Mr. Flynn To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to undertake a separate case study prior to any changes that would remove employment rights from public sector employees as part of any plan to privatise public sector jobs.
Mr. Lilley : No. In all privatisations the Government observe the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (TUPE), which provide that, where there is a transfer of an undertaking, all the employees' rights and liabilities must automatically be transferred to the new employer. Pension rights fall outside the scope of TUPE and are negotiated separately in each case.
Mr. Ryder : In the three months since the change to a minimum purchase of £100 on 1 July, premium bond purchases have averaged 60, 000 per month to a value of £23.7 million. In the three months prior to the change premium bond purchases averaged 175,000 per month to a value of £24 million.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out those Government statistics on which he now answers parliamentary questions, in the light of the changes in the arrangements of the Central Statistical Office.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 6 November 1989] : I am placing in the Library a copy of the paper prepared by the Central Statistical Office "Note for the Table Office of the House of Commons and for the House of Lords following the reorganisation of the responsibility for economic statistics : The establishment of the new' Central Statistical Office", which sets out the new arrangements.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will remove the provision of subsidy of child care facilities by employers from the list of items regarded for tax purposes as a benefit in kind ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 636kind. Such benefits are generally liable to taxation. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has no plans to exempt beneficiaries of subsidies for child care from taxation.
The Attorney-General : The eligibility limits for civil legal aid between April and November 1979 were £3,600 disposable income and £2, 500 disposable capital. The retail prices index increased by 103.69 per cent. between 1979 and 1989. Increasing the 1979 civil legal aid limits by the same amount produces £7,332.85 disposable income and £5,092.25 disposable capital. However, the RPI includes increases in the cost of housing--which have been greater than the increase in prices generally--while housing costs are disregarded in assessing legal aid eligibility.
Mr. Baldry : To ask the Attorney-General if he will send for the papers in Regina v. Barnard heard at Oxford Crown court before His Honour Judge Leo Clark, Queen's counsel on 21 October to consider whether the sentence imposed is such that it is a suitable case to refer to the Court of Appeal for review.
Mr. Sean Hughes : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will provide an estimate of the administrative cost per successful candidate in the recent direct entry higher executive officer competition.
Mr. Luce : The information will not be available for some time. The Civil Service Commission began interviewing candidates for the scheme on 6 November 1989 and the entire exercise will not be completed until early next summer.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present amount of aid now being given to Sri Lanka ; and if he will list each project on which aid is being spent.
Mrs. Chalker : In 1988-89 expenditure on Britain's bilateral aid programme to Sri Lanka totalled £19.8 million, though disbursements in the present financial year are expected to be lower. Britain also contributes to programmes administered by the European Community and other international aid organisations. Current bilateral aid projects are as follows :
Colombo Roads Rehabilitation
Power Distribution, Colombo
Supply of Agricultural Tractors to Trincomalee area
Supply of Miscellaneous Vehicles
Land Use and Conservation Project
Mahaweli Catchment Area Project
Sandskipper Project (Artisanal Fisheries)
Wood burning stoves
Victoria Dam Maintenance
Supply of school furniture
Archaeological assistance in Cultural Triangle
Health and welfare projects (Anti-Malaria, Health Education, Cleft Lip and Palate)
Support for Non-Governmental Organisations
(Oxfam, Save the Children Fund and Sarvoydaya)
English Language Training
University link projects
Heads of Mission Gift and Small Projects Schemes
Books Presentation Programme
Training awards in the United Kingdom
Commonwealth Scholars and Fellowship Plan
Joint Funding Schemes
Associate Professional Officers Scheme
Samanalawewa Hydroelectric Power Project
Bus bodies for Colombo
Water supply schemes in Southern Sri Lanka
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place between his Department and Oxfam with regard to the Government contributing towards some of the costs of Oxfam's aid programme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : My officials and I are in regular contact with Oxfam both about support under our joint funding scheme and about emergency relief measures. Indeed, I have recently decided to increase our grant to Oxfam under the joint funding scheme to £3.5 million next year.
Column 638We will of course also consider sympathetically requests for assistance for disaster and emergency relief measures if the need arises.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons of public policy the immigration portfolio has been moved from Minister of State to a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
Mr. Waddington : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to a question from the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) on 6 November 1989 at column 417 .
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) by year, (b) amount paid and (c) cases, the number of occasions ex-gratia payments of compensation to persons wrongfully imprisoned have been made.
Year |Number awarded |Total amount paid (£) |compensation ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |18 |92,631 1981 |13 |88,805 1982 |10 |114,157 1983 |6 |45,853 1984 |12 |14,450 1985 |17 |216,163 1986 |13 |154,890 1987 |14 |153,806 1988 |8 |56,925
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government are taking to ensure that computer codes involved in the decision-making process involving public safety are (a) reliable and (b) open to scrutiny by (i) the public and (ii) the scientific community.
