Mr. Byers : To ask the Attorney-General, pursuant to his answer of 6 May, Official Report, columns 666-67, which client departments have received advice from the Treasury Solicitor's Department ; and what has been the cost to each department of such advice.
The Attorney-General : The following charges have been invoiced as at 13 May 1994 to client departments by the Treasury Solicitor's Department for legal services provided in connection with the Scott inquiry :
|£ ----------------------------------------------------- Foreign and Commonwealth Office |49,702.83 Department of Trade and Industry |85,193.39
In addition, the Treasury Solicitor's Department has submitted invoices to the Ministry of Defence which I understand are under consideration by it.
The Treasury Solicitor in the normal course of his duties has given legal advice to the Cabinet Secretary for which no charge falls to be made.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Attorney-General how many employees have worked on a full or part-time basis with the Scott inquiry liaison unit set up within his Department ; when the unit was established ; and when its work will be completed.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the outcome of the recent Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development Operation Lifeline Sudan sub-committee talks in Nairobi to increase access for aid in Sudan ; and what progress was made in gaining access by international aid agencies to the Nuba mountains.
No progress has been made on the Nuba mountains since my answer on 10 May at column 79.
Column 252of the present military situation in Sudan ; and how this is affecting the delivery of aid by international relief organisations.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The conflict in the south is continuing but may be curtailed by the recent onset of the rainy season. The security situation in parts of Equatoria and Upper Nile has caused the temporary withdrawal of some relief staff. Relief deliveries have also been affected. The Government of Sudan refused clearance to six air-supplied destinations in April and four in May.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current estimate of the number of refugees from Rwanda now in neighbouring countries ; and what is being done by the European Union and Her Majesty's Government to increase the levels of support.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : According to reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees there are about 250,000 Rwandan refugees in Tanzania, 47,000 in Burundi, 8,000 in Uganda and 10,000 in Zaire. I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave him on 10 May at column 81 about support to these refugees by Her Majesty's Government and the European Union.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much assistance his Department has pledged for Rwanda since the beginning of April ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 26 April, Official Report, column 104, regarding the making and terminating of appointments by regulatory authorities, if Ofwat is required to operate under the terms of the civil service management code in relation to staff appointments and dismissals.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 26 April. Official Report, column 104, who is responsible for the appointment of the Director General of Ofwat.
Mr. Eggar : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales are jointly responsible for the appointment of the Director General of Ofwat.
Mr. Simpson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made for meeting the residual obligations of British Coal ; what level of financial resources has been set aside to meet these obligations ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Residual obligations remaining temporarily with British Coal after privatisation would be funded principally by residual payments grant under the provisions of clause 18 of the Coal Industry Bill currently before Parliament. Estimates will be put before Parliament in due course.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how he proposes to ensure that the consultation process on the future of the gas industry will include adequate consideration of energy efficiency.
Mr. Eggar : The duties of the Director General of Gas Supply are set out in section 4 of the Gas Act 1986. They include, as one of her several secondary duties, a requirement to exercise her functions in the manner that she considers is best calculated to promote the efficient use of gas supplied through pipes.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer 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 ; how many were referred on to an agency chief executive ; and, in each case, what percentage of the total number of questions asked this constituted.
Mr. Nelson : Between November 1992 and March 1993, 11 out of 1,265 written questions to Treasury Ministers--0.9 per cent.--were not answered substan-tively because the information requested was not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. During the same period two questions--0.2 per cent.--were referred to agency chief executives for reply.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present relationship between the International Monetary Fund and Sudan ; and what are the IMF's major grounds for concern about Sudan's financial position and conduct.
Mr. Nelson : As of 5 May, Sudan had arrears to the IMF amounting to SDR 1.177 billion or $1.664 billion. Sudan was declared ineligible to use the general resources of the fund on 3 February 1986, a declaration of non- cooperation was issued on 14 September 1990, its right to use special drawing rights other than for settling its arrears to the fund was suspended on 2 November 1990 and its voting rights were suspended as from 9 August 1993. The fund has initiated proceedings that could lead to compulsory withdrawal of Sudan from the fund.
The fund took these measures as a result of Sudan's persistent failure to co-operate with the fund in addressing the problem of the arrears evidenced by failure to formulate appropriate economic adjustment measures and failure to agree a schedule of payment to the fund with a view to stabilising the arrears.
Mr. Nelson : The Government have decided to provide compensation for certain holders of certificates of tax deposit--CTDs--disadvantaged by the introduction of independent taxation of husbands and wives in April 1990.
