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Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) the total value and (b) the number of estates, notified for probate in the latest available year where the net estate was valued at £1 million or over and no inheritance tax was paid.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 29 April 1994] : Exemption from inheritance tax applies to certain transfers, for example between husband and wife and to charities. Relief is also allowed in respect of certain agricultural property and business assets in order that family farms and businesses can be passed on.
Provisional estimates for estates applying for grants of representation where death occurred in the financial year 1990-91, and where the net estate was valued at £1 million or over are given below. Figures for more recent years are not available.
|Number ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Number of estates applying for grants of representation |743 Number of estates not taxed |226 Total net estate value of estates not taxed (£ million) |490
Mr. Mandelson : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update the answer to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, East (Mr. Brown), Official Report , 15 March 1991, columns 700-1 , on capital transfer tax and inheritance tax.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 29 April 1994] : Latest available estimates for capital transfer and inheritance tax for 1993-94 and 1994-95 are as follows :
|Estimate ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reduction, compared with indexed 1978-79 regime is: Total liability (£ million) 1993-94 |770 1994-95 |820 Average liability<1> (£) 1993-94 |11,400 1994-95 |11,800 Taxpayer numbers (thousands) Indexed regime 1993-94 |68 1994-95 |69 Present regime 1993-94 |20 1994-95 |21 <1> The reduction in the average liability is calculated using estimated numbers of taxpayers under the indexed 1978-79 regime.
These estimates are based on the estimated number and value of taxable estates passing on death in 1993-94 and 1994-95 under existing rules and make no allowance for any impact which the indexed 1978-79 tax rate schedule would have on the level of taxable estates.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list by region the number of cases of tuberculosis in deer in each year since 1985.
Sir Wyn Roberts : There has been one notified outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in deer in Wales since 1985. It occurred in Dyfed in 1988.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish a comparable table of the standards of each GCSE examining board covering pupils in Wales.
Sir Wyn Roberts : The information requested is not available.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement concerning concessionary travel for pensioners in Wales.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for the building of sheltered housing in Alyn and Deeside.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : I expect Housing for Wales and the local authority to ensure that an adequate supply of sheltered housing is available. Housing for Wales plans, to complete six category 1 units for elderly people during 1994-95 ; the local authorities' plans are set out in their "Housing Strategy Operational Plan", a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will meet community and town councils and tenants' associations in Alyn and Deeside to discuss investment to combat damp and cold conditions and defective doors and windows.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Such investment is a matter for the district council which determines local priorities within the resources that it has available.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with health trusts in Clwyd concerning acute beds in hospitals.
Mr. Gwilym Jones : Welsh Office health department officials have met the Wrexham Maelor NHS trust about its proposals for estate rationalisation on the Wrexham Maelor hospital site.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans his Department has (a) to utilise the Internet, (b) to make available on the Internet press releases and other departmental information which the public may wish to have access to and (c) to use the Internet as a means of increasing the openness of his Department.
Mr. Redwood : My Department is considering the use of the Internet and other electronic services initially for the transmission to non-media outlets of press notices. The possibility of including other departmental information would be considered after this first stage.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has had regarding wind farms in Wales ; what is the nature of these representations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : Since 1991, I have received 91 representations in favour of wind farm developments, two of which included petitions with 10 and 60 signatures respectively, and 291 representations against developments, one of which included a petition with 879 signatures.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what specific proposals he has to reduce the incidence of sheep scab in Welsh flocks ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : A number of representations have been made calling for the Government to impose statutory controls in respect of sheep scab. However, this is a disease which can be controlled readily by individual farmers, who are well aware of the preventive measures and procedures needed to deal with it. The Agriculture Departments have produced a guidance leaflet on how to safeguard against sheep scab and what to do if the disease is suspected. Veterinary field staff will also continue to watch for welfare problems at markets and on-farm and will be alert for cases of distress caused by sheep scab. We shall not hesitate to press for suitable action to be taken under animal welfare legislation against those who cause serious welfare problems by not dealing promptly and satisfactorily with outbreaks of sheep scab in their flocks.
Mr. Burns : To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the guidance to the Health and Safety Commission on the exercise of its responsibilities for co-ordinating certain nuclear safety research programmes will be revised.
