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Nationals of Somalia and the former Yugoslavia given leave to     

enter the                                                         

United Kingdom                                                    

Number of journeys                                                

Nationality       |1991       |1992       |<1>1993                


Somalia           |3,650      |5,500      |4,160                  

Former Yugoslavia |59,800     |49,900     |46,200                 

<1>Figures are provisional.                                       


Human Rights

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list each of the international and European codes, conventions and treaties to defend human rights to which Her Majesty's Government are a party, indicating in each case whether Her Majesty's Government have signed or ratified it, and the derogations involved ; and in which court the provisions are justiciable.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The main international human rights instruments to which the United Kingdom is party--that is, which it has ratified--are as follows :

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Covenant against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The main European human rights treaties to which the United Kingdom are party are :

European Convention on Human Rights (includingProtocol 1). European Social Charter.

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European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The United Kingdom has signed but not ratified protocol No. 4 to the European convention on human rights.

The provisions of these treaties as such are not justiciable in courts in the United Kingdom. The provisions of the European convention on human rights are justiciable in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The United Kingdom is at present derogating from the international covenant on civil and political rights and the European convention on human rights with respect to certain periods of detention under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989.


As a participating state in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe the United Kingdom subscribes to the political undertakings of the CSCE, including those relating to human rights.


Coal Industry

Mr. Simon Coombs : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what further consultations he proposes with interested industry groups on the revised draft of the interaction agreement, the coal access agreement and the model licensing regulations.

Mr. Eggar : The Department of Trade and Industry has consulted interested parties on the draft model Coal Authority licensing documents. We intend to publish in the coming weeks revised versions of those documents, which take account of the representations made. We have no plans to carry out a further round of consultations.

Companies House Agency

Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place the consultants' report on the Companies House agency in the Library ; whether he is reviewing the need for other directorships of the board member to be disclosed ; and when he expects to announce the future shape of Companies House organisation.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : The future of Companies House remains under consideration. It would not be appropriate to publish the consultants' advice in advance of the Government's decision. Information about other directorships held by company directors will continue to be available to searchers at Companies House. Technical developments however make it possible to drop the requirement for companies to supply such information on the annual return. This reform is one of the measures for which, subject to consultation, the Government intend to use the deregulation order-making power in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill once it is enacted.


Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Donohoe) of 10 March, Official Report, columns 335-36, how many callers there were to each of the helplines listed in each of those years.

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Mr. Eggar : The numbers of calls each year were as follows :



Enterprise Initiative Helpline                 

1987-88                        |44,971         

1988-89                        |43,413         

1989-90                        |38,496         

1990-91                        |37,606         

1991-92                        |26,833         

1992-93                        |31,009         

1993-94                        |26,608         


Environmental Enquiry Point                    

1990-91                        |5,052          

1991-92                        |6,735          

1992-93                        |6,441          

1993-94                        |2,962          


Innovation Enquiry Line                        

1991-92                        |7,980          

1992-93                        |7,430          

1993-94                        |9,584          

Oil and Petrol

Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much (a) a barrel of crude oil and (b) a gallon of petrol cost in (i) 1970 and (ii) 1994 in (1) cash terms and (2) 1994 prices ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : A barrel of crude oil cost the equivalent of some 75p-- $1.80 per barrel--in 1970 which is equivalent to about £6 in 1994 prices. In January 1994, a barrel of crude oil was £9.38--$14.01 per barrel. A United Kingdom gallon of 4 star petrol, including taxes and duties, was on average some 33p in 1970 and £2.60 in 1994 prices. In January 1994, 4 star petrol cost on average about £2.52.


Mr. James Hill : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to review the law on insolvency.

Mr. Neil Hamilton : The Insolvency Service has recently consulted on proposed changes to the company voluntary arrangement and administration order procedures in the Insolvency Act 1986 and the responses are being carefully considered. I have no plans at present for further reviews.

