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Mr. Trippier : The total costs of establishing and running the European Environment Agency in its first year, as estimated by the Commission of the European Communities, is 5.5 million ecu. The division between capital and revenue costs is not available.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what negotiations he has had with his European Community counterparts to establish a system for the voluntary exchange and publishing of information regarding environmental matters.
Mr. Trippier : A number of Community instruments such as the industrial air pollution framework directive allow for information about environmental matters to be exchanged. The Commission also publishes environmental information from member countries in its periodic state of the environment reports. Discussions have also been taking place to establish a comprehensive system for the voluntary exchange and publication of environmental information in the context of the proposed regulation establishing a European Environment Agency.
Column 367Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : None of the dispersants deployed by the Department of Transport's marine pollution control unit or obtained from their stockpile contained mercury.
Mr. Janman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the possibility of a theme park and film studio being developed on Rainham and Aveley marshes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will explain the basis of his estimate of the yield from non-domestic rates in 1990-91, which is to be distributed to local authorities for that year.
Mr. Chope : The figure announced by my right hon. Friend on 6 November--£10,428.5 million--is the total amount which I expect to be paid by way of rates and a contribution in aid of rates in respect of Crown property. This has been derived by estimating the rateable value of all private business and nationalised industry properties, on the basis of the most up-to-date information available about the effects of the 1990 revaluation, and calculating a
multiplier--36p--which will produce an amount that is consistent with the Government's commitment that the yield from those sectors should be broadly the same in real terms under the new system as in 1989-90 ; by applying that multiplier to the estimated new values of properties occupied by local authorities and the Crown ; and by making certain allowances for income likely to be forgone, and adjustments to take account of the effect of transitional arrangements. The detailed calculation is set out in the table.
|£ million |(1990-91) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Income from Local and Central Lists a) Total Local and central Lists RV X |9,932 Multiplier (£27,590m X £0.36) +b) allowance for net buoyancy in 1990-91 (1.5 |+149 per cent.) -c) charitable reliefs and other allowances |-306 -d) transitional arrangements |-38 -e) allowance for loss of income as a result of |-497 lower rating of empty property -f) allowance for losses on collection (0.3 per |-25 cent. of <1>a+b-c-d-e) -g) allowance for costs of collection |-42.5 |-------- Sub Total |9,172.5 2. Income from Local Authorities + Local Authority RV X Multiplier (and |+635 after transition) 3. Income from Crown Contribution in Aid + Crown RV X Multiplier (and after |+653 transition) |-------- 4. Total |10,465.5 5. -City Offset (at 1990-91 prices) |-37 |-------- 6. Total NNDR Distributable Amount (at 1990-91 prices) |10,428.5 <1> Excludes Central List. Notes: 1. Item 1(a): the estimated rateable value total represents the values of private businesses and nationalised industries on local and central rating lists. 2. Item 1(b): "net buoyancy" reflects changes in the rateable value base largely as a result of new buildings.no separate allowance has been made for 1990-91 for appeals against the new rating list, which are likely to be settled in later years. 3. Items 1(c) and (e): these deductions take account of theaffect of changes in statutory provision for charitable relief and unoccupied property rating. 4. Item 1(d): the adjustments for transition represents the amount by which it is estimated that the transitional arrangements will not balance in 1990-91, i.e. the amount of rates foregone as aresult of protection against increases will not be recoupled by way of the limitations on reductions. 5. Items 2 and 3: the figures for rates paid on local authority property and the Crawn contribution in aid are net of buoyancy and erduced payments for empty property. 6. Item 5: the City offset is a preliminary estimate of the reduction in the amount which the City of London will be required to pay into the non-domestic rating pool on account of the local rate in the City. This is the amount which will be retained by the authority to meet its expenditure.
Political agreement was reached on a regulation establishing a European Environment Agency responsible for the collection, co-ordination and analysis of environmental information. The agreement met the concerns of Her Majesty's Government and of the Select Committee on the Environment. It is envisaged that the agency will be a small, independent, professional body which will provide an authoritative source of information to underpin Community environmental policy. Care has been taken to avoid possible duplication of work being undertaken in other fora. The question of the eventual participation of non-Community countries remains open. No decision was taken on the location of the agency's headquarters. The United Kingdom has offered to host it in Cambridge.
