|Previous Section||Home Page|
The Attorney-General : The legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the Serious Fraud Office have not received such research reports or policy analyses and have not given contracts to outside management consultants in policy areas. The Crown prosecution service has given the following contracts to outside consultants, largely in management areas, since the service was created in 1986 :
Strategic planning and budgeting study by Hay Management Consultants, completed April 1987, cost £37,000 ;
Telecommunications strategy study by Logica, completed January 1987, cost £20,000 ;
Internal communication study by Charles Barker Communications, completed December 1987, cost £29,000 ;
Information study, asistance from the Mindworks Partnership, completed March 1989, cost £40,000 ;
Staffing model feasibility study by P. A. Management Consultants, completed December 1988, cost £37,000 ;
Staffing model development by P. A. Management Consultants, completed January 1990, cost £135,000 ;
Evaluation of the use of information technology to present evidence in court by the human science and advanced technology research centre, Loughborough university, for completion February 1990, cost £15,000.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what action the Government are taking to persuade the Ethiopian Government to allow church workers to provide famine relief in Tigray ;
(2) what aid the Government intend to provide to the Joint Relief Partnership of church agencies to provide famine relief in rebel-controlled areas of Ethiopia.
Column 188Partnership (JRP) of local church groups on arrangements for the distribution of relief supplies within Tigray. A positive response from the rebel side is vital, and we have been in touch with their representatives here to this end. The Ethiopian Government meanwhile issued a fresh appeal for food aid on 26 January, taking account of the needs of Tigray. I have approved an immediate response to this appeal of 10,000 tonnes of wheat flour (equivalent to 13,700 tonnes of wheat) to be channelled through British NGOs in support of this JRP operation. The cost of this will be about £2.6 million. I have also approved a further £1 million of emergency aid. Much of this will be used to support JRP operations in Tigray and Eritrea. This new aid is in addition to commitments totalling £18.5 million in 1989.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what decision has been made in response to a request from Medical and Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, for a grant to send oral rehydration sachets to Cambodia.
Mrs. Chalker : Supplies for oral rehydration treatment are already available in south-east Asia. It would not be cost effective to supply them from the United Kingdom as proposed. We are ready to consider proposals from NGOs for primary health care activities in Cambodia under the joint funding scheme.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a table or chart showing for the last five years (a) the flows of aid from the United Kingdom to (i) South America, (ii) Africa and (iii) Asia and the middle east and (b) the proportions in each case of this aid tied to trade deals involving United Kingdom companies.
United Kingdom gross bilateral aid 1984-88 (£,000) |Of which |Percentage of |ATP<1> |ATP to gross |aid ---------------------------------------------------------------------- South America 1984 |17,755 |6,427 |36.2 1985 |19,591 |3,713 |19.0 1986 |17,313 |453 |2.6 1987 |16,301 |85 |0.5 1988 |14,725 |434 |2.9 Africa 1984 |268,041 |8,002 |3.0 1985 |315,397 |3,547 |1.1 1986 |284,723 |8,761 |3.1 1987 |304,650 |10,534 |3.5 1988 |422,030 |10,422 |2.5 Asia and Middle East 1984 |306,226 |37,090 |12.1 1985 |255,256 |31,328 |12.3 1986 |315,577 |68,973 |21.9 1987 |216,053 |17,425 |8.1 1988 |298,499 |42,838 |14.4 <1> Expenditure under the Aid and Trade Provision.
Column 189Report a table showing in United States dollars for each year since 1980 and for 1989 to the latest available date, the annual amounts allocated to Third-world development aid by (a) the United Kingdom, (b) the EEC, including the United Kingdom, (c) the EEC, excluding the United Kingdom, (d) the United States of America, (e) Japan and (f) Australia and New Zealand, and the proportions these amounts represent of each nation's gross national product.
