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Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will show the average income of (a) farmers and (b) farm workers in (i) cash and (ii) real terms, using 1985 as a constant, in each year since 1980 showing these incomes as a percentage of the average wage.
Column 576from the earnings and hours survey and the wages and employment inquiry prior to 1991. These figures are given in the table. Figures for 1980 are not available separately for England.
None of the estimates of average farm income is comparable with the average wage. The table presents estimates of cash income for 1986-87 onwards. Estimates for previous years are not available on a consistent basis.
Earnings of hired full-time workers in England Year |Estimated |Current |Real terms |Percentage |annual cash |terms<2> |1985 |of average |income |prices<2><3>|wage<4> |average all |types of |farm (incl. |hort.)<1> |(£'000s per |(£ per week)|(£ per week) |farm) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1981 |<5>- |90.72 |115.40 |79.65 1982 |<5>- |99.97 |116.59 |80.30 1983 |<5>- |110.97 |124.84 |83.62 1984 |<5>- |117.02 |125.15 |81.83 1985 |<5>- |128.72 |128.72 |84.13 1986 |14.4 |135.66 |132.33 |83.13 1987 |14.4 |143.89 |134.71 |82.93 1988 |12.7 |151.37 |135.47 |80.86 1989 |30.2 |164.29 |135.82 |80.85 1990 |32.2 |182.43 |137.36 |82.47 1991 |32.5 |201.89 |143.73 |85.47 1992 |37.1 |208.16 |142.56 |83.03 1993 |<5>- |214.02 |144.81 |83.41 <1> Accounting years end, on average, in February of the following year. Cash income represents the cash return to the group with an entrepreneurial interest in the business: farmers and spouses, non-principal partners and directors and their spouses and farm workers for their manual and managerial labour and on all their investment in the business. Source: farm business survey. <2> Includes payments for basic, overtime and holiday hours, plus value of annual bonus, perquisites and other payments. It also includes the value of employer's contributions to employee's council tax. <3> Deflated by the all items RPI. <4> Average earnings of full time manual employees on adult rates-prior to 1983 men aged 21+ and women aged 18+-in all industries and services in Great Britain, whose pay was not affected by absence for the survey period. Source: new earnings survey. <5> Figures not available.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the level of surplus of (a) arable and (b) livestock food production in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) the EU in each year since 1990 ; and what is her estimate of these figures for each of the next three years.
Mr. Jack : There are many different definitions of surplus. However, if surplus is measured as production in excess of domestic consumption, the following table provides the latest estimates of self-sufficiency for the major agricultural commodities in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Estimates for future years are not available.
Self sufficiency for the major agricultural commodities in the United Kingdom and the European Union, 1990-92 United Kingdom European Union Commodity |1990 |1991 |1992 |1990 |1991<1> |1992<1> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Cereals |115.8 |119.0 |123.5 |120.3 |119.9 |128.9 Sugar |53.9 |53.0 |53.0 |128.1 |133.7 |122.7 Potatoes |89.2 |90.7 |91.8 |99.7 |101.3 |100.8 Butter |71.5 |60.2 |54.4 |124.5 |111.2 | <2>- SMP |101.2 |96.4 |95.3 |149.5 |127.7 | <2>- Eggs |92.1 |93.9 |94.8 |101.3 |102.0 | <2>- Beef and Veal |91.0 |91.5 |85.2 |107.9 |115.0 |112.5 Sheepmeat |89.5 |84.9 |82.8 |81.4 |84.9 |82.8 Pigmeat |69.0 |72.3 |74.5 |103.5 |103.9 |102.9 Poultrymeat |93.3 |95.9 |89.5 |104.8 |105.6 |105.5 <1> Includes Eastern Germany. <2> Not available. Source: EUROSTAT.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if she will list the organisations and individuals outside her Department who are sent information on, or consulted about, individuals who are, or may be, proposed to the Minister for appointment to posts for which a Minister has to approve the person appointed or the shortlist for the appointment ;
(2) if she will list the organisations and individuals who have been asked, since June 1992, to submit names of individuals to be considered for appointments to paid and unpaid posts for which a Minister has to approve the person or shortlist for the appointment.
