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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 5 May 1994

DEFENCE

Homosexual Service Personnel

Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) men and (b) women were discharged from (i) the Royal Navy, (ii) the Army and (iii) the Royal Air Force in (A) 1992, (B) 1993 and (C) 1994 because they were homosexual ; and in each case what proportion this was of the total discharged and what proportion of the total employed ;

(2) in which rank were each of the people discharged from (a) the Royal Navy, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Air Force because they were homosexual in each of the last five years.

Mr. Hanley : My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence will write to the hon. Member.

Search and Rescue

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the military search and rescue missions flown from RAF Brawdy and RAF Valley between 0001 hours and 2350 hours on Tuesday 19 April including time of call and time of arrival on scene.

Mr. Hanley : Neither the search and rescue helicopter flight at RAF Brawdy nor that at RAF Valley was called out on any military search and rescue missions on the day in question.

Oil and Gas Exploration

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what way his Department's operations in the Irish sea require drilling for oil and gas to be postponed until 1996-97 ; and what effect this has on military installations in Wales.

Mr. Hanley : My Department has requested that oil and gas exploration in a small number of MOD ranges and exercise areas in the Irish sea be delayed until 1996-97 to enable defence activities to be rescheduled. It is too early to say what impact any subsequent exploitation activities may have on defence installations in Wales.

Services Review

Dr. Goodson-Wickes : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is yet in a position to give details of the full team which will conduct the independent review of service career and manpower structures and terms and conditions of service.


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Mr. Hanley : Further to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Dr. Goodson-Wickes) on 30 March, Official Report , columns 752-53 , which announced the appointment of Mr. Michael Bett, a former deputy chairman of British Telecom plc, to lead the independent team conducting this review, my right hon. and learned Friend has decided to appoint the following as team members : Mr. Anthony Vineall, who has had a career as a senior personnel executive with Unilever plc ; Mr. Michael Garner, who was recently a director of TI Group plc ; and Admiral Sir John Kerr, who retires shortly from the Royal Navy.

TREASURY

Orimulsion

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if it is his policy under article 3(3) of directive 92/12/EEC to apply excise duty to orimulsion for electricity generation ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if it is his policy to levy excise duty on orimulsion for electricity generation at the same rate as heavy fuel oil ; (3) when he expects to lay regulations to apply excise duty to orimulsion.

Sir John Cope : Provision was made in the Finance Act 1993 to levy an excise duty on products falling within harmonised system heading 27.15. Following the recent decision of the harmonised systems committee of the Customs Co-operation Council, orimulsion no longer falls within this heading and no regulations will therefore be laid concerning it. We have no plans to use the provisions of article 3(3) of directive 92/12/EEC to impose excise duty on orimulsion.

Foreshore and Seabed Leases

Mr. Ainger : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what directions he has given to the Crown Estate Commissioners under section 1(4) of the Crown Estate Act 1961 as to the charging of rents for the lease of foreshore and seabed.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke [holding answer 4 May 1994] : I have given no directions.

Taxpayers

Mr. Betts : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers paid as a maximum each rate of tax, including those paying no tax at all, for each year since 1970 ; and what percentage of total taxpayers each number represents.

Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 April 1994] : Available information on income tax payers is given in the table. Estimates of taxpayers by marginal rate are not available for years prior to 1973-74.


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Taxpayers<1> by marginal rate: Numbers                                                                               

(thousands)                                                                                                          

Marginal |1973-74 |1974-75 |1975-76 |1976-77 |1977-78 |1978-79 |1979-80 |1980-81 |1981-82 |1982-83 |1983-84          

rate<2>                                                                                                              

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

20       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

25       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |3,120   |2,670   |-       |-       |-       |-                

30       |19,300  |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |18,300  |20,200  |19,700  |19,800  |19,400           

33       |-       |19,600  |-       |-       |-       |17,500  |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

34       |-       |-       |19,500  |-       |19,600  |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

35       |-       |-       |-       |19,800  |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

38       |-       |175     |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

40       |114     |-       |324     |338     |374     |235     |302     |334     |445     |435     |355              

43       |-       |200     |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

45       |70      |-       |378     |444     |221     |158     |168     |216     |305     |245     |245              