Accreditation Services

Mrs. Browning : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to review the status of the National Measurement Accreditation Service and the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies.

Mr. McLoughlin : On 14 April, in announcing the Government's conclusions on the future of the DTI laboratories, I said that separate consideration would be given to the future of the National Measurement Accreditation Service--the NAMAS--which is currently part of the National Physical Laboratory--the NPL. The report by consultants KPMG Peat Marwick recommended that NAMAS should be separated from the NPL and consideration given to its merger with the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies--the NACCB. NAMAS accredits testing and calibration

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laboratories ; the NACCB advises the DTI on the accreditation of bodies which perform certification of quality systems, products and personnel.

The NACCB is currently a council of the British Standards Institution, a royal charter body, having been established under a memorandum of understanding between the DTI and BSI. The NACCB's status has itself been under review and the Government, the BSI and the NACCB agree that the link with the BSI should now be severed and the NACCB given a new independent status. In this context also there have been calls for a merger of the NACCB with the NAMAS. The Government see a number of benefits in creating a merged body, including better policy co-ordination, a higher profile for accreditation, the pooling of expertise, and advantages internationally. Before proceeding further, however, I have decided to seek the views of all interested parties on a merger, and my Department is issuing a consultation document on the subject today. The Government remain committed to a strong and effective national accreditation system. A new merged body would need to maintain impartiality, integrity, and national authority, in order to assure the continuing status of accreditation both at home and abroad. I am not convinced, however, that the new body would need to be within Government in order to do this. My objective is for the new body to be given the greatest degree of freedom from Government control which would be consistent with the attainment of our policy objectives, and with the need for integrity and impartiality.

The consultation document seeks comments on the appropriate relationship between a merged body and Government. It also seeks views on a number of related matters, including whether accreditation should be open to organisations not based in the United Kingdom. I have today placed copies of the consultation document in the Libraries of both Houses. Responses to the document are requested by 15 June. I will report the outcome of the consultation exercise, and the Government's conclusions, to the House in due course.


Sporting Bodies (Reorganisation)

Mr. Pendry : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will give an estimate for the cost of work carried out by Government Departments, between 9 July 1991 and 30 April 1994, on formulating plans for the reorganisation of sporting bodies in the United Kingdom ; and what is his estimate for the likely cost of that re-organisation.

Mr. Sproat : Those involved within Government in formulating plans for the future structure of British sport will have been involved in a wide range of other activities between 9 July 1993 and 30 April 1994. It is not possible to estimate the time and cost attaching to any particular activity. As to the estimated costs of any fresh proposals, I cannot anticipate the announcement which we propose to make shortly.

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D-day Anniversary

Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what submissions to his Department have been made by the Royal British Legion concerning arrangements for the commemoration of the D-day anniversary.

Mr. Sproat : The secretary-general of the Royal British Legion wrote to me on 19 April following our meeting earlier that day to discuss my Department's programme of civilian events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-day landings.

National Sustainability Strategy

Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement on his approach to environmental matters, in the light of the Government's national sustainability strategy, published in January.

Mr. Sproat : My Department contributed significantly to the formulation of the United Kingdom sustainable development strategy, which reflects our commitment to preserving the heritage for the enjoyment of present and future generations, and for the encouragement of sustainable leisure policies and practices.


Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will publish an estimate of the value at current prices of the records and artifacts claimed by the national railway museum in each year since it opened in York under the provisions of section 144 of the Transport Act 1968.

Mr. Sproat : This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) whether he intends (a) to keep the national railway museum in York, (b) to continue to treat it as the most important national collection of railway- related records and artifacts and (c) to continue to fund it accordingly ;

(2) what plans he has to remove the national railway museum, in York, from its place in the national museum of science and industry and establish it as a national museum in its own right.

Mr. Sproat : There are no plans to move the national railway museum from York or to change its status. It will remain a part of the national museum of science and industry.

