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Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of delivering volume 129 of the green-bound Official Report to hon. Members' homes (a) by Securicor delivery and (b) through the Royal Mail.
Mr. French : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Inland Revenue's policy of withdrawing pre-paid reply envelopes for use by taxpayers ; and if he will give the estimated savings to the Exchequer arising from the decision.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost to the Treasury in a full financial year if tax thresholds were raised in 1989-90 by (a) the rate of inflation, (b) twice the rate of inflation and (c) three times the rate of inflation.
Column 420allowances, the basic rate limit, and the capital gains tax annual exempt amount in accordance with statutory indexation provisions and by multiples of those amounts are in the table. Estimates are mainly based on a projection of the 1986-87 survey of personal incomes and are provisional.
Direct revenue costs of increasing 1988-89 income and capital gains tax thresholds at 1989-90 levels of income and gains |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------- Amounts due under indexation |1,750 Twice amounts due under indexation |3,400 Three times amounts due under indexation |5,000
The cost in a full year of increasing the inheritance tax threshold by the same amounts would be (a) £80 million, (b) £150 million and (c) £210 million.
Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much it would cost to restrict (a) personal tax allowances, (b) age allowance, (c) mortgage interest tax relief and (d) tax relief for occupational and private pensions to the basic rate of tax in (i) 1988-89 and (ii) 1989-90, assuming tax allowances are indexed according to the statutory formula.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 19 December 1988] : Estimates of the effect on tax liabilities in each case if relief were allowed only at the basic rate of income tax are given in the table. No allowance has been made for possible behavioural effects if allowances and reliefs were restricted to the basic rate. The estimates are based on projections of the 1986-87 survey of personal incomes and are therefore provisional.
Direct revenue cost of allowances and reliefs in excess of the basic rate, 1988-89 and 1989-90 £ million |Cost in 1988-89<1>|Cost in 1989-90<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Personal allowance |710 |810 Age allowance<2> |- |- Mortgage interest |330 |<3> Retirement annuity premiums |80 |85 Employee's superannuation contributions |160 |180 <1> Estimates for different reliefs are not additive; combined costs would be greater than the sum of the separate components due to the cumulative affect of keeping people out of higher rate tax. <2> Taxpayers liable to higher rate income tax do not qualify for age allowance. The allowance is withdrawn at the rate of £2 of allowance for every additional £3 of income above the aged income limit (£10,600 for 1988-89, £11,300 for 1989-90). <3> It would be premature to provide an estimate for 1989-90, since the cost will depend on the amounts of mortgage lending and level of interest rates, as well as on 1989-90 income tax rates and bands.
Mr. Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average delay in processing parole applications ; how many prisoners who were granted parole had their release on parole delayed by the time taken to process their applications in 1987 ; and by how much the prison population would be reduced if such delays were eliminated.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information is not available in the exact form requested. In 1987, in about one third of first parole reviews, no decision was reached by a target date designed to allow release on the parole eligibility date. The average delay in these cases was three weeks. Assuming similar delays for subsequent reviews, had all these delays not occurred, the estimated aggregate effect would have been equivalent to a reduction in the average annual prison population of about 400.
Mr. Holland : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total personnel salary cost of staff involved in positive vetting procedures for the last year for which figures are available.
Miss Fookes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were mentally ill on the most recent convenient date ; and what breakdown of these figures by ethnic grouping is available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 31 March 1988, the most recent date for which information is available, there were 235 inmates held in prison establishments, who, in the opinion of prison medical officers, were suffering from mental disorder of a nature or degree which would satisfy the criteria in the Mental Health Act 1983 for detention in hospital for medical treatment. One hundred and ninety seven of these inmates were mentally ill. There is no available record of the ethnic origin of these prisoners.
Year |Number incidents in which|Number of operations in |shots were fired by |which firearms were |police |issued to the police -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |3 |8,108 1980 |10 |7,275 1981 |4 |6,149 1982 |10 |7,952 1983<1> |3 |3,180 1984 |6 |2,667 1985 |7 |2,488 1986 |1 |2,453 1987 |7 |2,185 <1> The basis on which the figures are recorded changed in 1983. From 1983 the figures recorded the number of operations in which firearms were issued; the figures for 1982 and earlier years record the number of occasions on which firearms were issued.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total crime clear-up rate for England and Wales broken down by police authority area, in 1979 and the latest year available.
