Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing the number of (a) working heads and (b) dependants facing marginal tax and benefit withdrawal rates in excess of 50 per cent. in the manner of his answer on 25 March 1988, Official Report, column 244.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Precise details can be provided only in overall terms. On the basis of the earlier reply the figures for families with children are as follows. Before taking account of the effect of the March 1988 Budget, an estimated 510,000 workings heads with 1.4 million adult and child dependants had marginal deduction rates of over 50 per cent. Post- Budget, 480,000 working heads with 1.3 million dependants were in this category. The underlying assumptions are those used in "Impact of the reformed structure of income related benefits" October 1987, copies of which are in the Library. Similar figures for working heads without children are not available.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will break down the numbers of prosecutions for 1987-88 in his answer of 2 February, Official Report, column 192, by type of offence, type of offenders and sex of offenders.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Stretford concerning Mr. RFD, 3 February, Official Report, column 441, if he will give details of the undertaking received by officers of his Department about the non-eviction of RFD ; if he was aware that RFD was threatened with eviction prior to his Department being informed by the hon. Member for Stretford ; and what advice was subsequently given.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : A verbal undertaking was given by the acting hotel manager that, pending the hotel owner's release from custody, no evictions would take place. The Department was aware that Mr. RFD feared eviction prior to the notification by the hon. Member ; Mr. RFD was advised about the undertaking and his solicitors were informed about the inquiries which were in progress. If the hon. Member requires further information perhaps he would write to me.
(2) if he has any plans to raise the basic level for the retirement pension to half of average earnings for a couple and a third of average earnings for a single pensioner.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Government are pledged to maintain the value of the state retirement pension as a result of our policies, pensioners' average total net incomes rose by 23 per cent. in real terms in the seven years from 1979. This compares with only 3 per cent. between 1974 and 1979, when pensions were uprated by the higher of prices or earnings increases.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has any plans to replace the 25p pension increase in the weekly payment to (a) those aged 80 plus years and (b) those aged 75 plus years and over by a substantial increase.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. Pensioners over 80 on low incomes receive higher pensioner premiums under income support. From next October the higher pensioner premiums will be increased over and above the increase due from next April, and in addition there will be new premiums for pensioners aged 75 and over. The October increase will mean an extra £2.50 per week for single pensioners and £3.50 for couples. The 25p age addition is paid to pensioners from age 80.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. Such a premium would not be an effective way of using available resources. Income support provides benefit for less well -off pensioners. The rates are intended to cover basic living costs including heating. Extra help is targeted through the premiums which will be enhanced for older and disabled pensioners from October 1989. These provisions are reinforced by the social fund cold weather payments scheme which this winter was extended to include income support recipients aged 60 -64 as well as those aged 65 and over.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will publish in the Official Report the social fund expenditure of each local office in the north-east region for loans and grants, respectively, and the same figures expressed as percentages of monthly profiles (a) for the latest month available and (b) for the total period covered by the social fund, on the same basis as the information given in the answer of 31 October 1988 to the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) Official Report, columns 497-500.
