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Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if there have been any cases where an unemployed claimant has had his benefits or credits stopped for refusing the offer of a place on employment training or for leaving the scheme before completion.
Mr. Lee : I am aware of only one case where an unemployed person had credits withheld because of a refusal to accept employment training. This decision was the result of an administrative error and I am satisfied that the case has now been rectified.
Because employment training is voluntary it is not training approved by the Secretary of State for the purposes of the Social Security Act. The right to
Column 290unemployment benefit and credits is not, therefore, affected by a refusal of employment training or leaving an employment training course early.
Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the target numbers of employment training places in September 1988 for the south Tyne and north Tyne areas, for the first year of operation of the employment training scheme.
Column 291training. Gardening training is available where there is a local demand from employers for people with gardening skills and a demand from trainees for this sort of training. In these circumstances, employment training trainees very often provide considerable gardening assistance to elderly and infirm people.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the 50 largest companies participating in the employment training programme, in each case stating the number of places they contracted for, the number of places so far filled, the latter as a percentage of the former and the level of expenditure so far on employment training advertising by each of these companies.
Mr. Nicholls : The table lists the information requested for those companies which have national employment training contracts through the large contractors unit. Other large companies have local contracts. However, for these organisations the information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at
disproportionate costs. There are other large companies who are participating in employment training as placement providers. Information concerning company expenditure on employment training advertising is the commercial information of the companies involved and thus is unavailable.
Large companies with Training Managers contracts through ET large contractors unit |Contracted places |Places filled at 28 April|Places filled as a |1989 |percentage of contracted |places ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amarc |1,380 |879 |64 Comet |354 |35 |10 Dixons |229 |6 |3 Habitat |200 |0 |0 Heron Service Stations |81 |1 |1 J. Jarvis and Sons Ltd. |2,468 |971 |39 Kalamazoo |200 |89 |45 John Laing Construction |2,208 |1,045 |47 Lloyds British Training Services |2,595 |1,950 |75 Remploy |456 |0 |0 Mothercare |50 |0 |0 Mowlem |405 |103 |25 Wimpey |472 |189 |40
It should be noted that several of these companies have only recently signed employment training, training managing contracts and therefore their occupancy figures have not yet built up.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many new businesses have started up in each of the last six months for which figures are available, and in the years 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 ; and what estimate he has of the average number of persons employed by each firm.
Mr. Cope : The table gives the date for 1985, 1986 and 1987, the latest year for which figures have been published. Early indications are that the figure for 1988 was greater. Monthly figures are not available. There are no estimates of the numbers employed by these new businesses.
VAT registrations in the United Kingdom: 1985-87 Registrations |Thousand ------------------------------------------ 1985 |182 1986 |191 1987 |205
Mr. Lee : The information is available from the Library. In April 1989, the number of unemployed claimants in the United Kingdom who had been unemployed for one year or more was 744,120 compared with 1, 295,146 in April 1987, a fall of 551,026 or 42.6 per cent. The comparison is slightly affected by the change in the count from September 1988 due to new benefit regulations affecting those people aged under 18 years.
Mr. Cope : During the eight years from the end of 1979 to the end of 1987, there were an estimated 1,416,000 new registrations for VAT. The percentage of new businesses still registered for VAT after two years is estimated to be 74 per cent.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any estimates of the number of jobs created by the factoring business in respect of the role in financing small businesses throughout the United Kingdom ; and what advice his Department is able to give to companies seeking guidance on the merits of factoring as distinct from bank loans.
Column 293factoring business. Our small firms service gives advice on all matters affecting small businesses, including where applicable the possibility of factoring. Basic advice on the possibilities of factoring as a method of improving cash flow is also given in the booklet "Prompt Payment Please". The appropriate method of raising finance including factoring, bank loans, or overdrafts, depends on the circumstances of the individual small business.
Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many new businesses were established by participants of the enterprise allowance scheme in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Cope : The information is not available in the form requested. Over 98,500 previously unemployed people set up a business through the enterprise allowance scheme in the year to 31 March 1989. Latest surveys indicate that around 80 per cent. of participants are sole traders, and nearly all others are in partnerships.
Mr. Cope : The information is set out in the table. figures for 1988 -89 include people joining the scheme in Cambridgeshire. All previous years show figures for Northamptonshire only. Numbers in each year to March 1986 are not available separately.
