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Residential Care

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what figures he has for 1984-85 and for the latest available year of the average annual cost per client in residential care for the elderly in (a) Somerset, (b) Devon, (c) Dorset and (d) Wiltshire.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 18 December 1989] : The annual gross cost per client/place (excluding capital charges) for the elderly accommodated in the residential care homes operated by each of the local authorities in question is :


          |1984-85|1989-90        

          |£      |£              

----------------------------------

Somerset  |5,138  |7,564          

Devon     |4,837  |7,263          

Dorset    |5,477  |6,460          

Wiltshire |4,662  |6,724          

The figures for 1989-90 are estimates only and are the costs per place filled, whereas the 1984-85 figures are the actual cost per resident.

The figures are taken from the "Personal Social Services Statistics" publications of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, copies of which are available in the Library.

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what figures he has, for 1984-85 and for the latest available year, of the average annual cost per client in residential care for children in (a) Somerset, (b) Devon, (c) Dorset and (d) Wiltshire.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 18 December 1989] : The annual gross cost per client/place (excluding capital charges) for children accommodated in community homes operated by each of the local authorities in question is :


          |1984-85|1989-90        

          |£      |£              

----------------------------------

Somerset  |14,862 |22,323         

Devon     |14,990 |21,387         

Dorset    |15,557 |15,654         

Wiltshire |13,667 |17,477         

The figures for 1989-90 are estimates only and are the costs per place filled, whereas the 1984-85 figures are the actual costs per resident child.

This and other information on the unit costs of children in residential care can be found in the "Personal Social Services Statistics" publications of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, copies of which are available in the Library.


Column 89

Health Targets

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has adopted targets for the reduction in consumption of (a) saturated fats, (b) sugar, (c) sodium chloride and (d) alcohol ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 21 December 1989] : The Chief Medical Officer's Committee on the Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) has considered the consumption of saturated fatty acids and sodium chloride in relation to cardiovascular disease and dietary sugars in relation to general health and made the following recommendations which we have accepted :

(a) saturated fatty acids--the maximum intake for saturated plus trans fatty acids should be 15 per cent. of total food energy. (COMA Report "Diet and Cardiovascular Disease")

(b) sugars--as sugars are the most important dietary factor in the cause of dental caries everyone should reduce the amount and frequency with which they take sugars. COMA did not, however, recommend a specific target. (COMA Report "Dietary Sugars and Human Disease")

(c) sodium chloride--as the dietary intake of salt is needlessly high there should be no further increase in consumption and ways of decreasing current levels should be sought. COMA did not, however, recommend a specific target. (COMA Report "Diet and Cardiovascular Disease")


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The COMA panel on recommended daily amounts is currently considering setting benchmark figures for intakes by the population of saturated fatty acids, sugars and salt.

As far as alcohol is concerned we have accepted the views of three medical Royal Colleges that 21 units of alcohol per week for men and 14 units per week for women are sensible limits for the consumption of alcohol.

We are committed to ensuring that the best possible information about sensible eating and drinking is made available so that individuals can make informed choices.

Cancer Screening

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Cummings) on 13 December, Official Report , columns 677-79 , he will extend the information provided about rates of cancer of the breast and cervix, and in similar form, for women aged 55 to 59 years, 60 to 64 years, 65 to 69 years and 70 plus years in the Northern and Yorkshire health regions and for the United Kingdom as a whole.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 8 January 1990] : The information is shown in the following tables :


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Table 2                                                                                        

Malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri                                                         

Year and age group |Northern RHA      |Yorkshire RHA     |United Kingdom                       

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1980                                                                                           

55-59              |45.28             |48.82             |35.31                                

60-64              |37.25             |43.98             |35.55                                

65-69              |35.17             |27.39             |30.36                                

70+                |30.92             |34.06             |24.67                                

1981                                                                                           

55-59              |28.63             |34.64             |31.09                                

60-64              |47.88             |27.30             |33.18                                

65-69              |45.18             |37.04             |32.67                                

70+                |32.55             |22.72             |24.21                                

                                                                                               

1982                                                                                           

55-59              |25.29             |49.18             |29.71                                

60-64              |50.59             |44.03             |34.21                                

65-69              |47.74             |28.04             |30.96                                

70+                |24.87             |31.69             |23.64                                

                                                                                               

