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Mr. Wiggin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress on transferring responsibility for firearms and shotgun licensing to a national firearms control board.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information is not available centrally in the form requested. However, the psychiatric profile study of the sentenced population carried out by Professor John Gunn and published in October 1992 estimated the prevalence of psychiatric disorders as 38.8 per cent. of which substance dependency or abuse accounted for 19.6 per cent.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what disciplinary action has been taken against officials in his Department (a) generally and (b) in the press office for unauthorised disclosures to the press in the last 12 months.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 9 December to the hon. Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Blair), Official Report, column 662-64, if he will make a statement on his review of the procedure for handling inquiries on individual citizenship applications.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : In October 1991, the Government issued a consultation document inviting the views of all interested parties on whether licensed betting offices should be open in the evening and, if so, at what times. Over 800 representations and a number of petitions have since been received. The views expressed fully reflected the arguments for and against evening opening. In the light of that consultation process, I have decided that evening opening should be allowed until 10 pm on Mondays to Saturdays between April and August inclusive.
Government policy on gambling is that there should be adequate properly regulated facilities available for those who wish to gamble. It is clear that the growth in the number of evening horseraces has created increased consumer demand for evening opening of licensed betting offices during the summer months. In those circumstances, the Government believe that there are no public interest or policy reasons to object to evening opening.
I know that many bookmakers, their staff and the greyhound racing industry are concerned about the effect which evening opening may have on them. I have taken account of those concerns and I believe that the approach now proposed achieves a sensible and reasonable balance between the various interests.
My decision is broadly in line with the recommendations of the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons following its inquiries into the funding of horseracing and greyhound racing. However, as some horseraces are run after 9 pm and to allow time for payment of any winnings, I propose that the latest closing time should be 10 pm rather than the 9 pm recommended by the Committee. This will be a standard latest closing
Column 140time throughout April to August. A variable closing time, perhaps linked to the last horserace, would have created enforcement difficulties.
The Government are committed to removing unnecessary regulations on business and extending consumer choice where possible. Evening opening represents a further important measure of deregulation and will give bookmakers greater freedom to adjust their opening hours to suit the needs of their customers.
The opening hours of licensed betting offices are prescribed by regulation, subject to the negative resolution procedure. I have today laid an order before parliament which will permit evening opening with effect from 1 April 1993. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will lay a similar order to permit the same evening opening hours in Scotland.
Sir John Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how observations from interested persons or organisations should be submitted for consideration by Lord Colville in his report on the operation in 1992 of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 11 January, Official Report, column 601, if he will list the total number of residential properties owned by the Metropolitan police and the number, and percentage of the total of these which are empty.
Type of property |Number in MPS estate|Vacant |Percentage |Available for |Percentage |disposal ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Houses |1,271 |68 |5.3 |45 |3.5 Flats |1,215 |196 |16.0 |151 |12.4 Section houses |26 |3 |11.5 |1 |3.8 Bed spaces in section houses |2,981 |714 |23.9 |373 |12.5
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what income Her Majesty the Queen receives in right of her Duchy of Lancaster ; whether it is liable to income tax ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : Payments are made to the Keeper of the Privy Purse from revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster for Her Majesty's use. The sovereign is entitled to these revenues in right of her Duchy of Lancaster.
Payments to the privy purse are detailed in the Duchy accounts which are placed in the Library of the House. In
Column 140the year to 29 September 1991 the sum of £3,100,000 was paid to the privy purse. Duchy accounts for 1992 will be in the Library by mid-February.
Duchy revenues are not subject to income tax. On the tax question I have nothing to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 26 November 1992, at column 982.
Mr. Bennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps were taken under the rules relating to business appointments for former civil servants in connection with the appointment of Sir Charles Powell as a director of Jardine Matheson.
Column 141leaving the civil service. Applications are referred to the head of the home civil service, who advises the appropriate departmental Minister whether any conditions should be applied. Individual applications are treated in confidence.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated full-year revenue effect in 1992-93 and 1993-94 of (a) abolishing the upper earnings limit for employee's national insurance contributions, (b) allowing personal allowances against such contributions and (c) both (a) and (b).