Mr. Eggar : I wrote to the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission recently agreeing a revision to the guidelines issued originally by the Secretary of State for Energy in 1989. The guidelines have been expanded to include research relevant to any activity or process associated with operation or decommissioning of nuclear power systems on a United Kingdom licensed site. Other changes take account of the changes in the status of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, European Union procurement rules and departmental responsibilities.
A copy of the revised guidelines has been placed in the Library of the House. Copies have also been sent to Her Majesty's chief inspector of nuclear installations, and the chairmen of Nuclear Electric plc, British Nuclear Fuels plc, and Scottish Nuclear Ltd.
Mr. Davidson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the progress made to date in creating a national strategic technology acquisition plan.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 3 May 1994] : The Government adopted the technology priorities of the aviation committee's national strategic technology acquisition plan for civil aeronautics in July 1993. This plan is important in helping to identify and prioritise the research effort that may need to be taken in industry and through publicly funded programmes--and to bring about better complementarity and relevance of the latter including DTI, defence, science base and Community programmes. DTI has just completed a number of pilot exercises which are being evaluated.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will introduce legislation to protect the consumer against the setting up of unrepresentative or bogus trade associations.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 4 May 1994] : No, the consumer is already protected by a wide range of legislation such as the Trade Description Act 1968, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 which, among other things, provide remedy against misleading or false representation in the supply of goods and services.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list every urban policy initiative that has been instituted or operated since 1979, the date that each scheme began operating, where appropriate the date that the scheme ceased operating and the funds available on an annual basis under each scheme.
Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 3 May 1994] : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on 5 May, Official Report, column 608.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average length of stay in hospital for (a) all patients and (b) patients in surgical specialties in each year since 1988-89.
Mr. Sackville : The average length of stay figure relates to in- patients who use a hospital bed for at least one night. They exclude day cases, although procedures previously requiring a short stay in hospital are increasingly undertaken on a day basis. The proportion of finished consultant episodes which were day cases is also shown in the table.
All specialties Acute sector Surgical acute Year |Average |Percentage |Average |Percentage |Average |Percentage |length of stay|day cases |length of stay|day cases |length of stay|day cases ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 |18.5 |13.5 |6.2 |16.6 |5.4 |21.1 1990-91<1> |15.6 |14.4 |6.0 |17.7 |4.8 |22.7 1991-92<2> |13.0 |16.6 |5.7 |20.4 |5.0 |25.8 <1> Provisional. <2> Preliminary estimate.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the NHS trusts that came into effect from April 1993 which have held no meetings of the board in public.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that the Under- Secretary of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Sackville) gave him on 25 April at columns 65-66. No public meeting is required for such trusts before 30 September 1994.
Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the names and full-time occupations of all the non-executive directors appointed to health trusts in South Yorkshire.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 17 January at column 385. The following amendments apply.
Doncaster Royal Infirmary & Montagu Hospital NHS Trust Chairman
Formerly : Mr. C. Bryant
Now : vacant
Formerly two vacancies
Now : Mr. J. Pickup--Chartered surveyor
Mrs. E. Sparrow--Business services consultant
Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Trust
Formerly : vacancy
Now : Mrs. B. Wright--Former Matron
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average cost of an out-patient appointment in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Mr. Sackville : The average cost of an out-patient appointment in 1991-92 was £54.18. The figure is derived from the annual financial returns completed by health authorities and national health service trusts. It includes overheads and capital charges. Information for earlier years was not collected on a comparable basis.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what communication she had with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill regarding the publication of Professor La Fontaine's report on ritual abuse ; when this communication took place ; when the report was made available to the Press ; and if she will make a statement ; (2) what is her timetable for the publication of Professor Jean La Fontaine's report on ritual abuse ; and if she will make a statement ;
(3) what considerations led to the selection of an anthropologist to produce a report on ritual abuse ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Bowis : A report of the main findings of Professor La Fontaine's survey into the extent and nature of organised and ritual abuse will be published shortly. Publication of her full academic book is expected in the autumn.
Professor La Fontaine's application was one of a number received. It was selected on the basis of scientific merit in the normal way, through independent anonymised peer review and consideration by the Department of Health child care research liaison group, which includes a number of independent academic and social service advisers.
