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Mr. Forth : There has been no contact between Ministers and the producers of the programme. My officials discussed problems associated with statistics of trade in seal pup skins with a researcher for the programme, explaining that, due to errors in coding of goods, certain items had been wrongly classified to headings related to seal pup skins. These items included lambskins, leather and fox fur goods.
There is provision in the system for checking trade data to include specialised checks on specified commodities and/or countries. Action has now been taken to institute such checks in respect of headings involving skins of whitecoat pups of harp seals and pups of hooded seals (blue backs).
Mr. Harry Ewing : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what action his Department took to discourage the head postmaster at Edinburgh from recruiting casual staff, contrary to the Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations 1976, from the McGregor employment agency, Edinburgh during the DRAS post office dispute in August to September of 1988 ;
Column 26(2) what was the expenditure incurred by the post office in Edinburgh in using the services of the McGregor employment agency, during the DRAS post office dispute in August to September of 1988.
Mr. Maude : There are matters which fall within the management responsibility of the Post Office, of which I would not expect to be informed.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to publish the findings of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry into television and film.
Mr. Maude : The Monopolies and Mergers Commission submitted its report on labour practices in television and film-making to my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Employment, for Trade and Industry and for the Home Department on 9 February. The report will be published as soon as is practicable.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what information he has on the value of contracts placed by Iran with Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom over the most recent 12 months for which figures are available.
Mr. Newton : The information available relates to the value of visible trade. The figures are as follows :
|12 months ended |Value (US $ million) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom |December 1988 |399.7 France |November 1988 |187.2 Federal Republic of Germany |September 1988 |1,694.2 Italy |June 1988 |478.4
Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide a breakdown of the relevant line of table 5.1 in Chapter 5 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991-92" (Cm. 605), showing separately the amount of support from central Government given or planned to aerospace, shipbuilding, steel and vehicle manufacture year by year up to and including 1991-92.
Mr. Newton [holding answer 24 February 1989] : The breakdown of the line entitled "Support for aerospace, shipbuilding, and steel and vehicle manufacture" in table 5.1 of Cm. 605 is as follows :
|1989-90 |1990-91 |1991-92 |£ million|£ million|£ million --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Civil Aerospace Launch Aid |131.3 |73.2 |-24.1 Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee SchemeInterest Support Costs |31.6 |16.8 |14.2 Shipbuilding Intervention Fund (private sector) |21.0 |21.0 |21.0 Suppport for the Iron and Steel Employees Readaptation Benefits Scheme |7.9 |8.0 |8.3 |191.8 |119.0 |19.4
Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much shipbuilding intervention fund is included in the planning totals appearing in table 5.1 of chapter 5 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991-92" (Cm. 605) for each of the three years covered.
Mr. Newton [holding answer 24 February 1989] : The provision for private sector shipbuilding intervention fund in table 5.1 is shown in my reply today to the hon. Member's question earlier. There is, in addition, a provision in the British Shipbuilders external financing limit for payments from the shipbuilding intervention fund in respect of those contracts for which the corporation retains responsibility.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the total amount of tax paid by parents on the benefit in kind of workplace nurseries and the number of parents who are taxed on this benefit in kind.
Mr. Norman Lamont : I regret that information on which to base reliable estimates of the total amount of tax paid on this benefit in kind and the number of taxpayers affected is not available.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people earn below the (i) tax threshold and (ii) lower earnings level of national insurance, broken down into women and men.
Mr. Norman Lamont : I apologise for the delay in replying. The following provisional estimates are based on projections to 1988-89 of weekly earnings (adjusted to disregard short-term factors at the time of interview) recorded in the 1986 family expenditure survey. Some 2.8 million employees (including part-time workers) earn less than the weekly equivalent of the personal allowance to which they are entitled : of these 0.5 million are men and 2.3 million are women. These include 0.2 million men and 1.6 million women with earnings below the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions. These estimates exclude people in receipt of statutory maternity pay or statutory sick pay.
Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what regulations there are governing time limits within which estates must be wound up.
Mr. Norman Lamont : There are no time limits under either the general or fiscal law within which estates must be wound up.
