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Column 53benefits--income support, family credit and housing benefit--after £5 has been disregarded. This statutory disregard will be doubled to £10 from next April, a change which will also apply to community charge benefit.
Local authorities are responsible for administering housing benefit and community charge benefit. They have discretion to disregard more of war disablement pensions in calculating entitlement, but the cost of exercising this discretion has to be borne by the local authority itself.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when, and in what way, he intends to give effect to his recent announcement to end the restriction on availability of attendance allowance for severely disabled children under two years old ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many standard rate taxpayers receive child benefit, excluding those on family credit ; how many higher rate taxpayers receive child benefit ; and what is the cost of paying child benefit to such families in each case ;
(2) how much he would save by withdrawing child benefit from higher rate taxpayers.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 2 November 1989] : The number of families in receipt of child benefit, excluding those on family credit, who are standard rate taxpayers is estimated for 1989-90 as 4.5 million, with a child benefit cost of approximately £3 billion. The estimate of the number of families paying higher rate tax is 0.5 million, with a child benefit cost of around £300 million.
94. Sir Anthony Meyer : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many workers in the nuclear generating industry have been killed or injured since the programme started ; and what are the corresponding figures for the coal, oil and gas industries.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Nuclear Power Generating<1> |5 |41 |103 Coal Mining<2> |359 |5,360 |19,453 Off-shore Installations for Oil and Gas Extraction<3> |81 |592 |1,144 Gas Production and Distribution<4> |4 |395 |4,916 <1>Reported to HSE's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. <2>Reported to HSE's Inspectorate of Mines and Quarries. Includes injuries in the open-cast coal mining sector except for over three day injuries occuring in 1986-87 for which data is not available. <3>Reported to the Petroleum Engineering Division of the Department of Energy. <4>Reported to HSE's Factory Inspectorate. <5>Excludes injuries occurring during the period 1 January to 31 March 1986. <6>The Major injury category was introduced by the Notification of Accidents and Dangerous Occurencies Regulations, 1980 (NADOR) on 1 January 1981. The data includes injuries reported under these Regulations and under the widened definition employed under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1985 (RIDDOR), introduced 1 April 1986. <7>Injuries causing absence from work for more than three days reported under RIDDOR. Data for earlier years are not available or not compiled on a comparable basis.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Leeds, West on 28 July, Official Report, column 1045, what information is collected about disqualification from unemployment benefit.
Mr. Eggar : All decisions on claims for unemployment benefit are made by the independent adjudicating authorities. These are firstly an adjudication officer, on appeal a social security appeal tribunal, and on further appeal, on a point of law only, a social security commissioner.
Analyses of adjudication officers' decisions are published quarterly by the Department of Social Security, under the title "Unemployment Benefit Statistics, Quarterly Analysis of Decisions of Adjudication Officers".
Column 54These show the numbers of adjudication officers' decisions in each category of question of doubt, together with the number of cases allowed, and the number disallowed or disqualified. These publications are available in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons in the West Midlands region were disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit during the period 1 January to 31 March because they were considered to have left their employment voluntarily without just cause and successfully appealed against disqualification.
Mr. Eggar : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 28 July 1989 at column 1050. The number of persons who successfully appeal against the decision to disqualify unemployment benefit because they were
Column 55considered to have left their employment voluntarily without just cause are not separately identified from other claimants who successfully appeal against the decision of an adjudication officer.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees of his Department, and of what grades, have been seconded to Key Training of 10 Eaton place, Reading, in each of the last five years ; and how many of these have since left the Department.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the top 10 tourist attractions in Cambridgeshire in numbers visiting or attending ; and if he will indicate the numbers in each instance for the years 1986, 1987 and 1988.