Mr. Jack : A wide range of organisations are consulted with reference to appointments made by Ministers. Inquiries involve many divisions of the Ministry and to collate the details requested could not be achieved without disproportionate cost as the information is not held centrally.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farmers in the United Kingdom were paid over £1 million in subsidies ; and what was the total amount of aid given to organic farming in Britain in the most recent year for which figures are available.
disproportionate cost, the number of farmers in the United Kingdom paid over £1 million in subsidies.
No specific aid for organic producers has yet been paid but it is intended to begin an aid scheme later this year, made under the EC agri-environment regulation, which will encourage conversion to organic farming. Organic producers are of course able to benefit under all the schemes open to farmers generally. In addition, we have a programme of research and development into questions of concern to organic farmers and growers with funding of £1 million in the current financial year.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farms in the United Kingdom are in the size classification (a) under eight, (b) from eight to 40, (c) from 40 to 100, (d) from 100 to
Column 578200, and (e) over 200 farm size units ; and what is the total business activity in each category, as measured by standard gross margins.
Number of holdings in the United Kingdom and total ESU by ESU size group as at June 1993 Size of |Number of|<1>ESUs business |holdings ESUs ---------------------------------------- <8 |106,850 |245,801 8<40 |72,170 |1,498,247 40<100 |43,940 |2,789,421 100<200 |15,558 |2,107,439 200+ |5,687 |2,114,808 |------- |------- Total |244,205 |8,755,717 Note: Data in this table exclude minor holdings. <1>1 European size unit (ESU) equals 1, 200 ECU of Standard Gross Margin ( average value 1987-1989).
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will list for each civil service grade in her Department the number of (a) male and (b) female, (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employees.
Full-time Part-time Grade |male |female |male |female |Total -------------------------------------------------------- Grade 1 |1 |0 |0 |0 |1 Grade 2 |5 |0 |0 |0 |5 Grade 3 |21 |1 |0 |0 |22 Grade 4 |8 |0 |0 |0 |8 Grade 5 |81 |10 |0 |0 |91 Grade 6 |88 |9 |1 |3 |101 Grade 7 |557 |124 |3 |13 |697 SEO |364 |75 |1 |17 |457 HEO |610 |290 |6 |37 |943 EO |779 |588 |4 |57 |1,428 AO |661 |1,070 |9 |146 |1,886 AA |643 |1,114 |24 |230 |2,011 |-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |3,818 |3,281 |48 |503 |7,650
Column 579The figures are given by grade equivalent and include all permanent staff, casuals and staff on temporary release. Part-time staff are counted as 1.0.
Mr. Hague : The Maxwell Pensions Unit continues to encourage an early resolution to Maxwell pensions disputes. It is providing substantial administrative support to the Maxwell Pensioners Trust initiative to secure an overall settlement to pensions disputes. The Government fully support this initiative, and we are continuing to urge all parties to participate constructively. A speedy settlement which keeps legal action to a minimum must be in everyone's best interests, especially the pensioners'.
15. Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will consider changes in the Child Support Agency regulations where the amount of child support received by the parent with care extinguishes her entitlement to income support ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kevin Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the hon. Member for Doncaster, North can expect to receive replies to his letters to the Child Support Agency chief executive of 17 December, PBU 03452, and 7 January PBU 03670.
16. Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he next intends to meet the chairman of the Securities and Investments Board to discuss the regulations of the private pensions sector.
Mr. Lilley : The Government have referred a proposal for an habitual residence test in the income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit schemes to the Social Security Advisory Committee and the local authority associations. Once the consultation process has been completed, regulations will be laid before Parliament.
25. Mr. Moss : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he is taking to ensure that people from abroad, who are allowed to enter this country on condition that they will be no burden on public funds, will not be allowed to claim benefit.
Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if people from abroad who come into this country on the condition that they will be no burden on public funds will be prevented from claiming benefit.