Mr. Waddington : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to a question from him by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Forth) on 6 November 1989 at columns 401-2 . The Home Office is one of the Departments represented on the interdepartmental working committee on software engineering.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received a copy of "Unisex Pricing in Long Term Insurance" by the Equal Opportunities Commission ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tebbit : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is any limit placed upon the maximum time after an alleged traffic offence in the Metropolitan police area after which no prosecution will be initiated.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide figures on the number of arrests made in the Metropolitan police district under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 in the years 1987 and 1988.
Mr. John Patten [holding answer 27 October 1989] : Information is not held centrally on the number of arrests made under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. However in 1987 in the Metropolitan police district (including City of London) there were 2,600 prosecutions under section 5 of this Act of which 2,000 were found guilty. In 1988 the figures were 6,500 and 4,900 respectively.
Mr. Alan Howarth : In recent years the allocations of intake numbers to initial teacher training courses for early years (3-8) have been increased and institutions have been encouraged to increase the provision made for early years training within their allocation for primary places. The numbers recruited to such courses have nearly doubled since 1986.
Publicity literature on teacher recruitment, including that aimed at mature entrants and re-entrants, has highlighted the opportunities for early-years specialists.
Under the LEA training grants scheme, in-service training in the teaching of children in primary classes who are younger than "rising five" is a national priority area.
My hon. Friend the Minister of State is chairing a committee of inquiry on the quality of educational provision for three and four-year-olds which will be taking into account the nature of training for teachers and other professional staff involved.
Mr. Moss : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will provide guidance to local education authorities in relation to the provision they make for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department is today issuing a circular that provides guidance about the nature of educational provision that LEAs should make to meet the special educational needs of pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties in special schools. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many disabled students were included in his survey of students income and expenditure commissioned by his Department when drawing up proposals for the White Paper on top up loans for students.
Mr. Jackson : The surveys were designed to give a representative sample of the student population as a whole. We have no evidence that the proportion of disabled students included in the surveys was unrepresentative.
Sir Geoffrey Howe : I have no such plans. The Privy Council Office accommodates the Leaders of both Houses, the departments of the Clerk of the Privy Council and of the Judicial Committee of the Council. It would be impossible for those concerned to discharge their responsibilities to the sovereign and to Parliament if the office were to be located outside central London.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Lord President of the Council who is authorised to attach the parliamentary salary of right hon. or hon. Members who refuse to pay the community charge or so-called poll tax ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Geoffrey Howe [holding answer 30 October 1989] : Normally, the charging authority would serve an attachment of earnings order (AEO) on a debtor's employer, having first obtained a liability order from a magistrates' court. Since hon. Members do not have an employer, unless they authorise the attachment of their earnings, the charging authority would have to enforce recovery of the outstanding sum by other means.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) airports and (b) seaports that are used to transport (i) plutonium and (ii) other radioactive material to Europe and Japan.
Mr. McLoughlin : There are over half a million movements of radioactive material per annum. The Department does not collect information on a routine basis on the ports and airports used to export such material to Europe and Japan. In the particular case of plutoniums, I am advised that during the last year the only exports, in greater than gramme quantities, have been to Europe and have been made via Carlisle airport.
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that detailed design work will be prepared for both his Department's preferred route for the A27 in the Worthing area and a real bypass in advance of the public inquiry.
Worthing-Lancing scheme, we have undertaken to carry out full traffic, economic and environmental assessments of the alternative "blue" bypass routes that have been put forward as well as of our preferred "green" route announced in July. This will ensure an adequate basis for all the issues to be thoroughly debated at a public inquiry. We could not justify carrying out detailed design work on routes other than the one to be published in draft orders unless, following an inquiry, we were persuaded that such an alternative route should be adopted.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Burnley, (Mr. Pike), Official Report , 30 October, column 84 , he will indicate which railway issues were discussed ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 642positive. Results published by the transport and road research laboratory of the blood alcohol levels of driver fatalities also show a similar downward trend. This demonstrates our continuing success in changing public attitudes towards drinking and driving. This could not have been achieved by the Government action alone. Much of the credit must go to the police and to the brewers, publicans, and soft drink producers for their support in promoting low-alcohol and alcohol -free drinks and in helping us to bring home to people the awful consequences of drinking and driving.
There is, however, still a long way to go and we must not let up. We shall be launching our Christmas campaign against drinking and driving early in December, with the continuing support of private industry.
Mr. Portillo : Network SouthEast is well aware of the shortcomings of the Waterloo and City line. It plans a major overhaul of the line over the next few years and a programme of improvements is in hand. Resignalling should be completed by 1992. I am pleased to say that Network SouthEast has today announced that it is to order 20 new coaches to replace the existing fleet. These will be of the most modern design, similar to those on order by London Underground for the Central line. I welcome the British Railways Board's decision to approve this important piece of investment. I expect deliveries to begin in 1992.