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The Prime Minister : I have received a number of such representations. Thanks to the policies we have pursued for the last 10 years, and will continue to pursue, the economy is performing exceptionally well.
Q74. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the reply of 18 April, Official Report, column 183, given by the Lord President on her behalf, whether she will make it her policy to meet any Brazilian request for the supply of four large cargo and two personnel carrying helicopters to assist in the rain forest protection programme.
The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which my hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development gave him on 10 April, at column 344. The further assistance which we are currently discussing with the Brazilian Government with respect to the protection of the rainforests is likely to be in the area of technical co-operation rather than capital aid for equipment like helicopters.
The Prime Minister : Since its establishment in July 1986 UK 2000 has met all the targets set for it each year by Government. In 1988-89 UK 2000 supported over 700 environmental projects involving well over 80,000 volunteer days and 6,000 trainees. Total Government grant was exceeded by sponsorship from the private sector and about 350 new long-term jobs were created.
Mr. Richard Branson's active commitment to UK 2000 has greatly assisted the initiative. His expertise remains available because of his continuing involvement as president.
The Prime Minister : The European Council announced at Hanover last June that it would discuss the question of economic and monetary union at its meeting in Madrid on 26-27 June 1989, on the basis of the report that it commissioned from a committee chaired by Monsieur Delors.
The Prime Minister : I did not raise this specific issue with President Gorbachev. But the Soviet authorities are well aware that we have never recognised de jure the forcible incorporation of the former Baltic states into the Soviet. We are encouraged by recent signs that the Baltic peoples are increasingly able to express their views about their own future. We hope that this process will continue.
The Prime Minister : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raises the NPT and related issues whenever a suitable opportunity arises. The subject of the treaty has not however been included on the agenda for any talks that I have had recently.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if, during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy on 28 April 1989 in London, she raised the issues of (a) the first preparatory committee for the non-proliferation treaty review conference in New York on 1 to 5 May, and (b) the possibilities for new proposals at the 1990 non-proliferation treaty review conference.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I shall attend a Banquet given by President Babangida.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Prime Minister whether she will support a world conference for children to be organised by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund as proposed by the Secretary- General of the United Nations.
The Prime Minister : The Government are currently considering whether to support this proposed conference on the basis of tentative proposals prepared by UNICEF at the end of the executive board meeting in April.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Eighteen-year-olds leaving care can qualify for income support and housing benefit, and for community charge rebates in Scotland, in the normal way. In addition, from July we propose to disregard totally any payments to young people who have been in care made by
Column 491local authorities under section 27 and 29 of the Child Care Act 1980 (or sections 24 and 26 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968).
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security since what date his Department has rented Temple row house, Soho road, Birmingham, for use as a local office ; what is the current rental ; and to whom it is payable.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The Department has rented Temple Row house, Soho road, Birmingham, for use as a local office since 2 March 1972. The current rental is £17,607.17 per annum, payable to Standard Securities plc, 5 Commercial street, Birmingham B1 1RS.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what sum is included in income support to assist with the minimum 20 per cent. community charge payment for those who will receive the maximum 80 per cent. community charge rebate ; what arrangements will be made to increase this sum in line with increases in community charge ; for how many people he estimates this
Column 492sum will be more than the minimum 20 per cent. they have to pay ; and for how many people this sum will be less than the minimum 20 per cent. they have to pay.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The amounts which have been included in income support levels from April to help meet the minimum 20 per cent. contribution to the community charge are £1.15 a week for single people aged 18 to 24, £1.30 a week for single people aged 25 or over, and £2.30 a week for couples. This was a once-and-for-all adjustment and future increases in the overall benefit levels will be made in the normal way.
It is not possible to provide estimates of the number of cases where the amounts included in income support will be higher or lower than the actual community charge levels in advance of these levels being set.
