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Mr. Eggar : The figures for the European Commission's individual ESF allocations to the Manpower Services Commission, Training Commission and Training Agency for the years 1987 to 1989 inclusive can only be provided at disproportionate cost. The decisions of the European Commission on funding for these years have been placed in the Library.
The amounts applied for by the Training Agency for 1990 are as follows :
Programme |Amount |£ million --------------------------------------------------- Employment Training |206.17 Youth Training Scheme |111.40 Enterprise Allowance Scheme |78.32 Work Related Further Education |12.50 Business Growth Training |14.74
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to introduce outside consultants to evaluate the effectiveness of the Government's employment training programmes including YTS ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Nicholls : There is an extensive programme of research and evaluation covering the full range of the Government's employment and training schemes including YTS. External consultants and researchers play a major part in this programme.
Mr. Nicholls : During the first two quarters of 1989 Japanese residents spent an estimated £429 per visit to the United Kingdom. For the same period, residents of North America spent an estimated £456 per visit.
Column 374investment under way in the tourism and hospitality industries ; and what regional analysis is available of this figure.
Mr. Nicholls : The table gives the latest figures published by the English Tourist Board of the amount spent on tourism projects (worth £0.5 million or more) which were completed during the period July to December 1989, and those still under construction on 31 December 1989.
Tourism investments completed and under construction, by tourist board region |Completed |Under |during July- |construction on |December 1989 |31 December 1989 Tourist board region |£ million |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Cumbria |- |73 Northumbria |- |135 North West |72 |583 Yorkshire and Humberside 38 631 Heart of England |70 |283 East Midlands |38 |176 Thames and Chilterns |8 |125 East Anglia |98 |114 London |84 |674 West Country |80 |215 Southern |37 |172 South East |26 |438 |--- |--- Total England |551 |3,619
Mr. Lee : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest estimate that he has of the number of new jobs being created in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Mr. Nicholls : Between September 1988 and September 1989, the number of employees in employment in tourism-related industries in Great Britain rose by 44,000 to 1,374,000. In addition, it is estimated from the labour force survey that there were 204,000 self-employed workers in tourism- related industries in spring 1988, 4,000 more than in spring 1987.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what changes in supplementary grants to local training managers and those who negotiate their supplementary grants with their area office occurred in 1989-90.
Mr. Nicholls : In 1989-90 there has been no change in the range of supplementary grants available to training managers, local or national. Each training manager's level of supplementary grant was reviewed and agreed in contracts for 1989-90.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many staff of the Health and Safety Executive in the grade deputy superintending inspector possess formal health and safety qualifications ; and what percentage of those in that grade this represents.
Mr. Nicholls : There are currently 38 staff in the grade of deputy superintending inspector. All of these have secured the formal qualification awarded on the successful conclusion of the training of a factory inspector ; and five (13 per cent.) have additionally an externally validated health and safety qualification.
Column 375Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the Health and Safety Executive directorate of information and advisory services budget for the year 1989-90.
Mr. Nicholls : The gross budget for 1989-90 allocated to the directorate of information and advisory services (part of Resources and Planning Division) was £3.9 million. The Health and Safety Commission's planned use of resources was described in its "Plan of Work for 1989/90 and beyond" published on 3 May 1989.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what formal qualifications in occupational health and safety are held by the Health and Safety Executive's chief inspector of factories and the three deputy chief inspectors of factories.
Mr. Nicholls : The chief inspector of factories and his three deputy chief inspectors underwent the full two-year training programme, concluding in an examination in all aspects of health and safty conducted by the Civil Service Commission, which was the required formal qualification for all inspectors of factories.
Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average length of time taken for inspector (specialists), within the technology division of the Health and Safety Executive, to be promoted to the grade principal specialist inspector, for the last year for which figures are available ; and what was the average length of time taken in 1978.
Mr. Nicholls : The average length of time taken for inspector (specialist) within the technology division of the Health and Safety Executive to be promoted to the grade of principal specialist inspector for the promotion board held in December 1988 was seven years six months.
Comparable information for 1978 is not available.
Mr. Nicholls : The Health and Safety Executive has recently supported a research project undertaken by the Medical Research Council's applied psychology unit in Cambridge which included an investigation into the effects of flickering fluorescent lighting on people working with this type of illumination.
