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Column 162

Lichfield district council

Luton borough council

Maldon district council

Melton district council

Mid Sussex district council

Montgomeryshire district council

Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council

Newport borough council

North devon district council

Peterborough city council

Poole borough council

Reading borough council

Reigate and Banstead borough council

Rhymney Valley district council

Rother district council

Salisbury district council

Scarborough borough council

Sedgemoor district council

Shepway district council

Slough borough council

Southampton city council

Southend-on-Sea borough council

South Lakeland district council

South Northamptonshire district council

South Shropshire district council

South Tyneside borough council

South Wight borough council

Stoke-on-Trent city council

Sutton borough council

Tendring district council

Thanet district council

Tunbridge Wells borough council

Warrington borough council

Wokingham district council

Woodspring district council

Worcester city council

Worthing borough council

Wrexham Maelor borough council

Wychavon district council

Wycombe district council

(b) Authorities which have adopted the 1990 model byelaws : Stratford-on- Avon district council

Metropolitan Police (Community Events)

Mrs. Ann Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether it is the usual practice for the Metropolitan police to charge for attendance at community and charity events ; (2) what has been the total cost of the policing of the Notting Hill carnival in each of the last three years ; and what contribution towards that cost was made by the carnival organisers in each of those years.

Mr. Peter Lloyd : I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that it is not the usual practice to charge for police attendance at community and charity events.

The estimated additional costs of policing the Notting Hill carnival were :


Year       |Additional           

           |costs                

           |£                  

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

1989       |1,111,000            

1990       |1,606,000            

1991       |1,554,000            

The carnival organisers have made no contribution towards the cost of policing this event.


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NATIONAL FINANCE

Catalytic Converters

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which EC countries currently offer fiscal incentives for the purchase of three-way catalytic converters ; what taxes are levied in the United Kingdom on sales of catalytic converters and at what rate ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : In the United Kingdom, VAT is levied on sales of catalytic converters at the standard rate of 17.5 per cent. I have no information on any fiscal incentives for the purchase of three-way catalytic converters in other EC countries.

Government Expenditure

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the expenditure in each year since 1979, in real and constant prices, of Government expenditure in (a) agriculture, forestry and fishing, (b)


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industrial development, (c) energy, (d) infrastructure, (e) environmental protection, (f) health, (g) social development and services, (h) earth and atmosphere, (i) advancement of knowledge, (j) civil space, (k) defence and (l) not elsewhere classified.

Mr. Mellor : The available information on general government expenditure by main function since 1978-79 is given, in cash and real terms, in tables 2.2 and 2.3 of the statistical supplement to the 1991 Autumn Statement (Cm. 1920). Corresponding information for the other areas of expenditure requested is not available or could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Unemployment and Redundancy Pay

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the information on unemployment benefit and redundancy payments given in his answer of 27 July 1983, Official Report, columns 449-50.

Mr. Mellor : The information requested is as follows :


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                    |(a)                |(b)                |(c)                                    

                    |Total benefits paid|Total expenditure  |(a) plus (b) as a                      

                    |to unemployed      |from the           |proportion of Gross                    

                    |people<1>          |Redundancy Fund    |Domestic Product                       

                    |(£ million cash) |(£ million cash) |(Percentage)                           

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

1983-84             |5,440              |427                |1.9                                    

1984-85             |6,320              |333                |2.0                                    

1985-86             |6,960              |344                |2.0                                    

1986-87             |7,310              |246                |2.0                                    

1987-88             |6,650              |81                 |1.6                                    

1988-89             |5,240              |70                 |1.1                                    

1989-90             |4,310              |66                 |0.9                                    

1990-91             |5,040              |145                |0.9                                    

1991-92<2>          |7,360              |128                |1.3                                    

<1> Figures include unemployment benefit, principal income-related benefits and payments from the   

social fund to unemployed people and their                                                          

families.                                                                                           

<2> Estimates in current published plans.                                                           

Pension Funds

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will bring up to date the information on the growth of pension and other funds given in his answer of 7 March 1984, Official Report, column 581.

Mr. Maples : The latest annual estimates for the period 1982 to 1990, the latest year for which a figure is available, are given below. Updated figures for earlier periods are available on the CSO database, series AALV, which can be accessed through the House of Commons Library.


