Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what discussion on nuclear power took place between Ministers or officials from his Department and John Harris, chairman of the East Midlands electricity board, on Wednesday 12 July ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Faulds : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will specify the allocations made to public institutions in the United Kingdom during the half-year ended 30 June of individual works of art and museum objects pre-eminent for national, scientific, historical or artistic interests which have been accepted in satisfaction of inheritance tax or capital transfer tax, together with information, where applicable, as to conditions or wishes expressed by testators or executors in the matter of allocation ; whether he will list the works of art and museum objects which are still awaiting allocation, with the respective dates of their acceptance in satisfaction of inheritance tax or capital transfer tax ; and whether the customary press notice will be issued from the Office of Arts and Libraries covering the information given in his reply.
Items allocated |To whom allocated |Conditions/wishes |expressed ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "The Artist's Studio" by Peter Tillemans |Castle Museum, Norwich |Conditional Bryant letters |Imperial War Museum |Unconditional Two busts by Roubiliac |National Museums of Scotland |Conditional upon remaining in situ at Mellerstain | House Two portraits by Angelica Kauffman |National Galleries of Scotland |Conditional upon allocation to the Scottish | National Portrait Gallery "Fabula" by El Greco |National Galleries of Scotland |Conditional Rubens Cameo |Ashmolean Museum, Oxford |Conditional Nine portraits |National Galleries of Scotland |Conditional upon remaining in situ at Cawdor | Castle Naum Gabo Sculpture |Leeds City Art Gallery |Unconditional Flower painting by Jacob Marrel |Bowes Museum, County Durham |Unconditional "A Tartar Huntsman" by Rubens |Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge |Wish expressed that it be allocated to Fitzwilliam
Items accepted but not |Date of acceptance yet allocated -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Allee a Chantilly" by Cezanne A press notice is being issued. |23 March 1989
Mr. Redwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in deciding what treatments will be permitted under private medical insurance contracts which will be eligible for tax relief from 6 April 1990; and if he will make a statement.
Our intention is that a comprehensive range of treatments will be permitted under private medical insurance contracts which attract tax relief. Contracts will therefore be permitted to cover charges for medical and surgical procedures (including diagnosis), the purpose of which is the relief of illness or injury, given or personally controlled by a registered medical or dental practitioner in the United Kingdom. Contracts may cover charges or fees, consequent on such procedures, for nursing (including home nursing), physiotherapy, speech therapy, chiropody, equipment, drugs, dressings, prostheses, hospital accommodation, other hospital services, transport, and convalescence in the United Kingdom for up to 14 days after an operation. Specialist fees and theatre fees will also be covered. In addition, contracts will be permitted to cover GP operations, including associated drugs, dressings and so on, but not subsequent prescriptions.
The following will not, however, be permitted : "alternative medicine", dental procedures carried out in a general dental practice, general ophthalmic procedures not carried out in hospital, any medical or surgical procedures (other than GP operations) not carried out on an in-patient, outpatient or day patient basis, and cash benefits (except sums of up to £5 per night during private in-patient treatment).
Regulations giving effect to these provisions will be laid before the House in the autumn.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report, the amount and share of pre-tax income accruing to (a) the top 1 per cent., (b) the top 5 per cent., (c) the top 10 per cent., (d) the top 25 per cent., (e) the bottom 70 per cent., (f) the bottom 5 per cent. and (g) all taxpayers in the year 1989-90 and the amount and share of tax liability for each of these groups.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 19 June 1989] : Information is given in the table. Estimates are based on a projection of the 1986-87 survey of personal incomes and are provisional ; they include estimates of occupational pension contributions and investment income not reported to tax offices.
I regret that information on the bottom 5 per cent. of taxpayers is not available.
Gross incomes before tax and share of income tax liabilities 1989-90 Group of taxpayers |Gross income before tax|Income tax liabilities ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Top 1 per cent. Amount £ billion |21.0 |6.7 Share per cent. |7.0 |13.0 Top 5 per cent. Amount £ billion |56.7 |15.1 Share per cent. |18.0 |30.0 Top 10 per cent. Amount £ billion |87.7 |20.8 Share per cent. |28.0 |41.0 Amount £ billion |154.6 |31.9 Share per cent. |49.0 |62.0 Bottom 70 per cent. Amount £ billion |141.8 |16.5 Share per cent. |45.0 |32.0 All taxpayers Amount £ billion |313.7 |51.2
Mr. Redwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the sterling component of the net public sector debt outstanding at (a) the end of December 1988 ; and (b) the end of the financial year 1988-89.
