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Mr. Key : Officials were asked to review the full technical and cost implications of fitting seat belts to all seats in minibuses and coaches following the M2 accident, which occurred on 10 November. I first announced to the House that the review was being undertaken in an answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Spring), on 29 November 1993, Official Report , column 346 . The review made use of existing research and accident data and other industry information.
I have now received the report and hope to be able to announce the conclusions shortly.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the purpose of the young workers directive ; under what clause of what treaty it is being introduced ; and whether it is subject to unanimity or majority vote in the Council of Ministers.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The draft directive seeks to regulate the working hours and other conditions of employment of young people aged under 18. It has been brought forward as a health and safety measure under article 118a of the treaty of Rome and is subject to qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers.
Column 286directive initially secured by the United Kingdom ; when this opt-out was removed by the European Parliament ; and what was the vote in Parliament ;
(2) what assessment he has made of the proposed young workers directive, as amended by the European Parliament, on the freedom to employ newspaper boys in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The opt-out, which can be renewed six years after the directive is adopted, means that the United Kingdom can continue to follow our existing controls on the hours of work of young people. Newspaper boys and girls will be free to continue to work as they do now. On 9 March 1994 the European Parliament voted by a majority of 275 to delete our opt-out, but it has not been removed because the Parliament can only suggest amendments for
directives--such as this--introduced under article 118a of the treaty of Rome. The Council of Ministers will decide the final form of the directive.
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if the removal of the British opt-out from provisions of the young workers directive is subject to the Maastricht treaty provisions in relation to the power of the Council to remove amendments made by the European Parliament ; and what will be the effect of these Maastricht provisions.
(2) if he will take steps to inform (a) newspaper boys and (b) other young people about the effect of the Maastricht treaty provisions on their employment prospects.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The United Kingdom renewable opt-out has not been removed from the draft young workers directive which is not, in any event, affected by the treaty on European Union negotiated at Maastricht.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for each of the last five years, the cost to public funds of consultancy work provided by (a) KPMG Peat Marwick, (b) Touche Ross, (c) Price Waterhouse, (d) Ernst and Young, (e) CSL, (f) Prime, (g) Basis, (h) Theodore Goddard, (i) Dibb Lupton Broomhead, (j) Capita and (k) Shreeveport to his Department ; and if he will list any other firms which have provided consultancy work and the costs to public funds for each of the last five years.
Miss Widdecombe : The labour force survey asks people of working age if they currently have a health problem or disability which limits the kind of paid work that they can do. Estimates based on answers to this question will include people with short-term health problems and disabilities as well as those registered as disabled.
Column 287The latest labour force survey estimates for summer 1993 show that there were 40,000 such men and 17,000 such women who were International Labour Organisation unemployed and living in Greater London.
Mr. Prescott : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the percentage of claimants unemployed who have been unemployed for at least 12 months in (a) the 20 electoral wards with the highest claimant unemployment rate in the United Kingdom and (b) the 20 electoral wards with the lowest claimant unemployment rate in the United Kingdom.
Miss Widdecombe : The smallest areas for which official unemployment rates are calculated are self-contained labour markets known as travel-to- work areas. Information at ward level relates only to the level of claimant unemployment and an analysis by duration is available for the months of January, April, July and October. Data are on the unadjusted basis and can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library.
Miss Widdecombe : The latest reliable information is from the 1991 census of employment. In September 1991, there were 147,400 jobs in Great Britain in the aerospace equipment manufacturing and repairing industry-- activity heading 3640 of the 1980 standard industrial classification.
Miss Widdecombe : There are no plans to make the formal training of transporter drivers compulsory. Requirements for the training of slaughtermen are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. There are already requirements for the training of poultry slaughtermen in the Slaughter of Poultry (Licenses and Specified Qualifications) Regulations 1991. A consultation document on the training of red meat slaughtermen was issued in December 1993 ; responses are being considered.
Column 288Official Report, columns 197-267, 18-year- olds will be able, from 1995, to enter accelerated modern apprenticeships as described in the White Paper "Competitiveness : Helping Business to Win", Cm. 2563. In addition, 18-year-olds will be eligible for the mainstream modern apprenticeship initiative if their entry to training has been delayed and the training provided is more appropriate to their needs.
Miss Widdecombe : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service report for 1993, which will be laid before both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 1 June. Copies will then be available from the Vote Office. The report will be released to the public on Thursday 2 June.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the numbers of days lost through absenteeism in the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make representations to President Mubarak, requesting the full and immediate implementation of the verdict of the Egyptian arbitration authorities in favour of the United Kingdom company Wena Hotels in respect of its dispute with the Egyptian hotel company.
The Prime Minister : There are two hotels involved in this dispute. The Egyptian arbitration committee last month awarded Wena Hotels compensation in respect of one hotel, but judgment is awaited for the second. The company remains in touch with the Egyptian authorities, with support from our embassy in Cairo.
