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Mr. Lee : In the period from July 1986 to March 1989, 41,676 people applied for the job start allowance. A total of 31,951 were accepted and 9,725 were rejected because they were not eligible. There are currently 3,989 people receiving the allowance.
The information requested about how long people received the allowance before termination is not readily available. However, it is estimated that in 1988 two thirds of job start participants received the allowance for the full 26 weeks. People may receive the allowance for a shorter period for a number of reasons, including a pay increase beyond the limit allowed.
Mr. Lee : In April 1989 the number of unemployed claimants in Derbyshire was 30,391, a fall of 11,641, or 27.7 per cent., in the year since April 1988. The comparison is slightly affected by the change in the coverage of the count from September 1988 due to the new benefit regulations affecting people aged under 18 years.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett), Official Report, 15 May, column 51, he will list the sources, authors, publishers, methodology of assessment, scope and time scale of study of the evidence that removal of wages councils for young people has resulted in increased job opportunities.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 22 May 1989] : The information sought by the hon. Member is almost entirely irrelevant to the evidence referred to in my reply to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) on 15 May.
Labour force survey data for 1986, 1987 and 1988 show an increase in the level of employment of young people
Column 507under 21 in the retail distribution and hotel and catering industries. There is also evidence from employers in wages council trades that they are more ready to offer young people employment. It is also relevant that during the past two years unemployment among those aged under 20 has fallen from 21 per cent. to just above 12 per cent.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement outlining the European Economic Community proposals for a social charter and the consequences for employers and employees if the Council approves the proposals ; and if such proposals fall to be considered by majority vote or by unanimity in the Council.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 22 May 1989] : Commissioner Papandreou outlined at a press conference in Brussels on 17 May proposals for a charter of basic social rights. We are still awaiting a formal text from the Commission, but I have placed in the Library a copy of the press release.
The Commission announced that it would be putting forward a proposal for a formal declaration which would contain some generalised statements and invite the Commission to draw up an action programme by June 1990. The action programme would include proposals for series of regulations mainly in the employment and industrial relations field.
As the Commission is proposing a declaration by heads of state or Government, it follows that all heads of state or Government will have to agree to it. The voting arrangements for the specific proposals on particular issues depend on the subject matter and legal treaty base ; in our view many will fall to be adopted by unanimity. As far as we can tell from the information that we have on the proposals so far, the consequences will include retrictions on the freedom of employers and employees to negotiate the agreements that suit them both ; reductions in the flexibility of the labour market ; and the slowing down of economic growth and of the creation of jobs.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 15 May 1989] : It is estimated from a study by management consultants to be published by the autumn, that in Great Britain in 1986-87 (the latest year for which information is available) about £11 billion was invested by private industry in training.
Column 508can be obtained only from detailed surveys of employers. The latest such survey was carried out in 1987 providing information for the year 1986-87.
Mr. Cope : The submission by the Tyneside TEC steering group will be considered by a panel of members of the national training task force shortly. Ministers will consider its recommendations and will announce which TECs have been awarded development funding shortly thereafter.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of whether the present income support scheme gives sufficient incentive to retrain mature people with families.
Mr. Nicholls : All trainees on employment training (the Government's main programme to give unemployed people, particularly the long-term unemployed, the skills they need to compete in the jobs market) receive an allowance which amounts to £10 more than their previous weekly benefit entitlement. Help is also given with travel costs and certain other expenses. In contrast to the situation under some previous programmes therefore, all ET trainees secure a higher income than if they had remained unemployed and claiming benefit. I am satisfied that these arrangements offer a clear incentive to unemployed people whatever their family circumstances to undertake training. Of course we keep this and other aspects of the scheme under review.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has as to the number of strikes and days lost in the dock labour scheme ports in each year since 1959 ; and what are the comparable figures for non-scheme ports.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 8 May 1989] : The number of stoppages and days lost in the dock labour scheme ports in each year since 1959 are listed in the table. Comparable figures for non-scheme ports are not available and could be obtained only at
disproportionate cost. However, national figures for working days lost per thousand employees from stoppages in all industries and services are also listed, alongside figures for dock labour scheme ports. There is a minor difference in coverage between these two series, because the figures for all industries and services exclude stoppages involving fewer than 10 workers or lasting less than one day, where the total number of working days lost is 100 or less.
