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Mr. Byers : To ask the President of the Board of Trade 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. Needham [holding answer 13 May 1994] : The Scott inquiry liaison unit was set up on 23 November 1992. Seven people have worked in the unit on a full-time basis, though not all at the same time. Manning has usually been kept to four people, though currently it stands at three. The attendant registry has employed six people, two on a part-time basis. After the initial demands of setting up the registry, manning has generally stood at three people. The timing for the completion of the work of the unit and the registry depends upon the length of the inquiry.
Mr. Neil Hamilton [holding answer 16 May 1994] : The inspectors completed their report on 22 April. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is considering whether the report should be published in line with usual practice. However the report is unlikely to be published in the immediate future in view of possible prejudice to current criminal proceedings.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has to prohibit the importation, for recycling, of certain chemicals from other EC countries ; and if he will make a statement.
The new control regime under the EC Waste Shipments Regulation and the United Kingdom's associated Transfrontier Shipment Of Waste Regulations 1994 came into force on 6 May. This legislation enables the United Kingdom to fulfil its obligations under the Basel convention, to which the United Kingdom became a party on 8 May. The Government are considering the use of their powers under the new legislation and will announce its proposals in due course. As regards exports of waste for recovery, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State reported on the decision taken at the second conference of the parties to the Basel convention in his answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 30 March 1994 Official Report, columns 866-67. Article 16(3)(b) of the Waste Shipments Regulation prohibits exports of waste for recovery where the competent authority of dispatch has reason to believe that the waste will not be managed in accordance with environmentally sound methods in the country of destination.
The decision recognized that transboundary movements of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD states have a high risk of not constituting an environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes. It is the Government's understanding, therefore, that, save in exeptional circumstances, exports of hazardous wastes for recovery from the United Kingdom to non-OECD countries are prohibited by virtue of article 16(3)(b)- -
(a) unless and until those countries wishing to receive such wastes satisfy the requirements set out in paragraph 3 of the decision, regarding notification to the Basel secretariat about the categories, quantities and management of acceptable waste imports ;
(b) the competent authority of dispatch is satisfied in any particular case that the wastes will be managed in an environmentally sound manner in the country of destination.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how he is planning to implement the policy for industrialised countries to be self sufficient in waste by restricting or banning the importation of toxic waste into the United Kingdom when the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994 come into force on 6 May ;
(2) when he plans to publish the waste management plan referred to in the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994 which will contain the Government's policies in relation to the import and export of waste for recovery or disposal into and out of the United Kingdom, in accordance with EC directive 75/442/EEC(a).
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has received from the Assembly of European Regions meeting in Shrewsbury on 14 April on the role of regional participation in environmental policy.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his assessment of the current relative radiative forcing effects of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, halocarbons and water vapour with respect to pre-industrial levels ; how he expects this to change in the future ; and what implications this has for the United Kingdom climate change programme.
Mr. Atkins : The intergovernmental panel on climate change published estimates of current forcings, and possible future forcings under a range of scenarios, in its 1992 report, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The panel will publish a new report on the radiative forcing of climate, containing revised estimates, later this year.
The United Kingdom's climate change programme, published earlier this year, contains a package of measures aimed at meeting our commitments under the United Nations framework convention on climate change. The programme makes clear that the United Kingdom will work within forthcoming reviews of the convention, which will take account of the latest scientific evidence from the IPCC, towards ensuring that the ultimate objective of the convention is met. The United Kingdom's national programme will be reviewed and developed in the context of that process.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what request for assistance his Department received from The Economist intelligence unit in assistance in the preparation of its report on management of Europe's environmental challenge.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are made to consult public or environmental health organisations on new product specifications used in the water and sewerage industry.
Mrs. Helen Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what recognised standards of thickness, strength, life expectancy and composition, pipework used to carry sewage is expected to conform.
Mr. Atkins : It is for the water companies to determine the factors affecting the performance of products which they use. They have the benefit of British standards where they exist and must ensure that they meet statutory and common law obligations relating to pollution.
Mr. Atkins : The Water Industry Certification Scheme is financed by the water companies, the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities, the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland and the charges which it levies for its services.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest assessment of the contribution to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development target of reduced carbon dioxide emissions from road transport ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much (a) carbon dioxide, (b) sulphur dioxide, (c) nitrogen oxides and (d) ash is emitted into the environment each year as a consequence of the generation of electricity ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : In 1992, 51 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 2.4 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide, 0.69 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides were emitted into the environment as a consequence of electricity generation. The trend in emissions for all these pollutants from this source is downwards. The figure for total particulate matter as authorised by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution was 16,390 tonnes.
Sir George Young : The "Index of Local Conditions", giving information based upon data from the 1991 census and other data, is being published today. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House and sent to local authority associations and key voluntary organisations.