Mr. John Patten : Information for 1987 is given in table 2.18 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 1987", column 498, where figures are published annually. Figures for 1979 are given in the table.
Notifiable offences recorded by the police: <1>clear-up rate by police force area England and Wales \Percentages Police force area |1979 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Avon and Somerset |43 Bedfordshire |48 Cambridgeshire |47 Cheshire |58 Cleveland |51 Cumbria |56 Derbyshire |50 Devon and Cornwall |46 Dorset |47 Durham |52 Gloucestershire |51 Greater Manchester |46 Hampshire |46 Hertfordshire |54 Humberside |45 Kent |50 Lancashire |56 Leicestershire |54 Lincolnshire |60 London, City of |21 Merseyside |43 Metropolitan Police District |21 Norfolk |47 Northamptonshire |48 Northumbria |53 North Yorkshire |51 Nottinghamshire |51 South Yorkshire |51 Staffordshire |51 Suffolk |57 Surrey |47 Sussex |53 Thames Valley |50 Warwickshire |46 West Mercia |49 West Midlands |37 West Yorkshire |37 Wiltshire |42 Dyfed-Powys |63 Gwent |60 North Wales |59 South Wales |46 |-- England and Wales |41 <1> Cleared up by an offender admitting the offence; being charged or cautioned, or no proceedings being taken against known offender.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was (a) the total number of recorded crimes and (b) the total number of crimes committed against the person in 1979 and the latest year available.
Mr. John Patten : The information for calendar years is published in table 2.1 of "Criminal statistics, England and Wales, 1987", column 498, and for the 12 months to the end of September 1988 in table 4 of Home Office statistical bulletin 36/88.
Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on the consultation document prepared by the Metropolitan police traffic strategy seminar in April, particularly insofar as it relates to the effect of coach traffic in creating congestion in central London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : I understand that the Metropolitan police have now received responses to the consultation document which was prepared after the traffic strategy seminar held last April. These will be used to develop a traffic strategy covering, among other things, coach traffic, which will form part of the overall force strategy.
Mr. John Patten : Action to prevent or detect the misuse of drugs for racehorses is a matter for the Jockey Club, who also have their own procedures for disciplining those who breach their rules of racing. In appropriate circumstances there might be a charge of conspiracy to defraud. The Law Commission, in its working paper number 104, has asked for views on whether gambling swindles involving drugs on animals should be covered by statutory offences. My right hon. Friend will consider its advice in due course.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the dates of implementation of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he expects to publish the draft firearms regulations made under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : On the implementation of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Luton, South (Mr. Bright) on 20 December 1988. Revision of the firearms rules will be necessary in respect of some of the provisions to be brought into force by the second commencement order, later next year. The new rules will come into effect at the same time. Draft guidance to the police on firearms legislation has recently been circulated to a wide range of interested bodies for their comments.
Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 16 December to the hon. Member for Stockport, Official Report, column 753 , if he will make a statement indicating the basis upon which he is assessing the success of his initiative to reduce the time spent on remand in custody of those remanded from courts in (a) Avon, (b) Somerset, (c) Kent and (d) the west midlands ; and as to how he is assessing how the results from each of those areas compare with the rest of England and Wales.
Mr. John Patten : After the introduction of statutory custody time limits in these four areas in April 1987, we monitored the level of compliance with the limits. In the first six months, over 95 per cent. of cases were within their limits. Custody limits were extended to a large part of England and all of Wales in April this year and the preliminary results in those areas are similar. Comparable information is not available for areas where time limits are not yet in force.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of people held in prison in England and Wales, both on remand and those serving a sentence, in 1979 and in the latest year available.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Average population figures for each of the last 11 years are published annually in "Prison Statistics England and Wales", copies of which are in the Library. Populations for 1987 will appear in table 1.5 of the latest report (Cm. 547) due to be published 22 December.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners do not currently have access to night sanitation ; and what is his estimate of what the number will be in the year 2000.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : All accommodation at new prisons has access to night sanitation. At existing establishments the number of places now without access to night sanitation is in excess of 20,000 out of a total of about 42,000. It is anticipated that by 1995 75 per cent. of all prison places will have access to sanitation, compared with 43 per cent. in 1979, and that by the end of 1999 the number of places lacking night sanitation will be in the region of 14,000. Trial schemes which might accelerate the introduction of integral sanitation are being evaluated.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : On 13 November, the latest date for which information is available, 12,210 inmates of prison establishments in England and Wales were held two to a cell and 4,893 were held three to a cell, in cells designed for single occupancy.