Real changes in pensioner incomes by quintile (Percentage) |1979 to 1980|1980 to 1981|1981 to 1982|1982 to 1983|1983 to 1984|1984 to 1985|1985 to 1986|1979 to 1986 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) Net income Quintile Lowest Q1 |4 |4 |2 |6 |2 |-1 |1 |20 Q2 |2 |6 |3 |6 |1 |0 |2 |23 Q3 |1 |6 |2 |7 |-1 |1 |3 |21 Q4 |2 |3 |2 |9 |-2 |1 |5 |20 Highest Q5 |2 |5 |-6 |16 |-2 |4 |7 |27 All |2 |5 |-1 |11 |-1 |2 |5 |23 (b) Equivalised net income Lowest Q1 |1 |6 |1 |6 |1 |-2 |2 |17 Q2 |1 |6 |1 |6 |1 |-1 |3 |20 Q3 |1 |5 |2 |7 |0 |0 |3 |20 Q4 |0 |6 |1 |8 |0 |1 |4 |21 Highest Q5 |2 |6 |-6 |17 |-1 |1 |9 |30 All |1 |6 |-1 |10 |0 |0 |5 |23 Source: Family Expenditure Survey. Comparison of one year with another may be affected by sampling error. Note: Equivalised figures allow for the different circumstances of pensioners, e.g. householders/non householders, single/married.
EC (Meetings) Mr. Wray To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list all the European Community meetings on matters concerning his Department held in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Pursuant to my reply of 8 May, the Labour and Social Affairs Council met on two occasions in each of the years 1985, 1986 and 1988. There were also a number of informal meetings of Employment Ministers and of Ministers responsible for women's issues, at which some social security items were discussed. In addition, there were numerous meetings of officials but information on the number of those meetings could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Column 492social security office and each social security region, the number of (a) claimants and (b) dependents on (i) supplementary benefit or income support and (ii) family income support or family credit.
SCOTLAND Community Care Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if there exists in Scotland bridging finance and transfer funds similar to that available to local and health authorities in England and Wales to tide them over the period when community facilities for the handicapped are being developed but institutions cannot be closed.
Column 493local authority or voluntary agency towards the cost of projects which make it possible for people such as those with a mental handicap to return to the community.
Mr. Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what funding is available from Government sources for the rehabilitation of mentally and physically handicapped people in Scotland who have been moved out of institutions into the community under the "care in the community" policy.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The cost of providing community care facilities for mentally and physically handicapped people discharged from hospital is met primarily by health boards and local authority social work departments from their general allocations from central Government. These allocations have been substantially increased in real terms since 1979. In addition, a number of voluntary organisations providing community care facilities receive grant either directly from central Government or from regional councils or health boards.
Under the urban programme, the Government provide 75 per cent. grant for a number of projects which benefit mentally or physically handicapped people in eligible deprived urban areas who may be returning to the community. Scottish Homes will devote a set amount of its capital allocation from central Government specifically to housing for the disabled including mentally and physically handicapped people. A range of specific weekly social security benefits is available to the long-term sick and disabled. Such people are also eligible as a priority group to apply for community care grants under the social fund and also to the independent living fund. These grants are intended primarily to help those leaving institutional care to set up home and remain in the community.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : My right hon. and learned Friend is still considering the report of the public local inquiry into the proposed development and he is not yet in a position to predict a date for the announcement of his decision.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I intend to ask Scottish Homes to introduce by October 1989 a rents to mortgages scheme for the tenants of their existing houses. It will also be open to any new town tenants who may elect to transfer to Scottish Homes under tenants' choice arrangements. This scheme will run for a trial period of three years.
The new scheme will complement the existing statutory right to buy scheme. It will not compete with it, and is aimed at that specific group of tenants who would like to own their own home but who cannot afford to do so even with the discounts available under right to buy. It is not
Column 494our intention, however, to draw into owner- occupation those who cannot afford it and the scheme will not be available for those tenants dependent on housing benefit.
Tenants who participate will buy their homes by means of a normal repayable mortgage calculated by reference to their present rental outgoings increased to reflect the added benefits stemming from owner occupation, but also adjusted to reflect their added financial responsibility for the future upkeep of their homes. As with right to buy, tenants will benefit from an immediate discount on the purchase price of their property. This will be calculated on the same basis as right to buy discounts, but at a level 15 percentage points less. The remaining finance required will be covered by a deferred loan from Scottish Homes on which there will be no repayments until it is redeemed, for example, on subsequent sale of the House by the owner. The outstanding loan to Scottish Homes, will be abated each year by an additional discount, up to the maximum right-to-buy discount level minus 15 percentage points. However the final repayment due to Scottish Homes will be based on the level of the outstanding loan amount and on the market value of the house at the date of that repayment : incentives will be introduced to ensure that the house is properly maintained.
