Previous Section Home Page

Sir George Young : Each housing authority's entitlement to housing revenue account subsidy takes into account annual loan charges on the cost of additional borrowing to finance capital expenditure up to a level related to that authority's annual capital allocations for this purpose.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what his estimate is of the expenditure required to bring all of Britain's council house stock up to fully habitable levels at 1994 prices.


Column 496

Sir George Young : Estimates of the cost of making dwellings fit for habitation in England are contained in the report of the 1991 English house condition survey published in September 1993. For all public sector housing, the backlog of such work is estimated at £780 million at 1994 prices. Matters affecting the housing stock in Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what the capital and revenue expenditure was, per council house tenancy, on housing maintenance and repairs for each year since 1979.

Sir George Young : Capital and revenue expenditure, in cash terms, on maintenance and repairs per council dwelling in England was as follows :


Year    |Revenue|Capital        

        |£      |£              

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

1979-80 |n/a    |n/a            

1980-81 |171    |139            

1981-82 |189    |129            

1982-83 |218    |203            

1983-84 |256    |250            

1984-85 |272    |284            

1985-86 |289    |294            

1986-87 |296    |342            

1987-88 |326    |405            

1988-89 |365    |454            

1989-90 |406    |720            

1990-91 |487    |434            

1991-92 |509    |381            

1992-93 |545    |390            

1993-94 |<1>595 |<1>394         

<1> Estimate.                   

n/a=Not available.              

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the proportion of the 1994-95 housing revenue account subsidy which will be provided for housing benefits reimbursement.

Sir George Young : It is estimated that, in 1994-95, £3,549 million of housing revenue account subsidy will be paid to housing authorities in England as reimbursement for their rent rebate expenditure-- net of the amount funded by HRA surpluses. This is 81 per cent. of the total provision for housing revenue account subsidy for 1994-95 of £4,381 million.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities receive a nil or negative housing revenue account subsidy for the housing element component.

Sir George Young : In 1993-94 there is a negative entitlement to the housing element of housing revenue account subsidy for 282 English housing authorities. No authority has a nil entitlement.

Unitary Development Plans

Mr. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list when each of the unitary development plans for each authority in Greater Manchester was published ; when they will run to ; and when he expects each authority to start preparing the next unitary development plans.


Column 497

Mr. Baldry : The deposit drafts of the Greater Manchester UDPs were published on the following dates :


               |Date                         

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

Bolton         |September 1992               

Bury           |October 1993                 

Manchester     |October 1992                 

Oldham         |March 1993                   

Salford        |November 1992                

Stockport      |February 1994                

Tameside       |March 1993                   

Trafford       |April 1993                   

Wigan          |April 1993                   

The Rochdale UDP has not yet been placed on deposit, a consultation draft was published in April 1993.

We have advised local planning authorities that the general policies for the development and use of land contained in part 1 of a UDP should make provision for development for a period of at least 15 years. The more detailed policies and proposals contained in part 2 should generally make provision for development for a period of 10 years.

Local planning authorities may prepare proposals to alter or replace existing plans at any time. Plans should be reviewed regularly and the appropriate timing of review will depend on local circumstances, I would generally expect plans to be reviewed at least once every five years.

Housing Investment Programme

Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the housing investment programme allocation for each local authority in 1978-79, 1993-94 and 1994-95 in cash and in constant prices.

Sir George Young : I have today placed in the Library a table of housing investment programme allocations by local authority for the years in question.

Countryside Organisations

Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated cost of merging English Nature and the Countryside Commission ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : A decision whether to merge English Nature and the Countryside Commission has yet to be taken. The likely costs and benefits of merger are being considered as part of the current study into this matter. Conclusions have not yet been reached.

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the statement and briefing published by the Countryside Commission on 28 February concerning the future of English Nature and the Countryside Commission was authorised by his Department.

Mr. Atkins : No.

Cwm Selar

Mr. Hain : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the Environment Commissioner of the European Union in relation to the implications of the 1992 habitats directive of the European Union on the proposed opencast coal site development on the Cwm Selar site of special scientific interest, Cwmgwrach, Vale of Neath.


