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Mr. Maude [holding answer 25 February 1991] : The business expansion scheme was extended to include investment in private rented housing in 1988-89. The latest estimates are shown in the table.


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                Amounts invested                             Cost of income tax relief                   

                Total          Of which investment in        Total          Of which in respect of       

                               private rented housing                       investment in private        

                                                                           |rented housing               

               |(£ million) |Amount        |Percentage    |(£ million) |(£ million)                

                              |(£ million)                                                             

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1987-88        |200           |-             |-             |120           |-                            

<1>1988-89     |415           |365           |88            |150           |130                          

<1>1989-90     |225           |165           |75            |75            |55                           

<1> Provisional estimates.                                                                               

Information is not yet available for 1990-91.                                                            

Profit-related Pay

Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are currently in profit-related pay schemes ; how many were in, in each of the years since it was introduced ; how many registered schemes have existed in each year ; and what is the distribution of schemes by number of people in them.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 25 February 1991] : The information is shown in the table. There were about 290,000 employees participating in PRP schemes at the end of January 1991.


                         Live registered schemes as at December 

                        |1987   |1988   |1989   |1990           

----------------------------------------------------------------

Number of participants                                          

1-50                    |244    |517    |650    |711            

51-100                  |64     |114    |149    |165            

101-500                 |88     |156    |245    |268            

501-1,000               |23     |28     |37     |49             

Above 1,000             |11     |15     |31     |40             

                        |-------|-------|-------|-------        

Total schemes           |430    |830    |1,112  |1,233          

Participating employees |72,000 |122,000|226,000|263,000        

Payroll Giving

Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people participated in the payroll giving scheme in each year of the scheme's existence ; what total sums were given to charities as a result of the scheme in each year ; and what was the cost to the Exchequer in each year.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 25 February 1991] : Estimates are as follows :


Payroll giving scheme                                                                          

Year               |Donors            |Donations         |Cost of tax relief                   

                   |(thousands)       |(£ million)     |(£ million)                        

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1987-88            |55                |1.0               |0.3                                  

1988-89            |120               |3.5               |1.0                                  

<1>1989-90         |190               |7.0               |2.0                                  

<1>1990-91         |250               |10.0              |3.0                                  

<1>Provisional.                                                                                

Private Medical Insurance

Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of those benefiting from tax relief on private medical insurance are pensioners ; and what is the income distribution of those people who gain.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 25 February 1991] : It is estimated that tax relief on private medical insurance for


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the over-60s will benefit some 600,000 individuals with 330,000 policies in 1990-91. The further details requested are not available.

Company Cars

Mr. Beith : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the yield from increasing the company car scale charges in 1991-92 by (i) 10 per cent., (ii) 20 per cent. and (iii) 30 per cent.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 26 February 1991] : The yield in a full year from increasing the company car scale charges in 1991-92 by 10 per cent., 20 per cent., and 30 per cent. is provisionally estimated at £120 million, £240 million and £360 million, respectively.

The Gulf

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each country making a contribution to the United Kingdom's costs in the Gulf conflict (a) the amount promised, (b) the amount received so far and (c) the dates which he expects payments to be made ; and what are the totals of such contributions (i) promised, (ii) received and (iii) expected in each quarter.

Mr. Mellor [holding answer 26 February 1991] : In addition to the information given in my right hon. Friend's reply of 26 February, column 443 , to my right hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins), we have learnt that the Danish payment of DKr90 million, or about £8 million, was made on 26 February. The first of three tranches of $167 million, or about £85 million, was received from the United Arab Emirates on 28 February. As of noon on Friday, 1 March, we had also been promised £15 million by the Belgian Government. At this stage, the timing of future payments is not known.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his current estimate of the total cost of Government spending in 1990-91 and 1991-92 of the Gulf war ; and what is his estimate of the effects on the British economy.

Mr. Mellor [holding answer 26 February 1991] : In 1990-91 provision has been made for additional defence spending as a result of the Gulf crisis of £780 million, of which £40 million was absorbed within the existing defence budget. An extra £9.5 million has been provided for health, additional provision totalling a further £9.5 million made on FCO votes and there are also smaller costs, which have been absorbed, on some other public expenditure programmes. About £160 million worth of claims has been paid by ECGD to exporters against defaults by Iraq.