Mr. Nicholls : There is no requirement for workers who are refused employment on the grounds of non-membership of a trade union to report such refusals to my Department. In any case, such a requirement would be of limited value. It would not, for instance, provide information which would take account of vacancies filled by way of arrangements to which non- members of unions are denied access. Nor could it take into account those workers who decide not to apply for a particular position because they are aware of the operation of a closed shop.
Mr. Lester : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make representations to the European Commission in Brussels about the adverse financial effect on the British Refugee Council of delays in making European social fund payments.
Mr. McCusker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how may cattle showing symptoms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy were detected and brought to the attention of the Department of Agriculture during 1989 ; and how many cattle were detected at slaughterhouses and meat plants in 1989.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : During 1989, 54 cattle showing symptoms suggestive of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) were brought to the attention of the Department of Agriculture. Thirty of these were confirmed as BSE cases on post-mortem. Four of the suspect cases were found in the course of routine official inspection of all animals presented at slaughterhouses. Of these only one proved positive.
Mr. McCusker : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tonnage of sewage sludge has been dumped around the coast of Northern Ireland by the Department of the Environment water service during the past five years.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Complete statistics for 1989 are not yet available but the figures for sewage sludge from water service treatment works which was dumped in the coastal waters of Northern Ireland during the years 1984-85 are as follows :
|Tons ------------------------ 1984 |310,203 1985 |326,022 1986 |285,436 1987 |309,489 1988 |291,904
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland under what statute transport undertakings in Northern Ireland are able to offer concessionary fares ; and what arrangements are made to reimburse them for the cost of such schemes.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The concessionary fares scheme in Northern Ireland, sponsored by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland and administered by the passenger transport undertakings, is provided under article 5 of the Transport (NI) Order 1977. The Department reimburses the undertakings on the basis of claims which are subject to audit.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what categories of person are currently eligible for consessionary fares on Ulsterbus, Citybus and Northern Ireland Railways ; and what are the numbers in each category who have used concessionary fares in the last year.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The concessionary fares scheme provides unlimited travel at half fare at all times on all scheduled services by road and rail throughout Northern Ireland for passengers over 65-years-old, children up to the age of 16 years and war disabled pensioners. Registered blind people are entitled to free travel. The passenger transport undertakings do not maintain records of the number of people in each category who are entitled to half fare concession. Taken together there were about 17.7 million passenger journeys by public transport at half fare in the last year. There are 1,163 registered blind person passes in issue at present.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether consideration was given to including a concessionary travel scheme for disabled people in the draft Transport (Amendment) Northern Ireland Order 1989 similar to that provided for in the London Regional Transport Act 1984 ; what representations were received on the question of a concessionary scheme for the disabled ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Article 5 of the Transport (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 already makes satisfactory statutory provision for concessionary travel schemes in Northern Ireland. The draft Order has been given a general welcome. Such representations were not made.
Rev. Martin Smyth : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what time was allowed by his Department for the submission of views by individuals and organisations on the draft Transport (Amendment) Northern Ireland Order 1989 ; and if he will list those organisations who submitted their views.
Ten organisations responded :
The Southern Education and Library Board
The General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Council on Disability
Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company
South Eastern Education and Library Board
Column 378Western Health and Social Services Board
Northern Health and Social Services Board
The Royal Ulster Constabulary
North Eastern Education and Library Board
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will establish a teaching council representative of teachers in Northern Ireland to work in partnership with Government on professional matters related to the teaching profession and the raising of educational standards.
Dr. Mawhinney : I am satisfied that the current arrangements for matters such as the standards of qualifications and entry to the profession and responsibi-lity for teachers' probation and recognition are working satisfactorily. There are no plans for changes of the type suggested by the hon. Member.
On the general issue of raising educational standards, I look forward to a continuing partnership with the teaching profession to achieve the objectives set out in the Education Reform (NI) Order 1989.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provisions are being made in all the offices and other places under his Department's control for the convenience and comfort of non-smokers ; and if he will make a statement on his Department's policy for non-smokers.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 29 January 1990] : The Northern Ireland Civil Service, with the support of the Trade Union Side of the Whitley council, introduced in 1987 a formal policy on smoking in Government premises.
Under the terms of this policy smoking is specifically prohibited in :
1. Conference rooms when used for meetings with civil servants 2. Training rooms;
4. Official cars;
5. Kitchens, other cooking facilities, mess rooms and food stores;
6. Public counters and security/reception points. A mechanism was also established by which, through local agreement, the occupants of buildings could introduce further measures.