Mr. Hague : Persons from countries outside the European Union are generally admitted to this country on the understanding that they do not become a charge on public funds while they are here. The income support rules exclude them from receiving that benefit except in very closely defined circumstances. Regulations were recently laid before the House to take effect from 1 April which will bring the housing benefit and council tax benefit rules into line with the income support rules.
Mr. Hague : We have recently announced new measures which will particularly assist working women. About 150,000 families will benefit from the introduction in October 1994 of a disregard for child care in family credit which will be worth up to £28 a week. Improved maternity payments which take effect in July will benefit around 285,000 working women who give up work around the time of their baby's birth.
Column 581In addition, working women may be able to claim income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit depending on their hours of work and incomes, and child benefit and family credit if they have children.
Mr. Hague : In May 1992, 130,000 pensioners were receiving housing benefit alone from local authorities in the standard west midlands region and 270,000 pensioners were receiving income support in the midlands administrative region for social security.
1. Sources :
i. Housing Benefit and Community Charge Benefit Management Information System (1 per cent. sample).
ii Income Support Annual Statistical Enquiry (1 per cent. sample). 2. Pensioners have been defined as recipients aged 60 or over, or with a partner aged 60 or over.
3. All figures are in benefit units. A benefit unit may be a single person or a couple.
4. The standard west midlands region covers the counties of Shropshire, Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcester, Staffordshire and the metropolitan district of west midlands.
5. The midlands administrative region for social security covers most of the east and west midlands.
Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pensioner households were, in 1979 and in the last year for which figures are available, below the 1979 supplementary benefit level.
Mr. Hague : Official estimates are available only for 1979. They were published in the "Low Income Families" series. Following a technical review in 1988 LIF was superseded by the "Households Below Average Income" series, which provides estimates of the pattern of disposable income across the United Kingdom population and analyses change over time. The latest edition of HBAI, published in 1993, shows a reduction in the number of pensioners in the bottom 10 per cent. of the income distribution from 31 per cent. in 1979 to 11 per cent. 1990-91 when measured after housing costs or 36 per cent. and 22 per cent. respectively before housing costs.
Copies of both publications are in the Library.
27. Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his estimate of the number of families who are worse off as a result of claimants moving from income support to family credit in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Mr. Hague : The information requested is not available. However, recent research by the Policy Studies Institute indicated that couples in work with family credit were on average £18 per week better off than when out of work.
Mr. John Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what calculations he has made of (a) the amount of VAT at 8 per cent. on fuel will add to the cost of each unit of electricity consumed and (b) the number of units on which 50p will pay the additional VAT.
The answers would depend on the particular electricity company, and factors such as whether standard tariff or Economy 7 tariff is used. The Government have made available a very substantial package of help, which will cost up to £1,250 million a year from April 1996 onwards.
Pensioners and disabled people are likely to find, on average, that this extra help from the Government will broadly cover all changes in the price of fuel, including VAT, over the course of this Parliament.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much his Department gained for income support claimants in maintenance payments from absent parents in the last year before responsibility was transferred to the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Scott : The total amount of maintenance obtained through DSS action for income support claimants in 1992-93 was £220 million. Records of maintenance payments from liable relatives kept during the last year before responsibility for child maintenance was transferred to the Child Support Agency do not distinguish between payments from absent parents, spouses and the sponsors of immigrants.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what major building projects valued at over £1 million are being or have been wholly or partly financed since 1988 in (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley, (c) Rotherham and (d) Wakefield by his Department ; and what was the cost of each project to his Department.
Mr. Hague : There is one such project. In Doncaster there is a joint Benefits Agency/Property Holdings project to assist the rationalisation of the district organisation. This project began in 1993 and is due to be completed during 1995-96 at an anticipated cost of £1.445 million.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide details of the most recent estimate of the take-up rate of income support, by caseload and by entitlement ; and, by reference to the former measure, how many individuals are not claiming their entitlement.