Column 498

Mr. Atkins : There have been no such consultations.

Nature Reserves

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to review the responsibility for, or administration of, national nature reserves ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : I have no such plans. However, the current study into bringing together English Nature and the Countryside Commission embraces all the activities of both bodies, including English Nature's responsibility for national nature reserves.

Institute of Terrestrial Ecology

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to review the role and functions of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology.

Mr. Atkins : None. The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology is a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council, which is not one of my responsibilities. However, it is a highly successful and competitive contractor to many DOE research programmes.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to enhance the role or functions of local authorities in relation to sites of special scientific interest.

Mr. Atkins : None.

Housing Capital Receipts

Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his current estimate of the additional capital receipts that have been made available for investment by local authorities in England as a result of the relaxation in the rules governing use of such receipts which applied between 13 November 1992 and 31 December 1993.

Mr. Curry : Latest figures from local authorities indicate that the level of additional receipts was about £1.8 billion, which is more than the £1.75 billion figure suggested by my right hon. and learned Friend the then Secretary of State following the announcement of the relaxation in the 1992 autumn statement.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Civil Servants

Ms Armstrong : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list for each civil service grade in his Department the number of (a) male and (b) female, (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employees.

Mr. Eggar : The information requested in respect of permanent staff in post on 23 March 1994 is set out in the table.


                        Male                Female                       

Grade                  |full-time|part-time|full-time|part-time          

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

Grade 1                |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Grade 2                |8        |0        |0        |0                  

Grade 3                |47       |0        |5        |0                  

Grade 4                |5        |0        |3        |0                  

Assistant Comptroller                                                    

 (Patent Office)       |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Grade 5                |173      |0        |21       |10                 

Executive Director                                                       

 Lower Insolvency                                                        

 Service               |3        |0        |0        |0                  

Superintendent                                                           

 Examiner (Patent                                                        

 Office)               |8        |0        |0        |0                  

Reservoir Evaluation                                                     

 Specialist 1          |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Grade 6                |144      |7        |26       |4                  

Grade 7                |779      |6        |106      |32                 

Insolvency Grade A     |12       |0        |0        |0                  

Insolvency Grade B     |66       |0        |4        |0                  

Principal Examiner                                                       

 (Patent Office)       |24       |0        |2        |0                  

Senior Examiner                                                          

 (Patent Office)       |150      |1        |14       |3                  

Chief Investigations                                                     

 Officer               |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Reservoir Evaluation                                                     

 Specialist 2          |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Petroleum Specialist 2 |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Reservoir Evaluation                                                     

 Specialist 3          |7        |0        |1        |0                  

Petroleum Specialist 3 |3        |0        |0        |0                  

Senior Electrical                                                        

 Engineer 1            |4        |0        |0        |0                  

Senior Executive                                                         

 Officer               |313      |1        |56       |12                 

Higher Executive                                                         

 Officer D             |18       |0        |16       |0                  

Higher Executive                                                         

 Officer               |704      |3        |259      |42                 

Executive Officer      |840      |12       |575      |96                 

Administrative                                                           

 Trainee               |9        |0        |4        |0                  

Senior Economic                                                          

 Assistant             |6        |0        |8        |1                  

Economic Assistant     |4        |0        |1        |0                  

Senior Assistant                                                         

 Statistician          |2        |0        |2        |0                  

Assistant Statistician |4        |0        |2        |0                  

Senior Information                                                       

 Officer               |10       |0        |7        |1                  

Information Officer    |19       |0        |9        |0                  

Assistant Information                                                    

 Officer               |8        |0        |5        |0                  

Higher Graphics                                                          

 Officer               |0        |0        |1        |0                  

Legal Officer          |2        |0        |3        |0                  

Senior Librarian       |3        |1        |4        |0                  

Librarian              |9        |1        |10       |0                  

Assistant Librarian    |11       |0        |13       |3                  

Photographic Officer   |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Process and General                                                      

 Supervisory C         |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Process and General                                                      

 Supervisory D         |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Senior Scientific                                                        

