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Column 223


|c|Six months ended 30 June 1988|c|                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                Review Cases                                                                                                                

                                             |Allowed                 |Disallowed              |Referred Direct to Local|Revised in favour       |Revised adversely to    |Not Reviewed/Revised                             

                                                                                               |Tribunal                |of	claimant             |claimant                                                                  

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

Employed to full normal extent               |32,656                  |11,826                  |48                      |150                     |233                     |74                                               

Engaged in employment                        |2,315                   |12,699                  |11                      |150                     |4,501                   |161                                              

Availability                                 |37,166                  |38,141                  |69                      |1,199                   |971                     |713                                              

Restricted availability                      |33,992                  |10,149                  |22                      |416                     |333                     |435                                              

Leaving voluntarily                          |86,078                  |140,368                 |189                     |2,407                   |481                     |1,279                                            

For misconduct                               |52,800                  |45,769                  |353                     |621                     |137                     |426                                              

Neglecting to avail for employment           |2,958                   |1,733                   |6                       |47                      |10                      |18                                               

Refusal of employment                        |2,724                   |1,205                   |10                      |38                      |6                       |7                                                

Refusal or premature termination of training |1,657                   |2,822                   |10                      |123                     |55                      |52                                               

Refusal to carry out written recommendations |14                      |28                      |-                       |2                       |1                       |-                                                

Labour Statistics

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will show, from the 1988 labour force survey, by region, including Greater London, and by male and female, the numbers of people who were (a) without jobs and who looked for work in the four weeks before their labour force survey interview and were available to start work within two weeks, who wanted full time jobs, the number who wanted part time jobs and the number who had no preference, (b) unemployed according to the standard labour force survey definition who were looking for full time jobs and the number looking for part time jobs and the number who had no preference, (c) in part time jobs who were looking for a different job with longer hours or looking for an additional job, (d) looking for a different job with shorter hours, (e) claimants not unemployed by the definition using broad International Labour Organisation guidelines on the grounds that they were employed and (f) claimants not unemployed by the conventional labour force survey definition on the grounds that they were employed ;

(2) if he will show, from the 1988 labour force survey by region including Greater London, and by male and female, the number of people not counted as unemployed by the definition using broad International Labour Organisation guidelines on the grounds that they had not looked for a job in the four weeks prior to interview, but


Column 226

who stated that they would like a job if one was available, and (a) were available to start work within two weeks and (b) were not available to start work within two weeks ;

(3) if he will, from the 1988 labour force survey, publish a table for each Great Britain region and Greater London, by male and female, and claimant status, the numbers of people without work who had looked for a job in the four week reference period, and were available to start work within two weeks.

Mr. Lee : Results from the 1988 labour force survey are not yet available.

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will show by region, including Greater London, and by male and female, the number of self-employed people in June 1979, June 1983, June 1984, June 1985, June 1986, June 1987 and June 1988, and show by region, including Greater London, and by male and female the number of people in the working population in June 1979, June 1983, June 1984, June 1985, June 1986, June 1987 and June 1988.

Mr. Lee : Table A shows the estimated numbers of self-employed people for the areas and dates specified. Table B gives the available information for the civilian work force, which is the sum of employees in employment, the self-employed, participants in work-related Government training programmes and claimant unemployed.


Column 225


|c|Table A|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

|c|Self-employed in Great Britain|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Thousand                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

June                   |South East            |Greater London<1>     |East Anglia           |South West            |West Midlands         |East Midlands         |Yorkshire & Humberside|North West            |North                 |Wales                 |Scotland                                     

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

1979                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |544                   |n/a                   |64                    |111                   |124                   |99                    |107                   |161                   |61                    |98                    |128                                          

Female                 |107                   |n/a                   |15                    |35                    |17                    |17                    |27                    |53                    |16                    |26                    |32                                           

All                    |651                   |n/a                   |79                    |146                   |141                   |116                   |134                   |214                   |77                    |124                   |160                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1983                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |567                   |220                   |72                    |161                   |137                   |127                   |130                   |163                   |64                    |94                    |137                                          

Female                 |163                   |59                    |22                    |52                    |40                    |30                    |39                    |61                    |27                    |32                    |42                                           

