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Written Answers

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 22 November 1977

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Written Answers

Income Retained After Tax: Statistics

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, taking into account the changes in United Kingdom taxation effected by the Finance Act 1977, they will publish in the

Official Report a table showing what percentage of his income is retained after tax by a married man Avith two dependent children in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, West Germany, Italy and Canada with incomes of £5,000, £10,000, £15,000, £20,000 and £25,000 a year, assuming in all cases that these incomes are wholly earned.

(Baroness Birk)

The following is the information requested:—deductions, tax-deductible social security contributions and reliefs for earned income or employment income (income is taken to be employment income where this is taxed more lightly than self-employment income).FAMILY ALLOWANCES AND CHILD BENEFIT4. The figures have been calculated on the assumption that "income" is equivalent lent to "earnings" (or in some cases, "income from employment"—see note 3). However, in all the countries in the table except the USA, the taxpayer in question would be entitled to family allowances or child benefit. No account has been taken of these allowances in the figures quoted. In Italy and Canada the allowances are taxable, and so it makes no difference to the proportion of income retained which is shown in the table whether income is taken to include family allowances or not. But in the United Kingdom, France and West Germany, family allowances (or child benefits) are tax free: accordingly the rates of retention shown in the table would be slightly increased if the allowances were included as part of pre-tax and post-tax income.UNITED KINGDOM5. The dependent children are assumed to be aged under 11. The figures take account of the changes in personal allowances in Finance Act 1977 and of the increased personal allowances announced in the Chancellor's statement of 26th October.LOCAL INCOME TAX6. There is no local income tax in the United Kingdom or France; the local income tax in Italy and the local "Business Tax" in Germany do not apply to income from employment. The State income tax

United Kingdom official reserves(1):
average of end calendar month levels:
US dollars million2,7364,2616,4956,4086,8366,3095,404
£ millions(2)1,1421,7322,6082,6092,9052,8533,002
Accruals to the reserves under the 25 per cent, surrender rule (£ millions)87128138158265180176
Net overseas earnings of United Kingdom private financial institutions(3) (£ millions)5936027187608071,1791,679
(1) The UK official holdings of gold, convertible currencies, Special Drawing Rights and, from July 1972, changes in the United Kingdom reserve position in the IMF.
(2) Converted to sterling at middle market rates.
(3) Includes net receipts for services rendered plus net receipts from investments in the form of interest, profits or dividends. The figure for 1976 differs from that given in Table 6.1 of United Kingdom Balance of Payments 1966–76 as it incorporates later information on the overseas earnings of insurance companies.

Surrender Requirement Yield

shown for the USA is at California rates; the Provincial income tax shown for Canada is at Ontario rates.

7. The sterling amounts mentioned in the question have been converted into foreign currency at the exchange rates for 11th November. The exchange rate between the United Kingdom and overseas countries may not fully reflect differences in consumers' purchasing power.

Exchange Reserves And Overseas Earnings

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will state in tabular form for each year from 1970 to 1976 inclusive:

  • (a) the monthly average level of United Kingdom gold and foreign exchange reserves during that year;
  • (b) the accretion to the reserves arising from the 25 per cent. Surrender requirement on realisation of foreign investments; and
  • (c) the net overseas earnings of United Kingdom private financial institutions.
  • The information requested is as follows:What is their current estimate of the yield to the reserves of the 25 per cent. Surrender requirement for 1977 and, in the light of the recent fall in the investment dollar premium, what forecast can be made of the likely yield in 1978.

    So far this year the yield has been at an annual rate of about £200 million. In recent years the yield has been at similar levels and it may be about the same next year.

    Visit Of Soviet Minister For The Gas Industry

    asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (a) the dates of the most recent visit to the United Kingdom of the Soviet Minister for Energy (Mr Orudzhev);
  • (b) what were the major subjects discussed and with whom; and
  • (c) whether any agreement is envisaged as a result of any such meetings, and if so, in what connection.
  • Mr Orudzhev, the Soviet Minister for the Gas Industry, paid an official visit to this country from 17th to 23rd October 1977 at the invitation of the Secretary of State for Trade.During his visit Mr Orudzhev inspected progress on the major order for gas compressors won by the Coberrow Consortium last December; and he discussed possible areas for further co-operation in the gas sector with a number of companies including the British Gas Corporation, British Petroleum, Davy Powergas, GEC and Rolls-Royce. Mr Orudzhev also met the Secretaries of State for Trade and Energy, and the Minister of State for Industry. No further agreements were signed as a result of the visit, nor are any envisaged at present.

    Chesham Place: Access

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Under what authority the access from Chesham Place into Belgrave Mews West was closed for the purpose of building the extension to the German Embassy; and when the right of way enjoyed by the owners and tenants of Chesham Mews for over 50 years will be restored.

    The Grosvenor Estate own Belgrave Mews West and Chesham Mews roads and they have authorised the closure to vehicular traffic of the access from Chesham Place during the building of the extension to the German Embassy. It is hoped to restore full use by next March/April.

    Rudolf Hess

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any further steps are to be taken, with the co-operation of France and the United States of America, to try and persuade the Soviet Union to agree to the release from prison of Rudolf Hess.