The Government now propose that anyone who bought a CTD before 6 April 1990 and subsequently cashed it in to pay a spouse's tax liability may apply for a payment equivalent to the difference between the higher and lower interest rates. Effective immediately, anyone still holding a CTD bought before 6 April 1990 will be able to use it to pay his/her own or his/her spouse's liability and receive the higher rate of interest. Legislation to introduce these compensation payments will be included in the next Finance Bill. CTDs are typically purchased by people or companies in dispute with the Inland Revenue about their tax liabilities. CTD holders receive a higher rate of interest if they use the CTD to pay off their own tax liabilities, and a lower rate if they cash the CTD in instead. Before 6 April 1990, when independent taxation was introduced, a married couple was treated as single tax unit. So a CTD in one partner's name could be used to pay the tax liability of the couple. Once independent taxation was introduced, tax liabilities were separated. So a CTD in, say, the husband's name could not be used to pay the liability of his wife. Instead, he would have to cash in the CTD, receiving the lower rate of interest.
The test of whether the CTD was cashed in to pay a spouse's liability will be whether any such payment was made within a month either side of the CTD being cashed in.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 12 May 1994] : The costs of local government reform in the United Kingdom as a whole will depend on the final structures adopted in England. Any costs should be more than offset by the on going savings that the new arrangements are expected to
Column 255generate. The proportion of those costs and savings which will fall to the Exchequer will depend on the outcome of future public expenditure surveys.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consultations he has had with the European Community concerning the directive proposing to abolish licence fees for television and radio.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future role of section 11 grant in the Government's programme to combat racial inequality.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We continue to attach much importance to tackling the root causes of racial disadvantage--lack of English being a prime example--so that members of ethnic minorities can play a full part in the social and economic life of the country.
We envisage that the particular needs of ethnic minorities in the future will be met either through section 11 funding or through wider regeneration programmes under the single regeneration budget.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what target figures he has for the (a) national and (b) regional areas to spend on section 11 related projects for 1995-96 ;
(2) what is the planned level of expenditure in 1994-95 on section 11 grant to local authorities, (a) nationally and (b) regionally.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Current Home Office provision for the payment of section 11 grant to local authorities in 1994-95 is £46.6 million and the corresponding figure in 1995-96 is £41 million. It is not possible to give precise Home Office grant expenditure figures for 1994-95 as a whole, which will be affected by actual expenditure incurred by grant recipients. The following figures, broken down by regions, reflect budget allocations notified to local authorities in England in relation to their expenditure in 1994-95 :
|£ ----------------------------------------------- London |13,947,117 South-East |5,231,780 Eastern |5,190,023 South-West |1,042,756 West Midlands |1,981,374 East Midlands |6,535,306 North-West |5,981,235 Merseyside |- Yorkshire and Humberside |1,475,385 North-East |598,728
In addition, authorities in Wales have been notified of allocations amounting to £645,528.
Column 256Section 11 grant is paid by the Home Office in relation to approved projects reflecting local needs ; there can be no pre-determined expenditure targets for particular areas.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment is made of the requirements of mentally disordered offenders in determining appropriate staffing levels for individual prisons ;
(2) what steps he takes to ensure that mentally disordered offenders awaiting transfer from prison to NHS establishments receive appropriate care and treatment prior to transfer ;
(3) what is his current estimate of the number of mentally disordered offenders within HM prison, Wakefield who are awaiting transfer to national health service facilities ; and what is the maximum waiting period.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. David Hinchliffe, dated 13 May 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Questions about mentally disordered offenders.
The health care staffing of an establishment is a matter on which the governor is advised by the head of health care and by senior health professionals at Prison Service Headquarters. It is open to the governor to recruit more health care staff within the constraints of his/her budget or to seek extra funds for this purpose. The second floor of the Wakefield health care centre, which HM Inspectors found was not in use because of staffing problems, has been in continuous use for the past three months.
As of 10 May 1994 there were 30 prisoners in Wakefield Prison who, in the opinion of the Senior Medical Officer, require in patient treatment in a psychiatric hospital. One prisoner has been waiting over six months for transfer to a regional secure unit.
