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Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the organisations or individuals in receipt of awards from the Scottish Arts Council ; if he will give details of the funding of the Scottish Arts Council ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 3 February 1994] : My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Scotland, will assume responsibility for the Scottish Arts Council from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, on 1 April 1994. The Scottish Arts Council's annual reports, copies of which are available in the Library, list the organisations and individuals in receipt of Scottish Arts Council funding. Subject to Parliamentary approvals, funding for the Scottish Arts Council in 1994-95 will be £23.777 million.
Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those topics on which it is not his practice to answer parliamentary questions ; and if he will list any recent changes in the practice of his Department.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many properties have been sold by Scottish Homes in the parliamentary constituency of Cunninghame, South during each of the last five years ; and how much money has been raised from these sales ;
(2) how many Scottish Homes properties there are in each of the parliamentary constituencies in Scotland ; and what is the current valuation of the Scottish Homes' properties in each.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much Scottish Office and European Community money has been spent on training (a) unemployed youths aged 16 to 18 years, (b) 18 to 24 years and (c) the long- term unemployed in the parliamentary constituency of
Column 593Greenock and Port Glasgow ; how many such trainees subsequently found employment ; and which organisations were so financed to (i) commission and (ii) conduct the training programme in each of the past five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 8 February 1994] : Responsibility for the delivery of Government training programmes in Scotland was transferred from the training agency to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise in April 1991. The information on expenditure requested by the hon. Member is not available at parliamentary constituency level.
Detailed consideration has been given to the future use of the Old Royal high school in conjunction with the Scottish Office and the House authorities. An announcement on that will be made shortly.
Mr. Waldegrave : My hon. Friend is right to highlight the importance of encouraging young people to take an interest in science and engineering. This campaign which I launched last month includes a range of activities aimed at young people. In particular, the Office of Science and Technology is providing grants of £150,000 for projects involving school children.
41. Mr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many scientists and engineers there are employed in Britain in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the work force ; and what is the average for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Mr. David Davis : The spring 1993 labour force survey indicated that of just over 24 million employees, just over 1.5 million, or 6.7 per cent., held a higher education qualification in a science, engineering or technological subject. According to OECD figures, which are based on 25 to 34-year-olds only, in 1991 there were about 770 science and engineering graduates per 100,000 of the United Kingdom labour force. This compares with a mean for the OECD of 633 per 100,000.
Mr. David Davies : The citizens charter applies to all public services, and this is reflected in their individual expenditure programmes. Centrally, the cost of the charter unit between the inception of the citizens charter and 31 December 1993 was £6,870, 549.
Mr. Waldegrave : The strength of the citizens charter lies in raising the standard of public services. We have no plans to make it legally enforceable. However, where necessary, specific charter provisions are backed by legislation.
40. Mr. Evennett : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what response he has received from industrialists and academics for the technology foresight proposals set out in the science White Paper.
Mr. Waldegrave : Industrialists and academics have welcomed the technology foresight proposals set out in the White Paper. Well over 3,000 individuals, representing companies, academic institutions, Government Departments and other organisations have been consulted.
42. Mr. Miller : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what research programmes he has authorised directly connected to his Government's commitments at the United Nations conference on environment and development.
Mr. Waldegrave : The research councils already make a major contribution to the strategic areas addressed by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development through established and developing research programme, which are reviewed annually. The Government's commitments post-Rio did not include an undertaking to commission new research programmes in any particular area.
Mr. Waldegrave : Over 346,000 civil servants, 60 per cent. of the total, are now working in 91 executive agencies and other organisations operating on next steps lines. Functions covering over a further 88,000 civil servants are under consideration for agency status.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what consideration he has given to the establishment of a national register of members of appointed public bodies and authorities ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Government have no proposal to establish a United Kingdom-wide register of members of appointed public bodies and authorities. It is normal practice for the names of members of public bodies to appear in the individual body's annual report. Public bodies should always be ready to provide a list of their membership and the organisation's postal address at which members may be contacted.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what requirements are made in respect of members and appointed public bodies and authorities as to the availability to the public to their names, addresses, telephone numbers, occupations, political affiliations and financial interests.
Mr. Waldegrave : Because of the diversity in the nature and functions of these bodies, there are no general requirements. "Non- Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) : A Guide to Departments" states that Departments are responsible for ensuring that appropriate rules of conduct are brought to the attention of candidates for membership ; that the legislation founding NDPBs with trading or other financial objectives should include safeguards against conflicts of financial interest ; that Departments considering restrictions on business appointments by NDPB board members should seek legal advice ; and that members of NDPBs are expected to follow the long-standing rules on participation in political activities. For those bodies which are not NDPBs, Departments are expected to make separate provisions.
Mr. R. Malpas, CBE, FEng (Chairman)
Dr. Eileen Buttle (Acting Chief Executive)
Professor J. R. L. Allen, FRS
Professor G. S. Boulton, FRS
Dr. P. J. Bunyan
Dr. M. J. Carter
Professor W. G. Chaloner, FRS
Dr. D. J. Fisk
Dr. I. J. Graham-Bryce
Mr. E. R. Hassall
Professor M. P. Hassell, FRS
Professor B. J. Hoskins, FRS
Professor H. E. Huppert, FRS
Professor P. S. Liss
Dr. R. J. Pentreath
Professor D. A. Ritchie, FRSE
Dr. G. W. Robinson
Professor J. I. Sprent, FRSE
Professor S. A. Thorpe, FRS
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 19 January, Official Report, column 698, how may private citizens obtain information relating to local authorities cost-benefit analysis calculations in respect of local highway schemes.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what provisions of the citizens charter assist private citizens wishing to ascertain the background assumptions and method of calculation for cost- benefit analysis prepared by local authorities in respect of local road schemes.
