|Previous Section||Home Page|
Column 476Mid Glamorgan
Princess of Wales
Cardiff Royal Infirmary
University Hospital of Wales
Mr. Grist : Acute hospitals in the Clwyd North unit will be piloting a resource management system based on an order communications network, following initial work in West Glamorgan health authority. Acute hospitals in West Glamorgan are also still involved in the medical records, diagnosis related group (DRG) coding, and organisational development aspects of the initiative ; and the authority is currently considering the possibility of testing a "bolt-together" resource management system along the lines of those currently being piloted at various sites in England. Other Welsh authorities have expressed interest in acquiring a resource management capability at the earliest opportunity ; and the Government's intention, as noted in the White Paper "Working for Patients", is to ensure that the requisite information systems are in place throughout Wales by 1992.
Mr. Grist : The information is not recorded in the form requested. Currently the NHS in Wales owns some 358.5 acres of land which it no longer needs. This land, which will be sold at the best possible price for the benefit of health care in Wales, includes plots of 10 acres or more at the following sites :--
Aberdare general hospital, Aberdare
Bronllys hospital, Brecon
Bryn-y-Neuadd hospital, Llanfairfechan
Mid Wales hospital, Talgarth
Parc Beck nurses home, Swansea
St. Cadoc's hospital, Caerleon
Whitchurch hospital, Cardiff
William Nicholl home, Cardiff
Financial year |Acreage sold |Proceeds of sale (1987-88 |prices) |£000 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |10.1 |0.33 1980-81 |148.5 |1.02 1981-82 |205.8 |0.28 1982-83 |740.9 |1.77 1983-84 |52.5 |0.95 1984-85 |11.1 |1.55 1985-86 |28.0 |1.78 1986-87 |76.4 |2.88 1987-88 |9.4 |1.73 Source: NHS Wales Land Sales 1979-80 to 1987-88.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received from Gwent county council concerning damage caused to the M4 following storm damage to manhole covers ; and when he proposes to carry out the remedial work necessary to repair the damage.
Mr. Wyn Roberts : No damage has been caused to the M4 motorway by the existing drainage system although there have been isolated instances of manhole covers becoming dislodged in exceptionally heavy rainfall conditions.
A scheme to remove the manholes from the M4 carriageway to prevent further incidents has been designed in conjunction with Gwent county council and, subject to the availability of finance, work is planned to start in 1989- 90.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what exploration activity for oil and gas has taken place in the firth of Clyde in each of the past 10 years ; if he is able to state the conclusions reached on the commercial potential of any finds ; and if he will make a statement on the latest position.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Exploration for oil and gas in the firth of Clyde had been limited to the acquisition of seismic data in 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1985, but no wells have been drilled to date in the firth of Clyde.
Mr. Peter Morrison : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury on 24 January to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) at column 488.
Mr. Parkinson : In the 1987-88 financial year, the most recent for which full figures are available, the Department of Energy represented Her Majesty's Government on the following international organisations :
|Contribution |£ ------------------------------------------------------------- International Energy Agency |524,000 International Atomic Energy Agency |4,527,000 Nuclear Energy Agency |270,000
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total funding of the current publicity campaign by the nuclear electricity information group ; and what contribution is being made to that campaign from his Department's budget.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority contributes to the nuclear electricity information group's costs using funds provided by my Department through the public information programme letter. I understand that the authority's contribution to the current nuclear electricity information group advertising campaign is £42,500. The total level of funding of this campaign is a matter for the nuclear electricity information group.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give (a) the original design rating, (b) the cumulative average load factor and (c) the present actual annual load factor of each nuclear power station operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board ; and if he will project the efficiency of Sizewell B in the same terms on the basis of the actual performance of the board's existing nuclear plant.
Mr. Parkinson : The Department of Energy has made one donation in response to public appeals for financial aid since financial year 1979-80. This was a donation of £1 million to the Piper Alpha disaster fund in 1988-89.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The latest estimates for remaining recoverable natural gas reserves within the United Kingdom and its continental shelf were published in the 1988 Brown Book (my Department's report to Parliament on the development of United Kingdom oil and gas resources) and lay in the range 644 to 1,950 billion cubic metres. The figures for remaining recoverable gas reserves for end 1988 will be published in the 1989 Brown Book in April ; they are not yet available.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Central Electricity Generating Board and its successors will decide the order in which large coal-fired power stations should be retrofitted with flue gas desulphurisation equipment in order to meet their share of the United Kingdom's commitment to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions. I expect to receive a planning application for the next plant shortly.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the most up-to-date cost in the present and next financial year of the cost of privatisation of the electricity supply industry to each of the 12 area boards and the Central Electricity Generating Board.
Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has yet fully assessed the financial implications of the squeeze on British Coal's trading margins discussed in the recent Public Expenditure White Paper, Cm. 606.
|£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |750 1989-90 |560 1990-91 |385 1991-92 |273
However, subsequent negotiations with the CEGB and other major customers have resulted in a price freeze. This, together with the effect of higher cost inflation than expected, loss of output due both to geological difficulties and to industrial relations problems, mainly in Yorkshire, and the reduction in sales caused by the recent mild weather have caused the industry's trading position to deteriorate. As a consequence the corporation's operating profit in 1988-89 is likely to be reduced by some £50 million to about £450 million.
The corporation is responding firmly to these pressures by accelerating the restructuring of its operations into 1988-89 and the first half of 1989-90, by shedding unprofitable business in non-core markets, and by further reduction of its capital requirements over the period to 1991-92. While these actions should lead to a more profitable industry in the future, there is nevertheless an adverse short-term effect on the corporation's bottom line result because of additional restructuring costs and terminal depreciation. This together with the lower operating profits and a higher interest charge will lead to an overall loss for 1988-89 of around £100 million. The adverse market factors which have affected operating profit and the bottom line in the current year will have an even greater effect on British Coal's outlook for 1989-90. The industry is planning at least to sustain the level of operating profit in 1989-90 ; however, after taking account of significantly higher restructuring and terminal depreciation costs, and interest charges, a further overall loss is expected.
The corporation's external finance requirements are now projected as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |850 1989-90 |720 1990-91 |335 1991-92 |223
I am accordingly raising the corporation's external financing limits for 1988-89 and 1989-90 to £850 million and £720 million respectively. These increases will be charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure. The capital allocations for 1988-89 and 1989-90 are being reduced from £650 million and £575 million to £600 million and £550 million respectively. British Coal's temporary borrowing limit is being increased from £1,800 million to £2,050 million immediately and further increased to £2,500 million from the beginning of 1989-90. A Supplementary Estimate for additional voted loans to meet the extra financing requirements in 1988-89 will shortly be laid before the House.
Column 481(2) what percentage of British coal is (a) cut, (b) conveyed and (c) cleaned by mechanical means.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : None. Such costs are not disregarded in housing benefit and family credit. It would be inequitable to allow a concession for those in part-time work when none is available to those in full-time work. We have said that we will monitor the new earnings rule in income support and consider what changes, if any, are necessary in the light of its operation.
Mr. Scott : We have no plans to restore the link between pensions and earnings. The key factor in considering pensioners' incomes is the total net income available. Our policies of protecting basic pension against price increases, ensuring that income from savings keeps its value, and encouraging the growth of occupational pensions have resulted in a 23 per cent. real terms increase in pensioners average total net incomes between 1979 and 1986.
14. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish details of child benefit payments paid by the United Kingdom and other European Community countries ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Moore : We have every reason to be proud of our record of recognising the extra costs of providing for children. Our provision for and recognition of these costs compares very favourably with that of other EC countries.
For a two-parent family with one child under two the United Kingdom stands ahead of every other member state in its child benefit payments. In addition, for a two-parent family with two children under six the United Kingdom ranks third. The details that my hon. Friend is seeking are given in my Department's publication, "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities (Position at 1 January 1988)", a copy of which is in the Library.
15. Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the annual cost to his Department of care in the community for the elderly living in their own homes as an alternative to residential care ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : Within Government the lead responsibility for community care rests with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Of course, many elderly people are helped to live in their own homes by a range of social security benefits such as attendance allowance, invalid care allowance and income support, as well as by payments from the independent living fund and the social fund.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have reduced the average length of time from 22.9 working days in November to 21.7 days in January. Of that only 5.5 days was for work within family credit branch. The remaining 16.2 days were taken up by waiting for responses to enquiries, mainly from employers.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We have received very few representations about family credit take-up from outside this House, where there has been a concentration on the number of people receiving the benefit. There has been less recognition of the fact that expenditure is running above the levels we originally estimated, which indicates that families who most need the benefit are getting it. The average award is over £25 a week, and I am sure that family credit is welcomed by the quarter of a million families currently receiving it. We are planning a major campaign, to include television, to coincide with the uprating of family credit in April. The claim form is being revised and a new range of publicity material is being prepared. Our regional information teams will continue to raise awareness of family credit through the local media and by talking to employers, trade unions and others, especially to make clear the levels of income at which it can be paid.
Mr. Scott : The details of expenditure published in the Department's chapter of the 1989 public expenditure White Paper (Cm. 615) show that real terms spending on pensions and other benefits for the elderly is planned to be
Column 483over £500 million higher in 1989-90 than in the current year. In addition, we announced last November a package of help to poorer, older pensioners from October 1989 worth nearly £100 million in 1989-90 and almost £200 million in a full year.
These increases mean that social security expenditure on the elderly is forecast to rise by 2.7 per cent. in real terms between 1988-89 and 1989- 90, at a time when the number of pensioners will rise by less than one half of one per cent.
21. Mr. Bernie Grant : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many families in receipt of family credit reside in London ; and what is the estimated number of families in that area who would be entitled to family credit.