All                    |730                   |279                   |94                    |213                   |177                   |157                   |169                   |224                   |91                    |126                   |179                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1984                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |647                   |256                   |83                    |171                   |151                   |129                   |159                   |183                   |73                    |108                   |145                                          

Female                 |211                   |74                    |26                    |62                    |36                    |37                    |44                    |75                    |19                    |36                    |40                                           

All                    |858                   |330                   |109                   |233                   |187                   |166                   |203                   |258                   |92                    |144                   |185                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1985                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |686                   |280                   |86                    |186                   |145                   |124                   |162                   |193                   |79                    |111                   |151                                          

Female                 |217                   |80                    |28                    |65                    |40                    |33                    |60                    |74                    |25                    |35                    |49                                           

All                    |903                   |360                   |114                   |251                   |185                   |157                   |222                   |267                   |104                   |146                   |200                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1986                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |667                   |260                   |81                    |193                   |144                   |127                   |163                   |196                   |79                    |120                   |165                                          

Female                 |237                   |86                    |24                    |63                    |43                    |40                    |53                    |71                    |26                    |34                    |40                                           

All                    |904                   |346                   |105                   |256                   |187                   |167                   |216                   |267                   |105                   |154                   |205                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1987                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |778                   |303                   |88                    |206                   |164                   |144                   |176                   |209                   |78                    |105                   |152                                          

Female                 |254                   |95                    |39                    |72                    |45                    |45                    |60                    |70                    |30                    |43                    |42                                           

All                    |1,032                 |399                   |127                   |278                   |209                   |189                   |236                   |279                   |108                   |148                   |194                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |813                   |317                   |91                    |210                   |169                   |149                   |184                   |216                   |80                    |108                   |157                                          

Female                 |274                   |103                   |43                    |77                    |47                    |48                    |64                    |73                    |32                    |46                    |45                                           

All                    |1,087                 |419                   |134                   |287                   |216                   |197                   |248                   |289                   |112                   |154                   |202                                          

<1> Included in South East.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

n/a=Not available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


|c|Table B|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

|c|Civilian workforce in Great Britain|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Thousands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

June                   |South East            |Greater London<1>     |East Anglia           |South West            |West Midlands         |East Midlands         |Yorkshire & Humberside|North West            |North                 |Wales                 |Scotland                                     

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

1979                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,019                 |n/a                   |502                   |1,093                 |1,542                 |1,063                 |1,380                 |1,831                 |882                   |769                   |1,445                                        

Female                 |3,345                 |n/a                   |308                   |734                   |951                   |676                   |873                   |1,241                 |554                   |461                   |984                                          

All                    |8,364                 |n/a                   |810                   |1,828                 |2,493                 |1,740                 |2,253                 |3,072                 |1,436                 |1,230                 |2,429                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1983                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,058                 |2,452                 |526                   |1,138                 |1,518                 |1,076                 |1,349                 |1,747                 |829                   |722                   |1,422                                        

Female                 |3,444                 |1,630                 |330                   |764                   |949                   |689                   |870                   |1,203                 |537                   |454                   |981                                          

All                    |8,503                 |4,081                 |856                   |1,902                 |2,467                 |1,766                 |2,219                 |2,950                 |1,366                 |1,177                 |2,403                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1984                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,161                 |2,487                 |542                   |1,161                 |1,529                 |1,086                 |1,366                 |1,753                 |834                   |733                   |1,426                                        

Female                 |3,629                 |1,680                 |348                   |806                   |977                   |727                   |903                   |1,243                 |552                   |470                   |1,008                                        

All                    |8,790                 |4,168                 |890                   |1,967                 |2,506                 |1,813                 |2,269                 |2,996                 |1,387                 |1,203                 |2,433                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1985                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,249                 |2,521                 |566                   |1,189                 |1,535                 |1,128                 |1,374                 |1,755                 |849                   |736                   |1,442                                        

Female                 |3,733                 |1,703                 |368                   |830                   |1,008                 |753                   |942                   |1,262                 |563                   |470                   |1,029                                        

All                    |8,981                 |4,225                 |934                   |2,019                 |2,543                 |1,881                 |2,316                 |3,017                 |1,412                 |1,206                 |2,470                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1986                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,231                 |2,502                 |579                   |1,190                 |1,542                 |1,126                 |1,384                 |1,731                 |852                   |734                   |1,442                                        

