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Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what estimates he has as to the number of teachers employed in each Welsh local education authority who are, (a) qualified to teach Welsh and (b) teach Welsh.

Mr. Wyn Roberts [holding answer 20 January 1989]: The information for each local education authority is as follows :


Secondary School teachers       

teaching Welsh<1>               

                |Numbers        

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

Clwyd           |180            

Dyfed           |232            

Gwent           |25             

Gwynedd         |289            

Mid Glamorgan   |167            

Powys           |71             

South Glamorgan |81             

West Glamorgan  |117            

<1> As at spring term, 1984.    


Secondary School teachers       

teaching Welsh<1>               

                |Numbers        

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

Clwyd           |180            

Dyfed           |232            

Gwent           |25             

Gwynedd         |289            

Mid Glamorgan   |167            

Powys           |71             

South Glamorgan |81             

West Glamorgan  |117            

<1> As at spring term, 1984.    

Information on teachers teaching Welsh in primary schools is not available in the form requested.

National Museum of Wales

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1988 reported by the National Museum of Wales, including its outstations, with the percentage change on the attendance figures for 1987.

Mr. Wyn Roberts : [pursuant to his reply, 21 December 1988, c. 294] : A total of 838,820 people visited the National Museum of Wales during 1988--19 per cent. less than in 1987--but this reflected the immense success of the dinosaur exhibition in 1987. The 1988 figures show an 18 per cent. increase on 1986.

Mr. Norman Lamont : For loans taken out from 1 August 1988, mortgage interest tax relief is limited to the interest on £30,000 per resident regardless of the number of borrowers. Estimates of the yield arising from this measure were given in table 4.1 of the 1988-89 Financial


Column 783

Statement and Budget Report. The direct revenue cost of an increase of £1,000 in the ceiling for mortgage interest relief would exceed the yield from this measure.

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing by range of income estimates for 1988-89 and 1989-90 the number of tax units receiving mortgage interest tax relief, the average value per mortgagor and the total cost of the relief.

Mr. Norman Lamont : Latest estimates for 1988-89 are given in the table. These are based on projections to 1988-89 of information in the 1986 -87 survey of personal incomes and the 1986 family expenditure survey and are provisional. The estimates include mortgages formerly under the option mortgage scheme which are now subsumed within MIRAS. The estimate of the cost of mortgage interest relief in 1988-89 takes account of the recently announced increases in the mortgage interest rate. It would be premature to provide estimates for 1989-90, since the cost of the relief will depend on the amounts of mortgage lending, interest rates and the 1989-90 income tax rates and bands.


Tax units<1> receiving mortgage interest relief                                                                              

by range of total income 1988-89                                                                                             

Range of total income    |Numbers receiving       |Average value of relief |Total cost of relief (£                          

                         |mortgage interest relief|to mortgagor (£)        |million)                                         

                         |(Thousands)                                                                                        

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

Under £5,000             |690                     |400                     |270                                              

£ 5,000 to £10,000       |1,830                   |510                     |930                                              

£10,000 to £15,000       |2,530                   |560                     |1,410                                            

£15,000 to £20,000       |1,740                   |590                     |1,020                                            

£20,000 to £25,000       |1,040                   |650                     |670                                              

£25,000 to £30,000       |480                     |810                     |390                                              

Over £30,000             |790                     |1,020                   |810                                              

                         |-----                   |-----                   |-----                                            

Total                    |9,100                   |600                     |5,500                                            

<1> Single persons and married couples.                                                                                      

Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of multiple mortgage interest relief at source claims have been detected in each year since the inception of the scheme ; and what amounts of money were involved.

Mr. Norman Lamont : It is tentatively estimated that about 500,000 single people are involved in multiple borrower mortgages. Figures on the total size of these loans are not available.

Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts of money on (a) a national and (b) a regional basis have been paid in mortgage interest relief at source in each of the last five years and in respect of what number of properties and persons.

