|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Gummer [pursuant to the reply, 29 June 1989, c. 550] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science and I have decided that the horticultural research and development carried out by the Agricultural and Food Research Council and by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service should be integrated under a reconstituted British Society for Horticultural Research. (BSHR).
This will be headed by a small and strong executive committee, reporting to me and reflecting the tripartite partnership of my Department, my right hon. Friend's funding of the Agricultural and Food Research Council and growers, each of whom will have equal representation. Members of the committee, which will include growers, will be appointed by me and my right hon. Friend. Growers will thus have an influential and effective voice in the new organisation, which will be able to receive funds directly from a range of sources including the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Agricultural and Food Research Council and the industry.
The BSHR will have available to it the facilities at six horticultural research centres. These will be Wellesbourne (which, as already announced, will become the principal
Column 98horticultural research station), East Malling (centre for fruit and other perennial crops research and development), the centre for hops research at Wye college, and the experimental horticulture stations at Kirton, Efford and Stockbridge house. The new organisation will bring together the expertise and effort of staff drawn from the AFRC and from ADAS.
The Government believe that bringing the elements of horticultural research and development together in this way will provide a sound basis for the future. Naturally, the Government's support for the BSHR will be influenced by the industry's response, since growers' support will be essential to provide the balanced programme of research and development needed to safeguard the future of British horticulture in a highly competitive international market. We believe that this new integrated organisation will command the confidence of the industry. We are sure that all the partners will work together to bring about a successful launch.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent his duties towards conservation and enhancement of natural beauty under section 17 of the Agriculture Act 1986 extend to fisheries matters ; and if he will make a statement on the implication of these duties where they impact on fishing and fish stock management.
Mr. Curry [holding answer 26 July 1989] : My duties under section 17 of the Agriculture Act 1986 are concerned with agriculture not fisheries. However, in dealing with fisheries we are concerned with conservation of fish stocks in order to manage them as renewable resources. I also refer the hon. Gentleman to a previous reply given on 21 July 1989, Official Report, column 408.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The provision required in the current year 1 April 1989 to 31 March 1990, for the expenditure of the House of Lords on peers' expenses, administrative costs, staff pensions and security totals £15,260,000.
(i) Stationery and printing cost for the House of Lords are borne on an allied service vote maintained by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Provision for the 1989-90 totals £4,800,000.
(ii) Other services provided in support of both Houses of Parliament are :
(a) Rates on Government Property (HM Treasury) Provision for 1989-90 totals £1,200,000
(b) Accommodation services (Property Services Agency of the Department of the Environment) Provision for 1989-90 totals £25,300, 000
No separate figures are available here in respect of the amounts attributable to each House.
Mr. Hannan : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether right hon. and hon. Members will be entitled to reclaim the standard community charge on a second home under the additional costs allowance.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Lord President of the Council what arrangements are being made to provide an allowance to members of Parliament for the payment of the standard community charge on their second homes ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : The additional cost allowance covers expenses necessarily incurred by hon. Members in maintaining a second home required for the performance of their parliamentary duties. From April 1990, the standard community charge will be one of the costs which may be incurred in maintaining a second home. In cases where there is a liability for a standard charge hon. Members will therefore be able to claim reimbursement in circumstances where they would previously have claimed for rates. Hon. Members will still pay the personal community charge at their main residence and there is no question of reimbursing this. The Fees Office will be writing to all hon. Members shortly to explain these arrangements in detail.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if on a similar basis to his answer to the hon. Member for Bradford West (Mr. Madden) on 22 June, Official Report, columns 575-80, he will publish figures showing the average total weekly benefit payable to Mr. Swainston, 3 Hawthorn Park, Brandon, Durham, before and after the social security reforms of April were completely phased in.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether, in establishing a single budget to cover the costs of care, he proposes to take account of the existence of the independent living fund and allow it to continue funding individual disabled people to enable them to buy in the personal care they need to avoid institutionalisation.
Mr. Scott : The independent living fund has been very effective in its current form. Clearly, we will need to consider, and if necessary discuss with the trustees, whether the Government's proposals for the future organisation and funding of community care call for any adjustment to the fund.
