0123·048·060·085·095·023·0494·5
Legal2·010·010·015·51·06·010·02·056·5
Housing, construction and sport4·021·014·577·527·081·0127·0149·040·0541·0
Establishments3·01·010·013·040·074·5149·5214·5207·5348·51,067·5
Heritage and Royal Estate1·02·01·07·07·037·0156·038·07·0371·5627·5
Planning inspectorate1·02·011·0114·085·04·024·068·5160·5100·0570·0
Regional offices6·01·019·014·0105·585·0149·5212·5222·077·5892·0

Hindu Temple, Hertsmere

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will announce his decision concerning the planning application for a Hindu temple to be built in the borough of Hertsmere.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, West (Mr. Jones) on 20 March at columns 600-17.

There are six deputy secretaries in DOE (central). Their responsibilities are planning, inner cities and rural affairs; local government and finance; environmental protection; legal services; housing, construction and sport; and establishments and the built heritage. The planning inspectorate and regional directors also report to the deputy secretary responsible for establishments and the built heritage. There are a further three deputy secretaries in the Property Services Agency.The numbers of staff by grade reporting to each of the deputy secretaries in DOE(C) on 1 February are set out in the table.There are also certain groups within DOE(C) which do not report through a deputy secretary. These consist of private offices (with 63 staff) and information (with 44 staff).The figures also exclude staff at the Historic Royal Palaces Agency which became an executive agency on 2 October 1989, and the Building Research Establishment, which it is proposed should become an executive agency on 2 April 1990.I will write to my hon. Friend with further information regarding the Property Services Agency.

Disabled People (Housing)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps his Department is taking to encourage local housing authorities to provide home improvement agency services to disabled home owners where voluntary sector agencies do not operate.

My Department is currently reviewing the best way of using the provisions in section 169 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 relating to the provision and long-term funding of home improvement agency services, including those for the disabled. I hope to be able to make an announcement later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department will take steps to place a duty on local housing authorities to replace properties sold to disabled people under the right to buy.

No. Such properties are not lost to the housing stock, and would in any case not be available for re-letting so long as the secure tenants remained in occupation.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish a table showing the Government's percentage contribution to local expenditure for each year since 1978–79 together with a forecast for (a) the current financial year and (b) 1990–91 based on the budgets which have been agreed by the local authorities to date.

The available information is as given in the table:

Aggregate Exchequer grant as percentage of relevant expenditure
Per cent.
1978–7959·8
1979–8058·6
1980–8157·2
1981–8254·9
1982–8351·7
1983–8450·1
1984–8550·0
1985–8649·0
1986–8745·4
1987–8844·4
1988–8942·5
11989–9040·5
1 Based on local authority budgets.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by local authority area the total amount paid in lieu of non-domestic rates by formula-rated properties in 1989–90 and the equivalent contribution being made to the non-domestic pool in 1990–91.

[holding answer 27 March 1990]: The information that the hon. Member has requested is not held centrally for 1989–90. For 1990–91 the aggregate of the rates bills of those industries appearing on the central rating list for England whose rateable values are set by order is estimated to be £863 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish figures showing how the contribution paid in lieu of non-domestic rates by Oxfordshire formula-rated properties is to be redistributed in Oxfordshire in 1990–91.

[holding answer 27 March 1990]: From 1 April rates paid by the industries whose rateable values are fixed by order will be collected by the Secretary of State and paid into the non-domestic rate pool. Attribution of rateable values to properties occupied by these industries in particular local authority areas will no longer be necessary. The proceeds of the non-domestic rate pool will be distributed to charging authorities in proportion to their population of community charge payers.

Regional Planning Guidance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he is next going to issue new regional planning guidance for the period up to the year 2006.

The current regional planning guidance for the south-east region is contained in planning policy guidance note PPG9. SERPLAN (the London and south-east regional planning conference) is conducting a regional review, and hopes to submit advice to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment after its July 1990 conference. After considering that advice, my right hon. Friend will issue a draft for consultation, before finalising his new regional planning guidance. This will probably occur during 1991.

West Midlands Residuary Body

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given to the West Midlands residuary body in relation to the disposal of land at Church lane, West Bromwich, known as the former Johnsons Rolls site; and if he will make a statement.