Mrs. Chalker : This information is set out in the table. Figures for 1989 are not yet available. The figures for the EC relate to those EC countries which are members of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD :
Disbursements of Net Official Development Assistance 1980-88 United Kingdom EEC Countries<1> EEC Countries<1> USA Japan Australia and New Zealand (Including (Excluding United Kingdom) United Kingdom) (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) |$ million|Per cent.|$ million|Per cent.|$ million|Per cent.|$ million|Per cent.|$ million|Per cent.|$ million|Per cent. |GNP |GNP |GNP |GNP |GNP |GNP -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1980 |1,854 |0.35 |12,972 |0.47 |11,118 |0.50 |7,138 |0.27 |3,353 |0.32 |739 |0.46 1981 |2,192 |0.43 |12,704 |0.53 |10,512 |0.56 |5,782 |0.19 |3,171 |0.28 |718 |0.40 1982 |1,800 |0.37 |12,230 |0.53 |10,430 |0.57 |8,202 |0.27 |3,023 |0.28 |947 |0.52 1983 |1,610 |0.35 |11,537 |0.51 |9,927 |0.55 |8,081 |0.24 |3,761 |0.32 |814 |0.46 1984 |1,429 |0.33 |11,330 |0.51 |9,901 |0.55 |8,711 |0.24 |4,319 |0.34 |832 |0.43 1985 |1,530 |0.33 |11,620 |0.51 |10,090 |0.55 |9,403 |0.24 |3,797 |0.29 |803 |0.46 1986 |1,737 |0.31 |16,122 |0.51 |14,385 |0.55 |9,564 |0.23 |5,634 |0.29 |827 |0.44 1987 |1,871 |0.28 |19,093 |0.49 |17,222 |0.53 |8,945 |0.20 |7,342 |0.31 |714 |0.32 1988 |2,645 |0.32 |21,231 |0.49 |18,586 |0.53 |10,141 |0.21 |9,134 |0.32 |1,206 |0.44 <1> EEC Countries which are members of DAC:-Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland*, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom. * Ireland not included in 1980 and 1981 as figures not available.
Mrs. Clwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will include aid to eastern Europe when calculating the percentage of gross national product spent on aid for figures collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Assistance Committee.
Mr. David Martin : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to make known to the Government of Brazil the concern in Britain about the treatment of the Yanomami indians.
Mrs. Chalker : I believe the Government's views about the treatment of indigenous minority groups are well known to other Governments, including Brazil. We shall take all suitable opportunities to express our legitimate concern about the plight of the Yanomami indians. However, we must respect the rights of sovereign countries to conduct their own affairs in accordance with their laws. In this case, we must await the outcome of the due legal processes in Brazil. I hope that the environmental technical co-operation programme now being developed, in the context of the memorandum of understanding signed in Brasilia last July by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bath (Mr.
Column 190Patten), will enable us to contribute directly or indirectly to solving some of these problems. I am ready to consider proposals from relevant organisations for medical or other humanitarian assistance for the Yanomami. None has so far been received, but proposals will be welcomed.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list by location where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what eligibility criteria he used in estimating in paragraph 4.13 of "The Way Ahead" that 150,000 people would benefit from the proposed mobility component.
Mr. Scott : It is assumed that the lower level of the mobility component will be awarded to people aged between five and 65 at the time of their claim who, by virtue of a physical or a mental disability, are not
Column 191independently mobile. Precise details of the eligibility criteria will be considered in working up proposals for the disability allowance.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consideration was given in the Government's proposals for disability benefits to the introduction of an allowance for disabled people for costs not arising from mobility or attendance needs but which are nevertheless associated with a person's disability ; and what were the reasons for rejecting it.
Mr. Scott : In re-examining benefits which help with the extra costs of disability we considered ways in which these benefits might be restructured, including a range of points-based assessment schemes which took into account disabilities other than locomotion and self care. When related to existing benefit entitlements these produced widespread changes in people's entitlements to benefit, with unacceptably high numbers of losers. Such a scheme would also involve considerable administrative complexity.
The proposed disability allowance builds on the existing benefits. As paragraph 4.2 of "The Way Ahead" Cm. 917 explained, the surveys of disability carried out by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys suggest that the existing benefits are well directed towards the most common of the more costly disabilities. Equally important, the benefits provide help to people with other disabilities which are frequently combined with locomotion or self-care disabilities.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what eligibility criteria he used to estimate in paragraph 4.12 of "The Way Ahead" that 140,000 people would benefit from the proposed care component.
