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Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for each of the countries of the Warsaw pact, the terms of the grants and loans, over the last year, to which the United Kingdom has contributed.
Column 190Poland :--
Know-How Fund of £50 million over 5 years (grant)
The general aim is to finance projects and training in political and economic skills that will underpin democracy and assist economic reform. There are no specific terms.
$100 million contribution to $1 billion Stabilisation Fund (grant)
Terms are that an economic adjustment programme
Column 191agreed with the International Monetary Fund should be in place. The Stabilisation Fund will be available to support policies aimed at liberalisation of payments and transfers for current international transactions. Its management will be agreed between the contributors and the Polish authorities.
300 million ecu aid (for Poland and Hungary) (grant)
Although not disbursed, provision has been included in the 1990 European Community budget. No terms are attached but it is intended that the money be used in areas such as imports of pesticides and agricultural machinery, environmental protection and training that will help with restructuring the economy.
100 million ecu emergency food Aid (for Poland and Hungary) (grant)
Aid agreed by Community agriculture Council last July to cover shortages of beef and cereals. Mostly from 1989 EC budget, but small part from 1990 EC budget.
Mr. Hanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to publish either a Green or White Paper on new legislation for friendly societies following the Treasury's internal review commenced in September 1988.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will bring up to date the information on the weight of council rents etc., in the retail prices index given in his written reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby on 29 July 1988, Official Report, columns 800-01.
|Rents |Mortgage |All items in |interest |retail prices |payments |index -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Weight in retail prices index in 1989 |32 |60 |1,000 Weekly expenditure (in £) on which the weight is based (average over all households covered by the RPI, both tenants and owner-occupiers), at January 1989 prices |6.55 |12.47 |- Percentage change in year to January 1989 |8.2 |49.9 |7.5
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the ratio of outstanding personal mortgage debt to disposable incomes before tax in 1966, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1983, 1985 and 1988 ; what was the average rate of interest payable ; and what was the ratio of interest payments to disposable incomes.
Mr. Ryder : Figures for outstanding personal mortgage debt and average building society mortgage rates can be obtained from "Financial Statistics", and figures on personal disposable incomes are given in "United Kingdom National Accounts", both published by the CSO. Figures for average mortgage rates covering all lenders are not available.
Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the criteria used at local Customs and Excise offices to determine whether value added tax is charged on small cycle helmets, as opposed to children's cycle helmets ; if he will make it his policy to apply a zero value added tax rating on all cycle helmets ; and if he will make a statement on the current variation in the application of value added tax on cycle helmets between different local Customs and Excise offices.
Mr. Ryder [holding answer 18 December 1989] : There is no general relief from value added tax for cyclists' safety helmets and under European Community law no such relief could now be introduced. However helmets falling within the provisions of group 17 of schedule 5 to the Value Added Tax Act 1983, as articles designed for young children and not suitable for older persons, are relieved from the tax. While it is for the sellers of goods to determine their liability under value added tax law, local Customs and Excise offices are glad to offer advice on request. If the hon. Member has any particular problem in mind I would urge him to take it up with the chairman of Customs and Excise.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the amount to compensate civil servants undergoing security vetting is calculated ; how much it is ; how often it is paid ; and how much has been spent on it in the current financial year.
Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which departmental Ministers and officials represented the Government in the discussions with British Aerospace on the applicability of section 768 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 to proposals to be made by British Aerospace following their acquisition of Rover Group.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 18 December 1989] : Discussions leading up to the exchange of correspondence of 8 July 1988 between Inland Revenue and British Aerospace's advisers--which has been placed in the Library--were concerned with explaining how the Revenue approaches the law in this area and its possible application to possible changes in Rover Group's trade. The procedural arrangements for conveying the Revenue's formal views on any such changes were also discussed. The discussions were between British Aerospace, its advisers and the Inland Revenue. Officials from the Department of Trade and Industry and their advisers were also present. Treasury Ministers were aware that the Inland Revenue were having these discussions, but no Ministers were
Column 193present at them. As the exchange of correspondence makes clear, the guiding principle throughout was that the tax treatment of anything concerning the Rover acquisition must be consistent with the law and the treatment of other taxpayers in comparable circumstances. Discussions since the sale of Rover Group concerning British Aerospace's tax liabilities under the law are a matter between the company, its advisers and the Inland Revenue. It would not be in keeping with the strict rules of tax confidentiality for Ministers or other departmental officials to be involved in any such discussions. It is not the practice of this Government or their predecessors to name officials.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list details of all accidents on the M2/A2 between London and Dover for the three months ended 10 December, giving information on causes, location, types of vehicles involved and any injuries sustained.