Mr. Butterfill : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total amount of corporation tax paid by private companies in the United Kingdom for each of the last five years.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Payments of corporation tax excluding those made by public corporations were as follows :
|£ billion ------------------------------ 1983-84 |6.1 1984-85 |8.2 1985-86 |10.5 1986-87 |13.4 1987-88 |15.6
If the hon. Member also has in mind the exclusion of payments by public limited companies (and their associates or subsidiaries), I regret that the information on which to base an estimate is not available centrally.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many retirement pensioners in the county of South Yorkshire (a) aged 60 to 79 years and (b) aged 80 years and over pay income tax, also showing this as a percentage figure in relation to all retired pensioners in the county of South Yorkshire ; and what are the comparable national figures.
Mr. Norman Lamont : I regret that information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in how many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries the rate of capital gains tax is equal to the marginal rate of tax on incomes.
Mr. Norman Lamont : In 20 of the OECD countries some taxable capital gains are taxed as ordinary income at the normal income tax rates. They are not in all cases formally treated as the top slice of that income, although this does not affect taxpayers' total liabilities. The overwhelming majority of these countries have no equivalent of indexation, which substantially reduces the effective rate of tax in the United Kingdom.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries have a rate of capital gains tax as high as 40 per cent.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Nineteen of the OECD countries which tax capital gains at income tax rates have a top income tax rate of at least 40 per cent. In addition, the Republic of Ireland has a separate capital gains tax with two higher rates above 40 per cent.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the cost of each allowance and tax relief for income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty and company taxes.
Mr. Norman Lamont : I refer my hon. Friend to table 21.1.25 in chapter 21 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991-92" (Cm 621).
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place a copy of his Department's report of its inquiry into the working of the tax deduction scheme and 714 certificates in the Library ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 24 February 1989] : The recommendations of the efficiency scrutiny report are still under consideration. For reasons of tax security, the report itself remains confidential.
Mr. Squire : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to bring the basis of assessing the value of company cars into line with other benefits in kind.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 February 1989] : The present system of scale charges has great advantages for the taxpayer in simplicity and certainty ; it is widely recognised as better than the system of detailed individual calculations it replaced.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a comprehensive list of all tax allowances currently being allowed.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 23 February 1989] : A list of direct tax allowances and reliefs can be found in table 21.1.25 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1989-90 to 1991-92" (Cm 621). Further information is available in table 1.7 of "Inland Revenue Statistics 1987".
Mr. Strang : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether there have been any discussions with representatives of farmers about allowing farmers who pay the poll tax for employees in tied cottages to set the sums involved against tax.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 22 February 1989] : There have been no discussions between Treasury Ministers and farmers' representatives on this point. Under existing law, any employer who pays any tax for an employee as part of the latter's remuneration package can normally claim a deduction for tax purposes. However, an employee whose remuneration package includes the payment of any tax on his behalf would normally be taxed on the benefit.
Mr. Trotter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many chartered accountants are employed by the Inland Revenue.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 21 February 1989] : Twenty- eight chartered accountants are employed in their professional capacity by the Inland Revenue.
Mr. Trotter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the current level of higher pay for employers and directors for the purpose of taxing benefit were fixed ; and what would be the level if it had been indexed.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 21 February 1989] : Employees whose earnings, including the value of benefits, are at a rate of £8, 500 or more per year are liable to tax on benefits in kind. All directors are liable regardless of the level of earnings. The earnings threshold was set at £8,500 in 1979-80 and, if it had been indexed in line with inflation according to the statutory formula for increasing personal allowances and thresholds, the threshold in 1988-89 would be £17,000.
Mr. Trotter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many executive and clerical posts have been transferred in the Inland Revenue out of London and the south-east as a result of the move of work from tax offices to other regions ; and how many posts have been created in each region as a consequence.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 21 February 1989] : The Inland Revenue currently has 4,664 clerical posts and 339 more senior posts in the provinces to deal with work moved from tax offices in London and the south-east in the last 30 years. The distribution of those posts is as follows :
P |Clerical posts |More senior posts -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The North East |586 |37 Central Scottish Lowlands |1,169 |74 Wales |174 |8 West Yorkshire |617 |45 Greater Manchester |2,109 |158 The South West |9 |17 |------- |------- |4,664 |339
Mr. Jack : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the financial year 1987-88 what was (a) the level of additional voluntary contributions to occupational pension plans and (b) the value of the tax reliefs which they attracted.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 20 February 1989] : Comprehensive information in the form requested is not available, but it is estimated that additional voluntary contributions by individuals who were members of self-administered pensions funds amounted to some £370 million in 1987. No information on the tax status of these individuals is available.