Column 100as they are for employees. The consideration that a person is acting under orders does not apply and, since there is no employer, there is no place for a preferential scheme to complement and limit the employer's liability at common law.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if his Department is examining ways in which a partial capacity benefit for disabled people could be introduced ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the latest figures for the number of people on income support who had direct deductions for (a) electricity and (b) gas.
|Number ----------------------------- Electricity |152,000 Gas |152,000
Where a person has deductions for both electricity and gas, they are included in both figures.
Source : Annual Statistical Enquiry, May 1988.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many medical practitioners examine patients for attendance allowance ; how many of these are principals in general practice ; how many of these are retired medical practitioners ; how many of them are medical practioners without other remuneration ; how many of them have a specialist psychiatric qualification ; and how many of them have training in psychiatry lasting six months or more.
Mr. Scott : There are 3,742 examining medical practitioners (EMPs) in Great Britain who examine patients for attendance allowance. Of these it is estimated that 82 per cent. are principals in general practice and 16 per cent. are retired medical practitioners. No information is held on the number of EMPs without other remuneration.
Data on the numbers of EMPs possessing a specialist psychiatric qualification or having post-graduate training in psychiatry are not routinely recorded ; and to obtain such information would incur a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many medical practitioners, annually, are discharged from their responsibilities for assessing for attendance allowance, because of their incompetence in obtaining psychiatric histories or undertaking mental state examinations.
Column 101chosen before starting this work. They are given instruction in the requirements for the examinations, their work is monitored and any further training required is given. It is very rare therefore for these doctors' services to be discontinued because of incompetence.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what specific instructions are given in the form of guidelines, in the obtaining of a psychiatric history or examination of mental state ;
(2) what training in the eliciting of a psychiatric history or in mental state examination is provided by the Department to practitioners prior to or consequent upon their appointment to assess patients for attendance allowance.
Mr. Scott : Doctors selected to examine attendance allowance claimants are usually recruited from among general practitioners within the locality who will have demonstrable knowledge of local socio-economic conditions, established experience in general medical practice and evident expertise in conducting medical examinations. Guidance is given by the regional office senior medical officer (ROSMO), or regional office medical officer (ROMO), on the background of, and conditions for the award of attendance allowance. The performance of new examining doctors is closely monitored by the ROSMO who will institute further training sessions as appropriate ; thereafter doctors' reports are regularly monitored to identify any further need for guidance. The form, nature and pattern of such monitoring may vary and are dictated by the individual ROSMO. In conducting an examination for attendance allowance purposes the examining doctor's principal role is to complete the standard report form which has been designed to give an account of the patient's needs for attention and/or supervision. By their very nature the medical examinations required for the purpose of determining eligibility for these allowances need the expertise and experience possessed by general medical practitioners who are able to give consistent advice across a wide range of disabilities and age- groups. In the small number of cases where a specialist opinion is required an independent report is sought from a consultant clinician with the necessary specialist knowledge. The attendance allowance board or its delegate has access not only to the examining doctor's report but other evidence considered necessary, such as psychological, head teacher's and hospital's reports etc. The present arrangements thus allow for suitably qualified persons to be approached, as necessary, in an individual case.
The attendance allowance board has also issued a "Handbook For Delegated Medical Practitioners" a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library. That handbook, together with the written guidelines given to examining medical practitioners upon appointment, describe the medical factors which should be taken into account in the obtaining of a psychiatric history from, and examination of mental state of, those claimants who exhibit mental disorders. As with physical illness, neither the diagnosis nor the disability is the determining criterion in the assessment for attendance allowance. The attendance needs are the determining factor.
Column 102independently, by a medical practitioner with psychiatric experience, that assessments for attendance allowance have been carried out competently.