In recognition of members of staff who choose to continue smoking, smoking rooms have been provided in those buildings where smoking at the workplace has been restricted or banned.
The policy is monitored on a continuous basis.
With regard to the Home Civil Service element in the Northern Ireland Office, management endorse the ideal of non-smoking as a safeguard to health. However, HCS staff occupy accommodation which is shared with other Government Departments, and it is also difficult to secure extra space for designated smoking areas. Smoking is not permitted in areas such as lifts. The matter is kept under review.
Column 379Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 1 February 1990] : In August 1988, I announced that I had decided to let the educational maintenance allowance scheme continue to operate in its present form until I had had an opportunity to assess the effects, if any, of changes brought about by the introduction of the new social security benefits in April 1988. This examination is still being undertaken.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth will receive a reply to his letter dated 13 December 1989 referring to the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.
Supplementary benefit/Income support Residential care and nursing homes expenditure and caseloads- 1984-1989 |Numbers of |Annual equivalent |claimants |expenditure |(nearest £ million) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Residential Care Homes (RCH) December 1984<1> |- |- December 1985 |55,000 |259 February 1986 |70,000 |328 May 1987 |85,000 |438 May 1988 |103,000 |556 May 1989 |119,000 |658 Nursing Homes (NH) December 1984<1> |- |- December 1985 |15,000 |89 February 1986 |20,000 |129 May 1987 |32,000 |233 May 1988 |44,000 |322 May 1989 |57,000 |446 <1>Figures for 1984 not collected separately. RCH and NH combined: Claimants 42, 000, Annual equivalent expenditure£200 million. [Due to the effects of rounding when separating categories, combined figures may vary slightly from previously published totals.]
Sir Rhodes Boyson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide examples of the effects of community charge benefit on the levels of gross earnings in 1990-91 at which families with children are free of the poverty trap assuming two-parent families with one, two, three and four children, community charge per adult of £200, £300, £400, £500 and £600, and that family credit entitlement is taken up in full.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has any plans to raise the present upper limit on the amount of capital which may be held by community charge payers before they become ineligible for any rebate ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : We have no such plans. The upper capital limit of £8,000 strikes the right balance between helping those people who need assistance to pay their community charge and protecting the interests of taxpayers.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will place in the Library a copy of the latest draft of the proposed claim form for terminally ill persons claiming attendance allowance.
Mr. Scott : We intend to put a draft claim form to the organisations involved in the care of terminally ill people and to terminally ill people themselves to ensure that we have found the most acceptable and sensitive form of wording. Once we are satisfied on this point, copies of the form will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Soames : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he intends to reply to the hon. Member for Crawley's question for priority answer on 18 January, concerning Her Majesty's Government's policies for caring for pensioners.
Mr. Soames : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the past achievements and present objectives of Her Majesty's Government's policies for caring for pensioners.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 18 January 1990] : The Government have always attached the highest priority to the interests and needs of elderly people, and will continue to do so. We believe that our record demonstrates the depth of our commitment in caring for pensioners. We would particularly point to the improving economic circumstances of pensioners brought about by the wide range of successful Government policies aimed at creating a stable economic environment.
This success led to an increase in average pensioners' total net income of 23 per cent. in real terms between 1979 and 1986. The increases during the same period of the value of income from savings of 64 per cent. and occupational pensions of 56 per cent. are particularly encouraging. This demonstrates the vital importance to elderly people of the economic policies which the Government have pursued, and will continue to pursue. We think it is fair to say that the elderly are not a homogeneous group with wholly common interests and circumstances and our policies recognise this. For example, we are conscious that not all pensioners have benefited from sources of incomes other than their state pension. In recognition of that the package of measures introduced last October directed an extra £200 million towards 2.6 million individuals in greatest need--the less well- off, elderly and disabled pensioners on income
Column 381support and housing benefit. However, many people wish to continue in work beyond pension age and the abolition of the retirement pension earnings rule, also last October, allows them the freedom to choose to do so and receive their pension.
In addition, many pensioners may benefit from the changes to personal taxation to be made from this coming April.
These are, we believe, all good examples of the sound policies which have enabled pensioners to share in the increased wealth of the nation.