The effect on Government spending in 1991-92 cannot yet be estimated. The Government are committed to


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substantial additional costs for defence, but these will be spread over some years and are very uncertain. The indications at this stage are that eventual defence costs may be up to the £3 billion mark. This figure does not take account of contributions pledged by other countries towards the United Kingdom's costs. The balance of claims against ECGD are likely to be paid over the next 5 to 6 years. The impact of the Gulf war on the United Kingdom and world economies is uncertain and difficult to separate from other factors. A revised economic forecast will be published at Budget time.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current total subsidy to mortgage tax relief (a) for higher rate taxpayers, (b) for lower rate taxpayers and (c) for those lower rate taxpayers buying their first home.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 28 February 1991] : The estimated cost of mortgage interest relief in 1990-91 can be analysed as follows :


                      |Cost                   

                      |£ billion            

----------------------------------------------

Higher rate taxpayers |1.1                    

Basic rate taxpayers  |6.3                    

Non-taxpayers         |0.4                    

                      |--                     

  Total               |7.8                    

Information on mortgage interest relief for first-time buyers is not separately available.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Statutory Instruments (Prayers)

40. Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many prayers against statutory instruments have been debated in the current parliamentary Session ; and how many prayers have been tabled.

Mr. MacGregor : Up to and including 25 February, 43 motions for an address for the annulment of statutory instruments have been tabled this Session. Of these, one has been debated on the Floor of the House. In addition, seven instruments subject to negative resolution have been referred to Standing Committees on Statutory Instruments, and four have so far been considered.

Space Audit

41. Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make a statement about the results of the space audit of the Palace of Westminster and its associated buildings.

Mr. MacGregor : The space audit is being undertaken by the Parliamentary Works Office to provide an authoritative record of the use of all the accommodation on the parliamentary estate, and a qualitative assessment, particularly of the areas used as offices. The consultants' recommendations, together with advice on space standards, are now being evaluated by the New Building Sub-Committee before it takes decisions on the accommodation needs to be included in the brief for the next phase of the new parliamentary building.


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Office Accommodation

42. Mr. Tredinnick : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether he has any plans to bid for rental accommodation now available in close proximity of the House to enable Members to have more office accommodation ; what constraints there are on his doing so ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. MacGregor : A number of properties are under consideration by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to provide additional space for the House.

Parliamentary Procedures

43. Mr. Skinner : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether he has any further statements to make regarding new parliamentary procedures and hours of work.

Mr. MacGregor : No.

Members' Correspondence

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether he will review arrangements for the internal collection and delivery of hon. Members' correspondence to and from constituents.

Mr. MacGregor : The Members' Post Office receives and sorts Members' incoming mail for collection or redirection daily ; outgoing mail is collected at set times, by Post Office staff, from boxes in the Palace and outbuildings for onward transmission by the Post Office. I have no plans to review the arrangements at present but I know that the Serjeant-at-Arms will wish to try to meet any particular problems which the hon. Member may wish to draw to his attention.

Parliamentary Statistics

Mr. Allen : To ask the Lord President of the Council since 1979, how many (a) Bills, (b) orders, (c) schemes, (d) regulations, (e) affirmative resolutions and (f) negative resolutions have been passed ; and if he will make a statement on the trends.

Mr. MacGregor : The following information is available : (a) Since the beginning of the 1979-80 Session, 748 Public and Provisional Order Bills and 290 Private Bills have received Royal Assent :


Session       |Public Bills |Private Bills|Total                      

----------------------------------------------------------------------

1979-80       |102          |40           |142                        

1980-81       |78           |25           |103                        

1981-82       |59           |25           |84                         

1982-83       |56           |5            |61                         

1983-84       |76           |37           |113                        

1984-85       |87           |18           |105                        

1985-86       |77           |38           |115                        

1986-87       |55           |19           |74                         

1987-88       |62           |33           |95                         

1988-89       |46           |20           |66                         

1989-90       |45           |28           |73                         

<1>1990-91    |5            |2            |7                          

              |-------      |-------      |-------                    

Total         |748          |290          |1,038                      

<1> Up to and including February 1991.                                



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In Sessions 1979-80 to 1989-90 inclusive, 11 Public Bills were passed by the Commons but did not receive Royal Assent.

(b), (c) and (d). Orders, schemes and regulations, along with rules and directions, are types of Statutory Instruments. Figures for the numbers of each type considered by the House and made are not maintained. The following numbers of Statutory Instruments have been made each calendar year from 1979 :


Year    |Number         

------------------------

1979    |1,770          

1980    |2,051          

1981    |1,892          

1982    |1,900          

1983    |1,965          

1984    |2,072          

1985    |2,080          

1986    |2,344          

1987    |2,278          

1988    |2,311          

1989    |2,503          

1990    |2,663          

        |-------        

Total   |25,829         

(e) Figures for the numbers of Statutory Instruments and other statutory papers (reports, codes of practice etc.) which are subject to affirmative resolution and have been so approved by the House are not readily available. The Joint and Select Committees on Statutory Instruments have considered the following numbers of Statutory Instruments subject to affirmative resolution procedure since 1979 :


