|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the most recent estimate of spending on advertising by the Central Office of Information in 1988-89 ; and what is the estimated spending for 1989-90.
Detailed decisions on estimated expenditure on advertising through the Central Office of Information on behalf of other Government Departments for 1989-90 are for departmental Ministers.
|c|Permanent staff in post|c| 1 January |Number ------------------------------ 1987 |815 1988 |804 1989 |787
Mr. Lilley : Discussions on the Commission's proposals for the approximation of VAT rates are continuing in the Economic and Finance Council. The Government's position, which has been repeated on numerous occasions, is that we are not prepared to accept proposals which would restrict our ability to retain VAT zero rates. Our position is safeguarded because changes to EC tax law require unanimity.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 10 March 1989] : The total number of people receiving income tax returns and claims forms is 9.5 million which represents around 37 per cent. of the taxable population for whom records are held.
(2) how many employees earning more than (a) £8,500 and (b) £17,000 a year, in each case including the value of benefits, are assessed on benefits ;
Column 64(3) how much tax is raised in a year from assessing for benefits those earning as employees more than £8,500 a year, including the value of benefits ; and what is his estimate of how much tax would be forgone if the figure of £17,000 was to be substituted for that of £8,500.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answers 9 March 1989] : Provisional estimates of the number of employees in each of the categories specified are given in the table. Figures exclude directors because benefits received by directors are taxable irrespective of the level of their earnings.
|c|Number of employees (million)|c| Annual rate of earnings |£8,500 |£17,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Number of employees whose earnings in 1988-89 (including any benefits received but after deductions of contributions to approved pension funds) exceed each rate |9.8 |1.9 Of which: liable to tax on benefits received |1.5 |0.7
The direct revenue yield, in 1988-89 terms, arising from the taxation of expenses and benefits received by employees (excluding directors) with earnings above the £8,500 threshold is estimated to be about £510 million. A further £370 million arises from the taxation of benefits received by directors. The direct revenue cost of an increase in the earnings threshold used to determine whether an employee is liable to tax on benefits is estimated to be about £150 million in 1988-89 terms.
Mr. Trotter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Inland Revenue staff in each grade resigned in (a) London and (b) the south-east in the last 12-month period for which the figures are available.
|c|Number of resignations: 1 February 1988 to 31 January 1989|c| |London |South East -------------------------------------------------------------------- Tax Office Grades Inspector (Fully trained) |75 |14 Inspector (General group) |45 |17 Technical Trainee } Tax Officer (Higher grade)} |249 |84 Tax Officer |190 |165 Revenue Assistant |245 |180 Others |64 |39 Collection Office Grades Collector (Higher grade) and above |8 |1 Collector |50 |3 Assistant Collector |184 |51 Revenue Assistant |45 |17 Others |15 |5 Valuation Office Grades Professional Staff |58 |28 Valuation Technician and above |16 |4 Valuation Clerk |51 |30 Revenue Assistant |42 |25 Others |17 |2 Administration Group Grades Higher Executive Officer and above |46 |16 Executive Officer |29 |49 Administrative Officer |38 |33 Administrative Assistant |133 |95 Others |65 |11 Note: "London" and "South East" refer to the Inland Revenue's four London regions and South East regions respectively.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice he has received from the Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association about the case for fiscal incentives for investment in plant required for recycling and safe destruction of
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total number of abortions performed to save the life of the mother in Basildon health authority area from April 1968 to the latest available date ; and what percentage this represents of all abortions performed.
Mr. Freeman : There were no abortions performed under ground 5 of the Abortion Act 1967, which permits an abortion in emergency to save the life of the pregnant woman, upon women usually resident in Basildon and Thurrock district health authority or its equivalent areas prior to 1982 between 1968 and 31 December 1987.
Mr. Austin Mitchell To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements there are for consulting consumers on the work and decisions of his Department.
Mr. Mellor : Ministers and officials have regular contact with representatives of all spheres of health service activity, seeking contributions towards improving quality of patient services, policy development and on technical issues. Meetings are also held on health matters with voluntary organisations and their representatives. In addition to individuals making representations either to the Department or their local health organisations, since 1974, the consumer voice has been represented by community health councils. These bodies contribute towards the planning and standard of local services and have an input when changes in the pattern of service delivery is being produced.
Column 66medical and health professions on the subject of smoking since 1 January 1988 ; if he will list the dates, venues and purpose of each meeting ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : Department of Health Ministers or officials have not met with representatives of the health professions specifically to discuss smoking. There have, however, been frequent meetings with our expert advisory committees, including the Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health, with the Health Education Authority and with bodies with an interest in the health aspects of smoking such as ASH. Ministers receive advice on the medical aspects of smoking from the chief medical officer and his staff.
Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Seaham Harbour school dental unit will close as a result of the recent reorganisation of community health services for the Easington district carried out by the Northern regional health authority.
Mr. Freeman : The information requested is not held centrally. The hon. Member may, however, wish to contact the chairman of Sunderland health authority, the authority which, from 1 April 1989, will be responsible for the management of community health services for Seaham.
Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what precautions are taken to ensure the confidentiality of computerised individual personal Health Department files from unauthorised internal and external penetration.
Mr. Freeman : The Department of Health has taken a number of precautions against unauthorised internal and external breaches of the confidentiality of personal files held on computer. There is a continuing programme aimed at raising the awareness of staff of possible threats to this confidentiality and approximate countermeasures most of which involve additional physical security. Department of Health computer systems that contain personal details of indentifiable individuals are registered in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Freeman : The responsibility for guarding against unauthorised access to information held on hospital computer files rests with individual health authorities all of which have been made aware of the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
The issue of specific guidance to hospitals on the security of computer systems, including those holding waiting list information, is currently under consideration.
