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Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Department's policy on the management of such prisoners follows the broad principles of the Government's general policy but necessarily takes account of the special nature of prisons and the prison environment. Prisoners who are identified as HIV antibody positive and have no symptoms of illness are located in single accommodation or accommodated with other antibody positive prisoners, but there is no requirement that they should otherwise be precluded from associating with prisoners who are not so identified. The guidelines to local management stress the importance of enabling HIV antibody positive prisoners to participate as fully as possible in normal prison life. It has also been made clear both to management and to staff that prisoners who have no symptoms of illness need not be located in the prison hospital or other special accommodation. However, the management of individual cases is a matter which must be decided by the governor and medical officer in the light of local circumstances and the nature and needs of the individual prisoner.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what protective clothing is available at Her Majesty's prison, Winson Green, for the use of prison officers when restraining prisoners known to be HIV positive.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : In January 1987 arrangements were made for all prison service establishments in England and
Column 296Wales to be supplied with sets of protective clothing comprising a zip-up one piece overall, rubber surgical gloves, a paper face mask and plastic eye goggles.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will instruct the Independent Broadcasting Authority to withdraw the current advertising campaign relating to drugs on independent commercial radio stations to ensure that foul language is not used on the air.
Mr. Renton : No. Under section 9 of the Broadcasting Act 1981, the Independent Broadcasting Authority has responsibility for drawing up a code of advertising standards and practice and for ensuring that programme contracts comply with it.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to expand bail information schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : By April 1990 we expect bail information schemes to have been extended from the present 13 to 20 courts.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to increase the usage of bail hostels ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : Resources are being provided for the creation of about 500 new bail places at approved hostels by April 1991. The attention of the courts was drawn, in Home Office circular 25/1988 issued on 11 May 1988, to the range of bail hostel accommodation facilities available for persons whom they might be considering for the grant of bail.
A consultation paper on "Bail Accommodation and Secure Bail Hostels" was issued on 13 February 1989. The paper discusses the purpose and use of existing accommodation for bailees and the concept of a more secure type of hostel for those defendants who may currently be remanded in custody because of a lack of suitable bail places. The closing date for responses is9 May 1989.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to encourage the further use of community and probationary schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : In "Tackling Offending : An Action Plan", issued to the probation service in August 1988 following publication of the Green Paper "Punishment, Custody and the Community", the Home Office gave guidelines for enhancing and promoting the use of non-custodial penalties, including the probation order. Each area probation service was asked to take the lead in establishing a local action plan for work with young adult offenders, on the basis of these guidelines. The Home Office has introduced national standards for community service orders which are due to come into
Column 297effect on 1 April. Their purpose is to increase the confidence of the courts and the public in community service orders by ensuring that the orders are demanding and that they are strictly enforced. The Government believe that there is considerable scope for increasing the use of probation and community service orders for offenders who would otherwise receive custodial sentences.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans for the introduction of wide-scale application of trial deadlines : and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend, the Member for Berkshire, East (Mr. MacKay) on 8 February at column 676.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that minor offenders are not given remand ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 23 February at column 393.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations took place with officers in the prison service during the course of the preparation of the report on the practicality of private sector involvement in the remand system ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : There was extensive consultation and discussion with prison staff at all levels including trade union
representatives. Details are given in appendix II of
Column 298the "Report to the Home Office on the Practicality of Private Sector Involvement in the Remand System" by Deloitte Haskins and Sells (1 March 1989), a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
Dr. Goodson-Wickes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he can provide figures giving the number of arrests made during league football matches for each season from 1979-80 to the present time ;
(2) if he will make it his policy in future to ensure that figures for arrests made at football grounds are kept separately for arrests made inside and outside grounds, respectively.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The number of arrests made at Football League matches each season from 1984-85, when the Association of Chief Police Officers first collated these figures, is as follows :
Season |Total arrests ------------------------------------------ 1984-85 |<1>5,517 1985-86 |4,143 1986-87 |5,531 1987-88 |6,106 <1> Includes Divisions 1 and 2 only.
These figures do not distinguish between arrests made inside grounds and those directly connected with matches made outside. Nor are the figures confined to arrests made only during the time a match was being played. Any further sub-division of these figures would be a matter for Association of Chief Police Officers.
Dr. Goodson-Wickes To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can provide figures for (a) the number of arrests made at Wimbledon football club as a percentage of the gate and (b) the corresponding average figures for the football league as a whole for each season from 1979-80 to the present time.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The available figures are as follows :
|Arrests |Attendance |Arrests as a proportion |of attendance percentage -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 Wimbledon |123 |92,920 |0.13 Total league clubs (divisions 1 and 2 only) |5,517 |13,839,261 |0.04 1985-86 Wimbledon |7 |95,793 |0.01 Total league clubs |4,143 |16,438,757 |0.02 1986-87 Wimbledon |35 |163,652 |0.02 Total league clubs |5,531 |17,427,601 |0.03 1987-88 Wimbledon |49 |159,691 |0.03 Total league clubs |6,106 |17,968,965 |0.03
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to change the
Column 298current statutory ban on unreasonable discrimination by television companies against advertisers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many properties have been searched by the armed forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary during each of the last five years ; (2) if a record is kept of the denominational affiliation of the householders whose properties have been searched by the armed forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary during the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart : The available information on searches of premises under section 15 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 is as follows :
Army RUC Year |Occupied |Unoccupied ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984 Not available Not available 1985 |104 |58 |Not available 1986 |137 |41 |1,818 1987 |393 |72 |2,474 1988 |<1>749 |<1>195 |4,136 <1>These figures are still subject to confirmation.