Mr. Lilley : Figures for public sector financial assets and liabilities at the end of December 1988 will be published in "Financial Statistics" for September as part of a breakdown of financial assets and liabilities for each main sector in the economy. These data do not identify the sterling component explicitly. The net public sector debt at the end of March 1989 will be published in the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin for November. From these data it will be possible to make an estimate of the sterling component.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received about the procedures concerning value added tax within free ports ; whether he will apply existing customs rules within free ports ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : As my right hon. Friend announced yesterday, he proposes that overseas-trained teachers, including those from Australasia, should be eligible to be licensed teachers, and in certain cases should obtain qualified teacher status after only one term's service.
|Pupils |(thousands) ------------------------------------- January 1979 |8,085.2 January 1988 |6,462.3 <1> aged at previous 31 August.
Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has received recent representations from the Napier polytechnic students association, Edinburgh, about student loans ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Hampson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science by how many the establishment of civil servants in his Department has changed as a consequence of the increased responsibilities of and expenditure on the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council and the Universities Funding Council.
Mr. Jackson : Setting aside the implications of the UFC's employing its own staff, the effect on the Department's staffing of the increased responsibilities of the two funding councils has been offset by the change to funding from the Department's votes for the polytechnics and colleges sector and by the need for transitional arrangements for that transfer.
Mr. Kenneth Baker : The Government have decided to make available a transitional grant totalling £100 million in 1990-91 to assist the inner London boroughs and the City as they take on responsibility for education. We plan that the grant will be phased out over a five-year period. The precise profile of the grant and the method of distributing it will be announced in the autumn.
Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing teacher vacancies by region in January 1989, distinguishing between vacancies in (a) nursery and primary schools and (b) secondary schools.
Mr. Butcher [pursuant to his reply, 20 June 1989, c. 81-82] : Information on the number of teacher vacancies in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England is now available for all regions. The figures are :
|Nursery and Primary|Secondary schools |schools ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North |92 |62 Yorkshire and Humberside |200 |155 North West |307 |219 East Midlands |145 |145 West Midlands |222 |262 East Anglia |47 |59 Greater London |1,305 |819 Other South East |617 |542 South West |181 |161 |---- |---- England |3,116 |2,424
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he intends to enact for Northern Ireland the provisions of the Children Bill, currently being enacted for Great Britain ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Needham : Preparation of legislation is already in hand to replace the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 and to revise enactments dealing with family law matters and, in the light of changes to be introduced by the Children Bill, a working party of officials is to give careful consideration to the implications for Northern Ireland. It is hoped that a consultation paper will be issued shortly inviting views.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what conclusions he has reached about the recommendations in the Griffiths report on care in the community ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Needham : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health last week announced the Government's conclusions on the recommendations in the Griffiths report. On the same day, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security announced corresponding changes in the benefit system. Full details of the new arrangements, as they will apply to Great Britain, will be published in a White Paper later this year.
The Griffiths report did not extend to Northern Ireland, where we already have an integrated administration structure for the health and personal social services. I have asked the health and social services boards in carrying out the current review of their management structures to ensure that their proposals meet the management needs of the personal social services as well as those of the health services, and facilitate the co- ordinated provision of health and social care. I have also kept in close touch with the Government's detailed consideration of the Griffiths recommendations, whose emphasis on the development of care in the community is very much in keeping with our own regional strategy for the health and personal social services.
In particular, we are already committed to enabling people who need care to stay in or return to their own homes and neighbourhoods and live there with as much dignity and independence as their disabilities allow. This means making available improved and better co-ordinated services in the community. It means ensuring that
Column 185members of the public have access to the information and objective professional advice they need to make sensible choices about the way they run their lives. It means ensuring that an extensive range of services is available, including support for the dedicated relatives, friends, neighbours and volunteers who will continue to provide so much care so unselfishly. And it means ensuring that public money is used as effectively and efficiently as possible to meet the needs of clients of the health and personal social services and their informal carers.
Substantial resources have been devoted in recent years to improving community care services in Northern Ireland. I will give some concrete examples of the progress that has been made between 1979-80 and 1986-87. Expenditure on community health services rose by 32 per cent. in real terms, and on personal social services by 29 per cent. Attendances by mentally ill people at day hospitals arose by 26 per cent. and at out- patient clinics by 40 per cent. Training centre places for mentally handicapped adults have almost doubled. Day care places for various groups rose by 28 per cent. The number of community psychiatric nurses more than trebled. In addition, Northern Ireland has shared in the rising national expenditure on social security benefits to support individuals in residential and nursing homes and other accommodation.