In response to a request from the board of the West Midlands residuary body I issued a direction on 20 March 1990, under section 65 of the Local Government Act 1985 requiring the residuary body to dispose of all its interests in the land at Church lane, West Bromwich to the Black Country development corporation on or before 30 April 1990. I have today placed a copy of the direction in the Library of the House.

Building Research Establishment

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the future status of the Building Research Establishment.

I am pleased to announce that on 2 April the Building Research Establishment (BRE) is to become an executive agency in the Department of the Environment under the next steps initiative. This will provide the establishment with new freedoms and will improve its ability to serve the needs of Government, the construction industry and building users. I am placing a copy of the policy and resources framework document for the new agency in the Libraries of both Houses.The key performance indicators of the agency are set out in the framework document. The principal targets for 1990–91 are:

  • the average overhead rate
  • the average technical man day rate
  • the utilisation rate for chargeable staff
  • non-Exchequer income as a percentage of total income

In addition, the target net vote cost of the agency will be £1·764 million in 1990–91. The agency will be expected to make efficiency savings equivalent to at least 2 per cent. a year.

Transport

Ro-Ro Ferries

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will introduce regulations to change the layout of roll on/roll off ferries, in order to ease the evacuation procedure in case of emergency.

Evacuation procedures are governed by regulations made under the Merchant Shipping Acts. The Department of Transport has sponsored research into evacuation from roll on/roll off passenger ferries in an emergency. The results and recommendations of this research have been put to the International Maritime Organisation for consideration by the Maritime Safety Committee later this year.

Social Security

Local Government Finance

45.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has had on the poll tax rebate system; and if he will make a statement.

46.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has had concerning poll tax rebates; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers receive correspondence on a range of issues, both from hon. Members and from their constituents. In the last six months, 1,053 items of correspondence have been received by the Department about the community charge benefit scheme, but it is not possible to identify the number relating particularly to rebates in Scotland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans to extend the period for poll tax rebate.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Hayward) on 23 March at column 788.

Disabled People

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people will benefit from the new measures to help disabled people who do not qualify for attendance allowance or mobility allowance.

We estimate that some 140,000 people will benefit from the new lower rate of the care component of the new disability allowance and some 150,000 from the initial rate of the mobility component.

Ex-Miners (Reduced Earnings Allowance)

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many retired or redundant miners are eligible for an increase in their reduced earnings allowance following the successful appeal to the social security appeal tribunal on 8 March by Gerald Linsdell; and what steps he is taking to notify potential claimants.

The decision of the social security appeal tribunal dealt only with the circumstances of Mr. Linsdell's claim and is not considered to have wider implications.

Community Charge

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security by how much the community charge of a pensioner couple, living in a district with a community charge of £380, will be reduced as a result of the Chancellor's statement, where their only income is the state retirement pension and they have savings of (a) £8,000, (b) £12,000 and (c) £16,000.

The information requested is shown in the table.

Pensioner couple aged 60 to 74, receiving state retirement pension for a couple of £75·10 a week, with a community charge of £380 each.
Savings £Community charge benefit (per week) £
8,0008·72
12,0006·32
16,0003·92

Pensioner Premium

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will introduce regulations to pay the higher pensioner premium to all persons on income support who were in receipt of invalidity benefit when they reached retirement age; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his estimate of the cost of paying higher pensioner premium to all those who fail to be entitled to it solely because they transferred from invalidity pensions to retirement pensions on the advice of his Department; and if he will make a statement;(2) what is his estimate of the number of people who fail to be entitled to higher pensioner premium solely because they transferred from invalidity pensions to retirement pensions on the advice of his Department; and if he will make a statement.

The formal and informal advice given by the Department reflects the contemporaneous position in law and any known forthcoming changes in it. Information on which to base the requested estimates, of people who are not entitled to the higher pensioner premium because they retired before the introduction of income support, is not available.

Social Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the budgetary totals for (a) DSS offices relating to Leyton residents, (b) Londonwide and (c) nationally for (i) grants and (ii) loans from the social fund in 1988–89 and 1989–90 and his estimate for 1990–91.

Information about the social fund grants and loans budget allocations nationally, for each social security region and each local office for 1988–89 and 1989–90 is in the Library. I refer the hon. Member to my statement on Monday 26 March concerning the budget allocations for 1990–91. I have placed that information in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his latest figure for the total repayments of social fund loans in the current financial year.