The majority of searches conducted by the Army would have been in conjunction with the RUC and are also counted in their figures. Information relating to the religion of the householder is not kept by the police. Although it is recorded by the Army at the time of the search, it could not be made available without disproportionate cost.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Select Committee recommendations have been made about, and how many accepted, by his Department since June 1987.
Mr. Ian Stewart : Only one Select Committee recommendation has been made about this Department, and then indirectly. The recommendation was in fact mainly relevant to the Department of Social Security and was not accepted by them or us.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the total sum paid out in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation by his Department in 1979-80 and each year to date ; and what is the estimate for 1989-90.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The total sum paid out in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation is :
Year |£ ---------------------- 1979-80 |nil 1980-81 |nil 1981-82 |nil 1982-83 |nil 1983-84 |nil 1984-85 |nil 1985-86 |52,380 1986-87 |4,298 1987-88 |2,411
Precise figures for 1988-89 and 1989-90 are not yet available.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many former residents of the Kincora boys' home have received compensation payments from the Eastern health board for assaults ; how many former residents have made claims ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 15 March 1989] : Eleven claims for compensation have been received by health and social services boards from former residents of Kincora boys' home. To date three claims have been settled and payment has already been made jointly by the Eastern and Northern health and social services boards in respect of one of these. The question of compensation is entirely a matter for settlement between the parties concerned.
Mr. Frank Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest figure for (a) the estimated expenditure by the Treasury on press and public relations during 1988-89 and (b) the budget for 1989-90.
Mr. Brooke [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The estimated expenditure for the current year is £539,162 ; the budget provision for 1989-90 is £559,980.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total estimated cost of work put out by the Central Office of Information to private agencies this year ; what it was in 1987-88 ; and what it is estimated to be in 1989-90.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 13 March 1989] : The cost of work put out by the Central Office of Information on behalf of other Government Departments to private agencies is as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1987-88 |114.6 1988-89 |<1>113.2 <1> Estimated.
Detailed decisions on estimated expenditure by COI on behalf of other Government Departments for 1989-90 is a matter for departmental Ministers and the amount to be put out to private agencies is not yet known.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) the number, (b) the value and (c) the cost in revenue forgone, of tax-free employer grants to employees moving to higher cost housing areas in each year this scheme has been in force ; and what is his estimate for the current year.
Mr. Norman Lamont : I regret that reliable estimates are not available.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pensioner civil servants receive indexed allowances and pensions.
Mr. Brooke : Principal Civil Service pension scheme pensions, in common with other public service pensions, are index-linked under the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971, as amended. There were about 381,000 such pensions in payment to retired civil servants during 1988-89.
Mr. Ashby : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a new double taxation convention has been negotiated with the Netherlands Antilles ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norman Lamont : As foreshadowed in the Inland Revenue press release of 24 June 1988, the United Kingdom Government gave notice of termination of the existing convention by 30 June 1988 in accordance with the provisions of that convention. The existing convention will, therefore, cease to have effect in the United Kingdom from April 1989. Discussions are continuing at official level about a new double taxation convention. Whatever the outcome of these discussions, the Government propose, in accordance with the undertaking given in the press release, to introduce provisions for this year's Finance Bill to preserve the existing exemption from tax of interest paid from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands Antilles to fund the payment of interest on Eurobonds issued by Netherlands Antilles finance subsidiaries before 26 July 1984. These provisions will apply to interest payments paid from the United Kingdom on or after 1 April 1989.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes the Government have introduced since 1979 to benefit charities financially.