Mr. Harris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the number of prisoners who will spend Christmas and new year in police cells ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Hurd : The number of prisoners in police cells has been in steep decline since the suspension of local industrial action by the POA in October. On 4 October there were 1,917 such prisoners. Yesterday there were 349. By the Christmas weekend, numbers should have fallen still further and we are aiming to achieve a reduction to around 100 by the new year. This reflects a major effort by all concerned and is largely due to the delivery on target of the substantial extra number of prison places which I announced in March.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if all the gas masks issued during the 1939-45 war which contained asbestos have been collected and destroyed ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Wartime equipment, including gas masks, issued to the public was recalled in 1945. The number of gas masks remaining in private hands is not known but advice has been given from time to time that, because of the potential health hazard from asbestos in the filters, anyone still in possession of a wartime gas mask should contact his local environmental health officer for advice on its safe disposal.
Mr. John Patten : The case has been reviewed on more than one occasion. Neither my right hon. Friend nor his predecessors have found grounds in the representations made to justify referring the case to the Court of Appeal. My right hon. Friend remains ready to reconsider the case, but only if new evidence or other new matters directly pertinent to the conviction are raised with him.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are any plans for the Metropolitan police to assume responsibility for the policing of the London Underground ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has agreed to consider how best he could provide Metropolitan police officers to help with the policing of the London Underground while British Transport police recruit and train additional officers to bring London Underground division up from its present strength of 329 to its new complement of 400. Metropolitan police officers will also continue to provide
Column 426assistance to British Transport police officers on the London Underground when required, but there are at present no plans for the Metropolitan police to assume responsibility for policing the Underground.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the guide to means of escape and related fire safety measures in certain existing houses in multiple occupation.
Mr. Hurd : Together with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales, I have today published the guide. It is intended to provide a national advisory standard for means of escape and also contains recommendations on various related fire safety measures, including fire warning systems, fire fighting equipment and fire drills. The guide is designed to aid the process of consultation between housing and fire authorities required by housing legislation and to provide a source of reference for the owners, managers and occupiers of houses in multiple occupation. I have placed a copy in the Library. It is being issued to fire and local authorities and copies can also be obtained from any of our departments.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many needles or syringes contrary to prison rules have been found in prison establishments in England and Wales during the last three years.
|Needles |Syringes ------------------------------------ 1985 |26 |28 1986 |27 |41 1987 |10 |34 <1>1988 |16 |36 <1>Up to 30 June.
Some of the finds of needles and syringes were associated.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been prosecuted for offences involving child pornography, child prostitution or child sexual abuse, respectively, for each of the last five years for which records are available ; and how many of those cases involve children who had been reported as missing.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 19 December 1988] : The available information is given in the table. It is not possible from the information held centrally to identify those prosecutions involving children who had been reported as missing.
Persons prosecuted for offences involving child pornography, child prostitution or child sexual abuse England and Wales Number |1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 ---------------------------------------------------------- Child pornography<1> Male |12 |18 |22 |10 |22 Female |- |- |- |- |1 Child prostitution<2> Male |- |- |- |1 |2 Female |1 |3 |- |- |2 Child sexual abuse<3> Male |3,200|3,129|3,320|3,162|3,723 Female |29 |35 |45 |49 |52 <1>Protection of Children Act 1978 sections 1.6-taking indecent photographs of children. <2>Sexual Offences Act 1956 section 28-persons responsible for girl under 16 causing or encouraging her prostitution. <3>Includes only those sexual offences where the victim is known to be aged under 16 ie.: buggery or attempted buggery with a boy under the age of 16 or with a woman or an animal, indecent assault on a male or female person aged under 16, unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16, incest with girl under 13, householder permitting unlawful sexual intercourse with girl under 16, abduction of unmarried girl under 16 and gross indecency with children. Excludes sexual offences where the age is not separately available, eg: rape.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the total annual budget which is specifically allocated by his Department for the investigation of effects on the environment of atmospheric pollution ;
(2) what is the annual budget allocated by his Department for the study of the greenhouse effect and the potential implications for the United Kingdom of this phenomenon.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : For 1988-89, the Department allocated £191,000 for research on global pollution questions, including the greenhouse effect, and £1.442 million for air pollution effects research. For 1989-90, the planned expenditure on climate change research is £590,000.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has, in the light of his intention to introduce a national identity card scheme for football clubs, of the operation of the scheme run by Luton Town football club ; and if he has any details of the club's record and attendances for the period since the introduction of the scheme and for the five years prior to that.