Finally, the depth of our commitment may be measured by the levels of spending on the provision of benefits and services for the elderly ; spending on social security benefit rose by 24 per cent. in real terms between 1979 and 1989-90 ; spending on health services for the elderly rose by 29 per cent. between 1978 and 1987 and spending on social services for the elderly rose by 21 per cent. between the same dates. This Government are committed to continuing to look after the interests of elderly people.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give for the Greenock and Port Glasgow local offices of his Department the statistical information he has to date regarding the different reasons given by social fund officers for refusals to claimants for (a) budgeting loans, (b) crisis loans and (c) community care grants ; and if he will make a statement.
The table gives the number of times that a reason for decision is used by social fund officers for determining a nil award for community care grants, budgeting and crisis loans.
An application can be refused for more than one reason. The total number of reasons for decision used will be equal to or greater than the number of applications refused. Information on the numbers of applications processed and awarded is available in the Library. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 May 1989, ( Official Report, column 327-28 ), which gave the data for April 1988 to April 1989 for these offices.
|Grants |Budgeting |Crisis |loans |loans |Number |Number |Number |of times |of times |of times |a reason |a reason |a reason |for refusal|for refusal|for refusal |used |used |used -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Office: Port Glasgow 1989-90 Savings over £500 meet the full cost |1 |0 |0 Not in receipt of IS |n/a |109 |0 Not in receipt of IS for 26 weeks |n/a |154 |0 Not in receipt of IS and not likely to qualify |90 |0 |0 Item(s) excluded by Direction |18 |67 |0 Applicant excluded |<1>363 |7 |2 Applied for less than £30 (not travelling expenses) |7 |7 |0 Adjusted amount less than £30 (not travelling expenses) |2 |6 |0 Total debt exceeds £1,000 |0 |1 |1 Previous application and decision for this item |54 |45 |1 No serious risk to health or safety |0 |0 |3 Inability to repay |0 |73 |6 Help available from another source |5 |7 |2 Priority too low to meet from the budget |26 |173 |1 Alternative available to the whole application |10 |3 |1 Loan refused because CCG awarded |0 |95 |0 Direction 4 not satisfied |<2>28 |0 |0 Others not covered above |24 |21 |6 <1> Input errors have caused this figure to be inflated. <2> This information has been collected for two months only. Previously it was included in "Others".
|Grants |Budgeting |Crisis |loans |loans |Number |Number |Number |of times |of times |of times |a reason |a reason |a reason |for refusal|for refusal|for refusal |used |used |used ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Office: Greenock 1989-90 Savings over £500 meet the full cost |9 |2 |0 Not in receipt of IS |n/a |233 |0 Not in receipt of IS for 26 weeks |n/a |321 |0 Not in receipt of IS and not likely to qualify |148 |0 |0 Item(s) excluded by Direction |27 |79 |4 Applicant excluded |1 |0 |1 Applied for less than £30 (not travelling expenses) |9 |24 |0 Adjusted amount less than £30 (not travelling expenses) |3 |23 |0 Total debt exceeds £1,000 |0 |0 |0 Previous application and decision for this item |50 |152 |1 No serious risk to health or safety |0 |0 |111 Inability to repay |0 |59 |3 Help available from another source |2 |3 |2 Priority too low to meet from the budget |8 |624 |4 Alternative available to the whole application |2 |3 |1 Loans refused because CCG awarded |0 |92 |0 Direction 4 not satisfied |<1>65 |0 |0 Others not covered above |592 |90 |5 <1> This information has been collected for two months only. Previously it was included in "Others".
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent export contracts have been awarded to British Nuclear Fuels plc ; and what permissions have been sought by British Nuclear Fuels plc under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 to carry out exports.
Mr. Baldry : Within the past two years, British Nuclear Fuels plc has been awarded export contracts amounting to some £80 million for providing a variety of nuclear services including uranium processing and enrichment, design and engineering work, and transport of spent fuel. Following the increase in capacity available to overseas customers for the first 10 years of reprocessing in its thermal oxide reprocessing plant (THORP), the company has also secured orders for over 80 per cent. of this additional capacity. Of these exports only those which involve the disposal of fissile material require approval by the Secretary of State for Energy under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.
All exports of nuclear materials, equipment and technology are made within the guidelines set out in the statement by the then Foreign Secretary, James Callaghan, on 31 March 1976 at columns 514-16 .
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether there have been any changes in the arrangements for operating the return to sender options in contracts for reprocessing nuclear fuel from overseas as set out in his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell), Official Report , 2 May 1986, column 500 .