    . The noble Lord will be aware that the British Government made an approach to the Soviet authorities on 29th April this year, in a fresh attempt to secure their agreement to Rudolf Hess's immediate release. Similar action was taken by the United States and French Governments. Unfortunately, the reaction of the Soviet Government was once again entirely negative. The British Government remains determined to maintain the pressure on the Soviet authorities to set Hess free, and will certainly consider proposing to the French and United States Governments a fresh joint approach whenever such an approach seems likely to be productive.

    Cprs Report: Staff Members

    asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (i) Why, in the Review of Overseas Representation by the Central Policy Review Staff, the names of six members of staff reporting to Sir Kenneth Berrill, the Head of the Central Policy Review Staff, are not given in the report, though they were released to the Press;
  • (ii) whether their names could now be given to the House;
  • (iii) how long each of them has served abroad and in what capacity;
  • (iv) which of the countries they reported on they had visited before;
  • (v) how long Sir Kenneth Berrill and each member of his staff stayed in each of the countries under review.
  • It has not been the practice when CPRS reports are published to include the names of the main team which worked on them. Members of the CPRS are not appointed with responsibility for special subjects and many reports include contributions from members of the CPRS besides those directly involved. Following exceptional public interest in the Review of Overseas Representation and some misrepresentation in the Press, those involved agreed to the publication of their names and the information requested is:Tessa Blackstone: Some years consultancy work for official bodies in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.Marrack Goulding: 16-year career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, specialising in Arab questions and including 9 years in various Arab States.Tony Hurrell: 11-year career in Ministry of Overseas Development, including two years service in Bangkok.Kate Mortimer: Three years working in Washington for IBRD, involving extensive travel in Africa and the Far East.John Odling-Smee: Two years' experience in Africa as a teacher and Government economist, and project experience in the Americas and Egypt.David Young: 12-year career in Ministry of Defence involving a good deal of overseas travel; experience of the leadership of a number of NATO multinational working parties.Between them the team had personal experience of almost two-thirds of the 27 countries they visited. Members of the team spent between two days and one week in the countries which they visited, depending on the size, importance and range of functions of the British mission there.

    Uk/Italian Air Services

    Whether they are satisfied with the present arrangements for the approval of non-scheduled commercial air services between the United Kingdom and Italy.

    In my view the arrangements are generally satisfactory. Any exceptional difficulties encountered by United Kingdom airlines are dealt with as they occur.

    Au Pair: Definition And Conditions Of Service

    asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (1) how the term "au pair" is defined;
  • (2) under what conditions girls coming to Britain as au pairs are allowed to enter;
  • (3) what conditions govern their stay;
  • (4) how au pairs and host families are informed of these conditions and of any other necessary information;
  • (5) whether they are satisfied that the system for au pairs' entry is working adequately;
  • (6) what "follow-up" arrangements exist to ensure that the interests of the au pair are safeguarded.
  • (1) "Au pair is described in the Immigration Rules as" an arrangement under which a girl of 17 and over may come to the United Kingdom to learn the English language and to live for a time as a member of a resident English-speaking family." The Rules provide that a girl—other than an EEC national—coming for full-time domestic employment requires a work permit.(2) An au pair is normally allowed to enter the United Kingdom if she can show an immigration officer that a genuine au pair arrangement has been made. She would commonly produce to the immigration officer a letter from the host family. If the immigration officer is not satisfied the girl would either be refused leave to enter or given leave to enter for a short period to give her an opportunity to make her case to the Home Office. An EEC national is not however usually asked about the purpose of her stay in view of the provisions under the Treaty of Rome for freedom of movement of Member States' nationals.(3) Au pair girls may be allowed to stay here for up to 2 years. During this period, unless they are EEC nationals, they are not allowed to take employment without the consent of the Department of Employment, and if they have to apply to the Home Office to extend their stay they have to show that there is still a genuine au pair arrangement. An au pair girl can move to another family during her permitted stay so long as she is not in breach of her conditions of entry.(4) When an au pair girl arrives at a port in the United Kingdom she is generally given a copy of a Home Office leaflet, printed in 7 languages, describing the au pair arrangement in some detail. A copy of the leaflet in English only is subsequently sent by post to the host family. If a girl subsequently moves to another family and the Home Office is informed a copy of the leaflet is sent to that family.(5) My right honourable friend has no reason to believe that the system for the entry of au pairs does not generally work satisfactorily although he accepts that there are instances in which au pair girls may not be properly treated by the host family or in which the girls may take unfair advantage of their position in the household.(6) When an au pair girl applies to extend her stay she has to satisfy my right honourable friend that there is a genuine au pair arrangement but it would be impracticable to operate any system of routine inspection. I am, however, grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge the valuable work done by many voluntary organisations to which au pair girls can turn if they are in any difficulty.

    Televising And Recording Of Private Individuals

    asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will instruct the police that the consent of a magistrate must be obtained before television or recording equipment is installed in public or private premises for the purpose of surveying private individuals.

    There is no power to issue such instructions; the use of such equipment is for each chief officer of police to decide in the light of the circumstances. The Home Office keeps in close touch with chief officers in these matters and my right honourable friend is satisfied that they appreciate the sensitivity of the issues involved and the need for decisions to be weighed carefully.House adjourned at seven o'clock.