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Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing the increase in output per head in (a) the manufacturing and (b) the non-manufacturing sectors since June 1979 together with percentage increases between April 1979 and April 1989 in the real earnings of (i) full-time adult male workers in manufacturing and (ii) full-time adult male non-manual workers in the private sector, less manufacturing.
Mr. Nicholls : The increases in output per head in manufacturing and non-manufacturing between the second quarter of 1979 and the second quarter of 1989 were 48 per cent. and 12 per cent. respectively.
The real increase in the weekly earnings of full-time adult males in manufacturing between April 1979 and April 1989 was 23 per cent. Figures are not readily available for the private sector less manufacturing and would involve disproportionate cost to compile.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, further to his written reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby, dated 11 December 1989, Official Report, column 467-68, concerning increases in weekly and hourly earnings of certain full-time adult male workers, whether he will provide similar information for (a) public sector manual workers, (b) public sector non-manual workers, (c) manufacturing non-manual workers and (d) other private sector non-manual workers.
Mr. Nicholls : The available information is provided in the following table. Figures for item (d) are not readily available and would involve disproportionate cost to compile. The "public sector" and "manufacturing" are not mutually exclusive groupings and are thus not directly comparable.
Percentage increase in weekly and hourly earnings of full-time adult male employees<1> per cent. Manual Non-manual Public sector Public sector Manufacturing April of each year |Weekly |Hourly |Weekly |Hourly |Weekly |Hourly |earnings |earnings |earnings |earnings |earnings |earnings -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980<2> |23.2 |26.1 |27.2 |27.4 |23.0 |23.3 1981<2> |11.0 |13.2 |17.5 |16.9 |11.7 |13.7 1982<2> |9.4 |9.4 |8.6 |10.2 |12.1 |11.2 1983<3> |6.8 |8.9 |7.8 |8.3 |8.2 |8.4 1984 |5.9 |5.4 |6.7 |6.3 |10.7 |10.4 1985 |5.1 |4.8 |5.6 |5.4 |8.7 |8.2 1986 |7.3 |6.9 |8.0 |8.0 |10.2 |10.1 1987 |4.5 |4.6 |6.7 |6.3 |7.0 |6.7 1988 |8.5 |7.8 |9.2 |9.3 |9.8 |8.9 1989 |4.9 |4.7 |8.3 |8.7 |10.3 |10.3 <1> Average gross weekly and hourly earnings, not affected by absence for those on adult rates; manufacturing as defined in the 1980 SIC (but see notes <2> and <3>. <2> Males aged 21 and over on all rates; 1968 SIC definition of manufacturing. <3> Males aged 21 and over on all rates; 1980 SIC definition of manufacturing.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will make a statement on the Government's plans for ensuring that young people with disabilities are not placed in unsuitable employment or training once the protection of section 119a of the Factories Act 1961 has been removed ;
(2) when he will bring into effect, by commencement order, the repeal of the requirement under section 119a of the Factories Act 1961 to notify the careers service when employing a young person.
Mr. Nicholls : Following publication of a consultation paper a working group has been set up to consider responses and propose new arrangements to ensure that all young people with disabilities, including those not covered by the Factories Act, are not placed in unsuitable employment or training. The commencement order to repeal the requirement under section 119a of the Factories Act 1961 to notify the careers service when employing a young person will be brought in when alternative arrangements have been made.
Mr. Flannery : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many prosecutions, improvement notices, or prohibition notices relating to the control of noise at work in the years 1981 to 1989 have been initiated by the mines and quarries inspectorate ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what expenditure levels were reached in the application of the sheltered placement scheme for each year since the scheme started ; what is the budget for 1990-91 and what change, in cash, real and percentage terms it reflects ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 396combined expenditure on workshops and sheltered placements. This expenditure, together with an estimate for the current year, is shown in the table. These figures do not include the grants and loans to Remploy Ltd. I will write to the hon. Member when the budget for 1990-91 has been settled.
Year |Cash prices |(£000s) ------------------------------------ 1985-86 |21,488 1986-87 |24,679 1987-88 |27,670 1988-89 |29,599 <1>1989-90 |35,451 <1>Estimate.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total amount of his Department's investment in tourism over each of the past 10 years by year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : Responsibility for tourism matters in England and Great Britain as a whole passed from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to the Secretary of State for Employment in 1985. The totals of the grant-in-aid paid to the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourist Board over the period were as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------ 1979-80 |23.1 1980-81 |25.7 1981-82 |28.9 1982-83 |33.1 1983-84 |31.9 1984-85 |34.9 1985-86 |33.8 1986-87 |40.2 1987-88 |45.3 1988-89 |49.5
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many agreements have been made with employers to operate the job interview guarantee scheme in each of the 20 pilot areas ; how many unemployed
Column 397people have taken part in the scheme in each area ; and, of these, how many secured full-time employment with their sponsoring employer.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobcentres and how many unemployment benefit offices are earmarked for closure under his plan to transfer the employment service to agency status ; how many jobs are likely to be lost and at what grades ; and what targets the new agency will be required to achieve.