 Officer               |258      |1        |36       |1                  

Higher Scientific                                                        

 Officer               |251      |1        |74       |11                 

Scientific Officer     |120      |1        |49       |10                 

Senior Personal                                                          

 Secretary             |1        |0        |44       |0                  

Senior Professional                                                      

 and Technical                                                           

 Officer               |96       |0        |1        |0                  

Higher Professional                                                      

 and Technical                                                           

 Officer               |77       |0        |4        |0                  

Professional and                                                         

 Technical Officer     |27       |0        |1        |0                  

Professional and                                                         

 Technical Officer                                                       

 IV                    |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Senior                                                                   

 Telecommunica-                                                          

tions Technical                                                          

Officer                |12       |1        |0        |0                  

Higher                                                                   

Telecommunica-                                                           

tions Technical                                                          

Officer                |44       |0        |0        |0                  

Telecommunications                                                       

 Technical Officer     |110      |0        |0        |0                  

Insolvency Grade C     |100      |1        |24       |7                  

Insolvency Grade D     |207      |6        |74       |25                 

Insolvency Grade E     |64       |0        |74       |0                  

Examiner (Patent                                                         

 Office)               |29       |0        |3        |0                  

Translator I           |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Translator II          |2        |0        |5        |2                  

Translator III         |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Deputy Chief                                                             

 Investigations                                                          

 Officer               |8        |0        |0        |0                  

Investigations Officer |39       |2        |1        |0                  

Communications                                                           

 Officer IV            |1        |0        |2        |0                  

Chief Typing                                                             

 Manager               |1        |0        |4        |1                  

Typing Manager         |0        |0        |26       |3                  

Support Manager 1      |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Legal Trainee          |0        |0        |0        |0                  

Higher Scientific                                                        

 Officer D             |7        |0        |4        |0                  

Senior Management                                                        

 Trainee               |2        |0        |1        |0                  

Chief Gas Examiner     |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Reservoir Evaluation                                                     

 Specialist 4          |13       |0        |2        |5                  

Petroleum Specialist 4 |9        |0        |0        |0                  

Area Gas Examiner      |0        |0        |1        |0                  

Reservoir Evaluation                                                     

 Specialist 5          |0        |0        |2        |0                  

Petroleum Specialist 5 |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Gas Examiner           |4        |0        |0        |0                  

Chief Gas Meter                                                          

 Examiner              |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Assistant Chief Gas                                                      

 Meter Examiner        |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Gas Meter Examiner                                                       

 1                     |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Gas Meter Examiner                                                       

 2                     |9        |0        |0        |0                  

Gas Meter Examiner                                                       

 3                     |10       |0        |0        |0                  

Higher Mapping and                                                       

 Charting Officer      |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Administrative Officer |879      |8        |1,093    |208                

Administrative                                                           

 Assistant             |454      |11       |543      |94                 

Graphics Officer       |0        |0        |2        |0                  

Support Manager 2      |5        |0        |4        |0                  

Support Manager 3      |11       |0        |25       |2                  

Support Grade 1        |33       |0        |85       |16                 

Support Grade 2        |209      |14       |231      |198                

Senior Photographer    |2        |0        |0        |0                  

Photographer           |1        |0        |0        |0                  

Industrial             |131      |1        |7        |1                  

Technical Grade 1      |7        |0        |2        |0                  

Part time Graduate                                                       

 Trainee               |5        |0        |1        |0                  

Technician 2A          |0        |0        |0        |0                  

Assistant                                                                

 Telecommunica-                                                          

 tions Technical                                                         

 Officer               |23       |0        |0        |0                  

Trainee                                                                  

 Telecommunica-                                                          

 tions Technical                                                         

 Officer               |0        |0        |1        |0                  

Personal Secretary     |2        |0        |316      |34                 

Typist                 |7        |0        |318      |112                

Assistant Scientific                                                     

 Officer               |50       |0        |33       |3                  

Graphics Technical                                                       

 Grade                 |0        |0        |1        |0                  

Mapping and Charting                                                     

 Officer               |3        |0        |0        |0                  

Robin Hood Railway Line

Mr. Ashton : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will allocate some of the coalfield regeneration fund to construct stage 3 of the Robin Hood railway line between Mansfield and Worksop.

