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Mr. Norman Lamont : There will continue to be significant demographic changes in the United Kingdom in the next decade and beyond. In particular there will be an increase in the numbers of the elderly, and especially those aged over 85, while fewer young people will be entering the labour force.
The interactions between the structure of the population and the state of the economy are complex and uncertain, and demographic change is only one of the many factors that affect the economy.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The Government very much welcome recent developments in eastern Europe. The dismantling of barriers to trade and investment and the freeing of eastern European economies which is likely to follow should provide opportunities for United Kingdom firms to greatly increase the business they do there.
Mr. Norman Lamont : Output per man hour in United Kingdom manufacturing industry grew by an average of 1.6 per cent. a year over the last three years. The annual figures are 3.4 per cent. in 1986, 6.0 per cent. in 1987 and 4.8 per cent. in 1988.
81. Mr. Dykes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the latest available index figures for real output in manufacturing industry together with figures for the time period or periods in 1973 for the United Kingdom with France, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany.
|Manufacturing Output Indices ( 1985=100) |1973 |1988 --------------------------------- United Kingdom |110.4|114.0 Germany |90.7 |106.8 France |95.0 |107.6 Italy |84.1 |112.3 Source: OECD except United Kingdom, CSO.
Mr. Lilley : The arrangements for each sale are a matter for the relevant Secretary of State. In past privatisations, it has not been the practice to offer all retirement pensioners free shares. There have, however, been special terms for the past and present employees of the privatised company.
Mr. Hanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current yield from stamp duty split between the major transactions from which it is derived ; and what proportion of total taxation revenues it forms.
Mr. Lilley : The yield from stamp duty, including stamp duty reserve tax, in 1989-90 is forecast to be £2,260 million, about 1.4 per cent. of the latest forecast of total receipts in 1989-90 from taxes on income, expenditure and capital. The stamp duty yield is forecast to be split as follows :
|£ million -------------------------------------------- Land and property |1,210 Stocks and shares |980 Life insurance policies |60 Other duties |10 |------ Total |2,260
Mr. Ryder : The Government wish to attract into national savings funds which investors will leave untouched for several years. They therefore introduced the capital bond last January, offering a taxable guaranteed return of 12 per cent. a year if held to maturity after five years. The Government also aim to provide through national savings a fair return on the savings of non-taxpayers. Interest on national savings income and deposit bonds, and on deposits in the national savings bank investment account, is therefore paid or credited gross of income tax. The Government recently announced that the interest rate on these products would be increased by 1 per cent.
Staff numbers (thousands) |1 April |1 January|1 January |1989 |1984 |1979 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Non-Industrial London |112.9 |119.8 |138.6 Outside London |386.9 |389.1 |427.5 Proportion outside London (per cent.) |77.4 |76.5 |75.5 Industrial London |6.1 |11.7 |10.7 Outside London |63.3 |112.1 |156.4 Proportion outside London (per cent.) |91.2 |90.6 |93.6 Total London |119.0 |131.5 |149.3 Outside London |450.2 |501.1 |583.9 Proportion outside London (per cent.) |79.1 |79.2 |79.6
Figures for non-industrial staff are extracted from a computer system which came into being in 1975. Before that date figures were collected by means of manual returns which gave no separate information about London-based staff numbers.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the proportion of imports of capital goods bought by manufacturing industry ; and what is the ratio of imports to United Kingdom production of capital goods.
Mr. Norman Lamont : No estimates exist giving the proportion of imports of capital goods bought by manufacturing industry, or of the ratio of imports of capital goods to United Kingdom production of capital goods. To derive these estimates would involve
disproportionate costs. This is due to the lack of consistency between the definition of capital goods according to the standard industrial trade classification (SITC) used for overseas trade statistics, and the standard industrial classification (SIC) used to define United Kingdom industries and commodity groupings.
Mr. Major : I regret that this information is not available. When the Government borrow they do so mainly through the issue of securities, which may be bought by charitable trusts, either directly or in the market. The extent of such purchases is not known.
The Prime Minister : Following the successful introduction of the community charge in Scotland, I understand that most local authorities in England and Wales are making excellent progress in preparing for the community charge. Many chargepayers will already have received notification that they are on their authority's community charge register. I have every confidence that all authorities will wish to ensure that bills, with any necessary adjustment for transitional relief and rebates, will be issued to chargepayers on time next April.
The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.
This evening I shall attend a dinner given by the Royal Green Jackets to mark the retirement of my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Holderness as their honorary colonel.
The Prime Minister : Previous official engagements for Monday 4 December have had to be changed to enable me to attend the NATO summit in Brussels on that day. That is the only change to my earlier plans.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister what official hospitality will be extended by her to hon. Members in the week up to Tuesday 5 December ; and to which parties the hon. Members receiving such hospitality belong.
representations she has made to the President of South Korea during his visit about the prisoners of conscience detained by his Government for political activities in contravention of article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights.
The Prime Minister : In our talks on 28 November, I congratulated President Roh on his achievements in extending democracy in Korea but did not discuss article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights.
confidentiality essential to the effective working of the Government. I continue to think that a statutory general public right of access to official information is inappropriate for our system of Government.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister whether she discussed the proposal compulsorily to repatriate Vietnamese boat people from Hong Kong at her recent meeting with President Bush ; and if she will make a statement on her current policy on this issue.
The Prime Minister : The repatriation of Vietnamese boat people from Hong Kong was discussed with President Bush. I explained that all who arrive are screened. Those who are found to be genuine refugees will not be returned. Those who are not genuine refugees will be regarded as illegal immigrants and repatriated as provided for in the comprehensive plan of action agreed at the international conference on Indo-Chinese refugees last June in Geneva.
Column 433The Prime Minister : I am unaware of any such correspondence having been received in my office.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Prime Minister if, during her visit to Kuala Lumpur for the Commonwealth conference in October, she discussed with any other political leaders the sale of United Kingdom designed fluidised-bed combined cycle coal-fired power plants to Commonwealth nations.
Q53. Mr. Latham : To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations she has made to the President of the Republic of South Africa regarding the release of Mr. Nelson Mandela immediately and without conditions ; and what reply she has received.
The Prime Minister : We have made frequent representations to the South African Government calling on them to release Mr. Mandela immediately and without conditions. We continue to look for a positive response from the South African Government.
The Prime Minister : The National Health Service Bill will implement the reforms that will ensure that the resources and talent devoted to the NHS are used to give patients an even better service and the widest possible choice.
Column 434The hospitals that give the best service to the greatest number of patients will receive more resources. General practitioners who believe that they can give better value to patients by holding their own budgets will be able to do so. Together with the improved GP services that we have introduced, the changes should mean that patients will be able to get operations more quickly, hospitals will have a reliable appointment system for outpatients, more children will be vaccinated against disease and there will be more regular check-ups on people's health. The Bill will also implement care which will enable growing numbers of elderly and disabled people to live at home and will direct more resources and assistance to the relatives and friends who help to look after them.
The Prime Minister : I have received a number of representations on the teaching of English history. The Government intend that under the national curriculum the teaching of history should have at its core the history of Britain.