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Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by his Department or agencies for which it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Arthur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h) Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) any other services in 1980 to 1983, 1984 to 1987, 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993.
Mr. Forth : The information for the periods 1980 to 1983 and 1984 to 1987 is not available, and the information requested for the periods 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993 broken down in the format could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Column 337The total number of contracts and the value of those contracts with the companies referred to for the periods 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993 is as follows :
1988 to 1991 |Contracts|£ -------------------------------------------------- Coopers and Lybrand |17 |387,500 KPMG Peat Marwick |11 |525,000 Ernst and Young |2 |51,000 Price Waterhouse |2 |61,000 Touche Ross |6 |235,000 Robson Rhodes |1 |22,250
No contracts were placed in this period with Arthur Anderson, Grant Thornton and Pannell Kerr Forster.
1992 to 1993 Company |Contracts|£ -------------------------------------------------- Coopers and Lybrand |12 |1,708,000 KPMG Peat Marwick |9 |236,500 Ernst and Young |2 |51,000 Price Waterhouse |5 |111,500 Touche Ross |4 |116,500
No contracts were placed in this period with Arthur Anderson, Grant Thornton, Robson Rhodes and Pannell Kerr Forster.
Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education when the architects and building branch of his Department will make its recommendation on the St. Paul's primary school nursery class building in Hammersmith.
Mr. Forth : A letter giving full approval to the building project was despatched to the local education authority on 25 May 1994, with a request to forward a copy of the letter to the school governors.
Mr. Don Foster : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what advice he has given to the Higher Education Funding Council for England regarding efficiency gains from (a) teaching and (b) research funding ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell : The spending plans announced in last year's Budget imply annual efficiency gains in the HEFCE sector of 4 per cent. in 1994-95 and 1995-96 and 3 per cent. in 1996-97. Separately, we have asked the HEFCE to maintain broadly the current proportional split between funds for teaching and research, and it will monitor the impact of these arrangements.
Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the consequences for the taxation of insurance activities of the coming into force of the European Community's third life insurance directive--92/96/EEC--and third non-life insurance directive--92/49/EEC.
Column 338important part of measures being taken to create a single market in financial services throughout the European Union. One effect of the directives is that insurance companies whose head office is in another member state of the European Union will not be subject to regulation and supervision by the Department of Trade and Industry under the Insurance Companies Act 1982. This will have the effect of taking these companies outside the tax rules which apply to insurance companies because those tax rules are based on provisions of the Insurance Companies Act which will no longer apply to them. As a result, we shall be introducing legislation in the next Finance Bill to change the definition of insurance company to ensure that all companies operating in the United Kingdom remain within the special tax rules for insurance companies. We shall also be amending provisions which give relief from tax where there is a transfer of insurance business sanctioned by a court in the United Kingdom so that they also apply where there is a transfer of United Kingdom insurance business sanctioned by the regulatory authorities in another member state.
We will also introduce measures to prevent a loss of tax where there is a transfer of insurance business to a transferee who does not carry on that business in the United Kingdom so as to be within the charge to tax.
Subject to their approval by Parliament, these measures will take effect from 1 July 1994, the date on which the third insurance directives come into force.
I also wish to make it clear that, contrary to some reports, the coming into force of the third life assurance directive will of itself have no effect on the taxation of gains from life assurance policies. At my request, the Inland Revenue is currently conducting a review of life assurance taxation in the light of single market developments and this includes the taxation of policyholders. The Government will decide in due course in the light of that review whether changes to the taxation of gains from life assurance policies are necessary. Meanwhile, the existing rules on policyholder taxation remain in force, and the Inland Revenue will continue to certify policies as "qualifying policies" where they meet the conditions laid down in the legislation.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conditions are being sought by the Greek Government for the lifting of its embargo on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ; and what his response is to these proposed conditions.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Greek Government's decision to close Salonika to Macedonian trade was in reaction to a long-running dispute about the flag, name, symbols and constitution of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We consider the Greek action to be unjustified and support the decision of the European Commission to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.