Loan repayments in 1989–90 as at 28 February 1990 were provisionally £99 million.

Independent Living Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the total expenditure for the independent living fund for the year 1989–90 for (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the London borough of Lewisham.

The total expenditure for the independent living fund from 1 April 1989 to 28 February 1990 for the United Kingdom is £8·3 million. Information for Lewisham is not available separately.

Table 3
Staff-in-post in regional offices—1st March 1990
MidsLNLSScotNWNEWSWTotals
Executive/Director0·00·00·01·00·00·00·01·0
Assistant/Secretary1·01·01·00·01·01·01·06·0
Senior/Principal5·05·05·04·05·05·05·034·0
Principal6·06·07·07·08·06·06·046·0
Senior Executive Officer22·524·525·027·029·024·522·0174·5
Higher Executive Officer78·581·587·581·085·079·571·0564
LOI111·0145·0139·5141·092·0154·074·0856·5
Executive Officer116·583·5118·0117·5141·585·5111·0773·5
LOII123·0139·577·0137·026·0145·55·0653·0
AO130·044·5108·561·5192·0114·5131·0782·0
AA9·060·058·038·049·533·527·5275·5
Typ Manager1·02·03·03·03·02·02·016·0
Typist13·018·522·519·521·520·519·5135·0
PES8·04·06·07·08·010·04·047·0
MED/Board/Assistant0·00·00·00·02·00·02·04·0
SM30·00·01·00·01·00·00·02·0
Supp Grade 11·02·02·00·03·06·04·018·0
Supp Grade 22·08·011·00·018·011·016·066·0
Professionals2·02·52·50·02·03·00·012·0
TOTALS629·5627·5674·5644·5687·5701·5501·04,466·0

Trade And Industry

Inspectors' Reports

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 26 February, Official Report, columns 16-17, when he expects to publish the inspectors' reports hitherto not published.

Of the inspectors' reports listed in my reply, the decision whether to publish remains under consideration in respect of 12 reports relating to the following companies:

  • Alexander Howden Group plc
  • British Anzani plc
  • Medway Secondary Metals Limited
  • Guinness plc (interim)
  • Aldermanbury Trust plc (interim)
  • Consolidated Gold Fields plc (two interims)
  • Graylaw Holdings Limited and
  • Link Service Stations Limited
  • Bank Street Securities Limited
  • Pennine Commercial Holdings plc
  • The Animal Defence Society Limited
  • Minet Holdings plc and
  • WMD Underwriting Agencies Limited (final)
House of Fraser Holdings plc was published on 7 March. The other reports will not be published.

Accountancy Bodies

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make it his policy as a condition of recognition, to require the accountancy

Regional Offices

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what functions his Department carries out at the regional level; where the regional offices are located in each of the regions; what staff are employed and at what grades; what proportion of his Department's budget is spent in each of the regions; and what geographical boundaries determine his Department's regions.

[pursuant to her reply, 21 March 1990, c. 639-41.]: The information in table 3 was found to be incorrect. The corrected information is given in the following table.bodies seeking supervisory recognition under the Companies Act 1989 to hold their meetings in the open, with access for members.

No. It is for a supervisory body itself to decide what arrangements are appropriate for informing its members of matters of concern to them.

Inspectors

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who advises him on the appointment of inspectors from accountancy firms.

I select the appropriate person for appointment as an accountant inspector; in doing so I take into account the views of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Investment Businesses

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many applications by investment businesses for authorisation under the Financial Services Act have been rejected to date; and how many of those applications were made to each of the self-regulatory organisations and to the Securities and Investments Board, respectively.

This is a matter for the Securities and Investments Board and the self-regulatory organisations, but I understand that the figures are not available because of difficulties of definition.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many investment businesses are trading with interim authorisation under the Financial Services Act at the latest available date; and if he will provide an analysis of these showing (a) those subject to the appeals procedure, (b) those awaiting a memorandum of understanding with an overseas country and (c) any others; and a further analysis showing how many of these applications were made to each of the self-regulatory organisations and to the Securities and Investments Board, respectively.

At 21 March, a total of 98 businesses held interim authorisation:

Interim authorisations
AFBD7
FIMBRA48
IMRO7
TSA34
SIB2
The number subject to appeal is not available. Of the total, 10 applications to FIMBRA and 22 applicants to TSA are businesses incorporated abroad on which a decision is postponed awaiting entry into satisfactory arrangements with the regulatory authorities in the country of incorporation.

