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Mr. Sainsbury [pursuant to the reply, 20 July 1989,c. 335] : Mr. Boxall and Mr. Tristram are legally represented and it is for their legal representative to seek to ensure that their trial is held as speedily as possible. He has taken action to this end. It would be contrary to internationally accepted practice for us to seek to interfere in the judicial process of an independent sovereign state. We would not tolerate such interference in our own judicial processes.

EMPLOYMENT

White Papers

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if, for each of the last three White Papers issued by his Department, for which legislation has been started, he will state the time elapsed between their publication and the First Readings of any Bills connected with them ; and if he will do the same for the last three White Papers by his Department prior to May 1979.


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Mr. Nicholls : The last three White Papers produced by this Department for which legislation has started are : "Building Businesses Not Barriers", Command 9794, 22 May 1986 ; "Employment for the 1990s", Command 540, 5 December 1988 and "Employment in the Ports : The Dock Labour Scheme", Command 664, 6 April 1989. Proposals first published in Command 9794 were incorporated in the 1988 Employment Bill which was first read in the Commons on 30 November 1988. Clause 21 of the Bill (now the Employment Bill 1989) was incorporated on 16 March of this year and derives from Command 540. The Dock Work Bill had its First Reading on 7 April of this year. It is not for me to answer for the record of the last Government in this matter, but the information requested should be available in the Library of the House and the Official Report.

Training

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place a copy of the Atkinson/Revington study of regional office organisation in the Training Agency in the Library ; and what monitoring Training Agency regional offices will carry out with regard to training and enterprise councils.

Mr. Eggar : The document is an internal organisational review and is not appropriate for deposit in the Library. Training Agency regional officers will monitor a TEC's performance to check contract compliance and to ensure that each TEC is performing in line with the targets and objectives set out in the agreed business plan.

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many YTS places were agreed by each payment type ; how many young people were in training by each training type ; and what was the proportion of those in training relative to the number of agreed places by standard Training Agency region, for Great Britain as a whole, and for each of the last three months.

Mr. Eggar : Since the introduction of the new funding structure for YTS in April of this year, the number of agreed places is no longer available by payment type. The tables give the other figures requested.


Table 1                                                      

In-training as a proportion of agreed places                 

Region                           |April |May   |June         

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

South East                       |68.5  |68.0  |68.1         

London                           |69.6  |70.2  |70.5         

South West                       |71.7  |71.7  |72.3         

West Midlands                    |64.1  |63.4  |68.0         

East Midlands and Eastern Region |74.1  |72.7  |75.3         

Yorkshire and Humberside         |74.1  |72.6  |77.2         

North West                       |76.1  |76.6  |79.5         

Northern                         |77.9  |76.6  |80.3         

Wales                            |84.6  |83.8  |86.1         

Scotland                         |78.8  |77.5  |82.2         

Great Britain                    |73.4  |72.8  |75.7         


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Table 2                                                                                                                          

Number in-training by payment type by region as at the last three months                                                         

                          Basic                   Premium                 ITEC                    Additional Units               

                         |April  |May    |June   |April  |May    |June   |April  |May    |June   |April  |May    |June           

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

Scotland                 |38,514 |37,584 |39,620 |8,434  |8,226  |8,304  |1,196  |1,160  |1,310  |323    |375    |368            

Northern                 |20,768 |20,014 |20,982 |8,101  |7,880  |8,087  |854    |832    |851    |297    |455    |660            

North West               |45,255 |44,591 |46,455 |11,663 |11,402 |11,439 |1,779  |1,844  |1,968  |471    |569    |682            

Yorkshire and Humberside |36,528 |35,449 |37,355 |7,153  |6,709  |7,105  |908    |865    |906    |497    |667    |839            

Midlands                 |36,036 |35,159 |36,785 |6,097  |5,899  |6,015  |970    |888    |994    |136    |258    |412            

Wales                    |17,925 |17,638 |18,110 |5,166  |4,972  |5,123  |656    |736    |738    |157    |223    |315            

South West               |26,417 |25,765 |25,587 |2,874  |2,729  |2,848  |590    |569    |592    |82     |119    |180            

South East               |35,169 |34,362 |34,473 |3,172  |3,052  |3,061  |1,078  |1,042  |1,018  |240    |351    |362            

London                   |16,882 |16,642 |16,693 |3,065  |3,109  |3,128  |651    |649    |655    |203    |257    |319            

East Midlands and East   |39,958 |38,849 |39,985 |4,986  |4,781  |4,980  |893    |873    |874    |168    |275    |339            

                         |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------        

Total                    |313,452|306,053|316,045|60,711 |58,759 |60,090 |9,575  |9,458  |9,906  |2,575  |3,549  |4,476          

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the numbers of accidents on YTS, broken down by fatal, major and minor, for the latest available three-month period ; and how many YTS placements were closed or not accepted in that period and in the three preceding months.

