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Written Questions

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his practice when answering certain questions by reference to previous written answers to attach the answer so referred to.

Mr. Norman Lamont : Reference to written answers that have not been published in the Official Report will continue to be copied to hon. and right hon. Members.

Calendars (Germany)

Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when and why duty was imposed on calendars sent from Germany as gifts to persons living in Britain ; and at what rate duty is charged.

Mr. Lilley [holding answer 24 January 1989] : All goods imported into this country, including gifts, may be subject to duty or value added tax. This is because similar goods bought in the United Kingdom bear these charges, and different treatment for imported goods would be unfair on businesses making or selling competing products. Under EC law, which we are obliged to implement, calendars that originate in the EC or have acquired free-circulation status are not liable to import duty but are liable to value added tax at the standard rate of 15 per cent. Gifts between private persons may qualify for relief from import charges by post, but business presents sent to private persons are chargeable unless the import value is £7 or less.

Income Tax

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current estimate of tax revenue expected to be raised by the higher rate of income tax in 1988-89 ; and what were the comparable amounts raised by the higher rates in respect of the years 1987-88, 1982-83, 1978-79, 1974-75 and 1970-71.

Mr Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 January 1989] : Information is given in the table.

Tax liability at the higher rates of income tax                                                 

Year                    |Tax liability at higher|Tax liability at excess                        

                        |rate £ billion         |over basic rate £                              



1970-71                 |-                      |<1>0.3                                         

1974-75                 |1.5                    |0.6                                            

1978-79                 |1.8                    |0.8                                            

1982-83                 |3.4                    |1.4                                            

1987-88<2>              |8.2                    |3.9                                            

1988-89<2>              |<3>8.8                 |<3>3.2                                         

<1> Between 1928-29 and 1972-73 Surtax, a deferred instalment of income tax charged at rates    

additional to the standard rate, was payable.                                                   

<2> Estimates are based partly on a projection of the 1986-87 Survey of Personal Incomes and    

are provisional.                                                                                

<3> Includes estimated liability to Capital Gains Tax.                                          

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the cost of reducing the higher rate of income tax from 40 per cent to (a) 35 per cent., (b) 30 per cent. and (c) 25 per cent. in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 January 1989] : Available information is given in the table. Estimates include the consequential effect on capital gains tax. They are partly based on a projection of the 1986-87 survey of personal incomes and are provisional. The base for the comparison is the tax regime for 1988-89 indexed to 1989- 90 by 6.8 per cent., the increase in the retail prices index for the year to December 1988. Receipts of tax in 1989-90 would be reduced by about half of the full year cost. Further information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Full year cost at 1989-90 levels of income and gains of  


higher rate of tax.                                      

Higher rate of tax |£ million                            

reduced to                                               


(a) 35 per cent.   |1,200                                

(c) 25 per cent.   |3,600                                


University Funding

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what response he has given to the proposals from university vice- chancellors to decentralise funding of universities and retain the links between university research and teaching.

Mr. Jackson : There is currently a wide-ranging debate on the funding of higher education, to which various vice-chancellors have contributed. The Government are watching with interest to see how this debate develops and matures.

Rating Reform

Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the liability to pay 20 per cent. of the applicable community charge will be taken into account in assessing the level of student grant from 1989-90 onwards.

Mr. Jackson : The rates of student grant for 1989-90 were announced on 16 December at column 755 . Students' discounted liability for the community charge was one of the factors considered in reaching decisions about those rates.

Examinations (Northamptonshire)

Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will list in the Official Report the proportion of pupils in each Northamptonshire school who, in 1988, achieved GCSE grades A, B or C, listing the schools in descending order of proportion from the highest to the lowest ;

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(2) if he will list if the Official Report the number of A level examinations sat in 1988 by pupils at Northamptonshire schools and the percentage passed, listing schools in descending order of percentage pass rate.

Mrs. Rumbold : I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. William Powell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of pupils at Northamptonshire schools obtained in 1988 GCSE grades (a) A, (b) B and (c) C.

Mrs. Rumbold : The information is not yet available centrally.

School Rolls

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many maintained (a) primary and (b) secondary schools, other than special schools, have 200 or more pupils on their rolls.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : In January 1988, there were 9,279 maintained primary schools and 4,010 maintained secondary schools, excluding special schools, in England with 200 or more pupils on roll. The number of pupils in primary schools includes those attending part-time.