48       |-       |96      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

50       |44      |-       |161     |194     |110     |86      |108     |129     |170     |155     |140              

53       |-       |72      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

55       |56      |-       |99      |106     |71      |84      |43      |52      |75      |65      |55               

58       |-       |74      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

60       |33      |-       |115     |103     |95      |54      |53      |65      |95      |83      |65               

63       |-       |44      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

65       |28      |-       |58      |76      |51      |45      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

68       |-       |36      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

70       |19      |-       |48      |57      |30      |32      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

73       |-       |25      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

75       |18      |-       |34      |42      |41      |36      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

83       |-       |26      |29      |36      |41      |33      |-       |-       |-       |-       |-                

         |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |------- |-------          

Total    |19,7,00 |20,400  |20,800  |21,200  |20,600  |21,400  |21,600  |21,000  |20,800  |20,800  |20,300           

<1> Single people are married couples for years up to and including 1989-90; individuals from 1990-91.               

<2> Tax rate applicable to earned income. This excludes any liability to the investment income surcharge for years   

up to 1983-84.                                                                                                       


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Taxpayers<1> by marginal rate: Numbers                                                                                                                                  

(thousands)                                                                                                                                                             

Marginal rate |1984-85      |1985-86      |1986-87      |1987-88      |1988-89      |1989-90      |1990-91      |1991-92      |<2>1992-93   |<2>1993-94                 

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

20            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |3,900        |4,800                      

25            |-            |-            |19,300       |19,600       |19,900       |20,000       |24,400       |24,100       |19,400       |18,400                     

30            |19,300       |19,300       |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

33            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

34            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

35            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

40            |380          |380          |400          |360          |1,350        |1,500        |1,700        |1,620        |1,800        |1,900                      

45            |255          |250          |300          |320          |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

50            |145          |150          |210          |240          |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

55            |65           |70           |90           |110          |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

60            |85           |100          |120          |160          |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

65            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

70            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

75            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

83            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

              |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------                    

Total         |20,200       |20,200       |20,400       |20,800       |21,200       |21,500       |26,100       |25,700       |25,100       |25,100                     

<1> Single people and married couples for years up to and including 1989-90; individuals from 1990-91.                                                                  

<2> Provisional estimates projected from the 1991-92 Survey of Personal Incomes.                                                                                        


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Taxpayers<1> by marginal rate: Percentages                                                                                                                                                                                   

(thousands)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Marginal rate<2> |1973-74         |1974-75         |1975-76         |1976-77         |1977-78         |1978-79         |1979-80         |1980-81         |1981-82         |1982-83         |1983-84                          

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

20               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

25               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |15              |12              |-               |-               |-               |-                                

30               |98              |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |85              |96              |95              |95              |96                               

33               |-               |96              |-               |-               |-               |82              |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

34               |-               |-               |94              |-               |95              |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

35               |-               |-               |-               |93              |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

38               |-               |1               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

40               |1               |-               |2               |2               |2               |1               |1               |2               |2               |2               |2                                

43               |-               |1               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

45               |-               |-               |2               |2               |1               |1               |1               |1               |1               |1               |1                                

48               |-               |1               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

50               |-               |-               |1               |1               |1               |-               |1               |1               |1               |1               |1                                

53               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

55               |-               |-               |-               |1               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

58               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

60               |-               |-               |1               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

63               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

65               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

68               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

70               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

73               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

75               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

83               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

                 |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------         |-------                          

Total            |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100             |100                              

<1> Single people and married couples for years up to and including 1989-90; individuals from 1990-91.                                                                                                                       

<2> Tax rate applicable to earned income. This excludes any liability to the investment income surcharge for years up to 1983-84.                                                                                            


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Taxpayers<1> by marginal rate: Percentages                                                                                                                              

(thousands)                                                                                                                                                             

Marginal rate |1984-85      |1985-86      |1986-87      |1987-88      |1988-89      |1989-90      |1990-91      |1991-92      |1992-93<2>   |1993-94<2>                 

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

20            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |16           |19                         

25            |-            |-            |95           |94           |94           |93           |93           |94           |77           |73                         

30            |96           |96           |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

33            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

34            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

35            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

40            |2            |2            |2            |2            |6            |7            |7            |6            |7            |8                          

45            |1            |1            |1            |2            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

50            |1            |1            |1            |1            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

55            |-            |-            |-            |1            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

60            |-            |-            |1            |1            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

65            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

70            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

75            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

83            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-            |-                          

              |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------      |-------                    

Total         |100          |100          |100          |100          |100          |100          |100          |100          |100          |100                        

<1> Single people and married couples for years up to and including 1989-90; individuals from 1990-91.                                                                  

<2> Provisional estimates projected from the 1991-92 Survey of Personal Incomes.                                                                                        

TRANSPORT

Establishment News ENT/2/94"

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will define the term "financial area of work" as used in section 7(IV) of his Department's "Establishment News ENT/2/94".