Mr. Eggar : Table A provides YTS accident figures for the period 1 April 1989 to 30 June 1989.


Table A                                     

                  |Accidents<1>             

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

Fatalities        |2                        

Major injuries<2> |126                      

Minor injuries    |599                      

Table B provides the closure and non-acceptance figures for the quarters 1 January 1989 to 31 March and 1 April to 30 June 1989. These figures are provisional.


Table B                                                                                         

                        |1 January 1989 to 31   |1 April 1989 to 30 June                        

                        |March 1989             |1989                                           

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

Placements closed       |39                     |3                                              

Placements not accepted |19                     |3                                              

<1>Training Agency figures have been compiled on a similar basis to those prepared by Health    

and Safety Executive on employed persons. However, the Training Agency's figures will include a 

number of accidents to trainees in educational establishments and road traffic accidents which  

may not have been reportable to the Health and Safety Executive had the individuals been        

employed.                                                                                       

<2>Major injuries are classified according to the severity criteria laid down in the Reporting  

of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985.                                

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the average length of stay of trainees on YTS for the most recent convenient period by Training Agency region.

Mr. Nicholls : The average length of stay of YTS trainees is not available by region ; however the national figure is around 69 weeks for trainees with two-year entitlement and 36 weeks for trainees with one-year entitlement.

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the average length of stay of 16, 17, 18 and 19-year-olds, respectively, on YTS by Training Agency region for the most recent convenient period.

Mr. Nicholls : Average length of stay is calculated using a complex model ; the information requested can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the numbers of 16, 17, 18 and 19-year-olds, respectively, on YTS by Training Agency region for the most recent convenient date.

Mr. Nicholls : The table gives the information requested as at 30 June 1989.


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Table to show the number in training by age at 30 June 1989  

by region                                                    

Region                    |16    |17    |18    |19           

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

South East                |5,835 |18,566|13,460|1,051        

London                    |2,892 |9,189 |7,523 |1,191        

South West                |4,697 |14,017|9,824 |668          

West Midlands             |8,838 |20,409|14,236|718          

East Midlands and Eastern |8,575 |21,388|14,918|1,297        

Yorkshire and Humberside  |9,543 |21,111|4,657 |892          

North West                |11,829|27,952|19,159|1,603        

Northern                  |5,875 |14,502|9,781 |422          

Wales                     |4,672 |11,217|7,903 |494          

Scotland                  |5,116 |21,873|11,979|628          

Note: The ages given are made up of banded age groups as     

follows:                                                     

16-under 17 years old                                        

17-over 17 and under 18                                      

18-over 18 and under 19                                      

19-19 and over.                                              

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, if he will publish up-to-date figures for Great Britain and each Training Agency region the characteristics of all entrants to employment training,


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showing how many were (a) men and (b) women, time they had been out of work, their ethnic backgrounds, and whether they had any disabilities.


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Mr. Nicholls : The latest available figures for entrants to employment training, cumulative to 14 July are given in table 1. Figures for entrants showing what proportion are men and women, duration of unemployment prior to joining the programme, their ethnic background and whether disabled or having a health problem are given in table 2. The proportions are cumulative to the end of April (to the end of March for people with disabilities), and are the latest available.