Year Dock Labour Scheme All industries and ports services |Number of stoppages|Number of days lost|Days lost per 1,000|Days lost per 1,000 |employees |employees ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1959 |70 |39,322 |547 |246 1960 |128 |245,813 |3,388 |138 1961 |97 |155,346 |2,167 |137 1962 |76 |93,949 |1,406 |258 1963 |104 |35,850 |555 |78 1964 |141 |130,637 |2,039 |99 1965 |130 |106,037 |1,628 |127 1966 |147 |108,895 |1,742 |103 1967 |172 |571,578 |9,625 |122 1968 |284 |74,439 |1,316 |207 1969 |376 |242,220 |4,593 |303 1970 |374 |656,100 |13,985 |489 1971 |288 |159,402 |3,504 |612 1972 |309 |854,132 |20,708 |1,080 1973 |241 |159,788 |4,631 |317 1974 |138 |75,090 |2,171 |647 1975 |156 |299,884 |8,915 |265 1976 |111 |27,959 |900 |146 1977 |159 |76,783 |2,605 |448 1978 |100 |59,519 |2,075 |413 1979 |108 |88,278 |3,282 |1,273 1980 |90 |116,813 |4,769 |521 1981 |119 |99,421 |4,729 |195 1982 |189 |105,231 |6,268 |248 1983 |60 |91,501 |6,254 |178 1984 |188 |259,950 |19,395 |1,278 1985 |43 |4,826 |396 |298 1986 |28 |6,074 |544 |89 1987 |41 |6,616 |644 |162 1988 |24 |10,663 |1,105 |<1>164 <1>Provisional. Sources: Figures for Dock Labour Scheme provided by the National Dock Labour Board. Figures for all industries and services provided by the Employment Department.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Lord President of the Council what representations he has received (a) supporting and (b) opposing the implementation of the second report from the Select Committee on Procedure on private Members' time ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wakeham : Apart from exchanges in the House during business questions, I have received one letter supporting the recommendations of the Select Committee on Procedure and none opposing them. I hope that there will be an opportunity before the end of this Session for the House to debate the report.
1979-80 : Edward Berry and Doris Eileen Ward (Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
1981-82 : Hugh Small and Norma Small (Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
1981-82 : John Francis Dare and Gillian Loder Dare (Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
1984-85 : Valerie Mary Hill and Alan Monk (Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
1986-87 : George Donald Evans and Deborah Jane Evans (Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
Column 5101986-87 : John Ernest Rolfe and Florence Iveen Rolfe Marriage Enabling) [Lords]
Mr. Amess : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many personal Bills were introduced in each Session since 1970 ; how many received Royal Assent ; and what percentage the latter represents of the former.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list the occasions when Bills have been committed (a) under Standing Order No. 90(1) and (b) under Standing Order No. 90(2) in each Session since 1970, together with the title of each Bill.
Bills committed under Standing Order No. 90(1) Names of Bills |Number in each Session ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1970-71 |10 Animals [Lords] Criminal Damage [Lords] Land Registration and Land Charges [Lords] Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) [Lords] Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) [Lords] Mines Management [Lords] Pool Competitions Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separation [Lords] Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Wild Creatures and Forest Laws [Lords] 1971-72 |6 British Library [Lords] Children [Lords] Field Monuments [Lords] Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) [Lords] Overseas Investment and Export Guarantees Road Traffic (Foreign Vehicles) [Lords] 1972-73 |3 Government Trading Funds Guardianship [Lords] Nature Conservancy Council [Lords] 1973-74 |5 Biological Weapons International Organisations (Land) Land Registry [Lords] Rabies Unit Pricing 1974 |1 Road Traffic [Lords] 1974-75 |8 Arbitration [Lords] Biological Standards Diseases of Animals [Lords] Industrial and Provident Societies [Lords] Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants [Lords] Limitation [Lords] Local Land Charges [Lords] Reservoirs [Lords] 1975-76 |8 Companies (No. 2) [Lords] Education (School-leaving Dates) [Lords] Insolvency [Lords] International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs [Lords] Land Drainage (Amendment) [Lords] Maplin Development Authority (Dissolution) [Lords] National Health Service (Vocational Training) [Lords] Rating (Charity Shops) [Lords] 1976-77 |5 Administration of Justice [Lords] General Rate (Public