Mr. Norris : The Department's redundancy arrangements for non- industrial staff--set out in ENT/2/94--contain no such reference. Section 7(iv) refers to

"the functional area of work".

This means an area of work identified by the particular function or type of work which is performed.

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the compliance, in respect of the overall approach to redundancies and the principal of how to handle them, of "Establishment News" ENT/2/94 with section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1993 as amended by section 32 (2) (b) of the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : The Department's redundancy arrangements for non- industrial staff--set out in ENT/2/94--contain an assurance that, in handling redundancy


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situations the Department or its agencies will act in accordance with statutory requirements as embodied in employment and other legislation.

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reference to section 34(2) (b) of the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 appears in "Establishment News" ENT/2/94.

Mr. Norris : The Department's redundancy arrangements--set out in ENT/2/94--contain an assurance that, in handling redundancy situations the Department or its agencies will act in accordance with statutory requirements as embodied in employment and other legislation. Since this assurance is all-embracing, no reference to particular sections of specific Acts is necessary.

British Transport Property (Trespass)

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many hunts have been prosecuted for trespassing on British Transport property since 1990.

Mr. Freeman : The BTP charged one person with trespass following an incident at Brent Knoll, Somerset on 9 November 1991 involving the Weston and Brean hunt. The case was heard at Bridgwater magistrates court on 11 May 1992 and the offender was given an absolute discharge.

A second prosecution for trespass near Oxford in November 1993 involved the Bicester with Whaddon


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Chase hunt. Two charges of trespass were brought against a member of the hunt who was summoned to appear before Bicester magistrates on 24 January. The case was subsequently withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service in the public interest.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many parliamentary questions, in the period November 1992 to March 1993, were answered with the response that the information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost ; and how many were referred on to an agency chief executive.

Mr. Norris : The number of questions answered between November 1992 and March 1993 with a disproportionate cost reply was 13. The number of questions referred to an agency chief executive during the same period was two.

M11 Link

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many dwellings were demolished in the Wanstead area solely for the purpose of facilitating the construction of the M11 road link ; how many dwellings were demolished for other purposes ; with whose agreement and with whose authority demolition took place ; what was the cost of rehousing those displaced and who funded that expenditure ; in what locality those displaced were rehoused ; and what other plans there are for the future use of the land now vacant consequent on demolition.

Mr. Norris : This question relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency. I have asked the agency's chief executive, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 4 May 1994 :

As the question you tabled in the House about the demolition of dwellings in Wanstead for the A12 Hackney Wick to M11 Link Road relates to operational matters for the Highways Agency, I have been asked to reply to you direct.

The first of four main contracts for building the Link Road started in the Wanstead area last September. A total of 19 dwellings had to be demolished to make way for the construction. All were included in the made compulsory purchase Order for the scheme, together with other land and non-residential property needed in connection with the works. The only exception to this were areas of Epping Forest land, the acquisition of which was sanctioned by Act of Parliament. At the time of demolition, all the dwellings had been conveyed to the Secretary of State for Transport, many of them some considerable time ago under the provisions for planning blight. No dwellings in Wanstead have been demolished other than for the road ; and no authority was needed for demolition beyond the statutory Orders for the new road.

For completeness, I should explain that up to 24 other dwellings in the Cambridge Park area of Wanstead had been demolished more than a decade ago : they had also been acquired under planning blight resulting from earlier proposals to widen this part of the A12. Under the Land Compensation Act 1973, any responsibility for rehousing those displaced by compulsory purchase falls to the local housing authority. To date, no rehousing costs have been incurred by the Highways Agency, but the Act's provisions allow the relevant authority--for Wanstead, the London Borough of Redbridge--to make a claim in due course. Those rehoused were


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mostly tenants of either the Department, that Borough or a Housing Association. Some found alternative premises with the assistance of their landlords ; others made their own arrangements. I am not privy to where they may have moved to.