Female                 |3,834                 |1,730                 |377                   |845                   |1,033                 |774                   |952                   |1,273                 |582                   |468                   |1,026                                        

All                    |9,065                 |4,232                 |956                   |2,035                 |2,575                 |1,900                 |2,336                 |3,004                 |1,434                 |1,202                 |2,468                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1987                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,287                 |2,501                 |598                   |1,196                 |1,554                 |1,134                 |1,383                 |1,708                 |847                   |703                   |1,416                                        

Female                 |3,909                 |1,747                 |406                   |870                   |1,052                 |790                   |973                   |1,278                 |588                   |478                   |1,037                                        

All                    |9,196                 |4,248                 |1,005                 |2,066                 |2,605                 |1,924                 |2,356                 |2,986                 |1,435                 |1,181                 |2,454                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Male                   |5,238                 |2,468                 |614                   |1,173                 |1,528                 |1,128                 |1,359                 |1,663                 |835                   |689                   |1,381                                        

Female                 |3,970                 |1,755                 |416                   |869                   |1,064                 |800                   |982                   |1,268                 |592                   |486                   |1,038                                        

All                    |9,207                 |4,224                 |1,029                 |2,042                 |2,591                 |1,928                 |2,342                 |2,932                 |1,427                 |1,175                 |2,420                                        

<1> Included in South East.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

n/a=Not available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Tourism

Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will announce the date for the publication of the review of the English tourist authorities ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : The tourism review report is still under consideration. A response will be made in due course.

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the review on the section 4 aid scheme to the English tourist board will be completed ; if he has any proposals for interim funding whilst aid is suspended ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : The tourism review report is under consideration. There are no plans for interim funding.


Column 228

Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what grants were made out of the section 4 aid scheme to the North-West tourist board for the last year that figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : During the financial year 1987-88 the English tourist board made offers of assistance under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 totalling £2.062 million to 73 projects in the North- West tourist board area.


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Wages Councils

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report thoserespondents to the wages councils consultative document who supported total abolition of the system and, separately, those who responded otherwise.

Mr. Nicholls : It is not the Government's practice to disclose the positions of respondents to consultation documents except where the individuals or organisations concerned have themselves publicised their views.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many of the respondents to the wages councils consultative document supported total abolition of the system ; and how many responded otherwise.

Mr. Nicholls : Nearly 400 responses have been received. Not all express a clear preference for abolition or retention. An analysis cannot be published until all the responses have been properly categorised.

Workplace and Environment

Mr. Oakes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many factory inspectors he estimates will be necessary to enforce the European workplace and environmental directives.

Mr. Nicholls : Until current draft directives emerge in their final shape from negotiations, it is not possible to state what, if any, implications they might have for requirements for factory inspectors. Resources for the Health and Safety Executive are reviewed annually.

Health and Safety

Mr. Oakes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many factory inspectors there were to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Regulations in each of the years 1986, 1987, 1988 and at the present time, respectively.

Mr. Nicholls : On 1 April in each year the total number of factory inspectors responsible for enforcing health and safety at work regulations, who are employed in the Health and Safety Executive's area offices, were :


        |Number       

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

1986    |540          

1987    |538.5        

1988    |514.5        

1989<1> |533          

<1> 1 February 1989.  

In addition to those employed in area offices, at 1 February 1989, a total of 77 factory inspectors were working elsewhere in HSE, in management work in factory inspectorate headquarters, or contributing to policy and standards development. Recruitment to the factory inspectorate is currently under way.


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SOCIAL SECURITY

Pensioners

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of pensioners, and the percentage of all pensioners, claiming one or more means-tested benefits run by his Department.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 18 January at columns 241-42. There is no current way of identifying those pensioners who are in receipt of family credit, but the number is likely to be very small.

Members' Correspondence

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the average time taken to reply to hon. Members' letters in each of the last six months for which figures can be calculated.

Mr. Moore : From August 1988 to January 1989 a total of 7,852 letters were received for ministerial reply. The average time taken to reply over this period is as follows, with DHSS figures for a year earlier shown in brackets.