Column 339Court of Justice heard the Commission's request for interim measures, pending the hearing of the substantive case against Greece. The court's decision is expected shortly. We continue to make clear to the Greek Government that their action is unjustified, and that it should be reversed without precondition.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what armed activity is taking place in Burundi ; and what action is being taken by the United Nations to prevent the Rwandan war from spreading to Burundi.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have had no reports of armed activity in Burundi. The special representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Ould Abdullah, heads a small good offices mission in Bujumbura which has been successful in promoting stability in the country. There are also 47 Organisation of African Unity observers stationed in Burundi in a confidence-building capacity. This mission has the full support of the UN.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the United Nations Security Council last considered Liberia ; and what are the latest reports to the United Nations on the progress of its mission there.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Security Council met in late May 1994 to discuss the Secretary-General's report on Liberia of 18 May 1994. The Council President issued a statement on Liberia on behalf of the Security Council on 23 May 1994. Copies of both the statement and the report have been placed in the House Library.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what problems exist with the financing of the United Nations supported peace initiative in Liberia ; and which countries have proposed to withdraw.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Nations status of contributions reports shows that at 30 April 1994, of the $39.8 million assessed on member states for the United Nations observer mission in Liberia--UNOMIL-- for the period 22 September 1993 to 21 March 1994, unpaid assessments amounted to $24.6 million.
The United Nations Secretary-General reported on 18 April that as of 31 March, voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the implementation of the Contonou accord amounted to $15.16 million, from the Governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. At the time of the Secretary-General's report, expenditure authorised from the trust fund totalled $11.7 million.
Column 340The Secretary-General also reported that, on the basis of a draft budget prepared by a joint mission of the United Nations and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in September 1993, the Elections Commission has estimated that an overall amount of $13.7 million will be required to carry out the electoral process. The report stated that the transitional Government will endeavour to provide some $8.5 million of this amount and will seek international support for the remaining $5.2 million.
Of the United Nations troop contributors, only Tanzania has announced a decision to withdraw.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what subjects he has sought to bring to the attention of the Greek Government for discussion during their period as holders of the presidency of the European Union ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will instruct appropriate United Kingdom diplomatic staff in Brazil to discuss with representatives of the Nucleus for Indigenous Rights the issue of the mahogany trade between Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Wolfson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security during the first year of the child support scheme how many parents with care previously in receipt of income support ceased to be eligible as a result of receipt of child maintenance.
Mr. Wolfson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in respect of those parents who have ceased to receive income support as a result of receiving child support during the first year of the scheme, in how many cases their resulting income has been (a) up to £5, (b) up to £10, (c) up to £15 and (d) up to £20 per week above income support level.
Column 341it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Authur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h) Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) any other services in 1980 to 1983, 1984 to 1987, 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993.
Firm |Number of |Total value (£) |contracts --------------------------------------------------------------------- 1986-87 Coopers and Lybrand |1 |5,635.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |0 |0 Ernst and Young |2 |60,145.00 Price Waterhouse |3 |112,971.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |1 |75,306.00 Grant Thornton |1 |15,836.00 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1987-88 Coopers and Lybrand |3 |319,006.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |0 |0 Ernst and Young |1 |10,459.00 Price Waterhouse |2 |42,720.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |3 |59,601.00 Grant Thornton |1 |270.00 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1988-89 Coopers and Lybrand |3 |37,341.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |2 |10,235.00 Ernst and Young |0 |0 Price Waterhouse |2 |51,037.00 Arthur Andersen |1 |10,000.00 Touche ross |4 |258,948.00 Grant Thornton |0 |0 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1989-90 Coopers and Lybrand |4 |262,571.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |2 |59,891.00 Ernst and Young |1 |14,909.00 Price Waterhouse |6 |1,137,894.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |3 |314,210.00 Grant Thornton |0 |0 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1990-91 Coopers and Lybrand |5 |288,365.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |4 |723,280.00 Ernst and Young |5 |442,365.00 Price Waterhouse |10 |3,587,350.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |7 |709,104.00 Grant Thornton |0 |0 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Parnell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1991-92 Coopers and Lybrand |1 |47,290.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |6 |136,292.00 Ernst and Young |3 |139,502.00 Price Waterhouse |11 |952,994.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |3 |78,294.00 Grant Thornton |0 |0 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0 1992-93 Coopers and Lybrand |4 |117,775.00 KPMG Peat Marwick |7 |447,258.00 Ernst and Young |2 |22,637.00 Price Waterhouse |9 |259,064.00 Arthur Andersen |0 |0 Touche Ross |2 |249,620.00 Grant Thornton |0 |0 Robson Rhodes |0 |0 Pannell Kerr Forster |0 |0
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many income support applicants were refused benefit on grounds of (a) partners' earnings and (b) partners in receipt of family credit in the last year for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nigel Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he expects the research by the social policy research unit on the assessment of self-employed earnings in family credit to be published.
