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Mr. Major : In 1987, the latest year for which figures have been published by the Department of Employment, the net increase in the number of businesses registered for VAT was 45,000--an average of approaching 900 a week. Indications are that the rate of increase in 1988 is even faster. The number of VAT registrations and deregistrations processed by Customs and Excise during 1988 indicate a net increase of more than 1,200 a week. Department of Employment figures for 1988 will be available in the summer.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will meet representatives of the banking industry to discuss the establishment of a code of practice for the marketing of credit to the young.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to impose special taxes on carbon dioxide emissions in order to encourage energy conservation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in producing a statement of the Government's financial accounting and reporting framework following the recommendation made by the Comptroller and Auditor General in paragraphs 4.22 to 4.25 of his report on financial reporting to Parliament in 1986.
Mr. Brooke : A draft consultative document was produced by the Treasury and issued to accountancy institutes and other interested parties for comment in July 1987. A number of useful suggestions were received and many of these have been incorporated into a revised document which is being published today and of which copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Both the cash limit and the running costs limit for the Inland Revenue (class XIX, vote 7) have been reduced by £147, 000. There are two components to this change. The first is a transfer of £143,000 to the Department of Social Security as payment for work they will be undertaking for Inland Revenue ; the second is a transfer of £4,000 to the Cabinet Office to reflect the transfer of costs for recruitment under the direct entry grade 7 competition 1988.
There is no overall increase in either cash limits or running costs limits as a result of these changes, which will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Brooke : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate, the Treasury's running costs limit will be increased by a net £33,000 from £71,154,000 to £71,187,000. This net increase reflects a transfer of costs for recruitment under the direct entry grade 7 competition 1988 (£5,000) ; and increased provision of setting up costs at Chessington computer centre, prior to the take on of payroll work in respect of the Department of the Environment/Department of Transport from 1 April 1989 (£38,000).
These changes will be offset by a corresponding increase in the running costs limit of the Office of the Minister for the Civil Service Vote (class XX, vote 1), and by a corresponding decrease in the running costs limit on the administration and transport services vote (class VIII, vote 2) respectively and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
As a further consequence of the transfer of costs for recruitment the cash limit for Her Majesty's Treasury administration vote (class XIC, vote 11) will be decreased by £5,000 to £54,041,000.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) from which countries Britain has imported coal in the last 12 months ; how many tonnes have been imported from each respective country ; and what information he has on the price per tonne from each country listed at the latest available date ;
(2) if he will list information available to him on the price per tonne of coal for each country from which Britain has imported coal in 1985, 1986, 1987, and at the latest available date.
Column 695For the data on price per tonne of coal in 1985, 1986 and 1987 I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 29 June 1988 at column 251.
January to November 1988 Country (of origin) |Quantity (thousand |Average value per tonne |tonnes) |(£) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United States of America |3,881 |35.30 Australia |3,242 |31.03 Poland |1,224 |34.56 Colombia |434 |35.07 Canada |426 |30.29 USSR |325 |26.61 China |281 |50.41 Netherlands |249 |39.33 South Africa |241 |42.42 Federal Republic of Germany |157 |97.59 Belgium |111 |47.28 Venezuela |69 |30.49 Others |114 |52.06 |------- |------- Total |<1>10,755 |35.29 <1> Rounded total. Note: Average value of imports are on a cost, insurance and freight basis. Source: Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received calling for greater publicity to be given to the green policy of allowing electricity producers to sell surplus capacity via the national grid.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Electricity Bill places a statutory duty on the National Grid Company to facilitate competition in supply and generation of electricity. Under the draft licence to be issued to the National Grid Company, authorised generators will be able to use the grid to convey their electricity. My Department is not aware of any representations of the kind described by my hon. Friend.
Mr. Michael Spicer : It is our intention that the electricity privatisation legislation currently before the House will place an obligation on the electricity supply companies to contract for a specified minimum amount of non-fossil-fuelled generating capacity and this will help to encourage the full exploitation of wind energy.
In addition, we will continue our substantial programme of research into wind energy which encompasses work on all the important technical questions and includes the construction and testing of a number of large wind turbines. During 1989 it is expected that construction of the 1 MW wind turbine at Richborough will be completed and that wind measurements will commence on the site of the first of three proposed experimental wind farms to be built by ourselves and the CEGB in collaboration.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Parkinson : Of 432 oral questions tabled in 1988, a total of 293 were answered with a written reply. These figures do not include oral questions which were withdrawn, unstarred or transferred to other Departments prior to Question Time.