Life Assurance and Pensions Schemes 

Net increase in amount available    

for investment                      

            |£ million            

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

1982        |14,980                 

1983        |15,938                 

1984        |18,518                 

1985        |19,538                 

1986        |20,510                 

1987        |20,840                 

1988        |22,659                 

1989        |30,505                 

1990        |33,655                 

Mortgage Subsidies

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to prohibit the payment of mortgage subsidies by banks and other lenders to their employees ; and what is his estimate of the gross value of such subsidies.

Mr. Maude : No. I have no firm data on the gross value of these particular subsidies, although the total net taxable value of beneficial loans made by all employers is estimated to be about £180 million in 1991-92.

Food (VAT)

Dr. Marek : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the zero- rating for VAT of those items of food which are currently zero-rated is safeguarded until at least December 1996.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Yes.

Wines (Excise Duty)

Dr. Marek : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy with regard to the minimum level of excise duty on (a) still table wine and (b) sparkling wine, that should be applied within the European Community.


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Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The United Kingdom has consistently argued that it does not consider centrally determined duty rates as necessary for the completion of the single market, and that member states should be free to set their own rates of duty. The Government are prepared to accept a minimum zero rate for both still and sparkling wines, provided that wine is treated as an excisable product and remains within the control system for intra-EC movements of goods subject to excise duties.

Tax Rates

Mr. Battle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the value of the main tax reliefs and allowances and the saving that would occur if these were restricted to the basic rate of tax.

Mr. Maude : A table showing the cost of direct tax allowances and reliefs in 1991-92 was given in appendix D of the Autumn Statement statistical supplement Cm 1920 published in January 1992. It is estimated that the yield from restricting all of the main income tax allowances and reliefs to the basic rate would be some £2 billion at 1991-92 levels of income.

Inward Investment

Mr. Battle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the inward investment by the United Kingdom from (a) Japan, (b) the United States of America and (c) Korea, for each year from 1978 to 1991, (i) in real terms at 1991 prices, (ii) as a proportion of total capital investment in the United Kingdom and (iii) as a proportion of total capital investment in the EC.

Mr. Mellor [holding answer 13 February 1992] : The information available on net inward investment in the United Kingdom by Japanese and United States companies is expressed at 1990 prices by adjusting the actual investment by the changes in the latest available implied gross domestic product deflator ; and as a percentage of total investment by all other countries in the United Kingdom.

Information for investment in 1990 will be available in the next month or so. Information for investment by Korea is not available.


Year          |Japanese net               |US net                                   

              |investment                 |investment                               

              |(£ million,              |(£ million,                            

              |1990 prices) |Per cent.    |1990 prices) |Per cent.                  

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

1978          |-10          |-            |321          |64.2                       

1979          |23           |2.9          |452          |57.1                       

1980          |8            |0.6          |1,039        |75.2                       

1981          |105          |17.7         |71           |11.9                       

1982          |-31          |-            |206          |27.9                       

1983          |117          |8.2          |775          |54.8                       

1984          |-4           |-            |1,079        |-                          

1985          |94           |3.3          |1,282        |44.8                       

1986          |34           |0.9          |989          |26.1                       

1987          |657          |10.0         |1,018        |15.4                       

1988          |768          |8.9          |375          |4.4                        

1989          |1,121        |7.3          |5,344        |34.8                       

Source: Central Statistical Office                                                  

Notes:                                                                              

1. Net investment comprises investment less disinvestment and                       

includes unremitted profits as net investment.                                      

2. A minus sign indicates net disinvestment. In 1984 there was                      

overall a net disinvestment by overseas companies in the UK.                        

3. Data prior to 1984 exclude oil companies.                                        

Fully comparable information on direct inward investment in the European Community (EC) from outside the EC is not available. However, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates of United States and Japanese direct investment in the UK as a percentage of direct investment in all EC countries show :


Percentage                                              

Years         |United States|Japan                      

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

1982-84       |53           |19                         

1985-87       |34           |34                         

1988-89       |62           |42                         

Merchant Shipping

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list policies of a financial nature which have been pursued by Her Majesty's Government since 1979 which have been of assistance to the United Kingdom merchant fleet.

Mr. Maude [holding answer 17 February 1992] : The list sets out the financial measures which have been of particular assistance to the shipping industry since 1979.