(Calendar days)                                           

Month           |Average time |Previous year              

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

August 1988     |28           |(31)                       

September 1988  |31           |(34)                       

October 1988    |28           |(35)                       

November 1988   |29           |(33)                       

December 1988   |30           |(39)                       

January 1989<1> |44           |(53)                       

<1> January figures reflect the reduction in activity     

over the Christmas and new year holiday period. For       

replies issued in the first 10 days of February 1989, the 

average time was 33 days.                                 

Income Support

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many 16 and 17-year-olds, by region, had made applications for income support on grounds of extreme harship ; how many had been granted at the end of November 1988, December 1988 and January ; and how many at the same dates had been granted income support on grounds of being within exempted categories, shown by category.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The numbers of 16 and 17-year-olds granted income support because they fell within one of the groups defined in regulations ceased to be collected after October 1988 and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The number of applications from 16 and 17-year-olds on grounds of "severe hardship", and the number of directions given to enable benefit to be paid at each of the dates specified are in the table :


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Cumulative totals period                                                                                                                                                                |London North                                                                                                                                                                           |London South                                                                                                                                                                           |Midlands                                                                                                                                                                               |North East                                                                                                                                                                             |North West                                                                                                                                                                             |Wales and South West                                                                                                                                                                   |Scotland                                                                                                                                                                               |Great Britain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

ending                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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

25 November 1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Aplications received                                                                                                                                                                    |138                                                                                                                                                                                    |104                                                                                                                                                                                    |188                                                                                                                                                                                    |279                                                                                                                                                                                    |214                                                                                                                                                                                    |159                                                                                                                                                                                    |378                                                                                                                                                                                    |1,460                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Directions given                                                                                                                                                                        |101                                                                                                                                                                                    |75                                                                                                                                                                                     |143                                                                                                                                                                                    |184                                                                                                                                                                                    |137                                                                                                                                                                                    |104                                                                                                                                                                                    |236                                                                                                                                                                                    |980                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

30 December 1988                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Applications received                                                                                                                                                                   |209                                                                                                                                                                                    |153                                                                                                                                                                                    |291                                                                                                                                                                                    |467                                                                                                                                                                                    |368                                                                                                                                                                                    |221                                                                                                                                                                                    |691                                                                                                                                                                                    |2,400                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Directions given                                                                                                                                                                        |143                                                                                                                                                                                    |107                                                                                                                                                                                    |212                                                                                                                                                                                    |319                                                                                                                                                                                    |242                                                                                                                                                                                    |150                                                                                                                                                                                    |454                                                                                                                                                                                    |1,627                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

27 January 1989                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Applications received                                                                                                                                                                   |281                                                                                                                                                                                    |213                                                                                                                                                                                    |382                                                                                                                                                                                    |705                                                                                                                                                                                    |516                                                                                                                                                                                    |328                                                                                                                                                                                    |1,067                                                                                                                                                                                  |3,492                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Directions given                                                                                                                                                                        |181                                                                                                                                                                                    |143                                                                                                                                                                                    |279                                                                                                                                                                                    |482                                                                                                                                                                                    |320                                                                                                                                                                                    |209                                                                                                                                                                                    |718                                                                                                                                                                                    |2,332                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are receiving income support by way of the Department of Social Security offices in Greenock and Port Glasgow ; and what were the comparable figures for those in receipt of supplementary benefit in (a) 1979 and (b) 1983.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I refer the hon. Member to my reply to him on 26 January 1989 at columns 708-10.

Benefits (Disqualification)

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if, further to his reply of 25 January, to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, Official Report, columns 613-14, he will provide the information on referrals and disallowances with reference to non-availability for work separately for men and women.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : These statistics are not kept separately for men and women.

Fraudulent Claims

Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if, in order to prevent fraudulent claims, he will consider requiring all claimants for social security benefit to attend to collect it in person at least once a month, or to provide a doctor's note stating why such attendance is not possible.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. This is not considered to be an effective or efficient means of preventing fraudulent claims.