Financial Services Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any individuals as opposed to businesses are vetted when applications are made for authorisation under the Financial Services Act.

This is a matter for the particular regulatory body to which a business makes application for authorisation. I understand that all the regulatory bodies vet individuals of significance to the shareholdings or management of the business when they consider application for authorisation of that business. Some self-regulatory organisations have membership requirements that go further.

Rover Sale

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the dates in 1988 and those present when the tax arrangements governing the sale of Rover were discussed.

[holding answer 12 March 1990]: I understand that tax aspects of the sale of the Government shareholding in the Rover Group to British Aerospace were the principal subject discussed at the following meetings held in 1988:

DateOrganisations represented
29 FebruaryDTI and Inland Revenue
8 MarchDTI, Inland Revenue, Baring Brothers and Slaughter & May
10 MarchInland Revenue, Baring Brothers and Slaughter & May
24 MarchDTI, Inland Revenue, British Aerospace, Slaughter & May, Peat Marwick McLintock and Linklaters & Paines
28 MarchInland Revenue, British Aerospace, Rover Group, Slaughter & May, Peat Marwick McLintock, Linklaters & paines and Ashurst Morris Crisp
DateOrganisations represented
28 AprilInland Revenue and Slaughter & May
29 JuneDTI, Inland Revenue, Her Majesty's Treasury, Rover Group, British Aerospace, Slaughter & May, Peat Marwick McLintock and Linklaters & Paines
6 JulyDTI, Inland Revenue, British Aerospace, Slaughter & May, Linklaters & Paines, Peat Marwick McLintock

Footwear And Leather Goods

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what is the value of footwear and leather imports under the GSP scheme from Thailand into the United Kingdom since 1 January; and if he will make a statement;(2) what steps the Government are taking to restore full duties where imports of shoes and leather goods have already exceeded the European Economic Community ceilings; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 26 March 1990]: Footwear and leather goods enter the United Kingdom under a number of tariff headings and different categories are monitored differently, according to their treatment under the GSP. My Department has asked the European Commission to reimpose duty on footwear under tariff headings 6401 and 6402 from Thailand and Indonesia. The total value of imports from Thailand for tariff headings 6401 and 6402 from 1 January—14 March 1990 was 2,506,331 ecu. If the hon. Member requires figures for any other tariff headings, I should be happy to write to him.

Northern Ireland

Debt

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had concerning repealing the Payment of Debt (Northern Ireland) Act.

The Government keep the working of the Act under review. We also receive representations about the Act from time to time, including a recent letter from the hon. Gentleman.

Strangford Lough

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what date the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside met to give him advice about the proposed Strangford Lough (ASSI) (Part 3) declaration; and whether such advice given is in written form.

The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland was advised on nature conservation matters by the Committee for Nature Conservation (CNC) until 16 May 1989 when that committee (and the Ulster Countryside Committee) was replaced by the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside (CNCC).On 20 November 1986 the CNC endorsed the Department's proposals for an area of special scientific interest (ASSI) at Strangford Lough. A revision to the proposed boundary was agreed by CNC at a meeting on 12 October 1987. The ASSI was declared in three parts, the third part, the Strangford Lough (Part 3) ASSI, being declared on 21 April 1989.At a meeting on 7 July 1989 the CNCC endorsed the views of the CNC about the declaration of the ASSI. The views of the CNC and the CNCC were conveyed to the Department by means of copies of the minutes of their meetings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he received prior advice from the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside before he confirmed the Strangford Lough (ASSI) (Part 3) declaration; and whether he made available to the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside information about objections from private individuals and public bodies to the proposed ASSI.

At a meeting on 3 November 1989 the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside was informed by officials of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland about the representations and objections to the declaration of the Strangford Lough (Part 3) area of special scientific interest (ASSI). The CNCC advised the officials of its support for the confirmation of the ASSI. The ASSI was confirmed on 16 November 1989.

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for how long records of social security benefits paid to claimants are retained; and whether it is possible to obtain details of the period March 1985 to August 1987 relating to someone who qualified for and was in receipt of family income supplement in Northern Ireland.

