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Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give figures for the total number of married couples in each income group consistent with the answer to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury on 1 March, Official Report, column 268 ; and if he will give figures for the proportion of each income group which will (a) gain as a result of the proposals for independent taxation and (b) receive transitional relief because of the proposals for independent taxation.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 22 March 1990] : Information is given in the table. These estimates update the figures given in reply to the previous question to allow for the levels of income tax allowances and thresholds announced in the 1990 Budget and more up-to-date information on income. The new estimates are based on a projection of the 1987-88 survey of personal incomes and are provisional.
|c|Independent Taxation 1990-91|c| Total incomeMarried Married Total numbeProportion of of married couples<1> couples<2> married coumarried couples couple (a) gain un(b) receiveliable to tliable to tax independenttransitionabefore indebefore independent taxation relief taxation taxation £'000s |'000s |'000s |'000s |Percentage|Percentage ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 0-5 |- |- |20 |0.00 |10.00 5-10 |410 |180 |1,150 |36.00 |9.00 10-15 |520 |520 |2,330 |22.00 |4.00 15-20 |400 |620 |2,550 |16.00 |1.00 20-25 |240 |420 |1,770 |14.00 |<3>- 25-30 |210 |300 |1,040 |20.00 |<3>- Over 30 |1,570 |1,080 |1,850 |85.00 |<3>- All ranges |3,350 |3,120 |10,710 |31.00 |2.00 <1> With a reduction in the combined income tax liability on their respective incomes. Makes no allowance for possible behavioural changes or the effect on Capital Gains Tax receipts. <2> Who could reduce their income tax liability by transferring income bearing assets from husband to wife or vice versa. <3> Less than 0.5 per cent.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish, using 1989-90 price and income levels, the effect on take-home pay of the changes in income tax and national insurance contributions since 1979 for (a) a single person, (b) a married man, and (c) a married man with two children in each case with a £30,000 mortgage at gross earnings levels of (i) £12,000, (ii) £18, 000, (iii) £24,000, (iv) £30,000, (v) £36,000 and (vi) £42,000.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : The information is in the table which shows the additional liability to income tax and national insurance contributions in 1989-90 if the 1978-79 regimes had been indexed for inflation and applied to the individuals specified.
|c|Increase in 1989-90 in income tax and national insurance contributions|c| |c|under 1978-79 indexed regimes|c| Earnings |Single person|Married man £ per annum |£ per annum |£ per annum -------------------------------------------------------- 12,000 |289.22 |267.62 18,000 |477.72 |456.12 24,000 |957.72 |936.12 30,000 |1,585.32 |1,637.07 36,000 |2,395.82 |2,315.57 42,000 |3,738.57 |3,549.07 Note Calculations assume no other source of income; no reliefs or allowances other than relief on interest at 13.9 per cent. on a £30,000 mortgage and the appropriate personal allowance; and the post-October 1989 NIC rates. Child tax allowances in 1978-79 excluded from the calculations as they were being phased out.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will construct an index with 1978-79 equalling 100 of the changes in the level of the income tax and national insurance contributions for each subsequent year for a taxpayer on (a) half, (b) two thirds, (c) average, (d) five times average and 10 times average earnings for households where the taxpayer is (i) single, (ii) married and (iii) married with two children, in each case assuming the wife does not work.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : Figures for income tax and national insurance contributions for 1978-79 to 1987-88 have been placed in the Library of the House, as noted in the Official Report, 13 April 1989, col. 620. Figures for 1988-89 and 1989-90 were given in reply to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, East (Mr. Brown) on 8 January 1990, Official Report, columns 559-64.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish, using 1989-90 price and income levels, the effect on take-home pay of the changes in income tax and national insurance contributions since 1979 for (a) a single person, (b) a married man and (c) a married man with two children earning £6,000 per annum with no mortgage.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : If the 1978-79 income tax and national insurance regimes had been indexed for inflation and applied in 1989-90 to people earning £6,000 per annum, a single person would pay £292.82 more and a married man would pay £271.22 more. As child tax allowances were being phased out in 1978-79, they have been excluded from the comparison. The calculations assume no other forms of income and no reliefs or allowances other than the personal allowance (single or married, as appropriate), and the post-October 1989 rates of national insurance.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated yield from all sources of taxation including excise duties for 1990-91 ; what the comparable yield in 1978-79 was revalued at 1990-91 levels ; and if he will provide a breakdown of categories used.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : Total taxes on income, capital and expenditure and the community charge are forecast to yield £170.2 billion in 1990-91. The comparable figure for 1978-79 is £120.1 billion at 1990-91 prices.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : The cost of credit has never been included in the RPI, following successive recommendations of the retail prices index advisory committee which were reaffirmed in a report submitted by the committee in 1986 (published as Cmnd. 9848).