Mr. Salmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the annual cost to the Treasury of mortgage interest tax relief ; and if he will publish a table breaking down this figure by county and by region.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 January 1989] : The table shows the latest estimates of the cost of mortgage interest relief in the United Kingdom--including relief given outside the MIRAS system--and the number of tax units benefiting from this relief in each of


Column 784

the years 1984-85 to 1988-89. It is tentatively estimated that about 50,000 single people are involved in multiple borrower mortgages in respect of around 250,000 properties.


                          |Cost of mortgage interest|Number of tax<1> units                             

                          |relief                   |with mortgage                                      

                                                    |interest relief                                    

                          |(£ million)              |(thousands)                                        

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

1984-85                   |3,580                    |7,800                                              

1985-86                   |4,750                    |8,100                                              

1986-87                   |4,670                    |8,450                                              

1987-88                   |<2>4,800                 |<2>8,750                                           

1988-89                   |<2>5,500                 |<2>9,100                                           

<1> Singles and married couples.                                                                        

<2> Provisional.                                                                                        

Following the introduction of MIRAS in April 1983, regional information on the cost of mortgage interest relief cannot be extracted from Inland Revenue records. The regional distribution can be estimated from the family expenditure survey (FES) but, as the sample size for the FES is relatively small, it is not possible to provide robust estimates of regional trends for the period after 1982-83. Accordingly the table provides an estimate of the regional distribution of mortgage interest relief based on FES data from 1984 to 1986. Information on the distribution of relief by county is not available.


Regional share of mortgage interest relief on  

FES data for1984 to 1986                       

                         |Percentage           

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

Northern                 |3.8                  

Yorkshire and Humberside |7.2                  

North West               |9.3                  

East Midlands            |6.3                  

West Midlands            |7.8                  

East Anglia              |3.5                  

Greater London           |14.1                 

Other South East         |26.6                 

South West               |8.5                  

Wales                    |4.2                  

Scotland                 |7.4                  

Northern Ireland         |1.3                  

                         |-------              

United Kingdom           |100.0                

Taxation

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which categories of individuals and families are paying a higher real level of total taxation now than in 1979.

Mr. Norman Lamont : People with the same level of real income as in 1978-79 will pay a lower proportion of their income in tax than in 1978-79 at all levels of income and for all household types for which estimates can be made.

Tax Collection Costs

Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of administering the tax collection system in 1978-79 and 1987-88, in 1978-79 prices.

Mr. Norman Lamont : The current expenditure costs incurred by Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise on administering taxes were £524 million in 1978-79 and £566 million in 1987-88 (in 1978-79 prices, deflated by the GDP deflator).


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The figure for 1978-79 includes a high degree of estimation because part of the comparable expenditure was at that time borne on the votes of the PSA and the HMSO. In addition, both figures have been adjusted to exclude the estimated costs of activities which had no direct impact on the taxes collected during the two years ; for example, the costs of the Inland Revenue's valuation office, except in so far as it provides valuations for tax purposes, and non-revenue work undertaken by Customs and Excise such as prevention of drugs smuggling.

Composite Tax Rate

Mr. Riddick : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of composite rate tax revenue comes from non-taxpayers who are (a) male, aged above 65 years and (b) female, aged above 60 years.


Column 786

Mr. Norman Lamont : I regret that information is not available in the form requested. Provisional results of a survey carried out in respect of 1986-87 provide some information related to age. It is estimated that between 8 and 9 per cent. of the composite rate tax then accounted for by savings institutions was due in respect of interest credited to recipients of age allowance (available where claimant or spouse is over 65) who would not have been liable to tax in the absence of a composite rate system.

Tax Revenue

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total revenue from all types of taxation in cash terms, nominal terms, and as a percentage of gross domestic product for each period of five years since 1959.

