Mr. Freeman : The Government's response to the Social Services Committee's first report on perinatal, neonatal and infant mortality will be published shortly. The response will set out not only the Government's response to the recommendations made by the Committee, but also what other action is in hand to ensure the continued reduction in the perinatal and infant mortality rates in England.
The cash limit for class XIV, vote 1 (hospital and community health and other services, England) will be increased by £113,005,000 from £11,748,942,000 to £11,861,947,000 to help provide, from 1 April 1989, for the pay awards recommended in the 1989 reports of the review bodies for nursing staff, midwives, healthpisitors and professions allied to medicine and on doctors' and dentists' remuneration, as announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 16 February 1989.
The cash limit for class XIV, vote 3 (Department of Health administration, miscellaneous health services and personal social services, England) will be reduced by £2,525,000 from £670,695,000 to £668,170,000. A reduction of £3,470,000 is being made to allow for transfers to class XV, vote 7 (Department of Social Security, administration and miscellaneous services) in respect of the independent living fund (£2,700,000), motability (a net £550,000) and to correct the apportionment of resources for departmental administration following the split of the former Department of Health and Social Security (£220,000). A further reduction of £50,000 is being made to offset increased provision on class XIV, vote 2 (Family practitioner and other services, England) in respect of residual transaction expenses arising in connection with the reconstitution of the General Practice Finance Corporation. These reductions are partly offset by an additional £995,000 to meet in full, from 1 April 1989, the review body recommendations mentioned above. The provision for running costs on this vote and the Department's running costs limit is increased by £559,000 from £238,256,000 to £238,815,000. The increases will be charged to the Reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will now publish the outturn figures for 1987-88 for compensation and early retirement in the manner described in the Government's reply to the first report from the Social Services Committee of Session 1984-85, breaking down the figures to distinguish between competitive tendering and other cases.
|Number of cases |Compensation cost |Total cost including |superannuation |£ |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Competitive tendering New cases |821 |1,834,000 |3,990,000 Continuing cases 3,405 3,525,000 3,967,000 Other cases New cases |1,546 |5,678,000 |19,326,000 Continuing cases 9,490 15,047,000 43,676,000
Mr. Freeman : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Revised Estimate, the cash limit for class XX, vote 15 will be reduced by £114,000 from £30,367,000 to £30,253,000. The OPCS gross running cost limit for class XX, vote 15 will be decreased by £114, 000 from £35,491,000 to £35,377,000. The reductions reflect a correction to running costs, which included the overhead costs of methodology and consultancy expenditure by OPCS, by a transfer to the section of the vote for the administrative costs of social survey work exempt from gross running cost control. The costs will be fully offset by increased appropriations in aid from customer departments.
77. Mr. Wolfson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in hand for monitoring the effects of charges for eye tests on different sectors of the population in relation to the numbers coming forward for such tests ; and whether a report will be made publicly available in due course.
Mr. Mellor : We expect to commission a survey into the number of private sight tests in the autumn, although the precise details have yet to be worked out. We expect that, at the least, a summary of the report's findings will be placed in the Library.
Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change in administrative arrangements he intends to introduce for supra regional hospital units including spinal units, as a consequence of the Government's White Paper "Working for Patients".
Mr. Mellor [holding answer 23 May 1989] : The NHS review working paper 2 noted the Government's expectation that the centre would continue to fund the fixed costs of units providing supra regional services, both to ensure their viability and to ensure a properly controlled spread of high cost and high technology treatments ; it envisaged that the variable costs would be met by GPs and DHAs under contract. Detailed work is currently under way on this proposal. Announcements on the new arrangements, and on the future of individual supra regional services, will be made later in the year.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the revenue generated from private patients at hospitals in Bolton in 1988, and what were the comparable figures for each of the last five years.
Income from private patients (under sections 65 and 66 of the NHS Act 1977) |In-patients (section 65) |Out-patients (section 66) |£ (cash) |£ (cash) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982-83 |129,179 |7,322 1983-84 |99,089 |6,267 1984-85 |11,329 |171 1985-86 |14,826 |6,253 1986-87 |14,847 |8,950 1987-88 |8,888 |10,189
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date Skyguard fire control radar system will be implemented to register military aircraft flying below the permitted levels of operation ; whether the information obtained will show the air forces concerned ; where the information will be published ; what disciplinary action will be enforced against offending pilots ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Neubert : The Skyguard fire control radar system will be deployed in the low flying monitoring role later this year. Apparent infringements of the regulations governing low-flying training by military aircraft using the United Kingdom low-flying system will be followed up as at present and appropriate action taken.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement in respect of military jet aircraft overflying the village of Clayton in the Don Valley constituency, in which a transit area is in force, on 11 May at 1221 hours, 1509 hours and 1530 hours all of which were under 1,000 feet ; and to what NATO air force these were attached.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much is spent on defence per household, per year by Government, ; what is his definition of a household ; and how many there are in the United Kingdom currently.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Defence expenditure per household for 1989-90 will be just over £900, based on a defence budget of £20,143 million and the Department of the Environment's latest estimate of the number of households in the United Kingdom during 1989 of 22.1 million. The definition of a household is set out in "Social Trends 1989", published by the Central Statistical Office :
Column 730"A single person or group of people who have the address as their only or main residence and who either share one meal a day or share the living accommodation."
Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what basis he nominated Alpine Double Glazing to be the recommended contractor for insulation work associated with the noise compensation scheme recently announced for RAF Lakenheath, Mildenhall ; and why other local insulation firms were not given an opportunity to seek his nomination and recommendation on a competitive basis.
Mr. Neubert : Alpine (Double Glazing) Company Ltd. was selected as the recommended contractor for installation work associated with the noise insulation grant scheme for RAF Lakenheath and Mildenhall as the result of a competitive tendering exercise. Tenders were invited from six double glazing companies, including one (Easiglaze Windows Ltd.) based locally, on the basis of advice from the Glass and Glazing Federation on those companies that were likely to have the capacity to meet the demand generated by the 5,600 homes in the area covered by the schemes.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement as to why the annual sky pageant will not be held at the RAF base at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, in the current year.
Mr. Neubert : I understand that the United States authorities at the base have decided not to hold the sky pageant this year, which is a national event, but instead to hold a Heyford "At Home" day which will be orientated toward the local community.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : It has been the practice of successive Governments neither to confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at particular places and times. I cannot, therefore, give statistics of accidents involving the transport of nuclear weapons. There has never been an accident involving damage to a nuclear weapon in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The Government have convincing evidence that the Soviets are on the verge of deploying a variety of sophisticated cruise missile systems. At sea, the Soviets have tested the SS-N-21 sea-launched cruise missile, which could be carried and launched by a variety of Soviet general purpose attack submarines, such as Victor, Akula or Sierra. Yankee class nuclear submarines have also been converted to carry SS-N-21 missiles.
Column 731Targets in Europe, Asia or North America could be attacked by these accurate missiles, which we assume are fitted with nuclear warheads. The larger SS-N-X24 missile, which could be carried in specialised submarine platforms such as the modified Yankee class, is expected to be operational in the next few years.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the estimated total value to the economy for Yorkshire and Humberside of the presence of military establishments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation armed forces in various locations in the region.
Mr. Benn : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the position of the Greek, Danish and Norwegian Governments on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation plans to modernise short-range nuclear Lance missiles in western Europe.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Greece, Denmark and Norway agreed the communique issued at the end of the recent NATO nuclear planning group meeting in Brussels. In doing so, they expressed their determination to ensure that NATO possesses diversified, survivable and operationally feasible nuclear forces across the entire spectrum and agreed that these forces should be kept up-to-date where necessary.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Although the future deployment and precise force structure of the Brigade of Gurkhas have not yet been decided, annual expenditure on the planned Gurkha force after 1997 is likely to be greater than current expenditure on the Gurkhas as a result of the loss of the contribution made by the Hong Kong Government.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the planned strength of (a) the Queen's Gurkhas Engineers, (b) the Queen's Gurkhas Signals and (c) the Queen's Gurkhas Transport Regiment after 1997.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The plans for the future of the Queen's Gurkha Engineers, the Queen's Gurkha Signals and the Gurkha Transport Regiment after 1997 include their retention at a strength that is operationally and organisationally viable. The eventual number of squadrons that will be required will depend on detailed decisions on the Brigade of Gurkhas which have not yet been taken.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of service accommodation is (a) grade 1, (b) grade 2, (c) grade 3 and (d) grade 4 ; and what were those percentages for each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Neubert : The percentage of service accommodation in the various grades over the past 10 years cannot be obtained without disproportionate cost. I will write to the hon. Member with the percentages for the current year.
Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the properties he has demolished in the parish of Foulness, Essex, since becoming the principal landlord there; if he will give the reasons for demolition ; and whether the properties concerned were residental.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 15 May 1989] : The MOD has owned Foulness Island since the first world war. The available records show that, since 1986, seven residential properties have been demolished, three for operational reasons because they were in the range danger area and the remainder because they were structurally unsound and beyond economic repair. A number of farm outbuildings have also been demolished. Property used for defence purposes which has been demolished includes offices and stores buildings.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list those areas of the United Kingdom where heavy propeller driven aircraft are permitted to fly at less than 250 feet minimum separation distance.
