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Mr. Major : An estimate of the value of the stock of United Kingdom overseas assets identified at end-1988 will be included in the Pink Book in August. The latest estimate is of the order of £115 billion to £120 billion, which represents about one quarter of money GDP.

Payroll Giving

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to ensure that organisations funded by the Treasury introduce chargeable payroll deductions for charities.

Mr. Brooke : There are no plans to change the present practice of deducting donations to charities free of charge.

Indirect Taxation (EC Proposals)

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the European Commission's proposals for indirect taxation and the related issue of the definition of foodstuffs.

Mr. Lilley : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) on 23 May 1989 at column 440. The Commission has yet to define "foodstuffs" for the purposes of its proposals.


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EEC (Net Contribution)

Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the net contribution to the European Economic Community in the calendar year 1989.

Mr. Brooke : The Government's latest estimate of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the Community budget in 1989 is £1,966 million, which was published in the "Statement on the 1989 Community Budget", Cm 680, in April this year.

Net Overseas Assets

Mr. Yeo : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures for the identified stock of United Kingdom net overseas assets ; and what these represent as a share of gross domestic product.

Mr. Major : An estimate of the value of the stock of United Kingdom net overseas assets identified at end-1988 will be included in the Pink Book in August. The latest estimate is of the order of £115 billion to £120 billion, which represents about one quarter of money GDP.

Gross Domestic Product (Business Investment)

Mr. Watts : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the share of gross domestic product represented by business investment in 1988.

Mr. Major : Business investment as a share of GDP was 14.6 per cent. in 1988, the highest level recorded.

Mr. Strang : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made any study of the likely effect of a further increase in interest rates on the level of manufacturing investments in the current year.

Mr. Major : Developments in the economy are constantly monitored. Manufacturing investment is growing strongly and the outlook remains good.

Civil Servants

Mr. Baldry : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has further to improve the skills and professionalism of civil servants.

Mr. Brooke : Her Majesty's Treasury is today issuing guidance to Departments on improved personnel management arrangements for two key groups, information technology staff and purchasing and supply staff. In future, most entrants to these groups will be recruited for these specific areas of work, and developed and promoted primarily on the basis of their specialised skills rather than those required for general administration. To meet their needs for specialised expertise, Departments will have the facility to recruit staff at more senior levels on a permanent basis. They will also be able to recruit, if required, on a short-term basis. There will be a greater emphasis on professional training and development for both groups. I am confident that the new arrangements will allow Departments to develop rounded professional expertise and thus further improve value for money in their IT and purchasing work.


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Premium Bonds

Mr. Jack : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report the value of and percentage of premium savings bonds sales made in denominations of £10, £20, £30, £40, £50, £60, £70, £80, £90 and £100 for each of the last five years.

Mr. Lilley [holding answer 25 May 1989] : Premium savings bonds are no longer issued in denominations of £60, £70, £80 or £90. The estimated value and percentage of premium savings bond sales made in denominations of £10, £20, £30, £40, £50 and £100 for the financial years 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88 and 1988-89 are shown in the attached table.


Ending March        |1985        |1986        |1987        |1988        |1989                     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

£10                                                                                               

£ million           |10.3        |11.0        |10.3        |10.1        |9.8                      

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |5.0         |5.9         |4.8         |3.4         |3.2                      

                                                                                                  

£20                                                                                               

£ million           |1.3         |2.3         |3.1         |3.4         |3.6                      

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |0.6         |1.2         |1.5         |1.1         |1.2                      

                                                                                                  

£30                                                                                               

£ million           |1.5         |1.9         |2.2         |2.3         |2.4                      

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |0.7         |1.0         |1.0         |0.8         |0.8                      

                                                                                                  

£40                                                                                               

£ million           |1.4         |1.6         |1.7         |1.8         |2.0                      

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |0.7         |0.8         |0.8         |0.6         |0.6                      

                                                                                                  

£50                                                                                               

£ million           |11.8        |13.3        |14.4        |14.8        |16.2                     

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |5.7         |7.2         |6.7         |5.0         |5.2                      

                                                                                                  

£100                                                                                              

£ million           |17.3        |16.0        |16.5        |17.1        |17.5                     

Percentage of total                                                                               

   value of sales   |8.3         |8.7         |7.6         |5.8         |5.6                      

HEALTH

Births

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to how many sets of (a) twins, (b) triplets, (c) quadruplets, (d) quintuplets and (e) sextuplets were born in England and Wales in 1988 ; and what was the total number of maternities in that year.