The inclusion of mortgage interest payments in the RPI follows recommendations in a report submitted by the advisory committee in 1974 (published as Cmnd. 5905). The committee examined this question again in 1986 and confirmed that mortgage interest payments should continue to be included as a proxy for owner-occupiers' housing costs.
Column 111Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds it was decided (a) to exclude financial services and (b) to include property insurance in the retail prices index.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : Both financial services and property insurance are covered by the retail prices index. The treatment of the former raises certain conceptual and practical problems which are currently being considered by the retail prices index advisory committee and any recommendations which the committee makes will be laid before Parliament in due course.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : The inclusion of the community charge follows recommendations made by the retail prices index advisory committee in a report submitted last year, which also accepted that income tax should continue to be excluded. I refer the hon. Member to that report (published as Cm. 644) which sets out the arguments very fully.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : Holiday expenditure has never been covered by the retail prices index because of difficulties in measuring price changes satisfactorily. The RPI advisory committee recommended in a report submitted in 1986 (published as Cmnd 9848) that it should be brought into the index but recognised that, before this could be done, further work would be needed to resolve some conceptual and technical problems. The Central Statistical Office is about to report back to the committee on the progress of this work and the committee's conclusions will be laid before Parliament in due course.
Mr. Lilley [holding answer 26 March 1990] : House prices do figure in the retail prices index indirectly in that they affect the size of the morgage debt and thus the level of mortgage interest payments. In a report submitted in 1986 the RPI advisory committee considered the possibility of incorporating house prices into the index in their own right but this suggestion was rejected by the committee. I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 114 of the report (published as Cmnd 9848), which sets out the arguments very fully.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made, since the National Audit Office examination of the retail price index, with production of a technical manual incorporating detailed operational objectives for the index and with developing ways of establishing a suitable measure or measures of the statistical reliability of the index and of prioritising potential improvements to the retail prices index system.
Column 112examination will be reported by the departmental accounting officers concerned to the Public Accounts Committee on 28 March and I would not wish to anticipate that hearing.
The Attorney-General : I take the question to refer to the events which occurred on Saturday 17 March. I very much regret the circumstances which arose at Brent magistrates court on that day when there was no representation for the Crown prosecution service. The Director of Public Prosecutions immediately instituted a thorough investigation. An arrangement was made by a member of the CPS staff for a barrister agent to attend Brent magistrates court on that occasion. The arrangement was made in the week commencing 26 February at the same time as arrangements were made for that barrister additionally to cover courts on 3, 10 and 31 March. The barrister in question maintains that he was booked for only one date in March, that being the 31. The issue is not capable of objective resolution, but it is established that he did duly attend court both on the 3rd and the 10th.
On learning of the situation, police officers at Brent magistrates court attempted to contact the Crown prosecution service but the court dismissed the case at approximately 10.40 am. The Director of Public Prosecution has taken steps to ensure that such a situation shall not recur. A revised system has been put in place at the branch in question whereby all such arrangements are confirmed in writing and checked on the preceding afternoon, and whereby there are effective contingency procedures to deal with the situation where a prosecutor, for whatever reason, unexpectedly fails to attend. The field director for operations in the CPS has circulated every CPS area in the country requiring that all such systems be reviewed and tested.