Mr. Scott : It is assumed that the lower level of the care component will be awarded to people aged 65 or under at the time of their claim who need repeated help in connection with their bodily functions but who need that help less frequently than those who currently qualify for attendance allowance. Precise details of the eligibility criteria will be considered in working up proposals for the disability allowance.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the surplus or deficit in the national insurance fund for each financial year since 1979 ; and what is his estimate for the current year and for 1990-91.
|Surplus/deficit of |Balance held in the |fund income against |national insurance |expenditure for each|fund at the end of |year |each year |£ billion |£ billion ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |+0.54 |4.63 1980-81 |+0.41 |5.04 1981-82 |-0.99 |4.05 1982-83 |-0.03 |4.02 1983-84 |+0.58 |4.60 1984-85 |+0.38 |4.98 1985-86 |+0.31 |5.29 1986-87 |+0.42 |5.71 1987-88 |+1.58 |7.29 1988-89 |+3.08 |10.37 1989-90<1> |-0.96 |9.41 1990-91<1> |-1.70 |7.69 <1> Figures for 1989-90 and 1990-91 are estimates by the Government Actuary.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list by location where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : No creche facilities are available at present but there are plans for a nursery to open at our Hertford office in February 1990. This nursery will cater for 10 children under five years of age. Other locations are considering the introduction of nursery facilities and the development of new holiday play schemes. We have already established holiday play schemes in several different parts of the country, often in collaboration with other Government Departments and other local employers. All staff using child care facilities are required to make a financial contribution.
Mr. Scott : People will qualify for the upper level of the mobility component and the upper two levels of the care component and the upper two levels of the care component on the basis of assessment criteria similar to those currently employed for mobility allowance and attendance allowance respectively. The introduction of the disability allowance will produce only gainers, and we do not envisage any need for transitional protection.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will give details of the formula by which social fund local office allocations will be calculated for the year 1990-91 ; (2) when he expects to announce the local office allocations for the social fund for 1990-91 ;
(3) whether the additional allocations made to certain local offices for their social fund expenditure in 1989-90 will be taken into account when allocations for 1990-91 are calculated.
Column 193pressure as a result of high levels of demand. Particular factors taken into account included the extent to which the expenditure of individual offices exceeded their expenditure profiles, and changes in the levels of priority they were able to meet during the course of the year.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when it is expected that the social fund loans element will achieve a balance between the value of loans paid out and the value of repayments received.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will take further action to ease the difficulties experienced by those local offices which were not given extra allocations for their social fund budgets in December and which are now experiencing difficulties as great as those that were given extra allocations in managing their budgets.
Mr. Scott : Additional allocations have been made to a further 10 offices bringing the total number of offices helped to 106. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely. A revised list of offices has been placed in the Library today.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which countries of the European Economic Community have state pension schemes that include (a) an earnings-related retirement component, (b) an earnings-related component with a widow's pension on death before retirement and (c) an earnings-related component with invalidity pension.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : I refer the right hon. Member to the Department's annual publication "Tables of Social Benefit Systems in the European Communities", copies of which are available in the Library.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : We propose to double to £10 a week the current disregard for charitable and voluntary payments made to people in receipt of an income-related benefit. In addition, we intend to disregard completely any regular charitable or voluntary payment which is intended and used for an item other than certain accommodation costs already met by benefit, food, ordinary clothing or footwear, and household fuel.
Regulations will be introduced shortly to give effect to both these proposals in income support and family credit from April 1990. Housing benefit and community charge benefit regulations will also provide for a £10 a week disregard from April 1990 and for a disregard of regular payments for certain items from October 1990. These proposals will enable charities, voluntary bodies and relatives to give more help to people without affecting their benefits.
Mr. Graham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people who are eligible for a rebate of the community charge will not receive the rebate because it falls under the minimum amount payable ; and what is the total sum involved.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 24 January 1990] : The most recent estimates for Great Britain for 1990-91 suggest that 130,000 benefit units or 170,000 individuals will be eligible for community charge benefit but not receive benefit because it falls under the minimum amount payable. The sum involved is about £1.5 million. These figures compare with current estimates of an expected caseload in Great Britain of some 7.9 million benefit units and 9.75 million individuals, with a total cost to central Government, in terms of community charge benefit, of £1.75 billion.
