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Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 12 April 1994] : In 1992-93, the percentage of full-time undergraduates in Scottish higher education institutions registered for four-year courses was 62.4 per cent. and for courses of four years and over was 73.4 per cent.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 18 April 1994] : A baseline study was undertaken in 1991 to provide a benchmark against which to measure the effects of the rural enterprise programme, including the marketing element of the scheme. This provides a basis for a full evaluation of the impact of the programme, which we plan to commission in 1995.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when KPMG Management Consultants was instructed to prepare a report on the operation of the tariff rebate subsidy scheme and shipping services to the Scottish islands.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his Department has yet received the report from KPMG Management Consultants in respect of its inquiries into the tariff rebate subsidy scheme and shipping services to the Scottish islands.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out the operating subsidies to Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd., P and O Scottish Ferries and Coastal Shippers for 1993-94, estimated outturn, and 1994-95 plans, in the same form as table 3.39 of his Department's "Statement of Expenditure Plans Serving Scotland's Needs 1993".
Support to shipping services £ million |1993-94|1994-95 |outturn|plans ----------------------------------------------- Operating subsidies Caledonian MacBrayne |<1>10.6|5.7 P and O |6.1 |6.8 Coastal Shippers |3.0 |3.1 |--- |--- Total |<1>19.7|15.6 <1>Includes an additional £3.4 million to eliminate the deficit which would otherwise have been incurred in the period January to March 1994, that is the transitional period between the company's old calendar year accounting period and the new fiscal year accounting period.
Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what involvement Scottish Natural Heritage has had in operating the measures introduced to prevent overgrazing under the hill livestock compensatory allowance scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 18 April 1994] : The Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland, the predecessor body to Scottish Natural Heritage, and a range of environmental organisations were consulted about the introduction of this measure.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 18 April 1994] : The Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency attaches a high priority to curbing clandestine landings, which are damaging to the conservation of fish stocks and to the future prosperity of the fishing industry. Substantial resources are targeted towards the detection and prevention of this activity. Regular out of hours patrols are undertaken by fishery officers and fishery protection vessels are deployed at harbours where there is a known risk of undeclared landings.
Ms Rachel Squire : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the employment implications to Fife and Scotland of a possible closure of Rosyth naval base ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 18 April 1994] : There are currently some 1,600 civilians working in Rosyth naval base and some 2,700 Navy personnel either working in the naval base and the immediate vicinity or based on ships operating from Rosyth. Under present plans, stemming from decisions taken in 1992, the number of civilian employees will be reduced to 1,300 and the number of Navy personnel to around 2,300 by 1 April 1995.
As the Secretary of State for Defence has made clear, all relevant factors will be taken into account before any decisions are made on recommendations arising from the naval infrastructure study and other defence costs studies. It is too early to speculate on the outcome for Rosyth or any other naval base.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 18 April 1994] : The Scottish Office Industry Department's current assessment is that between 8 per cent. and 13 per cent. of civilian employment in Fife is directly employed in defence-related work, depending on whether or not armed forces personnel are included in the calculation.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 18 April 1994] : It is for the local enterprise company, Fife Enterprise, in collaboration and partnership with others in the public and private sectors, to decide in the first instance on the strategy and appropriate measures to tackle the employment and economic development needs and opportunities in the region. I am sure the local enterprise company would be happy to discuss its plans with the hon. Member should she find that helpful. For those who are, unfortunately, made redundant or become unemployed, the full range of measures available through the local enterprise company or the Employment Service will, of course, remain available.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 April 1994] : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Scottish Prison Service under its chief executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Dr. Norman A. Godman, dated 19 April 1994 :
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your Question about capacity limits for prison accommodation.
As at 1 April 1994, the design capacity of the prisons estate in Scotland was 5,736, largely in the form of single cell accommodation. Allowing for cells not available because of redecoration or damage repair work, refurbishment (including in some cases to provide night sanitation) or for other policy reasons (including being retained in the event of an emergency), a total of 5,159 places were in use at that time.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proportion of (a) all pensioners, (b) pensioners aged 75 years or over, (c) pensioners aged 80 years or over and (d) pensioners aged 85 years or over were in receipt of income support at (i) the latest date for which figures are available, (ii) five years earlier, (iii) 10 years earlier and (iv) 15 years earlier.