Column 289partners. We will bear my hon. Friend's suggestion in mind. We welcome the continued downward trend in the number of proposals for principal legislation brought forward annually by the Commission, a trend which owes much to the efforts of the Government.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 11 May, Official Report, column 185, when he expects the British Red Cross to have clarified the issues in respect of the health of the Iraqi people, with particular reference to water filters and water pumps.
The Prime Minister : The British Red Cross has, with its Dutch and German colleagues, been discussing with the European Community the possibility of a significant contribution to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' appeal. Once the amount of this contribution has been resolved, and the British Red Cross has clarified how successful the appeal has been, they expect to put a proposal to Her Majesty's Government. The timing of such a proposal is a matter for the British Red Cross.
Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister if he will put a proposal before other heads of Governments of the European Union that a member country which has fascists in its Government be suspended from the Union.
Mr. Byers : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 May, Official Report, column 404, on what day in June 1988 the Malaysian Government were informed of his predecessor's wish to visit Malaysia.
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 10 May, Official Report, column 153, what estimate he has made of the cost of the proposed consultation exercise to investigate discrimination against disabled people ; and if he will list those persons and organisations he intends to consult.
The Prime Minister : The Government will consult within six months on proposals to combat, not investigate, discrimination against disabled people. A wide range of organisations will be consulted, including those involving disabled people, employers and business more generally. The exact extent and cost of the consultation exercise will not be known until the proposals have been finalised.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) on what date he expects to respond to the review of licensing legislation in Northern Ireland ; and if he will make a statement ; (2) what form his response to the review of licensing legislation in Northern Ireland will take ; and if he will make a statement ; (3) what organisations have made representations on the review of licensing legislation in Northern Ireland ; and if he will make a statement.
North Down Petty Sessions
Philip Russell Ltd.
Banbridge District Council
Hamilton and Kirk Ltd.
Bass Ireland Ltd.
Wine and Spririt Association of Northern Ireland
Hastings Hotels Group Ltd.
Lisburn Borough Council
Royal Ulster Agricultural Society
Marks and Spencer
South Belfast Labour Party
North Down Borough Council
Strabane District Council
Ballymoney Borough Council
Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade Northern Ireland Winemark
Hospitality Association of Northern Ireland
Down District Council
Craigavon Borough Council
Derry City Council
Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Coleraine Borough Council
Cookstown District Council
Restauranteurs Association of Northern Ireland
Ards Borough Council
Northern Ireland Off-licensed Traders Association
The British Field Sports Society
The Queen's University of Belfast
The Law Society
The Lord's Day Observance Society
In addition, submissions were received from two individuals. The requests for change, and their implications for the related review of the law on registered clubs, are being considered. Proposals for amending both the law on liquor licensing and on registered clubs will be contained in draft Orders in Counicl which will be published for consultation when both reviews have been completed.
Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many cases of bone cancer per 100,000 population there have been in Northern Ireland in each year since 1970 ; (2) how many cases of cancers of all types per 100,000 population there have been in Northern Ireland in each year since 1970.
New notification of cancer per 100,000 population |Bone cancers|All cancers ---------------------------------------------------- 1970 |1.78 |285 1971 |1.49 |287 1972 |1.17 |272 1973 |1.44 |290 1974 |1.44 |288 1975 |1.64 |308 1976 |1.77 |307 1977 |1.05 |301 1978 |1.71 |296 1979 |0.52 |296 1980 |1.44 |306 1981 |0.46 |300 1982 |0.78 |317 1983 |0.52 |337 1984 |0.90 |321 1985 |0.77 |323 1986 |0.77 |335 1987 |0.83 |340 1988 |1.14 |372 1989 |0.82 |365 1990 |1.07 |380 1991 |0.82 |368 Notes The Cancer Registry is estimated to hold notifications for about 60 per cent. of all new cancer cases. 1991 is the latest year for which information is currently available.
Mr. Ancram : In 1992-93, there were 3,967 cases of social security fraud detected involving savings of some £10.6 million which is 0.5 per cent., of the total amount of benefit paid. There is, however, no reliable estimate of the number of fraudulent claims not detected.
Ms Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the discussions he has had with the parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government relating to the constitutional future of Northern Ireland.
Mr. Ancram : Bilateral discussions are continuing with three of the four Northern Ireland parties on the same basis as previously. The two Governments are also working intensively on a framework to carry the process forward. Our aim is to return to multilateral talks involving the two Governments and all the parties at the earliest appropriate moment.
Sir Patrick Mayhew : My hon. Friend the Minister of State and I will continue to invite discussion on the prospects for a peaceful political settlement in Northern Ireland with leaders of the main constitutional parties. The Government believe that the three-stranded talks process provides the framework within which agreement is most likely to be reached.
Sir John Wheeler : As at 25 May, 32 people have died this year as a result of terrorism in Northern Ireland, 13 in the last four weeks. The security forces continue to oppose terrorism with unrelenting determination. So far this year, 171 people have been charged with terrorist-related offences, including 43 with murder or attempted murder.