Table 1                                                           

Employment Training Entrants<1>                                   

Region                    |Cumulative                             

                          |5 September-14 July                    

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

South East                |22,700                                 

London                    |32,100                                 

South West                |19,700                                 

West Midlands             |40,400                                 

East Midlands and Eastern |29,100                                 

Yorkshire and Humber      |49,600                                 

North West                |56,500                                 

Northern                  |38,400                                 

Wales                     |27,200                                 

Scotland                  |43,300                                 

                          |----                                   

Great Britain total       |359,200                                

<1> Combined regional figures may not equal Great Britain totals  

because of rounding.                                              


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Table 2                                                                                                       

Employment training characteristics of entrants (September-April)                                             

(all figures are percentages, figures may not total 100 because of rounding)                                  

Region                     Men   Women Unemployment duration   Ethnic origin<1>              PWD<2>           

                                       (months)                                                               

                                      |0-6  |6-12 |13-23|24+  |1    |2    |3    |4    |5    |Yes  |No         

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

South East                |64   |36   |25   |28   |12   |34   |91   |2    |2    |2    |2    |15   |85         

London                    |58   |42   |14   |32   |16   |37   |51   |25   |11   |7    |6    |10   |90         

South West                |68   |32   |24   |33   |13   |30   |93   |2    |1    |2    |2    |15   |85         

West Midlands             |68   |32   |17   |27   |13   |42   |79   |9    |8    |2    |2    |12   |88         

East Midlands and Eastern |72   |28   |12   |34   |14   |39   |88   |4    |5    |1    |2    |14   |86         

Yorkshire and Humberside  |74   |26   |20   |31   |14   |35   |90   |2    |4    |1    |2    |10   |90         

North West                |72   |28   |19   |31   |14   |37   |92   |2    |3    |1    |2    |11   |89         

Northern                  |74   |26   |17   |35   |15   |34   |96   |1    |1    |1    |2    |9    |91         

Wales                     |71   |29   |19   |36   |14   |31   |95   |1    |1    |1    |3    |11   |89         

Scotland                  |73   |27   |12   |32   |17   |39   |96   |..   |..   |1    |2    |11   |89         

                                                                                                              

Great Britain total       |70   |30   |18   |32   |14   |36   |88   |5    |4    |2    |2    |12   |88         

<1> Ethnic origin                                                                                             

1-White                                                                                                       

2-Black/African/Caribbean                                                                                     

3-Indian/Pakistan/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan                                                                      

4-None of those                                                                                               

5-Prefer not to say.                                                                                          

<2>PWD-People with disabilities. Those trainees answering whether they had a long-term health problem or      

disability which affected the type of work they could do.                                                     

.. =less than 0.5 per cent.                                                                                   

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish up-to-date figures for Great Britain and each Training Agency region for each month since September 1988, of the cumulative number of (a) referrals to employment training from the employment service to training agents, (b) agreed employment training action plans at training agents and (c) starts at employment training managers.


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Mr. Nicholls : The information requested is given in the following tables. Employment service referrals are provided in table 1, by employment service region as the information is not available by Training Agency region. Action plans and starts are provided by Training Agency region in tables 2 and 3.


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Table 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Cumulative employment service referrals to employment training: September 1988 to June 1989                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Employment service region |September                |October                  |November                 |December                 |January                  |February                 |March                    |April                    |May                      |June                                               

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

London and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  South East              |20,700                   |38,600                   |55,500                   |69,600                   |87,800                   |106,000                  |124,700                  |141,000                  |157,100                  |176,100                                            

South West                |5,100                    |9,500                    |13,400                   |16,900                   |21,800                   |26,700                   |31,800                   |36,100                   |39,900                   |43,300                                             

West Midlands             |10,300                   |19,000                   |28,100                   |36,300                   |46,800                   |57,200                   |67,900                   |76,500                   |84,400                   |94,100                                             

East Midlands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  and Eastern             |7,500                    |14,200                   |20,500                   |25,100                   |31,800                   |38,400                   |45,000                   |51,600                   |57,000                   |63,900                                             

Yorkshire and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  Humberside              |10,100                   |19,200                   |28,100                   |35,700                   |45,800                   |54,700                   |64,700                   |74,100                   |81,900                   |91,100                                             

North West                |12,700                   |24,100                   |35,300                   |44,400                   |58,100                   |71,000                   |85,700                   |98,500                   |109,500                  |123,900                                            

Northern                  |12,500                   |20,100                   |26,600                   |32,200                   |40,500                   |48,300                   |56,000                   |63,100                   |69,500                   |77,400                                             

Wales                     |5,200                    |10,600                   |16,300                   |21,400                   |27,500                   |33,800                   |40,100                   |45,900                   |50,900                   |56,300                                             

Scotland                  |12,300                   |23,900                   |36,100                   |46,500                   |59,600                   |73,600                   |89,400                   |100,500                  |111,800                  |127,000                                            