Mr. Lilley : Successive Finance Acts, and the measures announced in the Budget on March 14 will have :
(i) reduced the period of charitable covenants qualifying for tax relief from "over six" to "over three" years (1980) ;
(ii) would allow heritage and conservation charities to give covenanted members free or cheap entry to properties without loss of tax relief on covenants (1989 Budget) ;
(iii) introduced higher rate income tax relief for charitable covenants with a £3,000 limit (1980) ; increased the qualifying limit to £5,000 (1983) ; and to £10,000 (1985) ; and abolished the limit completely in 1986 ;
(iv) raised the capital transfer tax exemption limit for gifts to charities on or within one year of death from £100,000 to £200,000 (1980) and then to £250,000 (1982) before abolishing the limit completely in 1983 ;
(v) provided in place of reduced rate relief, a complete exemption from stamp duty for all transfers to charities, whether by sale or gift (1982) ;
(vi) given tax relief for employers costs met by a company during a period of secondment to a charity (1983), and extended that to all employers (1984) ;
(vii) introduced relief for single donations by non-close companies (1986) ;
(viii) introduced VAT zero rating for cars leased to the disabled (1984). The Budget would exempt such cars from car tax as well ; (ix) extended the range of specialised goods and services eligible for VAT zero rating when acquired by charities (eg medicinal products (1986)). The Budget extends this relief to sterilising equipment and to classified advertising ;
Column 302(x) largely shielded charities from the effect of the ECJ judgement on UK zero-rates by zero-rating fuel and power and new construction for charities' non-business purposes ; and by not giving landlords the option to tax rent from charities non-business buildings other than offices and by phasing in over 5 years options to tax the rent on charities' business and office accommodation ;
(xi) the Budget exempted from VAT fund-raising events by charities ;
(xii) introduced the payroll giving scheme (1986) with an annual limit of £100, to operate from April 1987. The limit was subsequently raised to £120 (1987) and doubled to £240 (1988). The Budget would double this limit again to £480.
In addition, the 1988 Local Government Finance Act provides for charities to be relieved from April 1990 of at minimum 80 per cent. of their business rate due.
It is estimated that the total amount of tax repaid to charities in respect of income from which tax has been deducted increased from £130 million in 1978-79 to some £400 million in 1987-88 ; this was itself an increase of £60 million compared with 1986-87. The Government provide substantial support in grants as well as in tax relief. The total level of grants increased by over 90 per cent. in real terms between 1979-80 and 1986-87 when it stood at £1,173 million.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether staff from his Department have met the director of the Victoria and Albert museum to discuss staffing in the (a) last three months and (b) last six months.
Mr. Luce [holding answer 8 March 1989] : The organisation and staffing of the Victoria and Albert museum are matters for the director and trustees of the museum.
The director has explained to me and to my Department the objectives of the plans announced by the museum on 27 January. I fully support those objectives.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will list the criteria on which the Civil Service college arranges sessions for new members of the Civil Service.
Mr. Luce : Most induction training for civil servants is carried out by Departments for their own staff. College courses are designed to meet the needs of particular groups of more senior staff, administration trainees and professional groups of whom there are only a few new entrants in any one Department each year.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide figures showing the total amount of Government aid which has been sent to Ethiopia to help fight the spread of meningitis.
Mr. Chris Patten : Over the last month and in response to requests from several British voluntary agencies, we have provided over £500, 000 for vaccines used to combat the current meningitis epidemic. This includes our share of assistance provided by the European Community, also for vaccines.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Minister of State's discussions in Japan on Japanese rain forest policy.
Mr. Chris Patten : I raised British concern over the destruction of the rainforest with both Japan's aid loan agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both stressed that Japan is paying increasing attention to the environment in its aid programmes. Japanese officials have paid several visits to the Overseas Development Administration to study our environmental assessment procedures.
Mr. Robin Cook To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what will be the value of the basic retirement pension as a proportion of average earnings in April 1989.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested is not yet available.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many representations he has received from war pensioners or war pensioners' organisations on the reduction of the full war pension disregard for housing benefit to £5 from April 1988 ;
(2) if he will list the local authorities which have abandoned or modified discretionary housing benefit enchancements for war pensioners after the withdrawal of a full disregard in April 1988 ; and if he will estimate the number of war pensioners affected by such abandonments or modifications ;
(3) if he will estimate the total savings made as a result of disregarding £5 of each war pension for housing benefit purposes after April 1988 rather than the total amount as before ; (4) if he will list the local authorities who exercised a discretionary scheme to pay housing benefit at a higher rate to war pensioners prior to April 1988 ; and what is the number of war pensioners benefiting from such schemes.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Prior to April 1988 the first £4 of a war pension was disregarded in housing benefit but local authorities had discretion to enhance the scheme--for example by disregarding war pensions or other income in full--at their own cost. The local authorities which operated such schemes are listed at A. From April 1988 discretionary local schemes other than variation of the disregard for war pensions were abolished and the statutory war pension disregard was increased to £5. Although local authorities retain the discretion to disregard war pensions in full at their own cost some chose to abandon or modify their local scheme in April 1988, as listed at B.
I regret that information on the numbers affected by local schemes is not available.
A. Local authorities who operated a local scheme for war pensioners prior to April 1988
Annandale and Eskdale
Argyll and Bute
Banff and Buchan
Column 304Barking and Dagenham
Bearsden and Milngavie
Central Regional Council (Scotland)
Crewe and Nantwich
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Council
Cumnock and Doon
East Kilbride Development Corporation
Epsom and Ewell
Ettrick and Lauderdale
Forest of Dean
Hinckley and Bosworth
Kilmarnock and Loudoun
Kincardine and Deeside
Kyle and Carrick
Livingston Development Corp