Schools (Funding)

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much additional funding his Department is providing to local education authorities in 1989-90 and subsequent years for introducing local management of schools in respect of (a) training of heads, governors and officers, (b) developing computerised information systems and (c) additional support staff for schools.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : Targeted support for expenditure by local education authorities on activities relating to the introduction of local management of schools is channelled through education support grants and LEA training grants. The 1989-90 education support grants programme includes support for £4.9 million of expenditure on the training of school governors, including training on local management. It also includes support for £25 million of expenditure specifically to help LEAs with the introduction of local management of schools through the purchase of computerised management information systems, the appointment of central teams and the training of non-teaching staff. The precise division of expenditure between these heads is for LEAs themselves to decide. It is my intention that support should be maintained at least at this level for a further two years. Training for heads and senior teachers to implement LEA schemes of local management of schools is a specified element of a £10 million national priority area under the LEA training grants scheme. It is for LEAs to determine what additional support to devote to the implementation of the education reforms from block grant or from their own resources.

Science (Policy Statement)

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Blackburn on 12 December 1988, Official Report, column 390, he is now ready to publish a policy statement on science in the light of discussions on the document "A Strategy for the Science Base" by the Advisory Board for the Research Councils.

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Mr. Kenneth Baker : I have nothing to add at present to my answer of 12 December 1988, at column 390 .

Teacher Recruitment

Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to encourage people to come into teaching from careers in industry and business ; what initial support he has received for his proposals from the industrial and business sectors ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Butcher : My Department's action campaign on teacher recruitment has boosting the number of mature entrants from industry and business as one of its main aims. The teaching as a career unit--TASC--targets older people from other careers with special publications, and in its national and local advertising. In conjunction with ICI, we are running a well- subscribed programme of taster courses for older people who are considering a career in teaching. We have funded special teacher training courses designed with those making a career change in mind. We also encourage and support partnerships between education and industry on teacher supply, notably with BP and British Telecom. In addition we have sponsored seven regional conferences to stimulate co-operation between education and industry over alleviating teacher shortage.

Single European Market

Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent the further education sector is preparing for the impact of 1992 and the single European market ; what resources are being allocated to it ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : Employers need an adaptable skilled work force to increase their competitiveness in international markets. The Government have introduced a number of reforms which aim to increase the responsiveness of the further education service to labour market needs. As the message about the single European market is increasingly heard by employers, they will be seeking appropriate provision from the further education sector.

A growing range of initiatives, at both national and local level, are being taken in further and higher education to prepare for 1992. For example, a network of language export centres has been set up to support specific business needs by providing language training, briefings on culture and trade, and export consultancy. And several agencies are promoting exchange visits between students here and in other member states. Such exchanges allow students to pursue their subject interests while practising their foreign language skills and learning about another cultural context. It is not possible for me to quantify the resources allocated to the many relevant activities.

History Syllabuses

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received about the content of history syllabuses in use in secondary schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : Various representations have been received over recent months mainly on issues such as bias and empathy. These will be further considered where

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appropriate by the national curriculum history working group whose establishment my right hon. Friend announced on 13 January.

Incentive Allowances

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the specific requirements for teachers to receive incentive allowances ; and how many teachers applying for such allowances have had their applications rejected.

Mrs. Rumbold : School teachers do not apply for incentive allowances. Under the school teachers' pay and conditions document 1988, a local education authority has the discretion to pay an incentive allowance if it is satisfied that a teacher fulfils at least one of the following criteria :

(a) he undertakes responsibilities beyond those common to the majority of teachers ; or

(b) he has demonstrated outstanding ability as a classroom teacher ; or

(c) he is employed to teach subjects in which there is a shortage of teachers ; or

(d) he is employed in a part which is difficult to fill.

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teachers receive one of the five incentive allowances in England and Wales.

Mrs. Rumbold : On the basis of a recent sample survey of LEAs undertaken by the local authority conditions of service advisory board, we estimate that about 140,000 school teachers in ordinary schools are currently in receipt of an incentive allowance.


Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will call for a report from the GCSE boards on their methods of marking GCSE papers in order to establish which boards use criterion referencing as the basis for marking papers.

Mrs. Rumbold : The GCSE incorporates criterion-referencing to a greater degree than the former O-level and CSE systems. The School Examinations and Assessment Council, which is responsible for advising my right hon. Friend on such matters, is charged with ensuring that GCSE syllabuses approved under section 5 of the Education Reform Act 1988 conform to the objectives of GCSE, and that GCSE assessment arrangements are designed to provide consistent measurement of the standards achieved. We look to the SEAC to take forward work to improve the basis for awarding GCSE grades. My right hon. Friend has also asked for the SEAC's advice in due course on the incorporation of the GCSE within national curriculum assessment arrangements, which require criterion-referenced assessment.