Overseas Visitors

Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what instructions he has given to social security staff on dealing with a claimant who is a visitor to Britain and who alleges benefit is necessary because his or her sponsor has withdrawn sponsorship ;

(2) if he will take steps to withdraw eligibility for benefit from visitors from abroad whose sponsors have withdrawn sponsorship.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : There are no provisions for a sponsor to withdraw sponsorship. A sponsored person enters Britain as an immigrant and is typically an elderly parent of the sponsor, who undertakes to provide him with full support including housing. Sponsorship creates a permanent legal liability for a sponsor to maintain the person he has sponsored and this liability is enforced wherever necessary. When, exceptionally, a sponsored immigrant claims income support, social security staff have instructions to contact the sponsor to ensure that he


Column 232

continues to fulfil his undertaking where he has the means. The Department can take proceedings to recover benefit from him if he withdraws support without good cause. These arrangements provide a good safeguard against abuse of the social security system and we have no proposals to change them.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish figures for public expenditure in 1987-88 prices on standard housing benefit between the years 1982-83 and 1990-91 in the manner of his answer to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North, Official Report, 31 October 1988, column 494.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested is in the table. The figures are consistent with those given in my earlier reply. Standard housing benefit was introduced in 1983-84. Prior to this, assistance with housing costs was through the rent rebate and allowance scheme run by the Department of Environment.


|c|£ Million 1987-88 prices Great Britain|c|                                                            

                          |Standard Housing Benefit |Housing Benefit to people                          

                                                    |not on Income Support                              

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

1983-84                   |1,030                    |-                                                  

1984-85                   |1,100                    |-                                                  

1985-86                   |1,110                    |-                                                  

1986-87                   |1,160                    |-                                                  

1987-88                   |1,200                    |-                                                  

1988-89                   |-                        |1,130                                              

1989-90                   |-                        |1,100                                              

1990-91                   |-                        |1,100                                              

The relevant information for 1982-83 is contained under the headings "rent rebate" and "rent allowance" in the table given in my earlier reply.

Social Fund

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the percentage of the annual social fund budget allocated for each month of 1988-89 for grants and loans in those offices covering the Nottingham, North constituency ; what other social fund claims and payments have been made to date broken down into (i) the number for social fund claims issued and returned for each of grants, budget loans and for crisis loans, (ii) the number of awards, partial awards and refunds for other grants and loans, (iii) the average payment and (iv) the number of awards successful on review ; and if he will give the loans for claimant groups E, A and pensioners.


Column 233

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The local offices of the Department which serve the Nottingham, North constituency are Nottingham David lane and Nottingham Shakespeare street but their boundaries are not conterminous.

Details of the numbers of applications for social fund loans and grants processed and awarded, listed by local office, including information on budget allocations and expenditure, is available from the information held in the Library. Local offices do not have monthly budgets. To assist local office management there is a national profile of anticipated monthly expenditure which may be adjusted to reflect local demands. Details of the national profile were given in my predecessors reply to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) on 11 July 1988 at column 61.

No statistics are maintained on the number of claim and application forms issued to potential social fund


Column 234

claimants and applicants and their representatives. Details of claimants and applicants are not recorded in the format of claimant groups E, A and pensioners.

An analysis of loans awarded by client groups, and details of the number of applications successful on review for each social fund client group in the offices requested for the period to the end of December 1988 are shown in the tables.


|c|A. The number of social fund applications successful on      

review|c|                                                       

Local office       |Number        |Amount awarded               

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

David lane         |53            |£13,404.61                   

Shakespeare street |50            |£9,679.57                    

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

Total              |103           |£23,084.18                   


|c|B. Loans awarded to social fund clients group|c|                                          

Client group   |01          |02          |03          |04          |05                       

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

Loans awarded  |16          |16          |140         |16          |219                      

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

Amount awarded |£2,805.86   |£3,266.22   |£16,937.95  |£3,529.33   |£33,561.14               

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

Client group   |06          |07          |08          |09          |10                       

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

Loans awarded  |85          |1,697       |32          |60          |838                      

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

Amount awarded |£11,961.09  |£252,542.95 |£5,611.92   |£5,887.10   |£134,602.04              

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

                                                                                             

Client group   |11          |12          |13          |15                                    

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

Loans awarded  |1,367       |43          |288         |119                                   

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

Amount awarded |£114,902.94 |£7,517.46   |£22,855.56  |£6,712.27                             


|c|C. List of social fund client group codes|c|                                                                                                       

Code                                              |Client group                                                                                       

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

01                                                |Aged over 80 with higher pensioner premium                                                         