Mr. Burt : The report "Measuring Low Incomes : Self-Employment and Family Credit" by the social policy research unit at the university of York was published on 3 February and copies were placed in the Library.
In addition, I have today placed in the Library copies of the consultation document on the report. We have circulated it to a wide range of interested bodies and have asked for comments by 31 August.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether (a) the Benefits Agency or (b) the Employment Service will implement the new job seeker's allowance ; and if he will make a statement.
(2) when the Social Security Advisory Committee reported to him in relation to the proposed habitual residency test ; what was the committee's conclusion or main recommendation in this matter ; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library ;
(3) what parliamentary action is required to implement the habitual residency test in relation to social security payments.
Column 343benefit and council tax benefit schemes. The report from the Social Security Advisory Committee and the Government's response will be published at the same time.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many representations he has received to date concerning the habitual residency test ; how many have been (a) broadly favourable and (b) broadly unfavourable.
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) when the new Benefits Agency premises in Johnstone town centre are scheduled to open ; where these will be located ; how many staff will be transferred to this location ; from where they will be transferred ; how many additional jobs will be created at what grade ; what new or enhanced services will be available to clients from these new premises ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what is the total contract value of the new Benefits Agency office in Paisley ; when he expects the office to be operational ; when he expects the office to be officially opened ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Gordon McMaster, dated 23 June 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the new Benefits Agency offices in Johnstone and Paisley.
Benefits Agency Estates, in liaison with Property Holdings, are negotiating the acquisition of a lease for Unit 5, William Street, Johnstone which on present plans is scheduled to open as a caller service point by the beginning of 1995.
The six staff currently employed in Johnstone will transfer from Floors Street to the new premises. No additional jobs will be created nor will any be lost.
The move to the main shopping area will mean the new office is more accessible to our customers and will provide an improved service for all members of the public in and around Johnstone.
The total contract value of the new Benefits Agency premises in Paisley is approximately £5.2 million.
It is expected that the new office will be operational in June 1995 with the official opening within 2 months thereafter. Plans for the official opening have yet to be finalised.
The Renfrew District Manager, Colin Wright, will be happy to provide you with any further details should you require them. I hope you find my reply helpful.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the current number of recipients of (a) income support, (b) invalidity benefit and (c) retirement pension in the Doncaster and Mexborough areas ; and what were the figures (i) 12 months and (ii) 24 months ago.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 23 June 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about benefit recipients in the Doncaster and Mexborough areas.
Column 344The information is not available in the format requested. This is because Benefit Agency (BA) District boundaries do not correspond with county or borough boundaries.
Income Support (IS) recipients in the Doncaster area are dealt with by the Doncaster District of BA. This District comprises Doncaster West District Office (DO) and Doncaster East Branch Office (BO). IS recipients in the Mexborough area are dealt with by the Wath-on-Dearne Branch Office (BO) of the Rother and Dearne District. This office, however, also deals with areas other than Mexborough. Identifying the number of IS recipients resident in the Mexborough area and dealt with by Wath-on-Dearne BO would incur disproportionate cost.
In Appendix 1, I have provided information relating to numbers of IS recipients in the area dealt with by the Doncaster District, and by Wath-on -Dearne BO.
Although the Doncaster District of BA deals with Invalidity Benefit (IVB) and Retirement Pension (RP) for most of the Doncaster area, a small part is dealt with by the Mexborough BO of the BA Rother and Dearne District. Mexborough BO also covers IVB and RP for the Mexborough area, but from May 1994 also assumed responsibility for the Swinton and Wath-on-Dearne areas. Identifying the number of IVB or RP recipients resident in either the Mexborough or Doncaster areas and dealt with by Mexborough BO would also incur disproportionate cost.
However, in Appendices 2 and 3, I have provided information relating to IVB and RP recipients in the areas dealt with by the Doncaster District, and by Mexborough BO.