Mr. Freeman : In 1988, there were 689,153 maternities in England and Wales. These included :


                                                 |Number       

---------------------------------------------------------------

Twins                                            |7,452        

Triplets                                         |157          

Quadruplets                                      |12           

Quintuplets                                      |1            

Sextuplets or over                               |0            

                                                 |-----        

Total number of maternities with multiple births |7,622        

Schoolchildren's Diets

Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the final report on the survey of schoolchildren's diets undertaken in 1983.

Mr. Mellor : The report "The Diets of British Schoolchildren" from the chief medical officer's committee on medical aspects of food policy (COMA), giving the final results of the 1983 survey of schoolchildren's diets, is being published today. I welcome this highly detailed scientific document which confirms the findings that we published in the 1986 preliminary report of the survey and copies have been placed in the Library.

The information in these reports has been and continues to be an invaluable guide for the preparation of the health education messages that our children need if they are to benefit from a healthy diet. It shows beyond doubt that although our schoolchildren in all social classes were well nourished and thriving as never before, they ate far too much fat and that many of the older children, especially the girls, needed more detailed advice about their choice of foods and about spending their lunch money more wisely. The Government are continuing to encourage local education authorities and the Health Education Authority in their efforts to inform children and parents about healthy eating and to persuade them to choose a healthy diet.

Dog Attacks

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent information he has on the approximate annual cost to the National Health Service of serious attacks on children and others by dogs ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : None. No information is collected centrally.

Automated Cleaning Processes

Mr. Gould : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the use by district health authorities of automated cleaning processes which emit considerable quantities of CFCs ; and what steps are being taken to find alternatives.

Mr. Freeman : A minority of DHAs use automated cleaning and drying equipment in their sterile supplies departments for use prior to sterilisation of surgical equipment. Some of the older equipment will emit levels of CFCs within the statutory limit for operator safety and newer equipment involves solvent reclamation systems which considerably reduce the CFC emission levels. The three United Kingdom manufacturers of such equipment are all in the process of seeking alternative processes.

Health Service Pay

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish details of the new package on pay and structure offered on 16 May to staff side representatives of Committee E ; and what this will mean for operating department assistants.

Mr. Mellor [holding answer 7 June 1989] : Details of the proposals, including the effect on operating department


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assistants, are contained in the professional and technical staffs B Whitley council documents PTB/J320. A copy has been placed in the Library.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Income Support

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many men aged 70 to 75 years receive income support ; and what is this figure as a proportion of the total number of men aged 70 to 75 years.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The latest estimate is that there are some 82,000 men aged 70 to 74 (inclusive) dependent on income support. This represents 9 per cent. of all men in this age group.

Loans and Grants

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total value of (a) applications and payments for (i) budgetary loans, (ii) cash loans (iii) community care grants from the social fund for the 1988-89 financial year expressed in money terms and as a percentage of the available budget in respect of Department of Social Security offices covering the Nottingham, North constituency.

Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for each Leeds social security office the funds allocated in 1988-89, and in 1989-90 for social fund (a) loans and (b) grants and the total expenditure in 1988-89 for (i) loans and (ii) grants.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The information requested can be obtained from the Library.

However, social fund data for March 1989 are not yet available as a check of the figures has revealed some inaccuracies which have resulted from a new method of calculating the month end balances. The necessary adjustments are being made and the tables will be placed in the Library shortly.

In addition, the value of applications processed during December 1988 remains unavailable because of an earlier computer malfunction.

Attendance Allowance Board

Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on what dates in the current year the attendance allowance board has met.

Mr. Scott : The requested information is as follows :

Attendance Allowance Board Dates of meetings in 1989 (to 6 June 1989) 10 January 1989

17 January 1989

24 January 1989

31 January 1989

7 February 1989

14 February 1989

16 February 1989

21 February 1989

23 February 1989

28 February 1989

7 March 1989

14 March 1989

21 March 1989

30 March 1989

4 April 1989

11 April 1989

20 April 1989

25 April 1989 (am)

25 April 1989 (pm)

27 April 1989

4 May 1989

9 May 1989

16 May 1989

23 May 1989

6 June 1989

"Small board" case work meeting attended by the chairman or deputy chairman and two other members.

Formal meeting of the full attendance allowance board.


Column 213

Visual Handicap

Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will be able to publish the report of the working group on inter-agency collaboration on visual handicap.

