|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy that when husbands and wives are taxed separately there will be no adverse effect on elderly married pensioners caused by the abolition of the married personal allowance where the wife's only taxable income is her state retirement pension ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norman Lamont : No elderly married couple will be worse off as a result of the changes to allowances when independent taxation of husbands and wives is introduced in April 1990. The allowances available to an elderly husband under the new system--the personal allowance
Column 315and the married couple's allowance--will be at least as great as the married age allowance which he is receiving at present, and the elderly wife will for the first time be entitled to an age -related personal allowance in her own right which she will be able to set against any of her income, from whatever source. In fact, over 85 per cent. of taxpaying elderly couples will pay less tax under independent taxation.
Mr. Bright : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those companies in the Luton area which made a profit-sharing payment to their employees in 1988-89, showing in each case when the last such payment was made.
Mr. Norman Lamont : As information provided to the Inland Revenue about payments made by particular employers to their employees, whether under profit-related pay schemes or otherwise, is confidential, I regret I cannot publish the details requested.
Mr. Norman Lamont : No. Under independent taxation, which begins in April 1990, both husband and wife will get their own personal allowance. The new system will continue to recognise marriage through the married couple's allowance, which will be given in the first instance to the husband. The personal allowance and the married couple's allowance will together be equivalent to the present married man's allowance.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the percentage and number of (a) basic rate taxpayers and (b) higher rate taxpayers participating in charity payroll giving in 1988-89.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much tax was remitted or written-off as irrecoverable in 1979 and 1987 ; and what was (a) the amount written-off and (b) the number of taxpayers for whom the ground for non-payment was (i) that they had gone abroad, (ii) that they were untraceable, (iii) insolvency and (iv) hardship.
|£ thousand --------------------------------- 1979 |60,310 1987 |333,294
The amounts written off and number of taxpayers involved, where the grounds were (i) gone abroad, (ii) untraceable, (iii) insolvency and (iv) hardship were :
|£ thousand |Taxpayers ------------------------------------------------------------ |1979 (i) |Gone abroad|4,631 |2,491 (ii) |Untraceable|14,179 |23,680 (iii) |Insolvency |32,564 |23,032 (iv) |Hardship |1,108 |7,988 |1987 (i) |Gone abroad|9,683 |2,678 (ii) |Untraceable|51,448 |41,067 (iii) |Insolvency |241,290 |68,868 (iv) |Hardship |1,896 |6,907
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett), 4 April, Official Report, columns 9-10, he will express the figures given of taxable income as a per capita and per taxpayer figure, and if in each case he will also express the county figures in rank order in an index form taking the national average to be 100.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 17 April 1989] : I regret that the sample size of the survey of personal incomes is not large enough to provide reliable comparisons amongst individual counties of income per head. The table therefore shows a regional analysis.
Total Income<1> liable to tax 1986-87 Per taxpayer<2per head of populati at mid-1986 Region |£ |UK=100|£ |UK=100 -------------------------------------------------- North |11,000|95 |3,800 |92 Yorkshire and Humberside |11,300|98 |3,700 |91 North West |11,200|97 |3,800 |93 East Midlands |11,000|95 |3,800 |92 West Midlands |10,900|94 |3,900 |94 East Anglia |11,400|98 |3,900 |94 South East |12,600|109 |4,800 |116 South West |11,200|97 |4,000 |99 Wales |10,400|90 |3,200 |78 Scotland |10,800|94 |3,600 |88 Northern Ireland |10,700|93 |2,900 |71 United Kingdom |11,500|100 |4,100 |100 <1> Income liable to tax before deductions and personal allowances. The previous reply was in terms of taxable income-that is income liable to tax after deductions and allowances. <2> Counting only those taxpayers whose incomes are large enough for them to be liable to tax.
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what public consultations were carried out by the director of savings prior to his decision to increase the minimum purchase of premium bonds from £10 to £100 and to abolish premium bond gift tokens ; (2) what consultations he carried out regarding (a) the increase in the minimum purchase of premium bonds from £10 to £100 and (b) the abolition of the premium bond gift tokens.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 28 April 1989] : These decisions were taken by Treasury Ministers in the usual way. They keep the terms of all National Savings products under constant review, and make changes whenever they consider them necessary. Minimum purchases of £10 may still be made by parents, grandparents and guardians on behalf of children under 16.
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will instruct the director of savings to defer to 1 January 1990 the increase in the minimum purchase of premium bonds from £10 to £100 and the abolition of premium bond gift tokens.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the value of company pension fund contribution holidays in the United Kingdom in each of the past two years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 3 May 1989] : Full information in the form requested is not available. Information from large self-administered pension schemes proposing contribution holidays to reduce surpluses following the legislation in the Finance Act 1986 is as follows :
Schemes proposing a contribution holiday |Number |Amount (£ million) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Schemes reporting in 1987-88 |67 |58 Schemes reporting between April 1988 and January 1989 |157 |236 Note: The figures represent the total amount of surplus to be eliminated by means of a contribution holiday by schemes which have reported in each period. The contribution holiday may be spread across several years. Schemes proposing a reduction in contributions rather than a contribution holiday are not included in the above.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 4 May 1989] : When appropriate the Inland Revenue uses the electoral register and other publicly available information in its efforts to ensure that everyone pays the right tax.
