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38. Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total number of revenues realised from the privatisation of nationalised industries and other public bodies over the past seven years.
39. Mr. John Townend : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the cost to the Exchequer if a nil rate corporation band was introduced on the first £5,000 of a company's profits, limited to companies registered for value added tax for less than five years and for non-registered companies.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The United Kingdom economy has benefited from direct and portfolio investment inflows of £94 billion over the past 10 years. Inflows of £52 billion have occurred within the last three years, reflecting the confidence that overseas investors have in our economic policies.
Column 345Mr. Norman Lamont : Self-employment has increased by over 60 per cent. since 1979 as a result of the Government's policies to encourage enterprise. These policies will ensure continued growth in the future.
Mr. Lilley : No. The Government have reviewed on a number of occasions whether there should be a statutory definition of self- employment. The existing criteria laid down by the courts seek essentially to answer the question "Are you in business on your own account?" We believe this is the right approach.
49. Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last made representations to the European Commission to have the restrictions on the movement of Irish shoppers into Northern Ireland removed.
Mr. Major : I assume that the right hon. Member is referring to the Irish Government's withdrawal in March 1987 of travellers' allowances from persons who have been out of the Republic for less than 48 hours. Her Majesty's Government made it clear at the time both to the European Commission and to the Irish Government that they believed these restrictions to be contrary to EC law. The United Kingdom has intervened accordingly in support of the proceedings instituted by the Commission against Ireland in the European Court of Justice. The hearing is due to take place in February.
Mr. Norman Lamont : The Government's economic policies have created the conditions for greatly increased prosperity in the north-east. The fall in the unemployment rate over the last year has been one of the fastest in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was invested in manufacturing industry in the 10 years to January 1979 and the 10 years since, net of capital consumption and expressed in terms of 1985 prices.
Mr. Norman Lamont : In the decade to the end of 1978, gross domestic fixed capital formation by the manufacturing industries is estimated to have been £95 billion at 1985 prices. In the following decade it is estimated to have been £83 billion. These figures exclude capital goods leased from financial sector lessors. Including leased assets, gross domestic fixed capital formation was £94 billion in the decade to the end of 1988. Estimates including leased assets are not available for the preceding decade, when leasing was a less important feature of investment. Estimates of net domestic fixed capital formation must be interpreted with some caution, since they depend on estimates of capital consumption, which are not directly observable and so are based on a series of assumptions. On this basis, net domestic fixed capital formation by the manufacturing industries is estimated to have been £26 billion in the decade to the end of 1978 and for the following decade, including leased assets, £3 billion (minus £2 billion excluding leased assets).
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the increase in private non-residential fixed investment in the period 1987 to 1989 was accounted for by investment in manufacturing industry.
Mr. Richard Shepherd : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a forecast of the impact on the rate of inflation of the uniform business rate and revaluation for each of the standard regions.
Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will recalculate the figures given in his reply to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett) on 2 November 1989 Official Report column 282 to show percentage annual changes in average real net incomes of (a) pensioners, (b) married men with two children, and (c) single non-retired people, taking into account increases in local authority rates, local authority and other rents, and mortgage costs.
Mr. Major [holding answer 17 January 1990] : The changes in average real net incomes given in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett) on 2 November take account of price increases as measured by the retail prices index. This includes increases in housing costs.
Mr. Denzil Davies To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the average annual percentage increase of broad money, M4, over the last 10 years.
M4: Average annual percentage growth rate<1> |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1980 |15.5 1981 |16.2 1982 |12.6 1983 |13.5 1984 |17.8 1985 |13.2 1986 |15.1 1987 |14.7 1988 |17.0 <2>1989 |17.8 <1>Average of quarterly annual growth rates to end Q4 1983, and monthly annual growth rates to end November 1989. <2>To end November 1989.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of gross domestic product was accounted for in (a) 1979 and (b) 1988 by manufacturers in (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) the Federal Republic of Germany, (iii) France and (iv) Italy.
Mr. Major : GDP/GNP by kind of activity is published for Germany, France and Italy by the OECD in "National Accounts" volume II, 1975-87. For the United Kingdom, data are published by the CSO in "United Kingdom National Accounts" 1989 edition.
Mr. Major : In 1979 wages and salaries accounted for 67 per cent. of net domestic product at factor cost. During 1988, the latest period for which the percentage can be calculated, the proportion was 64.6 per cent.
Mr. Denzil Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what, for the latest available year and expressed in deutschmarks, was the per capita gross domestic product of (a) the Federal Republic of Germany, (b) France, (c) Italy and (d) the United Kingdom.
GDP/GNP per capita at purchasing power parities, 1988 |Deutschmarks ----------------------------------------- United Kingdom |23,656 Germany |24,919 France |24,080 Italy |22,831 Source: OECD, IMF.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his reply of 18 December, Official Report, column 28, if he will make a statement on his Department's assessment of the consequences of being required to move from London to Southend on the retention in the Customs and Excise of those officers in the animals and birds, tropical fish and reptiles importation unit, who have accumulated the greatest expertise in discerning what creatures coming into London airport are covered by CITES regulations.
Mr. Ryder : The relocation review team, set up by the Board of Customs and Excise to establish those areas of headquarters work which should be moved out of London, carefully considered all the implications of their proposals, including the possibility that some experienced officers might elect not to move with their existing work. Those who wish to do so will be able to remain in London within the Customs and Excise.
The position of those HQ staff dealing with endangered species controls has been reviewed in the light of a number of
representations. However, we remain satisfied that any necessary staffing changes as a result of relocation can be managed without impairing Customs' enforcement of the CITES controls.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give a breakdown of Government expenditure (a) within the standard regions of England and (b) in Scotland during the financial year 1988-89.