The length of time records of social security benefits paid to claimants are retained varies with the benefit and with certain other circumstances (for example, the death of a claimant). Records of family income supplement are normally retained for two years after the last date of payment and it is therefore unlikely that details of a claim relating to the period from March 1985 to August 1987 are available. However, if the hon. Gentleman has a particular case in mind my noble Friend —Lord Skelmersdale—will be pleased to look into it.

Electricity Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish details of the criteria used to reach the decision to increase electricity charges in Northern Ireland by 8 per cent. from 1 April.

The main criterion was that electricity charges should reflect the economic price of supply in Northern Ireland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the estimated level of profit likely to be produced by Northern Ireland Electricity in the period 1990–91 by the increase in charges to consumers from 1 April.

It is not practice to publish estimates by boards of public undertakings of their forecast performance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether Her Majesty's Government and Northern Ireland Electricity have proposals to reduce electricity prices in Northern Ireland and to reduce the energy burden on industry and domestic consumers.

As regards electricity prices I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Secretary of State's answer to a question from the hon. Member for Newbury (Sir M. McNair-Wilson) on 13 March, Official Report, columns 139-40.On reducing the energy burden, the Government actively encourage consumers to use energy efficiently so as to reduce their energy costs.

St Louis School, Ballymena

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his policy on the inclusion by the grant-aided St. Louis R.C. voluntary grammar school, Ballymena, in its enrolment criteria of the statement, "Any prospective entrant must accept the Catholic ethos of the school".

Under the new open enrolment arrangements all secondary schools must have regard to parental preference. If they are oversubscribed the criteria which they will use in selecting pupils is a matter for the board of governors. I will be considering the need to issue further guidance on criteria in the light of experience in the 1990–91 school year.

Ballinamallard Primary School

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Ballinamallard primary school, County Fermanagh, which was bomb-damaged in 1985 will be given priority for capital funding; and when a permanent extension will be provided to replace mobiles.

Extensive damage to the school as a result of a van bomb in September 1985 has been repaired. The provision of a permanent extension at the school has recently been the subject of an investment appraisal which is still under consideration by the Department of Education. It will depend upon the future detailed planning of the scheme, on the priority which will be attached to it by the Western education and library board and the level of financial resources available to the Department for the education capital programme. I cannot, therefore, predict a time scale for the project at this stage.

Fair Employment Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action he has taken to expedite the formulation of new guidelines for the Local Government Staff Commission in accordance with the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989.

The Local Government Staff Commission has a statutory responsibility to recommend the procedures to be followed by district councils in making appointments or promotions. It is currently setting up a working party, which will include representatives of staff associations, to review the existing employment and promotion procedures. It anticipates the completion of this review in two to three months.

There is no statutory requirement under the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989 for employers, including district councils, to formulate new guidelines on fair employment matters.

All employers should have regard to the code of practice on fair employment published by the Department of Economic Development on 31 December 1989. The code exhorts employers to draw up a clear policy of promotion and equality of opportunity in the workplace and to make this widely known, especially among employees and job applicants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many of the staff, other than home helps, of the Western health and social services board in Northern Ireland are (a) Protestants, (b) Roman Catholics, (c) religion not known because they were educated in the Irish Republic and (d) religion not known because they were educated elsewhere than the island of Ireland;(2) what information he has on the religious composition of the 110 home helps mentioned in his reply of 7 March,

Official Report, columns 660-61, who were educated outside Northern Ireland;

(3) what information he has on the religious composition of the 767 home helps mentioned in his reply of 7 March, Official Report, columns 660-61, for whom no record of primary school attended is held;

(4) what information he has on the religious composition of the 989 home helps mentioned in his reply of 7 March, Official Report, columns 660-61, who were educated in Northern Ireland.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: The information requested by the hon. Gentleman is not available. All health and social services boards are required to monitor the composition of their work force and to make returns to the Fair Employment Commission. No board has yet completed its analysis of the data concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Fair Employment Commission will publish detailed information on the religious composition of (a) its staff and (b) its applicants who are not appointed.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: In due course such information will be published by the Fair Employment Commission.

Community Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he intends to publish a White Paper on community care in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

My noble Friend Lord Skelmersdale will tomorrow be publishing a policy paper on community care in Northern Ireland. The paper will explain how the national objectives in the White Paper "Caring for People" are to be pursued in the context of Northern Ireland's unique integrated health and social services. A copy will be placed in the Library.