|Number of visits ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1986 King's College Chapel |<1>750,000 Imperial War Museum, Duxford |360,000 Fitzwilliam Museum |205,000 Wimpole Home Farm |77,474 Nene Valley Railway |<1>68,489 Wimpole Valley |61,131 Anglesey Abbey |58,937 University Botanic Garden |<1>55,000 Peakirk Wildlife Trust |51,315 Kettle's Yard |40,000 1987 King's College Chapel |<1>750,000 Imperial War Museum, Duxford |396,000 Fitzwilliam Museum |260,000 Linton Zoo |<1>80,000 Wimpole Home Farm |69,780 Anglesey Abbey |57,191 University Botanic Garden |<1>55,000 Wimple Hall |54,336 Peakirk Wildlife Trust |54,336 Willersmill Fish Farm and Wild Animal Sanctuary |<1>38,000 1988 Kings College Chapel |<1>750,000 Imperial War Museum, Duxford |376,302 Fitzwilliam Museum |249,000 Wimpole Home Farm |91,529 Linton Zoo |<1>80,000 Nene Valley Railway |<1>68,000 Wimpole Hall |62,281 Anglesey Abbey |61,257 Peakirk Wildlife Trust |55,350 University Botanic Garden |55,000 <1> Estimates. Note: 1986 visitor numbers are not available for Linton Zoo and 1987 figures are not available for Nene Valley Railway.
Mr. Nicholls : My Department, through its employment service and Training Agency, operates a wide range of employment, enterprise and training measures, which are all available in Merseyside, as elsewhere.
In addition, as in other inner city areas, a number of initiatives have been adopted aimed at helping unemployed people in Liverpool to find employment, and at encouraging employers to recruit local unemployed people. Since April the Liverpool city action team has approved 26 employment and training projects.
During the 12 months to September 1989 unemployment in the Merseyside county has fallen by 20,294--18.9 per cent. of the September 1988 figure.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) by what means the availability of the adaptations to premises and equipment scheme is made known to disabled people and their potential employers ;
(2) by what means the availability of the job introduction scheme is made known to disabled people and their potential employers.
Mr. Eggar : Information about the adaptations to premises and equipment and job introduction schemes is made available to disabled people and their potential or actual employers through employment service staff, particularly disablement resettlement officers and, in the case of employers, the disablement advisory service, leaflets describing the schemes, and other organisations who advise people with disabilities. The code of good practice on the employment of disabled people, of which 120,000 copies have been distributed, also describes the schemes.
|Number ---------------------- 1979-80 |94 1980-81 |83 1981-82 |93 1982-83 |117 1983-84 |170 1984-85 |145 1985-86 |165 1986-87 |253 1987-88 |252 1988-89 |247
|Number ---------------------- 1979-80 |1,504 1980-81 |1,072 1981-82 |1,434 1982-83 |1,295 1983-84 |1,850 1984-85 |2,033 1985-86 |1,828 1986-87 |1,460 1987-88 |1,629 1988-89 |2,090
Mr. Eggar : In April 1989, a total of 488 members of staff in the employment service were undertaking disablement resettlement officer duties, of whom 333 were doing so full time. I regret that comparable figures are not available for previous years.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were registered as disabled under the provisions of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944 in each of the years 1978 to 1989.
|Numbers ------------------------ 1978 |494,877 1979 |482,006 1980 |470,588 1981 |460,178 1982 |447,259 1983 |433,177 1984 |420,475 1985 |404,170 1986 |389,273 1987 |383,439 1988 |374,238 1989 |366,768
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will make a statement on the underspending of amounts estimated for the job introduction scheme to assist people with disability to seek employment in 10 of the last years ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the underspending of amounts estimated for the adaptations to premises and equipment scheme to assist people with disabilities in seven of the last 10 years.
Mr. Eggar : In estimating each year expenditure on the special schemes for people with disabilities, the Department seeks to ensure that provision is adequate to meet likely demand. That can inevitably result in overprovision for particular schemes. The Department is able to use funds not needed for a particular scheme to meet the demand arising on the other schemes. Over the 10 years 1979-80 to 1988-89, expenditure on the job introduction scheme increased from £297,201 to £614,000, on the adaptations to premises and equipment scheme from £50,000 to £423,000 and on all the special schemes together from £796,961 to £5,668,949. This very substantial increase in expenditure demonstrates the success of the disablement advisory service and other departmental staff in making the help available more widely known to employers and people with disabilities.
