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Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most up-to-date estimate on the level of capital write-offs to be made to the balance sheets of the Central Electricity Generating Board and its succcessor generating companies under the terms of the Electricity Act.
Mr. Michael Spicer : There will be certain residual and transitional operations which the Electricity Council will not be able to complete before the transfer date. The Electricity Act 1989 therefore provides for the council's continued existence until such operations are completed, when it will be dissolved by order. The transitional period between the transfer date and the dissolution of the council is likely to be of several years' duration.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the average level of change in electricity prices in England and Wales for the first quarter of 1990, relative to the 1 April to 31 December 1989 level.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the terms of the bulk supply tariff agreement for the first quarter of 1990 between the area electricity boards and the Central Electricity Generating Board.
We will not have the manpower planning advisory groups' report on the future supply of occupational therapists until spring next year. I am aware of the recent publication of the report, "Occupational Therapy, An Emerging Profession In Health Care", by a commission headed by Louis Blom-Cooper QC. This report is one of a number of topics that will be discussed with the College of Occupational Therapists when my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health meets it later this month.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will give (a) the total public expenditure for each year from 1978-79 to 1989-90 showing the cost of each service in real terms and also as a percentage of the total and (b) the percentage growth of each service and of total expenditure in real terms.
Mr. Lamont : A breakdown of the public expenditure planning total by function for the years 1978-79 to 1989-90 in real terms (base year 1987- 88), from which percentage changes can be derived, was given in table 21.4.7 of chapter 21 of the 1989 public expenditure White Paper (Cm 621). The proportions of total departmental spending devoted to particular functions was given in table 21.4.8 of the same publication.
The figures in both these tables are based on the definition of the planning total used in the 1988 and earlier public expenditure surveys. As announced in Cm 441, the Government have decided to change the definition of the planning total. The plans to be published in the Autumn Statement will be on the new definition.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the percentage rate of growth of business investment for each year from 1979 to 1989 on the assumption that all firms transferred from the public sector to the private sector in the decade had been in the private sector from before 1979 ;
(2) what is the percentage rate of growth of capital investment for each year from 1979 to 1989 on the assumption that all firms transferred from the public sector to the private sector in the decade had been in the private sector from before 1979 ;
(3) what is the year by year rate of growth of (a) business investment in the United Kingdom for each year 1979 to 1989, (b) business investment in the United Kingdom for each year 1979 to 1989, excluding all investment by firms transferred from the public sector to the private sector during the decade, (c) capital
Column 830investment by manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom for each year from 1979 to 1989 and (d) capital investment by manufacturing industry from 1979 to 1989, excluding all firms transferred from the public sector to the private sector during the decade.
Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 7 November 1989] : For reasons of confidentiality, information of the kind requested relating to the movement of firms between sectors cannot be published. Estimates of total investment in fixed capital of public and private sector investment and of investment by manufacturing industry are given in chapter 13 of the 1989 edition of "United Kingdom National Accounts". Estimates, from 1979, of business investment in total are at current prices. They are given in the table.
Business investment <1> at current market prices, annual per cent. growth rates |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1979 |17.6 1980 |11.6 1981 |-0.3 1982 |6.8 1983 |5.1 1984 |13.4 1985 |12.8 1986 |3.1 1987 |15.8 1988 |22.1 <1> Business investment is defined as private sector and public corporations gross domestic fixed capital formation excluding purchases less sales of land and existing buildings and private sector investment in dwellings.
Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the costs to the Exchequer of set-aside schemes, showing income received from the EEC expenditure to farmers and the net expenditure saving to the Exchequer.
The expected cost to the Exchequer of payments in the current financial year is about £11 million, of which approximately 42 per cent. is reimbursable from the European guidance and guarantee fund. The net expenditure saving to the Exchequer depends on a number of factors : I will be in a better position to assess this once I have the results of an economic evaluation of the first year of the scheme. This evaluation is currently in progress.
Mr. Maclean : Research conducted post-war by the advisory services has demonstrated the relationship between potato blight, caused by the fungus phytophthora infestans, and the economics of yield, and has determined the effects of weather on the proliferation of the disease from primary sources of infection in or near crops. This
Column 831work has led to the formulation, in collaboration with the Meteorological Office, of weather-based schemes to forecast the initiation of epidemics and the need to begin protective programmes of fungicide sprays to control the disease.