Electoral Registration Office, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what instructions have been given to the electoral registration office for Strangford as to the times of day that telephone calls should be made.

Routine administrative matters of this nature are the responsibility of the chief electoral officer for Northern Ireland.

Hepatitis B

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of hepatitis B there have been in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and in each year, how many have been fatal.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: The information is as follows:

CasesDeaths
198791
19888nil
1989811
1 Up to 30 September 1989.

Long-Term Unemployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons in Northern Ireland have been unemployed for more than 10 years and more than 15 years; and for each period, how many are (a) male and (b) female.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: The information, at 8 February 1990, is as follows:

MaleFemaleTotal
More than 10 years4,1043814,485
More than 15 years65060710
The figures are not mutually exclusive since those unemployed for more than 15 years will also be included in the more than 10 years category.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information he has on the longest period of continuous unemployment for any person in Northern Ireland at the present time; and whether the person concerned is a male or a female.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: The information requested, at 8 February 1990, is 28 years nine months and the person concerned is male.

Security Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many persons selected as suitable applicants for posts for which they had applied by the Eastern health and social services board during each of the last three years have subsequently been refused an appointment because an adverse security report was received by the board from the Northern Ireland Office;(2) whether there is any appeal against an adverse security report issued by the Northern Ireland Office on an otherwise suitable applicant for a job with a health and social services board;

(3) who is (a) responsible for and (b) carries out security vetting of otherwise suitable applicants for posts with the Eastern health and social services board.

[holding answer 20 March 1990]: It has been the policy of successive Governments not to give detailed information about security vetting procedures.

Higher Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his estimate of the number of young people who became, or will become, 19 years old during the current academic year and who are refused Department of Health and Social Security benefit although they are undergoing a course of education entered into before they became 19 years old.

Salmon (Bushmills)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will indicate the Department of Agriculture (Northern Ireland) commitment to the continuation of scientific studies of salmon at the Bushmills site; how long the Department's lease on the site and river has to run; and whether it is intended to continue to base scientists on this site for the remainder of the lease.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: The Department's future strategy for research on salmon is currently under review with a view to expansion across Northern Ireland. The Department's lease on the Bushmills site and river extends to 2002. Until now no DANI scientists have been based on this site—they visit as required by seasonal factors.

Marine Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions a fisheries scientist from his Department has attended meetings of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in each of the last three years.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: The information requested is as follows:

YearNumber
19873
19884
19893

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the projected annual savings to his Department which will arise by transfer of all fisheries research laboratory staff and the freshwater biological staff to Belfast; what percentage of the research vessel Lough Foyle annual running costs in a full year this represents; and what percentage of the research vessel's total annual costs this represents, including depreciation and replacement costs.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: An investment appraisal estimated that over a 25-year period, relocation of staff from fisheries research laboratory, Coleraine and freshwater biological investigation unit, Antrim to Belfast and the location of the scientific staff from the research vessel on the same site would have the lowest discounted net cost compared to other options.The decision to relocate was driven primarily by the scientific benefits to be gained from having a unified division located at the Department of Agriculture's scientific base in Belfast.The question of savings expressed as a percentage of research vessel costs is not relevant.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what scientific evidence is put to meetings of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea on behalf of his Department.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: Scientific evidence presented to ICES consists of fish population parameters obtained from samples of the Northern Ireland sea-fish catches and fishing vessels. These Northern Ireland input data are combined with analogous data supplied by scientists from other EC countries exploiting Irish sea stocks and stock assessments are carried out using internationally agreed modelling techniques. Results derived in future through the MV Lough Foyle will provide essential fishery-independent data hence greatly enhancing accuracy of stock assessments and the resultant total allowable catches.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what would be the total savings for (a) 1990–91, (b) 1991–92 and (c) 1992–93 if the research vessel Lough Foyle were now to be sold.

[holding answer 23 March 1990]: Total savings from selling the Lough Foyle have not been estimated as our current policy is to enhance marine research through the facility of a sea-going research vessel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether a place on the United Kingdom delegation of scientists to meetings of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea is reserved for a scientist from his Department.

Health

Drugs (Education Programmes)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost in the latest year for which figures are available for education programmes designed to reduce the demand for drugs.