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage by how much he plans to increase the Government grant-in-aid to the national railway museum in the current financial year and in future years to compensate for the museum's loss of the right to claim redundant railway equipment at no cost from certain railway undertakings.

Mr. Sproat : The grant in aid to the national museum of science and industry for the current financial year and over the next two years was announced in November last year. It included an addition of over £2 million to the previously announced figures in order to allow for the replacement of

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the motive power depot at the national railway museum in York. There are no present plans to increase the funding further. The Railway Heritage committee was set up under the 1993 Railways Act to oversee disposal of artefacts and records as they pass from British Rail ownership. I am sure that the museum's representation on the committee will continue to enhance the reputation it has earned as the outstanding museum in this area of our heritage.

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many people visited (a) the science museum in Kensington, (b) the national railway museum in York and (c) the national museum of the moving image in Bradford in the last financial year ; and if he will show in a table (i) the total amount and (ii) the cash amount per visitor (x) received in Government grant in aid and (y) generated from visitors by each of these museums in the same financial year.

Mr. Sproat : The number of visitors to these museums was as follows :

                                                     Financial year               

                                                    |1993-94  |1992-93            


Science Museum (South Kensington)                   |1,269,345|1,223,702          

National Railway Museum                             |479,414  |535,575            

National Museum of Photography, Film and Television |832,286  |764,166            

Wroughton                                           |90,120   |55,280             


Totals                                              |2,671,165|2,578,723          

The national museum for science and industry receives a single grant in aid from the Government. In 1992-93--the latest year for which accounts are available--this grant-in-aid was £21,878,000. It is not earmarked between the four component museums--science museum, national railway museum, national museum of photography, film and television and Wroughton. The NMSI aggregates both the grant in aid and its other income for these four component museums in order to provide a total income pool. From that total the board of trustees of NMSI allocates expenditure to the four museums according to priorities determined by the board.

The income generated by visitors to three component museums in 1992-93 was as follows. Figures exclude income from Wroughton which is received from hire of the site to outside organisations :

                                                    |Gross income      |Income per visitor                   

                                                    |generated by      |(£)                                  

                                                    |visitors (£                                             



Science Museum (South Kensington)                   |2,469             |2.07                                 

National Railway Museum                             |1,669             |3.12                                 

National Museum of Photography, Film and Television |928               |1.22                                 


Community Health Councils

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister on what dates, and where, in the last five years he has held discussions with officers of community health councils.

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The Prime Minister : I frequently meet a wide range of people involved in the national health service.

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Health, and my hon. Friend the Under- Secretary of State for Health, spoke at the Association of Community Health Councils for England and for Wales at their annual conferences in 1992 and 1993 respectively. Ministers in both Scotland and Northern Ireland have also made keynote speeches at equivalent conferences.

Lockerbie Disaster

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty's Government have received concerning the extradition of the persons alleged to have committed the murders of the passengers and crew of Pan Am 103 and residents of Lockerbie in December 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : We have received no recent representations concerning the extradition of the two accused, who are Libyan nationals. It is now well over two years since warrants were issued for their arrest.

We have given comprehensive assurances as to the fairness of a trial in Scotland and the pre-trial conditions for the accused. We and our Security Council partners have made it clear that the Libyan Government should comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and hand the two accused over for trial without further delay.


Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 28 April.

The Prime Minister : This morning, I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Prime Minister what consultations he has had or proposes to have regarding proposals to commemorate the 50th anniversary of VJ-day.

The Prime Minister : The Ministry of Defence will consult the principal veterans' associations about the nature of commemorative events to mark the end of the second world war. Consultation will also be appropriate with other nations and other voluntary or charitable organisations who may wish to be involved.

Sir Robin Butler

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister what advice Sir Robin Butler has furnished to Government Departments when issuing decisions relating to local or European dimensions.