Professor La Fontaine's report has not been made available to the press. Communication on this issue was by parliamentary question and answer, and I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 29 March at column 690.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has for changing the regulations in respect of the explanation provided to patients who are de-registered by general practitioners.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what was the total expenditure by (a) NHS trusts, (b) regional health authorities, (c) district health authorities and (d) family health services authorities on purchase of health care from non-NHS service providers in 1992-93 and 1993-94 ;
(2) what was the total expenditure by NHS trusts, regional and district health authorities and family health services authorities on purchase of health care from non-NHS providers in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Mr. Sackville : The total expenditure by national health service trusts, regional health authorities, district health
Column 660authorities and family health services authorities on purchase of health care from non-NHS providers in 1992-93 is shown in the table. Provisional figures for expenditure in the year 1993-94 will be available in December 1994.
Purchaser |£000 ------------------------------------------------------- NHS trusts |45,436 Regional health authorities |21,421 District health authorities |187,335 Family health services authorities |13,127 Note: The figures are provisional: the summarised accounts for 1992-93 are subject to audit by the National Audit Office. Sources: Annual accounts (1992-93) of FHSAs; regional and district health authorities. Financial returns (1992-93) of NHS trusts.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to ensure that the medical colleges implement her recommendations on changes to specialist medical training.
Dr. Mawhinney : In December 1993, I announced the Government's acceptance of the recommendations in the report of the working group on specialist medical training "Hospital Doctors : Training for the Future". The work needed by medical royal colleges, postgraduate deans, the General Medical Council and national health service managers to ensure successful implementation of the report's recommendations is under way. All medical royal colleges have made substantial progress in their commitment to develop curricula for structured training programmes by July this year. Copies of the report are available in the Library.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) portable telephones, (b) pagers and electronic bleepers and (c) car telephones are currently used by her Department ; what are the annual costs of operating this equipment ; and to which personnel it is made available.
Mr. Sackville : There are 500 portable telephones, some of which are car telephones, and 460 pagers in use in the Department. The annual operating cost of this equipment is approximately £412,000. Authorised users, who are mainly medical, scientific, professional and managerial staff, represent fewer than one in five of the departmental total. These facilities are required to enable them to maintain necessary contact with the Department and the national health service when travelling or while out of normal working hours.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Health which regional health authorities have completed the checks on patients implanted with Siemens pacemaker leads 1010T, 1050T and Prototype 93.
Mr. Sackville : The Department has not sought information from regional health authorities. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of individual RHAs for details.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to close Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hackney.
Mr. Sackville : East London and the City health authority is at present undertaking public consultation on proposals for the future of hospital services for children in east London. The hon. Member may wish to contact Mrs. Frances Heidensohn, chairman of the authority, for details.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether journalists were present at the visit to the ambulance service on 28 April by the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Sackville).
Mr. Sackville : No, the press was not informed of the visit.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list each hospital, general practitioner practice or other where health workers are employed, visited by her and members of her Ministerial team since 1 April ; and which such sites it is intended to visit before 9 June.
Mr. Sackville : Health Ministers have visited the following establishments since 1 April :
Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, Enfield, Middlesex
Dulwich Medical Centre, East Dulwich
Dr. Grey's Hospital, Elgin
East Grinstead Health Clinic, East Grinstead
Enfield Community Care NHS Trust, Enfield, Middlesex
Farnham Road Hospital, Guildford, Surrey
General Practitioner's Surgery, Kingston Upon Thames
General Practitioner's Surgery, Nottingham
Hayward House Hospice, City Hospital, Nottingham
Heathlands Project, Guildford, Surrey
Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, Uxbridge, Middlesex
Hurst Health Centre, Walthamstow, London
London Ambulance Service, Waterloo
MeathHome Mental Illness Project, Godalming, Surrey
MENCAP, Stallington Hospital, Stafford
Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath
Skene Nursing Home, Elgin
Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London
General Practitioner's Surgery, Peterborough
Peterborough Hospitals, NHS Trust
Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust
Guy's and St. Thomas's NHS Trust
Ministers will continue to make regular visits to national health service establishments in performing their official duties. A number of these visits are arranged at short notice and it is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of future visits.