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Mr. Peter Lloyd : Income support is paid as a total amount intended to cover all normal day-to-day living expenses. There is no specific proportion included to cover individual items such as food.

Medical Appeal Tribunals

Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many medical appeal tribunals have been held in Edinburgh for each of the past five years ; and how many of these found in favour of the applicant and how many against.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I regret that the Department does not hold the information requested. However, the office of the


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President of Social Security and Medical Appeal Tribunals keeps certain statistics and the hon. Member may care to contact it direct.

Residential Homes

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current minimum and maximum difference in Nottingham between charges levied by private residential homes in Nottingham and the maximum weekly payment made by his Department ; and how many elderly people have been evicted from residential homes in Nottingham in the last 12 months.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : The level of charges in a residential care home is a matter between the residents and the owners of the home. Information on the fees charged by individual homes or on evictions is not collected centrally.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the maximum weekly payment made by his Department in Nottingham to support elderly people in private residential and private nursing homes.


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Mr. Peter Lloyd : The maximum weekly payments towards fees in residential care and nursing homes from income support are :


                                  |Residential care homes|Nursing homes                                

                                  |£                     |£                                            

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

Elderly                           |140                   |190                                          

Elderly and blind or elderly and                                                                       

  entitled to the higher rate of                                                                       

  attendance allowance            |155                   |-                                            

Physically disabled and the                                                                            

  disability began under pension                                                                       

  age                             |200                   |235                                          

Suffering from a terminal illness |-                     |235                                          

Retirement Allowance

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the numbers of people who retired on or after 10 April 1989 who no longer receive the reduced earnings allowance but receive the retirement allowance ; what is the maximum loss of income which this change causes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is estimated that 1,200 people who retired on or after 10 April 1989 are in receipt of retirement allowance. For virtually all recipients, the maximum possible benefit loss would be £21.36 a week. For a very small number of beneficiaries, fewer than five, who have two awards at the maximum rate of reduced earnings allowance, the maximum loss would be £49.84 a week.

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the estimated saving in public expenditure in each of the next five years from replacing the reduced earnings allowance with the retirement allowance for people who retired on or after 10 April ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is not feasible to give firm estimates of future savings from this change. The estimated savings for the next three years are as follows :


          |£ million          

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

1989-90   |2.0                

1990-91   |5.6                

1991-92   |9.7                

Social Fund

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy to create a right of appeal against refusals of social fund applications to independent social security appeal tribunals ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : No. Arrangements for review of decisions by social fund officers, first by a senior manager in the social security local office and, secondly, if the applicant remains dissatisfied, by an independent social fund inspector, are already provided for in social security legislation. These arrangements are more in keeping with the discretion-based social fund scheme than the appeal system which applies to other social security benefits where entitlement depends upon a person satisfying specific conditions or rules set out in regulations.


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Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he proposes to publish his annual report on the social fund.

Mr. Moore : The report has been published today. It contains detailed information about the first year's operation of the social fund. I am happy to report that, despite the early fears expressed regarding the operation of the scheme, the figures speak for themselves ; over 1 million people have received help from the fund, which has operated flexibly and in a way not previously possible under the old single payments scheme.

Over half a million people on income support have received interest-free budgeting loans averaging £214, nearly 400,000 have received interest- free crisis loans averaging £45, an 153,000 people in vulnerable groups or families under stress have been helped with non-repayable community care grants averaging £271. There have been many examples of imaginative use of discretion by social fund officers which has enabled them to direct help to where it was most needed.

The staff and management of my Department accepted the new challenge which the social fund presented. It is evident that those involved have worked hard to master the very different principles of this new scheme. It is a significant achievement by all concerned, all the more so when set against a background of hostility and scepticism from some quarters. And we are now seeing the tremendous experience gained in the first year being put to good use in the second.

Copies are available in the Library.

Mr. Pietro Camerino

Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when his Department intends to pay Mr. Pietro Camerino of 298 Harnall lane east, Coventry, the arrears of sickness and invalidity benefit that his Department's overseas branch has acknowledged are owed to Mr. Camerino since November 1984 ; if he intends to make any compensatory payment to Mr. Camerino ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : Benefit has been paid to Mr. Camerino by his local social security office since 24 March 1989. Urgent arrangements are being made for the arrears of sickness benefit and invalidity benefit due from November 1984 to be paid to Mr. Camerino and payment should arrive shortly. A compensatory payment is being considered and I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Child Benefit

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will make it his policy to extend payment of child benefit in respect of young people over 19 years who are required to remain in secondary education.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : No.