Earlier this month I announced an additional injection of resources amounting to £6 million over the next three years, to be used as bridging finance to support patients discharged from long-stay hospitals. This brought the total bridging funds available to health and social services boards over the five-year period from 1987 to £18 million, all of it specifically targeted towards enabling mentally ill and mentally handicapped people to move out of long-stay institutions and into the community. There remains much more to be done, and I am confident that our health and social services boards will rise to the challenge.
At present people who are unable to support themselves and need social care can look to two separate sources of help : to social security offices for payments towards the cost of places in residential and nursing homes and to health and social services boards for home care, day care and residential care services. This arrangement is not consistent with the priority which we wish to give to supporting people at home where that is otherwise possible and desirable. Social security payments for residential and nursing home care are not subject to any assessment of individual need for care. The same changes to the social security system will be introduced in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the United Kingdom, and funds will be transferred on the same basis to the boards. In the longer term, they will become fully responsible for funding the care element of public support for people in private and voluntary residential and nursing homes and for ensuring that services are developed and funds allocated in accordance with their assessment of individuals' care needs.
As in Great Britain, residents of private or voluntary residential and nursing homes will from April 1991 be given access to help from the normal income support system and from housing benefit on a similar basis to the help they would receive in their own home. Existing residents of private or voluntary homes who are already in receipt of income support or who may
Column 186become eligible for such support at any point after that date will continue to be covered by the present arrangements.
To derive maximum benefit from establishing boards as a unified source of public funding for community care, priority will be given to the development of assessment procedures so that services can be planned on the basis of full and accurate information about each individual's need and a better balance achieved between residential care and support for people living in their own homes. Close attention will be paid to devising arrangements which will provide members of the public with easily understood access to information about services and help suited to their individual needs. People who are thinking of entering a residential or nursing home, whether on a private basis or with public funding, are particularly likely to benefit from objective advice about any other options available to them.
Boards will continue to meet the full cost of accommodating people in statutory homes, subject to their existing powers to charge according to resident's ability to pay. There will be no change in the benefit rules applying to residents in these homes.
The new arrangements will clearly have expenditure implications for boards and my Department will take these into account when determining their financial allocations.
I will be giving careful consideration to the development of suitable planning and monitoring arrangements to allow me to assess the implementation of the new policy.
My Department issued a consultative document last November on the registration and inspection of private and voluntary residential and nursing homes, and is now considering the responses, totalling over 100, which have been received. Proposals for a Registered Homes Order will be brought forward later this year, to consolidate and update existing legislation.
In Northern Ireland, the current strategy for the health and personal social services is to reduce the number of occupied beds in mental illness and mental handicap hospitals rather than to promote a programme of hospital closures. The substantial bridging funds to which I have already referred are being allocated against specific schemes identified by the four boards to develop and expand community facilities and services in advance of patients being discharged from hospital. Discharges of long-stay patients, who will have the greatest adjustments to make to life in the community, are already the subject of careful planning. They take place only after the patients concerned have taken part in a programme of rehabilitation and proper services and facilities are in place to support them in the community. Earlier this year, my Department invited tenders for a monitoring and evaluation project which will track all long stay patients discharged into the community over a three-year period ; evaluate the care they receive ; and focus on their quality of life and that of their informal carers. A paper will be published in the autumn which will spell out in greater detail the implications of these changes for Northern Ireland, and explain how they will fit in with the new arrangements to be introduced on foot of the current review of boards' management structures.
I am confident that the Government's proposals, and in particular the establishment of a single source of funding for community care, will enable a higher priority than ever before to be given to the co-ordinated development of
Column 187services aimed at supporting people in their own homes, at providing more help for families and other informal carers and at developing the part played by voluntary and other interests in achieving these objectives.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister what changes in the policies of Her Majesty's Government are envisaged arising from the increased use of junk bonds in relation to British companies ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assurances about the future regulatory framework for media ownership of satellite services broadcasting to the United Kingdom were given by the Government to satellite broadcasting companies prior to the launch of Sky Television.
Mr. Renton : Our proposals for regulating ownership in the independent television sector were published in paragraphs 6.48 to 6.53 of the White Paper "Broadcasting in the '90s : Competition, Choice and Quality" (Cm 517), which was presented to Parliament on 7 November 1988. These proposals were amplified in a written answer on 19 May at column 317 .
