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Severn Bridge

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of (a) the impact of the


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Severn bridge on the economy of Cardiff and South Glamorgan and (b) the impact of bridge closures and queues on the business promotion of south Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : There can be no doubt that the Severn bridge and the M4 are vital to the economy of Cardiff, south Glamorgan and the whole of south Wales in providing good, speedy communications to southern England and Europe.

I am aware of no evidence that the occasional traffic delays at the bridge or the very infrequent temporary closures have deterred business promotions in south Wales. Inward investment, the creation of new businesses, the fall in unemployment, and the clearance of derelict land have all been at remarkably high levels.

Elderly People

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of (a) 65 to 70-year-olds, (b) 70 to 75-year-olds, (c) 75 to 80-year-olds, (d) 80 to 85-year-olds, and (e) people over 85 years old receiving private sector care.

Mr. Grist : The total number of residents aged 65 or over in private homes in Wales registered with local authorities under part 1 of the Registered Homes Act 1984 as at 31 March 1987 was 4,907. Disaggregation by age-band is not available. Neither is information available centrally for the number of patients receiving care in private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics (section 23 of the Registered Homes Act 1984).

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of (a) 65 to 70-year-olds, (b) 70 to 75-year-olds, (c) 75 to 80-year olds, (d) 80 to 85-year-olds, and (e) people over 85 years old receiving National Health Service care.

Mr. Grist : The latest available information, for 1987, is given in the table :


$

Number of Discharges (including     

deaths) from NHS hospitals in       

Wales                               

Age (years) |Number                 

------------------------------------

65-69       |33,823                 

70-74       |34,950                 

75-79       |34,244                 

80-84       |26,456                 

85 and over |18,657                 

The figures include all patients treated in NHS hospitals, including full paying patients.

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of people (a) between 65 and 75 years old and (b) over 75 years old who have been identified as needing or having (i) hip replacements, (ii) cataracts, (iii) chest complaints, (iv) heart disease, (v) strokes, (vi) Parkinson's disease, (vii) Alzheimer's disease and (viii) osteo/rheumatoid arthritis.

Mr. Grist : Information in the form requested is not available centrally. The number of discharges (including deaths) from NHS hospitals in Wales in 1987 by each diagnosis is as follows :


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Number of discharges (including deaths) from NHS hospitals in                                                 

Wales, by age (years)                                                                                         

Diagnosis (ICD9 code)                       |65-74                |75+                                        

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cataracts (366)                             |1,472                |2,357                                      

Ischaemic heart disease (410-414)           |3,822                |3,526                                      

Other heart disease (393-398, 401-405, 415,                                                                   

   416, 420-429)                            |3,171                |4,383                                      

Parkinson's Disease (332)                   |270                  |640                                        

Rheumatoid arthritis (7140)                 |497                  |279                                        

Alzheimer's Disease (3310)                  |25                   |53                                         

Cerebrovascular disease (430-438            |2,455                |4,090                                      

-of which cerebrovascular accident-4369)    |(1,599               |2,831)                                     

                                                                                                              

Chest complaints:                                                                                             

i. acute respiratory infection (460-466)    |124                  |246                                        

ii. other diseases of upper respiratory                                                                       

   tract (470-478)                          |402                  |117                                        

iii. pneumonia and influenza (480-487)      |610                  |1,809                                      

iv. bronchitis and emphysema (490-493)      |1,067                |825                                        

v. other diseases of respiratory system                                                                       

   (494-519)                                |2,539                |3,345                                      

Hip replacement (OPCS operation code                                                                          

   810, 811)                                |750                  |800                                        

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list (a) the financial resources allocated to the National Health Service for the care of the elderly and (b) the number of units and staff specifically allocated within the National Health Service for the care of the elderly.

Mr. Grist : The major part of resources for the care of the elderly in the National Health Service is included in the discretionary allocations which health authorities distribute according to their own priorities. In 1988-89 the Welsh Office allocated an additional £1.4 million of central funds to Welsh health authorities aimed at providing care for the elderly, including the elderly mentally infirm and psychogeriatrics, and a further £0.34 million was allocated under the elderly initiative for approved schemes sponsored by Welsh health authorities.