Column 67systems. Where on-line access is possible security measures appropriate to the sensitivity of the data held and the possible consequences of data corruption are taken. These include procedures for the security copying of computer-held information and physical checks of cabling and communications equipment.
All Department of Health computer systems are subject to physical security measures. The exact measures employed relate directly to the physical vulnerability of both the system type and its location.
Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice is given by his Department to relevant health authority offices to secure their computer terminals against unauthorised penetration of the Health Department mainframe in London.
Mr. Freeman : The Department of Health mainframe computer in London has linked terminals within its own location and at two more Department of Health central London offices. No other terminals have access to the system.
Access from the linked terminals is controlled by use of suitable physical and logical security measures for the mainframe itself and for each terminal with validated access to information held on it.
Mr. Freeman : For Department of Health computer held information registered in accordance with the Data Protection Act, the rules of the Act apply. Where it is considered necessary, further controls are maintained relating to permitted access and regular checking of system usage.
Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will examine the correspondence from Mr. H. W. Williscroft of 6 Hill street, Rugeley, Staffordshire, to his Department's agency benefit unit at Long Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne, to ascertain the reasons for the delay in determining his entitlement to help with National Health Service costs.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were administered MMR vaccinations in the year 1988-89 ; in how many cases contra-indications were reported after the administering of the vaccine ; and how many cases of mumps, measles and rubella occurred in each of the last five years.
Mr. Mellor : Immunisation uptake figures for 1988-89 will not be available until later this year. However, from the launch of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine last October to the end of January, 1.2 million doses were made available. The number of children in the recommended priority groups (aged 15 months and 4 to 5 years) who became eligible for the vaccine in that period was 400,000.
Column 68Contra-indications are reasons for not administering vaccines and are not therefore reported. Mumps and rubella became notifiable only from 1 October 1988 ; since then 13,140 and 8,876 cases respectively have been notified. Notifications for measles for the last five years were :
- |Numbers ------------------------------ 1984 |62,080 1985 |97,408 1986 |82,061 1987 |42,065 1988 |<1>85,642 <1> Provisional. Source: OPCS (England and Wales).
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the names of those who serve on review bodies under the Medicines Act ; how many medicines have been reviewed, and with what result ; and what is the nature of the criteria used to assess risk/benefit ratios.
Mr. Mellor : The current membership of the Committee on the Review of Medicines is given in its annual report for 1987, a copy of which is available in the Library. This and previous annual reports of the Committee on the Review of Medicines from 1975 give details of the progress of the review. Of the approximate 3,360 medicines which have been reviewed so far some 3,205 were permitted to remain on the market and some 160 have been removed. The latest figure excludes medicines withdrawn by companies themselves : an estimated 39,000 medicines subject to the review were on the market when it began in 1975. Risk/benefit ratios are assessed on the available evidence in relation to the uses for which medicines are claimed to be effective. Particular guidance on herbal medicines was issued in 1985 in the herbal information sheet, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Mellor : The report of the study on the control of medicines (the Evans Cunliffe report) was published in January 1988. Its main thrust was on the management and organisation of the general arrangements for licensing medicines. Only one of its 54 recommendations concerned alternative medicines. This was that product licensing was not appropriate for the control of homoeopathic and similar alternative medicines. However, the Medicines Commission in its annual report for 1987 expressed a preference for a product licensing system for homoeopathic medicines addressing safety and quality but not efficacy, which the Commission acknowledged would not be possible under the Medicines Act 1968 as it stands. The Commission of the European Community has a commitment to a directive on homoeopathic medicines. When a proposal is made to the Council of Ministers, we shall consider it carefully. It would serve no useful purpose to pursue meantime in the United Kingdom either the
Column 69Cunliffe Evans or Medicines Commission views until we have Commission proposals for European Community law on this matter.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the National Health Service provision, excluding boards of governors and special health authorities, that is currently funded, completely or partly, directly by his Department ;
(2) if he will list the services, now funded by districts, which were started in the National Health Service with either direct central or supra- regional funding ;
(3) if he will list the National Health Service provision, excluding boards of governors and special health authorities, that has been funded completely or partly by direct central funding in the last 10 years.
Waiting Lists and Times
Breast Cancer Screening
Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine
Services for Drug Misusers
Supra Regional Services :
National Poisons Information Unit
Neonatal and Infant Cardiac Surgery
Specialised Liver Services
Heat Transplantation (including Heart and Lung Transplants) Endoprosthetic Services for Primary Bone Tumours
Psychiatric Services for Deaf People
United Kingdom Transplant Service
Quality Assessment of Clinical Laboratories
Health Authority Central Fund (1)
Portman and Tavistock Clinics
London Emergency Helicopter Service.
Other services funded in this way since 1983-84 are as follows. Information for previous years is not readily available.
Local Dental Health Survey and Education Programme
Renal Services Expansion
Transplant Advisors : Kidney Donors
Rural Practice Payments for Dispensing
Cervical Cytology Kits
Community Medicine Register.
Note : Each year the Department reserves centrally a small proportion of resources to fund developments in the hospital and community health services where central intervention is considered both desirable and cost effective ; for example, specialised new activities arising from research which needs to be tried under central oversight.
Endoprosthetic Services for Primary Bone Tumours
Heart Transplantation (including Heart and Lung Transplantation)
Column 70Liver Transplantation
National Poisons Information Services
Neonatal and Infant Cardiac Surgery
Psychiatric Services for Deaf People
Specialised Liver Services
Spinal Injury Services
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his estimate of the number of totally and profoundly deaf people who get no benefit from hearing aids but who might be helped by a cochlear implant.