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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 12 January 1994

DEFENCE

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give direction to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Hanley : No such powers are held by my right hon. and learned Friend under existing legislation.

Tornado

Mr. Roger Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when an order for further thermal imaging airborne laser designator pods for the Tornado aircraft will be placed.

Mr. Aitken : I am pleased to announce that a contract for further thermal imaging airborne laser designator--TIALD--pods for the ground attack Tornado was agreed with GEC Marconi Avionics on 11 January 1994. The order, worth around £50 million, will provide more than two years' work for the company's Edinburgh factories and its suppliers around the country.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Value Added Tax

Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proposals he has to make the provision of the sixth European VAT directive retrospective to 1 January 1990 ; and what he estimates will be the effect on local authority capital expenditure since that date ;

(2) what proposals he has to refund VAT to golf clubs and other golf course operators as a result of implementation of the sixth European Community VAT directive ;

(3) what estimate he has made of the effect of implementation of the sixth European Community VAT directive on the 5 per cent. de minimis exemptions for local authorities for trading activities ; (4) what estimate he has made of the administrative costs to local authorities of the implementation of the sixth European Community VAT directive ;

(5) what is the position in the United Kingdom in relation to the implementation of the EC sixth VAT directive ; what advice has been issued by Customs and Excise to local authorities on the implementation of this directive ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir John Cope : I assume the hon. Member is referring to my announcement to the House of 22 July 1993, Official Report, column 303, about the prospective VAT


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exemption for sporting services supplied by non-profit-making sports bodies and local authorities. This will be introduced by Treasury order to implement article 13(A)1(m) of the EC sixth VAT directive with effect from 1 January 1990. At this stage it is not possible to estimate the likely consequences for local authorities. The precise scope and effect of the exemption are at present under consideration in the light of responses from local authorities and others to the consultation paper issued by Customs and Excise. I hope to make a further announcement shortly.

Taxes and Incomes

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) of 13 December, Official Report, column 472, if he will provide the information on tax and income by region.

Mr. Dorrell : Readily available estimates for English regions based on the survey of personal incomes are in the tables. For 1980-81 and 1989- 90, married couples are counted as one taxpayer and their incomes are combined. Following the introduction of independent taxation in 1990-91, husbands and wives are counted separately. The estimates of total income relate to income subject to income tax and exclude non-taxable income such as certain social security benefits. The quantile groups of taxpayers are defined by reference to the number of taxpayers in each region in each year.


Information on Quantile groups of taxpayers                                    

within each region of England                                                  

                          1980-81                                              

Quantile group of        |Total income     |Income tax                         

tax units                                                                      

                                           |liability                          

Per cent.                |£ million        |£ million                          

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

North                                                                          

Top 1                    |273              |93                                 

Top 5                    |925              |243                                

Top 10                   |1,570            |380                                

Bottom 50                |1,920            |239                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |6,780            |1,250                              

                                                                               

Yorkshire and Humberside                                                       

Top 1                    |519              |184                                

Top 5                    |1,600            |437                                

Top 10                   |2,630            |652                                

Bottom 50                |3,280            |409                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |11,200           |2,020                              

                                                                               

North West                                                                     

Top 1                    |652              |228                                

Top 5                    |2,140            |580                                

Top 10                   |3,490            |867                                

Bottom 50                |4,230            |540                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |14,700           |2,730                              

                                                                               

East Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |419              |159                                

Top 5                    |1,240            |351                                

Top 10                   |2,020            |513                                

Bottom 50                |2,470            |308                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |8,470            |1,560                              

                                                                               

West Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |566              |203                                

Top 5                    |1,740            |487                                

Top 10                   |2,770            |697                                

Bottom 50                |3,490            |453                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |11,600           |2,130                              

                                                                               

East Anglia                                                                    

Top 1                    |217              |85                                 

Top 5                    |670              |213                                

Top 10                   |1,080            |302                                

Bottom 50                |1,200            |160                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |4,120            |814                                

                                                                               

South East                                                                     

Top 1                    |2,950            |1,200                              

Top 5                    |8,230            |2,620                              

Top 10                   |12,900           |3,640                              

Bottom 50                |13,300           |1,760                              

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |48,900           |9,850                              

                                                                               

South West                                                                     

Top 1                    |589              |257                                

Top 5                    |1,630            |517                                

Top 10                   |2,600            |720                                

Bottom 50                |2,790            |316                                

                         |---              |---                                

All taxpayers            |10,000           |1,900                              


Information on quantile groups of taxpayers                                    

within each region of England                                                  

                          1989-90                                              

Quantile group of        |Total            |Income tax                         

tax units                |income           |liability                          

Per cent.                |£ million        |£ million                          

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

North                                                                          

Top 1                    |693              |200                                

Top 5                    |2,080            |489                                

Top 10                   |3,400            |730                                

Bottom 50                |3,930            |462                                

All taxpayers            |14,000           |2,300                              

                                                                               