You may wish to note that dwellings have also been demolished in the Leyton and Leytonstone areas either for works in advance of the further main contracts or in preparation for those contracts. In addition, two not strictly required for the works have had to come down for structural reasons. Other dwellings bought in connection with the road under planning blight or discretionary purchase provisions, but not needed for it, will ultimately be sold, as will any surplus non-residential property or marketable pockets of land.

Ship Registration

Ms Eagle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his European Union counterparts on the formation of a European Union ship register ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris : The Commission first put forward proposals for an additional register for Community vessels in 1989. There have been various discussions between the Commission and member states since then and I understand that the Commission is now considering whether to make further formal proposals.

Ms Eagle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the minimum number of nationals in its crew required for a ship to be registered under the national flag in each of the appropriate member states of the European Union.

Mr. Norris : The information that we have about other member states indicates that they require the following minimum numbers of nationals for vessels on their register :

Belgium --Master

Denmark --Master. On vessels 9000 grt or more--Master, plus three ratings

France --Master plus one officer

Germany --Master

Greece --All officers and 60 per cent. of total complement Republic of Ireland --All crew above deckhands must have Irish certificate of competency or recognised equivalent

Italy --EU nationals only

Luxembourg --Master should be EC national

Netherlands --Master

Portuguese --All

Spain --Master and First Officer

The United Kingdom currently requires that the master, chief mate and chief engineer must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens.

Public Service Vehicles

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the President of the Board of Trade to discuss the exclusion of the continuous operator licence proposal for public service vehicles and heavy goods vehicles from the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill.

Mr. Norris : No. Continuous licences for operators of goods and public service vehicles would remove unnecessary bureaucratic procedures from the licensing systems and should remain part of the Bill. The proposal was debated at length during the Standing Committee's consideration of the Bill and the House will have the opportunity for further discussion on this topic during the remainder of the Bill's passage.


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School Transport

Mr. Cann : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to improve safety standards on buses and coaches used to transport children to school ; if he will specify the regulations which govern the transport of children to school ; what proposals he has to amend these regulations ; what plans he has to introduce a capping disregard for additional current expenditure in 1994-95 in respect of the additional cost to a council of dropping the three for two rule on dedicated school transport contract vehicles and requiring the fitting of seat belts on all contract minibuses and school minibuses ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key : We are currently considering the full technical and cost implications of fitting seat belts to all seats in all minibuses and coaches. We hope to publish the conclusions shortly.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has advised me that school transport is governed by section 55 of the Education Act 1944 and there are no plans to amend this legislation.


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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has determined his principles for capping for 1994-95. These principles do not include any disregard in respect of expenditure on school transport.

Civil Servants (Business Appointments)

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants in his Department applied in each year since 1986, through the business appointments system to take up an outside appointment (a) as an independent consultant, (b) with a firm of consultants and (c) in other employment ; how many were referred to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments ; and how many were granted.

Mr. Norris [holding answer 3 May 1994] : Since 1986, the Department of Transport has received 220 separate applications from 202 civil servants under the business appointment rules system ; 63 applications have been to seek work as independent consultants, 39 to join a firm of consultants, and 118 to undertake other types of work. On a year- by-year basis, the detail of the applications is as follows :


Column 595


             |Independent |Consultancy |Other       |Total       |Total                    

             |consultant  |firm                     |applications|applicants               

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

1986         |3           |0           |18          |21          |21                       

1987         |7           |1           |14          |22          |21                       

1988         |6           |4           |14          |24          |24                       

1989         |6           |3           |18          |27          |24                       

1990         |7           |6           |17          |30          |29                       

1991         |15          |4           |9           |28          |21                       

1992         |6           |14          |10          |30          |25                       

1993         |7           |7           |15          |29          |28                       

1994         |6           |0           |3           |9           |9                        

              -------                                                                      

Total        |63          |39          |118         |220         |202                      

Three of the cases shown were referred to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, in 1986, 1990 and 1991.

All applications submitted have been approved.