Mr. Peter Morrison : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Barron) on 28 November, at columns 125-26, which referred to a study to assess the impact of energy efficiency on emission of CO and other pollutants. The study is now under way.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) on plutonium, 9 December 1988, Official Report, column 373 , by whom the plutonium content is calculated, to what accuracy, and under what safeguards requirements.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The operators make the calculations. The accuracy of the estimates depends on the accuracy of estimating the heat output of the reactors and the accuracy of the isotopic data used. The calculated plutonium content of all fuel despatched from the stations is reported to the safeguards authorities.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 8 December 1988, Official Report, column 329, on the physical verification of plutonium by the European Atomic Energy Authority at Sellafield, if he will make a statement on the number of occasions when the European Atomic Energy Authority has carried out the inspections to which he refers in the reply of 4 June 1988, Official Report, columns 594-95 in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether the British Nucelar Fuels plc Magnox reprocessing facility has been used for the concurrent processing of safeguardable and non-safeguarded Magnox spent fuel to yield fissile plutonium for the atomic weapons programme ;
(2) what proportion of Magnox spent nuclear fuel from Hunterston was co- processed and spent fuel from the military reactors at Calder hall and Chapelcross prior to 31 December 1986.
Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker) to my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean) on 4 June 1986 at columns 594-95.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many departmental staff have been allocated to the (large-scale commercial reprocessing plant) safeguards review group meetings ; what was the cost of departmental representations at the Lascar review meeting in Tokyo on 17-21 October 1988 ; what issues were discussed at the Tokyo meeting ; and if he will place in the Library copies of all documentation presented to the meeting by his departmental delegation.
Mr. Michael Spicer : It is expected that two members of the safeguards office will devote time to Lascar-related work. One of these attended the Tokyo meeting at an approximate cost of £2,900. The aims of Lascar are to exchange safeguards related information and techniques on future large plutonium handling facilities. This exchange of information took place on the understanding that it would remain confidential to the parties involved.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list those non-departmental public bodies responsible to his Department for which funding and staffing (a) have been reduced in 1988 and (b) are planned for reductions in 1989 ; and, for each case, if he will list the change in funding and staffing levels.
Reduction in staff Financing (£ million) numbers |1987-88 |1988-89<1>|1987-88 |1988-89<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oil and Pipelines Agency |2 |20 |- |1.3 United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority |263 |1,100 |12.0 |- <1> Estimated. Notes: 1. Figures are available for financial years only. 2. Staff reductions are based on staff employed at April 1987, April 1988 and an estimate of staff levels at April 1989.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will seek permission from the BBC for a transcript of the interviews on the privatisation of the electricity supply industry by the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Mr. Spicer) and the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair) on the "Today" programme on Radio Four, broadcast on 17 January ; and if he will place copies in the departmental and House of Commons Libraries.
Year |Current prices (£ |Constant prices (1988; £ |Million) |million) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1983-84 |11.7 |14.9 1984-85 |14.9 |18.1 1985-86 |13.2 |15.1 1986-87 |12.0 |13.4 1987-88 |15.1 |16.0
Provision for 1988-89 is £16.2 million.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last five years on the development and encouragement of energy saving schemes in the public and private sector.
Column 699class XX, vote II is being increased by £30,000 from £1,187,000 to £1,217,000 to meet the higher costs of parliamentary publications. The increase will be charged to the Reserve and will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.
In addition, the running costs limit is being increased by £30,000 from £1,207,000 to £1,237,000.
Column 700butter market accounted for by the following countries (a) the United Kingdom, (b) the Republic of Ireland, (c) France, (d) New Zealand, (e) Denmark, (f) Netherlands and (g) Belgium.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The available information is set out in the following table, which shows the percentage share of total new butter supplies in the United Kingdom by country of origin since 1973. The United Kingdom line is based on total production less intervention purchases, and those of other countries represent total imports into the United Kingdom.
|United Kingdom |Ireland |France |New Zealand |Denmark |Netherlands |Belgium and Luxembourg --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1973 |18.9 |9.3 |0.9 |31.6 |17.8 |14.8 |1.0 1974 |10.5 |7.1 |6.3 |25.7 |18.4 |19.9 |2.6 1975 |8.9 |10.1 |7.1 |23.0 |15.5 |20.9 |2.2 1976 |16.6 |10.3 |4.2 |25.7 |14.9 |18.0 |1.0 1977 |27.7 |7.0 |3.2 |27.6 |14.0 |13.0 |0.9 1978 |29.9 |11.9 |1.4 |29.0 |14.2 |9.3 |1.0 1979 |31.8 |8.6 |0.5 |28.3 |11.2 |3.7 |0.7 1980 |43.0 |8.7 |0.5 |28.6 |11.3 |3.7 |0.7 1981 |44.8 |8.1 |0.3 |26.6 |11.3 |5.7 |0.5 1982 |53.0 |7.5 |0.3 |23.8 |10.1 |2.9 |0.7 1983 |43.2 |6.5 |0.3 |28.5 |12.3 |7.8 |1.0 1984 |46.3 |7.6 |0.4 |29.3 |11.6 |4.2 |0.3 1985 |44.4 |5.5 |0.5 |30.8 |12.6 |5.4 |0.4 1986 |47.9 |7.5 |0.4 |28.6 |11.0 |3.3 |1.2 1987 |46.2 |5.6 |0.5 |32.3 |12.2 |1.9 |1.2 1988<1> |52.7 |5.0 |0.4 |27.5 |11.3 |2.0 |1.0 <1> January to October.