Yorkshire and Humberside                                                       

Top 1                    |1,550            |500                                

Top 5                    |4,310            |1,140                              

Top 10                   |6,680            |1,590                              

Bottom 50                |6,700            |762                                

All taxpayers            |24,800           |4,260                              

                                                                               

North West                                                                     

Top 1                    |2,170            |694                                

Top 5                    |5,670            |1,510                              

Top 10                   |8,670            |2,080                              

Bottom 50                |8,050            |899                                

All taxpayers            |31,000           |5,390                              

                                                                               

East Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |1,450            |465                                

Top 5                    |3,870            |1,050                              

Top 10                   |5,920            |1,460                              

Bottom 50                |5,560            |641                                

All taxpayers            |21,300           |3,750                              

                                                                               

West Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |1,660            |519                                

Top 5                    |4,650            |1,220                              

Top 10                   |7,240            |1,720                              

Bottom 50                |7,210            |855                                

All taxpayers            |26,700                                               

                                                                               

East Anglia                                                                    

Top 1                    |906              |302                                

Top 5                    |2,270            |627                                

Top 10                   |3,430            |858                                

Bottom 50                |3,180            |370                                

All taxpayers            |12,000           |2,140                              

                                                                               

South East                                                                     

Top 1                    |10,100           |3,470                              

Top 5                    |25,300           |7,660                              

Top 10                   |37,900           |10,500                             

Bottom 50                |29,000           |3,760                              

All taxpayers            |120,000                                              

                                                                               

South West                                                                     

Top 1                    |2,150            |726                                

Top 5                    |4,930            |1,390                              

Top 10                   |7,320            |1,860                              

Bottom 50                |6,410            |742                                

All taxpayers            |24,700           |4,460                              


Information on Quantile Groups of Taxpayers within each region of              

England                                                                        

                          1990-91                                              

Quantile group of        |Total            |Income tax                         

tax units                                                                      

income                   |liability                                            

Per cent.                |£ million        |£ million                          

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

North                                                                          

Top 1                    |896              |278                                

Top 5                    |2,410            |624                                

Top 10                   |3,870            |909                                

Bottom 50                |4,260            |474                                

All taxpayers            |15,400           |2,640                              

                                                                               

Yorkshire and Humberside                                                       

Top 1                    |1,930            |614                                

Top 5                    |4,780            |1,300                              

Top 10                   |7,320            |1,800                              

Bottom 50                |7,020            |759                                

All taxpayers            |26,500           |4,640                              

                                                                               

North West                                                                     

Top 1                    |2,460            |808                                

Top 5                    |6,240            |1,710                              

Top 10                   |9,530            |2,350                              

Bottom 50                |9,250            |994                                

All taxpayers            |34,900           |6,130                              

                                                                               

East Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |1,470            |474                                

Top 5                    |4,060            |1,090                              

Top 10                   |6,320            |1,530                              

Bottom 50                |6,240            |668                                

All taxpayers            |23,600           |4,100                              

                                                                               

West Midlands                                                                  

Top 1                    |2,100            |693                                

Top 5                    |5,330            |1,490                              

Top 10                   |8,120            |2,030                              

Bottom 50                |8,000            |880                                

All taxpayers            |29,600           |5,250                              

                                                                               

East Anglia                                                                    

Top 1                    |1,080            |366                                

Top 5                    |2,590            |757                                

Top 10                   |3,860            |1,020                              

Bottom 50                |3,390            |364                                

All taxpayers            |13,200           |2,410                              

                                                                               

South East                                                                     

Top 1                    |12,600           |4,370                              

Top 5                    |29,400           |9,090                              

Top 10                   |42,900           |12,200                             

Bottom 50                |33,100           |4,060                              

All taxpayers            |138,000          |27,800                             

                                                                               

South West                                                                     

Top 1                    |2,240            |696                                

Top 5                    |45,450           |1,480                              

Top 10                   |8,280            |2,040                              

Bottom 50                |7,960            |862                                

All taxpayers            |30,000           |5,290                              


Information on quantile groups of taxpayers                                                                     

within each region of England                                                                                   

                             1991-92                                                                            

Quantile group of tax units |Total income               |Income tax                                             

Per cent.                   |£ million                  |liability £ mil-                                       

                                                        |lion                                                   

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

North                                                                                                           

Top 1                       |922                        |285                                                    

Top 5                       |2,610                      |659                                                    

Top 10                      |4,170                      |960                                                    

Bottom 50                   |4,360                      |444                                                    

All taxpayers               |16,200                     |2,710                                                  

                                                                                                                