Mr. Ashdown : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what training is given in the use of plastic bullets ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart : All members of the security forces who are likely to be issued with the plastic baton round gun receive full training in its use. This training covers the handling of the weapon and the rules of engagement under which it may be used. Only those members of the security forces who successfully complete the training and reach the required high standard of proficiency are permitted to
Column 31use the gun in operational circumstances. Rules governing the use of plastic baton rounds provide, inter alia, that they may be fired only when such a response is judged to be the minimum and reasonable amount of force necessary.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many construction jobs exist presently at Kilroot power station site, Carrickfergus ; and for how long these jobs are expected to continue.
Mr. Viggers : About 500. This number is expected to fall to about 90 by the end of March 1989 as the project nears completion.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether a decision has been taken to defer the start of conversion of phase two at Kilroot power station, Carrickfergus ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Viggers : No. No decision has been taken as to the start date of the project. The matter is still under consideration.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the proposed start date for construction of phase two at Kilroot power station, Carrickfergus.
Mr. Viggers : The starting date for the construction of the Kilroot II is presently under consideration. The new capacity will be needed by 1995-96 and construction would have to begin by 1992 at the latest in order to meet that requirement.
Mr. Waller : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has plans for the capital reconstruction of Short Brothers plc in preparation for privatisation.
Mr. Tom King : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given in the House earlier today to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North (Mr. McNamara).
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many proposals for purchasing Short Brothers have been received ; and if he will make a statement about the likely progress of the measure to privatise the company including whether any legislation will be needed.
Mr. Viggers [holding answer 17 February 1989] : It would not be in the best interests of the privatisation of the company to disclose at this stage the number of replies received in response to the information memorandum. A short list of prospective purchasers is being compiled after which detailed negotiations will commence with a view to concluding the sale as quickly as possible. No special legislation will be required to effect the sale of the company.
94. Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received concerning the regulations governing the number of miners allowed in a heading with no separate means of egress ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : I have received no representations on the existing legal restrictions (contained in section 24 of the Mines and Quarries act 1954) on the number of miners allowed in a heading with no separate means of egress.
Comments were invited and received during consultation on the proposals for the Mines (Safety of Exit) Regulations 1988. The Health and Safety Executive conducted full and extensive consultations on these proposals which included a series of meetings with the mining industry and representatives from the mining unions. The proposals were not submitted to the House until all matters on the draft were resolved and agreed with mine management and unions.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest figure for the total number of unemployed people in Great Britain, using the same basis of calculation that was used by his Department in May 1979.
Mr. Lee : It is not possible to estimate unemployment on the basis prevailing in 1979. The unemployment count was then based on those registered at jobcentres or careers offices when registration was necessary in order to qualify for benefits. The introduction of voluntary registration in October 1982, when the claimant count was introduced, and other changes since then make it impossible to know how many people would now be registering under the old procedures.
Mr Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the proportional increase in employment in (a) the education and health services combined and (b) the whole of the service sector since 1979.
Mr. Lee : Between September 1979 and September 1988, the latest date for which figures are available, there was a net increase of 4 per cent. in the number of employees in employment in the education and health services combined in Great Britain. In the same period there was a net increase of 12 per cent. in the number of employees in employment in the service industries.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest estimate of the total number of persons unemployed in Great Britain using the Organisation for Ecomomic Co-operation and Development basis for calculation.
Mr. Lee : The labour force survey for the spring of 1987 gave an estimate of 2.88 million people who were without jobs, but available for and seeking work within the previous four weeks--that is, unemployed according to the ILO-OECD definition.
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the accidents so far on the construction of the Channel tunnel, their nature, and the ages of those concerned.