1983                                                                                           

55-59              |34.37             |28.43             |26.79                                

60-64              |34.13             |39.74             |32.41                                

65-69              |29.45             |32.18             |28.49                                

70+                |22.14             |27.94             |24.14                                

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

55-59              |22.90             |31.71             |24.57                                

60-64              |38.08             |45.62             |31.79                                

65-69              |21.59             |43.43             |30.43                                

70+                |27.00             |25.66             |23.63                                


Table 2                                                                                        

Malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri                                                         

Year and age group |Northern RHA      |Yorkshire RHA     |United Kingdom                       

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1980                                                                                           

55-59              |45.28             |48.82             |35.31                                

60-64              |37.25             |43.98             |35.55                                

65-69              |35.17             |27.39             |30.36                                

70+                |30.92             |34.06             |24.67                                

1981                                                                                           

55-59              |28.63             |34.64             |31.09                                

60-64              |47.88             |27.30             |33.18                                

65-69              |45.18             |37.04             |32.67                                

70+                |32.55             |22.72             |24.21                                

                                                                                               

1982                                                                                           

55-59              |25.29             |49.18             |29.71                                

60-64              |50.59             |44.03             |34.21                                

65-69              |47.74             |28.04             |30.96                                

70+                |24.87             |31.69             |23.64                                

                                                                                               

1983                                                                                           

55-59              |34.37             |28.43             |26.79                                

60-64              |34.13             |39.74             |32.41                                

65-69              |29.45             |32.18             |28.49                                

70+                |22.14             |27.94             |24.14                                

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

55-59              |22.90             |31.71             |24.57                                

60-64              |38.08             |45.62             |31.79                                

65-69              |21.59             |43.43             |30.43                                

70+                |27.00             |25.66             |23.63                                


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Potassium Iodate

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many of the potassium iodate tablets held to counter possible ionising radiation have been held in stock for more than 10, five, two and one years, respectively ; and how many are presently in stock altogether ;

(2) what is his estimate for the shelf life of potassium iodate tablets.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 9 January 1990] : Arrangements for the stocking and issue of potassium iodate tablets form part of the contingency plans for both civil and defence nuclear installations. It should be noted that iodine tablets are a counter-measure for any long-term adverse health effects of radio-iodine only.

Contingency planning for civil nuclear accidents is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy (in respect of England and Wales) and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, advised by the nuclear installations inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive.

Contingency planning for defence nuclear accidents is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.

The Central Electricity Generating Board has advised that it holds half a million tablets of potassium iodate centrally and another half million tablets distributed to the nuclear generating sites, all stock being batched in September 1989.

The Ministry of Defence has advised that it holds 2 million tablets of potassium iodate batched in 1986, and 2 million tablets batched in 1980-82 which have been examined and are still in good contition. Shelf life cannot be accurately predicted but stock quality and requirements are continually being reviewed and revised if necessary.

A further stock of tablets is also held by operators of sites such as British Nuclear Fuels plc and Atomic Energy Authority Technology.

In addition small stocks of potassium iodate and potassium iodide are held for other medical purposes by some manufacturers, pharmacists and hospitals.


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Chernobyl

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies have been made of the amount of radiation recorded in Britain arising from the Chernobyl incident ; and what assessment has been made of the implications of the amount of radiation recorded for the future incidence of radiation-induced congenital abnormalities and incidence of radiation- induced cancers over the next 30 years.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 9 January 1990] : There have been many studies of the occurrence and behaviour in Britain of radionuclides from the Chernobyl reactor accident.

Early measurements of dose rates, radionuclide concentrations in air, deposition, environmental materials and foods were collated by the National Radiological Protection Board. More detailed studies of the deposition on grass and soil have been carried out, and aerial surveys have been conducted in some areas. Extensive monitoring of radionuclides in foods has been carried out in England and Wales and in Scotland, and of radionuclides in surface and coastal waters of the British Isles. Studies of the levels in people have also been made. Numerous other studies have also been reported in the scientific literature.