Mr. Dorrell : The estimated effects in a full year are shown in the table. For (b) and (c) it has been assumed that the levels of earnings used to calculate National Insurance contributions are gross earnings less the personal allowance. For the 1993-94 calculations, personal allowances have been increased by the autumn statement assumption of 3.25 per cent. over 1992-93 levels. No account has been taken of possible behavioural changes which might result from the measures.
Cost(-)/Yield(+) |1992-93 |1993-94 |£ million|£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Abolishing the upper earnings limit for employees national insurance contributions |2,700 |2,900 (b) Allowing personal allowances against employees' national insurance contributions |-5,100 |-5,300 (c) Part b with upper earnings limit for employee's national insurance contribution abolished |-3,500 |-3,500
Sir John Cope : We do not have details of elasticities for individual spirits products. We estimate that the price elasticity of demand for spirits consumption is 1.1. The impact of changes in the duty rate on consumption, and hence revenue, will depend on the duty content of the retail price.
Mr. Nelson : The Council will discuss the economic situation in the Community as part of its regular exercises in multilateral surveillance and the package of measures to promote economic recovery which was agreed at the European Council in Edinburgh. I have no plans to put forward other proposals.
Mr. Dorrell : In excess of 1,000 staff in the Inland Revenue are involved in the investigation of errors, differences of legal interpretation and avoidance which they discover in the tax returns and accounts of individuals and trusts. Information is not available about the proportion of their time which is spent specifically investigating avoidance of income tax. The figure given excludes those investigating tax evasion.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the Government's present policy with regard to the setting of pre-production expenses against tax liability as they are incurred ; and what proposals he has to allow this in all areas of economic activity.
Mr. Dorrell : When calculating trading profits for tax purposes, revenue expenditure incurred in the five years before a trade commences is treated as if incurred when the trade starts, provided the expenditure would have qualified as a deduction had the trade commenced. Qualifying capital expenditure which is incurred for the purposes of a trade prior to its commencement is also deemed to have been incurred on the first day of trade.
These are general rules which apply to all trades.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) the total amount invested in the business expansion scheme for each year since the scheme's inception, (b) the amount invested in private rented housing, for each year since the scheme was extended to housing, (c) the total cost of tax relief for each year and (d) the amount of tax relief in respect of investment in private rented housing, for each year from 1988-89 to 1992- 93.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement indicating the nature of the over-provision in respect of Wales indicated in footnote 2 to table 2B.3 and footnote 2 to table 2B.4 in the 1992 "Autumn Statement".
|<1>ECU/£ --------------------------- 1987 |1.4200 1988 |1.5060 1989 |1.4886 1990 |1.4000 1991 |1.4284 1992 |1.3620 <1> Based on market exchange rates.
|Staff -------------------- 1986-87 |10 1987-88 |10 1988-89 |10 1989-90 |10 1990-91 |10 1991-92 |9
Information for the years 1979-85 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dorrell : In the present financial year, the costs to date of market testing activities in the Inland Revenue are around £1.3 million. Estimates of the costs for earlier years are not readily available, but would be much smaller.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement outlining Her Majesty's Government's detailed plans for reform of the Inland Revenue and the time scale over which any changes are expected to occur.
Column 144Chancellor in his statement of 6 March 1992 Official Report, column 323-25, and further details appeared in the Board of Inland Revenue's report for the year ending 31 March 1992 (Cm. 2086) and the first report of the citizens charter (Cm. 2101). The Revenue's management plan, due for publication in the spring, will set out the Department's main aims and objectives over the period to 1996-97.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate Her Majesty's Government have made of the reduction in the number of smaller and more rural Inland Revenue offices in the event of changes being made in the way the Inland Revenue conducts its duties.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 18 January 1993] : The Inland Revenue is reviewing the organisation and structure of its local offices with the aim of increasing the quality of service to taxpayers and the efficiency of the operations. Any changes would take place over a number of years, following consultation with staff, and no estimate has yet been made of the number of smaller and more rural offices needed.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration has been given to the need to maintain the guarantee of confidentiality in the course of any changes in the way the work of the Inland Revenue is conducted.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 18 January 1993] : We recognise the importance of this issue. If work is contracted out, there are two safeguards. The first is that all relevant contracts contain provisions obliging contractors to make all necessary arrangements to protect the privacy of personal information. The second is that contractors and their employees are subject, in the same way as Revenue employees, to the criminal sanctions--a fine, or imprisonment, or both--provided by section 182 of the Finance Act 1989, for unauthorised disclosure of personal tax information.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received on the Government's intention to subject the work currently undertaken by the Inland Revenue to market testing ;
(2) what consultations he has had with interested parties regarding plans to introduce market testing to the work currently undertaken by the Inland Revenue.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 18 January 1993] : We have received a number of representations about the market testing of services in the Inland Revenue ; officials have held discussions with trade unions representing staff in the Department and with other interested parties.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement outlining the discretionary powers available to local Customs and Excise officers ; and what steps he takes to monitor the differences in enforcement and interpretation of VAT rules from one part of the country to another.