Teachers' Working Hours

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what systematic information his Department gathers about the average working hours of teachers in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : Information on the average working hours of secondary school teachers (including work outside the classroom) was collected for the first time in the 1988 secondary school staffing survey. Results from this are expected to be available in the spring. Comparable data for primary school teachers are not available.

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Medical Schools

Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which medical schools are currently providing lectures alerting medical students to the dangers of benzodiazepines.

Mr. Jackson : As for other subjects, details of the medical curriculum are for individual institutions to determine. However, the framework for those curricula are set by the General Medical Council's recommendations on basic medical education, which draw particular attention to the need for teaching about adverse drug reactions.

School Libraries

Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on school library provision.

Mrs. Rumbold [pursuant to the reply, 23 January 1989, columns 382- 83] : My hon. Friend's oral question when tabled referred to student library provision and was correctly answered on this basis. I regret that the Department failed to note when the question was unstarred that the word "school" had been substituted for "student". On this basis the answer is as follows :

The level of funding and organisation of school library provision are matters for local decision by LEAs and schools. In recognition of the importance of libraries in supporting the school curriculum, the Department's expenditure plans for 1988-89 allow for LEAs to spend an additional sum of £10 million on improvements in secondary school libraries.


European Single Market

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will publish in ranked order the latest available figures for the level of public awareness of the establishment of the single European market in 1992 among EEC member states.

Mr. Maude : Our single market campaign is targeted at business in the United Kingdom. The DTI does not therefore undertake regular monitoring of general public awareness of the single market. Limited research on the Department's behalf last August indicated that the general public's awareness of the single market at that time was over 60 per cent.

Marshall Aid Fund

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will raise with the EEC Commission the operation of the fund operated by the West German authorities known as the Marshall aid fund with a view to ascertaining whether the terms offered by the fund are consistent with the EEC rules on industrial aids ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark : The operation by the West German authorities of a Marshall aid fund, known as the European recovery programme, was noted as an existing aid by the European Commission at the time of the creation of the

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European Community. I understand that the Commission has since policed the programme as an existing state aid which is subject to the state aid provisions of the EEC treaty.


Sir Hal Miller : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the possibility of an investment in manufacture in the United Kingdom by the Toyota motor corporation.

Mr. Newton : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 26 January to my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Mr. Powell), at column 667 .


Mr. Ingram : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he is considering the introduction of a Privatisation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Newton : No decision has been taken to bring forward such a measure.

Assisted Management

Mr. Blair : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many of his Department's assisted management were in place by 31 December 1988 on a regional basis.

Mr. Newton [holding answer 27 January 1989] : By the end of December 1988, 11,487 applications for assistance under the consultancy initiatives had been referred to independent scheme contractors for the appointment of consultants, as follows :



North East               |602            

North West               |1,946          

Yorkshire and Humberside |1,128          

West Midlands            |1,174          

East Midlands            |747            

South West               |922            

South East                               

  Cambridge area         |751            

  London area            |1,279          

  Reading area           |688            

  Reigate area           |656            

Wales                    |647            

Scotland                 |947            


Scientific Collaboration

Mr. Warren : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what arrangements exist, or are planned, to give training to United Kingdom civil servants in the methodology of European scientific collaboration.

Mr. Luce : Arrangements for any necessary training are the responsibility of the departments involved in European scientific collaboration. No training is provided centrally.

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Mr. Devlin : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service whether there has been secondment by members of the Civil Service to the equivalent services in the member states of the European Community, and vice versa.

Mr. Luce : For a number of years, a small number of exchanges between the United Kingdom Civil Service and the Civil Services of France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Ireland have taken place. Some of these have been under formal bilateral agreements between Her Majesty's Government and the governments of those other countries. A number of other exchanges have taken place outside the scope of the formal agreements.

Squash Racquets Club

Mr. Waller : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will ensure that adequate provision continues to be made for the Civil Service squash racquets club when Thames house north is transferred to the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Luce : Departmental occupancy of Thames house north is not yet fully settled, but the building is to be refurbished and the squash courts will cease to be available. No others are currently available on Departmental premises in central London, but possible alternative arrangements are being studied : I place importance on the availability of satisfactory sporting and recreational facilities for civil servants.

Pensioners' Alliance

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Don Valley, Official Report, 13 January, columns 773-774 when the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance can expect to receive the new payable order for £35,000 ; and if he will take steps to ensure that its repayment is treated as a matter of urgency.

Mr. Luce : My officials will authorise payment of £35,000 awarded to the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance from the RPI error funds immediately Parliament approves a Supplementary Estimate that has been submitted for the funds.


Museums (Admission Charges)

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will publish in the Official Report a list of all national museums, showing for each the adult admission charges in (a) 1978 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Luce : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) on 26 May 1988 at column 260. Since that date, the science museum introduced in October 1988 an adult admission charge of £2 (with concessionary charge of £1) at the museum in South Kensington.