Information on the number of units specifically allocated to the care of the elderly within the National Health Service is not held centrally. However, the number of beds allocated to the specialties of geriatrics, elderly mentally infirm and psychogeriatrics at 31 March 1988 in Wales was 4,603. The number of medical staff in the speciality of geriatrics at 30 September 1986 in Wales was 153 whole-time equivalents and the number of nursing staff working with geriatric patients at 31 October 1988 was 3,925 whole-time equivalents.

It should be noted that beds and staff recorded against other specialist areas may also be involved in the care of the elderly.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security Offices

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any proposals to close, or review the future, of social security offices in Nottingham.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : No.

Pensions

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many retirement pensions are paid out nationally.


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Mr. Peter Lloyd : As at 31 March 1988 approximately 9.8 million people were in receipt of basic state retirement pension.

Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his latest estimate of the cost of abolishing the pensioner earnings rule.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The annual cost of abolition of the earnings rule would be about £250 million gross, before taking account of tax effects.

Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people in the following age ranges currently receive a full basic state pension : 60 to 65 years, 65 to 70 years, 70 to 75 years, 75 to 80 years, 80 to 85 years, 85 to 90 years and 90 years and over, identifying whether they are married or single.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested is as follows :


Numbers in receipt of full basic  

state pension at 31 March 1988    

Aged        |Numbers              

----------------------------------

60-64       |<1>719,840           

65-69       |2,241,140            

70-74       |2,003,720            

75-79       |1,706,150            

80-84       |1,087,660            

85-89       |509,990              

90 and over |204,330              

<1>Women only.                    

Information relating to marital status is not available.

Elderly Persons (Residential Homes)

Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the current cost of social security payments for elderly persons entering nursing and residential homes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on 25 November at column 44.

Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many elderly people are receiving social security payments in residential homes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Scott : I regret that information is not available in the precise form requested. However, the total number of income support recipients in independent residential care homes was estimated to be 103,000 in May 1988. At the same time there were estimated to be 44, 000 such claimants in independent nursing homes.

Disabled People

Mr. Summerson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the Social Security Advisory Committee's report on benefits for disabled people will be published.

Mr. Scott : I understand that the SSAC's report "Benefits for Disabled People : a strategy for change" was published today. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office.


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SCOTLAND

NHS Consumer Survey

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to publish the results of the NHS consumer survey done by Research Surveys of Great Britain.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : My right hon. and learned Friend will consider what form of publication is appropriate when he receives the report of the consumer survey of the NHS from Research Surveys of Great Britain.

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the cost of the consumer survey on the NHS in Scotland done by Research Surveys of Great Britain.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The cost is £105,000 VAT.

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to receive the reports from Research Surveys of Great Britain on the NHS in Scotland.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : Early in the new year.

Higher Education

Mr. Robert Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will establish a central council for the funding of institutions in Scottish higher education ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Education Reform Act 1988 provides for the funding of universities through the Universities Funding Council, and for that council to have a Scottish committee. The committee will discharge the functions outlined by my right hon. and learned Friend to the House on 1 April 1987. This will facilitate better planning of the university and grant-aided college sectors of higher education, funded respectively through the Universities Funding Council and the Scottish Education Department.

European Parliamentary Constituencies

Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Boundary Commission for Scotland intends to conduct any supplementary review of European parliamentary constituencies ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rifkind : The commission has informed me that it intends to consider the making of a supplementary report on the following six European parliamentary constituencies in Scotland :

Mid Scotland and Fife

Lothians

South of Scotland

Strathclyde East

Strathclyde West

Glasgow

In each case, I understand that the review has been occasioned by alterations to parliamentary constituency boundaries which those of the European parliamentary constituencies concerned no longer follow exactly.


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National Engineering Laboratory, East Kilbride

Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received on the proposed privatisation of the National Engineering Laboratory at East Kilbride ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lang [holding answer 28 November 1988] : My right hon. and learned Friend has received representations from Ken Collins MEP and from the general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress expressing concern about the proposed privatisation. He also received letters from two parties with an interest in the possible purchase of NEL. The Department of Trade and Industry is currently examining the future of NEL in consultation with the Scottish Office, and my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will make an announcement in due course.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Palestine

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the proposed establishment of a Palestinian state.

Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to recognise a state of Palestine ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : The decisions taken by the Palestine National Council represent a modest but potentially important step towards a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, although we believe that the declaration of a Palestinian state does not help carry matters forward.

Baltic Republics

Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to make representations to the Soviet Government on the subject of the Baltic Republics.

Mr. Waldegrave : Our policy remains that we do not recognise de jure the forcible incorporation of the former Baltic States into the Soviet Union. We regularly make this clear to the Soviet authorities. We are encouraged by recent signs that the Baltic peoples are increasingly able to express their views about their own future. We hope this process will continue.

Caribbean

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current state of relations between the United Kingdom and states in the Caribbean.

Mr. Eggar : Britain has diplomatic relations with all the independent countries in the Caribbean, but relations with members of the Commonwealth in the region are particularly close and friendly.

Human Rights (USSR)

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he is


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currently undertaking with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on human rights ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waldegrave : Human rights are an established and important element of our bilateral dialogue, with individual cases raised as and when necessary. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State raises both such cases and the need for more fundamental changes whenever he meets Mr. Shevardnadze and these issues will of course be high on the agenda during the visit of Mr. Gorbachev on 12 to 14 December.

In addition we have bilateral official-level consultations on human rights ; the next round is scheduled for early next year.

Multi-sensor Platforms

Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government's investigations into the export to South Africa via West Germany of multi-sensor platforms containing components supplied by British Aerospace have been completed ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Chalker : Inquiries are continuing.

Rights of the Child Convention

Mr. Dickens : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he proposes to monitor the forthcoming United Nations convention on the rights of the child.

Mr. Eggar : We have, since 1980, played an active part in the working group set up to draft the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. We shall continue to do so.

Norris v. Ireland

Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the light of the recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Norris v. Ireland, re-affirming that the complete illegality of consensual homosexual acts between males violates article 8 of the European convention on human rights, what steps Her Majesty's Government proposes to take to ensure that the law outlawing consensual homosexual acts between males in Gibraltar is brought into line with the court's ruling.

Mrs. Chalker : We have brought the Norris judgment to the attention of the Gibraltar authorities, who are considering the matter.

Vietnamese Refugees

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he is taking to persuade other countries to accept more Vietnamese refugees who are at present in Hong Kong.

Mr. Eggar : Following our decision in May 1987 to resettle in this country a further 468 Vietnamese refugees from Hong Kong, we have taken every opportunity to urge other Governments to follow our example by expanding their resettlement programmes. We are continuing to press the case for increased resettlement from Hong Kong, in our bilateral contacts, in the appropriate multilateral fora and through UNHCR.


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Mr. Douglas Celecia

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why and on what terms compensation was paid to Mr. Douglas Celecia, a witness to the Gibraltar shootings ; and how much compensation was paid.

Mr. Eggar : On 1 July the Gibraltar Attorney-General agreed with Mr. Douglas Celecia to pay £10,000 in full and final settlement of an action commenced against the Gibraltar Commissioner of Police in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar claiming damages for the removal of 15 exposures of film taken possession of by the Gibraltar police. The 15 exposures identified members of the security forces involved in the shooting of the IRA terrorists. The Crown in Gibraltar retained copyright in the 15 exposures until the end of the inquest.

UNESCO

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to be in a position to consider rejoining UNESCO.

Mr. Eggar : Before we can even contemplate reconsidering our position on membership of UNESCO, we will need to be convinced that fundamental reforms in both the administration and the programme policies of UNESCO are being implemented, not just considered. The very earliest opportunity we will have to assess the future programmes and management of the organisation will be after the conclusion of the general conference in late 1989. For us to consider a possible reassessment of the situation before then would be premature and unrealistic.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Taxation

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the figures on table 11 of annex 4 of Cmnd. 9756 and those applicable under his revised scheme at current rates of income tax ; and if he will provide separate figures for (a) higher rate taxpayers and (b) those who have opted for the wife's earnings election where neither spouse is currently subject to higher rate tax ;

(2) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the figures in table 10 of annex 4 of Cmnd. 9756, showing those applicable under his revised scheme at current rates of income tax ;

(3) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the figures in paragraph 19 and table 8 of annex 4 of Cmnd. 9756 and those applicable under his revised scheme at current rates of income tax ;

(4) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the figures in paragraph 20 and table 9 of annex 4 of Cmnd. 9756 and those applicable under his revised scheme at current rates of income tax ;

(5) whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the figures in chart 6.1 Cmnd. 9756 against the current position and that proposed for 1990-91 at present rates.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The detailed comparisons requested between the effects of the system of transferable


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allowances in Cmnd. 9756 and the change to independent taxation from April 1990 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Capital Gains Tax

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the information he has about capital gains tax rates in France, West Germany, Japan and the United States of America and giving the comparable rates in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The latest information available is contained in the table.