Mr. Scott : All reports of medical examinations conducted on claimants for attendance allowance are scrutinised either by the attendance allowance board or by the independent medical practitioners to whom the board has delegated its powers to make decisions in individual cases. The board, one of whose members is a consultant psychiatrist, recognises that the assessment of the amount of attention and/or supervision required by patients suffering from psychiatric illnesses may pose particular problems. Guidance has been issued by the board in the "Handbook for Delegated Medical Practitioners", published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1988. Aided by the board's guidelines and possessing expertise and experience in the practice of clinical medicine and in the evaluation of medical reports on claimants for attendance allowance, the board's delegated doctors provide an expert and efficient check that attendance allowance assessments are carried out competently.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will show for England, Wales, Scotland and Great Britain his latest estimates of (a) the rate rebate caseload, (b) the cost of rate rebates, (c) the community charge benefit caseload, (d) the number of individuals likely to claim and receive community charge rebates and (e) the cost of community charge rebates.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The most recent estimates for 1989-90 show that the rate rebate caseload in Great Britain (including the community charge rebate in Scotland) will be about 5 million, and the total benefit cost (including the cost of community charge rebate in Scotland) will be £1.53 billion.
I will write to the hon. Member in due course about the remainder of his question.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing the value of the retirement pension for a single person and a married couple as a proportion of average net earnings for all males and all male manual workers for each year between November 1978 and the latest date available.
Basic state pension as a percentage of average net earnings Uprating date Male manual woAll males |Single|Couple|Single|Couple ------------------------------------------------- November 1978 |32.3 |48.9 |29.8 |45.3 November 1979 |31.8 |48.4 |29.2 |44.6 November 1980 |32.8 |49.7 |29.1 |44.4 November 1981 |33.4 |50.9 |29.3 |44.9 November 1982 |35.0 |53.1 |30.6 |46.7 November 1983 |33.1 |49.7 |28.7 |43.6 November 1984 |32.9 |49.6 |28.4 |43.2 November 1985 |33.1 |49.9 |28.5 |43.3 July 1986 |31.6 |47.7 |26.9 |41.0 April 1987 |30.1 |45.7 |25.3 |38.8 April 1988 |28.4 |43.3 |23.5 |36.2 April 1989 |27.6 |42.1 |22.9 |35.0 Source: Abstract of statistics, published by DSS August 1989.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish a table showing the value of unemployment benefit for a single person, a married couple and a married couple with two children under 11 years as a proportion of average net earnings for all males and all male manual workers for each year between November 1978 and the latest date available.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information is published in tables 6.1a and 6.1b of the August 1989 edition of the "Abstract of Statistics for Index of Retail Prices, Average Earnings, Social Security Benefits and Contributions", a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the value of income support in 1989-90 for (a) a single person aged under 25 years, (b) a single person aged over 25 years, (c) a married couple, (d) a one-parent family, (e) a married couple with two children aged four years and six years, (f) a pensioner couple aged 65 years and (g) a disabled person with entitlement to disability premium as a proportion of average net earnings for all males and male manual workers.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Information on categories (a), (b), (c) and (e) is at tables 6.5a and 6.5b of the August 1989 edition of the "Abstract of Statistics for Index of Retail Prices, Average Earnings, Social Security Benefits and Contributions", a copy of which is in the Library. The information requested for the remaining categories is as follows :
Income support as a percentage of average net earnings |All males |Manual Males ----------------------------------------------------------------------- (d) (One parent family with one child under age 11) |27.8 |33.0 (f) |36.3 |43.4 (g) |25.5 |30.8
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many letters he has received from right hon. and hon. Members over the last six months concerning pension provision for war widows ; and how many of these letters were from the hon. Member for Macclesfield.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether the contract with Electronic Data Systems for the Livingston area computer centre provides for existing staff of his Department to be considered for employment with EDS ; and what safeguards are proposed for the existing terms and conditions of any staff so transferred and for recognition of negotiating rights.
Mr. Newton : Details of the new jobs were circulated to the staff of the existing unemployment benefit computer centre in the other half of Buchanan house and no bar was placed in the way of their applications. Staff who choose
Column 104to accept offers from Electronic Data Systems (EDS) will resign from the Civil Service and accrued rights will be treated in the normal way for resignations. The terms, conditions and negotiation rights offered by EDS are a matter for the company.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost of raising child benefit in April 1990 in line with the projection of the retail prices index between December 1988 and September 1989.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The index of retail prices (RPI) increased by 5.7 per cent. between December 1988 and September 1989. The net cost of increasing child benefit by 5.7 per cent. would be around £200 million.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the 1989-90 social fund allocation for each London local office and the monthly rate of expenditure for (a) grants, (b) loans and (c) community care groups ; what additional resources he has made available to each office ; and what are his projections for 1990-91.