|c|Social Fund|c| |c|Expenditure on grants and loans for December 1988|c| Grants Loans North eastern region |Expenditure |As percentage of profile|Expenditure |As percentage of profile social security offices ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ashington |1,406.89 |18 |21,995.84 |123 Barnsley East |24,930.11 |109 |60,538.14 |118 Barnsley West |1,380.64 |10 |24,674.50 |82 Berwick upon Tweed |928.10 |93 |2,989.84 |141 Bishop Auckland |10,731.03 |74 |44,157.47 |137 Blyth |5,407.54 |70 |16,239.26 |94 Bradford East |21,753.39 |134 |46,364.38 |128 Bradford South |14,077.60 |96 |37,550.64 |114 Bradford West |14,092.09 |85 |39,439.95 |107 Bridlington |2,570.58 |63 |8,586.89 |96 Castleford |5,212.30 |75 |11,882.76 |77 Chester le Street |7,346.94 |99 |15,202.18 |91 Darlington |5,032.22 |30 |37,720.67 |99 Dewsbury |8,808.94 |84 |20,189.03 |87 Doncaster East |5,230.42 |42 |25,965.99 |92 Doncaster West |9,200.61 |46 |50,222.19 |112 Durham |2,050.21 |36 |19,510.21 |153 Eston |3,515.34 |35 |22,385.64 |99 Gateshead |12,076.25 |56 |60,996.60 |129 Goole |3,439.65 |82 |7,000.76 |75 Grimsby |7,358.42 |38 |48,119.56 |111 Halifax |22,923.39 |136 |51,175.43 |137 Harrogate |1,132.38 |20 |8,608.82 |69 Hartlepool |5,496.02 |46 |33,554.50 |125 Hemsworth |2,568.85 |46 |9,163.66 |73 Hexham |676.87 |36 |3,330.29 |82 Houghton le Spring |2,109.00 |36 |14,683.75 |112 Huddersfield |17,350.79 |131 |48,172.62 |163 Hull East |22,622.51 |92 |78,813.79 |144 Hull West |10,828.57 |54 |58,573.51 |131 Jarrow |8,793.29 |71 |26,817.29 |97 Keighley |7,768.45 |109 |13,690.43 |88 Leeds East |24,255.27 |112 |62,191.52 |129 Leeds North |29,981.24 |113 |58,178.31 |98 Leeds North West |12,530.31 |97 |27,699.37 |96 Leeds South |8,613.75 |96 |31,117.41 |157 Leeds West |4,384.43 |36 |30,455.82 |112 Middlesbrough |32,698.64 |102 |87,604.59 |121 Newcastle St. James |11,366.52 |63 |51,778.01 |128 Newcastle East |9,927.42 |64 |41,731.95 |121 Newcastle West |10,841.65 |72 |45,157.34 |134 Northallerton |766.68 |26 |6,429.58 |96 North Shields |7,646.35 |61 |30,057.97 |108 Peterlee |7,097.74 |99 |24,166.91 |150 Pontefract |4,030.28 |59 |13,177.84 |86 Redcar |11,682.30 |110 |33,919.81 |142 Rotherham North |4,439.30 |73 |14,556.21 |107 Rotherham South |20,737.96 |106 |66,332.81 |151 Scarborough |2,519.65 |43 |14,511.32 |113 Scunthorpe |4,546.03 |34 |34,265.32 |113 Seaham |5,810.41 |211 |6,374.48 |104 Sheffield North East |34,682.61 |94 |98,402.06 |119 Sheffield North West |20,115.26 |74 |71,072.57 |116 Sheffield South East |24,900.94 |142 |35,298.08 |91 Sheffield South West |21,444.55 |90 |50,766.64 |95 Skipton |1,618.00 |135 |2,871.72 |112 South Shields |10,805.46 |68 |35,119.85 |99 Stanley |8,317.15 |75 |32,429.63 |130 Stockton |34,374.75 |148 |61,187.17 |117 Sunderland North |13,058.05 |42 |82,332.23 |118 Sunderland South |16,815.50 |88 |45,251.44 |106 Wakefield |14,118.12 |118 |23,538.96 |88 Wallsend |9,900.98 |98 |41,864.47 |187 Wath on Dearne |5,054.07 |41 |25,454.13 |91 York |5,518.40 |52 |21,907.40 |92
|c|Social Fund|c| |c|Expenditure on grants and loans April to December 1988 inclusive|c| Grants Loans North Eastern Region |Expenditure |As per cent. of Profile|Expenditure |As per cent. of Profile Social Security Offices ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ashington |35,588.53 |53 |155,677.77 |98 Barnsley East |93,066.00 |48 |410,850.52 |90 Barnsley West |29,965.75 |26 |211,954.70 |79 Berwick upon Tweed |5,413.27 |64 |16,126.85 |86 Bishop Auckland |32,513.46 |27 |215,250.85 |75 Blyth |34,879.33 |53 |141,577.61 |92 Bradford East |119,101.34 |87 |294,357.90 |91 Bradford South |51,120.28 |41 |242,869.54 |83 Bradford West |78,106.56 |56 |299,570.99 |91 Bridlington |30,920.95 |90 |63,642.44 |80 Castleford |25,280.40 |43 |130,493.52 |95 Chester le Street |33,626.12 |54 |134,257.24 |91 Darlington |44,568.23 |31 |228,921.15 |68 Dewsbury |58,259.26 |66 |186,096.78 |90 Doncaster East |36,543.01 |34 |226,859.29 |90 Doncaster West |85,697.09 |51 |334,633.77 |84 Durham |15,670.59 |32 |107,937.57 |95 Eston |25,363.58 |30 |184,195.66 |91 Gateshead |78,888.75 |44 |419,662.48 |100 Goole |45,623.23 |128 |62,619.63 |75 Grimsby |43,149.80 |26 |342,642.43 |89 Halifax |114,779.53 |80 |337,606.27 |102 Harrogate |9,465.15 |20 |49,643.88 |45 Hartlepool |25,019.19 |25 |217,002.25 |91 Hemsworth |30,479.51 |65 |90,952.78 |82 Hexham |4,216.21 |27 |26,199.60 |73 Houghton le Spring |18,632.47 |38 |113,292.90 |97 Huddersfield |64,403.76 |57 |215,479.83 |82 Hull East |147,276.04 |71 |390,430.58 |80 Hull West |123,828.67 |73 |327,306.78 |82 Jarrow |44,761.75 |43 |193,667.33 |79 Keighley |41,525.64 |69 |125,746.05 |91 Leeds, East |120,104.24 |66 |395,590.91 |92 Leeds, North |171,511.44 |77 |402,744.19 |77 Leeds, North West |90,830.56 |83 |213,350.01 |83 Leeds South |52,315.16 |69 |157,847.93 |90 Leeds West |48,804.32 |47 |202,915.15 |84 Middlesbrough |125,726.79 |46 |553,889.86 |86 Newcastle St. James |72,970.59 |48 |325,669.94 |91 Newcastle East |60,716.33 |46 |294,468.91 |96 Newcastle West |60,787.48 |48 |282,168.13 |94 Northallerton |10,103.74 |40 |44,028.54 |74 North Shields |52,118.13 |49 |219,030.09 |88 Peterlee |43,818.48 |72 |123,709.48 |87 Pontefract |36,557.80 |63 |122,411.35 |89 Redcar |73,867.19 |82 |193,692.25 |91 Rotherham North |35,874.91 |70 |116,564.78 |96 Rotherham South |129,407.89 |78 |358,792.21 |92 Scarborough |14,435.77 |29 |95,934.66 |84 Scunthorpe |43,831.89 |38 |242,375.26 |90 Seaham |21,691.39 |93 |51,787.17 |95 Sheffield North East |183,532.77 |59 |587,895.85 |80 Sheffield North West |128,558.20 |56 |494,260.31 |91 Sheffield South East |94,880.84 |64 |324,684.34 |94 Sheffield South West |139,250.17 |69 |348,334.79 |73 Skipton |5,698.79 |56 |17,057.77 |75 South Shields |83,878.58 |62 |282,894.47 |90 Stanley |45,101.33 |48 |209,429.39 |94 Stockton |139,515.75 |71 |399,243.12 |86 Sunderland North |77,670.51 |30 |518,806.98 |84 Sunderland South |54,986.89 |34 |325,645.87 |86 Wakefield |88,930.99 |88 |235,121.50 |99 Wallsend |40,732.51 |48 |195,918.52 |98 Wath on Dearne |27,756.40 |26 |219,723.40 |88 York |64,502.76 |72 |193,222.40 |92 Note:-The percentage figures quoted are based on the profile set in April 1988.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to initiate a study on the Health and Safety Commission's report on the "Tolerability of Risk from Nuclear Power Stations".
Mr. Michael Spicer : Following publication of the Health and Safety Executive's document in February 1988, a number of individuals and organisations made comments on the report. These were published on 9 January.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the discovery of a defective gas detection system, defective fire alarm, and one fire pump out of action on the West Stadrill rig ; what estimates he makes of the likelihood of such defects on other rigs ; and what additional action is being taken by the inspectorate over and above the normal schedule of inspections, to uncover and prevent such defects in safety systems on rigs.
Mr. Peter Morrison : My safety directorate undertook an inspection of the mobile drilling rig West Stadrill on 31 January and 1 February 1989. The inspector found major safety deficiencies and ordered the immediate cessation of well-drilling activities.
Prime responsibility for safety rests with the owner and operator of an installation. However, my inspectors will continue to be vigilant in this vital area of safety and to rigorously enforce the strict safety regulations which apply offshore.
Mr. Michael Spicer : No. Standing charges are the fairest means of recovering the industry's fixed costs in providing a supply of electricity. If pensioners were relieved of paying standing charges the unit rate of electricity for domestic consumers would need to rise by about 3.5 per cent. to recoup the lost revenue.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will arrange a copy of the transcript of the BBC Radio 4 "Analysis" programme broadcast on 9 February on nuclear energy futures to be placed in his Departmental library.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen), 3 February, Official Report, column 424, if he will set out the criteria he uses to decide between questions for which he has responsibility in regard to the Central Electricity Generating Board, and questions which are the responsibility of the chairman of the board.
|million tonnes --------------------------------------------- 1989 |95-115 1990 |100-120 1991 |90-120 1992 |85-115 1993 |80-120
As in previous years, the forecasts are presented in the form of a range of outcomes for each year. These take into account the many uncertainties involved. The figures comprise stabilised crude oil, natural gas liguids (NGLs) and condensates. NGL and condensate production is expected to contribute between 6 and 12 million tonnes annually to the figures.