The Council considered a compromise text, tabled by the French Presidency, of a draft directive for the protection of natural and semi-natural habitats and wild fauna and flora and in particular the proposed procedures for drawing up a list of protected sites. The Council reaffirmed its support for the principle of a directive and congratulated the Presidency on the progress made in breaking the stalemate over the Commission's proposals. The Presidency text was referred for detailed examination. It is hoped that further substantial progress will take place during the Irish Presidency.
Column 369The Council took note of a recent Commission task force report on the relationship between the environment and the completion of the internal market. There was also a preliminary exchange of views on the potential role of fiscal instruments in environmental protection.
I emphasised the Government's strong support for the pinciple of the draft directive aimed at ensuring freedom of access to information on the environment held by public authorities and its dissemination throughout the Community. Following a useful discussion, the proposal was referred back for further detailed examination. The Council agreed conclusions underlining the need for the Community and member states to play an active part in the conservation of tropical forests and calling for further examination of the Commission's communication on the subject.
Ministers reviewed progress on a draft directive on nitrate pollution from diffuse sources in water, in the light of some suggestions by the French Presidency. Discussion of this proposal will continue in the Irish Presidency.
The United Kingdom received warm support in urging the Commission to bring forward early proposals for two directives controlling vehicle emissions : a consolidated directive which would bring emission standards for medium cars into line with those already agreed for large and small cars ; and on measures to reduce emissions from diesel heavy goods vehicles. There was also support for our call for an early Commission report on means to reduce CO emissions from vehicles.
At the request of the United Kingdom the Commission undertook to draft Council conclusions on the need for developed industralised countries to become self-sufficient in the disposal of their own waste as far as possible. It is intended that consideration of the draft conclusions should prepare for discussion of the same subject in OECD.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many people in (a) Yorkshire and (b) elsewhere in the United Kingdom have had their water supplies disconnected for non-payment of water charges in the past year, to date.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 28 November 1989] : The information on disconnections for non-payment of water charges is collected on a full year basis. Information in respect of the year to date is not available.
Mr. Chris Patten [holding answer 29 November 1989] : The principal area of concern in representations during this period has been with county councils' responsibilities for waste disposal, and with our proposals for legislation to strengthen their role and powers to discharge their duties.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioners he estimates live on the state retirement pension exclusively ; how many live on this pension and income support exclusively ; and how many have additional income of up to £5, £5 to £10, £10 to £20, £20 to £50, £50 to £100, £100 to £200 and above £200 per week.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Proportion of Pensioner Tax Units<1> in receipt of |4 Retirement Pension/Supplementary Benefit only 2. Proportion of Pensioner Tax Units in receipt of |13 Retirement Pension/Supplementary Benefit and Housing Benefit only 3. Proportion of Pensioner Tax Units who have income<2> additional to Retirement Pension/ Supplementary Benefit and Housing Benefit, in stated ranges:- £0.01 to £5 per week |18 £5 to £10 per week |9 £10 to £20 per week |13 £20 to £50 per week |19 £50 to £100 per week |12 £100 to £200 per week |9 £200 plus per week |4 Source: Family Expenditure Survey 1986. Notes: <1> A pensioner tax unit is the unit on which tax is assessed; in this context where the head of the tax unit is over pensionable age and the tax unit receives some Retirement Pension. <2> At 1986 prices.
Mr. Aitken : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) approximately how many pensioners over 75 years have applied for the new £3.50 per week supplement introduced in the Budget ; and how many of these applications have been successful ;
(2) approximately how many pensioners over 75 years have applied for the new £3.50 per week supplement introduced earlier in the current year in the Budget ; and how many of these applications have been successful.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Around 2.5 million pensioners who were already entitled to income support or housing benefit will have benefited automatically from the premium changes introduced in October. These changes applied to pensioners aged 75 or over and to disabled pensioners aged 60 or over. Single people will have received an increase of up to £2.50 a week and couples an increase of up to £3.50 a week.