Utilities) [Lords] Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) [Lords] Passenger Vehicles (Experimental Areas) [Lords] Torts (Interference with Goods) [Lords] 1977-78 |6 Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Courts [Lords] Gun Barrel Proof [Lords] House of Commons (Administration) Medical [Lords] State Immunity Suppression of Terrorism [Lords] 1978-79 |3 Arbitration [Lords] Consents to Prosecutions Forestry [Lords] 1979-80 |1 Insurance Companies [Lords] 1980-81 |4 International Organisations [Lords] Merchant Shipping [Lords] Parliamentary Commissioner (Consular Complaints) [Lords] Town and Country Planning (Minerals) [Lords] 1981-82 |9 Administration of Justice [Lords] Currency Duchy of Cornwall Management (Committee discharged) Fire Service College Board (Abolition) [Lords] Legal Aid [Lords] Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Reserve Forces [Lords] Stock Transfer Taking of Hostages [Lords] 1982-83 |7 Civil Aviation (Eurocontrol) Currency Dentists [Lords] International Transport Convention [Lords] Marriage [Lords] Merchant Shipping [Lords] Plant Varieties [Lords] 1983-84 |6 Foreign Limitation Periods [Lords] Fosdyke Bridge [Lords] Merchant Shipping (Miscellaneous Provisions) [Lords] Occupiers' Liability [Lords] Repatriation of Prisoners [Lords] Somerset House [Lords] 1984-85 |4 Child Abduction and Custody [Lords] Enduring Powers of Attorney [Lords] Industrial Development [Lords] Insurance (Fees) 1985-86 |8 British Council and Commonwealth Institute Superannuation Commonwealth Development Corporation [Lords] Crown Agents (Amendment) Education (No. 2) Land Registration [Lords] Outer Space [Lords] Patents, Designs and Marks [Lords] Public Trustee and Administration of Funds [Lords] 1986-87 |5 Chevening Estate [Lords] Minors' Contracts [Lords] Recognition of Trusts [Lords] Reverter of Sites [Lords] Territorial Sea [Lords] 1987-88 |3 Duchy of Lancaster Foreign Marriage (Amendment) [Lords] Matrimonial Proceedings (Transfers) [Lords] 1988-89, to 19 May |5 Civil Aviation (Air Navigation Charges) [Lords] Human Organ Transplants Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provision) [Lords] National Maritime Museum [Lords] Pesticides (Fees and Enforcement) Bills committed under Standing Order No.90(2) No Bills have been committed under Standing Order No. 90(2).
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what communications he has received from parents of hearing impaired children who attend the unit at St. Mungo's primary school, Glasgow ; whether he will take action to ensure medical tests are made to allay parental anxiety about children having inhaled asbestos dust ; whether the parents made him aware of their concern about (a) the lack of specialist staff, (b) the standard of equipment, and (c) the physical conditions under which their children are taught ; and if he will make a statement on (i) the opportunities available to him to seek improvements, and (ii) whether his Department will make additional funding available to the education authority.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for this unit lies with Strathclyde regional council. Parents of children who attend the unit have written to my right hon. and learned Friend and inquiries are being made into the complaints that they have raised. I shall arrange to send the hon. Member a copy of the reply which will be sent to the parents shortly.
Mr. Dewar : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide figures for the number of prosecutions for (a) tax fraud and (b) social security fraud and the total sums of money involved for the latest date for which figures are available.
(b) 986 persons were proceeded against in the Scottish courts for social security fraud in the period from 10 February 1988 to 28 February 1989. The cost of social security fraud in these cases is not available centrally and could be obtained only at
Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give for the Scottish ambulance service (a) the total number of vehicles owned and (b) the total number of man hours worked for each year since 1979.
Year ending 31 March |Number of vehicles owned|Man hours worked |(excluding overtime) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |n/a |3,240,640 1980 |968 |3,382,080 1981 |968 |3,425,760 1982 |965 |3,463,200 1983 |967 |3,531,840 1984 |977 |3,527,680 1985 |988 |3,577,600 1986 |1,007 |3,627,520 1987 |1,004 |3,642,080 1988 |1,011 |3,721,120 1989 |1,051 |3,704,844
The decrease in the man hours worked in 1989 is a result of the reduction of one hour in the working week which was an integral part of the 1988 ambulance men's pay agreement.