Session |Number         

------------------------

1979-80 |235            

1980-81 |130            

1981-82 |121            

1982-83 |99             

1983-84 |180            

1984-85 |158            

1985-86 |158            

1986-87 |117            

1987-88 |246            

1988-89 |160            

1989-90 |164            

        |-------        

Total   |1,768          

(f) Since 1979, one motion for an Address to be presented to Her Majesty, praying that a statutory instrument be annulled (a "prayer") has been agreed to (on 31 October 1979). One motion to disapprove a statement of changes in immigration rules has been agreed to (on 15 December 1982). Figures for the numbers of statutory instruments and other papers laid pursuant to statute which are subject to negative resolution are not readily available. The Joint and Select Committees on Statutory Instruments have considered the following numbers of Statutory Instruments subject to negative resolution procedure since 1979 :



Session  |Number           

---------------------------

1979-80  |1,010.00         

1980-81  |755.00           

1981-82  |686.00           

1982-83  |455.00           

1983-84  |863.00           

1984-85  |637.00           

1985-86  |815.00           

1986-87  |462.00           

1987-88  |1,179.00         

1988-89  |854.00           

1989-90  |916.00           

         |-------          

Total    |8,632.00         

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department last conducted a survey of the ethnic origins of its employees ; when it next plans to so so ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : A full survey of the ethnic origins of Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff was conducted in 1986-87. It is kept up to date with information on new staff and leavers. Non-respondents in the diplomatic wing are to be re-surveyed in the next few weeks. The aid wing conducts periodic resurveys of non-respondents. The FCO attaches importance to its departmental programme for action on race as a means of ensuring that it recruits, develops and retains the best qualified people regardless of ethnic origin.

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to recruit members of ethnic minorities in top grades of employment at the Foreign Office.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Recruitment to the most senior entry grade is conducted for us by the Civil Service Commission, which has taken various steps to improve ethnic minority recruitment. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has produced its own recruitment materials which reflect a multi- racial work force, and often places features and advertises vacancies in ethnic minority media.

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of officers in each grade (1-7) and overall in his Department are (a) women and (b) from ethnic minorities, respectively.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The information available is as follows :


(a The figures at 28 February 1991 for the diplomatic wing, including both home civil service grades 1 to 7 and the diplomatic service equivalents, are as follows :


               |Total women   |Women as                     

               |in grade      |percentage of                

                              |total in grade               

------------------------------------------------------------

HCS1           |0             |0                            

HCS2           |0             |0                            

HCS3           |6             |5.36                         

<1>HCS4        |0             |0                            

HCS5           |7             |2.37                         

<1>HCS6        |0             |0                            

HCS7           |43            |8.66                         

<1>no equivalent DS grade.                                  


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Overall there are 3,312 women in the diplomatic wing, equivalent to 46.8 per cent. of staff.

(b According to the diplomatic wing's ethnic survey 96 staff, or 1.4 per cent. of the payroll, have declared themselves to be of ethnic minority origin. The survey is, of course, voluntary. I regret that I am unable to provide a breakdown of the figures by grade.

Aid wing

(a) In January 1990 there were 35 women at HCS grades 1 to 7, representing 10.9 per cent of the total at those grades. A more detailed breakdown is not available. Overall there were 662 women in the aid wing, or 43.4 per cent. of staff.

(b) According to the aid wing's ethnic survey 1.5 per cent. of HCS grades 1 to 7 are of ethnic minority origin. Overall, 3.79 per cent. of the total payroll of 1,525 staff have declared themselves to be of ethnic minority origin. The survey is voluntary. A breakdown of figures by grade is not available.

BBC World Service

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps are being taken to improve the reception of the BBC World Service for British forces.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : In addition to the substantial measures already taken to improve reception in the Gulf since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, by increasing the number of frequencies and extending the hours of broadcasting, arrangements for high quality local rebroadcasting of the World Service are in hand. The arrangements made through the Services Sound and Vision Corporation to bring BBC World Service programmes to troops in the Gulf over special channels are a matter for the Secretary of State for Defence. British forces, as well as the wider public, in other parts of the world are benefiting from a 10-year programme of investment in audibility which is now almost complete.

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps he is taking to improve the reception of the BBC World Service to the Gulf area generally.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Substantial improvements have already been made, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The BBC has increased the number of shortwave frequencies serving the Gulf and the time that they are available. High-power medium wave transmissions have been added to provide additional coverage throughout the night hours. In addition, arrangements for high-quality local rebroadcasting of the BBC World Service are in hand.

Sri Lanka

Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will urge the Sri Lankan Government to establish an immediate ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers and use the good offices of the Australian Prime Minister or those of the Commonwealth to mediate in the conflict between the two sides.