I shall be consulting Scottish Homes immediately about the detailed arrangements.
Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many investigations of general practitioners for overprescribing have taken place in Scotland by the health board in the last (a) five years (b) 10 years and (c) 15 years.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he or one of his Ministers last met representatives of the Federation of the Highlands and Islands Fishermen ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 9 May 1989] : Ministers have not met representatives of the Federation of Highlands and Islands Fishermen. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland is, however, in regular contact with the federation and its constituent associations on matters of mutual concern ; and they are consulted on all aspects of fisheries management as appropriate.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each year since 1979, and for each district health authority, the numbers of National Health Service patients treated in private hospitals under contractual arrangements ; and if he will list the costs of treatment to each district health authority in (a) actual amounts and (b) deflated by the health service pay and prices index.
Mr. Mellor : The number of patients receiving consultant treatment under contractual arrangements, and health authority expenditure on contracts with private sector health providers, for the years 1982 to 1986 (latest available) are given in two tables which have been placed in the Library. Comparable data for 1979 to 1981 are not available.
The data provided in these two tables are not directly comparable, for the reasons given in the notes on the tables.
Mr. Freeman : There is insufficient information to determine the trend. In 1986, when urology treatment first became available in Halton, 35 in-patient cases were treated. In 1987-88 there were 553 episodes of in- patient urology treatment and 432 day cases.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that the Thwaites report on the operation of the radiotherapy department of the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital is implemented by the health authority without further delay.
Mr. Mellor : The health authority is fully committed to implementing the recommendations of the Thwaites report following the radiation incident at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital. Some measures necessarily take longer to achieve than others, but all will be implemented.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each year since 1979 (a) each hospital closed completely and (b) each hospital closed partially, and if he will break that list down by each district health authority, SHA and regional health authority.
Mr. Freeman : I have placed in the Library tables of hospitals that we are aware have been approved for partial or total closure following consultation under the provisions of the Community Health Council Regulations.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give detail of each capital project costing more than £1 million (a) actually under construction and (b) at the proposal or planning stage ; if he will give the estimated date of completion for each project ; and if he will break this list down by each regional health authority.
Mr. Freeman : Information held centrally on health building schemes, each costing over £1 million, in England shows that there are at present 503 schemes at various stages of planning, design and construction. I have arranged for a list of the schemes with, where available, their expected dates of completion, to be placed in the Library. It is too early to forecast a date of completion for schemes at the programme stage prior to submission for approval in principle.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give, for each regional health authority, details of proposed capital developments costing more than £1 million which have been cancelled for each year since 1979.
Mr. Brandon-Bravo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many additional permanent consultant posts he estimates will be established within the next 10 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Mellor : It is estimated that 4,843 new consultant posts will be established in England and Wales between 1987 and 1998. This figure, which represents an increase of 33 per cent. in the number of consultants, includes the 100 new posts announced in "Working for Patients".
Mr. Mellor : We have discussed community care at the regular meetings we hold, with the local authority associations and with chairmen of regional health authorities, to consider items of current interest in health and social services. We remain of the view that further discussions with interested parties will be most useful when our present deliberations have been completed and our proposals for the future organisation of community care are made public.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are his calculations or estimates of the incidence of diseases contracted as a result of contact with domestic animals in each of the past 10 years.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what are his calculations or estimates of the number of cases of diseases caused as a result of contact with dog faeces in each of the past 10 years.
Mr. Freeman : The only disease contractable from dog faeces on which we have data is toxocariasis. We have no direct information on the source of infection in individual cases. The rise in cases in recent years is at least in part due to the development of new tests and to increased screening and testing of patients with symptoms suggestive of the disease.
Toxocara ( unspecified) Laboratory Reports to the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre England, Wales and Ireland 1978-1987 Year |Total ------------------ 1978 |10 1979 |2 1980 |2 1981 |2 1982 |12 1983 |23 1984 |37 1985 |45 1986 |60 1987 |84