Mr. Major : The available information is as follows :


Column 785


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Column 785


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Column 787


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             


Other tax receipts in real terms (1987-88 prices)                               

\$(£ billion 1987-88 prices)                                                    

Five year average   |Vehicle Excise duty|National Insurance                     

                                        |contributions                          

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

1963-64 to 1967-68  |1.6                |12.0                                   

1968-69 to 1972-73  |2.4                |14.9                                   

1973-74 to 1977-78  |2.3                |21.1                                   

1978-79 to 1982-83  |2.2                |22.0                                   

1983-84 to 1987-88  |2.6                |27.2                                   

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics, Economic Trends.                             

Tax and National Insurance Revenue

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the overall revenue from


Column 788

taxation plus national insurance contribution in cash terms, real terms, and as a percentage of gross domestic product for each period of five years since 1959.

Mr. Major : The available information is as follows :


Column 787


Total revenue from taxation plus national insurance contributions in current prices, real terms and as a percentage of GDP        

Five year averages £      |Total taxes and NICs     |Total taxes and NICs in  |Total taxes and NICs as a                          

billion                   |(current prices<1>)      |real terms (1987-88      |per cent. of GDP                                   

                                                    |prices)                                                                      

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

1963-64 to 1967-68        |11.4                     |81.1                     |31.1                                               

1968-69 to 1972-73        |19.0                     |103.9                    |34.9                                               

1973-74 to 1977-78        |39.1                     |117.1                    |35.2                                               

1978-79 to 1982-83        |86.0                     |131.7                    |37.0                                               

1983-84 to 1987-88        |139.2                    |152.2                    |38.4                                               

<1> prices prevailing at the time.                                                                                                

Source: CSO, Financial Statistics Economic Trends.                                                                                

Government Investment

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been general Government investment in cash terms, real terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product for each period of five years since 1959,

Mr. Major : Information, as available, based on national accounts data, is as follows. Figures are given on


Column 790

two bases--expenditure on fixed assets, and the conventional national accounts measure of gross domestic fixed capital information (GDFCF). GDFCF is defined as expenditure on fixed assets minus sales of fixed assets. Constant price estimates of expenditure on fixed assets are not readily available.


Column 789


            General Govern£ milliGeneral Government  

            ExpendiGDFCF (GDFCF ainvestment' as a    

                                 percentage          

            fixed assets (1985 prof GDP (A)          

                                |<1>(4)|<1>(5)       

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

1959-63    |4,763 |4,763 |<2>-  |3.5   |3.5          

1964-68    |8,742 |8,742 |51,201|4.6   |4.6          

1969-73    |13,928|13,695|59,320|4.7   |4.6          

1974-78    |25,211|24,272|49,216|4.0   |3.9          

1979-83    |33,654|25,244|28,485|2.7   |2.0          

1984-87<3> |37,167|26,940|26,885|2.5   |1.8          

<1> Col (4) is col (1) as percentage of GDP (A) at   

market prices Col (5) is col (2) as percentage of    

GDP (a) at market prices                             

<2> Not available                                    

<3> Four-year period.                                

PAYE (Computerisation)

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have been made by the Inland Revenue in the proposed method of computerising pay-as-you-earn following recent changes in taxation or related matters ; whether the original plans are still expected to achieve the cost/benefits anticipated ; and what is the expenditure of public funds involved.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 25 January 1989] : The Inland Revenue's computer system for PAYE was designed in such a way as to be able to handle changes of the kind that have been made in the personal tax system with the minimum of adaptation. The computer system will, in particular, make it possible to introduce independent taxation in 1990 after some necessary systems and re-programming work. The existing PAYE and schedule D computerisation project is still expected to produce staff savings of some 6,800, of which some 5,800 will have been secured by April 1989 and the bulk of the remainder by April 1990. The estimated total cost of developing and installing the system is about £340 million in 1987 prices. The system is already producing estimated savings of over £15 million in the current financial year and this figure is expected to be more than doubled in 1989-90.