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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Before urging the Sri Lankan Government to arrange a further ceasefire with the LTTE, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, with or without international mediation, Her Majesty's Government would need to be convinced that conditions existed for meaningful negotiations to take place thereafter based on recognition of the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and of the need to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all its citizens through preservation of its multi-ethnic and multi-lingual character.

Bulgaria

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the practical results of the recent visit of President Zhelev of Bulgaria to this country.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told President Zhelev that we would extend the know-how fund to Bulgaria. Cultural and a cultural centres agreements were signed. President Zhelev also accepted a gift of pharmaceuticals from Her Majesty's Government. There will be a further announcement shortly.

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations between the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : United Kingdom-Bulgarian relations have been raised to a new level by President Zhelev's highly successful visit. We were pleased to be able to show our support for reform in Bulgaria.

Hong Kong

Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the number of Hong Kong Chinese who have sought to enter the United Kingdom under the British Government proposals, as of the 25 February.

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the number of applications for United Kingdom passports lodged by Hong Kong residents on the final date for application.

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will seek a report from the governor of Hong Kong on the number of applications received for United Kingdom passports under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) how many applications were received for United Kingdom passports under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990, as at 28 February ;

(3) what were the reasons for the number of applications for United Kingdom passports under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990 being substantially less than anticipated by the governor of Hong Kong ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The number of applications received is substantially less than the total number of people in Hong Kong who were eligible to apply. Because the scheme is objective and transparent, potential applicants were able to assess accurately their prospects of success. It seems likely that many people who believed that they would not succeed did not apply.


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Mr. Kaufman : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications had been received in Hong Kong for British passports at the end of the deadline date of 28 February.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The number of applications received up to midnight Hong Kong time on 28 February was 57,862. This is not, however, the final figure. Registered mail applications posted up to 28 February will also be accepted.

Lebanon

Mr. Marlow : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to secure the removal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We believe that the full implementation of the 1989 Taif accord is the best means to achieve Lebanon's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. We reiterated our support for the accord in the unanimous vote to renew the UNIFIL masdate on 30 January and in the EC declaration on the Gulf of 19 February.

Baltic States

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what input he has had with regard to the advice offered to United Kingdom business men who wish to exploit business opportunities in the Baltic states.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We keep in touch with the Department of Trade and Industry and the British embassy in Moscow over commercial opportunities in the Baltic states.

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to set up honorary consular facilities in the Baltic republics ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have no such plans at present.

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are any representatives of the British Government who are based in the Baltic republics and who have the remit to exploit trade and commercial opportunities on behalf of British industry.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : No. The British embassy in Moscow has responsibility for assisting export promotion in the Baltic states. Members of the embassy visit the region and assess opportunities there.

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the name and address of the nearest United Kingdom consular representative to each of the Baltic states.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Her Majesty's consul in Moscow, Mr. Paul Massey, is responsible for consular matters in the Baltic states. The address of the consulate is Naberezhnaya Morisa Toreza 14, Moscow 72.

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the names of those countries which maintain consular offices and personnel in the Baltic states.


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Mr. Douglas Hogg : According to the information available to us, the following countries maintain consular offices and personnel in the Baltic republics :

Latvia (Riga)

Sweden : branch of Leningrad--Consulate-General

Estonia (Tallinn)

Sweden : branch of Leningrad--Consulate-General

Finland : branch of Leningrad--Consulate-General

Lithuania (Vilnius)

Poland : Consul ad hoc of the Polish republic in residence in Vilnius.

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many and what percentage of officers in each grade (1-7) and overall in the department are (a) women and (b) from ethnic minorities, respectively.

Mr. Eggar : The number and percentage of women in each grade requested and the overall number in the Department are as follows :


          |Number   |Per cent.          

----------------------------------------

Grade 1-4 |0        |0                  

Grade 5-6 |4        |1                  

Grade 7   |5        |3                  

Overall   |184      |6.4                

We do not hold information on the ethnic origin of all our staff, but of those who have responded to the ethnic monitoring survey (98 per cent.) carried out last year, those from ethnic minorities were :

Number Per cent.

Grade 1-4 0 0

Grade 5-6 4 1

Grade 7 5 3

Overall 184 6.4

The survey was conducted on the understanding that anonymity would be preserved. Any further breakdown of the figures could identify individuals and cannot therefore be provided.

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he has taken to recruit members of ethnic minorities in top grades of employment at his Department.

Mr. Eggar : Recruitment of grades above administrative officer is carried out by the Civil Service Commission which has taken steps to aid recruitment of members of the ethnic minorities. For the grades of administrative officer and below, where the Department recruits direct, we are trying to widen our recruitment field, particularly to those from ethnic minorities, by using centrally devised tests as an alternative to formal qualifications.


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