Access Committee for England

Mr. Gregory : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether the Minister responsible for the disabled is yet in a position to make a statement on the future of the Access Committee for England.

Mr. Scott : I have written to the retiring chairman of the Access Committee, Mr. Arthur Goldthorpe, and to the


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chairman of the Centre on Environment for the Handicapped, the body which, at the Government's request, hosts the Committee, Mr. John Penton, to announce my decision on the future arrangements for the committee. In making my decision, I have taken account of the views I have received from the members of both the Access Committee and the CEH management committee. I have accepted the majority view that it would be best to retain a link between the committee and CEH. Their differing but complementary roles means that they can be more effective if they work together on access issues.

However, I recognise that the Access Committee needs a more clearly defined independence of policy and finances, and that it needs a stronger direction. These needs have been provided for in the letters I have today sent to Mr. Penton and Mr. Goldthorpe, and will be fully reflected in the terms of reference for the committee which the Government will issue later in the summer.

I hope to announce the appointment of the new chairman of the Access Committee shortly. Following that appointment, I hope that the Committee will be able to resume full effectiveness in the autumn. I am very grateful to all those concerned for their help and patience in the resolution of the difficulties of the Access Committee. I believe that we have now found a positive and constructive way forward.

A copy of my letter to Mr. Penton has been placed in the Library.

Disability

Mr. Ron Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he has received recent representations from the British Council of Organisations of Disabled People about public funding ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman : I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mrs. Barnes) on 14 July 1989 at column 658.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Bread (Northern Ireland)

41. Mr. Kilfedder : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will set up an inquiry into the high cost of bread in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Maude : Under United Kingdom competition legislation it falls to the Director General of Fair Trading to keep commercial activities in the United Kingdom under review. The director general's office has considered the competitive situation in the retail sale of bread in Northern Ireland, and has taken into account the report of the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland on the price of a large loaf in Northern Ireland published on 29 June, but does not consider that formal action under the competition legislation is warranted. If the hon. Member has any evidence of monopoly abuse, anti-competitive or restrictive trade practices he should draw it to the attention of the Director General of Fair Trading.

Insurance Brokers

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many brokers are registered under the Insurance Brokers Registration Act 1977.


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Mr. Maude : As at 13 July 1989, 18,270 individuals, and 3,145 bodies corporate, were registered.

Investment

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement about the level of investment in industry during the period 1979 to 1988.

Mr. Atkins : The latest estimates show that investment in the manufacturing, construction, distribution and financial industries in 1988 was at a record level of £34.2 billion at 1985 prices. This was around 60 per cent. higher than the level in 1979.

European Single Market

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans his Department is making to mark the arrival of the open market of 1 January 1993 with exhibitions, exchanges, media campaigns or similar events.

Mr. Newton [holding answer 17 July 1989] : We will be considering how to mark the occasion in due course. My Department's "Europe Open For Business" campaign is already alerting the business community to the opportunities and challenges the single market will bring, recognising that many of the measures to complete the single market will of course have been implemented well before 1 January 1993.

Credit Cards

Mr. Michael Morris : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the supply of credit card services in the United Kingdom will be published ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude : The report will not be published before the recess.

Film Industry

Mr. Hanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has for future funding of the British film industry.

Mr. Atkins : My Department is already committed to providing support of £2 million a year through British Screen Finance Ltd. for the five years 1986-90. I am pleased to announce that we have decided that this should continue at the same level for a further three years, until the end of 1993. I hope this clear indication of further Government support for United Kingdom film-making will help BSF to build on its achievements to date and that industry will also extend its own commitment.