Financial year Total numbe that financial ye -------------------------- 1988-89 |1,227 1987-88 |888 1986-87 |446 1985-86 |} 1984-85 |} |1,226 1983-84 |}
Mr. Cope : A number of co-operative organisations have expressed varying views on the merits of the proposal to wind up the CDA. These representations are being given careful consideration. We will announce our conclusions and intentions in due course.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether the following five vacancies advertised by his Department's jobcentre in Edinburgh are offering rates of pay which fall below wages council rates in their sector : (a) Ref : 2761 E, (b) Ref : 1965 H, (c) Ref : 1985 R, (d) Ref : 1507 Q, and (e) Ref : 2752 K ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lee : Of the vacancies quoted, vacancy (d) Ref : 1507 Q is offering rates of pay which fall below wages council rates in the relevant sector. This error is regretted and my staff are now taking appropriate action to rectify it.
The subject of wages council rates is quite complex and in a service dealing with, on average, over 2.7 million vacancies a year, there is always the possibility that a few vacancies with wages below the minimum will slip through.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many Spanish-owned vessels are listed on the British fishing register, giving the number at each fishing port and the numbers who have ceased fishing or left the register since the Merchant Shipping Act was passed.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Since 1 April 1989, only vessels which are largely (at least 75 per cent.) beneficially owned, managed and controlled by British citizens resident in this country are eligible to be registered as British fishing vessels. As a result of the introduction of these new registration rules, some 150 vessels believed to be foreign have been refused registration as British fishing vessels.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the effect on the cost of beef in the shops of the underspending by £54 million in 1988 on beef support to producers.
Column 295and other competing meats, and consumer demand and preferences. Consumers are already benefiting from the fact that the new beef support arrangements include a much reduced role for intervention thereby leaving greater supplies on the market for consumers. Moreover, the estimated change in expenditure on variable premium and special premium payments to producers between 1988/89 and 1989/90 would be only one of the elements affecting the beef market : in addition to those already noted payments to producers in the coming year will also reflect the 42 per cent. increase in the suckler cow premium which was recently announced.
Mr. Michael Marshall : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received regarding delays in allocation for coast protection schemes by the Arun district council ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : My Department has received two letters recently from Arun district council setting out its needs for capital allocation for coast protection schemes. Coast protection authorities have been notified that allocation is likely to be in short supply this year. Authorities have been asked for an indication of their needs for capital allocation and I expect the first distribution to take place shortly.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on measures undertaken to protect the coastline of each relevant European Economic Community country, whether by Government action or voluntary agencies.
Mr. Ryder : In England, works are carried out by drainage authorities--water authorities, local authorities and internal drainage boards--under the Land Drainage Act 1976 to protect against flooding from the sea and tidal rivers, and by maritime district councils under the Coast Protection Act 1949 to protect the coastline against erosion. Since 1980 more than £320 million has been spent with Government support on capital works to protect the coastline. Recent increases in such support mean that by 1991-92 Government's annual provision will be almost £46 million for flood and coastal defences, of which over two thirds will be spent to protect the coast. Coastal works also attract higher grant rates. As well as major capital works, support is also provided towards comprehensive studies, such as that on the Anglian coastline, with a view to identifying the best techniques of protection for the future. With regard to the other members of the European Economic Community, my Department has limited information on the measures undertaken to protect coastlines. This information is primarily of a technical nature and arises from liaison with the responsible authorities with the aim of ensuring that we are fully conversant with latest developments in protection.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to be able to place in the Library a copy of the final version of the draft European Community Commission proposal on health conditions affecting the production and the placing in the
Column 296market of fishery products ; what consultations he has planned with the fish processing industry relating to the introduction of the changes proposed in the Commission's document ; when the proposal is expected to become law ; and what financial assistance will be available to the processors to comply with any new requirements.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The timing of this proposal to Council is uncertain, but I understand that the European Commission expects it to be issued during Sepember ; thereafter it will be deposited in the House within the usual time scale. We have consulted widely on the early working drafts, and there will be full consultation, including with processors, once the proposal emerges. I cannot yet say when the new fish hygiene requirements will become law ; this will need to be determined once the precise nature and scope of the new measures become clearer. Financial assistance through Community and national schemes under EC regulation 355/77 is currently available to processors to improve their facilities. While this regulation terminates for new applications in October 1990, the Commission has recently submitted proposals to the Council for a successor scheme.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a list of food stores under the control of the Intervention Board and indicate the type of food stored at each.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Stores used by the Intervention Board and the commodities stored are as follows. The grain stores at Chichester, Clifton, Dumfries, Gainsborough, Kidderminster, Louth, North Humberside and Whitchurch are Government owned ; all the others are commercial stores in which the board has hired space.
As the monthly notes deposited in the Library of the House indicate, there has been a very substantial reduction since 1985-86 in the volume of stocks of agricultural commodities held in intervention in this country.