Mr. Atkins : The information requested is currently unavailable. Details of road accidents in Kent for the period requested have not yet been provided to the Department by Kent county council. The information collected by the police and forwarded to the Department does not include an assessment of the cause of the accident.
A2 London Boundary to M2
Provision of hardshoulders and lighting.
Brenley to Harbledown
Provision of central reserve safety fencing and lighting. Harbledown to Bridge
Provision of central reserve safety fence.
Provision of lighting.
Jubilee Way Dover
Alterations to road markings and removal of laybys.
The White Paper "Roads for Prosperity" also announced a route assessment and scheme indentification study of the A2 from Bean to the M2.
Mr. Atkins : The next traffic count is scheduled for 17 May 1990 on the M2 at Rochester. Counts are not normally carried out between November and March because flow levels then are not representative.
Column 194Canada, DGAC France and the Civil Aviation Authority. The CAA published the results of the study as CAA paper 87017.
I know of no reason to doubt the validity of the conclusions of the study.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 1 December to the hon. Member for Fife, North- East, Official Report, column 445, what sums accrued to the Government in each case in respect of the salvage operations carried out on each ships listed.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of his Department's anticipated contribution to the NATO study of supply and demand for merchant shipping in crisis and war, as set out in the 1989 Defence White Paper ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department's contribution to the cost of this study is 2,248,670 Belgian francs, about £37,000 which has now been paid. The Department is also providing the chairman of the steering group overseeing the study.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what contribution his Department will make to the International Atomic Energy Agency review of regulations governing the transportation of radioactive materials ;
(2) what contribution is being made by his Department to the International Atomic Energy Agency's standing advisory group on the carriage of radioactive materials.
Mr. Atkins : The Secretary of State is the competent authority for the safe transport of radioactive materials. Officials from the Department's radioactive materials transport division co-ordinate national policy and lead United Kingdom delegations at International Atomic Energy Agency meetings on this subject.
Mr. Portillo : I have placed in the Library a copy of the letter sent today to Eurotunnel by the chairman of the United Kingdom/French Channel tunnel intergovernmental commission about non-segregation of passengers from their vehicles on the shuttle trains operating between Folkestone and Calais, and a copy of the English translation.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has undertaken any studies or sought advice as to whether the replacement of big bus services by mini-midi buses has an effect on congestion and pollution.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 11 December 1989] : The choice of vehicle type is a matter for bus operators. Nonetheless the Department's transport and road research laboratory is currently engaged on a financial analysis of urban minibus operations which will touch on fuel consumption and congestion effects.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the number of (a) foreign-registered and operated airliners leased by British airlines and (b) flights undertaken by those airliners in each of the last five years.
Year |Permits ------------------------ 1984 |3 1985 |1 1986 |18 1987 |19 1988 |19
Details of the numbers of flights undertaken by those aircraft are not available.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received about the use of foreign-registered and operated airliners ; to what subjects those representations referred ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : From time to time the Department and the Civil Aviation Authority receive representations about foreign-registered and operated aircraft. In the main, these relate to the quality of service provided by the airlines and the correspondent is encouraged to take the matter up direct with the airline. Exceptionally, where poor safety standards are alleged, the Department and/or the Civil Aviation Authority will investigate, both with the airlines and the other Governments concerned.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety checks and controls are routinely required to be carried out on British airliners ; and whether there is any difference in the requirements put on foreign-registered and operated airliners leased by British airlines.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Civil Aviation Authority has the statutory responsibility for the safety regulation of civil aviation. I understand that there is a large number and a wide variety of safety checks and controls routinely required to be carried out on British airliners. Should the hon. Member have any specific questions, they should be addressed to the chairman of the authority. Foreign-registered and operated airliners leased by British airlines are required to comply with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the number of authorities and bus companies in local authority areas which operate park and ride schemes (a) during the Christmas shopping period and (b) at other times of the year by area.
Mr. Portillo : The Department does not collect statistics on park and ride schemes. Some local highway authorities include information on these schemes in their annual transport policies and programmes (TPPs). In the 1990-91 TPPs submitted to the Department in July 1989 there are references to 27 park and ride schemes in 23 local authority areas in England. Of these, four relate solely to the Christmas shopping period, 10 to other periods of the year (but in two cases including Christmas), 11 to permanent arrangements. In London, park and ride cannot readily be distinguished from commuter parking. A survey undertaken in 1987 showed that 64 of the 250 London Underground stations had their own car parks, as did 538 of the 922 stations on British Rail's Network SouthEast. In addition, British Rail has a number of "parkway" stations close to motorways. We have no information about the number of bus companies operating park and ride schemes.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received regarding (a) a Channel tunnel terminal at Kings Cross/St. Pancras, (b) a Channel tunnel terminal at Stratford and (c) a Channel tunnel terminal at locations other than the above ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The representations that I have received about the preferred location of a second London station for international passenger services have been confined to King's Cross and Stratford. I have received a number of representations for and against each of these proposals.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ensure that two-way radios are fitted in all passenger train cabs by the end of 1990 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : In its evidence to Sir Anthony Hidden's investigation into the Clapham junction accident, BR gave a commitment to complete its programme of installation of cab radios by 1992. The investigation accepted this timescale. The Government have played their part by making all the necessary radio frequencies available to BR.