                          |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                                            

Great Britain             |96,500                   |179,400                  |259,800                  |328,100                  |419,700                  |509,600                  |605,300                  |687,700                  |761,900                  |853,100                                            


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Table 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Cumulative employment training action plans at training agents: September 1988 to June 1989                                                                                                                                                                                         

Training agency region |September             |October               |November              |December              |January               |February              |March                 |April                 |May                   |June                                         

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

South East             |1,200                 |4,900                 |9,100                 |13,400                |17,200                |20,900                |25,100                |28,700                |31,700                |34,900                                       

London                 |3,400                 |8,000                 |13,200                |17,900                |23,400                |29,400                |35,800                |40,300                |44,500                |49,300                                       

South West             |1,700                 |3,800                 |6,400                 |8,200                 |10,700                |12,800                |15,500                |17,800                |19,900                |22,200                                       

West Midlands          |2,700                 |7,800                 |13,500                |18,000                |23,400                |29,300                |36,100                |41,000                |44,900                |49,500                                       

East Midlands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  and Eastern          |3,100                 |6,700                 |10,300                |13,000                |16,700                |20,400                |24,400                |28,000                |31,000                |34,400                                       

Yorkshire and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  Humberside           |4,200                 |9,300                 |15,000                |19,400                |25,200                |31,200                |36,800                |41,900                |47,000                |51,800                                       

North West             |4,100                 |9,900                 |16,400                |21,500                |28,100                |35,600                |42,800                |49,200                |54,500                |60,900                                       

Northern               |4,400                 |8,700                 |13,200                |16,800                |21,900                |27,700                |33,000                |37,600                |42,000                |46,800                                       

Wales                  |1,900                 |4,400                 |7,500                 |9,900                 |13,100                |16,800                |20,200                |23,000                |25,800                |28,500                                       

Scotland               |4,100                 |9,100                 |15,700                |21,200                |27,300                |34,600                |42,400                |48,100                |53,500                |59,700                                       

                       |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------                                      

Great Britain          |30,800                |72,700                |120,200               |159,400               |206,900               |258,700               |312,100               |355,800               |395,000               |438,000                                      


Table 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Cumulative starts at employment training managers: September 1988 to June 1989                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Training agency region |September             |October               |November              |December              |January               |February              |March                 |April                 |May                   |June                                         

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

South East             |1,500                 |3,600                 |5,600                 |7,300                 |9,600                 |12,100                |14,200                |16,500                |18,100                |20,500                                       

London                 |2,500                 |5,600                 |8,700                 |11,100                |14,900                |18,300                |22,100                |25,200                |27,700                |30,900                                       

South West             |1,100                 |2,800                 |4,800                 |6,600                 |8,700                 |11,200                |13,500                |15,500                |17,200                |19,100                                       

West Midlands          |2,500                 |6,200                 |10,000                |13,300                |17,700                |22,700                |27,600                |31,700                |35,000                |38,800                                       

East Midlands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  and Eastern          |1,800                 |4,500                 |7,400                 |9,600                 |12,500                |16,100                |19,300                |22,400                |24,800                |27,600                                       

Yorkshire and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  Humberside           |3,000                 |7,500                 |13,000                |17,400                |22,900                |29,000                |34,300                |39,200                |43,300                |47,800                                       

North West             |3,000                 |8,000                 |13,500                |17,700                |23,100                |30,200                |36,700                |42,400                |47,300                |53,600                                       

Northern               |2,400                 |5,600                 |9,300                 |12,200                |15,800                |20,600                |25,200                |29,000                |32,300                |36,300                                       

Wales                  |1,400                 |3,300                 |6,000                 |8,200                 |11,100                |14,700                |17,900                |20,900                |23,200                |25,800                                       

Scotland               |2,300                 |5,500                 |9,500                 |13,400                |17,100                |22,500                |28,500                |32,900                |36,800                |41,700                                       

                       |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------                                      

Great Britain          |21,500                |52,500                |87,800                |116,600               |153,300               |197,300               |239,400               |275,700               |305,700               |342,100                                      

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the number of accidents on employment training (a) fatal, (b) major and (c) minor, from the start of the scheme to the latest available date; and how many (i) employer-based work and (ii) project-based work placements have been either rejected or closed on health and safety grounds during the same period.

Mr. Nicholls : Table A gives the accident figures since the inception of employment training on 5 September 1988 to date.