Mr. Lee : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what importance he attaches to the involvement of the tourism and hospitality industry in the development of the training and enterprise councils ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : It is very much in the interests of the tourism industry to become involved in the new training and enterprise councils so that the councils properly address the issues relevant to that industry. From 1 April regional tourist boards will be given much more Government money to help with this process ; the North West tourist board, in particular, is already very active in this regard.
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give for each region and for Great Britain as a whole the number of filled and contracted places in ET in the health and personal social services fields ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls : Information about the number of filled and contracted places in employment training is not available broken down into health and personal social services or other occupational categories.
Column 195Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much has been paid out through the underpinning arrangements to ET managers and agents ; and how much has been paid to those organisations to cover redundancy payments, since the start of ET.
Mr. Nicholls : From September 1988 up to and including December 1989, some £1.19 million has been paid to employment training training agents and £31 million to employment training training managers under underpinning arrangements. In the same period £2.7 million has been paid to former community programme managing agents in redundancy payments, for employees in community programme schemes who transferred to employment training and were subsequently made redundant.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many enforcement visits it is envisaged will be paid by the factory inspectorate in 1990 in order to enforce (i) the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988, (ii) the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and (iii) the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Mr. Nicholls : The 1990-91 plans provide for factory inspectors in the Health and Safety Executive's new field operations division to make some 159,000 preventive inspections, at all of which inspectors will consider compliance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988, the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 where these regulations apply, and take enforcement action where appropriate. Compliance with these regulations may also be considered at visits for other purposes, such as to investigate accidents, complaints and dangerous occurrences.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many safety cases under regulation 7 of the 1984 CIMAH regulations are awaiting approval or examination by the Health and Safety Executive, by area office ; when any backlogs are likely to be cleared ; and if it is envisaged that any extra staff will be recruited in 1990-91 in this area of activity.
Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) assesses but does not approve safety reports submitted under regulation 7 of the 1984 Control of Industrial Major Accidents Hazards Regulations (CIMAH). Work has started on assessing all the reports which have been submitted but it is not possible to say when this process will be completed. Information about the current position concerning those reports where completion of the assessment is outstanding could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the table shows the position in August 1989, the latest date for which information is available, and gives a breakdown by area office.
Total number of reports submitted=331 Area office |Number of reports |where assessment |not completed ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 01 South |3 02 South West |- 03 South East |- 05 London North |2 06 London South |2 07 East Anglia |10 08 Northern Home Counties |- 09 East Midlands |4 10 West Midlands |3 11 Wales |21 12 Marches |1 13 North Midlands |6 14 South Yorkshire and Humberside |26 15 West and North Yorkshire |5 16 Greater Manchester |8 17 Merseyside |30 18 North West |5 19 North East |24 20 Scotland East |38 21 Scotland West |3 |-- Total |191
A substantial number of reports was submitted to HSE just before the deadline of 8 July 1989 set by the 1984 regulations despite encouragement to industry to phase their submissions. This has led to a short-term peak in assessment work which was anticipated and is being met from existing resources.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will establish an external inquiry, by a firm of management consultants, into the Health and Safety Executive ; and if he is at present satisfied with the current ratio of management to inspection staff.
Mr. Nicholls : No. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, responsibility for ensuring the efficient organisation and management of the staff of the Health and Safety Executive lies with the Health and Safety Commission and HSE. My right hon. and learned Friend is satisfied that HSE has in place the systems and expertise needed for this purpose. A detailed account of organisational improvements, and other actions to increase efficiency and effectiveness, will be included in the HSC/E's annual report for 1988-89, to be published on 26 February.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place in the Library (a) the report of the central policy review staff on the Health and Safety Executive and (b) the report on the recruitment and retention of specialists in the technology division of the Health and Safety Executive of September 1989.
