|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Major : My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's autumn statement to the House on 1 November 1988 set out the Government's plans for public spending. It noted that general Government expenditure (excluding privatisation proceeds) in 1988-89 is expected to be below 40 per cent. of GDP for the first time in over 20 years ; and that over the next three years it is expected to fall further.
Mr. Major : Gross domestic product is likely to have grown by around 4.5 per cent. in 1988. This would be the fourth consecutive year of growth in excess of three per cent., a performance unmatched since the war.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The joint Treasury and Stock Exchange survey carried out in January and February 1988 estimated that approximately 9 million people own shares, 20 per cent. of the adult population. This represents a threefold increase since 1979.
Mrs. Wise : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the current figure would be if the £8,500 salary threshold after which tax is levied on the value of benefits such as company cars were to be raised to keep it in line with its real value when that £8,500 figure was set.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The earnings threshold at which benefits like a company car provided for private use becomes taxable was raised to £8,500 in 1979-80. If this threshold had been indexed in line with inflation according to the statutory formula for increasing personal allowances and thresholds, the threshold in 1988-89 would be £17,000.
Tax Liability in 1988-89 on earnings of £25,000 |1978-79 tax regime |1988-89 tax regime |Reduction in tax |indexed for inflation |liability |£ |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Single person |8,012.50 |6,063.00 |1,949.50 Married man |7,423.75 |5,467.00 |1,957.00
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts were collected in capital gains tax on the sale of residential property in each of the last five years ; and what numbers of properties were involved.
Column 377individuals and trusts, limited information is available about assessments relating to sales in 1985-86. The capital gains tax on sales of properties identified as residential was about £100 million payable by about 40,000 taxpayers. In addition tax may have been paid on other residential property not identified as such.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what audit safeguards are currently in place to ensure that all payments of capital gains due on sales of residential property are properly made.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Most such sales are made by owner occupiers and are exempt from tax. Sales by developers and investors are picked up through the ordinary process of examining taxpayers' returns and business accounts, a proportion of which are checked against information supplied by third parties.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many prosecutions in respect of fraudulent mortgage interest relief at source claims have been instituted in each year since the inception of the scheme ; and with what result.
Mr. Norman Lamont : There were three criminal prosecutions by the police in 1987-88, all of which were successful. There have been another 10 so far this year of which eight were successful. Further prosecutions are pending.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants are currently employed in administering and calculating mortgage interest relief at source entitlements ; and what were the numbers in each year since the inception of the scheme.
|Numbers ------------------------ 1983-84 |1,000 1984-85 |1,125 1985-86 |1,000 1986-87 |950 1987-88 |950
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will tabulate in respect of both numbers employed and civil service grades those engaged in administering and calculating (a) mortgage interest relief at source entitlements and (b) capital gains tax on residential property.
B: Capital gains tax on residential property Grade |Numbers ------------------------------------------- Senior Legal Assistant |1 Inspector (SP) |1 Inspector |20 Tax Officer (Higher Grade) |11 Tax Officer |5 Revenue Assistant |19 Principal Valuer |12 Senior Valuer |30 Valuer |18 Valuation Technician |1 Valuation Clerk |4 Typists |3 |-- Total |125
Table file CW890123.004 not available
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the charitable status of the Atlantic salmon conservation trust (Scotland) in the light of evidence which was submitted to him by the hon. Member for East Lothian on 6 Septembr 1988.
In Scotland, the Inland Revenue is responsible for deciding whether a body or trust which is claiming tax exemption as a charity is established for charitable purposes only. This is a matter of law. Responsibility for determining a particular taxpayer's liability lies with the Inland Revenue, subject to his rights of appeal to independent appeal commissioners and to the courts. As I explained in my letter of 26 September to the hon. Member, it is well recognised that Ministers do not seek to influence the Inland Revenue's decisions on particular cases. It would not be right therefore for me to intervene in this case.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what, in respect of the payment of local pay additions in the Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency, is the number of staff by grade, in respect of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the different amounts paid to staff, by grade ; whether this varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale-related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
Column 379Stationery Office, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the differing amounts paid to staff, by grade ; whether this figure varies due to location ; what qualifying period of scale- related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the number of staff of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, by grade, in receipt of local pay additions outside London and the south-east economic planning region ; what are the differing amounts paid to staff by grade ; whether this figure varies dues to location ; what qualifying period of scale- related criteria is used ; and whether this varies by location.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any progress has been made in implementing the recommendation in paragraph 34(c) in "Using Private Enterprise in Government", on pooling information about contractors between Departments and inviting certain Departments to take responsibility for compiling data about the performance of contractors in certain industries.
Mr. Brooke : The central unit on purchasing maintains a data base of activities subjected to competitive tendering in Departments. This information is distributed annually to all Departments so that those contemplating market testing a particular activity can benefit from the experience of others who have already tested that activity. The CUP has also issued general guidance to Departments, which includes advice on contractor appraisal.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The latest available information covers residents of Scotland liable to tax for 1986-87. Including married women whose earned income exceeded the wife's earned income allowance, as well as their husbands and single people, the total was about 2, 070,000 individuals, with income tax liability of about £3,250 million.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what studies his Department has carried out into the effect on personal savings of a reduction in the higher rate of capital gains tax to 25 per cent. ; and if he will publish the results of such studies.