In the year ending 31 March 1989 a total of 234,156 hours overtime was worked. Figures for overtime worked are not readily available for earlier years.
Year Ending 31 March |Expenditure |£ --------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |12,865,100 1980 |15,104,623 1981 |14,299,108 1982 |14,334,212 1983 |14,237,182 1984 |14,530,689 1985 |15,444,525 1986 |15,214,675 1987 |16,596,507 1988 |17,467,219 1989 |n/a
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The NHS in Scotland currently spends about £3 million per year on a scheme for reimbursing two thirds of the costs of the medical defence organisation subscriptions of hospital and community doctors and dentists. The cost of providing an NHS indemnity is expected to be comparable.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list in the Official Report each parliamentary constituency in Scotland where electoral registrations have declined by more than 4 per cent. between 1987 and 1989, together with the size of the decline in each case in percentage and absolute figures.
Constituency |Numerical change |Percentage change -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aberdeen North |-3,147 |-4.9 Aberdeen South |-4,347 |-6.9 Edinburgh Central |-2,688 |-4.5 Glasgow Cathcart |-2,130 |-4.3 Glasgow Garscadden |-3,658 |-7.5 Glasgow Govan |-2.243 |-4.4 Glasgow Maryhill |-2,359 |-4.5 Glasgow Pollok |-2,524 |-4.9 Glasgow Provan |-3,308 |-7.5 Glasgow Rutherglen |-2,380 |-4.1 Glasgow Springburn |-3,379 |-6.5 Greenock and Port Glasgow |-2,878 |-4.9 Paisley South |-2,239 |-4.3
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will instruct the Forestry Commission to notify all local authorities of the outcome of applications for forestry planting grant within their area of jurisdiction ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : It is the Forestry Commission's normal practice to notify local authorities of the outcome of those planting grant applications over which they have been consulted, where objections have
Column 515been raised. The Commission also informs local authorities of the outcome in other cases where they have requested that this should be done. I consider this to be a fair and reasonable procedure and I am not persuaded that it would be right for me to add to the Commission's administrative costs by instructing it to notify local authorities of the outcome of all grant applications as a matter of course.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : No. My right hon. and learned Friend has already made it clear that it will be for each local authority in Scotland to decide whether or not an indicative forestry strategy is needed for its area. The situation including the potential for new planting varies considerably from one region to another.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of imposing precautionary total allowable catches on west of Scotland plaice, monkfish and megrims ; and what scientific evidence is available on stocks of these species.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Precautionary total allowable catches (TACs) are fixed for species for which there is insufficient scientific data to set a full analytical TAC, primarily to protect stocks from serious damage by over-exploitation. Concern has been expressed that some precautionary TACs may be unduly restrictive. Fisheries departments are looking at the situation and will consider whether to approach the European Commission to seek an appropriate increase in the level of precautionary TACs.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Fisheries departments are considering comments received from the industry in response to the consultation paper issued last year on possible amendments to the United Kingdom licensing system. The comments received raised a number of wider issues and further consultations seem likely to be necessary before final decisions can be taken.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Earnings are determined by a number of factors which include the quantity and quality of landings, prices and costs. Quota cuts influence only one of these elements and it is not possible to separate out their impact.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate interest rate charges paid by the Scottish fishing fleet in the first six months of (a) 1989 and (b) 1988 ; and what is his estimate of the impact this has had on the financial position of the fleet.
Column 516the pattern of share ownership and the mixture of business and way of life that characterises the fishing industry. In consequence it is not possible to estimate the level of charges or the impact on the financial position of the fleet.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Lower catch levels, largely associated with reduced fishing opportunities but also as a result of adverse weather conditions earlier in the year, have caused problems for the fish processing sector and for fishermen. Unlike the latter, however, the processors can make up the shortfall in supplies by purchases on the international market, much of which can be brought into the United Kingdom at concessionary rates of duty. In addition the processing sector is looking to create a wider range of added value products, taking increased quantities of pelagic fish when available and also turning to species such as farmed salmon. These are encouraging developments.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The gradual shift away from highly labour intensive operations to increased mechanisation, combined with seasonal considerations and the industry's use of temporary employees, makes it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions on recent employment patterns in the Scottish fish processing industry. The future prospects for the industry remain good and this is reflected in the fact that since 1985 investment in the industry has totalled around £20 million including EC grant aid of some £5 million.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ensure that the Forestry Commission's review of the broadleaved woodland grant scheme will consider fully the financial aspects of grants, their means of application and purpose, and the guidelines for the management of broadleaved woodlands.