Mr. Nicholls : I will write to the hon. Member in due course.
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current number of trainees on employment training ; and how many are on placements with employers.
Mr. Nicholls : The number of people on employment training at 17 February 1989 was 151,000. This is a tremendous achievement after less than six months of the programme's operation. It is estimated that some 30,000 of these trainees were on placements with employers.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total size of the ET budget ; if this sum has changed since (a) the announcement and (b) incursion of the scheme ; and if he will give his reasons for any changes.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 23 February 1989] : For the period September 1988 to March 1989, the funding available for employment training (ET), excluding administration costs, was originally £491.3 million. This was revised in winter 1988 and spring 1989 supplementary estimates and is now £493.6 million.
The total size of the ET budget as shown in the Government's expenditure plan for 1989-90 to 1991-92, published in January 1989 (Cm 607) was £1.4 billion (including administration costs) for some 560,000 places.
This figure differs from the figures of just under £1.5 billion for some 600,000 places as published in the White Paper "Training for Employment" (Cm 316). The reduction in resources reflects the very welcome fall of 387,000 to January 1989 in the number of people unemployed for over six months.
Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportions of notified vacancies are in (a) catering and hotels, (b) retail and (c) are part-time.
Mr. Lee : Following is the latest available information which is also in the Library. A total of 14.3 per cent. of unfilled vacancies at job centres in Great Britain in November 1988 were in the catering and hotels industry and a further 19.5 per cent. were in retail and distribution. In December 1988 a total of 27.6 per cent. of unfilled vacancies at job centres were for part-time posts.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many and which large companies have agreed to become employment training managers ; how many places they have each been allocated ; and how many of those places have been filled at the latest possible date.
Mr. Nicholls : Information is not available in the precise form requested because there is no standard definition of a large company. The table shows the position for those companies already operating as employment training managers with an allocation of 100 or more training places. In addition to these, there are several hundred other firms providing places for employment training trainees. As the programme builds up to its target of 560,000 trainees in a full year, it is planned that an increasing range of employer-based training opportunities should be provided.
Company |Maximum Number of places|Places filled at 31 |allocated |December 1988 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- J. Jarvis & Sons |2,926 |945 J. Laing Construction |2,338 |805 Henry Boot Construction |950 |110 Invicta Training (Grand Metropolitan Catering) |875 |455 Martin James |735 |337 Geo. Wimpey |666 |73 Mowlem |405 |46 Comet PLC |354 |5 Pilkington |300 |237 Ferranti |250 |120 Mill Garages Ltd. |180 |64 Tower Radio Ltd. |250 |86 Portals Engineering Ltd. |250 |199 Marley Extrusions Ltd. |200 |Nil Ryder Ltd. |150 |108 Team Greyfriars Ltd. |150 |150 John Lawrence Group |150 |22 ICI |150 |43 Sumlock Business Services |150 |7 R & D Associates |158 |158 Simon Engineering |110 |67 Coastline Ltd. |100 |35 Strategic Marketing International Ltd. |100 |80
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list all the local authorities who (a) are participating in the employment training scheme, and in each case how many places they have available and how many have been filled, (b) have refused to participate and (c) originally agreed to participate but have since dropped out ; and in each case which is the controlling political party.
Mr. Nicholls : The local authorities participating in employment training as training managers are listed in table 1 and those participating as training agents are listed in table 2. Table 1 includes an indication of the number of contracted places, but information on those filled is not available. The tables have been drawn from information collected in the last quarter of 1988 and do not include many other local authorities involved in employment training as members of consortia or as sub- constractors to training managers.