Sir John Cope [holding answer 18 January 1993] : Local VAT officers have certain limited discretionary powers in relation to tax control, compliance and debt management. These are contained primarily in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, the VAT Act 1983 and the Finance Act 1985.
Column 145The care and maintenance of VAT is the statutory responsibility of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise. This includes ensuring consistency of treatment for all taxpayers and is achieved by giving local VAT officers specialist training and written guidance from headquarters. The application of this guidance is carefully monitored both locally and centrally. Departmental systems and procedures are also subject to overview by Customs and Excise's own internal auditors and by the National Audit Office.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the effect on the annual retail prices index of a standard rate of VAT imposed on (a) newspapers, books and periodicals, (b) children's clothes, (c) domestic fuel and (d) public transport.
Category |Percentage increase |in RPI ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Newspapers, books and magazines |0.3 Children's clothes |0.2 Domestic fuel |0.8 Public transport |0.2
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he expects petroleum revenue tax to produce for the Exchequer in the current and each of the next three financial years ; and if he will make it his policy to reduce it in cases where companies invest in refurbishment of existing offshore gas and oil installations in order to help the fabrication industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Cope [holding answer 18 January 1993] : The revenue raised by petroleum revenue tax in 1992-93 was estimated at £100 million in the autumn statement. It has been the practice to include outturn estimates, and a coming year petroleum revenue tax forecast, in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report" issued on Budget day. The costs of refurbishing offshore installations in oil and gas fields would normally already qualify for immediate relief in full against petroleum revenue tax, where the field is within the charge to that tax.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the current conditions on which civil servants in his Department are granted salary advances to enable the purchase of bicycles for home-to-office travel ; if he will make a statement on the current conditions in each agency of his Department ; what plans he has to change the conditions ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 146advances of salary of up to £100 to assist staff with the purchase of a bicycle for home-to-office travel. Advances are repayable over one year.
It was announced on 16 December 1992, Official Report, column 285-86, that responsibility for determining the conditions on which such advances can be made has been delegated to Departments. The Treasury will be reviewing its arrangements in the light of that delegation.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 18 January 1993] : No. The written guidance referred to is intended for internal use by Departments and vendor units engaged in, or considering, privatisation by trade sale.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average tax charge in the United Kingdom on a married man with two children with earnings in each of the decile groups in each financial year since 1986-87.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 18 January 1993] : Information is available only for income tax. With the introduction of independent taxation in 1990-91, comparable figures are available for the years 1990-91 and 1991-92. Information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In calculating decile groups it is appropriate to take account of the tax liability on total income for income tax purposes, not just earnings. Income tax liability is not affected by the number of children so the figures below include all married men who pay income tax.
Decile grouAverage income taxpaying mtax liability (£ men per year) Per cent. |1990-91 |1991-92 ---------------------------------------- Bottom 10 |120 |130 10 - 20 |400 |420 20 - 30 |680 |730 30 - 40 |980 |1,000 40 - 50 |1,300 |1,400 50 - 60 |1,600 |1,700 60 - 70 |2,000 |2,200 70 - 80 |2,600 |2,800 80 - 90 |3,600 |3,900 Top 10 |10,400 |11,200 Average |3,200 |3,500
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend has made no such assessment, since standard spending assessments are primarily a mechanism for distributing grant and local education authorities have discretion to order their spending priorities as they wish.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what level of funding, based on secondary education standard spending assessment, an 11 to 15, 1,000-pupil school would receive in (a) Wakefield, (b) Bradford, (c) Wandsworth and (d) Westminster.