Mr. Sainsbury : Lord Walker is currently considering proposals to support stage 3 of the Robin Hood line which have recently been put to him by the local regeneration partners.

British Coal (Environmental Impact Assessments)

Mr. Gunnell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has for the future of the environmental impact assessment unit at British Coal, following implementation of the Coal Industry Bill.

Mr. Eggar : I understand that responsibility for environmental impact assessment of particular projects has been devolved to British Coal's operational groups, under the overall policy guidance of British Coal's headquarters operations department. After privatisation, it will be for successor mining companies to decide how to meet the statutory requirements for environmental impact assessment.

Exports (Israel)

Mr. David Young : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if it is his policy to refuse export licences for equipment or machinery capable for use in armaments manufacture which are bought for export to Isreal.

Mr. Needham : We announced in June 1982, following the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon, that we would withhold approval of licences for the export to Isreal of all British military equipment. In 1983 it was decided to allow the export of electronic and other small non-lethal components provided they did not form part of equipment due to be put into immediate service with Israeli forces in south Lebanon.

Her Majesty's Government do control the export of sensitive goods for arms manufacture. However, it is not our policy to refuse such licences as a matter of course.

All applications for export licences for licensable equipment or machinery capable of use in armaments manufacture are considered on their merits and in line with these policies.


Column 502

Car Boot Sales

Mr. Madden : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to the letter, dated 3 March from the Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs to the hon. Member for Bradford, West, if he will list the powers available to local authorities and the police to address the problems arising from the sale of counterfeit and unsafe goods at car boot sales ; what representations he has received from local authorities, the police and others concerning the effectiveness of current powers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 15 March 1994] : The powers under which local authorities may act against counterfeit or unsafe goods are contained within the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, the Trade Marks Act 1938, as amended in 1988, and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and specific consumer safety regulations. The police may take action against counterfeit goods under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. In addition to these specific powers against counterfeit or unsafe goods, local authorities and the police have a number of powers to control temporary markets and car boot sales available to them under other legislation.

The Government are also aware of the problems of trade in counterfeit goods where traders seek to use disclaimers about the goods to prevent prosecution under the Trade Descriptions Act. That is why we are seeking to improve the powers available to local authorities and the police through the provisions of the Trade Marks Bill, which has just completed its passage through another place. The Bill addresses the use of disclaimers by making it an offence to sell counterfeit goods, even if the goods are acknowledged as copies at the point of sale.

There has been a small number of representations on this subject.

Negligent Auditors

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will introduce legislation under which individual shareholders would be able to bring class actions against negligent auditors ;

(2) if he will introduce legislation under which individual shareholders will be able to bring class actions against negligent auditors.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : I have no plans to seek to change the present state of the law.

Code of Central Government Enforcement

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the print run of the code for central Government enforcement ; and to whom it is being distributed.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : The initial print run of "Working with Business : a Code for Enforcement Agencies" was 70,000.

The code was initially distributed to all Government Departments, DTI regional offices and to all the enforcement agencies listed in the code for them to distribute to their customers and to any other interested parties as required.

The code has also been sent to all local authorities, the British Retail Consortium, the Federation of Small


Column 503

Businesses, the Association of British Chambers of Commerce and all branches of the Confederation of British Industry.

In addition, numerous copies of the code have been sent out to any individual, company or organisation that has expressed an interest in seeing it.

SL Homes Ltd.

Mr. David Shaw : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what connections have been reported to his Department between Scottish Legal Life Assurance Ltd. and SL Homes Ltd.; and what assessment his Department has made of whether Scottish Legal Life Assurance Ltd. is conducting its affairs in a fit and proper manner.

Mr. Nelson : I have been asked to reply.

Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Ltd. is a friendly society. Until April 1993 its supervision was the responsibility of the registrar of friendly societies. With the coming into force of the Friendly Societies Act 1992, responsibility has shifted to the Friendly Societies Commission.