Information is not yet available on which to estimate the number of pensioners who newly qualified for benefit
Column 371from October as a result of the changes. However, over the four months from the start of the publicity campaign in July until the end of October a total of 579,000 claims for income support were received from pensioners, of which 196,000 were successful. This compares with a total of 66,000 successful claims over the previous four months. Information on new claims for housing benefit is not yet available.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will extend the eligibility criteria of mobility allowance to other groups whose mobility problems do not arise from a physical inability to walk.
Mr. Scott : The extension of mobility allowance to people who are deaf-blind will be introduced through regulations which will prescribe the circumstances in which they will be treated as being unable or virtually unable to walk for the purpose of section 37A of the Social Security Act 1975. The detail of the new eligibility criteria is still under consideration.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people benefited from mobility allowance in 1979-80 and in 1988-89 ; and what are the values of mobility allowance in three years at current prices.
|1979-80|1988-89 --------------------------------------------------------------- Estimated average number of recipients at any one time |140,000|530,000 Value of new rate of mobility allowance introduced during year, at current prices |£23.40 |£25.60
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what extra resources are available to fund the fuller and more strategic response he will be making to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys survey on disability.
Mr. Scott : The public expenditure plans announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer include an overall increase in the social security budget by £3 billion next year to a total of £55.6 billion and to over £63 billion by 1992-93. These increases will make possible a variety of real improvements in social security, including benefits for disabled people. Further details of projected expenditure on those benefits will be published early next year in the public expenditure White Paper.
Mr. Scott : The surveys of disability in Great Britain carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys between 1985 and 1988 provide valuable information about the ways in which people with disabilities, including seeing disabilities, incur extra cost. The surveys were based on a sample of 10,000 adults, 27 per cent. of whom had seeing disabilities. A recent study by the Royal National Institute for the Blind of the additional expenditure incurred by 10 visually impaired people also provides information about extra costs.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total estimated spending from public funds on people beyond retirement age in respect of (a) the state retirement pension and (b) all other benefits, including income support and housing benefit, for the latest year for which these figures are available.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The estimated expenditure outturn for retirement pension for 1988-89 was £19,281 million. Estimated outturn on all other social security benefits for the elderly in 1988-89 was £4,409 million ; this includes income support paid to men aged over 60 but under retirement age.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give details of the effects of the changes in the legislation to persons living in local authority hostels from 9 April ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : There was no change in legislation from 9 April 1989 which affected people living in hostels. From 9 April 1990 the protected sum currently in payment to some hostel dwellers will be divided so that the local office pays that part appropriate to the claimant, and the Department's central unit takes on any compensation due to the hostel.
Mr. Hood : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the change in benefit entitlement of a person in a hostel who is in receipt of the protected sum if they temporarily leave for two days to attend a sick relative or to attend a family bereavement.
Column 3731989, or the latest date possible, dependent on receipt of social security benefit or income support and family income or payment ; and what was the total number of lone parents and their dependants on the same dates, showing in each case the percentage change since 1979.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The information requested is set out in the table. The latest information available is shown but the dates vary and the sets of figures are therefore not strictly comparable. The references to social security benefit and family income have been read as supplementary benefit and family income supplement/family credit respectively.
|Percentage |increase ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- |1979 |1988 Supplementary Benefit (now Income Support)<1> Lone parents |318,000 |722,000 |127 Dependants |558,00 |1,235,000 |121 |1979 |1989 Family Income Supplement (now Family Credit)<2> Lone parents |42,000 |122,000 |190 Dependants |73,000 |191,000 |162 |1979 |1986 Total of Lone Parent Families<3> Lone Parents |840,000 |1,010,000 |20 Dependants |1,400,000 |1,600,000 |14 <1> Annual Statistical Enquiries-November 1979 and May 1988. Figures exclude prisoners' partners. <2> Ten per cent. sample of Family Income Supplement load and 5 per cent. sample of Family Credit load. <3> Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys-"Population Trends 45" ( Autumn 1986) and "Population Trends 55" (Spring 1989).