The most recent research has been concerned with the control of potato blight with fungicides representing groups with different modes of action. Recently the main objective has been to monitor the distribution and incidence of strains of p. infestans resistant to the commonly used systemic fungicides and to evaluate the efficacy of proprietary products against natural epidemics in the field. Since 1986, resistance to phenylamide fungicides has been widespread in England and Wales. In 1988 and 1989, about 80 per cent. of potato blight samples contained p. infestans resistant to phenylamides. Consequently, the phenylamide component of fungicides for the control of potato blight has become unreliable. There have been no observations of resistance developing to other fungicide groups. Research has led to recommendations for the use of fungicides which will control the disease in the presence of
The effect of the timing of fungicide sprays in relation to irrigation has also been investigated. Applications of the fungicide mancozeb one day before, one day after or five days after irrigation were equally effective in controlling potato blight.
A survey of British potato crops (1986 and 1987) has shown that strains of p. infestans capable of stimulating sexual reproduction have entered the country. The risks of consequent genetic evolution towards more virulent strains of the pathogen, towards the development of insensitivity of fungicides, and towards the ability of such strains to persist in soil as viable spores are being evaluated.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has also funded work, co- ordinated by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, on the evaluation of new varieties of potatoes. This work includes an assessment of varietal resistance to p. infestans, the results of which are made available in the National Institute of Agricultural Botany farmer's leaflet "Recommended Varieties of Potatoes."
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the relative proportions of expenditure, in percentage terms, by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund on (a) guarantee, and (b) guidance sections for each of the last five years, for (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) the European Community as a whole.
Percentage of Guarantee/Guidance Expenditure for United Kingdom and European Community as a whole (1984-88) |Guarantee|Guidance |Total ------------------------------------------------------------- 1984 United Kingdom |94.66 |5.34 |100 European Community |96.43 |3.57 |100 1985 United Kingdom |94.18 |5.82 |100 European Community |96.48 |3.52 |100 1986 United Kingdom |95.87 |4.19 |100 European Community |96.62 |3.38 |100 1987 United Kingdom |95.22 |4.78 |100 European Community |96.19 |3.81 |100 1988 United Kingdom |95.93 |4.07 |100 European Community |96.04 |3.96 |100 Source: Financial reports on the E.A.G.G.F.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial support was given to agriculture in each of the member states of the European Economic Community in each of the last three years.
Mr. Maclean : Payments to member states for agricultural support under the common agricultural policy from the European agricultural guidance and guarantee fund (EAGGF) in each of the last three years were as follows :
EAGGF payments to member states for budget years 1986-88 million ecu |1986 |1987 |1988 ------------------------------------------------------- Belgium |998.20 |842.60 |739.40 Denmark |1,087.60 |1,077.80 |1,226.10 Germany |4,510.10 |4,125.20 |5,036.10 Greece |1,476.50 |1,421.80 |1,452.30 Spain |271.45 |626.70 |1,977.70 France |5,635.80 |5,908.40 |6,491.10 Ireland |1,279.60 |1,047.60 |1,163.00 Italy |3,241.30 |4,085.30 |4,549.30 Luxembourg |4.40 |6.00 |5.30 Netherlands |2,295.70 |2,746.30 |3,837.00 Portugal |30.80 |177.10 |257.40 United Kingdom |2,073.60 |1,836.50 |2,077.60 Total EC |22,910.80|23,876.40|28,829.80 Source: Financial reports on the EAGGF.
Mr. Curry : Aquagard sea lice treatment (formerly Nuvan fish 500 EC) is licensed under the Medicines Act 1968 for the treatment of farmed salmon. The terms of the licence include strict conditions which must be observed by the user and are set out in the product labels. These include the need first to obtain a discharge consent from the local water authority. The licence is subject to review in June 1990.
Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on the incidence of release of eggs on to the open market after being found by the port authority to be salmonella contaminated.
Mr. Curry : The arrangements for sampling imported eggs for salmonella contamination were explained in my answer to the hon. Member for East Lothian of 1 November, at column 210. Eggs are not detained and therefore the question of them being released (or not) when the test results become available does not arise.
Mr. Curry : As a consequence of world-wide PCB use and release PCBs can be detected in most marine species, using sensitive analytical techniques. Within British coastal waters levels are generally highest in the north-east Irish sea/Liverpool bay area.
Mr. Curry : Concentrations of PCBs in British coastal waters and cetaceans reflect inputs from world-wide sources. The analyses of dead cetaceans give no grounds for suspicion that PCB concentrations found were caused by a particular local discharge.