Mr. Norman Lamont : We examine a large number of options covering the whole range of the tax system as part of the Budget process. It is not customary to publish the results of studies into the effects of tax rate changes.
Private education establishments in Scotland which have charitable status are entitled to the same direct tax reliefs as any other charity in the United Kingdom. Charities are generally exempt from income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax, provided that their income and gains are applied for charitable purposes only. The provision of education in a registered school is exempt from VAT.
Mr. Raison : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the percentage change in real personal disposable income broken down into the top 1 per cent., next 9 per cent., next 40 per cent. and bottom 50 per cent. quartiles for every year since 1959.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : I have been asked to reply. The latest available figure (June 1988) for the work force* of the United Kingdom is 28, 164,000 Over 800,000 people have opted for a personal pension since they were introduced in July 1988. Over 6,500 contracted-out money purchase (COMP) schemes have been set up : no figures are available on the number of individuals involved.
Column 381* Employment Gazette January 1989. Work force in employment plus claimant unemployed.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the average award received by students from Durham local education authority in their first year at university, polytechnic or other institution of higher education.
Mr. Jackson : The average amounts received by students in higher education from Durham local education authority for the 1986-87 academic year were £1,451 per award holder in maintenance and £641 per award holder in fees. Data are not collected separately for first-year students.
Mr. Jackson : We are considering the possibility of increasing the impact of student enrolments through some shift in the public funding of higher education from the grant to be disbursed by the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council towards students' fees met under the mandatory awards arrangements. When we have a clear proposal, we shall consult the various interests before taking a decision.
Mr. Jackson : The Department has received 166 representations about staff redundancies in the NERC. Staffing levels are for the council itself to determine. I am informed that areas of high priority science have been safeguarded, and I understand that only about 41 compulsory redundancies are now expected, less than half the number originally announced. The redundancies arise from the council's planning to reflect changing scientific priorities and to keep within its projected budget following a reduction in income for commissioned research.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research is now undertaken by the Natural Environment Research Council in respect of the greenhouse effect ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : Such research spans many NERC fields of activity. Major relevant projects in the marine sciences directorate include the biogeochemical ocean flux study, the fine Resolution Antarctic model, and the world ocean circulation experiment, while the terrestrial and freshwater directorate's work includes improving global climate model predictions. The British Antarctic Survey does long-term meteorological and climate studies, and the ocean drilling programme improves understanding of past
Column 382global climate. NERC also administers four CEGB-funded fellowships relating to greenhouse gases, and supports the United Kingdom universities' global atmospheric modelling project and the tropical ocean and global atmosphere project.
Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much grant was provided for the school of peace studies at Bradford university by the University Grants Committee for each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Jackson : The public funding of universities is not earmarked in this way. It is for each university to decide how to fund its departments from the UGC block grant and the other income at its disposal.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to ensure that all local education authorities collect statistics on the incidence of arson and vandalism in schools and colleges on a uniform basis.
Mr. Butcher : I am discussing with the local authority associations the best way of collecting these statistics on a uniform basis, as part of an information-gathering exercise to support the efforts of the special action squad in vandalism and arson in schools.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what response he is making to the representations of Sir David Smith FRS, in relation to the financing of the university of Edinburgh.
Mr. Jackson : University lecturers' pay has increased by 24 per cent. since 1986 and negotiations for a 1989-90 settlement are in progress. Government grant to universities is to be increased by about 5 per cent. in 1989-90 and it is for them to assess what pay increase they can afford.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he intends to take steps to prevent the unreasonable removal of school governors by local authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : It is for local authorities to decide who to appoint to the places on school governing bodies reserved for them. But they must exercise their powers reasonably, and we would consider very carefully any complaint that an authority had not done so in a particular instance.
Column 383has been allocated to universities through the University Grants Committee for the period 1987-88 to 1989-90 specifically for the purchase of books and periodicals, together with £2 million provided in 1987-88 and 1988-89 to enable university libraries to link with computer networks to improve access.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what prior undertaking on capital expenditure he can give to city technology college promoters planning to establish city technology colleges in the premises of existing maintained schools before proposals are made for those purposes under section 12 of the Education Act 1980 or section 14 of the Education Act 1944.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : My answer of 28 July 1988 to my hon. Friend the Member for Wyre Forest (Mr. Coombs) at column 402 set out the factors I would take into account in deciding proposals which came to me under the provisions of section 12 of the Education Act 1980 and which had as an objective making premises available for the establishment of a city technology college. Should the governors of a voluntary school seek my leave to give notice of their intention to discontinue the school under the provisions of section 14 of the Education Act 1944, for a similar objective, I shall take the same factors into account, in addition to the other requirements laid down in that section.