The radiological impact of the Chernobyl accident has been assessed by OECD for many European countries. Estimates have been made of both the maximum levels of individual exposure and the typical levels of individual exposure for the United Kingdom together with the collective exposure of the entire United Kingdom population. Using the most recent risk estimates the theoretical number of fatal cancers arising in the United Kingdom from Chernobyl is estimated to be about 100 and the corresponding number of non- fatal cancers as 60. The majority of these would be expected to occur within 30 years. These figures can be compared with the annual mortality from cancer in the United Kingdom of around 100,000 to 150,000. The number of heriditary effects arising in the United Kingdom population over all time from the Chernobyl accident is estimated to be a few tens. A list of major relevant publications is shown in the table :


Column 93

References

1. Levels of radioactivity in the United Kingdom from the accident at Chernobyl USSR on 26 April 1986. A compilation of results of environmental measurements in the United Kingdom. July 1986, HMSO. 2. Horrill A. D. et al. Chernobyl fallout in Great Britain. DOE Report No : DOE/RW/88.101, 1988.

3. Miller G. R. et al. Radioactivity in Scottish soils and grassy vegetation. SDD/NERC project T07006 el, 1989.

4. Sanderson D. C. W. et al. A feasibility study of airborne radiometric survey from United Kingdom fallout. SURRC report 88-03, 1988.

5. Sanderson D. C. W. and Scott E. M. Aerial radiometric survey in west Cumbria, 1988. Final report : project NE1, 1989.

6. Radionuclide levels in food, animals and agricultural products (post- Chernobyl monitoring in England and Wales). Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food/Welsh Office. HMSO, 1987.

7. Radionuclide levels in food, animals and agricultural products 1987 (post-Chernobyl monitoring in England and Wales). Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food/Welsh Office. HMSO, 1988.

8. Scottish Development Department. Statistical Bulletin Number 1(E) 1988. Chernobyl accident, monitoring for radioactivity in Scotland, April 1988.

9. Scottish Development Department. Statistical Bulletin Number 2(E). Environmental monitoring for radioactivity in Scotland, 1983 to 1987, July 1989.

10. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Directorate of Fisheries Research. Aquatic environment monitoring report No. 15 : radioactivity in surface and coastal waters of the British Isles. Monitoring of fallout from the Chernobyl reactor accident. 1986. 11. Fry F. A. and Britcher A. Doses from Chernobyl radiocaesium. The Lancet, July 19, 1987.

12. Bailey, M. R. et al. Measurements of the body content of radioactive caesium in residents of Yorkshire. NRPB-R213, 1987. 13. Fry, F. A. et al. Radiocaesium in a group of adults resident in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Radiation Protection--Theory and Practice. 4th SRP Int. Symp. 1989.

14. East, B. W. and Robertson I. Measurement of radioactivity from Chernobyl in population groups in Scotland. DoE report No. DOE/RW/88, 103, 1988.

15. Boddy, K. et al. Study of measurements made on a whole-body radioactivity counter installed in the West Cumberland hospital. DoE report No. DOE/RW/89, 045, 1989.

16. Boddy, K. et al. Monitoring of the general population with a mobile whole-body monitor and installed counters. DoE report No. DOE/RW/89, 064, 1989.

17. OECD/NEA. The radiological impact of the Chernobyl accident in OECD countries. Paris, OECD, 1987.

18. Morrey, M. et al. A preliminary assessment of the radiological impact of the Chernobyl reactor accident on the population of the European Community. Luxembourg, CEC. Report No. EUR11523, 1987. 19. Simmonds, J. R. Europe calculates the health risk. New Scientist, 23 April 1987.

20. UNSCEAR. Sources, effects and risks of ionising radiation. 1988 report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the General Assembly, with annexes New York, United Nations, 1988.

21. Clarke, R. H. Current radiation risk estimates and implications for the health consequences of the Windscale, TMI and Chernobyl accidents. IN Medical response to effects of ionising radiation (Gittus, J. and Crosbie, W. A., eds.). Elsevier, p. 102, 1989.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health who holds stocks of iodine tablets ; and how many tablets are in stock per head of population and per head of population under the age of 18 years.


Column 94

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 9 January 1990] : Stocks of potassium iodate tablets are held at all CEGB nuclear installations and at some nearby sites, chiefly police stations and hospitals. These are specifically for issue to staff and people living in the vicinity of a nuclear installation should an accident occur in which radioactive iodine is released.