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the number of appeals heard by social security appeals tribunals in the Bolton area during 1988 and each of the previous three years ; and how many of these appeals were successful for the claimant.
The table gives the information for north-western region for the years 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Social security appeal tribunals North Western Region Period |Appeals heard|Successful |and decided |appeals for |the claimant -------------------------------------------------------- 1985 |19,631 |4,592 1986 |18,167 |4,460 1987 |26,361 |5,997 1988 |32,615 |9,307
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he expects to reach a decision on whether or not to provide statistical information by district, throughout the United Kingdom, on the number of stolen Department of Social Security order books ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Central records are maintained clerically about order books reported missing but do not separately identify those stolen. With the use of information technology, tests are being carried out with the aim of refining the present system, the primary purpose of which will be to assist in the early detection and investigation of losses. It is likely to be some time before a decision is taken on the format that best suits the Department's needs in that area.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received regarding the continued monitoring of the impact of the social fund in Leicestershire ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of errors was found in benefit records from (a) Ealing and (b) other London offices when these were checked at the Glasgow processing centre.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Two London offices, Ealing and Southall, have so far transferred their income support benefit records to the social security centre in Glasgow. Detailed statistics are not kept of the errors found in those records when preparing them for entry on to the computer. However, it is estimated that around 34 per cent. of Ealing cases and 40 per cent. of Southall cases require correction before they are computerised. A significant proportion of these involve incorrect postcodes or National Insurance numbers ; a smaller number involve incorrect payment of benefit. Incorrect payments detected are corrected and arrears paid promptly.
The improved and more accurate service that the Ealing and Southall public now receive fully justifies our decision to move the work to Glasgow.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which regions in England have seen a decline in the number employed in manufacturing industries from 1979 to the latest year for which figures are available ; and what is the relevant percentage decrease.
Mr. Nicholls : The following table shows the number and change in employees in employment in manufacturing industries between June 1979 and June 1989. All regions have seen a reduction over this period.
Employees in the manufacturing industry Unadjusted, Thousands June 1979 June 1989 1979-1989 |change |percentage change ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ South East (including London) |1,871 |1,304 |-567 |-30.3 East Anglia |206 |175 |-31 |-15.0 South West |439 |366 |-73 |-16.6 West Midlands |985 |665 |-320 |-32.5 East Midlands |606 |489 |-117 |-19.2 Yorkshire and Humberside |708 |484 |-224 |-31.6 North West |971 |669 |-301 |-31.1 North |410 |281 |-129 |-31-4
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total amount of unemployment in the United Kingdom, expressed as a percentage ; and what is the comparable total of unemployment in the rest of the European Economic Community.
Mr. Nicholls : In September 1989, the latest comparable date, unemployment in the United Kingdom was 6.3 per cent. compared with an EEC average of 9.1 per cent. The following table shows a full comparison. Over the past two years the unemployment rate in the United Kingdom has fallen faster than in any other major European country.
Unemployment rates for comparison between EEC counries Seasonally adjusted ----------------------------- Luxembourg |2.0 West Germany |5.6 Portugal |5.7 United Kingdom |6.3 Denmark |7.4 Greece |<1>7.4 Belgium |9.6 Netherlands |10.0 France |10.1 Italy |11.0 Spain |16.4 Ireland |17.0 EEC average |9.1 <1> April 1987
Mr. Patrick Nicholls : The Government are currently modernising arrangements for training and enterprise in this country. The introduction of a network of local training and enterprise councils will in particular revolutionise this country's approach to training and enterprise and prepare us for the challenges of the 1990s. The Government are also investing nearly £3 billion this year to improve the skills of the work force and encourage enterprise development.
Mr. Eggar : In 1987, the number of businesses registered for VAT in the east midlands rose by an estimated 3,000, or an average of 58 a week. The estimated increase in 1988 was 4,100, an average of 79 a week.