In 1978, admission charges were made by the following museums :

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Imperial War Museum :

HMS Belfast

Duxford Airfield

Victoria and Albert Museum :

Apsley House

Ham House

Osterley Park Museum


Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on what support he is giving to (a) classical music and (b) popular music.

Mr. Luce : I do not seek to make a distinction between classical and popular music ; some classical music is extremely popular. The Arts Council's direct expenditure on music in 1987-88 was £23,708, 211. The Scottish Arts Council spent £5,581,580 and the Welsh Arts Council spent £2,296,500. The regional arts associations also funded music organisations. Additional funds were made available for touring and festivals.

British Theatre Association

Ms. Abbott : To ask the Minister for the Arts how many new texts have been purchased by the British Theatre Association library in each of the past five years.

Mr. Luce : I am advised by the BTA that it purchased the following numbers of new texts in the past five years : 1,398 (1987-88), 755 (1986- 87), 979 (1985-86), 1,088 (1984-85), and 1,131 (1983-84). Donations over the same period were in excess of 7,500 volumes.


Newmarket (Boundary Transfer)

Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 20 December 1988 to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds, Official Report, column 186, what is the estimate of the additional cost of converting the space released from the canteen that is to be remodelled at Brookslands avenue, Cambridge, for new offices to be occupied by staff transferred from Newmarket.

Mr. Chope : Plans are not yet fully developed, but the estimated cost is about £350,000. However, the anticipated income from the sale of the offices in Newmarket will be more than sufficient to fund this, as well as a refurbished canteen for 1,100 staff.

Housing Action Trusts

Ms. Harman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the arrangements will be for the ballot in a housing action trust ; whether each household will have one vote ; and, in the case of joint tenancies, which of the joint tenants will be invited to cast vote.

Mr. David Trippier : We propose to ask the Electoral Reform Society to arrange for the conduct of ballots under

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the terms of section 61(3)(a) of the Housing Act 1988. Each secure tenant, including each joint tenant, living within an area proposed for designation will have a vote.

Customs and Excise (King's Reach)

Mr. Redwood : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the rental for the Customs and Excise building at King's Reach, Bermondsey, SE1.

Mr. Chope : The rental charges for privately owned buildings leased by the Property Services Agency are a strictly commercial and confidential matter.

Shopping Developments, Broadstairs

Mr. Aitken : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to publish his decision on planning appeal numbers, Department of the Environment reference numbers, SE2/5283/219/3, SE/5283/182/1 and SE2/5283/219/4, relating to shopping developments at Westwood road/Margate road, Broadstairs proposed by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, Sainsburys and Argyle Stores (Properties) Ltd., following the public inquiry at Broadstairs in June 1988.

Mr. Chope : My right hon. Friend hopes to issue his decisions shortly.

House Purchase (Interest Rates)

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the impact of current interest rates on the rate of house purchase.

Mr. Trippier : I will write to the hon. Member.

Parkway Stations

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the criteria which would need to be satisfied before he would entertain a public inquiry into a proposal to establish a parkway station with its attendant car park in an area in which no railway exists at present.

Mr. Chope : If such a proposal were to come before my right hon. Friend by way of appeal or call-in, the scale and impact of the development, and the likely degree of public interest, would be among the factors considered in deciding whether to hold a public local inquiry, rather than by proceeding on the basis of written representations.

Local Government Staff

Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his answer of 25 January, he will set out for each available category of local government staff the numbers in (a) 1968 and (b) June 1988, showing the net and percentage change in each case.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information is as follows :

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Numbers of Staff Employed in Local Authorities in England                                                                                              

June figures                                                                                                                                           


Local Authority Service        |1968                   |1988                   |Number                 |Percentage                                     


Education (Lecturers/Teachers) |488,749                |650,651                |+161,902               |+33.1                                          

Education (Other)              |461,184                |650,105                |+188,921               |+41.0                                          

Construction                   |105,346                |103,130                |-2,216                 |-2.1                                           

Transport Services             |63,654                 |2,934                  |-60,720                |-95.4                                          

Social Services                |215,275                |335,632                |+120,357               |+55.9                                          

Other General Services         |528,284                |579,404                |+51,120                |+9.7                                           

Police (All ranks)             |85,746                 |118,084                |+32,338                |+37.7                                          

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

Total                          |1,948,238              |2,439,940              |+491,702               |+25.2                                          

Note: There is likely to have been some reclassification of staff between service categories over this period, so the figures for the two years may    

not be entirely comparable. Local authority functions have also changed over the period.                                                               

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