Table A              

       |Number       

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

Fatal  |Nil          

Major  |109          

Minor  |618          

Separate figures for closures and rejections for employer-based and project -based work placements are not kept. However, table B gives the figures of closures and rejections on health and safety grounds from 5 September to 30 June 1989. These figures are provisional.


Table B                

         |Number       

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

Closed   |10           

Rejected |Nil          


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Job Start

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish up-to-date figures showing the total number of payments made under the job start scheme, together with a breakdown of the wages of jobs covered by the scheme in the same format used in the reply given on 10 December 1987, Official Report, columns 231-32.

Mr. Nicholls : The total number of payments made under the job start programme from 1 July 1986 to 30 June 1989 is 35,393. The breakdown of wages of jobs covered by the scheme is as follows :


1 July 1986 to 30 June 

1989                   

Wages    |Number       

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

£                      

Under 40 |1,064        

40 to 49 |919          

50 to 59 |4,199        

60 to 69 |7,512        

70 to 79 |14,779       

80 to 90 |6,441        

Information not        

available 479.         

Statutory Instruments

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment for each of the last five parliamentary Sessions including the 1988-89 Session, if he will list the number of statutory instruments that were issued by his Department ; how many were negative and how many affirmative ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 871

Mr. Eggar : The number of statutory instruments made by the Department of Employment in the last five parliamentary Sessions is as follows :


Year                |Negative resolution|Affirmative draft                      

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

1984-85             |32                 |8                                      

1985-86             |23                 |8                                      

1986-87             |24                 |9                                      

1987-88             |34                 |7                                      

1988-89             |26                 |7                                      

Agricultural Inspectors

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many agricultural inspectors have been employed by his Department for each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : The total number of agricultural inspectors employed by the Health and Safety Executive in each year since 1979 is as follows :


1 April |Number         

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

1979    |190            

1980    |178            

1981    |176            

1982    |166            

1983    |159            

1984    |154            

1985    |162            

1986    |163            

1987    |166            

1988    |158            

1989    |165            

                        

1 July                  

1989    |167            

The commission and executive plan to have 175 agricultural inspectors in post by April 1990.

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the number of environmental training courses that have been organised for agricultural inspectors for each year since 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : Environmental training for agricultural inspectors has formed part of the Health and Safety Executive's training programme for enforcement of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA). Thirteen FEPA courses were held between February 1986 and February 1987. Such training also forms part of the intensive training of all new agricultural inspectors recruited to HSE.

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about the role and duties of his agricultural inspectors.

Mr. Nicholls : Her Majesty's agricultural inspectors are appointed by HSE under the provisions of section 19(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for carrying into effect the relevant statutory provisions within their field of responsibility namely, agriculture, horticulture, forestry and allied industries. Their work also involves an enforcement role under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

Inspectors are responsible for seeing that HSE's objectives are met. The aim is through selective inspection,


Column 872

advice, persuasion and where necessary the enforcement of legal requirement, to secure good standards of health and safety in the agricultural industry and to see that reasonable steps are taken to ensure that agricultural activities do not endanger the public.

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what new areas of responsibility were placed on his agricultural inspectors as a result of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive's agricultural inspectors are authorised to enforce the Control of Pesticides Regulations (CoPR) 1986 made under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. The regulations provide protection for the users of pesticides, the public and the environment by imposing statutory controls on the sale, supply, advertisement, storage and use of pesticides. Inspectors provide advice and guidance on the legislation and carry out enforcement duties on those premises where HSE is already the enforcing authority.

The Government increased the commission's financial provision for 1988-89 ; the additional resources will be used in part to increase numbers of inspectors in the agricultural inspectorate to enforce CoPR.

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any plans to increase the number of agricultural inspectors employed by his Department ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : Ministers agreed in the last public expenditure round to increase financial provision to the Health and Safety Commission and Executive for 1989-92, and this will allow for an increase in the total number of agricultural inspectors employed. The commission and executive plan to have 175 agricultural inspectors in post by April 1990, compared with 167 in post on 1 July 1989.

A recruitment board has just completed interviewing candidates, and offers of appointment will be made shortly ; a further recruitment exercise is planned for later in the year.

Dock Labour

Mr. Peter Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what financial provision has been made to finance the dissolution of the National Dock Labour Board.