Mr. Scott : I am pleased to announce that this report, which was commissioned in 1987 by the then Minister for the Disabled, is now available in book form (through Her Majesty's Stationery Office). Versions in braille, large print and on tape are available from the Department of Health. I am very grateful to the members of the working group, and I hope that the report will be carefully studied by all involved in statutory and voluntary services to visually handicapped people. I know that the detailed recommendations will be carefully considered by Ministers in the Department of Health and the Welsh Office.

Disability

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on what date he plans to publish the fourth report from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys on disability.

Mr. Scott [holding answer 7 June 1989] : The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys has today published the fourth report on the findings of the surveys of disability in Great Britain carried out between 1985 and 1988. The report covers all the remaining aspects of circumstances of disabled adults which were not included in reports 1 and 2, which were published last year. It provides information on a wide range of topics, including the use of services ; equipment and adaptations ; mobility and transport ; employment ; social and leisure activities ; and, for those in private households, the informal help and care received. For those in communal establishments, some aspects of residents' finances are described.

The large quantity of detailed and complex information contained in the report has been provided by disabled people themselves or their carers. It therefore reflects their own perception of their activities and experiences, including the type of services they receive and the disability equipment they use.

Taken together, the OPCS reports will provide the most comprehensive and detailed information ever collected about the circumstances of disabled people in this country.

We welcome comments on this report, as we have on the three already published.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Spain (Secretary of State's Visit)

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the follow-up action resulting from his visit to Spain, to discuss matters of mutual concern.

Mr. Hurd : I announced on 17 May the outcome of the meetings of European Community Immigration Ministers and Trevi Ministers, which I attended in Madrid on 12 May, in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Martin) at column 208. Suitable steps are being taken to give effect to these decisions.


Column 214

Dogs

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received concerning legislation for control of dogs ; what replies he has sent ; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if there is any action he will be taking in response to the increasingly frequent reports of serious attacks on children and others by dogs ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what immediate action he is taking to deal with attacks by Rottweilers on people and animals.

Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will introduce measures to ensure that dogs with inborn aggressive tendencies must wear muzzles when in public places ;

(2) if he will introduce measures to ensure that all dogs must be kept on a lead when in public places.

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if there is any action he will be taking in response to the increasingly frequent reports of serious attacks on children and others by dogs ; if he intends to use the statutory powers that may alleviate the problem ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have received about 55 representations and are examining the possibility of strengthening the legislation on dangerous dogs.

Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ban Rottweilers as domestic pets or from being held on domestic premises.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : I am not persuaded that a ban would be the right answer, but we are examining the possibility of strengthening the legislation on dangerous dogs.

Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make it his policy to ban Rottweilers and other dogs bred for fighting from being kept in domestic premises or as domestic pets, without the express permission of the police ; (2) what action he intends to take to deal with the problem of violent dogs and the environmental problems caused by neglected dogs.

Mr. Douglas Hogg [holding answer 6 June 1989] : The Government are examining the possibility of strengthening the legislation on dangerous dogs.

Terrestrial Broadcasting Transmission Networks (Study)

Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the study of privatisation options for the terrestrial broadcasting transmission networks which his Department commissioned from Price Waterhouse.

Mr. Hurd : I have today placed a copy of this report in the Library. Further copies are available from HMSO bookshops at a cost of £3.95.


Column 215

War Criminals

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he now expects to make a statement on the position of those persons in the United Kingdom who are alleged to have committed Nazi war crimes.

Mr. John Patten : I refer the hon. Member for the answer given to him on 11 May. I understand that the inquiry still expects to report this month.

Crime (Essex)

Mr. Janman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking in relation to crime in Essex ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Hayes) on 11 May at column 539 .

Deportation Orders

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deportation orders were signed by immigration officers in each of the last five years ; and how many of those were signed by officers at inspector level or above in each month since August 1988.

Mr. Renton [holding answer 6 June 1989] : Deportation orders are always signed by Ministers, normally by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

In the five years from 1984-88, the numbers of notices of intention to deport under section 3(5)(a) of the Immigration Act 1971, against which there is a right of appeal to the independent appellate authorities, signed by members of the immigration and nationality department were as follows :


       |Number       

---------------------

1984   |2,278        

1985   |1,578        

1986   |661          

1987   |794          

1988   |1,751        

Information about the number of notices of intention to deport signed by an immigration officer in this period on the authority of a responsible official in the deportation section of IND is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1 August 1988, notices of intention to deport under section 3(5)(a) may be authorised by a member of the immigration service at not less than inspector level. The number so authorised (and signed by an immigration officer) since 1988 is as follows :


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