Yorkshire and Humberside                                                                                        

Top 1                       |2,000                      |635                                                    

Top 5                       |5,090                      |1,350                                                  

Top 10                      |7,760                      |1,880                                                  

Bottom 50                   |7,410                      |757                                                    

All taxpayers               |28,100                     |4,840                                                  

                                                                                                                

North West                                                                                                      

Top 1                       |2,980                      |994                                                    

Top 5                       |6,880                      |1,890                                                  

Top 10                      |10,300                     |2,560                                                  

Bottom 50                   |9,600                      |984                                                    

All taxpayers               |36,300                     |6,360                                                  

                                                                                                                

East Midlands                                                                                                   

Top 1                       |1,800                      |587                                                    

Top 5                       |4,390                      |1,190                                                  

Top 10                      |6,730                      |1,640                                                  

Bottom 50                   |6,680                      |710                                                    

All taxpayers               |24,700                     |4,300                                                  

                                                                                                                

West Midlands                                                                                                   

Top 1                       |2,140                      |696                                                    

Top 5                       |5,340                      |1,440                                                  

Top 10                      |8,110                      |1,980                                                  

Bottom 50                   |8,290                      |902                                                    

All taxpayers               |29,900                     |5,210                                                  

                                                                                                                

East Anglia                                                                                                     

Top 1                       |1,100                      |371                                                    

Top 5                       |2,690                      |758                                                    

Top 10                      |4,050                      |1,030                                                  

Bottom 50                   |3,830                      |409                                                    

All taxpayers               |14,300                     |2,560                                                  

                                                                                                                

South East                                                                                                      

Top 1                       |14,100                     |4,880                                                  

Top 5                       |31,700                     |9,780                                                  

Top 10                      |45,900                     |12,900                                                 

Bottom 50                   |34,200                     |4,120                                                  

All taxpayers               |143,000                    |28,800                                                 

                                                                                                                

South West                                                                                                      

Top 1                       |2,100                      |675                                                    

Top 5                       |5,500                      |1,480                                                  

Top 10                      |8,400                      |2,050                                                  

Bottom 50                   |8,150                      |847                                                    

All taxpayers               |30,400                     |5,280                                                  


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Tax Avoidance

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to end the avoidance of tax by payment in vintage wine ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell : Measures announced in the Budget, and now published in the Finance Bill, will stop employers avoiding the operation of PAYE--pay as you earn--by paying their staff in assets which can then swiftly be turned into cash. This will include payment in the form of vintage wines, when arrangements exist for the employee to sell those wines. Such payments have always been taxable : the new rules simply remove the ability to defer the tax liability until after the end of the year.

Privatisation Publicity

Mr. Wicks : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on publicity for (i) the Northern Ireland Electricity privatisation and (ii) the British Telecom third privatisation.

Mr. Dorrell : The cost of offer advertising was £2.3 million, excluding VAT, for the Northern Ireland Electricity--NIE--share offer and £13.5 million, excluding VAT, for the BT3 share offer. The NIE costs were equally split between the company and the Department of Economic Development.

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Portillo : The Treasury has a number of powers to regulate borrowing and lending by local authorities. In addition, the exercise of some of the relevant powers of other Government Departments is subject to formal Treasury consent.

Quangos

Mr. Meale : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the names of all former hon. Members who since 1979 have been appointed to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations, excluding appointments as justices of the peace, giving in each case the title of the post, any salary payable and the duration of the appointment.

Mr. Nelson [holding answer 11 January 1994] : Since 1979 three former hon. Members have held appointments on quasi-autonomous non- governmental organisations for which I have responsibility. These were to the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) :

Mr. Robin Hodgson : non-executive director ; duration of appointment four years from 1985 ; salary £8,000 per annum in 1985 to £10,500 per annum in 1989.

Dr. Oonagh McDonald : non-executive director ; duration of appointment two years from 1993 ; salary £13,500 per annum. Lord Stewartby : non- executive director ; duration of appointment two years from 1993 ; salary £13,500 per annum.


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Counterfeit Coins

Mr. Madden : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received about the circulation within the United Kingdom of counterfeit pound coins ; what action is being taken against those making such coins ; what advice is given to those in business warning of the circulation of such coins ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nelson [holding answer 11 January 1994] : I have received no formal representation about the circulation within the United Kingdom of counterfeit £1 coins and, although there are some in circulation, the numbers are believed to be extremely small in relation to the total number of £1 coins in circulation.