Column 349Government expenditure is both planned and controlled on a national basis. Information on expenditure broken down by standard regions within England is thus not available on a consistent basis. For figures giving Government expenditure by territory in 1988-89, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 19 December at column 179-90 to my hon. Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. Coombs).
Mr. Norman Lamont : Living standards in the 1980s have risen to their highest-ever levels. For example, the real take-home pay of a married man--with two children--on average male earnings has gone up by over 26 per cent. since 1979-80.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the increase in real weekly earnings of full-time adult male manual workers in manufacturing industry in the decade ending April 1989, and the best estimate he can make for non-manuals employed in the private sector ; and if he will provide similar figures for females.
I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 13 December 1989 ( Official Report, columns 658-59 ) for the figures for male and female manual employees in manufacturing. The figures for male and female non-manuals in the private sector are 43 per cent. and 48 per cent. respectively.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the industry and occupational groups which have been awarded wage increases exceeding 10 per cent. in the year ended April 1989.
Pay is a matter for employers and employees to determine. My Department does not hold comprehensive information about pay settlement levels.
Mr. Richard Shepherd : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the actual percentage increase in business rates payable will be for businesses with rateable values of (a) over £15,000 and (b) under £15,000 for 1990-91 over 1989-90.
The information is not available in the form requested. However, for properties with new rateable values of £15,000 or more in Greater London and £10,000 or more elsewhere (the thresholds defining large properties under the business rate transitional scheme) the average percentage increase in rates bills in 1990-91 over 1989-90 is expected to be 8.8 per cent. The equivalent percentage for properties with rateable values below those thresholds is 4.4 per cent. Both these figures allow for the effect of inflation between the two years.
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial aid is being provided to (a) Poland, (b) Czechoslovakia, (c) Hungary, (d) Bulgaria, (e) Romania and (f) other central and east European countries.
Mrs. Chalker : We have established a £50 million know-how fund for Poland, and a £25 million fund for Hungary. We are also providing additional assistance for Poland : £15 million is being made available for a project in the agricultural sector, and a £64 million contribution has been made to the international stabilisation fund for Poland. We are also making a substantial contribution to the European Community and multilateral programmes for Poland and Hungary. Bilateral financial assistance is not available for other eastern European countries, but we hope they will qualify for such help in due course.
Mrs. Chalker : We have technical co-operation programmes for all central American countries apart from Nicaragua. In addition we are providing financial aid to Belize and Honduras. The Commonwealth Development Corporation invests in Belize, Costa Rica and Honduras. Project support can be provided from the aid and trade provision in appropriate cases. Relief aid can and has been provided in response to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. We of course also contribute a share of the funds provided to the region through a variety of multilateral programmes including those of the United Nations agencies, the World Bank, the Inter American Development bank and the European Community.
Mr. Bob Cryer : To ask the Attorney-General if he will introduce legislation to provide compensation for persons sent to prison for contempt who successfully appeal against the decision ; and if he will make a statement.
The Attorney-General : The average time between the receipt of a legal aid applicant's appeal against refusal and the appeal hearing in England and Wales is 28 working days. It takes, on average, a further three working days for the result of the appeal to be sent to the applicant.
Mr. Kilfedder : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will consider advising district councils to display clear signs at or close to public rights of way so as to ensure that the public are aware of their existence ; and if he will arrange for the publication of a rights of way map for the whole of Northern Ireland.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The signposting of public paths is an important aspect of the creation of public access to the countryside. Under the Access to the Countryside (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 the responsibility for asserting and creating public footpaths lies with district councils.
The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland encourages councils to undertake this work by offering advice and substantial grant aid not only towards the cost of creating public footpaths but also towards the cost of erecting signs and providing information to the public.
The legislation requires councils to compile and preserve maps of public rights of way. The Department has no present plans to produce a map showing public rights of way for the whole of Northern Ireland.
Mr. Kilfedder : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make it his policy in relation to the granting of planning permission for a replacement dwelling to take action to ensure that the new dwelling is not placed closer to the sea shore or to a river or inland lough than the dwelling which it is intended to replace.
Mr. Needham : No. Each application for planning permission is determined on its merits and the Department of the Environment's policy is that the replacement should be located as close as possible to the site of the original building. Factors such as siting, location and design, particularly where the site is close to natural features, are taken fully into consideration.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what action has been taken as a result of the meeting with a deputation from the Ulster Farmers Union to discuss the devaluation of the green pound in order to improve support levels and alleviate the disparity in green currency rates between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland ;
(2) what discussions have taken place about the devaluation of the green pound in order to improve support levels and alleviate the disparity in green currency rates between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : It is usual for discussions on green rate changes to be included in the European Communities' price fixing process. That process will start at the January meeting of European Community Agriculture Ministers.
We maintain close links with the Ulster Farmers Union and have regular discussions on green currency rates and other issues of concern.
Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance is being given to industries, firms and entrepreneurs in South Down to help them take advantage of the internal market in 1992.
Mr. Needham : The Government fully recognise that the advent of the single European market will present both opportunities and threats to businesses in Northern Ireland. The Department of Economic Development, together with the Industrial Development Board and the Local Enterprise Development Unit, have undertaken a campaign to raise awareness of 1992 throughout the business community in Northern Ireland. In addition, a range of specific initiatives has been developed and LEDU, in co-operation with the IDB and the industrial science division of the Department of Economic Development has recently launched a European information centre which will assist and advise businesses about a range of EC activities. Businesses and individuals in South Down have benefited to no lesser degree than elsewhere from this campaign.