Column 397future framework for building societies within which they could make sensible plans about their development. However, I indicated then that it would be necessary from time to time to make minor changes by order to suit particular circumstances, within that broad policy framework.
I announced last June that the Building Societies Commission would consult societies and other interested bodies about one such order, namely one to permit societies to own, or to take an equity stake in, companies involved in the acquisition of mortgages from other lenders. Following those consultations, the order was made by the Commission yesterday and will be laid before Parliament shortly. Recently, the attention of the Treasury and Building Societies Commission has been drawn to the two minor respects in which the intention of the June 1988 measures is not being fulfilled as expected.
The first is that some societies have been frustrated in developing money transmission services by the fact that although they could offer such services to companies, they cannot offer them incidental overdraft facilities. I accordingly intend to table a draft order for approval by Parliament to be made under section 19 of the Building Societies Act 1986, to create a new type of class 3 asset. It would empower societies to offer temporary or occasional overdraft facilities, incidental to the provision of money transmission business. But it would not allow continuing unsecured lending to a company in the form of a permanent overdraft.
The second limitation is that a society can provide a wide range of financial services to companies, but they can neither provide companies with unsecured loans them-selves, nor introduce the borrower to another lender. I adhere to the view that for at least the next stage of their development, societies should continue to be limited in making unsecured loans on their own balance sheet only to individuals. But I have agreed to a proposal from the Building Societies Commission that it should make an order which would enable societies to introduce, or otherwise arrange, unsecured loans and leases for companies as agents of another financial institution. The Building Societies Commission is initiating consultations on two new draft orders, so that the draft money transmission order may be laid before Parliament shortly. Many societies have their annual general meetings during March and April, and they may wish to adopt the revised powers at this time.
The council heard proposals from the Commission for two new directives. The first would introduce a common minimum withholding tax on interest income. The second would amend directive 799/77 concerning co-operation between national tax administrations in the field of direct taxation and VAT. The proposed directives will be discussed by officials of the member states before being considered further at the April meeting of the ECOFIN Council.
Mr. Major : The only measure which is compiled including and excluding oil is the output-based measure of the gross domestic product (GDP). Expressed in per capita terms, this grew 14.8 per cent. between 1979 and 1987. Excluding the contribution of the extraction of mineral oil and natural gas, the growth over the same period was 12.3 per cent.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what benefits would accrue to the United Kingdom from joining the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system ; and if there are any comparable disadvantages.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 16 February 1989] : I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Holland with Boston (Sir R. Body) on 20 January 1989 at column 358 and the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith) on 1 February 1989 at column 226 and to my right hon. Friend's reply to a question from the hon. Member for Dunfermline, East (Mr. Brown) at column 1162 on 26 January 1989.
Dance company |Subsidy<1> per seat £ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Royal Ballet |20.25 Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet |16.55 Rambert Dance Company |12.25 London Festival Ballet |11.00 London Contemporary Dance Trust |9.50 Northern Ballet Theatre |4.60 <1> 1987-88, including Arts Council and local authority subsidy.
Mr. Luce : In the second round of awards made under the arrangements announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 23 April 1987, awards have been made to 11 grade 2s and 41 grade 3s. The total number of staff currently in receipt of awards following the first and second rounds of the scheme is 34 grade 2s and 108 grade 3s, respectively 25 per cent. and 22 per cent. of all those in each grade.
Column 399The full year cost of these awards is £322,000 or about 1.25 per cent. of the annual pay bill for the grades concerned.
Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his Union of Soviet Socialist Republics counterpart about the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan ; what response he has received ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : We have repeatedly called upon the Soviet Union to withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan. A Soviet Government statement published in Pravda on 16 February announced that withdrawal had been completed. We have no reason to believe that there are now any Soviet troops in Afghanistan's Wakhan corridor.
The Prime Minister : The Department of Employment (which includes the Training Agency), the Department of the Environment, and the Department of Education and Science each have a locus in the provision of training in London Docklands.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on co-ordination between the Scottish Office, the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on action concerning unpasteurised milk cheese.
The Prime Minister : Regulations controlling the composition, advertising and labelling of all cheese offered for sale for human consumption in England and Wales are made jointly under the Food Act by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Health. Regulations also exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.
Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister if she has any plans for pensioners groups to be represented on policy making bodies including the areas of (a) broadcasting and television, (b) the health service, (c) social services, (d) housing authorities and (e) local government.
The Prime Minister : Ministers are in regular contact with pensioner groups and the major voluntary organisations representing pensioner interests. Pensioners' interests are therefore already taken into account in the Government's decision-making process.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the role of (i) the Scottish tourist board, (ii) the Scottish Development Agency, (iii) the Locate in Scotland office and (iv) any other public body in attracting large-scale luxury golf courses and associated developments to Scotland.
Mr. Lang : Where such developments further the various objectives of bodies like the Scottish Development Agency and Locate in Scotland, then advice or assistance may be offered to the schemes' promoters. In 1987, the Scottish tourist board commissioned a report from consultants on the marketing and provision of golfing facilities. The board assesses that golf has the potential to attract more visitors to Scotland but that major investment will be required if Scotland is to compete with rival destinations.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice is available from his Department to local authorities concerning the development of large-scale luxury golf courses and associated developments.
Mr. Lang : No specific advice has been given to local authorities on the planning issues arising from such developments. Local authorities are expected to have regard to our general advice on development in the countryside.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has about the number of applications for the development of large-scale luxury golf courses and associated developments ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : I understand that a number of proposals to develop golf courses and associated hotel facilities in locations throughout Scotland have been announced recently. Information on the number of these developments for which planning permission has been or is being sought is not held centrally.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his Department has any plans to carry out an impact assessment of the development of large-scale luxury golf courses and associated developments on the economies of the areas in which they are situated and on the Scottish economy as a whole.
A consultant's report on golfing facilities commissioned by the Scottish tourist board (STB) in 1987 indicated that there could be a considerable and growing market for Scottish golf both at home and abroad. It is already an important asset to Scottish tourism. Information available to STB suggests that visiting golfers contribute at least £6.5 million to Scottish golf courses with golfers participating in organised tours adding a further £5 million.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what public funds have been spent by his Department and public bodies for which he is responsible, in attracting large-scale luxury golf courses and associated developments to Scotland.
The Scottish Development Agency and the Cumbernauld development corporation are assisting the development of a hotel and leisure complex, which will be associated with golfing facilities, at Westerwood, Cumbernauld.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what studies have been carried out by (a) his Department and (b) the Scottish tourist board on the impact on the relative tourist industry in Scotland of large-scale luxury developments, and small-scale indigenous developments.
Mr. Lang : The Industry Department for Scotland has undertaken a study of the net impact of a sample of projects assisted by the Scottish tourist board. This work was undertaken as a contribution to an evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the National tourist boards' scheme of financial assistance to tourist projects. The Scottish tourist board conducts feasibility, research and planning studies, details of which are contained in the board's annual reports, copies of which are available in the Library. The board also undertakes ongoing monitoring of projects which they assist.
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) on whose authority a register of attendance is being taken of hospital staff attending the video presentation of "Working for Patients" ; (2) if he will give the purpose of maintaining a register of attendance of hospital staff at the video presentation of "Working for Patients".
Mr. Michael Forsyth : I hope that all who work in the Scottish Health Service will have the opportunity to see the video presentation, which explains the Government's proposals in "Working for Patients". Arrangements for providing such an opportunity are a matter for the health boards, as part of their day-to-day management function. My right hon. and learned Friend has issued no specific instructions on such local arrangements.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to review the level of penalty applicable under the Winter Herding Act 1686 for trespass from its current level of half a merk per beast.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions in each of the past 10 years recommendations contained in memoranda of observations of committees of the Law Society of Scotland have been adopted by the departments to which such recommendations were addressed ; and if he will list the recommendations in each case.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work is currently being carried out on the reactor equipment at atomic weapons research establishment, Aldermaston ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : AWE Aldermaston's HERALD research reactor was closed down in September last year after 30 years of operation. The reactor fuel elements have been removed and safely stored. The reactor building is now being put on a care and maintenance basis.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if his Department has made any study of the feasibility of using a linear proton accelerator to produce tritium on the closure of British Nuclear Fuels plc's Chapelcross plant ;
(2) if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours), 7 February, Official Report, column 786, he will make a statement on the long-term effectiveness of British Nuclear Fuels plc's present nuclear reactors to provide military nuclear materials for the United Kingdom defence programme.
Mr. Sainsbury : The reactors at Chapelcross are expected to be effective for the production of any military nuclear materials which may be required, until the late 1990s. Any longer-term defence requirements and options for the replacement of reactors will be kept under review as appropriate.