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on the computerisation of pay-as-you-earn by the Inland Revenue ; what is the starting date for phase two relating to schedule D and corporation tax ; what delays have been experienced ; and what has been the cost in relation to staff time and consultants' fees.


Column 790

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 25 January 1989] : The computerisation of PAYE was completed as planned in October 1988 with the conversion of centre 1 at East Kilbride to the new on-line system. The computerisation of schedule D assessing is already operating over most of the country and is on schedule for completion in Scotland by April 1989. The precise timetable for introducing the new system for corporation tax is dependent on the new computerised collection and accounting system, phased implementation of which is planned to begin in 1990. Staff time associated with system development and implementation of the PAYE and schedule D projects amounted to some 6,000 man years and around £24 million at 1987 prices in consultants fees.

Capital Gains Tax

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has about the rate of capital gains tax levied on unquoted investments in each of the Group of Seven countries.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 24 January 1989] : The information requested is given in the table, which is supplemented by notes. The rates quoted relate to capital gains on the sale of investments in general since there is is no evidence available to suggest that the countries listed distinguish between gains on quoted and unquoted investments.


Country                  Nominal rates of tax                         

                         on gains of                                  

                        |Individuals                                  

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

Canada<1><2><3>         |17-29 per cent.                              

   plus provincial tax  |   plus provincial tax                       

France<4><5>            |16 per cent.                                 

   or 5-56.8 per cent.                                                

Germany<6>              |22-56 per cent.                              

Italy<7><8><9>          |12-62 per cent.                              

   plus 16.2 per cent.  |plus 16.2 per cent.                          

   local tax            |local tax                                    

Japan<10>               |10.5-60 per cent.                            

   plus inhabitants     |plus inhabitants                             

   tax (5-16 per cent.) |tax (17.3-20.7 per                           

                        |   cent.)                                    

United Kingdom<11>      |25 and 40 per cent.                          

USA<12>                 |15 and 28 per cent.                          

   plus state tax       |plus state tax                               

<1> In Canada, two thirds (three-quarters from 1990) of the post-1971 

gains are included in the individual's or company's income and taxed  

at the appropriate income tax rates.                                  

<2> Provincial rates of tax vary. The rate in Ontario (the most       

populous province) is 52 per cent. of federal tax for individuals and 

10-15.5 per cent. of gains for corporations.                          

<3> An individual may claim a deduction equal to taxable capital      

gains up to a cumulative life-time maximum of  $250,000 (£117,370 at  

latest available purchasing power parities (ppp) rate).               

<4> In France the reduced rate of 16 per cent. applies if sale takes  

place more than two years after acquisition and if the shares         

constitute a substantial interest in a resident or non-resident       

company (ie where the shareholder has held more than 25 per cent. of  

the company's share capital at any time during the preceding five     

years).                                                               

<5> The reduced rate of 15 per cent. applies to long-term gains of    

companies, provided the net balance is allocated to a "special        

long-term gain reserve".                                              

<6> In Germany the gains of individuals are subject to income tax if  

the securities were held as business assets or if they are sold less  

than six months after acquisition. Gains amounting to less than DM 1, 

000 (£274 at latest ppp rate) are not taxable.                        

<7> In Italy gains of individuals are subject to tax only if the      

shares were held as business assets or are sold within five years of  

acquisition and, in the case of unquoted companies, exceed 10 per     

cent. of the company's capital.                                       

<8> In Italy corporate gains are not taxed if they are allocated to a 

special reserve and are re-invested within two years.                 

<9> In Italy local tax is deductible when calculating national income 

tax. The effective rates, including the local tax, are 46.4 per cent. 

for corporations and 26.2-68 per cent. for individuals.               