The Attorney-General : The charges brought against Mark Wenham were formulated by the branch Crown prosecutor after careful consideration of a full and detailed report submitted by the Merseyside police. He preferred the charges with the full knowledge and approval of his chief Crown prosecutor. I am satisfied that, in the circumstances of this sad case, no other charge was available.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Attorney-General if he will give the reasons why the Crown prosecution service did not bring a charge of causing death by reckless driving in the case of the death of Ashley Gardiner.
Column 113offence of causing death by reckless driving. The decision to proceed on charges of reckless driving and excess alcohol reflected the only course open to the Crown prosecution service.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sources of grant aid available from his Department for work on coastal protection and sea defences ; including details of the sums of money to be paid during 1989-90 and 1990-91.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total publicity and advertising expenditure, including for privatisation, of his Department and public bodies for which his Department has responsibility in (a) 1979 and (b) 1989.
Mr. Chris Patten : I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mr. Dobson) on 13 March at column 191 in respect of publicity expenditure by my Department. Information on expenditure by non-departmental public bodies is published in their annual reports but is not held centrally in the form requested.
Mr. Chope : The figures are calculated by applying the appropriate monetary weights given in paragraph 3.29 of the revenue support grant distribution report (England) to the values of the specified indicators for Humberside, multiplying the result by the appropriate scaling factor for fire and expressing the result as an amount per relevant adult (rounded to the nearest £1).
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give the amounts received by each district and borough in Cambridgeshire from (a) the commercial rate in 1989-90 and (b) the unified business rate in 1990-91.
|c|Non-domestic rate yield|c| |1989-90 |£ million ----------------------------------------- Cambridge |34.8 East Cambridgeshire |5.6 Fenland |9.8 Huntingdonshire |18.4 Peterborough |35.4 South Cambridgeshire |15.9
|c|Business rate income (£292.51 per adult)|c| |1990-91 |£ million ----------------------------------------- Cambridge |21.7 East Cambridgeshire |13.2 Fenland |16.5 Huntingdonshire |16.5 Peterborough |32.5 South Cambridgeshire |26.0 Note: The figures shown are not comparable due to changes in the system of local government finance, in particular changes in the way Revenue Support Grant is distributed and in the pattern of precepting by the county council.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what minimum residence period in a financial year has been established by the community charge registration officer for the payment of poll tax in each local authority for people with a residence but who normally work abroad for most of the year.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 26 March 1990] : No minimum residence period has been prescribed for the purposes of establishing whether a person is solely or mainly resident in a charging authority's area. It is for the community charge registration officer to consider each case on its merits.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 12 March, to the hon. Member for Don Valley, Official Report, column 92, what was the result of the representations made to him by the South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority in respect of its financial situation for the year 1990-91 ; and what conclusion was reached over the local authority grant settlement.
Mr. Chope : The representations from the South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority, together with all other representations, were considered carefully by my right hon. Friend before he finalised the details of the settlement for 1990-91. The conclusions reached are set out in the revenue support grant distribution report (England) approved by this House on 18 January.
Sir George Young : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the average rateable value for (a) commercial and (b) industrial premises in each London borough following revaluation, together with the average figure for each category prior to revaluation ; and what is the percentage increase as a result of the 1989 revaluation.
Mr. David Hunt : The available information has been placed in the Library. As a result of the revaluation, non-domestic rateable values in England will increase by an average 8.1 times. This was taken into account when fixing the 1990-91 rate poundage at 34.8p.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the result for Humberside of applying the formulae to indicators in paragraph 3.7 (primary education), before the result is then scaled to the control total, with reference to paragraphs 3.3 and 3.7 of the revenue support grant distribution report (England).
Column 115Mr. Chope : The standard spending assessment for primary education for Humberside, before scaling to the control total, is £96,104,927.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the sum across all relevant authorities of the results of applying the formula to their indicator data for paragraph 3.7 (primary education), with reference to paragraph 3.3 and 3.7 of the revenue support grant distribution report (England).
Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many disabled people were accepted by local authorities in England and Wales as priority homeless because of physical disability in each year from 1979 to 1989, respectively.
|Number --------------------- 1979 |1,100 1980 |1,200 1981 |1,600 1982 |2,000 1983 |1,700 1984 |2,200 1985 |2,700 1986 |2,900 1987 |2,900 1988 |3,000 1989 |3,200
However, because of changes in the reporting system in 1980 and 1982, figures for the earlier years are not strictly comparable with those since 1983.