Mr. Soames : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the advantages which would accrue to British industry by virtue of United Kingdom membership of the European monetary system.
I refer my hon. Friend to the speech which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer made to the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham house on 25 January and to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Holland with Boston (Sir R. Body) on 20 January 1989 at column 358.
Mr. Major [holding answer 5 May 1989] : The most recently available figures are for 1986 : these were given in my reply to my hon. Friend on 1 March 1988 at column 503. It is expected that the estimates for 1987 will be available in July.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give his latest estimate of the increase in the standard of living of (a) a single man and (b) a married man with two children and a wife who is not in paid employment on (i) half average earnings, (ii) three-quarters average earnings, (iii) average earnings and (iv) one and a half times average earnings since 1979.
Percentage increase in real take home pay 1978-79 to 1989-90<1> Multiples of averag male earnings<2> |" |3/4|1 |1" ------------------------------------------------------ Single person |31 |34 |36 |40 Married man with wife not in paid employment and 2 children<3> |24 |28 |31 |36 <1> Financial year average of pre- and post-October regimes for employees' National Insurance Contributions, using illustrative growth rates between 1988-89 and 1989-90 of 7" per cent. in average earnings and 6 per cent. in prices. <2> Full time males on adult rates (all occupations). <3> Children assumed to be under 11, and child benefit included in figures to allow comparison with 1978-79 when child tax allowances were still being phased out.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 May, if he will express the value of North sea oil and gas revenues in fiscal years 1979-80 to 1988-89 in current prices.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 5 May 1989] : The value of North sea oil and gas revenues given in the answer of 2 May was expressed in current prices. More detailed information on North sea oil and gas revenues is published by the Department of Energy in the annual Brown Book.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the distribution of the benefit of the proposed national insurance contribution changes amongst employees ranked into deciles of earnings.
The Government Actuary's Department estimate that for 1990-91, the first full year for which the new contribution rates will apply, the decile of employees with the lowest earnings will gain £80 million. The second lowest decile will gain £120 million. The remaining eight deciles will each gain £325 million ; a total gain for all employees of £2.8 billion.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Prime Minister if she will publish a table showing the works of art, objects or artefacts currently on loan from public galleries and museums at (a) Lancaster house, (b) Dorney Wood, (e) the Chevening estate and (d) Chequers.
The Prime Minister : The furnishings and other contents of Lancaster house are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for the Environment, and of the houses at Dorney Wood, Chevening and Chequers of the relevant trust bodies.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) on 2 May, Official Report column 16 , if she will make a statement setting out the procedures which she has advised her Ministers to follow after the passing of the Single European Act to prevent (a) an undue volume of community directives, (b) harmonisation measures regarded by Her Majesty's Government as unnecessary and (c) the extension of the powers of the Commission beyond those envisaged by Her Majesty's Government when the Single Act was approved.
The Prime Minister : I shall ensure that the Government will continue to examine very carefully all proposals for EC legislation, to ensure that they are necessary to achieve the aims and objectives of the treaty of Rome as amended by the Single European Act and that they fall within agreed Community competence.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he intends to make for general practitioners to attend suitable courses in business management to enable them to implement the relevant proposals in the National Health Service White Paper "Working for Patients".
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : We shall be bringing forward proposals in due course to enable eligible general practitioners who opt to have practice budgets to ensure that the practice has the necessary management skills available to it.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what adjustments he intends to make to the concept of indicative drug budgets to ensure that general practitioners who have high cost patients, such as the elderly and the chronic sick, on their practice lists are not financially penalised for prescribing treatment.
Mr. Mellor : The amount allocated to a practice for its indicative prescribing budget will fully reflect the presence on the practice's list of patients, such as the elderly and the chronic sick, who need a greater volume of drugs or more expensive drugs than others. No doctor will be penalised for prescribing necessary treatment to any patient. We expect doctors to examine their prescribing patterns to ensure that they prescribe only when and for as long as necessary and, where there is a choice of equally effective products, to prescribe the cheapest.
Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why information on awards to victims of medical accidents in respect of health authorities in England is not held centrally ; and if he has any plans to gather such information.
Mr. Freeman : Awards for medical accidents in excess of £100,000 are notified to the Department. Awards below that figure fall within the delegated limits for authorities and are not notified separately to the centre. The Department is considering whether further information about medical accidents is needed and if so how it may be obtained.
Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he plans to issue further advice to health authorities concerning appropriate action to be taken towards patients alleging medical accidents.
Mr. Freeman : Action in response to complaints by patients (including allegations about treatment and medical accidents) should be taken in accordance with directions issued with circular HC(88)37 on hospital complaints procedures. No further advice is contemplated.
Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he intends to review the weight given to the interests of patients in relation to negotiations between health authorities and medical insurance organisations in the event of medical accidents.
Mr. Freeman : Negotiations between health authorities and medical defence organisations occur only when there is a prospect of a successful civil claim by a patient against a health authority or a medical practitioner represented by a medical defence organisation in respect of a medical accident. These negotiations are currently regulated by the terms of the agreement contained in memorandum HM(54)32. In such matters I would expect the best interests of the litigant patient to be protected by his or own legal advisors. However we are currently consulting interested organisations on proposals whereby health authorities would indemnify medical and dental staff working in the NHS. This would bring them into line with other NHS staff who are already so covered. It is proposed that henceforth there will be no need for clinicians to be independently insured and therefore represented by medical defence organisations (although some may still wish to do so). This will necessarily involve review of the
Column 322HM(54)32 agreement and in this regard my hon. Friend may be assured that the interests of NHS patients will be fully taken into account.
Mr. Mellor : The NHSTA has outlined a preliminary schedule of competences for operating department assistants which has been circulated for consultation. Work on a proposal to take forward the development of a national vocational qualification for operating department assistants is planned to start next month.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is (a) the volume and value of blood products imported and (b) the percentage of the total blood products supply in the United Kingdom that comes from imports in each year since 1983 ; and whether any checks are made as to whether such products originate from blood that is sold rather than donated.
Blood products imported into the United Kingdom are sourced from both blood that has been donated and purchased. The manufacturing sites of overseas manufacturers of licensed blood products (imported into the United Kingdom) are routinely inspected by or on behalf of the medicines inspectorate of the medicines control agency. One aim of these inspections is to ensure that the blood used is of good quality and is acceptable for use in the manufacture of the products concerned. Furthermore, samples of all commercially imported batches of blood products are routinely submitted to the national institute for biological standards and control for testing to ensure that they conform to laid down standards of quality.
|1983<1>|1984<1>|1985 |1986 |1987 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom usage of imported factor VIII concentrate (millions of international units |39.5 |38.5 |50.9 |53.8 |59.2 Percentage of total United Kingdom usage of factor VIII concentrate |56.8 |48.9 |68.8 |63.1 |69.5 <1> Does not include users with acquired haemophilia.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in considering the issue of self-governing status in respect of hospitals falling within the Islington district, what degree of priority he will attach to (a) the views of the chairman of the district health authority and (b) the voted views of the district health authority, the community health council, and the consultants at the respective hospitals.
Column 323Council regarding the prescribing of benzodiazepine drugs for periods of time greater than those recommended by the Committee on Safety of Medicines.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, South of 26 April, Official Report, column 552, if he will commission a sample survey to discover how many of the 23,185,000 prescriptions for benzodiazepines dispensed in 1987 were repeat prescriptions being given on a long or medium -term basis.
Mr. Mellor : The Government have made every effort to ensure that doctors are aware of the problems which can arise from prolonged treatment with these drugs and to encourage good prescribing habits. In addition, the most recent guidance from the Committee on Safety of Medicines issued in January 1988 is repeated in the twice-yearly British National Formulary. It is now up to all doctors using their clinical judgment to take heed of this advice when deciding on the most appropriate treatment for each individual patient. A survey of repeat prescriptions would not be of additional value.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) state registered nurses, (b) state enrolled nurses and (c) auxiliary nurses are employed in each health authority in England and Wales.
The information relating to Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretry of State for Health if he will make it his policy to seek to ensure that elderly persons in residential care are encouraged and enabled to manage their own finances whenever possible rather than being made to surrender their pension books and personal allowances.
Mr. Mellor : I agree that people in residential care homes should be encouraged to manage their own financial affairs whenever they are capable of doing so. We are considering whether guidance should be issued on the conduct of residents' financial affairs, taking into account the recommendations in the Wagner report on residential care.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretry of State for Health how many investigations of general practitioners for overprescribing have taken place in England since the National Health Service Committee Tribunal Regulations (S.I. 1974 No. 455) came into effect.
Mr. Mellor : No. I am satisfied that the present prescribable range of support stockings fully meets the clinical needs of most patients who require compression hosiery. If the equivalent tights were made available on GP prescription it would add to NHS costs without benefit to patients.
Mr. Peter Walker : Wales continues to attract very high levels of inward investment. In terms of related new jobs, Wales' share of inward investment to the United Kingdom was 20 per cent. in 1987. The provisional figures for 1988 indicate that this has increased to 22 per cent. This compares with 6 per cent. in 1979. Projects secured from abroad and the United Kingdom in 1988 promise over 11,000 new jobs and nearly £1.2 billion of capital investment.
Mr. Grist : My right hon. Friend last met representatives of the Committee of Welsh District Councils at a meeting of the Welsh Consultative Council on Local Government finance on 8 December to discuss the Welsh rate support grant settlement for 1989-90.
18. Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received concerning the future of the children's ward at the Prince of Wales orthopaedic hospital, Rhydlafar, South Glamorgan