02                                                |Aged 60-79 disabled with higher pensioner premium                                                  

03                                                                                                                                                    

                                                  |over 60 without pensioner premium                                                                  

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

                                                                                                                                                      

                                                  |Applicant and partner aged under 60                                                                

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

04                                                |Lone parent with disability premium                                                                

05                                                |Family with disability premium                                                                     

06                                                |Other with disability premium                                                                      

07                                                |Lone parent without disability premium                                                             

08                                                |Unemployed with family premium-signing quarterly                                                   

09                                                |Unemployed without family premium-signing                                                          

                                                  |  quarterly                                                                                        

10                                                |Unemployed or with training allowance-with family                                                  

                                                  |  premium                                                                                          

11                                                |Unemployed or with training allowance-without                                                      

                                                  |  family premium                                                                                   

12                                                |Others with family premium                                                                         

13                                                |Others without family premium                                                                      

15                                                |Applicants not receiving Income Support                                                            


Column 234

Social Fund

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish for all the social security offices in the Bradford and Keighley area the information on loans awarded by client group and awards successful on review under the social fund provided in his answer of 30 January, Official Report, columns 67-68.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Details of the numbers of social fund loans awarded, and the number of awards successful on review for the offices in the Bradford and Keighley area for the period 11 April 1988 to 31 January 1989 are shown in the tables.


|c|A. The number of social fund awards successful on review|c|      

Local office     |Number          |Amount awarded £                 

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

Bradford East    |37              |£8,810.53                        

Bradford South   |55              |£10,095.46                       

Bradford West    |41              |£8,797.53                        

Keighley         |48              |£7,058.54                        

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

Total            |181             |£34,762.06                       


|c|B. Loans awarded to social fund client groups|c|                                                      

Client group   |01            |02            |03            |04            |05                           

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

Loans awarded  |18            |21            |266           |25            |442                          

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

Amount awarded |£3,082.01     |£3,825.86     |£33,201.21    |£5,489.58     |£62,547.72                   

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

                                                                                                         

Client group   |06            |07            |08            |09            |10                           

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

Loans awarded  |193           |2,982         |72            |257           |1,229                        

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

Amount awarded |£26,830.62    |£411,456.78   |£13,224.95    |£30,230.54    |£182,152.08                  

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

Client group   |11            |12            |13            |15                                          

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

Loans awarded  |2,395         |110           |730           |458                                         

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

Amount awarded |£221,709.59   |£14,037.81    |£56,304       |£21,737.14                                  


|c|C. List of social fund client group codes|c|                                                                                                       

Code                                              |Client group                                                                                       

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

01                                                |Aged over 80 with higher pensioner premium                                                         

02                                                |Aged 60-79 disabled with higher pensioner premium                                                  

03                                                |Aged 60-79 with ordinary pensioner premium or                                                      

                                                  |  over 60 without pensioner premium                                                                

                                                                                                                                                      

                                                  |Applicant and partner aged under 60                                                                

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

04                                                |Lone parent with disability premium                                                                

05                                                |Family with disability premium                                                                     

06                                                |Other with disability premium                                                                      

07                                                |Lone parent without disability premium                                                             

08                                                |Unemployed with family premium-signing quarterly                                                   

09                                                |Unemployed without family premium-signing                                                          

                                                  |  quarterly                                                                                        

10                                                |Unemployed or with training allowance-with family                                                  

                                                  |  premium                                                                                          

11                                                |Unemployed or with training allowance-without                                                      

                                                  |  family premium                                                                                   

12                                                |Others with family premium                                                                         

13                                                |Others without family premium                                                                      

15                                                |Applicants not receiving Income Support                                                            

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will update the information on loans for special needs under the social fund and comparable figures for single and urgent needs payments contained in his reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell), Official Report, 18 July 1988, columns 484-86.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information on single and urgent needs payments for the period 1 July 1987 to 8 April 1988 is given in the table. Information on social fund loans for the period from 1 July 1988 may be obtained from the information in the Library.