Mr. Fowler : The Department of Employment is seeking to make provision of £6,000,000 for the dissolution of the National Dock Labour Board ; and for connected purposes. Parliamentary approval will be sought in a supplementary Supply Estimate for the Department of Employment : employment programmes and central services, Class VII, Vote 2. Pending that approval urgent expenditure will be met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund.

Collieries (Safety)

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many underground fires occurred in British Coal collieries between April 1987 and September 1988 ; and at how many collieries there were three or more such fires ;


Column 873

(2) how many cases of underground fires at British Coal collieries between April 1987 and September 1988 fire or smoke alarms or similar monitoring devices were alerted ; and what were the reasons for any failures.

Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 25 July 1989] : During this period there were 99 outbreaks of fire below ground at British Coal collieries and eight had three or more such occurrences. Information is not available on the number of devices alerted or failures that have occurred.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Family Incomes

Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how would his estimate of the number of working families affected by marginal tax rates of over 40 per cent. be affected if take up of family credit and housing benefit were 100 per cent. and if the effects of the parental contribution to student grants were also taken into account.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information requested in the first part of the question is not available. Any overlap between families with children on income-related benefits and parents making a contribution to mandatory awards is likely to be negligible. Questions concerning parental contributions to mandatory grants are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.

Retirement Pensions

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has studied the state pension schemes in other European Economic Community countries with a view to the completion of the internal market in 1992 ; and if he will publish the comparable figures for retirement pensions for each of the European Economic Community countries for an adult male worker with a lifetime's contribution record.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The Department has kept itself informed about the pension schemes in other European Community countries, and since 1977 has published an annual review of the various schemes in the form of the "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities", copies of which are in the Library.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing for each group listed in his answer of 14 November 1988, Official Report, columns 517-18, the number of state pensioners receiving income support ; the total number of state pensioners in that group ; and the cumulative cost at each incremental stage of increasing the level of income support for the elderly by six successive increments of £1 and £1.50 for singles and married couples.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The latest available estimates are as follows :




         |Millions         

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

Number receiving Income Sup

Retirement Pension         

Singles  |1.27             

Couples  |0.20             

                           

Number receiving Retirement

Singles  |4.6              

Couples  |2.6              


Cumulative costs (at 1989 rates) of 

increasing income-related           

benefits for those aged 60 and over 

by 6 successive increments of £1    

for singles and £1.50 for couples   

            |Singles                

            |(£ million)            

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

£1          |100                    

£2          |200                    

£3          |305                    

£4          |410                    

£5          |515                    

£6          |620                    


Cumulative costs (at 1989 rates) of 

increasing income-related           

benefits for those aged 60 and over 

by 6 successive increments of £1    

for singles and £1.50 for couples   

            |Couples                

            |(£ million)            

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

£1.50       |55                     

£3          |110                    

£4.50       |175                    

£6          |240                    

£7.50       |300                    

£9          |360                    

Claimants (Credit Transfer)

Mr. Knapman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will make it his policy to encourage claimants to opt for automatic credit transfer.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Current policy is to encourage people to have their benefits paid into bank accounts by automated credit transfer. This method of payment is cheaper, more convenient for many, and reduces the risk of fraud. A leaflet explaining the advantages of ACT is included with retirement pension and child benefit claim forms.

At present, 38 per cent. of new pensioners and 32 per cent. of new recipients of child benefit choose to be paid by this method.

Mortgages

Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many and what percentage of families with children have mortgages, distinguishing between working and out-of-work families and between those who earn (a) under £150 per week, (b) £150-£200, (c) £200-£300 and (d) over £300.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I will write to my right hon. Friend.

Statutory Instruments

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security for each of the last five parliamentary Sessions, including the 1988-89 Session, if he will list the number of statutory instruments that were issued by his Department; how many were negative and how many affirmative; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information is in the table. For earlier Sessions, the figures are for only those statutory instruments issued by the Department of Health and Social Security which relate to social security matters.


Column 875


Session                 |Affirmative instruments|Negative instruments                           

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

1984-85                 |12                     |51                                             

1985-86                 |9                      |46                                             

1986-87                 |13                     |56                                             

1987-88                 |19                     |121                                            

1988-89                 |8                      |32                                             

Mobility Allowance

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will give the numbers of (a) appeals to a medical board for mobility allowance and (b) allowances then awarded over the latest 12-month period for each area in England ;

(2) what was the number of claims for mobility allowance made over the latest 12-month period for each area in England ;

(3) what was the number of claims for mobility allowances over the latest 12-month period which have been successful at the first stage, after examination of doctor's reports, for each area in England.