1. Writing-down allowances

In 1985 the capital allowance rules were changed to allow capital expenditure to be written down for tax purposes from the date on which it was incurred rather than from the time the asset was brought into use. These new arrangements are of particular importance for ships where stage payments are normally made as construction proceeds. Also in 1985, the special rules which provide that writing down allowances for ships can be used more flexibly than those for other forms of capital expenditure were extended to second-hand ships--previously they applied only to new ships.

2. Business expansion scheme

In 1986 the business expansion scheme was extended to include ship chartering as a qualifying activity. Ship operating and chartering companies have an annual finance limit of £5 million (as do private rented housing companies) instead of the £750,000 limit for other trading companies.

3. Foreign earnings deduction for seafarers

In 1988 the length of time which seafarers may spend in tehe United Kingdom without losing foreign earnings deductions was extended from 62 days, which is still the concession allowed to other workers with a significant overseas component to their jobs, to 90 days. In 1991 the concession for seafarers was extended to 183 days.

4. Training and crew relief costs

The 1988 Merchant Shipping Bill introduced two schemes to help the industry :

(a) Government assistance for training (GAFT), under which the Government provides funds equivalent to half the cost of training officer cadets. The budget for GAFT is about £3.5 million per annum. (

(b) The crew relief costs scheme, under which the Government assists with the costs of transporting United Kingdom-based crews to and from United Kingdom-flagged vessels in distant waters. The budget for this scheme is about £5 million per annum.

Children's Car Seats

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total revenue from value added tax on children's car seats in motor cars in each of the last three years.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 18 February 1992] : I regret that information on which to base an estimate is not available.


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ENERGY

Mine Gas Escapes

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what inquiries his Department has made into the leakage of methane gas from closed coal mines ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : None. I am, however, aware that the Department of the Environment is commissioning research into methane from abandoned coal mines. My Department is sponsoring a review by the Watt committee of measurement methods and available data relating to methane emissions from various sources.

Energy Single Market

Mr. Michael Spicer : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made by EC member states towards providing for a single market in energy services with respect in particular to the free cross- border transmission of energy, the permitting of cross-border investment by one energy company in another, and third party access to a European-wide transmission network.

Mr. Wakeham : The European Commission adopted proposals on 22 January which represent the second phase of the internal energy market. The United Kingdom fully supports the Commission's proposals which, if adopted by the Council, will represent a significant liberalisation of the European Community's electricity and gas sectors. Copies of the proposals will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses shortly.


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EMPLOYMENT

Travel-to-work Areas

Mr. John Townend : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list the travel-to-work areas which do not have assisted area status where the unemployment is higher than in the Bridlington and Driffield travel-to-work area ;

(2) if he will list the assisted areas which have a lower unemployment rate than the Bridlington and Driffield travel-to-work area.

Mr. Jackson : Information on unemployment rates by travel-to-work areas is available, on the unadjusted basis only, from the NOMIS database in the Library.

Women's Earnings

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the number of women who have earnings below (a) the tax threshold and (b) the national insurance threshold, broken down into married women, lone parents and single women at the latest date.

Mr. Forth : Broad estimates, based on the new earnings survey and estimates of the number of employees in employment, are that in April 1991 there were 2 million women employees earning less than the PAYE threshold, of whom 2 million earned less than the national insurance lower earnings limit. Using projections from the family expenditure survey, it is estimated that approximately 75 per cent. of each of these categories were married women, 5 per cent. lone parents and 20 per cent. single women.


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EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Residential Special Schools

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to enable residential special schools to opt out of local authority control.

Mr. Fallon : We have no such plans.

Budget Shortfall, Staffordshire

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will meet leaders of Staffordshire county council and head teachers to discuss the remaining shortfall on the education budget arising out of the teachers' pay award.

Mr. Fallon : No. The additional grant which the Government propose to make available, together with the 7.1 per cent. increase in education spending allowed for in the 1992-93 local authority spending finance settlement, should give authorities adequate headroom to cover the cost of the teachers' pay award in full.

BCCI

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which universities held accounts with the Bank of Commerce and Credit International ; and how much money was lost by each university at its collapse.

Mr. Alan Howarth : Detailed information on universities' investments is not held centrally. Monitoring of the financial position of institutions is a matter for the Universities Funding Council. The council understands that no university had invested its own funds in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International.


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