Pensioners receiving income support/supplementary benefit as a percentage of the Great Britain population Year |60 and over|75 and over|80 and over|85 and over ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1993 |14.7 |25.4 |31.2 |35.8 1988 |14.8 |23.7 |27.5 |30.4 1983 |16.7 |25.3 |27.0 |27.1 1978 |18.2 |25.9 |27.0 |27.8 Notes: 1. Sources: Supplementary Benefit Statistical Annual Enquiries, 1978 and 1983. Income Support Statistics Annual Enquiry, May 1988. Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry, May 1993. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Government Actuaries Department. 2. For Income Support purposes, pensioners are defined as cases where the claimant and/or partner is aged 60 or over. 3. For Supplementary Benefit purposes, pensioners are defined as claimants over pensionable age. This definition excluded certain cases ( particularly men aged 60-64) who would be counted as pensioners under Income Support. 4. Percentages have been calculated from the resident population of Great Britain of the appropriate age group.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many tenants in (a) the public and (b) the private sectors are in receipt of housing benefit ; what percentage this is of the total number of tenants in each sector ; if he will provide a breakdown of these figures into district council areas or other geographical area ; and if he will make a statement.
Geographical area<1> Tenants with As a percentage Housing of all Benefit dwellings<3> (Thousands)<2> |Local |Private |Local |Private |Authority |Authority --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North (including Cumbria) |232 |74 |65 |49 Yorkshire and Humberside |304 |106 |64 |45 East Midlands |188 |75 |61 |42 East Anglia |82 |48 |59 |34 London |408 |267 |60 |47 South East (excluding London) |347 |243 |58 |42 South West |168 |120 |62 |43 West Midlands |312 |94 |65 |43 North West (excluding Cumbria) |379 |176 |69 |58 Wales |152 |68 |70 |54 Scotland |460 |84 |57 |41 Great Britain |3,032 |1,355 |62 |45 Data Sources: the Housing Benefit Management Information System quarterly caseload count<4> November 1992 and the Housing and Construction Statistics for December 1992. <1> Standard regions. Information for individual local authorities for the whole of Great Britain is not available. <2> The figures are for benefit units, not individuals. A benefit unit may be a couple or a single person. <3> Includes unoccupied dwellings. <4> Includes estimates for non-responding authorities.
Source : *Social Security Departmental Report published in February 1993 and March 1994 respectively.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what representations he has received that the operation of the Child Support Agency is increasing the number of legal contests over child custody ;
(2) what representations he has received indicating that (a) a clean break settlement involving capital payments not yet finalised may be reconsidered and (b) future such clean break settlements will not take place as a result of the operations of the Child Support Agency ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what representations he has received (a) asking that travel costs by absent parents to visit children be included in the assessments for maintenance payments by the Child
Column 488Support Agency and (b) indicating that the contact with such children by absent parents will be diminished by the present system of assessing maintenance payments ;
(4) what representations he has received indicating that the work of the Child Support Agency is prompting some persons into voluntarily giving up work ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague : Ministers have received representations from hon. Members, organisations and members of the public about various aspects of the child support scheme. Information about which representations refer to a particular aspect is not available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what proportion of children of single parent families live in families where no maintenance payments are made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Germany, (c) France and (d) the USA ;
(2) what proportion of parents under the age of 18 years were (a) married, (b) divorced, (c) separated and (d) never married in 1970, 1980, 1990 and 1994 in (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) France, (iii) Germany and (iv) the USA ;
Column 489(3) what proportion of children of lone parent families live in families where the non-custodial parent is unknown in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) Germany, (c) France and (d) the USA.
Mrs. Jane Kennedy : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women contesting invalidity benefit appeals on the grounds of European sex equality legislation have had a benefit award from a social security appeals tribunal or an adjudication officer suspended under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987, regulation 37 and 37A, that is, suspension in individual cases and in identical cases, respectively ; what percentages of the total number of awards these represent ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Scott : The latest available information about the number of payments suspended relates to 31 August 1993, at which time increased payment was being suspended in 33,442--97.86 per cent.--of the 34,175 cases considered. Separate information for cases being appealed individually and other cases where the issues are identical but no appeal has been made is not available.
Source : 100 per cent. clerical count by Benefits Agency offices in Great Britain.
Mr. Kaufman : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he intends to reply to the letters to him dated 7 December 1993 and 14 March 1994 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. M. Hussain.
Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are currently receiving (a) attendance allowance, (b) disability allowance, (c) family credit, (d) income support, (e) invalidity benefit and (f) sickness benefit in each of the Benefits Agency districts which fall within the north Warwickshire area ; and what proportion of each figure represents persons resident in the north Warwickshire area.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Mike O'Brien dated 18 April 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about benefit recipients in the North Warwickshire area.
Column 490The full range of information requested is not available and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost. This is because statistics are only available by Benefits Agency District for the locally administered benefits, Income Support, Invalidity Benefit, and Sickness Benefit and, of the centrally administered benefits, Family Credit. Unfortunately, the computer systems used to administer Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance do not identify recipients by Benefits Agency District, and to obtain figures for these benefits would require an exercise examining each individual claim, which could only be undertaken at a disproportionate cost. I have therefore shown below figures for the Benefits Agency's Warwickshire District which deals with the North Warwickshire area. As the Warwickshire District also deals with areas other than North Warwickshire it is not possible to say what proportion of these figures relate to persons actually resident in North Warwickshire. It should be noted that statistical data for each of the benefits is collected and collated over different periods and timescales. The latest available figures show that the Agency's Warwickshire District on the last working day of February 1994 there were 35,222 people claiming Income Support ; on the last working day of March 1994 there were 10,924 people claiming Invalidity Benefit and 2,021 people claiming Sickness Benefit, and at 18 March 1994 there were 3,430 people claiming Family Credit.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
13. Mr. Spring : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his assessment of the effect of the abolition of the minimum wage legislation on youth employment prospects in the United Kingdom.
Mr. David Hunt : Responsibility for ensuring workplace health and safety rests with employers and others most directly involved. The Health and Safety Commission's priorities for promoting improvements in health and safety at work will be set out in its plan of work for 1994-95.
Miss Widdecombe : There is no fixed period between inspections of workplaces. When planning visits, health and safety inspectors give priority to premises that are known to pose a higher risk to employees and the public. The highest-risk sites are inspected once a year. In addition
Column 491to planned inspection, visits to workplaces are made for a variety of other purposes, for example to give advice and guidance and to investigate accidents, incidents or complaints.
Miss Widdecombe : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's most recent meeting specifically to discuss issues of health and safety was with the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr. Miller) to discuss the Health and Safety Executive's investigation of an incident in his constituency. My hon. Friend the Minister of State has particular responsibility for health and safety, and conducts the majority of meetings on that topic.
18. Ms Eagle : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when his Department intends to respond to the House of Lords judgment on part- time workers' rights by giving them the same rights as full-time workers.
Miss Widdecombe : We have made available an additional £2.8 million to Northumberland training and enterprise council and the Employment Service for additional employment and training measures, as a consequence of the closure of Ellington colliery.
Mr. David Hunt : A wide range of initiatives across Government has been taken in recent years to tackle domestic violence. These are directed towards ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice ; that victims receive the necessary material and emotional support and that steps are taken towards prevention in the long term. The ministerial group on domestic violence, which is led by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Home Office, will be meeting to consider how proposals for further action can be taken forward.
Mr. David Hunt : The Government believe that employer-employee relations are a matter for the employers and workers concerned. Our step-by -step reform of employment law has been a principal factor in achieving the dramatic improvement of this country's industrial relations record and reputation since 1979.
The G7 conference was a valuable conference about policies to achieve sustainable reductions in unemployment and increases in employment. The conference underlined the importance for all our countries of sound macro- economic policies to achieve sustainable growth, open and competitive economies to encourage innovation and enterprise, more flexible labour markets, improved education and training, and active employment policies to help and encourage unemployed people to get back to
Column 493work. The jobs conference has ensured that each Government will learn more about the employment and training programmes of the others. Policies to reduce unemployment will be discussed by Heads of Government at the forthcoming G7 economic summit in Naples.
Mr. David Hunt : A compulsory 35-hour maximum working week would cost United Kingdom industry up to £20 billion in the first year alone. It would be disastrous for competitiveness, jobs and the economic recovery.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will take steps to ensure that all airport workers are covered by health and safety legislation which adequately protects their hearing ;
(2) what categories of airport workers are not covered by legislation to protect them against deafness, tinnitus and other industrial diseases involving their hearing.