Mr. Scott : I regret that it is not possible to provide information in the form requested. For the information which is available, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) on 17 January 1989 at column 120 .


Column 876

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of people who, but for their age, would be eligible for mobility allowance.

Mr. Scott [holding answer 20 July 1989] : We estimate that there are a further 1,150,000 people who would qualify for mobility allowance if the age limits were abolished, thus tripling the current caseload at a cost of nearly £1 billion. This estimate is based on projections of the numbers who are already receiving the allowance.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will publish in the Official Report his estimate of the increase in public expenditure in 1988-89 and his forecast for 1989-90 as a result of the increases in housing benefit required to compensate for increases in, respectively, rents and rates.

Mr. Scott : Increases in rents above the level of inflation increased housing benefit expenditure by an estimated £140 million in 1988-89 and by a further £210 million in 1989-90.

Rate rebates are not treated as public expenditure but real increases in rates are estimated to have increased spending in these years by about £30 million and £35 million respectively in England and Wales.


Column 875


                          |Real increase rents      |Cost of 1 per cent.      |Increase on HB in 1988-89|Real increase rents      |Cost of 1 per cent.      |Increase on HB in 1989-90                          

                          |1988-89                  |increase in 1988-89                                |1989-90                  |increase in 1989-90                                                          

                          |per cent.                |£ million                |£ million                |per cent.                |£ million                |£ million                                          

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

                          |(1)                      |(2)                      |(1)X(2)                                                                                                                          

Rent rebates                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  England                 |1.7                      |26.1                     |44.4                     |-                        |-                        |-                                                  

  Wales                   |3.5                      |1.8                      |6.3                      |-                        |-                        |-                                                  

  Scotland                |3.5                      |4.3                      |15.1                     |-                        |-                        |-                                                  

Great Britain             |-                        |-                        |-                        |<1>2.5                   |35.0                     |87.5                                               

                          |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                                            

Total rent rebates        |-                        |32.2                     |65.7                     |-                        |35.0                     |87.5                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Rent Allowances Great Britain                                                                                                                                                                                   

                          |5.5                      |13.5                     |74.3                     |<2>8.0                   |15.6                     |124.8                                              

                          |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                                            

Total rents (rebates + allowances)   -               -                         140.0                     -                         -                         212.3                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Rate rebates                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  England                 |1.7                      |15.1                     |25.7                     |<3>2.2                   |15.7                     |34.5                                               

  Wales                   |3.7                      |1.0                      |3.7                      |<3>2.6                   |1.0                      |2.6                                                

                          |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                  |-------                                            

Total (England and Wales only)   -                   -                         29.4                      -                         16.7                      37.1                                               

<1>Assumption quoted in paragraph 48 of Cm. 615 (1989 PEWP); latest information and GDP deflator consistent with it.                                                                                            

<2>Assumption quoted in Cm. 615; no information on actual position presently available.                                                                                                                         

<3>Based on latest information and consistent with GDP deflator; no forecast in Cm. 615.                                                                                                                        

Transfer of Work

Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether the trial exercise to transfer certain accounting work presently carried out at the Post Office at Chesterfield and Edinburgh to the Department of Health and Social Security in Northern Ireland has been successfully carried out.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The trial has been fully evaluated in consultation with the Post Office and results have shown that the work can be carried out more efficiently and economically at the paid order store in Northern Ireland.


Column 876

It has been agreed that the remainder of the work should be transferred to Northern Ireland on a phased basis, starting with Scotland in October 1989. It is planned to be completed by March 1991.

The transfer will have no affect on the counter network.

Widows

Mr. Cash : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has and from what sources, on the proportion of widows, under 45 years who remarry.


Column 877

Mrs. Gillian Shephard [pursuant to the reply, 22 May 1989, column 435] : I regret that the reply given has been found to contain an error. The amended reply is as follows :

Latest available information indicates that the proportion of widows under 45 remarrying in 1987 was approximately 10 per cent. Table 3 of the article by John Haskey, of OPCS, entitled "Widowhood, widowerhood and remarriage", published in "Population Trends" No. 30 (January 1983), shows that of those widows aged 40-44 who had remarried in 1980-81, 90 per cent. had done so within 10 years of their being widowed.