Mr. Hague : Estimates of the take-up of income related benefits for Great Britain were published in "Income Related Benefit Estimates of Take- up in 1990 and 1991" on 25 March 1994, a copy of which is in the Library.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give details for the last three years of the number of prosecutions and their outcomes for failure to maintain under section 105 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, formerly section 26 of the Social Security Act 1986.
Criminal Proceedings: Section 26 of Social Security Act 1986 |1989|1990|1991 -------------------------------------------------------- Against the liable person |39 |11 |4 Convictions |18 |1 |4 Sentenced to a term of imprisonment |2 |- |- Fine or imprisonment |8 |1 |2 Suspended sentence |- |- |- Note: Figures are for calendar years ended 31 December. Source: Department of Social Security Statistics 1993.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide details of (a) the total number of claims to date received for prescribed disease D12--coal miners' chronic bronchitis and emphysema-- (b) the total number of awards for prescribed disease D12 to date and (c) the total number of refusals for prescribed disease D12 and the grounds for these disallowances.
Mr. Scott : As at 20 March 1994, about 38,700 claims had been received for the prescribed disease D12, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Of the claims so far decided, about 2,600 have been awarded benefit, and about 18,400 have been disallowed. Most of those disallowed failed to satisfy the medical conditions, about 940 failed to satisfy the occupational prescription requirements and a very small number were already being fully compensated for the diseases in an award for pneumoconiosis--PD D1. All figures are based on a 100 per cent. count and are subject to amendment.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what measures (a) will be introduced and (b) are under consideration in order to improve the coverage and take-up of disability working allowance.
Mr. Scott : We have announced three changes to improve take-up of disability working allowance. From October 1994 we will introduce a child care costs exemption of £40 per week in cash terms. From April 1995 there will be automatic remission of NHS charges for those with savings of £8,000 or less and we will extend access to disability working allowance for those undertaking training for work. We have commissioned extensive independent research to examine coverage and take up ; final evaluation is expected to be completed in 1996.
Mr. Hague : The total amount of housing benefit subsidy paid to local authorities in Great Britain for the 1992-93 financial year was £6,613 million ; the estimated expenditure for 1993-94 is £7,861 million.
The Social Security Departmental Report : March 1994
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of (a) housing association tenancies, (b) council tenancies and (c) private tenancies received housing benefit in the last year for which figures are available.
Data sources :
1. The housing benefit management information system quarterly caseload counts for 1992-93.
2. Housing and construction statistics dated December 1992, the latest date for which information is available.
1. The quarterly caseload information includes estimates for non-responding authorities.
2. The housing and construction statistics are estimates based on the 1991 census and information from local authorities ; the number of dwellings includes unoccupied dwellings.
Mr. Hague : A wide range of social security benefits is available to those aged under 25, subject to their individual circumstances. Income support recipients under 25 years old are entitled to a lower rate of benefit than those aged 25 or over. There are a number or reasons for this, such as the lower earnings expectations of younger people and the fact that a large majority of younger people receiving benefits do not live independently. It would be wrong for benefit levels to offer an attractive alternative to work or to training for work or an incentive to leave home.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list, for each year since 1986, each publicity campaign run by his Department regarding personal pensions together with the cost of each campaign ; and if he will place representative copies of press advertisements and other literature in the Library.
Mr. Hague : In January 1988 the Department of Health and Social Security ran a general campaign which included personal pensions at a cost of £1.2 million. In March 1994 the Department of Social Security ran a campaign costing £100,000.
I am placing copies of relevant material in the Library.
Column 585following the decision on 26 July 1993 of Vinelott J. in McDonald and others v. Horn and others--Chancery division Nos. 2931M and 5995M of 1992 ;
(2) if he will make it his policy to enable pensioners to be funded in advance for disputes with their pension funds, subject only to leave from a High Court master ; and if he will make a statement ; (3) if he will introduce measures relating to pension fund disputes which would help to reduce the uncertainty surrounding pre-emptive orders for costs ; and if he will make a statement ;
(4) if he will introduce measures to require the trustees of pension funds to appoint an independent trustee or arbitrator to report on the claims against such funds ; and if he will make a statement.