Mr. Moynihan : I am fully aware of the details of Luton's membership scheme and the success it has had in combating football hooliganism. Since the scheme was introduced on 16 August 1986 there has been only one arrest, for a drugs offence, at the club's home football league matches. Attendances and record for league matches are :
I am informed that the members who joined the membership scheme since its introduction have been as follows :
|Number ---------------------- 1986-87 |22,000 1987-88 |18,000 1988-89 |19,000
Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he last met representatives from the Football Supporters Association and the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs ; who was in attendance and in what capacity ; what was discussed ; and if he will amend his plans to impose compulsory identity cards on all football supporters as a result of his discussions.
Mr. Moynihan : I met representatives of the FSA and the NFFSC, for the second time this year, on 6 December. Three hon. Friends with close links with football clubs attended the meeting--my hon. Friends, the members for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Patnick) and Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans). I had also invited two hon. Members from the Labour party who were unfortunately unable to attend. We discussed the implications of a national membership scheme for football supporters and I said that I would take account of the comments of both bodies in considering the scheme when it is submitted.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those organisations which have made representations (a) in favour and (b) against the proposed national football membership scheme.
Mr. Moynihan : I have received some 950 representations about the principle of a scheme, most of them against. I will write to the hon. Member listing the organisations concerned. It would be for the proposed football membership authority to draw up a scheme and submit it to my right hon. Friend for approval.
Column 429scheme has neither been drafted by the football membership authority nor presented to the Secretary of State for his approval. However I have received some 950 representations on a wide range of issues relating to the idea of a scheme, most of them against.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Environment whether his Department has investigated, or is currently studying, the usefulness of a national identity card to his departmental responsibilities ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has of the cost to English football clubs of upgrading their facilities in line with statutory requirements over the past three years.
Mr. Moynihan : I understand that the football grounds improvement trust has provided £8.8 million to football league clubs over the past three years to assist them in meeting the requirements of the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975. The trust funds 75 per cent. of the cost of eligible ground safety schemes. There is no information held centrally on the actual expenditure by clubs on these schemes.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his statutory advisers have provided the European Commission with lists of threatened animals and plants in the European Economic Community within the last year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : In January 1988 our statutory advisers, the Nature Conservancy Council, accepted a contract from the European Commission to provide lists of threatened animal and plant species in the European Community. The information was submitted to the Commission in March this year.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions in the last year for which figures are available, were proceedings taken against contractors and developers under sections 3 and 16 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 430of the Control of Pollution Act 1974, and in eight cases under section 16. Details for separate categories of defendants are not available.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will review the enforcement powers available to local authorities under current planning and pollution control legislation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have appointed Robert Carnwath QC to review local authorities' planning enforcement powers. His report is expected in the new year. An announcement will be made shortly afterwards. We have also announced proposals which should make local authorities' enforcement powers more effective in relation to air pollution and waste disposal.
Mr. Allason : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will authorise the transfer of Torbay borough council's housing assets to a housing association in accordance with the council's recommendations.
Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend is currently considering Torbay borough council's request for consent to the sale of its housing to two housing associations. We shall announce our conclusion as soon as possible.
Mr. Trippier : Under the Housing Act 1988, housing action trusts can be established only after a ballot of tenants has been held in each area and after both Houses of Parliament have approved the necessary orders. The length of time each trust remains in existence will depend on the programme of works it decides to carry out in consultation with local residents and the speed with which this can be completed. The trusts will be under a statutory duty to use their best endeavours to achieve their objects as soon as practicable.
Mr. Trippier : Total gross capital public expenditure on housing in England in 1987-88 was £3,827 million ; in 1979-80 it was £5,545 million (at 1987-88 prices). Current expenditure in 1987-88 was £1, 333 million ; in 1979-80 it was £3,217 million (at 1987-88 prices).