The Prime Minister : Sir Robin Butler's office recently reminded departments of the standing guidance to civil servants relating to the period preceding local and European elections. The guidance emphasises the political neutrality of the civil service and is as follows :

"Local and European election campaigns differ from general elections in that there is no prospect of a change of government consequent upon the elections, and the business of government

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continues as usual. However, there is an increasing tendency by all political parties to approach local and European elections from a national point of view, with nationally produced material, and departments will wish to follow consistent principles when responding to requests for information in connection with election compaigns. They should also exercise particular care in issuing decisions with a local or European dimension, and in undertaking new paid publicity campaigns during the period of a local or European election. The following general principles should be observed during the period of a local or European election :

(a) as at other times, civil servants should not be asked to engage in activities which call into question their political impartiality, or to give rise to the criticism that people paid from public funds are being used for party political purposes ; special advisers should be asked to avoid circulating material on party paper within departments ;

(b) there should be even-handedness in meeting information requests from candidates from different political parties ; such requests and responses should be channelled through the appropriate Minister's private office ;

(c) organisations and members of the public (including election candidates) should be provided, on request, with factual information which is unclassified and does not require disproportionate time or effort to produce. As from 4 April 1994, such requests should be handled in accordance with the principles laid down in the Code of Practice on Government Information ;

(d) particular care should be taken on the timing and announcement of sensitive decisions which have a bearing on local or European matters. It may be better in some cases to defer announcements until after the election, but each case should be considered on its merits ; the key point is to avoid criticism that action by officials might influence the political outcome ;

(e) special care should be taken in respect of proposals for new paid publicity campaigns, which should not invite criticism that they are being undertaken for party political purposes."

Blaby (Visit)

Mr. Robathan : To ask the Prime Minister when he is next intending to pay an official visit to Blaby.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.

War Medals

Mr. Hardy : To ask the Prime Minister if he will now reconsider the question of the award of campaign medals for those involved in the invasion of Europe in 1944 and for those involved in the bombing campaign over mainland Europe in the period from 1940.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 27 April 1994] : His Majesty King George VI approved the following awards. All personnel who took part in the invasion and subsequent operations in north-west Europe, between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945, are eligible for the France and Germany Star. British aircrew who undertook operations over the continent of Europe between 3 September 1939 and 5 June 1944 are eligible for the Air Crew Europe Star, provided they have qualified for the 1939-45 star.

Public Appointments

Mr. Byers : To ask the Prime Minister which organisations have recently been contacted by the public appointments unit asking it to consider nominations for public appointments.

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The Prime Minister [holding answer 27 April 1994] : To increase the supply of names of people who might be willing to serve on public bodies, and to supplement those already on its database, the public appointments unit within the Cabinet Office began, in September 1993, a three-year programme of actively seeking more names. Letters from the director of the unit are being sent to universities, professional and voluntary bodies, companies, trade unions, women's groups and organisations representing the ethnic minority communities and disabled people.

As has been made clear on previous occasions, nominations are welcome from hon. Members and from any other appropriate quarter at any time.


Information Super-highways

Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects the CCTA Government centre for information systems study into the development of information super-highways to be completed ; and what plans he has to publish the results of the study.

Mr. Waldegrave : The CCTA report on the possible development of a national network infrastructure--digital super-highway--for the United Kingdom was received on 22 April 1994. The report will be published by the end of May and copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.


VAT (Domestic Fuel)

Mr. Dafis : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to exempt from value added tax on domestic electricity charges that part of the bill levied with respect to nuclear generation of power.

Sir John Cope : No. Such a policy would be impractical, confusing for consumers and contrary to EC VAT agreements.


Mr. Ainger : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what decision was made on the combined nomenclature code for orimulsion at the latest meeting of the harmonised system committee of the Customs Co-operation Council.

Sir John Cope : The harmonised system committee of the Customs Co- operation Council decided during its meeting earlier this month that in future orimulsion should be classified under harmonised system heading 27.14.