I made it clear in that statement that, in considering any such proposals, I should need to satisfy myself specifically that the sponsors' plans were sufficiently clear, considered and developed ; and that, subject to my approval of the proposals, I had reached agreement in principle with the promoters on a funding agreement. A key aspect of the latter is the grant I am prepared to make available towards the capital costs involved in the establishment of all CTCs. Clearly promoters will need to have a firm indication from me of the level of that grant in order to prepare plans that are sufficiently well developed to satisfy the LEA or governors that the closure or discontinuance of the existing school is justified.
In order to be able to give such a firm undertaking I shall need to consider what expenditure on the premises is likely to be required for a CTC established there to meet the basic requirements of the programme, but in giving any such indication I shall make clear that any capital grant is subject to a detailed feasibility study and to my decision on the statutory proposals or applications, which will be treated strictly on their merits.
Class and Vote |Current cash limit|Increase/reduction|Revised cash limit |£'000s |£'000s |£'000s ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- XII. 1 |481,457 |-547 |480,910 XII. 3 |1,849,624 |+40 |1,849,664 XII. 4 |67,735 |-10 |67,725 XII. 5 |60,179 |+979 |61,158
An increase of £410,000 is being sought on class XII, vote 3 for expenditure originally included in provision on class XII, vote 1 in respect of outstanding liabilities for Goldsmiths' College. The increase on class XII, vote 3 reflects the inclusion of this expenditure following the college's incorporation as part of the University of London. A matching and offsetting reduction on class XII, vote 1 is also sought.
A reduction of £370,000 to the cash limit for class XII, vote 3 is also sought to reflect the decision not to seek supplementary provision in respect of the carry forward of capital underspend under the end year flexibility scheme as previously announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 21 July 1988 at columns 725-728.
A further reduction of £137,000 is also sought to the cash limit on class XII, vote 1 to reflect the transfer of complete responsibility for trade union education and training to the Department of Employment. A matching increase will be made to the Department of Employment's cash limit on class VII, vote 1.
A reduction of £10,000 is sought to the cash limit on class XII, vote 4 to reflect the transfer of £4,000 to the Office of Minister for the Civil Service for the cost of recruitment under the direct entry grade 7 competition 1988, and of £6,000 to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys to reflect increased costs of a commissioned survey. Matching increases will be made to the cash limits on class XX, vote 1 and class X, vote 16 respectively. My Department's running cost limit will also decrease by £10,000 from £66,203,000 to £66,193,000.
The increase on class XII, vote 5 reflects two changes to the vote of the Agricultural and Food Research Council. An increase of £1,760, 000 is being sought to assist the AFRC in meeting the costs of restructuring made necessary by the reductions in research commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. This increase is offset by a reduction of £781,000 to reflect the reduction in grant from the AFRC to the Institute of Plant Science Research to take account of receipts from the sale of the assets of the Plant Breeding Institute.
Any net increase in expenditure on these votes as a result of these changes will be charged to the reserve. The overall planned total of expenditure will therefore remain unchanged.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing the proportion of school leavers in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland who continued into (i) university education and (ii) other higher education for each year since 1979.
Proportion of school leavers intending to proceed to university or other higher education Academic years |1978-79|1979-80|1980-81|1981-82|1982-83|1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- England<1> Universities |6.1 |6.2 |6.1 |5.9 |5.5 |5.5 |5.4 |5.5 |5.5 Other institutions<2> |2.1 |2.1 |2.8 |2.9 |2.7 |2.9 |2.9 |2.8 |2.7 Wales<1> Universities |6.2 |6.3 |6.5 |5.4 |6.0 |5.6 |5.7 |6.1 |5.5 Other institutions<2> |2.5 |2.7 |2.7 |3.9 |3.3 |3.5 |3.7 |4.0 |3.3 Northern Ireland<3> Universities |- |9.6 |- |9.7 |- |12.2 |- |12.3 |12.1 Other institutions |- |5.7 |- |5.9 |- |3.0 |- |4.5 |4.6 <1> Based on 10 per cent. sample of pupils in each school. <2> Including only those courses of higher education which are readily identifiable from the school leavers survey. <3> Figures available biennially only until 1985-86.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to put into effect the 21 recommendations made in 1986 by the Select Committee on Transport, particularly the proposals in relation to air security which requested a special security fund to finance airport safety, and the introduction of banding machines for baggage in the wake of the Lockerbie disaster ; and if he will make a statement.
The response explained what further action would be taken on each recommendation. Work has been carried forward as promised. The particular recommendations mentioned by the hon. Member were not amongst those accepted. Banding machines can make a limited contribution to security, because of the high proportion of soft bags, and bags with outside compartments.
An aviation security fund has already been tried. It was abandoned because it was bureaucratic, complicated and costly to administer. It provided little incentive to efficiency.
The current arrangements for financing aviation security do not suffer from such problems. They do not inhibit the maintenance of proper security measures.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he now expects to announce the main findings of the central London rail study ; whether any proposals from Her Majesty's Government will be announced at the same time ; and if he will make a statement.