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair

Ms. Quin : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will give the total amounts of the grants applied for by his Department from the European Commission for assistance under the Renaval programme for (a) Plymouth, (b) Gibraltar and (c) Strathclyde ;

(2) if he will list the information supplied by his Department to the European Community in support of the applications for assistance under the Renaval programme for (a) Plymouth, (b) Gibraltar and (c) Strathclyde ;


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(3) if he will supply the following information required under the terms of the Renaval regulation in respect of (a) Tyne and Wear, (b) Cleveland, (c) Merseyside and (d) Plymouth (i) the average rate of unemployment and the European Community average in the last three years and (ii) the percentage of industrial employment in total employment and the European Community average ;

(4) what information he has on the total number of redundancies in the shipbuilding and ship repair industries in Gibraltar since 1 January 1984 ;

(5) what is the total number of redundancies in the shipbuilding and ship repair industries in Plymouth since 1 January 1984 ; (6) what is the total number of redundancies in the shipbuilding and ship repair industries in (a) Wearside, (b) Tyneside and (c) Tyne and Wear county since 1 January 1984 ;


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(7) what is the total number of redundancies in the shipbuilding and ship repair industries in the county of Cleveland since 1 January 1984.

Mr. Atkins : The European Commission has stipulated that grants can be based on up to 3200 ecu for each qualifying job loss in shipbuilding or ship repair. At prevailing exchange rates this would amount to £13.25 million for Plymouth, £1.34 million for Gibraltar and £14.5 million for Strathclyde.

The information supplied by the Government in support of the applications related to the criteria for eligibility set out in the Renaval regulation, (EEC) No. 2506/8.

The information requested on unemployment rates and industrial employment is as follows :


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                                                                                                                         |Total job losses shipbuilding and ship repair since 1 January 1984                                                      |Average rate of unemployment 1986-88                                                                                    |Industrial employment (standard industrial classification 1 to 5) in total employment in 1984, the latest available year                                                                                                                         

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

Tyne and Wear                                                                                                            |9,375                                                                                                                   |17.3                                                                                                                    |34.3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  of which:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  Wearside                                                                                                               |2,775                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  Tyneside                                                                                                               |6,600                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Cleveland                                                                                                                |1,680                                                                                                                   |19.7                                                                                                                    |36.6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Merseyside                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        |20.1                                                                                                                    |31.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Plymouth                                                                                                                 |5,675                                                                                                                   |12.8                                                                                                                    |33.8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Gibraltar                                                                                                                |580                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

European Community average (estimate on comparable basis)                                                                |-                                                                                                                       |11.9                                                                                                                    |35.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Sources:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

United Kingdom data-Department of Employment. Figures exclude self-employed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

EC data-Statistical Office of the European Communities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Eligibility also depends on the shipbuilding and ship repair proportion of industrial employment.

NESL

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many letters his Department (a) received from the Anglo-Greek bidders for NESL between 1 January and 30 June and (b) sent to the Anglo-Greek bidders for NESL between 1 January and 30 June.

Mr. Newton : One letter was sent and a reply received. The Department also received copies of certain correspondence between the bidders and British Shipbuilders.

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on how many occasions during (a) 1988 and (b) 1989 (i) the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) and (ii) himself met representatives of interests bidding for NESL.

Mr. Newton : The only such meeting was between myself and one of the interests in bidding for the yards, at their request, on 11 May 1989.

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould), 13 July, Official Report , column 1151 , if he will specify (a) on what day in May a second shipbuilding bid was received for NESL and (b) whether this bid was in writing at that time.


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Mr. Newton : British Shipbuilders received a formal offer in writing on 3 May.

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould), 13 July, Official Report , column 1151 , on what day an approach was made by officials of his Department to the Commission concerning a shipbuilding bid for NESL.

Mr. Newton : My officials saw Commission officials on 10 April following British Shipbuilders receipt of the first offer concerning shipbuilding on 6 April.

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what were (a) the terms of credit agreed by his Department for the contract for two vessels to be built at the Govan yard for the Cosco company of the People's Republic of China and (b) the terms of credit requested by Cuban shipping interests in connection with their inquiries for NESL for 10 SDIS King cargo ships.

Mr. Newton : The credit terms for the two ships presently being completed at Kvaerner Govan Ltd. on behalf of British Shipbuilders for Cosco are financed under the £300 million financial arrangement relating to development loans signed between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of China in May 1986. Under this arrangement 20 years' credit is available for the whole value of a transaction at an interest rate of 5 per cent. with a five-year moratorium. Acemex on behalf of


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Mambisa was looking for standard OECD shipping terms of 8 per cent. for 80 per cent. of the price of 10 ships with credit stretched from 8 to 15 years. It was also looking for credit for the 20 per cent. deposit on the best terms available.