The society's 1990 return showed that all nine members of the society's committee of management were directors of SL Homes Ltd. The chief registrar's report for 1990-91 announced that an inspector had been appointed under section 87 of the Friendly Societies Act 1974 to examine the affairs of the society, and a number of changes were subsequently made to the management structure. The latest return lodged by the society is for the year 1992. It showed that one member of the committee was a director of SL Homes Ltd., and that the society had an outstanding investment with the SL Homes Group of £3, 980,637.

Under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, it is for the Friendly Societies Commission, and not for my Department, to satisfy itself as to the manner in which Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Ltd. is conducting its affairs. The commission is required to submit to the Treasury and Parliament each year a report on the discharge of its functions.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Aid and Trade Provision

Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions and in regard to which countries he has made offers of funds under aid and trade provision in the absence of, or in advance of, applications for funding for particular projects ; if he will list in each case the dates on which these offers were made ; and what sums of money were involved.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Her Majesty's Government have entered into the following framework agreements with recipient Governments :


Country                  |Date                    |Level of Business to                             

                                                  |be supported                                     

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

Cameroon                 |December 1983           |£40 million                                      

China (concessional financing agreement)                                                            

CFA I                    |May 1986                |£300 million                                     

CFA II                   |September 1988          |£300 million                                     

Egypt                    |March 1983              |£64 million                                      

India                    |February 1986           |£300 million                                     

Indonesia (concessional loan agreement)                                                             

CLA I                    |July 1986               |£140 million                                     

CLA II                   |February 1989           |£100 million                                     

CLA III                  |April 1993              |£65 million                                      

Malaysia                 |January 1981            |£77 million                                      

                         |September 1988          |£200 million                                     

Mauritius                |October 1983            |£12.25 million                                   

Pakistan                 |July 1989               |US$50 million                                    

Thailand                 |May 1989                |General protocol with no                         

                                                  |specific amount                                  

World Bank               |September 1986          |£200 million                                     

                         |(renewed September 1989)                                                  

These framework agreements range from formal signed agreements, for example for China and Indonesia, and lines of credit, for example Egypt and Cameroon, to indications of possible levels of business, for example India and Malaysia. In each case, the levels indicated relate to support available for agreed projects--covering United Kingdom and EC officially supported packages--using a combination of aid and trade provision grants and export credits through Export Credits Guarantees Department. The content of these exchanges is confidential between Governments.

St. Helena

Mr. Ronnie Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what development aid was given to the island of St. Helena in the years 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Total gross bilateral aid to St. Helena in the three financial years 1990-91 to 1992-93 was as follows :


Year       |£                    

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

1990-91    |11,759,000           

1991-92    |9,136,000            

1992-93    |9,060,000            

RMS St. Helena

Mr. Ronnie Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost of the RMS St. Helena.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The construction cost of the RMS St. Helena was £32.4 million, financed by Her Majesty's Government during the period 1987 to 1991. The annual operating subsidy, which varies, amounts to £911,000 in 1993-94.

PRIME MINISTER

Malaysian Airlines

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates occupants of his office, or members of the Cabinet Office, have used the Malaysian airline MAS, for each year since 1985, including this year to date, on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.

The Prime Minister : My Office has not used Malaysian airlines for official travel. I refer the hon.


Column 505

Gentleman to the answer from my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in respect of members of the Cabinet Office.

Building Projects

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister what major building projects, valued at over £1 million are being, or have been, wholly or partly financed in (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley, (c) Rotherham and (d) Wakefield by the Cabinet Office ; and what was the cost of each project to his Department.

The Prime Minister : None.

Isle of Man

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister when he last met the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man.

The Prime Minister : I have not had the opportunity to meet the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man as Prime Minister, and I do not recall meeting him prior to November 1990.

Euphrates River

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what information is available to Her Majesty's Government about the amount of water taken from the Euphrates and its tributaries and sources by water requirements in (a) Turkey and (b) Syria.

The Prime Minister : There are a variety of figures available on the quantities of water withdrawn from the River Euphrates and its tributaries and sources, by Turkey and Syria. The following figures are taken from the World Resources Institute report for 1990-91. Within the national boundaries of Syria 4,500 million cubic metres of water per year--MCM/yr-- were generated and 4,700 MCM/yr extracted. The figures for Turkey were 28,200 MCM/yr generated and 3,100 MCM/yr extracted.