For information about Welsh authorities I refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
Mr. Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will meet the chief inspector for nuclear safety at Electricite de France to discuss safety at French nuclear power stations and the implications for the United Kingdom as a whole and for Kent ; and if he will describe the warning and emergency procedures that would be followed in the event of a serious incident occurring at one of these power stations.
Mr. Trippier : My right hon. Friend has no plans to meet the chief inspector for nuclear safety at Electricite de France. I understand that the Health and Safety Executive's nuclear installations inspectorate has continuing contact with the French nuclear safety regulatory authority-- Service Central de Surete des Installations Nuclearies (SCSIN). Current contingency plans for overseas nuclear accidents are set out in the HMSO booklet "The National Response Plan and Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET). Phase 1", a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 27 November, Official Report, column 89, to the hon. Member for Harborough (Sir J. Farr) when he intends to announce the Government's intentions on common land legislation.
Mr. Caborn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the 1991 world student games in Sheffield to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Mr. Moynihan : 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 Monday 23 April to Friday 27 April.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list by location (a) the chain of radiation detectors set up after the Chernobyl accident and (b) those that are still operative.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The location of the monitoring stations in the national radiation monitoring network, RIMNET, are listed in the HMSO booklet "The National Response Plan and Radioactive Incident Monitoring Network (RIMNET). Phase 1", a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. They are all operating.
Mr. Chope : The Housing Corporation is currently discussing draft allocations with housing associations. I understand that the corporation expects to make a formal statement of allocations at about the end of April and subsequently to set cash planning targets for associations.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to introduce a system to alert members of the public to the failed status of a beach in respect of bathing water standards.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : It is for local authorities to issue advice in respect of bathing water quality. We are considering with the National Rivers Authority and the Department of Health whether it would be appropriate to give guidance to local authorities.
Column 117Agreement was reached, subject to final confirmation by the Federal Republic of Germany, on a directive on the freedom of access to environmental information. This is a principle which has been consistently promoted by the United Kingdom, and which is strongly reflected in the Environmental Protection Bill currently before Parliament. I was therefore particularly pleased that agreement was reached on a measure which has great significance for public accountability and for the environment across Europe. The directive requires member states to provide the public with access to environmental information held by all public authorities with environmental responsibilities, while setting out certain categories of information whose confidentiality may be protected where necessary. It also provides for the dissemination to the public of general information on the environment.
The Council concluded agreement on two directives on the contained use and the deliberate release of genetically modified
micro-organisms. These directives establish a Communitywide system for regulating operations involving genetic modification. They are broadly compatible with United Kingdom legislation relating to human health and safety, and with proposals in part VI of the Environmental Protection Bill. They are also in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on environmental pollution in its 13th report. The system established under these directives will secure a high level of environmental protection, while providing stable arrangements for the development of the biotechnology industry in the United Kingdom and in Europe as a whole.
Agreement was also concluded on a regulation establishing a European Environment Agency responsible for the collection, co-ordination and analysis of environmental information. The Council considered and agreed amendments submitted by the European Commission reflecting opinions expressed by the European Parliament. In particular, it was agreed that the work programme of the agency would be reviewed after two years of operation. The location of the headquarters of the agency will be decided separately.
A useful discussion took place on the development of a Community policy on global climate change. Ministers considered an informal Commission paper on this subject, but there was widespread recognition that further work was urgently needed. I was able to make a number of specific suggestions for positive action by the Community which would assist reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The Commission was invited by the presidency to undertake further consideration of these issues.
The Council heard a progress report from the Commission on negotiations towards the revision of the Montreal protocol on substances which deplete the ozone layer. I urged the Commission to maintain the Community's case for the fastest possible phase-out of CFCs, and to consider further improvements to the Community's position on other ozone-depleting chemicals.