Tax and National Insurance

Sir David Knox : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish figures showing national insurance contributions and income tax liabilities, less child benefit where appropriate, as a percentage of gross earnings in each year since 1979-80 including estimates for 1994-95 for single people, single-wage married couples without children and with two children, and two-wage married couples without children and with two children assuming earnings/joint earnings equal to average male

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earnings, one-and-a-half times average male earnings and twice average male earnings in each year, and that the ratio of earnings between husband and wife is 60 : 40.

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Mr. Dorrell : The information is in the table.

Column 255

Income tax and national insurance contributions<1> expressed as a percentage of earnings                                                           

Multiple of average  |Single              |Married<2> 1 earner |Married<2> 1 earner |Married<2> 2 earners|Married<2> 2 earners                     

earnings<3>                                                    |2 children                               |2 children                               



1                    |31.5                |27.8                |20.9                |19.8                |12.9                                     

1"                   |33.3                |30.8                |26.2                |26.4                |21.7                                     

2                    |33.7                |31.4                |27.9                |29.6                |26.2                                     



1                    |29.7                |26.3                |18.9                |19.5                |12.1                                     

1"                   |30.8                |28.5                |23.6                |25.1                |20.3                                     

2                    |30.8                |28.9                |25.2                |28.0                |24.3                                     



1                    |30.7                |27.3                |20.8                |21.3                |14.8                                     

1"                   |31.6                |29.4                |25.0                |26.4                |22.1                                     

2                    |32.0                |29.7                |26.5                |29.0                |25.8                                     



1                    |32.2                |29.3                |22.5                |23.8                |17.1                                     

1"                   |33.5                |31.4                |26.9                |28.5                |24.0                                     

2                    |34.5                |23.2                |28.9                |31.1                |27.7                                     



1                    |33.0                |29.8                |22.8                |24.1                |17.1                                     

1"                   |34.3                |32.2                |27.5                |29.0                |24.3                                     

2                    |34.5                |32.3                |28.8                |31.4                |27.9                                     



1                    |33.0                |29.6                |22.4                |23.5                |16.4                                     

1"                   |34.2                |32.0                |27.2                |28.7                |24.0                                     

2                    |34.0                |31.7                |28.1                |31.3                |27.7                                     



1                    |32.7                |29.2                |22.0                |22.9                |15.7                                     

1"                   |33.9                |31.5                |26.8                |28.3                |23.5                                     

2                    |33.9                |31.5                |27.9                |31.0                |27.4                                     



1                    |32.6                |29.0                |22.0                |22.1                |15.2                                     

1"                   |33.7                |31.3                |26.7                |28.0                |23.4                                     

2                    |33.9                |31.5                |28.0                |30.8                |27.3                                     



1                    |31.9                |28.5                |21.9                |21.6                |15.0                                     

1"                   |32.9                |30.6                |26.2                |27.6                |23.2                                     

2                    |33.3                |30.9                |27.6                |30.2                |26.9                                     



1                    |30.6                |27.6                |21.4                |21.4                |15.2                                     

1"                   |31.0                |29.0                |24.8                |26.8                |22.6                                     

2                    |32.4                |29.9                |26.8                |29.2                |26.1                                     



1                    |29.1                |26.3                |20.7                |20.6                |15.0                                     

1"                   |28.9                |27.0                |23.2                |25.6                |21.8                                     

2                    |30.6                |28.3                |25.5                |28.0                |25.2                                     



1                    |28.7                |25.9                |20.8                |20.2                |15.0                                     

1"                   |28.4                |26.6                |23.1                |25.1                |21.6                                     

2                    |30.5                |28.3                |25.7                |27.8                |25.2                                     



1                    |28.2                |25.5                |20.8                |19.8                |15.0                                     

1"                   |28.1                |26.2                |23.1                |24.5                |21.3                                     

2                    |31.1                |28.9                |26.6                |26.6                |24.3                                     