Last month, at a cost of £3·8 million spread over two financial years 1989–90 and 1990–91, the Department launched the latest national drug publicity campaign warning young people of the dangers of becoming involved with drug misuse. Complementary regional campaigns are being run in Yorkshire, Mersey and west midlands.

Residential Homes, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds are provided in the Easington constituency by private residential and nursing homes; and if he will indicate the number of beds home by home.

Information about nursing homes and residential care homes is not collected centrally in this form. Details of nursing homes and residential care homes registered under the Registered Homes Act 1984 are kept by district health authorities and local social services authorities respectively.

Nhs Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list those years in the period 1974 to 1989 when financial cuts in real terms were made in the National Health Service in England and Wales.

Over the period 1974–75 and 1989–90 there has been a reduction in real terms in spending in the NHS in England in only one year—1977–78. Over the same period there were real terms reductions in NHS spending in Wales in 1976–77 and 1977–78.

Disabled People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which disability organisations his Department has met this year to discuss the Government's proposals contained in "Caring for People."

Ministers have met a number of organisations this year as part of the consultation process for implementing the community care proposals. These organisations have included the Prince of Wales Advisory Group, the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation and the Keighley Disablement People's Council.

Health Care Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in the establishment of the post of chief of research and development at the Department of Health; and what role he expects the research and development division to have in the support of research into nursing care.

The post of chief of research and development (CRD) has been advertised in the press, and once the closing date has passed a short list of candidates to be invited for interview will be drawn up.The Department's present research management division, suitably strengthened and perhaps renamed, will form the basis of the support to be provided for the CRD. The CRD will be responsible for advising Ministers and the chief executive of the NHS on what relative priority should be given to research on any particular topic.

Mental Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list in the Official Report, for the latest available date, the numbers of mental illness beds in secure accommodation in each district health authority and those district health authorities where no secure accommodation is available; what action he has taken to promote the development of comprehensive secure provision, including that for those chronically mentally ill and behaviourally disturbed people not appropriate for regional secure units, in pursuance of the recommendation of the interdepartmental Home Office and Department of Health and Social Security working group accepted in 1987; and if he will make a statement.

Tables with the numbers of mental illness beds in secure accommodation in district health authorities at the end of 1986, the most recent date for which figures are available centrally, and those districts without secure mental illness beds, have been placed in the Library.The Department continues to work closely with regional health authorities and professional bodies in developing a full range of secure provision. In particular it remains our policy that, in all appropriate cases, mentally disordered offenders should be kept out of, or transferred from, the penal system. To that end, we are fully committed to the implementation of all the recommendations made by the joint working party. Its report provides a co-ordinated strategy to guide the work of both the Department of Health and the Home Office. It identified a series of practical and achievable measures aimed at improving access to health and social services, and ensuring that full use is made of existing provisions.Good progress has been made in implementing the report's recommendations, including the recent publication of guidelines for health authorities on services for mentally handicapped people with challenging behaviour. We know that there are still occasional difficulties in placing particular patients quickly in appropriate accommodation; in some cases improvements in local referral systems are required; in others some additional facilities may be needed. But there are a number of places in which excellent work is being undertaken. We will be drawing on experience gained from these initiatives in formulating national guidelines in due course.

Health Visitors

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health visitors there are as a proportion of children on the child care register in each borough in England and Wales.

It is not possible to calculate the proportion requested. The number of children and young persons on child protection registers in each local authority area is published in "Survey of Children and Young Persons on child protection registers year ending 31 March 1988: England". This is available in the Library. Data for health visitors are shown by region in table C9.5(a) in the 1990 edition of "NHS Workforce in England" (page C102). I have arranged for a copy of this to be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to improve health visiting facilities where the infant mortality is above national average; and if he will make a statement.

The measures we are taking to achieve further reductions in infant mortality were described in the Government's reply to the first report from the Social Services Committee on perinatal, neonatal and infant mortality (CM 741). We accept that health visitors play a key role in the health surveillance and care of infants: the organisation and staffing of these services is best determined by health authorities in the light of local circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average caseload of a health visitor.

The information is not available in the form requested. The average number of people seen by each health visitor (whole-time equivalent) in England in the financial year 1987–88 was 395. Each person may be seen more than once, the annual average being three visits per person.Figures for 1988–89 are not yet available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that there is an effective and safe child care service provided by health visitors; and if he will make a statement.