Mr. Nicholls : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Boothferry (Mr. Davis) on1 December 1989 ( Official Report, columns 461-62). It is the intention that the employment service (ES) should be launched as an executive agency in April 1990, and will establish a new network of offices, bringing together the full range of employment service activities under one roof wherever possible.
Plans are being developed for this new network and when decisions have been taken the local Member of Parliament will be informed. Targets for the employment service in 1990-91 have not yet been finalised and will be published later.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to ensure that the new and remodelled employment service offices will be fully accessible to people with disabilities, following the launch of the employment service as an executive agency in April.
Mr. Nicholls : The employment service continually reviews its obligations under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 which requires buildings to which the public are admitted to be provided with facilities that meet the needs of disabled members of the public.
All new and remodelled employment service offices will be planned to a nationally agreed framework and standards. The design guide will include a section specifically on the requirements of people with disabilities. This will be based on the provisions for people with disabilities already in operation throughout the employment service and will carry forward the recommendations of a recent working group report on employment service local office design. These included : single reception point for all visitors that is fully accessible to people with disabilities ;
signs to be easily visible to all (eg. people in wheelchairs) ; hearing loops to be considered where necessary with the signs for these facilities prominently displayed ;
the need to provide appropriate seating for people with disabilities is also to be considered.
Trials at three pilot employment service offices include new vacancy display boards designed to be more accessible to people in wheelchairs.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have participated in the 50-plus jobstart scheme in each of the pilot areas ; what was the average hourly pay earned by participants,
Column 398excluding their £20 a week allowance ; what was the average amount of hours worked per week by participants ; and how many participants remained in employment after the allowance had ceased.
The breakdown of the number of people on the programme and their average hours and wages by area is as follows :
Area |Participants|Average |Average |hourly wage |hours |£ ----------------------------------------------------------------- Dudley and Sandwell |15 |2.18 |19.7 Leeds |27 |2.20 |18.7 London South |1 |2.00 |20.0 Lothian and Borders |20 |2.30 |16.2
Fifty one people are still in receipt of the allowance. It is not possible to provide information on whether those who have left the programme are in employment.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employement how many people have taken part in the action credit scheme in each of the three pilot areas ; how many ceased claiming income support to start full-time work ; how many ceased claiming income support to start part-time work ; how many failed to secure employment after the three-month job search period ; and whether he has any plans to extend the scheme.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employement what is the annual amount of expenses paid to his Department's fraud staff ; and if he will break down the figure into payments for car allowance, overnight accommodation and other categories.
Mr. Eggar : In the year April 1988 to March 1989 the total amount of expenses paid to 1,300 fraud staff, which includes investigators and administrative support staff, from this Department was £2,202, 428.
This payment consisted of :
|£ ------------------------------------------------------------------- Overnight accommodation and car allowances |1,867,307 Overtime and travelling time |53,402 Equipment (cameras, computers, furniture etc.) |281,719
Column 399This Department does not collate centrally information on the surveillance equipment held by areas.
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the most recent figures for the number of firms (a) satisfying quota obligations under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944, (b) issued with quota exemption permits and (c) not meeting their quota obligations and without quota exemption permits.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 16 January 1990] : On 1 June 1989, the latest date for which information is available, the number of firms (a) satisfying quota obligations under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944 was 7,276, (b) issued with quota permits was 18,530 and (c) not meeting their quota obligations and without permits was 6,170.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of the effect on employment of double-digit wage increases in the financial sector ; and what is the basis of this estimate.
I do not have an estimate of the effect of high wage increases in the financial sector on its own, but excessive wage increases in any sector of the economy will be harmful to jobs.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for the last 12 months by hospital within the Trent regional health authority (a) hospitals that have been on red alert and (b) the duration of the alert.
Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the Hamlets Way residential unit, at 199 Hamlets way, London E.3, has been designated part III accommodation by his Department ; and how many such hostels have been so designated.
Mr. Freeman : The designation of residential establishments managed by local authorities is a matter for the authority concerned and information is not collected centrally. I understand that the Tower Hamlets Way hostel
Column 400is treated as a local authority-managed residential care home for income support purposes but this is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security. The Department of Health advised local authorities of the changes in the arrangements for paying income support to people in hostels in LAC(89)13 issued in September 1989. A copy of this circular is in the Library.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Duncan Nichol, the NHS chief executive, has written to the trade unions confirming that he would be willing to hold further talks when there is some indication of a significant change in their position.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if it is his intention to bring forward proposals to amend the existing legal responsibilities of local authorities towards vulnerable elderly or handicapped people.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have no plans to amend the existing legal responsibilities of local authorities towards these groups other than those announced in the White Paper "Caring for People" and set out in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received a small number of representations on this subject. The Department of Health and health authorities are undertaking a wide range of projects designed to inform the implementation of the Government's proposals to improve the Health Service, including the setting up of National Health Service hospital trusts.