The figures provided for RP recipients include a small number of Widows Benefit recipients and an estimated number of RP recipients paid by direct credit transfer. The latest information available does not fully reflect the additional numbers appropriate to Mexborough BO following that office assuming responsibility for additional geographical areas in May 1994.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Appendix 1 IS Recipients |Doncaster District|Wath-on-Dearne |Branch Office ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30 May 1992 |27,416 |8,736 31 May 1993 |28,848 |9,556 31 May 1994 |30,090 |11,703
Table file CW940624.029 not available
Appendix 3 RP Recipients |Doncaster District|Mexborough |Branch Office ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30 May 1992 |49,657 |6,310 31 May 1993 |49,166 |6,280 31 May 1994 |48,477 |6,426
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how often the chief executive of the Highways Agency has met representatives from the private sector to discuss the possibility of market testing, contracting out or privatising work currently undertaken by the agency ; and what were the names of the companies involved and the dates of the meetings.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, dated 23 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about market testing.
I have not met any representatives from the private sector to discuss the possibility of market testing, contracting out or privatising work currently carried out by the Agency.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the total cost to date of the employment of the Bray's detective agency to gather information on Twyford Down protesters ; and from which subheads of which votes these funds were taken.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 23 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Robert Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the cost of employing Bray's Detective Agency (Southampton) to gather evidence of trespass on the M3 construction site near Winchester. To date, Bray's have been paid £251,656.37. These costs have been met from the Highways Agency Vote 1 (National Road System : Capital Section A1 (New Construction and Renewal) of the Roads Vote.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 23 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Robert Key, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary question about what consultations there have been with environmental groups with regard to individual road schemes.
Consultations with statutory bodies such as English Nature, English Heritage, the Countryside Commission and the National Rivers Authority take place from an early stage of route development. Other environmental groups are given the opportunity to comment on a proposed scheme at public consultation and when the draft orders for the preferred route are published.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contracts and for what total sum were let out by his Department or agencies for which it is responsible to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b) KPMG Peat Marwick, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) Price Waterhouse, (e) Arthur Andersen, (f) Touche Ross, (g) Grant Thornton, (h)
Column 346Robson Rhodes and (i) Pannell Kerr Forster for (i) privatisation, (ii) market testing, (iii) management advice, (iv) accounting, (v) audit, (vi) consultancy and (vii) any other services in 1980 to 1983, 1984 to 1987, 1988 to 1991 and 1992 to 1993.
(a Coopers and Lybrand
(i 1991 : Railways privatisation--value £1,446,808
1992 : DVOIT privatisation strategy review--value £15,000 1993 : Railways privatisation--value £425,532
(iv 1992 : Temporary finance director--value £52,000
(v 1992 : Financial audit of DVOIT--value £7,532
(vi 1989 : Birmingham northern relief road--assess ment of proposals and financial advice on concession agreement--value £1,374,000 1989 : Cashless parking equipment--value £50,000
1990 : Financial advisers on private roads--value £150,000 1991 : Study of EC directives and liberalisation-- value £450,377 1992 : Evaluation of telesales tenders--value £18,000
1993 : Two seminars on tender evaluation--value £2,000
1993 : Sale of anonymised data--value £25,000
1993 : Evaluation of vehicle re-licensing tenders --value £25,000 1993 : Scottish Office road safety review--value £18,000 1993 : Review of NMCS maintenance contract specification and performance--value £59,794
(b KPMG Peat Marwick
(i 1992 : Financial advice on DVOIT privatisation --value £553,820 1993 : TRL privatisation study--value £78,150
1993 : Railways privatisation--value £2,893,618
(iv 1990 : Implementation of a computerised account ing system--value £94,000
(vi 1989 : Network information system--value not known
1990 : Routine maintenance management system --value £174,500 1991 : PMS implementation study--value £146,954
1991 : Audit of ex-Trinity House liquidated funds --value £4,800 1992 : Network referencing--value £101,300
1992 : DISC network policy--value £70,846
1992 : IT/IS strategy advice--value £90,000
1992 : Project management software--value £171,980
1993 : Purchasing and supply IT system study-- value £43,880 (c Ernst and Young
(i 1992 : DVOIT privatisation--value £2,000
1993 : Railways privatisation--value £680,851
(vi 1990 : Consultancy advice to DVLA--value £111,000
1992 : European engineering standards study-- value £87,414 1992 : Payroll costs model--value £106,000
1993 : OPRAF consultancy--two contracts, total value £170,000 1993 : IT strategy support--value £38,545