Mr. Scott : Details of social fund allocations to local offices together with details of their monthly expenditure on grants and loans are available in the Library. Information on expenditure in relation to client groups for all London local offices can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Additional social fund loan allocations for 1989-90 have been made from the contingency reserve to five local offices in London to take account of the unforeseen additional expenditure arising from the arrival of Kurdish refugees in the areas covered by those offices. The revised annual loan allocations are as follows :
|Revised allocation|Amount of increase |£ |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Highgate |419,845 |28,226 Shoreditch |352,401 |9,867 Stoke Newington |325,467 |16,791 Tottenham |534,260 |93,881 Wood Green |220,424 |18,991
An announcement on the local office allocations for 1990-91 will be made nearer the time.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received about changing the system of maintenance payments by deducting the sums due from earnings at the same time as income tax and national insurance, enabling these payments to be made direct to the recipients ; whether he has any estimates of the reduction of dependency on income support such a system would produce ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : We have received no representations on this point although I am aware that it has been suggested by various organisations and commentators. Absent fathers have a legal responsibility towards their families but, for
Column 105three quarters of lone parents receiving income support, the absent parent pays no maintenance at all. When courts make maintenance orders they take into account, amongst other things, the means of both parents and therefore the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay maintenance. In certain cases where the father fails to make payments ordered by the courts, and this is due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect, the courts may make an attachment of earnings order. This means that the maintenance payments are paid to the court by the employer. Any increase in the maintenance collected for lone parent families on benefit would certainly reduce their need for benefit. However the extent of this would depend on the levels of maintenance awarded and collected.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received about increasing the earned income allowance for single parents ; what estimates he has of the reduction in the numbers of single parents who would receive income support following such an increase in the allowance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Many representations are received by Government on all aspects of taxation. Reductions in personal taxation like those made by this Government should generally be improving individuals' incentives to work. Whilst it is undoubtedly true that income tax reductions have helped raise the take-home pay of lone parents who choose to work, I know of no evidence
Column 106suggesting that an increase in the additional personal allowance would substantially reduce the number of lone parent families receiving income support.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many short fixed-term temporary staff have been employed by the social security office in Bathgate over any convenient period in the summer of the current year, and for what reasons ; and if he will make a statement on the qualifications of such staff.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Prior to 11 September 1989 no temporary staff were employed on a fixed-term contract basis at this office. In the period 11 September to 9 October up to nine such staff were employed at any one time. The recruits were offered fixed-term contracts, rather than permanent positions, in view of the need to reduce staffing levels in 1990 when major computerisation is introduced. Temporary staff on fixed-term contracts are required to have similar qualifications to those employed on a permanent basis.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 17 July 1989] : The information following lists the changes made to Social Security benefits since April 1989 and proposed changes to the end of 1989-90 which have been announced.
Date |Change |Legislation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 April 1989 |To enable community charge recipients to|The Social Fund Maternity and Funeral |be eligible for Social Fund funeral |Expenses (General) Amendment |payments. |Regulations 1989 SI No 379. 1 April 1989 |Complementary change to other income |Housing Benefit (General) Amendment |disregards to reflect the separate |Regulations 1989 SI No 416. |status of boarders and non-dependants |in Housing Benefit. 1 April 1989 |Extension of disregard of a former |Housing Benefit (General) Amendment |dwelling to a former partner with care |Regulations 1989 SI No 416. |of one or more dependent children 1 April 1989 |Introduction of the rent officer |Housing Benefit (General) Amendment No 2 |referral arrangements. |Regulation 1989 SI No 566. |The Rent Officers (Additional Functions) |Order 1989 SI No 590 The Rent Officers |(Additional Functions) (Scotland) Order |1989 SI No 578. 1 April 1989 |Introduction of Community Charge Rebates|Housing Benefit (Community Charge |in Scotland. |Rebates) (Scotland) Regulations 1989 SI |No 1890 (S 178). 