<10> In Japan gains by individuals are only taxable if deemed         

business transactions. They are subject to a deduction of 500,000 yen 

(£1,423).                                                             

<11> In the United Kingdom the charge is confined to post-1982        

indexed gains. Individuals are exempt from tax on gains not exceeding 

£5,000.                                                               

<12> In the USA most states impose a state tax on both individuals    

and corporations. For example in California (the most populous state) 

the maximum state tax of 9.3 per cent. produces an effective maximum  

rate of approximately 34 per cent. for individuals and 40 per cent.   

for companies.                                                        

Mr. Viraj Mendis

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to any income tax payments made by Mr. Viraj Mendis since 1973.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 24 January 1989] : Such information is confidential.

Corporation Tax

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the cost of abolishing mainstream corporation tax in 1989-90 and 1990-91, and of maintaining the rate of corporation tax at the rate of advanced corporation tax.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 January 1989] : The revenue cost of reducing the main rate of corporation tax to 25 per cent. would depend on the level of taxable profits earned in future years and on companies'


Column 792

behavioural response to the change. The rate of corporation tax applicable to company incomes in the year from 1 April 1988 was set at 35 per cent. in the 1988 Finance Act. Had the rate been set at 25 per cent. and taking the level of income in the year as given, it is estimated that receipts would be about £4 billion lower in 1989-90 and £6 billion lower in 1990-91. The revenue cost of abolishing mainstream corporation tax so that tax would be charged only on company distributions by way of advance corporation tax would be considerably more than this.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Turkey (Torture)

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Turkish Government the Amnesty International reports on torture in that country ; and if he will press the Turkish authorities to grant all prisoners immediate access to lawyers, doctors and relatives.

Mr. Waldegrave : My right hon. Friend the Minister of State raised Amnesty International's allegations of human rights abuse with the Turkish ambassador on 12 December. We continue to urge the Turkish Government to maintain the recent improvements in human rights, and to live up to internationally accepted standards concerning the treatment of prisoners.

Departmental Staff (Child Care)

Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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. Waldegrave : Children of school age of employees in the diplomatic and aid wings of the FCO have been registered to take part in play schemes to be run in Westminster during school holidays in 1989 beginning in February. Both wings will contribute to the setting up fund for the scheme.

A study will shortly be made into the demand for and feasibility of providing permanent creche facilities for younger children of FCO-ODA staff in the Whitehall area. This study will include options for funding.

Child care provision at other locations is also being considered.

US Senate (Reports)

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will seek to obtain the hearings and reports from the United States Senate on Senate Bill 158 of the 97th Congress, session one ; if he will place any such hearings and reports in the Library ; and if he will make a statement. (2) if he will seek to obtain the hearings and reports from the United States Senate on Senate joint resolution 110 of the 97th Congress, session one ; if he will place any such hearings and reports in the Library ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 793

Mr. Waldegrave : Her Majesty's embassy in Washington is looking into the possibility of obtaining these documents, and I shall write to my hon. Friend in due course.

Helsinki Final Act

Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress in the implementation by the Soviet and Eastern European countries on the provision of the Helsinki final act during the last six months.

Mr. Waldegrave : We have recently prepared a report on Soviet and East European implementation of their CSCE commitments for the period July to December 1988. Copies will be deposited in the Library of the House.

Caribbean (Drug Trafficking)

Mr. Page : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress Her Majesty's Government are making in assisting dependent territories to combat drug trafficking in the Caribbean.

Mr. Eggar : Following the review, which HMG conducted in 1986 in the British dependent territories of the Caribbean a number of steps have been taken to help the local Governments combat drugs and narcotics trafficking. We have provided a police launch for the British Virgin Islands and a drugs surveillance aircraft between the Turks and Caicos Islands and British Virgin Islands, built safe repositories for seized drugs, and supplied sniffer dogs for local police and custom forces. Local drugs squads have been established and strengthened with United Kingdom personnel, and advisers have been appointed to carry out drug awareness customs training courses. Drugs intelligence gathering systems are being set up throughout the territories.