I warmly welcomed a draft Council resolution setting out a strategy and principles for the Community's policy on waste. The resolution, which was adopted, includes commitments to waste minimisation and recycling, together with the aim of self-sufficiency of member states in waste disposal. It will provide the framework within which a number of new directives on waste will be brought forward in the near future.
Column 118I also welcomed the Commission's recent proposals for a consolidated directive on car emissions, which received a generally favourable reaction in a first exchange of views.
Ministers again reviewed progress on a draft directive concerning water pollution by nitrate from diffuse sources, which was remitted for further discussion. A proposal to establish a committee to review and amend technical details of certain existing directives on water quality was also discussed and received United Kingdom support. I took the opportunity to urge the Commission to bring forward new proposals containing tough controls of emissions from lorry and other diesel engines in line with the United States 1994 standard, the strictest in any current legislation. In addition, I asked the Commission to come forward quickly with proposals on the incineration of toxic and dangerous wastes which will ensure that the highest standards of design and operation, reflecting state of the art technology, are applied throughout the Community.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has made an assessment of the levels of (a) metals and (b) harmful micro-organisms present in unpasteurised sewage sludge used as fertiliser ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 23 March 1990] : The levels of metals in sewage sludge vary depending upon local circumstances. When sludge is used in agriculture, producers must ensure that the metal concentrations in the soil resulting from use of sludge do not exceed the limits specified in the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989 (SI No. 1263). Detailed records have to be maintained by the sludge producer and made available to Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution, which is responsible for enforcement of the regulations. The regulations also require that sludge is treated before use to reduce its fermentability and content of pathogenic organisms. Advice on acceptable sludge treatment methods is contained in the code of practice for agricultural use of sewage sludge published by the Department in 1989.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of sewage sludge is pasteurised before final disposal ; what action he is taking to increase this percentage ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 23 March 1990] : Apart from one small pilot installation in Yorkshire, there are no operational sludge pasteurisation plants in the United Kingdom. This process is not used to any great extent elsewhere in other countries and we have no plans to require more extensive use here.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 23 March 1990] : It is a condition of licences for the disposal of sewage sludge at sea that non- degradable materials such as plastics must be removed before disposal. Enforcement is a matter for the licensing authorities. The code of practice for agricultural use of sewage sludge also recommends that non-degradable material
Column 119should be removed from sludge before spreading on the land. Sludge producers find it essential in any event to screen out such materials to ensure efficient operation of sludge stabilisation processes.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 23 March 1990] : My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs is expecting to receive very shortly a report from KPMG Peat Marwick identifying ways of reducing the volume of scrapped vehicle tyres and increasing resource recovery. When he receives the report, a working party will be set up with industry, local authority and voluntary group representation, to draw up an action plan. The plan will cover what guidance is necessary for those seeking to dispose of redundant tyres.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his reply of 12 March, if he will list the site of the 40 display signs purchased and erected by the Leeds development corporation, the cost of each sign and the details of competitive tendering in relation to the erection of each sign.
Mr. Moynihan [holding answer 26 March 1990] : A single contract for making and erecting all the signs was let by competition to the cheapest tenderer. The costs for individual signs are not therefore available.
I will write to the hon. Member with the details of the location of all the signs currently in place.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much it would cost to give full exemption to all non-employed status YTS trainees with special training needs endorsements from paying the community charge.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will estimate the cost of exempting all non-employed status YTS trainees with special training needs endorsements from paying the rebated poll tax.
Mr. Chope [holding answer 26 March 1990] : I refer the hon. Members to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities to the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), and the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) on 19 March 1990, at column 482.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received against application CA 897798/CHA for gravel extraction at the water meadow site next to Riverside at Chartham ; and if he has any plans to call in the application.
Column 120Kent county council granted planning permission for this application on 13 March 1990. Call-in, therefore, is not now an option open to the Secretary of State.
Mr. Trippier [holding answer 26 March 1990] : Surveys were undertaken in 1989 to identify the concentrations in rivers of their pesticides included on the red list of substances most dangerous to water. Results of the surveys are expected shortly. Further monitoring for these substances will be undertaken this year as part of a Paris Commission comprehensive survey of riverine inputs, in which all signatories of the Paris convention are participating.