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to shorten the time taken to deal with applications for British citizenship ; and what is the current average time taken to process applications.
Despite the provision of a considerable number of additional staff to process citizenship applications, the
Column 188number of applications received at the end of 1987 was so great that there is no prospect of average processing times being reduced in the immediate future. However, we expect there to be an improvement during 1990-91 when the backlog of registrations has been cleared.
Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has now received the report of the scrutiny of the magistrates courts service which he announced on 17 January ; and what action he proposes to take on it.
Mr. Hurd : I am today publishing the report of the scrutiny, which was completed on 4 July. The report includes wide-ranging proposals for the reconstruction of the magistrates courts service as an executive agency with a number of specific proposals directed towards improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the service while maintaining public confidence in the impartial administration of local justice. The major proposals would require legislation. The report, rightly, accepts as a fundamental principle that judicial decisions in the magistrates courts must be wholly independent of Government direction.
I welcome the report's thorough and perceptive analysis of the problems facing the magistrates courts service. I welcome also its recognition of the considerable efforts now being made by the members of the magistrates courts service to improve its performance within the limits imposed by the present system.
The proposals raise issues of considerable importance. Before reaching decisions on the scrutiny I should like the interested parties, including the bodies representing the magistracy, justices' clerks and their staff and local authorities, to let me have their considered views, and to provide an opportunity for public comment more generally. Consultations will begin shortly, and it would be helpful if initial comments could be sent to the Home Office (Room 418, Queen Anne's Gate) by 30 September.
Mr. John Patten : The available information relates to findings of guilt for driving, etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs and is published annually by police force area in table 16 of "Offences relating to motor vehicles, England and Wales, Supplementary tables" ; copies are in the Library. The latest issue relates to 1987 ; figures for 1988 will be published in the autumn.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information requested is published annually in a Home Office statistical bulletin "Statistics of breath tests, England and Wales" ; copies are in the Library. Table 5 of issue 8/89 gives the figures for 1987 ; figures for 1988 will be published in August.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will call for a report from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis about the progress of the investigation into the alleged racial attack involving murder upon an Asian family in their home in Flower and Dean walk, Stepney, on Sunday 9 July ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The conduct of the investigation is a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I understand that the police are conducting a major investigation into what appears at present to have been an attempted robbery which ended in murder.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the speed of police response to emergency calls alleging racial attack ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : No record of the number of such representations is kept centrally. The report of the interdepartmental racial attacks group published in May 1989 recommends that, where there is public concern about the police response in cases alleging racial attacks, the police should monitor their response times carefully.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will request the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to publish an addendum to the latest edition of his annual report for 1988 on the force order on racial harassment issued in June 1987 which set out guidelines for the police investigating racial harassment and monitoring investigations of racial harassment ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : While it is not the general policy of the Commissioner to make public force orders, an exception has been made to the extract from police orders of 26 June 1987 which dealt with racial attacks and harassment. This has been published as annex H of the report of the interdepartmental racial attacks group published in May 1989. Copies of this report are available in the Library of the House. The Government fully support the many initiatives taken by the Metropolitan police to combat racial attacks and harassment.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation there has been of the effectiveness of the force order on racial harassment ; whether it will be made public ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : An internal management review of force instructions on racial attacks and harassment was carried out in 1988. This showed that all divisions within the Metropolitan police have adopted the minimum requirements set down, with most providing additional services in consultation with their local communities. The review is not being made public, but is being used to spread good practice throughout the force.
Mr. Bright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to bring forward proposals to make parents accept responsibility for failing to prevent crimes by their children ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Patten : The debate about the proposals put forward earlier this year for increasing parents' responsibility for their children's offending is continuing. Views have been received from a number of interested parties covering matters including parental attendance at juvenile court hearings ; parental liability for fines and compensation orders imposed upon their children ; and the wider use of existing penalties. We shall decide how to proceed in the light of those and other responses.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of requests for advice or assistance with the preparation of immigration appeals made to the UKIAS in Glasgow in each year since 1979.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 6 July 1989] : The United Kingdom Immigrants Advisory Service is an independent organisation and the Home Office keeps no central records of the number of people assisted by the service at its Glasgow office. UKIAS does, however, publish an annual report which gives information on its workload on a regional basis. Copies are available in the Library.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the appellate authority about delays in presenting immigration appeals in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Renton [holding answer 6 July 1989] : None. Delays in the hearing of appeals are essentially a matter for my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor who has responsibility for the immigration appeals system.