Mr. Waldegrave : There are no such provisions within the citizens charter. However, local authorities have discretion to disclose what information they see fit. There are also statutory requirements within the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 which requires local authorities to provide members of the public with information of this type.
Mr. Nicholas Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 19 January, Official Report, column 698 , regarding cost-benefit analysis carried out by local authorities in respect of bypass schemes, what powers he has to compel local authorities to disclose this information to citizens.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of those covered by personal pensions at the rebate-only level are entitled only to the minimum benefits needed to contract out of state earnings-related pensions.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the progress of his discussions on the reconsideration of the national insurance rebate for those contracted out of state earnings-related pensions and in particular the possibility of changing an age-related rebate.
Mr. Hague : The Government are committed to considering options for a new system of rebates related to age for personal pension holders and possibly other contracted-out schemes. A consultation exercise was conducted between 10 December 1993 and 15 January 1994. We are now considering the responses received.
Mr. Booth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps the Chancellor has taken to promote the citizens charter in respect of the Child Support Agency and discrimination against men.
Mr. Burt : The Child Support Agency is committed to the principles of public service set out in the citizens charter. This commitment is underpinned by its own client charter, published in April 1993 at the agency's launch.
Column 597The agency's charter sets out the standards of service that clients using its services are entitled to expect, and is freely available from agency offices. A leaflet explaining these standards is sent out automatically with every child support maintenance application or enquiry pack.
A basic principle of the Child Support Act is that parents should provide financial support for their children whenever they can afford to do so, whatever their relationship may be with each other. Child maintenance is calculated using a formula which assesses the ability of both parents to contribute towards the upkeep of their children, irrespective of which parent has day-to-day care of them.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he has taken to monitor the circumstances of income support claimants resident in care or nursing homes to ensure that the placement being funded is appropriate to their particular circumstances.
Mr. Burt : Under the community care scheme people who need financial help to enter residential care or nursing homes have their care needs assessed by their local authority who are also responsible for placement and funding. Responsibility for monitoring the new scheme rests with the Department of Health.
For claimants with preserved rights to the special limits of income support payment is made depending on the registration category of the home.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if people eligible for income support disability premium on the grounds of incapacity, but not receiving severe disablement allowance or incapacity benefit, will be eligible from April 1995 for payment of that premium from the 53rd week of incapacity.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if people eligible for income support disability premium only by reason of receipt of severe disablement allowance will be entitled from April 1995 to payment of the premium from the 53rd week of incapacity.
Mr. Burt : Severe disablement allowance will continue to be payable after 28 weeks incapacity, and receipt of severe disablement allowance will continue to bring entitlement to the disability premium.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if people claiming the income support disability premium on grounds of incapacity, but not in receipt of severe disablement allowance or incapacity benefit, will undergo the new incapacity test after the first 28 weeks of incapacity.
Mr. Burt : People receiving income support because of their incapacity will be expected to undergo the new incapacity test in the same way as anyone else who is claiming a social security benefit on the basis of being incapable of work.
Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people were taken off invalidity benefit in Fife in 1993 and in (a) the first three months and (b) the last three months of 1993.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if existing claimants of invalidity benefit who pass the new incapacity test will continue to receive benefit at the rate of their previous invalidity benefit if (a) they start therapuetic work, (b) they start voluntary work, (c) they go abroad for fewer than eight weeks or (d) they go into hospital for fewer than eight weeks.
Mr. Scott : Existing claimants of invalidity benefit whose incapacity benefit is paid at their previous rate of invalidity benefit will continue to be entitled to incapacity benefit at that rate for as long as their period of incapacity for work continues unless an adult dependency increase ceases to be payable for more than eight weeks. In this case the new rules governing that increase will then apply.
Benefit would continue at the invalidity benefit rate for people who start working and satisfy the new therapeutic work rules or voluntary work rules. It would also continue for a period abroad of less than eight weeks, except in some exceptional circumstances when payment may cease. Where a person is in hospital for a period in excess of six weeks the normal hospital downrating rules will apply. At the end of that period in hospital, or a period of less than eight weeks abroad, the previous rate of benefit would again apply.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if existing claimants of invalidity benefit who pass the new incapacity test will continue to receive the same level of allowances for adult and child dependants as their previous invalidity benefit ; and under what circumstances these allowances could be reduced or lost.
Mr. Scott : The replacement of invalidity benefit by incapacity benefit will make no difference to provision for child dependants for those people on invalidity benefit at the point of change. The rules on adult dependants will change but all those transferring from invalidity benefit will be protected, including those who are required to satisfy the new incapacity test. The Government propose, however, that the new rules should apply if an adult dependency increase ceases to be paid for more than eight weeks, or two years in the case of people who receive disability working allowance or undertake training for work.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the estimated saving to his Department from delaying entitlement to the disability premium in (a) income support, (b) housing benefit and (c) council tax benefit.
Benefit |1995-96 |1996-97 |£ million|£ million -------------------------------------------------- Income Support |20 |25 Housing Benefit |* |* Council Tax Benefit |* |* |--- |--- Total |20 |25 Notes: 1. Estimates are expressed in constant 1993-94 prices and are rounded to the nearest £5 million. "*" denotes savings of less than £2.5 million. 2. Estimates show the savings that would arise if the policy of extending the qualifying period for the disability premium paid with the income-related benefits were introduced in isolation.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the value of the Christmas bonus in the next financial year if it had increased in line with (a) prices and (b) earnings since 1979.
1. Prices revaluation based on movement in the Retail Prices Index.
2. Earnings revaluation based on movement in the New Series Index (Whole Economy) Unadjusted.
3. Amounts rounded to the nearest 5p at each uprating.