Family Income Supplement

Mr. Clay : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing how many children there are in families who did not take up their entitlement to supplementary benefit and family income supplement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 15 February 1989] : In 1985, families eligible for supplementary benefit but who did not claim are estimated to have included 160,000 children. The corresponding figure for family income supplement, based on the two years 1985 and 1986 and excluding the self-employed, was 231,000.

Pensioners

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many pensioner couples not entitled to income support will receive (a) an increase in rent rebate of £2.28, (b) an increase in rent rebate of 70p, (c) an increase in community charge rebate of 53p and (d) become newly entitled to housing benefit in October ;

(2) what is the number of single pensioners not entitled to income support who, (a) will become entitled to housing benefit, (b) will receive an increase in weekly rent rebate of £1.63, (c) will receive an increase in weekly rate rebate of 50p and (d) will receive an increase in weekly community charge rebate of 38p when applicable amounts are raised in October.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 14 July 1989] : The numbers likely to be affected by the October 1989 pensioner premium changes in housing benefit only are estimated in the table.


Housing benefit: Pensioner premium changes, October 1989         

                                                       |000s     

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

Rent rebate/allowance                                            

  Newly qualified                                                

    Singles gaining > £1.63                            |*        

    Couples gaining > £2.28                            |*        

    Singles/couples gaining £1.63/£2.28 or less        |5        

  Existing Claimants                                             

    Singles gaining £1.63                              |240      

    Couples gaining £2.28                              |155      

    Singles gaining < £1.63                            |75       

    Couples gaining < £2.28                            |60       

    Do not gain                                        |*        

                                                       |---      

  Total (including starred groups and after rounding)  |545      

                                                                 

Rate rebate (as if in place throughout GB)                       

  Newly qualified                                                

    Singles gaining > 50p                              |20       

    Couples gaining > 70p                              |15       

    Singles/couples gaining 50p/70p or less            |10       

  Existing Claimants                                             

    Singles gaining 50p                                |320      

    Couples gaining 70p                                |210      

    Singles gaining < 50p                              |100      

    Couples gaining < 70p                              |65       

    Do not gain                                        |5        

                                                       |---      

  Total (after rounding)                               |740      

                                                                 

Community Charge rebate (as if in place throughout GB)           

  Newly qualified                                                

    Singles gaining > 38p                              |5        

    Couples gaining > 53p                              |5        

    Singles/couples gaining 38p/53p or less            |*        

  Existing Claimants                                             

    Singles gaining 38p                                |375      

    Couples gaining 53p                                |330      

    Singles gaining < 38p                              |120      

    Couples gaining < 53p                              |70       

    Do not gain                                        |5        

                                                       |---      

  Total (including starred group and after rounding)   |900      

1. Numbers rounded to nearest 5,000. Starred groups denote       

numbers less than 2,500.                                         

2. Existing claimants already receiving maximum HB do not gain   

extra rebates or allowances.                                     

3. The Scotland only effects of CC rebate cannot be separately   

identified. The table shows alternative figures (a) on the       

assumption that rate rebate was in place throughout GB in        

1989-90, and (b) on the assumption that Community Charge rebate  

was in place.                                                    

Table file CW890727.076 not available

Benefits

Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will publish new estimates of the take-up of supplementary benefit, housing benefit and family income supplement ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I have today placed in the Library technical notes setting out take-up estimates for supplementary benefit and housing benefit for 1985. A further note provides family income supplement take-up estimates based on the two years 1985 and 1986. These estimates confirm previous results and indicate that overall almost £9 out of every £10 of available income-related benefit expenditure is claimed. They also show that overall almost four out of every five people who are eligible for these benefits claim them. This demonstrates that income- related benefits are an efficient and effective way of helping those in financial need.

Mrs. Beckett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list all the changes in social security law since May 1979 which have affected the entitlement of (a) 16 to 17-year-olds, (b) 18 to 20-year- olds and (c) 21 to 25-year-olds to supplementary benefit or any other benefit or which have affected the entitlement to any benefit of their parents in the same format as his answer to the hon. Member for Derby, South of 20 December 1985, Official Report , column 422.

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out the main changes in social security law since the end of 1985 specifically affecting the entitlement of young people and their parents, showing who was affected by the change and the relevant legislation in the same form as in the Official Report , 20 December 1985, column 422-6 .


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