Mr. French : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many oral parliamentary questions he has answered by written reply because the question was not reached at Question Time, for the most recent year for which figures are available.
Mr. Graham Allen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in which parliamentary constituency (a) Chilwell Dam farm, Nottingham and (b) the farm at the junction of Apollo drive and Nottingham road, Nottingham are located.
Sir Richard Body : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he did not consult organisations representing consumers about EEC proposals for altering the trade arrangements between the EEC and New Zealand for sheepmeat ; and if he will do so before approving future EEC proposals which affect the interests of United Kingdom consumers.
Column 700producers and taxpayers, when considering EC proposals. My officials have had a number of consultations with representatives of consumers' interests on the Commission's proposals for sheepmeat, detailed consideration of which has yet to get under way in the Council.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what child care provision his Department provides for pre-school age children of his Department's employees ; what child care provision, for school holiday or after school care, is provided for employees' children aged five years and over ; and what plans there are for increasing provision in the next five years ; and how these are to be funded.
Mr. Donald Thompson : A successful holiday play scheme was held at one location last summer and is planned to be repeated for a longer period this summer. The success of the play scheme was notified to all staff in the Department and locations interested in arranging similar or other types of child care arrangements were offered help, advice and encouragement to do so. The Department is also participating in a holiday pay scheme in the Westminster area of London which is intended to operate during half-term and end of term holidays through out 1989. Pump-priming funds have been made available and continue to be available for child care schemes.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which import agents were responsible for the import of meat of Irish origin which in September and October of 1988 were cancelled as unfit for human consumption by Carrick district council.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list the occasions during the current year when his Department issued warnings to port health authorities of the possible danger of contaminated meat supplies originating in the Republic of Ireland ;
(2) If he will list the occasions during the current year when his Department issued guidelines on warnings relating to the import of contaminated meat supplies to (a) local authorities, (b) port health authorities, (c) the Institution of Environmental Health Authorities and (d) the Association of Sea and Air Port Health Authorities ; and on how many occasions during each of the last three years such warnings were issued ;
(3) whether any notification was given to port health authorities warning of the possibility of contaminated imports of beef supplies following the identification of such imports by Carrick district council ;
(4) if he will list the dates during 1988 when his Department notified the Association of Sea and Air Port Health Authorities of the possible import of contaminated meat supplies from the Republic of Ireland, in the light of the condemnation of such supplies by Carrick district council.
Mr. Donald Thompson : On 21 December 1988 and 13 January 1989, the Ministry passed information received from Carrick district council to the Association of Port Health Authorities requesting the association to advise port health authorities to pay special attention to consignments of meat from the Republic of Ireland. These were the only occasions during the past three years when such action has been necessary. The association and the Institution of Environmental Health Officers have their own very effective arrangements for disseminating information about any problems which are found by their members. These arrangements were also used to inform their members in the case of the unfit Irish meat found by Carrick district council.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions during each of the last three years his Department has been notified by Carrick district council of the condemnation of (a) beef and (b) other meat imports originating in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions during the last three years his Department has been officially notified of contaminated meat originating from each of the EEC countries by environmental health departments in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In the past three years my Department has received from environmental health officers 14 reports on contaminated fresh meat originating in the Republic of Ireland, two on meat from the Netherlands, one from meat from France and one on meat from Spain.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what was the total volume of meat condemned by the environmental health service in Carrick district council for each of the last three years ;
(2) what volume of imported meat supplies was condemned as unfit for human consumption for each of the last four years, stating in all cases the country of origin.
Mr. Donald Thompson : No records are collected of the quantities of meat condemned by enforcement authorities in the exercise of their responsibilities for ensuring that meat intended for sale for human consumption is fit for that purpose.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will seek to impose a legal requirement upon local authorities to inspect all imported meat arriving in their area which has not been inspected by area health authorities at the port of arrival.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any estimate of the volume of meat imports landed in Great Britain having been shipped from Northern Ireland ; and what percentage of such imports originated in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Stranraer is an internal port receiving only consignments from Northern Ireland and customs data is not collected on movement of goods within the United Kingdom. Goods imported from the Republic of Ireland via the Larne-Stranraer route would have been recorded as imports into the United Kingdom when they entered Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many successful applicants for compensation from the recent poultry compensation scheme have been identified as having salmonella enteritidis infected flocks ; and what were (a) the total number of eggs produced from flocks, (b) the total number of hens slaughtered from such flocks and (c) the total compensation paid.
Mr. Donald Thompson : It was not a condition of the slaughter of hens scheme that culled birds should be tested for evidence of salmonella enteritidis. With the agreement of some flock owners, examinations have been carried out on some slaughtered birds and none of the flocks examined to date has shown evidence of infection.