Lowestoft Relief Road

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement clarifying the position on the Department's requirement of the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Howard, 4 Blackheath road, Lowestoft NR33 7JG, for the A12 relief road, Lowestoft ; and what is their entitlement to compensation.

Mr. Key [holding answer 4 May 1994] : I have written to my hon. Friend in response to his letter of 26 April on behalf of his constituents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard of 4 Blackheath road, Lowestoft.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Photo-chemical Oxidants

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action the Government will adopt as a result of the report from the photo-chemical oxidants review group in relation to pollution control measures ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Tim Smith : The publication of the report of the photochemical oxidants review group was announced by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Environment and Countryside on 19 April 1994. In his announcement, my hon. Friend referred to the pollution control measures taken by the Government and indicated that he shortly expects to receive recommendations from the expert panel on air quality standards on a standard for ozone based on effects on human health. The Government will be considering the need for further reductions of ozone precursors in the light of these recommendations and discussion at European and international level.

Ozone is one of the pollutants monitored in Northern Ireland as part of the national urban air quality monitoring network. The results measured show that ozone levels in Northern Ireland are well within national and international standards and indeed, are among the lowest in the United Kingdom.

Training and Employment Agency

Mr. William Ross : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what targets have been set for the Training and Employment Agency for Northern Ireland for the period 1944 to 1997.

Mr. Tim Smith : The following targets have been set :

1. To increase the number of companies developing their management and work force skills through the company


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development programme from 300 at April 1994 to 350 by March 1995 and to maintain this number until March 1997.

2. To assess companies on the company development

programme--CDP--against the national standard "Investors in People" and to encourage commitment to the standard from the wider private sector with the aim of having 120 organisations--including 70 CDP companies--receiving recognition by March 1997.

3. To offer every company referred to the agency by the Industrial Development Board relevant information, advice and customised training.

4. To increase the proportion of youth training programme leavers who achieve a full qualification at national vocational qualification level 2 or above from 20 per cent. in 1993-94 to 45 per cent. in 1996-97.

5. To increase the proportion of job training programme leavers who achieve a full qualification at national vocational qualification level 2 or above from 17 per cent. in 1993-94 to 30 per cent. in 1996-97.

6 To provide an average of 9,200 temporary employment places with training through the action for community employment--ACE--programme with the aim of placing 36 per cent. of ACE leavers in jobs, training or futher education within three months of leaving.

7 To place 33,000 people into jobs in 1994-95.

8 To maintain the high levels of customer satisfaction and where possible, increase them.

9 To reduce administration costs by more than 3 per cent. in 1994-95.

10 To have the agency meet the national "Investors in People" standard for employers by September 1995.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Attendants

Mrs. Roche : To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, how many attendants are currently employed in the House and its outbuildings ; how many were employed in each of the last five years ; what is the current ratio of attendants to other staff working in the House and its outbuildings, hon. Members, their staff and staff of the House ; and what was the ratio for each of the last five years.

Mr. Beith : The numbers of attendants employed in the House and its outbuildings in the years requested are as follows :


       |Number       

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

1994   |56           

1993   |56           

1992   |59           

1991   |<1>57        

1990   |<1>49        

1989   |<1>49        

<1> These figures    

are the staff        

complement. Actual   

numbers employed may 

have varied slightly 

from these figures.  

It is not possible to make an exact calculation of the ratio of attendants to other occupants of the parliamentary buildings because no record is kept to identify which Members' staff work at Westminster on a regular basis.

Cleaners

Mrs. Roche : To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to his answer to the hon.


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Member for Paisley, South (Mr. McMaster) of 20 April, Official Report, column 521 , for what reasons the number of House of Commons cleaners is being reduced.

Mr. Beith : I have asked the Serjeant at Arms to write to the hon. Lady. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Loans Guarantee Scheme

Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the average processing time to approval of a guarantee under the small firms loans guarantee scheme ; and how his Department finances the transaction costs in such approvals.

Mr. McLoughlin : There is no information available on the time taken to process an application while with a lender. Once received by the DTI loan guarantee section, the average time taken to process an application in 1993-94 was 1.9 days.

None of the lenders transaction costs are met by the DTI. The cost of the small team of DTI staff involved in processing applications is met from the Department's running costs.


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