Column 235


Supplementary benefit       |1 July 1987 to 28 July   |29 July 1987 to 25 August|26 August 1987 to 22     |23 September 1987 to 20  |21 October 1987 to 17                              

                            |1987                     |1987                     |September 1987           |October 1987             |November 1987                                      

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

Single payments awards 000s |182                      |188                      |180                      |206                      |233                                                

Expenditure £ million       |14.700                   |15.300                   |14.300                   |16.000                   |17.800                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Urgent needs payments                                                                                                                                                                   

 single payments decisions  |1,056                    |1,076                    |1,027                    |1,140                    |1,337                                              

Expenditure £ million       |0.980                    |0.102                    |0.106                    |0.107                    |0.140                                              


Supplementary benefit       |18 November 1987 to 15 |16 December 1987 to 12 |13 January 1988 to 9   |10 February 1988 to 8  |9 March 1988 to 8 April                        

                            |December 1987          |January 1988           |February 1988          |March 1988             |1988                                           

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

Single payments awards 000s |236                    |145                    |263                    |298                    |311                                            

Expenditure £ million       |17.900                 |11.400                 |19.700                 |22.200                 |23.800                                         

                                                                                                                                                                            

Urgent needs payments                                                                                                                                                       

 single payments decisions  |1,313                  |933                    |1,375                  |1,440                  |1,501                                          

Expenditure £ million       |0.136                  |0.970                  |0.132                  |0.155                  |0.142                                          

Flooding (Highlands)

Mr. Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if, following the recent flooding damage in the Scottish Highlands he will (a) now introduce emergency regulations to widen the criteria for eligibility to grants or loans under the current social fund allocation at Inverness Department of Social Security and (b) increase the size of the Inverness Department of Social Security's current social fund allocation ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Social fund crisis loans are available to help people meet costs arising from an emergency or disaster where no other help is immediately available. It is not a requirement that the applicant has to be on income support. Budgeting loans and community care grants may also be available in certain circumstances. The manager of the Department's Inverness office has been in touch with


Column 236

the local authority and local police throughout the emergency and has arranged local radio and press publicity about the help available from the social fund. As at 13 February one application for a crisis loan had been made as a result of the flooding. A loan was offered, but the applicant subsequently refused to take it up. There have also been three applications for community care grants, one of which has been awarded, and the other two are under consideration. There is no indication that the office's social fund budget allocation for the current year will be insufficient and we have at present no plans to increase it nor to extend the eligibility criteria.

National Insurance

Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has completed his review of national insurance contribution rates for 1989- 90.


Column 237

Mr. Scott : We have reviewed the national insurance contribution rates paid by serving members of Her Majesty's forces, by share fishermen and by volunteer development workers. Following a review by the Government Actuary, the special rates of national insurance contributions paid by members of Her Majesty's forces will be changed. The rate of abatement will be reduced by 0.15 per cent. for both employees and employers to 0.65 per cent. and 0.70 per cent. respectively with effect from 6 April 1989. The special class 2 rate of contributions paid by share fishermen will be reduced from £6.55 a week to £5.80 a week for the 1989-90 tax year.

The special rate of contributions paid by volunteer development workers will be set at the combined class 1 national insurance contribution payable by an employee and his employer at the lower earnings limit for each tax year. The rate payable in the 1989-90 tax year will be £4.30 a week.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Business Seals

18. Mr. Bellingham : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will outline steps he plans to take to improve markets for companies involved in the manufacture of business seals.

Mr. Maude : None.

British Shipbuilders

19. Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he last met the chairman of British Shipbuilders ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Newton : I last met the chairman of British Shipbuilders on 12 January. We discussed matters of current interest to the corporation.

Inner Cities

20. Mr. Squire : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of his Department's inner cities initiatives.

Mr. Newton : The inner city task forces have made good progress in meeting their objectives of securing more jobs and training for local people and encouraging local enterprise. Since the task forces began their work in 1986 they have committed about £33 million in support of nearly 1,100 projects. These will generate, or safeguard, nearly 4,000 jobs, facilitate over 23,500 training places and provide support for over 2,600 businesses. Over 450 private sector companies have supported task force projects.

27. Mr. Butler : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many projects have been supported by his Department's inner city task forces.