Mr. Forth : Standard spending assessments are designed to reflect the varying costs, in different areas, of providing a standard level of service, taking account of different local circumstances. They are essentially a mechanism for distributing grant : decisions on spending priorities between education and other services and within education are for individual local authorities. The funding that a school receives thus largely depends on local decisions about priorities and also on the local authority's scheme for local management of schools. Moreover, the education elements of SSAs relate to all LEA functions, including central services and the maintenance of special schools. There is no separately identifiable element relating to the funding of ordinary schools.
Mr. Forth : From 1993-94 the education of most post-16 students will be the responsibility of the Further Education Funding Council. LEAs will continue to be responsible for pupils over 16 in schools and for certain kinds of further education for adults. There is no separately identifiable element in 1993-94 SSAs for further education for adults. The post-16 element of SSAs relates to 16-plus pupils in schools, including special schools and related central services and support functions such as home-to- school transport.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what research has been undertaken to date by his Department to evaluate the effect of the introduction of the local management of schools regime upon specialist educational provision for hearing-impaired children.
Mr. Forth : None. The purpose of local management of schools is to ensure that funds are allocated to schools on an objective basis, taking account of local circumstances. LMS does not qualify in any way the duties of LEAs or schools regarding pupils with special educational needs, including the hearing impaired.
Mr. Forth : The number of three and four-year-olds attending maintained nursery schools or nursery classes in maintained primary schools in each local education authority in England in January 1992 is shown in the following table.
Pupils aged 3 and 4 in maintained nursery schools and classes in England-January 1992 LEA |Pupils --------------------------------------- City |29 Camden |1,012 Greenwich |3,103 Hackney |2,212 Hammersmith |1,509 Islington |1,797 Kensington and Chelsea |826 Lambeth |2,294 Lewisham |2,569 Southwark |2,707 Tower Hamlets |2,687 Wandsworth |2,211 Westminster |1,049 Barking |1,750 Barnet |2,351 Bexley |1,127 Brent |2,390 Bromley |154 Croydon |1,159 Ealing |3,246 Enfield |1,484 Haringey |2,546 Harrow |958 Havering |247 Hillingdon |3,150 Hounslow |2,469 Kingston upon Thames |1,173 Merton |2.593 Newham |4,445 Redbridge |987 Richmond upon Thames |706 Sutton |1,684 Waltham Forest |2,502 Birmingham |10,342 Coventry |2,196 Dudley |2,881 Sandwell |4,640 Solihull |1,728 Walsall |4,223 Wolverhampton |3,936 Knowsley |2,477 Liverpool |6,350 St Helens |1,632 Sefton |2,470 Wirral |2,314 Bolton |3,057 Bury |1,446 Manchester |7,324 Oldham |2,386 Rochdale |2,018 Salford |3,315 Stockport |1,731 Tameside |2,504 Trafford |1,820 Wigan |2,125 Barnsley |2,951 Doncaster |3,326 Rotherham |2,974 Sheffield |5,720 Bradford |6,025 Calderdale |1,799 Kirklees |4,445 Leeds |8,276 Wakefield |4,322 Gateshead |1,798 Newcastle upon Tyne |2,995 North Tyneside |2,648 South Tyneside |2,225 Sunderland |3,137 Isles of Scilly |0 Avon |4,923 Bedfordshire |5,135 Berkshire |5,780 Buckinghamshire |2,694 Cambridgeshire |2,196 Cheshire |5,481 Cleveland |9,422 Cornwall |1,611 Cumbria |3,002 Derbyshire |8,950 Devon |2,743 Dorset |805 Durham |6,856 East Sussex |1,460 Essex |2,446 Gloucestershire |0 Hampshire |1,993 Hereford and Worcester |1,274 Hertfordshire |8,422 Humberside |8,756 Isle of Wight |186 Kent |1,984 Lancashire |6,857 Leicestershire |5,372 Lincolnshire |1,349 Norfolk |855 North Yorkshire |3,505 Northamptonshire |2,915 Northumberland |2,833 Nottinghamshire |13,293 Oxfordshire |2,574 Shropshire |1,343 Somerset |239 Staffordshire |6,566 Suffolk |2,952 Surrey |2,857 Warwickshire |2,123 West Sussex |602 Wiltshire |561 England |329,597
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what are the latest available figures for the expenditure per child under seven years by each education authority and grant-maintained schools in England.