Mr. Eggar : These conditions for receipt of unemployment benefit are set out in the Social Security Act 1975 and consequential regulations. This legislation does not provide specific variations for claimants holding public offices.
(2) if he will publish in the Official Report those Government measures of particular help to small businesses which are the subject of current legislation or are planned ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Since 1979 Government policy has been to create and foster a climate in which small firms can flourish, by minimising the compliance burdens of taxation, regulation and red tape, and by putting in place a complementary range of fiscal, financial and advisory measures.
The principal Government measures of particular help to small businesses include : a range of tax reductions and structural reforms to improve the incentives and rewards for successful small business owners. For example the basic rate of income tax has been reduced from 33 per cent. to 25 per cent., the small companies rate of corporation tax has been reduced from 42 per cent. to 25 per cent., and the nine higher rates of income tax, ranging from 40 per cent. to 83 per cent., have been reduced to one higher rate of 40 per cent. ; the loan guarantee scheme, introduced in 1981, which provides a Government guarantee for loans by banks to small businesses ; the business expansion scheme, introduced in 1983, which provides tax relief on investments made in shares of unquoted companies of up to £40,000 a year ; the enterprise allowance scheme, introduced in 1983, which provides an allowance of £40 per week to previously unemployed people to make up for loss of benefit in their first year of self- employment ; a range of training opportunities developed by the Training Agency, now included in business growth training, which take account of the training needs of new and growing
Column 377small firms ; the provision of information and confidential advice and counselling through the small firms service and the rural development commission, and through substantial support for local enterprise agencies and other advisory bodies, including the princes youth business trust ; the enterprise initiative, launched by the DTI in January 1988, which offers access to specialised consultancy in key business areas.
These and other measures have been highly successful in creating and maintaining a framework for enterprise and the growth of the small business sector, which continues apace.
The Employment Act 1989 has prepared the ground for the introduction of training and enterprise councils (TECs) by the end of 1990. TECs will be responsible for the delivery and development of training and other support for small businesses.
Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months and in the previous 12 months ; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
Mr. Eggar : The growth of the small business sector itself is the best indicator of the success of the Government's policy towards small business. In 1988-89 the net increase in the number of VAT-registered businesses was 64,000, an average of just over 1,200 a week.
The performance figures for the measures operated by my Department in 1988- 89 are as follows :
The small firms service answered over 281,000 inquiries (an increase of 6 per cent. on 1987-88), handled over 30,000 new counselling cases (an increase of 12 per cent. on 1987-88), and conducted over 43,000 counselling sessions (an increase of 10 per cent. on 1987-88) ;
The usage of the loan guarantee scheme has increased from 1,234 small businesses in 1987-88 to 2,292 in 1988-89. The total loan value increased from £46.23 million to £64.76 million. Improved procedures under the scheme include simplified procedures for loans up to £15, 000 and an increase in the maximum loan size from £75,000 to £100, 000.
The number of entrants to the Training Agency's enterprise programmes, the business enterprise programme and the enterprise element of employment training, have increased by 22 per cent. from 43,489 in 1987-88 to 53,003 in 1988-89.
The number of entrants to the graduate enterprise programme rose from 155 in 1987-88 to 1,150 in 1988-89.
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many cases the commissioner for the rights of trade union members has dealt with ; how many applications she has received ; how many of the applications she received fell outside her jurisdiction ; and if he will list the unions involved and how many for each.
Column 378have resulted in formal applications for assistance, of which 18 fell outside her jurisdiction. The numbers of applications per union are listed in the table.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------------------- National and Local Government Officer' Association |5 GMB |4 Transport and General Workers Union |4 Confederation of Health Service Employees |2 National Union of Public Employees |2 National Union of Railwaymen |2 National Union of Seamen |2 Union of Communication Workers |2 Amalgamated Engineering Union |1 Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union |1 National Union of Journalists |1 National Union of Mineworkers |1 Society of Graphical and Allied Trades 1982 |1 Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians |1 Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers |1
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the estimated running costs of the commissioner for the rights of trade union members in 1988-89.