Mr. Forth : The inner city task forces have made good progress in meeting their objectives of securing more jobs and training for local people and encouraging local enterprise. Since the task forces began their work in 1986 they have committed about £33 million to supporting nearly 1,100 projects. These will generate, or safeguard, nearly 4,000 jobs, facilitate over 23,500 training places and


Column 238

provide support for over 2,600 businesses. Over 450 private sector companies have supported task force projects.

66. Mr. Curry : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what contact he has had with voluntary organisations regarding their work in inner city regeneration.

Mr. Newton : I am in regular contact with voluntary organisations and am well aware of their important contribution to urban regeneration. Since taking up my post as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster I have had meetings with the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, and Outset, and I have spoken at Save the Children and Community Projects Foundation functions.

Companies (Decision-making)

21. Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any plans to increase the power of shareholders in company decision- making.

Mr. Maude : No, but the Government intend to bring forward amendments to the Companies Bill which will enable shareholders of private companies to decide whether certain internal procedures should apply in their company. Similarly the Government intend to bring forward amendments to widen the scope of section 459 of the Act so that a shareholder may apply to the court for an order on the ground that the company's affairs are being, or have been, conducted in a manner which is unfairly prejudicial to the members of the company in general.

Companies (Political Donations)

22. Mr. Hood : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any plans to bring forward legislation further regulating grants from companies to political parties.

34. Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any plans to bring forward legislation further regulating grants from companies to political parties.

Mr. Newton : I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer that I gave today to the hon. Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. Hughes).

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any plans to bring forward legislation further regulating grants from companies to political parties.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 9 February 1989] : No.

Consumer Credit

23. Mr. John Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the increase in personal consumer credit in the last year.

Mr. Maude : About £5.9 billion.

EC (Competition Policy)

24. Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to meet the new European Community Commissioner responsible for competition policy.


Column 239

Mr. Maude : I expect to see Sir Leon Brittan later this month.

59. Sir David Price : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what advice he is offering the European Commission on developing its policies for dealing with monopoly and restraint of trade.

Mr. Maude : My Department is in regular contact with the European Commission on a range of matters concerning the development and implementation of EC competition policy. In common with other member states, the United Kingdom also has a formal role in advising the Commission on individual cases and policy proposals through the advisory committee on restrictive practices and dominant positions.

61. Mr. Butterfill : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has discussed the harmonisation of monopolies and mergers legislation with the responsible European Commissioner ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State discussed competition policy issues with Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan on 30 January.

Electronics and Telecommunications

25. Dr. Hampson : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will rank the major American, Japanese and European companies in the electronics and telecommunications markets by total group sales.

Mr. Forth : According to the 1988-89 edition of "The Times 1000" publication, the international ranking by group sales or turnover of the top 10 major electronics and telecommunications companies, excluding postal and telephone systems operators, is as follows :


                                                |Group sales £ billion                      

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

 1. IBM (United States of America)              |31.7                                       

 2. General Electric (United States of America) |22.9                                       

 3. Hitachi (Japan)                             |21.8                                       

 4. Matsushita (Japan)                          |18.0                                       

 5. Siemens (Germany)                           |16.5                                       

 6. Philips (Netherlands)                       |15.0                                       

 7. Toshiba (Japan)                             |14.5                                       

 8. CGE (France)                                |12.1                                       

 9. NEC (Japan)                                 |10.7                                       

10. Mitsubishi Electric (Japan)                 |9.2                                        

Multi-fibre Arrangement

26. Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the result of recent European Economic Community negotiations with China on the multi-fibre arrangement ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark : The negotiations between China and the European Community for a new bilateral textile agreement under the multi-fibre arrangement were concluded in December 1988. The text of the agreement reached is set out in the annex to Council decision 88/656/EEC which is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, dated 31 December 1988, reference OJL 380, which is available in the Library of the House.


Column 240

Full details of the application of the agreement in each member state, in the form of an EEC implementing regulation, are still awaited from the Commission. The agreement has been provisionally applied by the Council of Ministers from 1 January 1989. The agreement will be submitted to Council for final approval in due course.

Manufactured Trade

28. Mr. Clelland : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is his latest estimate of the deficit in manufactured trade for 1988- 89.


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