The Prison Service strives to provide a service for mentally disordered prisoners equivalent to that which they would receive in the community. To this end consultant psychiatrists provided 16,737 consultations in 1992/93. Since June 1993 the Newcastle Mental Health Trust has been contracted to provide a multi-disciplinary service to Durham, Frankland and Low Newton prisons. We aim to extend contracting-in to other parts of the prison system. There is also a strategy to increase the number of professionally qualified health care staff, through the recruitment of nursing grades and improved training for health care officers. Between March 1992 and March 1994 the number of nursing grades working in prisons rose from 257 to 539 and the percentage of all health care staff with professional qualifications increased from 35 per cent. to 51 per cent.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to respond to the references in the report of 10 May by Judge Stephen Tumin into the number of mentally disordered offenders within HM prison, Wakefield who would be more appropriately placed in national health service establishments.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is Government policy that offenders who have mental disorders requiring in-patient care should receive it from the national health service. Every effort is made to ensure the swift transfer of such prisoners to appropriate outside hospitals. In England and Wales the number of Mental Health Act transfers to hospital has more than doubled from 325 in 1990 to 755 in
Column 2571993. We hope that this figure will continue to rise in future years, although any further increase in transfers will depend on sufficient capacity in outside hospitals.
Mr. Barron : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many amendments for consideration at the report Stage of the Tobacco Advertising Bill have been drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Lord President of the Council how many amendments for consideration at the report Stage of the Tobacco Advertising Bill have been drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel ; and on whose instructions such amendments were drafted.
Mr. Newton : Parliamentary Counsel draft amendments on the instructions of Departments acting on the authority of Ministers. How many of these were subsequently tabled by private Members is not recorded.
Monday 16 May----There will be a debate on the European Union on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
Tuesday 17 May----Progress on remaining stages of the Local Government Etc. (Scotland) Bill.
Wednesday 18 May----Progress on remaining stages of the Local Government Etc. (Scotland) Bill.
Thursday 19 May----Conclusion of remaining stages of the Local Government Etc. (Scotland) Bill.
Friday 20 May----Private Members' Bills.
Monday 23 May----Motion on the Coal Industry (Restructuring Grants) Order.
Motion on the Value Added Tax (Education) Order.
Motion on the Railways Pension Scheme Order.
Motion on the Railway Pensions (Protection and Designation of Schemes) Order.
Column 258European Standing Committee will meet at 10.30 am on Wednesday 18 May to consider European Community Documents as follows :
Standing Committee A
Document No. 6428/94 relating to the application of the milk quota scheme to Italy.
Standing Committee B
Document No. 4715/94 and the unnumbered explanatory memorandum submitted by the Department of Education on 9 May relating to the Socrates programme on education and training.
Mr. Boswell : Mandatory awards for students underwrite one opportunity for personally eligible students to undertake a course of higher education. Under the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations, attendance of 20 weeks or less on one course with the benefit of an award is disregarded in deciding if a student is eligible for an award for a second course. My right hon. Friend has no plans to change these long- standing arrangements, which already allow attendance for more than half an academic year to be disregarded.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the level of funding by the Further and Higher Education Council to Doncaster college in 1993-94 ; and what is the planned level in 1994-95.
Mr. Boswell : The Further Education Funding Council's allocations to Doncaster college for the 16-month period April 1993 to July 1994, the first financial year in the new FE sector, as given in its document "Funding Allocations 1993-94" are as follows :
|£ ---------------------------------------- Recurrent funding |14,798,129 Capital equipment |351,000 Minor works |3,337,365
In addition, the college received £11,00 from the FEFC for the period April 1993 to March 1994 in respect of continuing PICKUP--professional industrial and commerial updating--activity. The FEFC is currently consulting colleges on their provisional allocations for the period August 1994 to July 1995. Final allocations will be announced in mid-June.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England's funding for Doncaster college in the 1993-94 academic year is some £1.15 million. This includes £29,000 for a special initiative to provide new higher education courses in localities with limited current provision. The college will receive some £1.88 million in 1994-95 and may also submit proposals for further special initiative funding which, if successful, will provide additional funds.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what loans or other special arrangements have been made for any grant-maintained school in deficit or with an expected deficit for the last financial year or the current financial year.
Mr. Robin Squire : In the last financial year loans were made to three grant-maintained schools in accordance with the Education (Grant- maintained Schools) (Loans) Regulations 1993. On the basis of its monitoring, the Department is not aware of any grant-maintained school that had a cash deficit in 1993-94 or the previous financial year.
Mr. Hague : Records indicate that, of those ex-service personnel who fought in the Falklands conflict and who made claims for a war pension up to June 1991, 104 are now receiving a war disablement pension. No information is held about any who may have claimed since June 1991.
Sixty-five war disablement pensions are in payment to ex-service personnel who fought in the Gulf war.