Nominal rate(s) of tax on gains of individuals  

Country                     |Per cent.          

------------------------------------------------

France<3>                   |16                 

West Germany<1><2>          |22-56              

Japan<1><4>                 |10.5-60            

United States of America<1> |15 and 28          

United Kingdom<1>           |25 and 40          

Notes                                           

<1>Rate(s) determined by adding gains to        

income.                                         

<2>Tax charge generally confined to short-term  

gains and substantial shareholding in           

companies. Proposals are under more             

comprehensive taxation of gains.                

<3>Gains on portfolio investments generally     

exempt if less than in specified annual limit:  

special provisions for long-term gains.         

<4>Gains on portfolio investments at present    

generally exempt, but there are proposals for   

taxing such gains. Special provisions for       

long-term gains.                                

#TCW88119013A




United Kingdom estimated    

resident population for     

ages 60 or over             

----------------------------

60-64       |2,982.5        

65-69       |2,749.5        

70-74       |2,288.5        

75-79       |1,849.3        

80-84       |1,167.0        

85-89       |540.6          

90 and over |219.2          

THE ARTS

Museum Year

Mr. Baldry : To ask the Minister for the Arts how many museums are participating in Museum Year ; and if he will make a statement as to the current level of public interest in museums in Britain.

Mr. Luce : The information provided by the Museums Association, which is organising Museums Year, is that well over 1,000 museums are expected to participate in the Museums Year celebrations. The level of public interest in museums is very encouraging. The number of visitors to museums and galleries rose from 68 million in 1985 to 73 million in 1986. The Museums Association estimates that visitor numbers could top 100 million during Museums Year 1989.

HEALTH

Home Chiropody Service (Nottingham)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will call for a report on the ending of the home chiropody service in the Nottingham district health authority area.

Mrs. Currie : The criteria for domiciliary (home) chiropody services in Nottingham health authority are being reviewed. Approximately 25 per cent. of chiropody service contacts have previously been in the domiciliary setting. The most effective way of delivering chiropody treatment is by concentrating on--

(1) a service in health centres and clinics ;

(2) in conjunction with attendance at out patient clinics and day centres ;


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(3) a home service for those who are housebound by disability and/or have no means of transport to clinics.

The review is intended to deploy the available resources more effectively and ensure that more treatments are carried out overall and that the domiciliary service is concentrated on those patients who are truly in need of treatment at home.

All patients on the domiciliary list have been visited and given a letter by a chiropodist explaining that the domiciliary service as previously deployed is being suspended and all patients on the list reviewed. Where patients can attend a local clinic session or the treatment can be combined with day centre attendance this is being arranged. If patients are in need of continuing home treatment this will carry on as before. There will be written confirmation to patients who will be remaining on the home treatment list and this will reach them once the backlog of letters due to the industrial action by the postal services in Nottingham is cleared. In these circumstances I consider that the further action called for is not necessary.

Consultants and Community Physicians

Mr. Raison : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) consultants and (b) community physicians have been suspended from their duties in each year since 1980 ; and for what reasons.

Mr. Mellor : The information requested is not collected centrally.

Greenhouse Effect

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ensure that hospital energy programmes and transportation facilities do not add to the greenhouse effect.

Mrs. Currie : There is a highly successful energy efficiency programme in the National Health Service which since 1978-79 has achieved aggregate savings of over £300 million. Fossil fuel consumption is currently reducing at a rate of 2 per cent. per annum. We are reviewing our policies on transport in the National Health Service to see if the environmental impact can be reduced.

Contraceptives

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the total annual cost of providing contraceptive services in England and Wales, including pharmaceutical costs and the overhead charge involved in providing such services.


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