1                    |28.1                |25.6                |20.7                |19.6                |14.7                                     

1"                   |28.2                |26.5                |23.2                |24.4                |21.2                                     

2                    |30.5                |28.5                |26.1                |26.8                |24.3                                     



1                    |27.6                |25.2                |20.2                |18.8                |13.8                                     

1"                   |27.7                |26.1                |22.8                |23.9                |20.5                                     

2                    |30.8                |28.9                |26.4                |26.2                |23.7                                     



1                    |27.6                |25.3                |20.3                |19.0                |14.0                                     

1"                   |28.3                |26.2                |22.9                |24.0                |20.6                                     

2                    |31.2                |29.4                |26.8                |26.3                |23.8                                     



1                    |28.6                |26.8                |21.9                |20.4                |15.5                                     

1"                   |29.4                |28.3                |25.0                |25.3                |22.0                                     

2                    |32.1                |31.2                |28.7                |27.4                |25.0                                     

<1> Income tax payments are calculated on the assumption that the households receive no tax reliefs other than the standard allowances and only    

have income from employment. Child benefit has been subtracted from the total of income tax and national insurance contributions for couples with  

two children. All earners are assumed to pay class 1 national insurance contributions at the contracted-in rate.                                   

<2> Since 1990-91, husbands and wives have been taxed independently. Previously the tax liabilities of couples depended on their joint income. To  

permit comparisons with earlier years, the table therefore shows income tax and national insurance contributions paid by a married couple as a     

proportion of their joint income, assuming, as in the earlier years, that where both partners are earners, the husband and wife share the relevant 

multiple of earnings in the ration 60:40.                                                                                                          

<3> Average earnings are taken to be the average gross weekly earnings of all full-time males on adult rates with pay unaffected by absence. These 

are assumed to be £347.70 a week in 1992-93, £359.90 in 1993-94 and £374.30 in 1994-95, based on illustrative earnings growth assumptions of 3"    

per cent. in 1993-94 and 4 per cent. in 1994-95.                                                                                                   

Note: At the level of average earnings the real take home pay of each of the family types has increased by about £83 per week between 1978-79 and  


Taxation of Benefits

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the loss of revenue, for each taxable social security benefit, if all benefits were tax free.

Mr. Dorrell : Available estimates are in the table which shows the reductions in revenue for each social security benefit at 1994-95 levels. Each benefit has been treated as the top slice of the recipient's income. No one whose annual income is less than £3,445 pays income tax.

Reductions in income tax if benefits made tax free                                                                     

Benefits                                                                     |Reduction in revenue                     

                                                                             |£ million                                


Retirement pension                                                           |1,830                                    

Widows' benefits                                                             |100                                      

Invalid care allowance                                                       |10                                       

Unemployment benefit and income support paid in lieu of unemployment benefit |300                                      

Statutory sick pay<1>                                                        |160                                      

Statutory maternity pay                                                      |100                                      

<1> Assuming that all payments by employers would be taxable.                                                          

Fuel Accounts

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the loss to the Exchequer in value added tax as the result of the advance payments of fuel accounts.

Sir John Cope : The overall level of prepayments is estimated to be close to the working assumptions adopted in the March 1993 Budget estimates. There is therefore no reason to expect that the revenue projected from the VAT change will not be achieved.

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Undated War Loan

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much undated war loan is outstanding ; what proportion of its original real value remains ; and if he will redeem it before the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

Sir John Cope : There is approximately £1.9 billion of war loan outstanding which was first issued during the first world war. This stock is marketable and the Government have no plans to redeem it.

Coal and Gas Imports

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what rates of duty are imposed on imported coal and gas from each country of origin.

Sir John Cope : There are no import duties payable on imports of coal or of natural gas regardless of country of origin.


Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the link between the inflation rate and the level of employment.

Mr. Portillo : My assessment of the evidence is that the best way to improve employment prospects over the long term is to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth by securing permanently low inflation.

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