Mr. Gummer : At my request, the Building Regulations Advisory Committee has been examining the desirability and practicability of extending access provisions for disabled people to dwellings in England and Wales. The present provisions for disabled people in the building regulations apply only to non-domestic buildings. I have now received advice from the committee. As announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People on 6 May, we aim to consult on detailed proposals to apply to new dwellings. When issued for consultation, the proposals will be accompanied by a compliance cost assessment.
The committee is also examining whether the existing provisions for disabled people applying to non-domestic buildings should be improved. Any proposals here will also be subject to consultation in the normal way.
Mr. Gummer : The Secretary of State for Wales and I have decided to reappoint Mr. Byatt until 30 June 1996, to enable him to complete the implementation of the outcome of his periodic review of water charge limits to apply from 1 April 1995.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to make water utilities liable for damage caused to property as a result of the sinking of water boreholes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 12 May 1994] : Water utilities already have the same liabilities as any other owner or occupier of land for any damage caused by them to neighbours in sinking boreholes on their land or on land to which the owner or occupiers allow them access. In addition, where they sink boreholes under powers conferred under the Water Industry Act 1991, they are liable to pay compensation for damage under schedule 11--compulsory works powers--or schedule 6--powers to search for water--of that Act.
Column 394whereby assessment is made of the risk of damage to local property resulting from the sinking of new water boreholes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 12 May 1994] : The National Rivers Authority must consider the implications of any new borehole which needs its licence or consent, or which is notified to it, in respect of water resources, the aquatic environment and other protected rights to water. Where planning permission is needed, the local planning authority will have to consider all material factors. Other aspects must be assessed by the person proposing to make the borehole, particularly in respect of his potential liabilities to compensate others for any damage that may be done.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, when he expects to announce the siting of the new enterprise zone on Tyneside as a result of substantial job losses at Swan Hunter ; and if European Commission agreement for such an enterprise zone has been sought.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 12 May 1994] : No acceptable proposals for the siting of the proposed Tyneside enterprise zone have yet been made. The approval of the European Commission has not been sought.
Mr. Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the impact of the special protection areas for wildlife contained in the draft regulations implementing the EC habitats directive.
Mr. Atkins : In October 1993 this Department issued a public consultation paper on proposals to implement the EC habitats directive. Over 140 responses were received and copies have been placed in the House Libraries. The responses have been taken into account in drafting implementation regulations which will be laid before the House shortly. The Government have not yet published their proposals for special areas of conservation to be designated under the terms of the directive.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest estimated level of uncollected corporation tax, in figures and as a percentage, for each year since 1979, including 1993.
|As a |percentage of |total |Amount |corporation Year |£ thousands |tax collected -------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |15,182 |0.50 1980 |16,214 |0.49 1981 |20,688 |0.70 1982 |34,396 |0.89 1983 |40,912 |0.11 1984 |58,051 |1.23 1985 |75,342 |1.27 1986 |91,365 |1.11 1987 |92,830 |0.93 1988 |225,597 |1.92 1989 |151,368 |1.05 1990 |184,725 |1.17 1991 |320,929 |2.09 1992 |<1>about 440,000|3.77 1993 |n/a |n/a <1>From 1992 there has been a once and for all change in Revenue accounting practice. Under the new system the figures are £542,233,000 and 4.64 per cent. Note: The figures for 1993 are not sufficiently complete to allow the necessary comparison to be made and consequently the information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the latest estimated level of uncollected PAYE and national insurance contributions deducted but not paid over to the Revenue, in figures and as a percentage, for each year since 1979, including 1993 ;
(2) if he will list the amounts of PAYE and national insurance written off, in figures and as a percentage, for each year since 1979, including 1993.
PAYE National insurance contributions Year |Amount in |As a percentage of |Classes 1 and 1A - |As a percentage of |£ thousands |total collected |amount in |total classes 1 and |£ thousands |1A collected ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |n/a |n/a |n/a |n/a 1980 |9,914 |0.05 |1,056 |0.01 1981 |11,432 |0.08 |1,158 |0.01 1982 |15,281 |0.06 |1,261 |0.01 1983 |22,622 |0.08 |1,555 |0.01 1984 |33,312 |0.11 |1,971 |0.01 1985 |46,695 |0.14 |2,213 |0.01 1986 |60,915 |0.17 |4,377 |0.02 1987 |92,560 |0.25 |8,514 |0.03 1988 |130,724 |0.33 |15,894 |0.06 1989 |122,890 |0.28 |15,127 |0.05 1990 |107,091 |0.22 |17,239 |0.05 1991 |135,258 |0.26 |21,644 |0.06 <1>1992 |<2>130,000 |0.24 |32,570 |0.09 <3>1993 |n/a |n/a |n/a |n/a <1> From 1992 there has been a once and for all change in Revenue accounting practice. Under the new system the figures are £381,172,000 and 0.71 per cent. <2> Approximate. <3> The figures for 1993 are not sufficiently complete to allow the necessary comparison to be made and consequently the information is not available in the form requested.