Particular emphasis has been placed on the introduction or strengthening of appropriate legislation. All the Caribbean dependent territories are in the process of passing legislation akin to the United Kingdom's Drugs Trafficking Offences Act.

The total value of this assistance to date is over £ million. Further aid in the pipeline will provide more launches and rummage equipment for the customs services.

These efforts have already yielded success. On 9 January the BVI drugs squad, in a joint operation with the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency seized 150 kg of cocaine, $60,000, three boats and arrested 18 persons on drugs trafficking charges. Earlier last year the same squad acting independently seized 470 kg, one aircraft and arrested two persons in one operation.

Drugs trafficking is an international problem which requires an international effort, and HMG are determined to ensure that none of their dependent territories become the weak link in the chain.

ENVIRONMENT

Water Purification

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent regulations or recommendations have been made in respect of the nature of soaps and


Column 794

detergents and their effects on the efficacy of water purification works ; what current investigations are being made into this topic ; and if he is contemplating further advice or regulation.

Mr. Moynihan : There have been no recent regulations or recommendations in respect of the nature of soaps and detergents and their effects on the efficacy of waste purication works, and my Department is not currently contemplating any action in this area.

Water Pollution

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will inquire into the cause of the escape into public waters of a considerable quantity of uranyl nitrate, suspension of uranium, from the Springfields plant of British Nuclear Fuels plc ; and if he will make a statement as to its possible effects and remedies.

Mr. Moynihan : The circumstances surrounding this occurrence are currently under investigation by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution of my Department and the nuclear installations inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive. Initial investigations have shown that a relatively small amount of uranium was released to the site foul drain which discharges to the local sewage works. Results from on-site monitoring and analysis of samples from the sewage sludge have shown levels of radioactivity to be below normal background levels and radiologically insignificant.

Local Authorities (Company Interests)

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many organisations commented on the Government's consultation paper on local authorities' interests in companies, published in June 1988 ; whether he will list the names of the organisations that submitted comments ; when the Government expect to publish their response to these comments ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Over 200 responses have been received to the consultation paper. We propose to publish a summary of the points made in the responses shortly, with the Government's comments on them. We shall include a list of those who submitted responses.

Inner London Education Authority

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will direct the chair of the London residuary body to provide adequate, heated accommodation for the county hall-based employees of the Inner London education authority prior to that body's wind-up.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : No. The day-to-day running of county hall is a matter for the London residuary body.

Water Authorities (Chairmen)

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what remuneration is made to the chairs of water authorities.

Mr. Moynihan : The annual salaries of the chairmen of the regional water authorities in England are as follows :


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Authority     |Remunerations              

              |£                          

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

Anglian       |40,800                     

Northumbrian  |28,500                     

North West    |45,600                     

Severn-Trent  |45,600                     

Southern      |40,800                     

South West    |47,500                     

Thames        |45,600                     

Wessex        |38,000                     

Yorkshire     |51,000                     

These salaries reflect the chairmen's differing time imputs as well as other factors.

Chairmen and executive members are also eligible for annual bonuses if their authorities achieve or exceed the performance targets set out for them by the Government. Details of the bonuses paid to chairmen in respect of the financial year 1987-88 were given by my right hon. Friend, in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) on 12 January at column 742.

Planning (London)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to respond to the advice on strategic planning guidance in London submitted to him by the London planning advisory committee ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope : My right hon. Friend is preparing strategic planning guidance for London which will be published in draft for consultation in the near future. The draft guidance will take into account the advice submitted to my right hon. Friend by the London planning advisory committee.

Greater London Council

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the bodies now carrying out the functions previously carried out by the Greater London council.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The destinations of functions formerly carried out by the GLC were set out in my Department's circular 8/86. A copy is available in the Library. Of these functions which passed from the GLC to the London residuary body, Thamesmead has been sold to Thamesmead Town, and Seaside and Country Homes to the North British housing association.