Information on controlling political parties and on local authorities that have refused to participate or have dropped out of employment training is not available.
|c|Table 1|c| |c|Local authorities participating in employment training as training|c| |c|managers|c| County councils in |Code for number of places England |available<1> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |3 Bedfordshire |2 Berkshire |3 Cambridgeshire |2 Cheshire |3 Clevaland<2> |4 |2 Cornwall |3 Cumbria<2> |3 |2 Devon |3 Dorset |3 Durham |1 East Sussex |3 Essex<2> |3 |3 Gloucestershire<2> |3 |2 Hampshire |3 Isle of Wight |3 Kent |3 Lancashire |2 Leicestershire |4 Lincolnshire |3 Northamptonshire |1 Northumberland |3 North Yorkshire |3 Shropshire |3 Somerset |3 Staffordshire<2> |4 |1 Suffolk |2 Warwickshire<2> |3 |3 West Sussex |3 Wiltshire |3 London boroughs Barnet |3 Brent |2 Enfield |4 Hammersmith and Fulham |3 Hounslow |3 Kingston-upon-Thames (Royal) |2 Merton |2 Redbridge |1 Metropolitan district councils in England Barnsley |3 Birmingham city |6 Bradford city |5 Coventry city |4 Doncaster |4 Dudley |4 Gateshead |4 Halton |2 Kirklees |3 Leeds city |5 Newcastle-upon-Tyne |5 Oldham |4 Rochdale |5 Rotherham |3 St. Helens |1 Salford city |1 Sefton |3 Solihull<2> |3 |4 South Tyneside |2 Stockport |3 Sunderland |3 |2 Tameside |3 Trafford |3 Wigan |5 Wolverhampton |4 District councils in England Allerdale |3 Alnwick |1 Ashfield |2 Bath city |2 Barrow-in-Furness |3 Beverley<2> |1 |1 Boothferry |2 Brentwood |1 Burnley |2 Cannock Chase |2 Castle Morpeth |2 Charnwood |2 Chester-le-Street |2 Chorley |3 Corby |2 Derby City |2 Easington |2 East Hertfordshire |2 East Lindsey |3 East Yorkshire |2 Epsom and Ewell |2 Glanford |3 Great Grimsby |4 Guildford |2 Halton |2 Harrogate |2 Hartlepool |4 Hastings |2 Hereford |3 High Peak |2 Ipswich |2 Kettering |2 Kingston upon Hull<2> |4 |3 Lancaster City |3 Leicester City |2 Lichfield |1 Macclesfield |2 Mansfield |3 Newark and Sherwood<2> |2 |2 Plymouth City |4 Portsmouth City |3 Preston |3 Scarborough |2 Scunthorpe |3 Sedgefield<2> |2 |2 South Lakeland |2 Southampton |2 Vale of White Horse |1 Wear Valley |3 West Lancashire |2 West Lindsey |2 West Oxfordshire |2 Weymouth and Portland |2 County councils in Wales Clwyd<2> |3 |3 |2 |1 Dyfed |3 Gwent<2> |3 |2 Gwynedd |3 Mid Glamorgan |3 Powys |2 West Glamorgan<2> |4 |2 |2 |1 District councils in Wales Blaenau Gwent |3 Cardiff City |4 Carmarthen<2> |1 |1 Ceredigion<2> |2 |1 |1 Cynon Valley |4 Dinefwr |2 Islwyn |2 Llanelli |3 Lliw Valley |2 Monmouth |2 Neath |1 Newport |3 Port Talbot |2 Preseli<2> |1 |1 Rhondda |2 South Pembrokeshire<2> |1 |1 Swansea City |2 Taff-Ely |2 Torfaen |3 Vale of Glamorgan |2 Wrexham Maelor |1 Ynys Mon |1 Scotland Regions Borders |2 Dumfries and Galloway |4 Fife |3 Grampian |3 Highland |3 Lothian |4 Islands Orkney |1 Districts Angus |2 Argyll and Bute |2 Caithness |2 Clydesdale |2 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth |2 Cumnock and Doun Valley |3 Dunfermline |2 East Kilbride |3 Hamilton |3 Kirkcaldy |3 Lochaber |1 Midlothian |2 Moray |2 North East Fife |1 Ross and Cromarty |2 Wigtown |3 <1> The code number for the number of places available relates to the following key: Code Number of places available 1 1-100 2 101-250 3 251-500 4 501-1,000 5 1,001-2,000 6 2,001+ <2> This indicates that the local authority has more than one contract to operate as a Training Manager for Employment Training. An indication of the number of contracted places available is given.
Local authorities participating in employment training as training agents England--
Isle of Wight