Mr. Neubert : Flying below 250 feet by heavy propeller-driven aircraft is permitted, on special authorisation, in the three tactical training areas and for free-drop training on designated drop zones in military danger areas.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the numbers of aircraft movements authorised for low-flying at less than 250 feet minimum separation distance in (a) the Northern Scotland tactical training area, (b) the Central Wales tactical training area, and (c) the Borders tactical training area during 1988 ; and on how many days in 1988 such low flying was authorised in each training area.
Mr. Neubert : The information requested regarding aircraft movements authorised for flying below 250 feet within tactical training areas during 1988 is given in the table. It should be noted that figures for the number of days on which flying took place are likely to have been substantially lower because alternative dates are often requested for use in the event of bad weather. It should also be noted that the movements figures for the borders tactical training area have, since July 1988, been recorded on a different basis following the extension to the Borders training area approved by my predesessor in March 1988 and the number of movements quoted for this area is not therefore directly comparable with previous figures.
Tactical training area |Operational low flying |Number of days on which |movements |operational low flying |was authorised ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Northern Scotland |828 |115 Central Wales |60 |60 Borders |1,227 |121
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Our records show that during this period there have been 542 incidents involving groundings or collisions between vessels of the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary or the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service and either other vessels or static installations. A breakdown of this figure into various categories of incident is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost and effort. The great majority of these incidents, however, are very minor, resulting in little or no damage.
13. Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what grant aid his Department has given to encourage the planting of hedges in England and Wales in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. MacGregor : Last year the Ministry funded research into food irradiation and its effects on packaging materials to the sum of about £200,000. Research funding in the current financial year is expected to be the same.
18. Mr. Cousins : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what cumulative savings were achieved over five years in grants to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany by the policy of not fully funding pay awards.
Mr. Ryder : My ministerial colleagues and I regularly meet the president of the Country Landowners Association. My right hon. Friend the Minister last met him on 3 May, when a wide range of issues were discussed.
20. Mr. Canavan : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the most up-to-date estimate of the amount and value in pounds sterling of surplus food and drink in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the EEC as a result of the common agricultural policy.
Mr. Ryder : A note setting out the volume of stocks of agricultural commodities held in intervention and assisted private storage in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the EC as a whole, is deposited in the Library of the House and is updated monthly. The estimated value of the stocks listed in the most recently deposited note, depreciated as now required following the February 1988 European Council agreement, is £125 million for the United Kingdom, and £1.46 billion for the EC as a whole.
23. Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether any arrangements are currently in hand for the statutory examination by veterinary officials at non-EEC export-approved slaughterhouses.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In the 1989-90 scheme year the rate of suckler cow premium will be £47.43 per cow, an increase of 42 per cent. over last year. This will give further support and encouragement to producers who are currently rebuilding their suckler herds and help to offset the reduction in calf supplies from the dairy herd. Consumers will benefit as the proportion of United Kingdom production from beef cows increases.
55. Mr. Boswell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the percentage increase in the suckler cow premium over the previous year ; and how much this will add to the incomes of beef farmers.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The rate to be paid in the 1989-90 scheme year will be £47.43 per cow, the maximum permitted under Community rules. This is 42 per cent. higher than last year. We estimate that the total payment to United Kingdom producers will be £57 million, some £20 million higher than last year.
65. Mr. Colin Shepherd : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how his decision to pay the suckler cow premium at its maximum level will affect farm incomes, particularly in the less-favoured areas.
Mr. Donald Thompson : We estimate that total payments of suckler cow premium to United Kingdom producers in 1989-90 will be £57 million, some £20 million more than last year. About 70 per cent. of the specialist beef herd is in the less-favoured areas and so it is likely that the major part of this increase will benefit producers farming in the most difficult parts of the country.
73. Mr. Temple-Morris : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of the consultations he has been having on the question of banning untreated milk in England and Wales ; and when he expects to be able to announce his conclusions.
Mr. Donald Thompson : We have received a large number of representations. The majority are from consumers who wish to remain free to choose untreated milk and from producers who wish to continue supplying it. On the other hand, a number of bodies concerned about public health, including various enforcement authorities, have supported the proposal to ban sales. The period allowed for comment has now expired and we are considering, in the light of all comments received, what our policy should be. My right hon. Friend hopes to make a further announcement shortly.
Mr. Temple-Morris : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information has become available in the course of his consultation into the question of banning the sale of untreated milk in England and Wales on (a) how many people can indisputably be said to have become ill from the consumption of such milk and (b) how many illnesses could be deemed serious.