Year |Amount in |As a percentage of |£ thousands |total Schedule D |collected ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |n.a. |n.a. 1980 |33,081 |0.79 1981 |41,552 |0.75 1982 |52,763 |0.84 1983 |68,536 |1.04 1984 |91,229 |1.32 1985 |90,196 |1.18 1986 |124,297 |1.29 1987 |133,878 |1.88 1988 |252,424 |3.06 1989 |242,024 |2.53 1990 |254,989 |2.35 1991 |383,566 |3.17 1992 |703,422 |5.16 1993 |n.a. |n.a. Notes: 1. The figures for 1993 are not sufficiently complete to allow the necessary comparison to be made and consequently the information is not available in the form requested. 2. Separate figures for Schedule D are not available for 1979.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest estimated level of uncollected capital gains tax, in figures and as a percentage, for each year since 1979, including 1993.
Year |Amount in |As a percentage |£ thousands |of total |capital gains |tax collected ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |15,182 |0.51 1980 |3,591 |0.71 1981 |2,734 |0.61 1982 |4,868 |0.78 1983 |6,496 |1.01 1984 |5,998 |0.84 1985 |7,562 |0.93 1986 |10,064 |0.99 1987 |8,822 |0.79 1988 |12,680 |0.80 1989 |10,864 |0.47 1990 |12,002 |0.64 1991 |29,721 |1.58 1992 |57,836 |4.69 1993 |n.a. |n.a. Note: The figures for 1993 are not sufficiently complete to allow the necessary comparison to be made and consequently the information is not available in the form requested.
Year |Number of cases |written off ------------------------------------------------ 1980 |44,464 1981 |7,019 1982 |74,077 1983 |36,871 1984 |45,958 1985 |48,361 1986 |58,782 1987 |69,079 1988 |76,348 1989 |76,853 1990 |68,456 1991 |93,341 1992 |104,522
Figures for 1993 are not sufficiently complete to allow the necessary comparison to be made and consequently the information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Deva : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total contribution from the Exchequer towards the cost of local government services ; and how much of that amount goes to (a) London boroughs, (b) other English local authorities and (c) Welsh local authorities.
Mr. Portillo : Exchequer contributions towards the cost of local government services take three forms : grants--including redistributed non- domestic rates--within aggregate external finance--AEF--which go to support services wholly or mainly financed out of local authorities' general resources--including the council tax ; current grants outside AEF, which generally relate to services wholly or mainly financed by such grants ; and capital grants.
It is estimated that some 16.7 per cent. of grants within AEF to English local authorities are paid to London boroughs. Current grants outside AEF and capital grants are distributed by a number of different Government Departments. Information on the division of these grants between London boroughs and other English local authorities is not available centrally-- the total England figures are therefore given.
The figures are as follows :
P (£ million, 1993-94) |Grants |Other current|Capital |within AEF |grants |grants -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total England |33,231 |11,468 |1,401 Welsh local authorities |2,339 |572 |224 |--- |--- |--- Total<1> |40,776 |13,007 |1,793 Notes: <1> Includes authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Portillo : Exchequer grants to local authorities are derived from general Government funds. They are not hypothecated from particular taxes. It is therefore not possible to hypothecate to them the costs of tax collection.
Non-domestic rates are collected by local authorities and redistributed to them through a central Exchequer pool. Authorities can offset amounts for the cost of collection against their contribution to the pool. For 1994-95, the allowance is £69.5 million--less than 0.7 per cent. of the expected rates yield for the year.
Mr. Dorrell : There is no basis for excluding the files of individual taxpayers. If activities involving the processing, handling or holding of tax information were to be transferred to a private sector organisation, the Inland Revenue would remain responsible for continuing to ensure proper standards of privacy and confidentiality for all citizens. In addition to contractual safeguards, the contracting organisation and its employees would be subject, in the same way as Inland Revenue employees, to the criminal sanctions--a fine or imprisonment or both--provided by section 182 of the Finance Act 1989 for unauthorised disclosure of taxpayer personal information.
Confidentiality is not a bar to market testing ; a lot of highly sensitive Government work is done by the private sector. But the Inland Revenue would need to be sure that an outside contractor could replicate existing security procedures and conditions.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of employing consultants in connection with privatisation programmes in which his departments have been engaged since 1980.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 4 May 1994] : The Treasury is the only one of the Chancellor's Departments to incur cost in employing consultants in connection with privatisation programmes since 1980. With regard to the Treasury, I regret that information going back beyond 1991 can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The estimated cost of employing consultants in connection with privatisation programmes since 1991 is as follows :
|£ ------------------------------ 1991-92 |8,890,632 1992-93 |1,428,793 1993-94 |5,019,584
All the figures are exclusive of VAT.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make arrangements for each Government Department and ministerial office to receive mail from hon. Members taking up matters on behalf of their constituents through E-mail.
Sir Ralph Howell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will give details of the current level of Government expenditure, and for each of the previous five years, on public relations and advertising, covering all Departments of state ; and if he will also show the sums spent through external agencies, both in public relations and advertising.