Mr. Freeman : Adequate disinfection by chlorination has had a marked effect in reducing morbidity rates from water-borne infectious diseases. However, this treatment leads to the production of chlorination by- products, some of which have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals when administered in large doses for long periods. Numerous studies of chlorinated water and disease rates, particularly cancer morbidity and mortality have been published, and the Department sought advice from its independent expert advisory committee on the medical aspects of the contamination of air, soil and water. It said :
"We have found no sound reason to conclude that the consumption of the by- products of chlorination in drinking water which has been treated and chlorinated according to current practices, increases the risk of cancer in humans.
Column 401The effective disinfection of water supplies is clearly of great importance in maintaining public health. In our opinion, modification of chlorination processes which have proved effective over many years, or the replacement of chlorination by other disinfectants, is not required by the available data on cancer epidemiology, animal carcinogeni-city, and mutagenicity in relation to chlorination by-products in drinking water."
This advice was conveyed to water authorities and water companies in England and Wales in DoE/Welsh Office letter WP 12/1986, and republished in annex 1 of "Guidance on Safeguarding the Quality of Public Water Supplies" (HMSO, 1989). Relevant epidemiological and other research is kept under review.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if there are any National Health Service-funded studies to estimate the cost to the National Health Service of treating osteoporosis, heart attacks and strokes in post-menopausal women ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Department has recently commissioned an economic evaluation of hormone replacement therapy which will look at its costs and benefits in relation to osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. We are also considering the funding of three further projects on osteoporosis and related problems. Comprehensive information about research funded by the National Health Service is not collected centrally.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The Government's aim is to reduce the time patients have to wait for treatment, because this, rather than the number waiting at any moment, is a key measure of service in the NHS.
In 1986 the Government launched the waiting list initiative to tackle the problem of excessive waiting time. Health authorities and their clinical staff have introduced many improvements both in management--to ensure the most efficient use of resources--and in clinical practice--for example by the greater use of new techniques and day surgery.
The waiting list initiative has been backed by a waiting list fund. The Government have invested £119 million over four years in the waiting list fund to tackle particular problems of long waiting times. By April 1990 the fund will have enabled well over 300,000 additional inpatients and day cases and 200,000 additional outpatients to be treated. Many thousands more will be treated in 1990-91.
In early 1989 a management team, led by Mr. John Yates of Inter Authority Comparisons and Consultancy, went into the 22 districts with the longest waiting times in the country to find out why the lists there were so long and to suggest how they could be shortened. Part of the waiting list fund was earmarked to finance the team's recommendations, where additional resources, and extra treatments, proved necessary.
In the first six months of the team's work the number of patients waiting over a year in the 43 specialties studied reduced by 26 per cent., and further reductions are expected. The team will continue its work in 1990-91 when, backed up by £12 million of the £33 million fund for next
Column 402year, it will be examining the 100 longest specialty waiting lists with most patients waiting over one year for treatment.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to commission research on the rate of spontaneous abortion and the rate of miscarriage associated with the amniocentesis test ;
(2) what figures he has on the number of premature births associated with the amniocentesis test.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : A report by the Royal College of Physicians on pre-natal diagnosis and genetic screening published in September 1989 said that there is still some uncertainty about the exact risk to pregnancy from amniocentesis largely because the risk is so low and extremely difficulty to measure. The report noted that studies suggest a 1 per cent. excess risk of spontaneous abortion following amniocentesis and a slight increased incidence of mild respiratory problems in the newborn. The commissioning of further research would be a matter for the Medical Research Council which is responsible for biomedical research.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We know of two hospitals where selective termination of pregnancy has recently been performed. The names of the hospitals are not released for reasons of maintaining confidentiality.
Column 403hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, South (Mr. Yeo) on 15 December at columns 848-49. The Department is playing an active role in discussions with the Hungarian Government and in the other measures needed to bring conductive edcuation to this country, including support for the Foundation for Conductive Education, Birmingham.
Ms. Richardson : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has on the laws on abortion in each western European country ; and if he will give details of the gestational periods equivalent to British gestational calculations during which abortion is permitted in each of those countries with the specific permitted grounds for abortion within each of these periods.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Thurnham) on 11 January at column 716. The survey referred to also covers the law and practice on abortion. I will write to the hon. Member with the information requested as soon as the report is ready.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : In view of the large amount of data to be analysed the contract for the joint Royal College of General Practitioners/Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists study "Attitudes to Pregnancy" was recently extended to 31 December 1990. The final report is expected to be submitted to the Department shortly after that date.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : It is not usual practice to disclose information about whether or not an application for a product licence has been received or the progress of any such application for reasons of commercial confidentiality.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to be able to write to the hon. Member for Don Valley as promised in his answer of 16 November 1989, Official Report, columns 421-22, relating to trust funds.