Under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, it is a criminal offence to make a counterfeit of a coin or to pass it on to another person. Where sufficient evidence of such activities exists, it is for the police to take action against those responsible.

No specific advice has been given to those in business warning of the circulation of counterfeit £1 coins.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Waldegrave : I have no such powers.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Income Support

Mr. Rendel : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many persons without accommodation claimed income support in the Newbury constituency in each month between December 1992 and November 1993.

Mr. Burt : I am informed by Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency, that the information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pensioners

Mr. Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will consider including in the pension book information on help available to pensioners through the home energy efficiency scheme.

Mr. Hague : The administration of retirement pension is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. Andrew Bowden, dated 11 January 1994 :

The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking if he will consider including information in pension order books about the help available to pensioners through the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme.


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The Benefits Agency receives numerous requests from within the Agency, other Agencies, Government Departments, Local Authorities and commercial interests to include material in the pension order book. The purpose of the notes is to provide customers with information relating to payment of pensions and regular reviews are undertaken to ensure that the notes are easy to understand and concise and to the point, as it has been found that many pensioners are deterred from reading notes that are too lengthy or complex.

If we were to accede to these requests to include additional information, not only would there be operational difficulties in complying with the volume of such requests but the amount of written material may once again deter pensioners from reading the essential notes.

The Energy Action Grants Agency (EAGA) are responsible for administering the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) and already have arrangements in place to promote HEES. EAGA supply leaflets on HEES free of charge to local authorities, housing benefit offices, housing associations, Citizens Advice Bureaux, the Benefits Agency, job centres, Age Concern and other organisations which have contact with the HEES client group. EAGA also encourage installers to promote HEES locally by means of advertising, press publicity and distribution of their leaflets.

I hope that you find this reply helpful.

Mr. Bowden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of pensioners opt to receive their state pension by automated credit transfer.

Mr. Hague : This is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend. Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. Andrew Bowden, dated 11 January 1994 :

The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the proportion of pensioners receiving payment of Retirement Pension (RP) by automated credit transfer (ACT).

I am able to tell you that as of 3 October 1993, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 2,623,378 pensioners were having their RP paid by ACT. This represented 26.53 of the total caseload.

I hope you find this reply helpful.

Parliamentary Questions

Dr. Liam Fox : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to the oral answer of 9 December 1993 to the hon. Member for Bristol, East (Ms Corston), Official Report, column 494, if he will now make a statement in regard to the information sought by the hon. Member.

Mr. Burt : The hon. Member for Bristol, East suggested in her intervention on 9 December that at a meeting on 2 December with departmental officials and the head of the government statistical service, she had been told that information on low income statistics could be made available to her which had been previously refused in a series of replies to her questions, on grounds of disproportionate cost or incompatibility with this Department's statistical practice ; and she intimated that this information had been wrongly withheld from the House. This is not so.

It continues to be the case that the results in question are either not available at all, could be made available only at

disproportionate cost to public funds, or require the use of conventions which DSS statistical advisers consider unsound in the particular context. However, as I have repeatedly said in correspondence with the hon. Member, this Department makes available to bona fide researchers


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the base data set from which the households below average income statistics are obtained, to enable them to undertake what further analyses they choose under the conventions they prefer. This is entirely compatible with the principles of open government. At the meeting to which she referred, the hon. Member was not offered replies to questions previously refused on grounds of disproportionate cost, non- availability or unreliability. She was, however, reminded that the base data set could be made available to her research advisers for their own use in the computer readable form of their choice. This repeated an offer first made some months ago, which I understand her researchers have now taken up. This Department's practice continues to be to provide reliable information within normal parliamentary conventions.

I have repeatedly offered the hon. Member for Bristol, East a meeting to discuss the issues about which she is concerned, but she has chosen not to take this up.

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Burt : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State may generally give directions to local authorities, among others, or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, in their capacity as employers, as qualifying mortgage lenders and as bodies which may be required to provide information or evidence under the Child Support Act 1991.

More specifically, the majority of his powers to give directions to local authorities, or to otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, relate to the administration of housing benefit and council tax benefit. These powers are to be found in :

Sections 5, 6, 75 to 77, 127, 128 and part VIII of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (as amended) and

Sections 130 to 137 of part VII of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (as amended).

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State may also specifically direct local authorities to provide such relevant information about a person's housing benefit or council tax benefit entitlement in accordance with paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the Child Support Act 1991.