These supplies are in excess of those needed for a reference accident and supplies would be ample for an extended distribution if needed in the event of a more severe accident. In addition stocks held elsewhere could be made available within hours depending on the location of the accident.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Inheritance Tax

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost to the Exchequer if inheritance tax liabilities in respect of shares in closely held unquoted trading companies were rolled over until the shares were realised as cash or marketable securities.

Mr. Lilley : Information on which to base an estimate of cost is not available.

Gains

Mr. Rowe : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the estimated cost to the Exchequer if all gains pre-1985 were to be exempted from tax instead of gains pre-1982.

Mr. Lilley : I regret that a reliable estimate could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

British Rail Investment

Mr. Prescott : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will be the cost to the Exchequer of British Rail's investment programme of £3.75 billion over the next three years.

Mr. Norman Lamont : British Rail's investment programme of £3.75 billion over the next three years will be financed from its own internally generated cash flow, which does not constitute public expenditure, and from external finance, which does. The Government's public expenditure plans for the next three years provide for a total of £2.2 billion of external finance for British Rail, of which grants account for £1.25 billion.

HMSO

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what specific financial, efficiency and quality of service targets he has approved for Her Majesty's Stationery Office Agency for the current year and for the longer term.

Mr. Ryder : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Stevenage (Mr. Wood) on 21 December 1989 ( Official Report, col. 372 ) in respect of the financial target of £2.9 million for 1990.

Other performance targets I have agreed for 1990 are as follows :


Column 95

Value for money 2 per cent. improvement in 1990 and 1989 for purchases of stationery and paper;

office machinery and printing and binding.

Service and quality Print orders delivered to time Vital 100 per cent.

Overall 95 per cent.

Print orders delivered without fault 100 per cent. Print production orders delivered

to time Overall: 95 per cent.

Stock catalogue items 90 per cent. of cus-

tomers orders des-

patched within five

days of receipt.

95 per cent of all items

and 97 per cent. of

priority items des-

patched "first time"

from stocks

Publications-80 per cent. of customer orders and telephone orders from

Publications Centre despatched within four days and 90 per cent. within five

days of receipt.

In the longer term these targets should, where appropriate, become progressively more demanding.

Construction Company Earnings

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average annual increase in the net earnings of construction companies between 1974 and 1979 ; and what has been the average annual increase since 1979.

Mr. Major : Based on figures extracted from published accounts, the average annual increase in net income of large construction companies was 12.5 per cent. between accounting years 1974 and 1979 and 11.6 per cent. between accounting years 1979 and 1988. Net income is defined as gross trading profit plus other revenue income less depreciation. The underlying figures are published in the MA3 series of business monitors "Company Finance".

Inflation

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the Government's target for inflation for the last quarter of 1991.

Mr. Ryder : The Government do not set specific targets for the rate of inflation. Tight monetary policy, supported by a firm fiscal position, will ensure that inflation moderates from its current level.

Nature Conservancy Council

Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions have taken place between the Treasury and the National Audit Office concerning the Government's proposal to reorganise the Nature Conservancy Council.

Mr. Norman Lamont [holding answer 12 January 1990] : There have been no discussions between the Treasury and the National Audit Office on these proposals.


Column 96

ENVIRONMENT

Inland Waterways

62. Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the present state of inland waterways.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The British Waterways Board is responsible for most of the inland waterways in Britain. The board is committed to realising the full potential of its waterways as an environmental and leisure resource and, where practicable, for freight transport. The Environment Select Committee, which reported on the board last August, found that the canals appeared to be in a better state overall than for many years previously.

Housing Exhibition

Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department has considered an application for an exhibition relating to housing to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.

Mr. Chope : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Services Committee, arrangements have been made with the authorities of the House for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from 12 to 16 March 1990.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the local authorities in England which had compiled their community charges register by 1 December 1989 as required.

Mr. Chope : All 366 charging authorities in England and Wales had compiled a community charges register by 1 December. Details of individual authorities' excellent register returns have been available from the Library of the House since 13 December.

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the £10 premium received by


Column 97

unemployed people who are participating in the employment training scheme is disregarded for com-munity charge purposes ; and if he will make a statement.


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