Mr. Nicholls : The Government have no plans to publish the report of the review carried out by the central policy review staff in 1980 on the cost effectiveness of methods of implementing policy on health and safety at work. I have not received a copy of the report on the recruitment and retention of specialists in the technology division of the Health and Safety Executive. This was commissioned by the executive which I understand is currently considering its recommendations.
Column 197limits for (i) ceramic dust, (ii) cotton dust and (iii) dust and fumes in the rubber, steel and foundry work areas ; and how many enforcement visits it is envisaged will be paid in 1990 by staff of the Health and Safety Executive.
Mr. Nicholls : There are no maximum exposure limits (MELs) for ceramic dust and cotton dust. The MELs for "rubber fume" and "rubber process dust" are 0.75 mg/m and 8 mg/m respectively for eight-hour time weighted average reference periods (eight-hour TWAs). There are no MELs for general airborne emissions in steel and foundry work areas, although some specific processes may give rise to substances for which MELs have been set.
It is not possible to provide a breakdown of the number of visits that will be made during 1990 to each sector of industry.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total budget of the Health and Safety Executive ; and how many Health and Safety Executive employees possess formal purchasing qualifications.
Mr. Nicholls : Gross financial provision to the Health and Safety Executive for 1989-90 is £119 million ; of this an estimated £35 million will be spent on the purchase of goods (capital and current), services and general contracts. The Health and Safety Executive's director of purchasing and supply, appointed in February 1989, is a member of the Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of the chairmen and secretaries of the Health and Safety Commission's advisory committees have any formal professional qualifications in the industries or subjects with which they deal.
Mr. Nicholls : There are currently 18 commission advisory committee chairmen and 19 secretaries ; 33 per cent. of all chairmen and 26 per cent. of all secretaries have formal professional qualifications in the industries or subjects with which they deal.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion, by area office, of factory inspectors, excluding principal inspectors, are trainees and if it is the policy of the Health and Safety Executive for trainee inspectors to make their trainee status known when visiting a factory.
Mr. Nicholls : Factory inspector IIs (for their first two years) are designated as trainee inspectors. The number of trainee inspectors, expressed as a percentage of the total number of factory inspectors (excluding principal inspectors), in each Health and Safety Executive area on 1 January 1990 is as follows :
Area |Trainees as |percentage of total ------------------------------------------------------------------- South West |30.4 South |26.3 South East |12.1 London North |17.0 London South |18.2 East Anglia |18.7 North Home Counties |23.5 East Midlands |25.0 West Midlands |9.1 Wales |29.2 Marches |40.0 North Midlands |30.0 South Yorks and Humberside |26.1 West and North Yorks |17.4 Greater Manchester |25.0 Merseyside |19.0 North West |31.1 North East |27.9 Scotland East |31.1 Scotland West |22.9
Health and Safety Executive inspectors do not normally announce their status or rank during visits.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to raise substantially the bi-annual recruitment of trainee factory inspectors ; and what is the current target for the total number of inspectors.
Mr. Nicholls : Measures taken by the Health and Safety Executive to increase recruitment of trainee factory inspectors include improvement of salaries for inspectors at the basic grade, more effective targeting and advertising of recruitment campaigns, and new procedures to reduce delays between interviews and offers of appointment. The HSE's target is to have 640 factory inspectors by 1 April 1990.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why the Bootle health and safety office public inquiry point is open for telephone inquiries only between the hours of 10 am. and 3 pm ; and if he has any proposals to extend these hours.
Mr. Nicholls : Restricted hours of opening of HSE's public inquiry points at Bootle, Sheffield and London are necessary to allow staff time to gather information and do research to answer inquiries satisfactorily. I understand that the executive has no proposals at present to extend opening hours beyond 10 am to 3 pm.
Mr. Nicholls : In December 1989 the number of unfilled vacancies at jobcentres in the Rochdale local education authority (the closest approximation to the borough for this data source) was 641. Vacancies at jobcentres do not represent the total number of vacancies in the economy. The latest research shows that nationally only about one third of vacancies are registered at jobcentres.
Mr. Nicholls : Ministers from my Department have on a number of occasions met representatives from the tourism industry in the north-west, and have received correspondence on a wide range of issues affecting tourism in the area.