Mr. Forth : Available expenditure data cover nursery and primary schools as a whole and cannot be disaggregated between particular age ranges. The table indicates each local education authority's average school -based funding per pupil in nursery and primary schools in 1990-91, the latest year for which information on actual expenditure by LEAs is available. There were no primary grant-maintained schools in 1990-91.
|Net institutional |funding per pupil LEA |(£) --------------------------------------------------------- City |1,950 Camden |1,710 Greenwich |1,720 Hackney |1,900 Hammersmith |1,970 Islington |1,770 Kensington |2,060 Lambeth |1,840 Lewisham |1,710 Southwark |1,850 Tower Hamlets |1,940 Wandsworth |1,820 Westminster |2,110 Barking |1,460 Barnet |1,550 Bexley |1,260 Brent |1,670 Bromley |1,410 Croydon |1,440 Ealing |1,690 Enfield |1,430 Haringey |1,840 Harrow |1,480 Havering |1,290 Hillingdon |1,540 Hounslow |1,510 Kingston-upon Thames |1,430 Merton |1,750 Newham |1,490 Redbridge |1,350 Richmond-upon Thames |1,530 Sutton |1,360 Waltham Forest |1,570 Birmingham |1,260 Coventry |1,300 Dudley |1,230 Sandwell |1,450 Solihull |1,240 Walsall |1,510 Wolverhampton |1,390 Knowsley |1,390 Liverpool |1,290 St. Helens |1,210 Sefton |1,260 Wirral |1,280 Bolton |1,220 Bury |1,190 Manchester |1,320 Oldham |1,370 Rochdale |1,200 Salford |1,270 Stockport |1,260 Tameside |1,320 Trafford |1,170 Wigan |1,140 Barnsley |1,260 Doncaster |1,250 Rotherham |1,340 Sheffield |1,390 Bradford |1,500 Calderdale |1,440 Kirklees |1,300 Leeds |1,430 Wakefield |1,340 Gateshead |1,390 Newcastle upon Tyne |1,520 North Tyneside |1,310 South Tyneside |1,290 Sunderland |1,280 Avon |1,320 Bedfordshire |1,380 Berkshire |1,340 Buckinghamshire |1,320 Cambridgeshire |1,260 Cheshire |1,260 Cleveland |1,230 Cornwall |1,190 Cumbria |1,340 Derbyshire |1,370 Devon |1,310 Dorset |1,290 Durham |1,370 East Sussex |1,240 Essex |1,240 Gloucestershire |1,200 Hampshire |1,260 Herefordshire |1,360 Hertfordshire |1,340 Humberside |1,280 Isle of Wight |1,250 Kent |1,120 Lancashire |1,310 Leicestershire |1,290 Lincolnshire |1,210 Norfolk |1,280 North Yorkshire |1,230 Northamptonshire |1,230 Northumberland |1,320 Nottinghamshire |1,390 Oxfordshire |1,570 Shropshire |1,350 Somerset |1,230 Staffordshire |1,270 Suffolk |1,310 Surrey |1,340 Warwickshire |1,220 West Sussex |1,240 Wiltshire |1,260 Note: Figures are derived from LEAs' returns of their spending to the Department of the Environment and of their pupil numbers to the Department for Education. They include school-based spending on salaries and wages, recurrent premises costs, books, equipment and other supplies and services, and unspent balances held by schools at the year end under local management schemes. They exclude spending on home to school transport, school meals, LEAs' central administration and financing costs of capital expenditure.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy that all education authorities should receive funding for the education of under-sevens at the same level as Westminister education authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : No. Standard spending assessments, which determine the distribution of grant between authorities, are designed to reflect the varying costs, in different areas, of providing a standard level of service, taking account of different local circumstances.