Mr. Atkins : In planning new trunk roads and improving existing ones, we consider the needs of cyclists for safe and convenient routes. Particular attention is paid to the design of junctions and consequent modifications to the local road network. Detailed guidance is published in our local transport notes series and through our traffic advisory leaflets. Copies have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Thornton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide estimates showing for each financial year from 1987-88 to 1990 -91 the amount of actual or planned expenditure designed to support the urban programme.
Mr. Atkins : Each year about £10 million of the public expenditure plans for local authority transport capital expenditure are incorporated within the urban programme administered by the Department of the Environment. The amounts spent on local transport were :
Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1987-88 |10.527 1988-89 |<1>10.661 1989-90 |<1>10.822 <1>Estimated.
Column 198For 1990-91 the amount incorporated will be £2.773 million of credit approvals and £8.320 million of central Government grants ; totalling £11.093 million.
In addition, much trunk road spending and a substantial amount of local road spending supported by transport supplementary grant (TSG), is designed to assist inner-city areas. In 1990-91 over 100 major schemes accepted for TSG will benefit inner-city areas.
Since "Action for Cities" was launched in 1988 total expenditure benefiting inner cities on the trunk roads and local roads programmes is estimated at :
Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1988-89 |250 1989-90 |300 1990-91 |300
The Department is also supporting expenditure on the Manchester Metrolink (expected to cost £110 million) and, from 1990-91, will be spending £1 billion on the Jubilee line extension. Both schemes are designed to improve public transport in urban areas.
Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many serious road accidents involving stationary vehicles on the motorway network in the Greater Manchester area have been reported during each of the last five years ; and how many people were (a) killed and (b) injured as a result of such accidents.
Accidents involving stationary vehicles on motorways: Greater Manchester: 1984-1988 Severity of Accidents Severity of Casualties |Fatal |Serious|Total |Fatal |Serious|Slight |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |0 |5 |5 |0 |5 |1 |6 1985 |1 |6 |7 |1 |6 |3 |10 1986 |0 |4 |4 |0 |4 |4 |8 1987 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 1988 |2 |5 |7 |2 |6 |7 |15 Stationary vehicles include those stopped or parked, and vehicles waiting to go ahead but held up.
Mr. Atkinson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans to make highway authorities liable to compensate owners of businesses for loss of trade and profit caused through the loss of passing trade associated with highway schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : Compensation is payable where land is acquired for highway schemes. Claimants are entitled to the market value of their interest in the land acquired, disregarding any increase or decrease in its value to the scheme. They are also entitled to any other reasonable loss for disturbance, which could include loss of trade caused by the acquisition of all or part of a property. Compensation is also payable where a highway authority stops up a private means of access to the highway.
However, where a business is affected by a highway scheme but no land is taken or access stopped up, I am advised that there is no liability on the highway authority to compensate for any loss of trade, assuming that the
Column 198works are carried out directly by it and under statutory authority. Owners of businesses have no right in law to any maintained level of passing trade. Temporary or permanent reductions in traffic flows are part of the commercial risks of running a business.
There are no plans to seek to change these arrangements.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how the proposals for untaxed crews on the proposed Madeira shipping register will affect the competitiveness of United Kingdom registered shipping :
(2) what effect Portugal's proposal to set up a low-cost shipping register in Madeira will have on (a) British registered shipping and (b) European Community registered shipping.
6. Mr. Allan Roberts : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps are being taken to ensure that the supply of computers in primary schools will meet the demands of the national curriculum.
Mr. Alan Howarth : LEAs are responsible for ensuring that schools have enough microcomputers to meet the requirements of the national curriculum. Under our education support grants programme some £25 million is being set aside over a three-year period beginning last year to assist LEAs to purchase microcomputers for educational use in schools. For 1990-91 the Department has asked the LEAs to give particular attention to the needs of primary schools.
73. Mr. Bell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to ensure that the supply of computers in primary schools will meet the demands of the national curriculum.