Cuban Shipping Interests

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on how many occasions between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989 (a) he, or the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke) and (b) his officials, met representatives of Cuban shipping interests.

Mr. Newton : My officials met representatives of the Cuban shipping company Mambisa in Havana in July 1988. They have had other meetings with financial advisers to Acemex, a company which provides certain services in Mambisa.

British Shipbuilders

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date the Government formally decided to wind up British Shipbuilders Ltd. as a publicly owned corporation.

Mr. Newton : The Government decided to proceed with the disposal of British Shipbuilders' remaining facilities in April 1988. There are no plans at present to bring before the House proposals for legislation to wind up British Shipbuilders as a public corporation.

Enterprise Zone, Sunderland

Mr. Clay : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date he informed Tyne and Wear urban development corporation that preparations for an enterprise zone in Sunderland were to be suspended.

Mr. Newton : I announced to the House on 7 June that elements of the proposed remedial package not yet implemented, including designation of an enterprise zone, would be held in abeyance until decisions had been taken about the expressions of interest in NESL. The Tyne and Wear urban development corporation was informed the same day.

Manufacturing Investment

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the amount of net manufacturing investment in new buildings, machinery and plant in the period 1980 to 1988 ; and what was the comparable figure for 1971 to 1979.

Mr. Major : I have been asked to reply.

The latest estimates of net domestic fixed capital formation by manufactured industry for 1977-87 appear in the 1988 edition of the Central Statistical Office publication "United Kingdom National Accounts", table 13.5. Estimates for earlier years may be obtained from the CSO Databank, a collection of macroeconomic time series in computer readable form to which the House of Commons Library has direct access. Estimates for 1988 are not yet available. Separate estimates of net investment in new buildings and works, and plant and machinery are not of publishable quality.

The published figures do not include capital goods leased from financial sector lessors. Furthermore, there are


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difficulties in measuring net domestic fixed capital formation since the national accounts estimates of the economic lives of fixed assets, used to estimate capital consumption, are very broad brush.

Balance of Trade

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he has made an estimate of the balance of trade with Germany in 1992 ;

(2) if he has made an estimate of the United Kingdom's balance of trade with the European Community in 1992.

Mr. Major : I have been asked to reply.

No.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Proceedings of the House (Telephone Relay)

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Lord President of the Council what progress has been made on the proposal that a live relay of the proceedings of the House be made available to telephone subscribers as part of British Telecom's range of specialist call services.

Mr. Wakeham : A proposal from BT Citicall for a live telephone relay of the 1988 Budget speech lapsed, as the House had not nominated the Select Committee on Sound Broadcasting, to which it would have fallen to consider this application for the use of the sound feed. On 26 May this year the House agreed that the relevant responsibilities of that Committee should be transferred to the Select Committee on Televising of Proceedings of the House. I understand that BT is now considering the submission of a fresh application once legal and regulatory problems have been resolved. Any such application would raise important questions of principle about the way in which the sound feed is used, which the Committee would have to examine very carefully along with other proposals of a similar type which have been submitted. In addition, as was recognised by the Select Committee on Sound Broadcasting in its first report of Session 1986-87 (HC 281), the approval of the House as a whole would be required before a service of the kind suggested could proceed.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council (1) if he will consider seeking a change in Standing Orders automatically to unstar all oral questions drawn below 30th place ;

(2) if he will consider seeking a change in Standing Orders to provide for a tabling limit of 10 written questions per Member each day.

Mr. Wakeham : I have no plans to do so.

Phone Calls

Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council what is the total cost per annum of telephone calls made from the Palace of Westminster.

Mr. Wakeham : A breakdown of all telephone charges is shown at appendix 1 of the first report of the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) of this Session (HC(1989-90)143).


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NORTHERN IRELAND

Security

9. Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland.

16. Mr. Meale : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland.

18. Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland.

40. Mr. Molyneaux : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation.

Mr. Tom King : I refer the right hon. and hon. Members to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy).

Local Government

11. Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will report on progress on the talks to improve democratic representation in local government in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Tom King : Over recent months we have been exploring with politicians and others their ideas about how local elected representatives might be more fully involved in the administration of Northern Ireland. These discussions are continuing and I hope that the political parties will also discuss their ideas together.

13. Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what inquiries into the efficiency and powers of the local government of the Province have taken place since the MacCrory report.


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