Mr. Eggar : The current training period for disablement resettlement officers is six months. This includes attending national training courses, local project work, use of self-learning packs and on-the-job coaching. Between 1975 and 1983 the training programme for DROs was seven weeks, mainly devoted to national training courses.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which organisations of disabled people he has consulted and which ones he intends to consult before determining future Government policy towards the operation of the quota scheme for disabled people.
Mr. Eggar : The quota scheme is among the matters being considered in the internal review of services for people with disabilities which my Department has been undertaking. In conducting the review, account has been taken of views expressed previously by a wide range of organisations and individuals. We intend to seek comments from all major organisations of and for people with disabilities on the consultative document which will be published on completion of the review. Copies of this document will also be available to others who express an interest, and their comments will be welcomed.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current establishment, at each grade, of the unemployment benefit office at Cumnock ; how many deal directly with interviewing of new claimants, what representations he has received concerning the lack of staff to deal with claimants ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar [pursuant to his reply, 2 November 1989,c. 307] : I regret that the information given in my reply of 2 November was incorrect due to one staff member being listed twice. The correct information is as follows :
The number of staff in each grade is as follows: |Number --------------------------------------- Higher Executive Officer |1 Executive Officer |<1>3 Administrative Officer |14 Administrative Assistant |<2>5 <1> Of which 1 is an Administrative Officer on temporary promotion. <2> Of which 1 is a Casual Employee.
One executive officer deals directly with new claimants, with a second executive officer having an element of interviewing within his post. Area management met the trade union side on 2 October to discuss area issues including staffing requirements. It has subsequently been agreed that the third executive officer post would be filled on a permanent basis.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The responsibility for collecting community charges lies with local authorities. Indications are however that good progress is being made in collection with over 96 per cent. of people having paid in some areas.
Mr. Norman Hogg : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of persons, expressed as a percentage of those liable, who have paid or are paying the poll tax in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth district.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he has had with the chairmen of (a) British Nuclear Fuels plc and (b) the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority regarding the future management and ownership of the nuclear power stations in Scotland after vesting day under the terms of the Electricity Act.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what consultations he has carried out with the chairman-designate of Scottish Nuclear Ltd. about the future management and ownership of Scottish nuclear power stations after vesting day under the terms of the Electricity Act.
(2) what consultations he has had with the chairman of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board regarding the future management and ownership of nuclear power stations in Scotland after vesting day under the terms of the Electricity Act 1989.
Mr. Lang : [holding answer 10 November 1989] : My right hon. and learned Friend and I met the chairmen of the South of Scotland electricity board and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and the chairman-designate of Scottish Nuclear Limited on 8 November to discuss these matters. There have also been regular and full discussions of these matters between my officials and the boards.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of ctenolabrus rupestris, the gold sinny wrasse, as the alternative to pesticides as a means of removing sea lice from salmon in fish farms ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : The possible use of gold sinny wrasse to control sea lice infestation in farmed salmon is being investigated in trials by the Institute of Fishery Technology Research in Norway and in Scotland by the Sea Fish Industry Authority's sea farming unit in conjunction with the salmon farming industry. Preliminary results in aquarium observations and small-scale field trials with wrasse taken from the wild suggest that numbers of sea lice on farmed salmon are reduced in enclosures shared by wrasse.
The viability of this method for large-scale and long-term control of sea lice is uncertain as yet. Sea cage trials are still at a relatively early stage but the results of current work will be of considerable interest.
Investigation of other possible alternative controls on sea lice is also in progress. In particular, the Scottish Salmon Growers Association have commissioned the Institute of Aquaculture at the university of Stirling to investigate alternative treatment methods and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland is co-ordinating a large-scale project, part- funded by the European Communities research programme into possible development of a vaccine treatment. It is not possible to say if or when positive results or practical methods of treatment might emerge from these
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Western Isles, 4 April, Official Report, column 160, if he will state the size of the sand-eel catches in ICES Division VIa in 1989, the amount of fishing effort directed towards sand-eel fishing, the percentage of the catch by weight made up of O-group and I-group fish, and the home ports of vessels concerned.