1 April 1989 |Amendments to the above scheme including|Housing Benefit (Community Charge |the introductions of extra help for |Rebates) (Scotland) Amendment |some pensioners from October. |Regulations 1989 SI No 361 (S 37) 1 April 1989 |Permit deductions from Income Support in|Community Charge (Deductions from Income |respect of arrears of community charge |Support) (Scotland) Regulations 1989 SI |in certain circumstances (Scotland). |No 507 (S 59). 10 April 1989 |Introduction of Retirement Allowance to |Schedule 2 of the Social Security Act |Industrial Injuries Disablement |1988. |Benefit. 10 April 1989 |Annual Uprating of Social Security |Social Security Benefits Uprating Order |benefits. |1989 SI No 43. Social Security Benefits |Up-rating Regulations 1989. 10 April 1989 |Clarification of the definition of |Income Support (General) Amendment No 2 |incapacity for the purpose of |Regulations 1988 SI No 2022. |entitlement to the disability premium. 19 June 1989 |Certain additional days of entitlement |Social Security (Unemployment, Sickness |to SSP to count as qualifying days |and Invalidity Benefit) Amendment |towards entitlement to invalidity |Regulations 1989 SI No 872. |benefit. 10 July 1989 |Disregard of part of student's grant |Family Credit and Income Support |income for books and equipment raised |(General) Amendment Regulations 1989 SI |from £220 to £234 for Family Credit |No 1034. |purposes. 10 July 1989 |Increase in personal allowance for all |Housing Benefit (General) Amendment No. |16 to 17 year old Housing Benefit |3 Regulations 1989 SI No. 1017. |claimants to £27.40. 10 July 1989 |Extension of entitlement for people aged|Family Credit and Income Support |16 to 17 and people in relevant |(General) Amendment Regulation 1989 SI |education who are of necessity living |No. 1034. |away from their parents. 10 July 1989 |Increases in applicable amount for some |Family Credit and Income Support |claimants aged 16 to 17. |(General) Amendment Regulation 1989 SI |No. 1034. 10 July 1989 |Eligibility for all urgent cases |Family Credit and Income Support |including asylum seekers to premiums |(General) Amendment Regulation 1989 SI |where the normal conditions are |No. 1034. |satisfied. 10 July 1989 |Further amendments to Community Charge |Housing Benefit (Community Charge |Rebates in Scotland. |Rebates) (Scotland) No. 2 Amendment |Regulations 1989 SI No. 972 (S 95). 21 July 1989 |Substitutes the concept of entitlement |Schedule 8 of Social Security Act 1989. |for payment into Attendance Allowance |in Section 35 of the Social Security |Act 1975. August 1989 |Controls subsidy paid to local |Housing Benefit (Permitted Totals) |authorities in certain special cases. |Amendment Order 1989 September 1989 |Special transitional provisions for the |Community Charge Benefits (Transitional) |smooth implementation of the Community |Order 1989. |Charge Benefit scheme 1 October 1989 |Abolition of State Retirement Pension |Clause 7 and Schedule 1 of Social |Earnings rule. |Security Bill 1989. 9 October 1989 |Days on which duties as a councillor |Paragraph 2 of Schedule 8 of Social |performed to be treated as days of |Security Act 1989. |incapacity for work for sickness and |invalidity benefit and severe |disablement allowance purposes. 9 October 1989 |Extension of upper age limit for payment|Schedule 8 of Social Security Act 1989. |of mobilty allowance from 75 to 80. 9 October 1989 |Personal Pensions to be treated as |Schedule 9 of Social Security Act 1989. |earnings for purposes of dependants |earnings rule. 9 October 1989 |Liability of non-custodial parents to |Schedule 5 of Social Security Act 1989. |maintain a child for Income Support and |Social Fund purposes extended to |include children aged 16, 17 and 18. 9 October 1989 |Transitional protection to be unaffected|Regulations in preparation. |by increases in pensioner premiums. 9 October 1989 |Provisions for seasonal workers' |Draft Income Support (General) Amendment |earnings will be removed, so they will |No 2 Regulations 1989 (SI No N/A). |be treated like other claimants' |earnings. 9 October 1989 |Payment of compensation received on |Income Support (General) Amendment No 2 |termination of employment without due |Regulations 1989 (SI No N/A). |notice to be taken into account. 9 October 1989 |Special IS provision for hostel dwellers|Income Support (General) Amendment |removed. Help with accommodation charge |Regulations 1989 (SI No 534). |through HB, hosted dwellers entitled to |normal IS to cover living expenses. Autumn 1989 |Removal of special conditions for |Draft Social Security (Unemployment, |seasonal workers. |Sickness and Invalidity Benefit) |Amendment No 2 Regulations 1989 (SI No |N/A). Autumn 1989 |Introduction of an upper weekly earnings|Not known. |limit for Unemployment Benefit Autumn 1989 |Introduction of a de minimus level on |Not known. |the application of the Full Extent |Normal' rule for Unemployment Benefit Autumn 1989 |Regulations requiring local authorities |Regulations to be made under provisions |to refer appropriate cases to the rent |contained in clause 15 of the Social |officer. |Security Bill. 1 April 1990 |Introduction of Community Charge Benefit|Community Charge Benefits (General) |throughout Great Britain. |Regulations 1989. 1 April 1990 |Permit deductions from Income Support in|Community Charges (Deductions from |respect of arrears of community charge |Income Support) Regulations 1989. |in certain circumstances. April 1990 |£5 a week disregard of war Disablement |Not known. |Pension and War Widow's Pension to be |increased to £10 for Income Support |purposes.
Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recommendations for early action he is giving to local authorities social services departments in the light of the statement and White Paper on community care.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will publish the cost at current rates of equalising the qualifying age for receipt of basic pension for both sexes at (a) 62 years, (b) 61 years and (c) 60 years.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 24 July 1989] : The information is not available in the form requested. The most recent estimates, which are based on 1985-86 benefit rates, are that the approximate net annual cost to public funds of equalising state pension age at 60 years would be £3,000 million.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received during the recess about the Central Electricity Generating Board applications to build Sizewell C power station in Suffolk.
Mr. Allan Roberts : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance his Department has received from the European Commission concerning the environmental assessment of projects being funded by, or the subject of a grant application for, European regional development funds ; and if he will place copies of the guidance in the Library.
Mr. Moynihan : All projects funded with grant from the European regional development fund must conform to Community environmental legislation, in particular, the European Community directive (85/337/EEC) on environmental impact assessment. Guidance on how the directive applies to projects in England and Wales which required planning permission is given in DOE circular 15/88 (Welsh Office 23/88) which is available in the Library. Requirements for environmental informaion to be submitted to the Commission are still the subject of discussion among all member states.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside of 24 May, Official Report , column 951 , if he will make a further statement concerning the treatment of outstanding debt of the water authorities.
Mr. Howard : Shortly before flotation, we will be writing off the £4.4 billion National Loans Fund debt transferred from the English water authorities to the new English water plcs. This will be replaced with new securities issued to the Government, including new debentures, but mostly in the form of shares to be sold to the public. This substantial capital reconstruction which involves a sizeable cash injection will enable the companies to finance the major investment in the future which we all want to see.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to amend the Local Government and Housing Bill to include all or any of the safeguards found in the Poll Tax (Restoration of Individual Privacy) Bill ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions since 1979 a request to call in a planning application from (a) the Nature Conservancy Council and (b) the Countryside Commission has been refused ; and if he will list such occasions, together with the reasons for not calling in, and the principal requests received on those occasions from other persons and bodies.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from local authorities, local authority associations and hon. Members concerning the needs of Kurdish asylum seekers ; what resources he has made available ; and if he will make a statement.
representations about the impact of the recent influx of Turkish asylum- seekers. Housing benefit for which local authorities receive Government subsidy, and income support are payable to individual claimants and help has
Column 113been provided from the social fund in the form of crisis loans. In addition, the Government are making exceptional payments to voluntary organisations. Ministers are currently considering the
representations which have been made for additional assistance to the boroughs.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make urgent inquiries of the contractor responsible for the removal of House of Commons rubbish as to why quantities of large paper bags, filled with potentially recyclable waste paper, have been removed in bags labelled for burning only ; if he will take steps to stop this practice immediately ; if he will make available bags labelled recyclable waste paper ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Chope : Waste paper from the Palace of Westminster is collected free of charge as "salvage" and the contractor sends it for recycling. The labels on the paper sacks therefore have no significance in practice. It would be wasteful, however, not to use the outstanding supplies of these sacks before changing over to new sacks which will be marked "Recyclable Waste Paper".