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what evidence is available to Her Majesty's Government that draining constitutes the reason why water courses, linked to the Euphrates river, are dried up.

The Prime Minister : A stretch of 70 km of the Euphrates river is dry. On the evidence available there is no other possible explanation.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Accommodation (Commercial Organisations)

Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Chairman of the Finance and Services Committee, pursuant to the answer given by the chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee to the hon. Member for Derbyshire North- East (Mr. Barnes) on 14 March, Official Report, columns 512-13, what consideration has been given to charging rent to those commercial organisations there listed for the space they occupy in the Palace of Westminster ; and what considerations underlie the policy of not charging such rent.

Mr. Channon : As explained in the reply to the question to which the hon. Member refers, many of the


Column 506

arrangements with commercial organisations are long established, and enable the House to enjoy the benefit of services provided by the bodies concerned, taking account of the fluctuating nature of the House's requirements. The financial arrangements are kept under review.

Television Monitors

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Chairman of the Information Committee if he will make arrangements for television monitors to be placed in offices in the Norman Shaw South parliamentary building used by hon. Members' secretaries and research staff.

Mr. Waller : The location of television monitors is a matter which it would be appropriate for the House to consider in the context of the information Committee's report on the provision of a parliamentary data and video network.

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Chairman of the Information Committee if he will make arrangements for access to television and radio channels to be made available to hon. Members with offices in the Norman Shaw South parliamentary building.

Mr. Waller : Proposals for access to television and radio channels are included in the Information Committee's report on the provision of a parliamentary data and video network, which recommends the extension of the pilot network to further buildings on the parliamentary estate. The report has not yet been considered by the House.

TREASURY

Ministerial Receptions

Mr. Boyes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of receptions held by Ministers in his Department in 1993-94.

Mr. Nelson : Total expenditure in 1993-94 amounts to £3,100, part of which was met by the Government hospitality fund.

Russia

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the G7 proposes to help the Russian Government to strengthen their efforts to achieve their macroeconomic stabilisation and to establish a credible programme of social support.

Mr. Nelson : Macroeconomic stabilisation in Russia depends on the implementation of appropriate policies by the Russian Government. At their meeting in Kronberg on 26 February, G7 Finance Ministers encouraged the International Monetary Fund and the Russian Government to reach agreement on a suitable economic programme, which could be supported by IMF resources under the second tranche of the systemic transformation facility. The G7 confirmed that all the other elements of the $43 billion package announced in Tokyo in April 1993 remained available to Russia as reform was progressively implemented. Bilateral donors have provided technical assistance on the development of a suitable social safety net in Russia.


Column 507

This includes assistance from the United Kingdom through the know-how fund. G7 Finance Ministers underlined the importance of a credible programme of social support to enhance public acceptance of the reform process and urged the World bank and Russia to co- operate in accelerating disbursement of the elements of the $3 billion special privatisation and restructuring programme which addressed the social dimension of reform.

Malaysian Airlines

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the dates Ministers, or officials from his Department, including his Department's agencies, have used the Malaysian airline MAS for each year since 1985, including this year to date, on official business ; and what was the cost of each flight to his Department.

Mr. Nelson : MAS has been used for official travel on one occasion in March 1993 at the cost of £1,122.

Building Projects

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what major building projects valued at over £1 million are being or have been wholly or partly financed since 1989 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. Nelson : None.

Kenya (Debt)

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the level of Kenya's external debt to the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nelson : Kenya's outstanding debt to the United Kingdom public sector totals £59.8 million, all of which is owed to the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

New Road Proposals

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Treasury requirements as to the cost-benefit analysis of new road proposals.

Mr. Portillo : The Treasury requires that new road proposals should provide good value for money. Treasury guidelines on the appraisal of public sector capital projects are set out in the publication "Economic Appraisal in Central Government : A Technical Guide for Government Departments".


Next Section

  Home Page