Housing Benefit

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of people who would be eligible for housing benefit were they not protected tenants ; what the cost of giving benefit to these people would be ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Burt : The information requested is not available.

HEALTH

Racal Healthlink

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) regions, (b) districts, (c) trusts, (d) family health service authorities and (e) general practitioners use the Racal healthlink.


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Mr. Sackville : Information to the end of November shows that six regions use the Racal healthlink, together with 98 family health services authorities, 932 general medical practitioners and 1,656 dental practices. Precise figures are not available for districts or trusts. However, figures are estimated to be five to 10 and 40 to 50 respectively.

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost of setting up the Racal data network to (a) the Department of Health, (b) health regions and (c) health districts.

Mr. Sackville : The cost of setting up the infrastructure required to operate the healthlink service was met entirely by Racal Network Services Ltd.--RNSL.

Costs attributable to the Department were those relating to the employment of civil servants and consultants between November 1987 and November 1991 when the healthlink service was being planned and implemented. These costs are estimated to be £450,000.

The only costs payable by health regions and districts are those generated by usage of the healthlink service and records of these transactions are not available centrally.

General Practitioners

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what machinery exists to safeguard general practitioner fundholders' choice of hospital ;

(2) what representations she has received from fundholding general practitioners about choice of hospital for their patients.

Dr. Mawhinney : I have frequent contact with general practitioner fundholding practices. General practitioner fundholders are able to purchase the best possible care for their patients from whichever hospital they judge best.

Dental Handpieces (Sterilisation)

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make it mandatory for manufacturers to include information on the method of sterilisation of dental handpieces.

Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 17 December 1993, at column 1007.

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which European countries it is mandatory for manufacturers to include information on the method of sterilisation of dental handpieces.

Dr. Mawhinney : This information is not available centrally.

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the powers she has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise to require them to act in a way which she prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which she may exercise these powers.

Mr. Bowis : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has a number of such powers. They could be listed comprehensively only at disproportionate cost. If the hon. Member has a specific function in mind, perhaps he would write to me.


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Public Appointments

Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of (a) the Labour party, (b) the Conservative party and (c) other political parties who are (i) chairs and (ii) non-executive directors of (1) regional health authorities, (2) district health authorities, (3) trusts and (4) family health services authorities ; and if he will give the party breakdown for each authority and trust.

Dr. Mawhinney : This information is not available centrally. We do not seek details of political affiliation. People are appointed for their personal qualities, and for the skills they bring to the leadership and strategic direction of the national health service.

South Birmingham Health Authority.

Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what request she has received from the West Midlands regional health authority for advice as to the suitability of Jane Slowey as a potential non- executive director of South Birmingham health authority ;

(2) what advice she or any member of her Department gave the West Midlands regional health authority as to the suitability of Jane Slowey as a potential non-executive director of South Birmingham health authority.

Dr. Mawhinney : None.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

The Attorney-General : I have no such powers.

WALES

Waiting Lists

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the most recent waiting list figures are for each district health authority in Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The latest available information on waiting lists for Welsh hospitals is for March 1993, published in "Welsh Hospital Waiting List Bulletin 1993", No. 2. A copy of this publication is held in the Library of the House.

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Column 200

ENVIRONMENT

City Challenge

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the names of the individuals undertaking the review of city challenge ;

(2) if the review of city challenge was put out to tender ; (3) for what reasons consultants have been asked to review city challenge ;

(4) which consultancy firm is undertaking the review of city challenge ;

(5) what is the cost of the review of city challenge.

Mr. Baldry : Consultants have been asked to undertake an interim evaluation of city challenge as part of the usual monitoring and assessment of Government programmes.

Six companies were invited to tender for the contract. All six responded. The European Institute of Urban Affairs, Liverpool--John Moores-- university, led by Professor Michael Parkinson, was awarded the contract. For commercial reasons, the Department does not disclose the cost of individual contracts.

The Department has also carried out an internal management review of city challenge procedures. The review made a number of recommendations to streamline procedures and further reduce bureaucracy. City challenge chief executives were represented on the review group. Many of the recommendations have already been implemented and much of what it was considering has already been overtaken by developments on the single regeneration budget and integrated regional offices.

Ministerial Powers

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the powers he has under public legislation to give directions to local authorities or otherwise require them to act in a way which he prescribes, giving in each case the legislative authority under which he may exercise these powers.

Mr. Curry : The information can be provided only at

disproportionate cost.

Hazardous Wastes

Mr. Jonathan Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the Government's policy on the export of hazardous wastes to developing countries ; and if he will make a statement.


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