Mr. Lang : Everybody who is liable to pay the standard charge in respect of a property will receive a demand notice from the appropriate levying authority. However, if the property is unoccupied and unfurnished and the person liable for the charge has notified the levying authority under section 10(8A)(b) of the Abolition of Domestic Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act 1987 that this is the case, no
Column 517charge will be payable in respect of that property for three months or such longer period as the levying authority has determined, subject to the other provisions of section 10 of the Act. These arrangements apply in respect of owners and long-term tenants of empty farm cottages. We have however announced our intention to remove these properties from the standard community charge arrangements and have consulted on proposals for doing so. We are studying the responses to that consultation and hope to be in a position shortly to announce what the new arrangements will be.
Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish (a) what information he has on the number of seasonally let farm cottages in Scotland, (b) the average occupancy of let in terms of weeks and (c) the percentage of annual income attributable to Scottish farmers from holiday letting of farm cottages.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 19 May 1989] : The carrying or use of firearms in or on prison service property is normally strictly forbidden. Permission to do so may, however, be granted-- to control vermin on prison service agricultural and horticultural land-- but only by means of prior written authorisation from the director of the Scottish prison service and subject to the issue by the police of a permit for the use by a named prison officer of such a firearm.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 19 May 1989] : The number of pairs of boots and shoes issued to personnel at Her Majesty's prison and the young offenders institution Glenochil over the past five years was :
|Boots|Shoes -------------------------- 1984-85 |11 |12 1985-86 |7 |4 1986-87 |5 |10 1987-88 |4 |5 1988-89 |12 |Nil
All eligible prison staff are provided with free issue footwear or are paid a boot or shoe allowance for the purchase of approved footwear.
Mr. Harry Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the Scottish Information Office was involved in any way in arranging the visit and subsequent press coverage involving the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), to the home of Mrs. Margaret Sinclair of Stirling on Sunday 14 May ; and whether any member of the Scottish Information Office staff attended this visit.
Mr. Rifkind [holding answer 19 May 1989] : The Scottish Information Office did not arrange the visit and no member of SIO staff was present at it. The SIO arranged for media representatives to be told of the visit, and issued a press statement on behalf of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for health and education.
Mr. Harry Ewing : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if every right hon. and hon. Member representing a Scottish constituency will be able to arrange for an official from the Scottish Home and Health Department to discuss with each general practitioner in their constituency their concern for the future of the general practitioner service, following the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth), instructing an official from the Scottish Home and Health Department to contact Dr. William Young of Stirling ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which an official of the Scottish Home and Health Department has been instructed to contact Dr. William Young of Stirling following his commenting on the proposed changes affecting general practitioners and the National Health Service.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 19 May 1989] : On 14 May it was reported in the press that Dr. Young's views on the implications of the Government's proposals for the reform of the NHS had dismayed two of his patients. They were said to be particularly alarmed by the statements attributed to Dr. Young that all GPs would be given drug budgets from 1991 ; that if they exceeded them the money would be clawed back the next year ; and that patients requiring expensive treatment might have to come off his list on the ground of cost. I wrote to Dr. Young on 15 May expressing my concern about these reports pointing out that when indicative prescribing budgets are introduced in Scotland in 1992 they will reflect the health and age of the patients on the GPs list and that more money will be allowed for the chronically sick and the elderly. If, nevertheless, the budget turns out to be not enough for the cost of treatment which the doctor's patients justifiably require, the budget will be reviewed and the doctor will not be penalised. There should therefore be no question of a doctor being unable to prescribe for a sick person because he or she has run out of money or of removing patients from the list because of the cost of their treatment.
Because these particular events have been drawn to the attention of the general public in this way and were likely to cause widespread alarm, I released my letter to Dr. Young to the press. I also asked a medical officer in the Scottish Home and Health Department to meet Dr. Young to discuss his interpretation of the Government's plans. It will not be necessary for similar arrangements to be made in respect of every GP in Scotland as I have already been in direct contact with each of them to supply them with the full facts of the Government's plans for making the National Health Service in Scotland even better than it is at present.