x 1989 Landings of sand-eels from ICES Division VIa by United Kingdom vessels Fishing effort [NL] |Base district |Vessels involved|Landings tonnes |Days absent ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fraserburgh |5 |- |- |- Stornoway |4 |- |- |- Shetland |2 |- |- |- Aberdeen, Macduff, Mallaig, Orkney |4 |- |- |- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total |15 |18,785 |308 |2,313
Mr. Lang : There is no analysis of the monthly unemployment count by occupation. However, the labour force survey provides information on the previous occupation of those who are unemployed. The latest information, from the 1988 labour force survey, shows that in spring 1988, on the basis of the ILO definition, there were an estimated 20, 000 unemployed persons in the construction industry in Scotland. The Scottish construction industry has prospered well in 1989 with orders and output for the first half of the year at the highest levels since 1978 and 1980, respectively. Orders in the first half of 1989 were up 26.6 per cent. in real terms on those of the same period in 1988 and point to continued strong growth of output and improving employment prospects over the next 12 months.
The latest Building Employer's Confederation state of trade inquiry shows that a net 73 per cent. of Scottish firms expect an increase in their workload over the coming year.
Mr. Lang : In July 1989, the latest date for which the information is available, there were 72,740 young people aged between 18 and 24 unemployed in Scotland. In the past two years the number of unemployed in this age group in Scotland has fallen by more than 32, 000, a drop of almost one third.
Mr. Lang : There are no employment measures specifically directed at the construction industry in Scotland. The Government aim to help all unemployed people take advantage of the opportunities that exist through job clubs, job start, restart and travel-to-interview schemes. As part of their usual services, jobcentres display vacancies for all industries. In addition, employment training enables unemployed people to gain and update the skills they need to compete in the labour market.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : There are no Community proposals for sheepmeat quotas. The new sheepmeat regime agreed by the Council of Ministers in July will however introduce a headage limit on the payment of ewe premium as from 1 January 1990. Producers in the less-favoured areas (LFAs) will be able to receive full premium on their first 1,000 eligible ewes and premium paid at 50 per cent. on any additional ewes ; there
Column 62is no upper limit on the number of ewes on which premium may be claimed. In 1988 some 696 of the 15,016 producers in Scotland's LFAs would have been affected by the headage limit. However, individual members of groups, associations or other forms of co-operation between producers may qualify for individual headage limits. The Government secured a commitment from the Council of Ministers that this provision would extend to partnerships in Scots law. Until the 1990 ewe premium application forms are returned it will not be possible to say how many Scottish producers have been affected by the headage limit.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whan he intends to reply to the letter of 14 October from the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North concerning the conduct of the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth).
Mr. Lang : I refer to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 19 October to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood).
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider strengthening the Scottish criminal law against persons making anonymous and threatening or abusive telephone calls ; and if he will make a statement.
Telecommunications Act 1984, where the maximum penalty would be a £400 fine. In serious cases, such a person may be prosecuted for any one or more of a range of common law offences, for which, if taken on indictment before the High Court, the maximum penalties would be an unlimited fine and life imprisonment. I consider these sanctions to be adequate.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Detail of direct subsidy payments is given in the table. The figures include the estimated Scottish share of market support expenditure incurred by the intervention board for agricultural produce. They exclude educational, advisory, research and development services provided by, among others, the Scottish agricultural colleges and Scottish agricultural research institutes and the Department. Information on indirect subsidies, for example, the benefit of exemption from rating, is either not available or could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Assistance to Scottish Farmers Year |Amount |£ million ------------------------------- <1>1989-90 |240.3 1988-89 |243.9 1987-88 |229.1 1986-87 |188.4 1985-86 |274.6 1984-85 |220.0 1983-84 |209.6 1982-83 |164.2 1981-82 |123.5 1980-81 |129.3 1979-80 |80.0 <1>Estimated.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : GPs are not paid on a salary band, but are independent contractors, in contract with health boards to provide general medical services. Their target average remuneration is set by the Government each year on the recommendation of the doctors and dentists review body, and the figure for the current year is £31,105. Information about payments to individual doctors is not held centrally, but I shall write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.