County Hall, London

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the reasons for the delay in announcing the completion of the contract between the London residuary body and the county hall development group consortium ; when an announcement will be made ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The timing of an announcement is for the parties concerned.

Plant and Machinery (Rating)

Mr. Forman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how he intends to use powers under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to prescribe what items of plant and machinery should be rated ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Gummer : For the 1990 revaluation we propose to re-enact the provisions contained in the Plant and Machinery (Rating) Order 1960 (SI 1960 No. 122), as amended, together with the relevant provisions contained in the General Rate Act 1967. My right hon. Friends, the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales, and I recognise that in the longer term there is a need to consider ways of securing a fuller harmonisation of the valuation treatment of plant and machinery in the different parts of Great Britain. Consideration will also be given to the need to review the provisions of the 1960 order more generally.

Heritage (Protection)

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what legislation he intends to introduce to protect Britain's archaeological sites from destruction by developers in the light of forthcoming directives from the EEC ; if he will be providing for archaeological surveys to be made before developers commence work ; and what further protection he will give to save Britain's heritage.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley [pursuant to her reply, 23 January 1989, c. 454] : The regulations which brought the EC directive on environmental assessment on 15 July 1988, require environmental statements to be prepared by developers and considered by the relevant public bodies before planning permission may be given for certain major projects.

The effects of proposals on the cultural heritage are one of many items which must be covered by an environmental statement. The regulations relate only to developments which are likely to have significant environmental effects. If an ancient monument is scheduled any works which would affect it need scheduled monument consent from my right hon, Friend the Secretary of State. In appropriate cases, consent may be given subject to conditions relating to archaeological investigation or recording. In other cases the provision for archaeological investigation or recording is a matter between developers, local planning authorities and archaeologists.

It has always been open to local planning authorities to consider the archaeological implications of development and impose conditions that are both appropriate and reasonable in the circumstances of the case on any planning permission that may be granted. It is my right hon. Friend's policy to encourage close links between developers, archaeologists and local planning authorities as a means of ensuring appropriate protection for non-scheduled sites.

HEALTH

In-patient Treatment

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the lowest and the highest average cost of in-patient treatment in a district health authority in the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Freeman : Information within hospitals costing returns for health authority managed hospitals is published in aggregated tables of average treatment costs by type of hospital for health regions and England in the Department's annual publication "Health Services Costing Returns" (the latest being for 1986-87), copies of which are held in the Library.


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All hospitals are classified for costing purposes into one of a series of standard types which reflect the principal use to which their beds are allocated. Although in-patient treatment costs may vary between hospitals of the same type, those categorised "pre- convalescent", "convalescent" or "mental handicap" generally have lower average costs, while higher average costs are usually incurred at hospitals within such categories as "acute", "children's acute" and "eye".

The published regional summary tables for 1986-87 show that an average cost per in-patient day of £17.45 was incurred by a convalescent hospital, whilst among the highest individual hospital average costs recorded was £238.68 per in-patient day for Papworth hospital, Cambridgeshire

General Practitioners

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average list size of general medical practitioners in the Northern health authority at 1 October 1988 ; what was this figure as a percentage of the United Kingdom average ; and what proportion of general practitioners in the Durham area health authority had lists longer than the United Kingdom average.

Mr. Mellor : The information requested is collected from family practitioner committees, which are not necessarily conterminous with health authority boundaries, and aggregated by region. As at 1 October 1987 (the latest date for which figures are available) the average list size for northern region was 2,002 patients per


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unrestricted general medical practitioner. This is 99 per cent. of the average list size for England (2,020). A total of 54 per cent. of unrestricted general medical practitioners in the area covered by the Durham family practitioner committee (which includes Durham district health authority) had lists greater than the England average. The average list size for the United Kingdom was 1,965 and the corresponding percentages were 102 per cent. and 60 per cent. respectively.


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