Intervention store locations and commodities held as at 31 May 1989 Location |Commodities --------------------------------------------- Aberdeen |Beef Antrim |Beef Ballymena |Beef Banbridge |Butter Banbury |Butter Belfast |Beef, Butter Birmingham |Feedwheat Blackburn |Beef Bristol |Butter Cardiff |Beef, Butter Chichester |Feedwheat Cleethorpes |Beef Clifton, Yorks |Barley Coleraine |Beef, Butter Colnbrook |Beef Coventry |Barley Craigavon |Beef, Butter Cullompton |Beef, Butter Dumfries |Barley Dungannon |Beef Duns |Barley Dysart |Barley Ely |Barley Exeter |Beef, Butter Felixstowe |Barley Fleetwood |Butter Gainsborough |Feedwheat Glasgow |Beef, Butter Glenrothes |Barley, Beef, | Butter Goole |Butter Grantham |Beef Halesworth |Feedwheat Haresfield |Barley Heywood |Butter Hull |Beef, Butter Huntingdon |Feedwheat Kidderminster |Feedwheat, | Barley Leeds |Beef Lisburn |Beef Liverpool |Beef, Butter Londonderry |Beef Louth |Feedwheat Maldon |Feedwheat Manchester |Beef Market Drayton |Barley Market Rasen |Barley Newmarket |Feedwheat Newport |Butter Newry |Beef Newton Abbey |Beef, Butter North Humberside |Feedwheat, | Barley Omagh |Beef Ormiston |Barley Penicuick |Barley Peterborough |Beef, Butter Plymouth |Beef Portadown |Beef, Butter Preston |Butter Salisbury |Barley Scunthorpe |Beef, Butter Sherborne |Butter Shrewsbury |Beef Staughton |Barley Strabane |Beef, Butter Stracathro |Barley Swansea |Butter Tamworth |Beef, Butter Telford |Barley Tranent |Barley Truro |Beef, Butter Turriff |Barley Whitchurch |Barley Whittlesey |Barley Wigan |Beef Wimblington |Feedwheat Wolverhampton |Butter
Mr. Ryder : The information requested by my hon. Friend is not available. Customs and Excise statistics indicate that there are currently 260 working breweries in the United Kingdom compared with 191 on 1 January
Column 2981980. These figures reflect both closures and newly established breweries over this period. Further information may be obtained from the Brewers' Society's statistical handbook.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether his Department is sponsoring research into the incidence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle which consumed, as calves, infected animal feed as part of a herd of which other members have subsequently been confirmed as bovine spongiform encephalopathy infected.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether heat treatment of 80 C for 30 minutes is proven to be sufficient to inactivate the infective agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action his Department has taken to identify those suppliers of ruminant-based protein for cattle rations whose supplies were originally responsible for the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 8 May, Official Report, column 340, if he has now collected the information about ante-mortem inspections of cattle.
slaughterhouses. Of these eight and 16 respectively were confirmed.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the arrangements whereby his Department funds the royal botanic gardens at Kew ; and what are the funding levels from his Department for the last three years and for the next two years.
* |£ ------------------------------------------ <1>1987-88 |11,387,000 <1>1988-89 |<2>10,987,000 <1>1989-90 |<3>10,598,000 <1> The downward trend in funding over this period reflects the completion of a major capital works programme. <2> Provisional outturn. <3> Estimated outturn.
Present plans for provision of grant in aid over the next two years are for expenditure of £11 million in 1990-91 and £11.2 million in 1991- 92, but these will need to be considered, together with other priorities, in the course of the public expenditure surveys.
Mr. Donald Thompson : My Department works in close collaboration with a number of research establishments. This includes, in relation to research into scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the MRC/AFRC's neuropathogenesis unit in Edinburgh.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library a copy of the agricultural development advisory service research and development report, "Mammal and Bird Pests 1983".
Column 300(2) what is his Department's definition of (a) farmed deer, (b) parkland deer, and (c) wild deer ;
(3) what is his estimate of the extent of bovine tuberculosis in deer in the United Kingdom ;
(4) what steps his Ministry is taking to combat tuberculosis in deer.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Legislation has been introduced making tuberculosis in deer notifiable, together with marking and movement record requirements. A slaughter with compensation scheme is being urgently considered, as is the introduction of a voluntary health scheme based on herd testing. A blood test has been developed to support the intradermal tuberculin test and surveys are being conducted to assess the extent of tuberculosis in wild deer. Since 1971 only eight wild deer have been found to be infected. A total of eight deer herds are known to be infected and this compares to some 250 farmed deer herds in this country. Article 13(4)(b) of the Tuberculosis (Deer) Order 1989 defines farmed deer ; parkland deer and wild deer are not similarly defined.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, further to his answer of 26 May, Official Report, column 806, he will list the other treatments available in eliminating hepatitis A ; and if he will make a statement.