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Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total estimated cost to (a) his Department and (b) the Exchequer generally, of the fraud at Ferranti/ISC ; and what assessment he has made of the total number of jobs lost (i) directly and (ii) indirectly in the United Kingdom as a result of this fraud in the subsequent collapse of the company.
Mr. Aitken : My Department has no means of assessing what, if any, additional costs it bore as a result of the fraud ; the question of any loss to the Exchequer generally is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nor has my Department any way of isolating the net changes in employment in the company and in other United Kingdom companies as a result of the fraud from the changes brought about by more general trends in the defence and civil markets for the company's products.
(2) how much money from his Department's vote has been spent since the beginning of 1990 at RAF Machrihanish on the following : (a) the construction of a new control tower, (b) the construction of underground fuel pipes and pumps, (c) strengthening runway aprons and (d) the construction of new living quarters for service personnel and their families.
(a) £407,000 on the construction of a new control tower, representing 20 per cent. of a NATO-funded project ;
(b) £2,090,000 VAT payment on NATO-funded construction of underground fuel pipes and pumps ;
(c) £2,000,000 VAT payment on NATO-funded airfield pavement improvements, including the strengthening of runway aprons ; (
(d) £1,807,000 on the construction of new single living quarters. In the same period NATO has contributed £28,306,000 on upgrading at RAF Machrihanish.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current regional distribution of jobs in the MOD clothing organisation ; and if he will make a statement on the future location of that organisation.
Mr. Hanley : The recently formed Defence Clothing and Textiles Authority is headed by the director of clothing and textiles, whose headquarters is based in Andover and his staff are currently located as follows :
Location |Total staff |employed ------------------------------------ Andover |53.5 Bath |23.0 Bicester |101.0 Colchester |135.0 Didcot |134.5 Glasgow |56.0 Harrogate |13.0 Manchester |8.0 Sheffield |8.0
Proposals for the future location of the DCTA are currently being considered by my Department.
Mr. Radice : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what surveys of the views, opinions and attitudes of the staff of his Department have been carried out in the last two years ; and if he will place copies of the findings in the Library.
Mr. Waldegrave : Two employee surveys have been carried out in the Departments and agencies for which I am responsible. I will place in the Library copies of the findings of a survey of staff in Her Majesty's Stationery Office carried out in 1993. The results of a recent survey of staff in the Occupational Health Service have yet to be published.
Mrs. Angela Knight : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when a response will be made to the report of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Technology entitled "The Rising Tide."
Mr. Waldegrave : I have today published the Government's response to this report. We have accepted many of the committee's recommendations, including the central one that a development unit should be established within the Office of Science and Technology. This will work with other Departments and outside bodies to enable women to make the fullest possible contribution to the nation's science, engineering and technology.
Copies of the response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Waldegrave : Visitors to my Department's offices in Westminster may use the same facilities for parking their bicycles as those provided for staff. Five sites have been designated bicycle parks ; the remaining four have space available to park bicycles upon request.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision his Department makes for child care facilities for staff ; what is the extent of subsidy to nursery places and holiday play schemes ; if his Department (a) subscribes to "Childcare Solutions" and (b) makes child care vouchers available ; and if he will make a statement.
On this basis the Treasury participates in the Westminster holiday play scheme which provides child care for children between the ages of five and 12 during school holidays. A 60 per cent. subsidy is provided to staff.
Until the end of July 1994, the Treasury and the Central Statistical Office are offering two places in a Westminster-based nursery for use by staff in emergencies. A 50 per cent. subsidy is given to staff earning less than £25,000 per annum. However, the contract has been terminated because of low usage. The Treasury does not subscribe to "Childcare Solutions" or make child care vouchers available.
The Treasury is about to undertake a survey of staff to establish what child care provision might provide best value for money in future.
Mr. Portillo : When a capital asset is sold by a local authority it generates a capital receipt which reduces net capital expenditure and hence general government expenditure. This, in turn, reduces the public sector borrowing requirement. When the proceeds from the sale of a capital asset are spent, net capital expenditure increases which increases general Government expenditure and hence the public sector borrowing requirement.
The table sets out the latest data for local authority capital receipts and the public sector borrowing requirement.
|1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |£ billion|£ billion|£ billion ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Local authority capital receipts |2.8 |2.6 |3.9 Public sector borrowing requirement |13.9 |36.6 |46.0
Mr. Wareing : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of Exchequer revenue was raised through (a) direct taxes, and (b) indirect taxes in (i) 1978-79, (ii) 1991-92 and (iii) 1993-94 ; and what is his estimate of the equivalent figures for 1994-95 and 1995-96.
Total taxes and social security contributions |1978-79 |1991-92 |1993-94 |1994-95<1>|1995-96<1> (as per cent. of total taxes and social security contributions) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Taxes on income, capital and social security contributions<2> |59 |55 |53 |54 |54 Taxes on expenditure including rates/ community charge/and council tax<3> |41 |45 |47 |46 |46 <1>From Treasury summer economic forecast 1994. <2>includes the independent broadcasting authorities levy before 1993-94. <3>includes ITC franchise payments from 1993-94.
Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education concerning extra funding needed to pay the cost of using external examiners in the assessment of key stage 2 and key stage 3.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to publish their advice to Government ; (2) if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department that are required to lay their annual reports before Parliament ;
(3) if he will list the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department which have a statutory basis ; (4) if he will list the advisory bodies which he has set up in his Department since the publication of "Public Bodies 1993" ; (5) if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required to consult before legislation proposals ; and in respect of which bodies the Government must publish their response to advice supplied by them ;
(6) if he will list his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which are required to produce annual reports.
Mr. Nelson : The Chancellor of the Exchequer has responsibility for only one advisory non-departmental public body, the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, although this is not sponsored by the Treasury and is advisory only to the Royal Mint. This body, which was established before 1993, is not required to publish its advice to Government or to produce an annual report. It does not have a statutory basis. The Government are not required to consult this body prior to legislation proposals or to publish their response to advice supplied by this body.
Mr. Hain : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action the Bank of England is taking concerning the book entry-only accounts opened by Banque Indosuez Aval and American Express for the Central Bank of Kenya in June last year.
Mr. Nelson : The special investigations unit of the Bank of England has conducted inquiries and is in close touch with the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya and the relevant supervisory authorities in France and the United States. It would not be appropriate to comment further while investigations are in the progress.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he, or the Bank of England, has received from the Swiss authorities in relation to United Kingdom financial instruments sold to Swiss and international investors in Polly Peck, Mountleigh, Maxwell Communications and Ferranti/ISC.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the documents received by HM Customs from their Customs counterparts in each European Economic Area country between 1984 and 1992 in relation to the sale of Bofors weapons to Iraq ; what meetings were held with each of them and when ; and what action was taken as a result on each occasion.
Sir John Cope : I understand that HM Customs and Excise has received no information from its Customs counterparts in any of the EEA countries in relation to the sale of Bofors weapons to Iraq and that no meetings were held with its counterparts on this subject.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the payments of £1 million or over received from European Community funds, by expenditure programme, in each year since the United Kingdom's accession.
Column 271funds each year. A list of all payments of £1 million or more since 1973 could be produced only at disproportionate cost. Information about the United Kingdom's aggregated receipts is published each year in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departments' annual report--prior to 1992-93 in "The Government Expenditure Plans"--and in the annual White Paper "Statement on the Community Budget".
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the United Kingdom's (a) gross contributions to, (b) payments received from and (c) net contributions to the European Community for each year since United Kingdom accession in 1973.
Sir John Cope : Details of the United Kingdom's gross contribution, public sector receipts and net contribution by financial year are published in the "Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departmental Report". Prior to 1992- 93 similar information was published in "The Government Expenditure Plans" ; these documents contain information on a calendar year basis for earlier years. Information on the United Kingdom's contributions and receipts since 1980, by calendar year, is contained in the annual White Paper, "Statement on the Community Budget".
Sir Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he favours economic and monetary union as the appropriate aim of the European Union ; and what are the reasons for his policy on this matter.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke [holding answer 4 July 1994] : My views on economic and monetary union were set out in my speech to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bonn on 29 June. A copy of the speech has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 28 April, Official Report, columns 316-20, if he will withdraw approval for the use of alphachloralose ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro : No. The Advisory Committee on Pesticides has recently reviewed those pesticide products containing 100 per cent. alphachloralose. It concluded that the approvals for these products should continue because they fulfil an important role in rodent control and are used by local authorities and professional pest control agencies. The situation will be kept under review.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what plans he has to amend legislation or procedure in order to improve the detection and conviction rate for offences involving the illegal killing of protected wildlife in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lang : The Agriculture Act 1993 provided for the ending of the statutory milk marketing schemes. It enabled the milk marketing boards in Scotland to submit proposals to me for their replacement by voluntary arrangements, for the transfer of their assets to specified successor bodies, and for the distribution of the value of those assets to milk producers.
The Scottish Milk Marketing Board, the Aberdeen and District Milk Marketing Board, and the North of Scotland Milk Marketing Board all submitted proposals to me last October following which I conducted a wide-ranging consultation of the various parties with an interest. Subsequently, and in the light of the responses to that consultation, the boards submitted amendments to their reorganisation schemes and I conducted a further round of consultation. I have now concluded that the requirements of the Act have been met and that, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the considerations specified in the Act, the schemes submitted by the boards should be approved.
The Act requires that the principles of the approved reorganisation schemes be made public. The principles of the schemes as submitted, and subsequently amended, by the milk marketing boards were set out in the two consultation documents issued by my Department in October 1993 and May 1994. Although some further detailed amendments have been made by the boards to their schemes, the principles as set out in those documents are unchanged. Copies of the documents, together with a note updating them in the light of the further detailed amendments, are available in the Library of the House and can also be obtained from the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department.
Under the approved reorganisation schemes, the existing statutory milk marketing schemes will be revoked on 1 November 1994 (the "vesting" date). As a result producers will be free to sell their milk to whom they wish, whether to the successor co-operatives being established under the board's reorganisation schemes, to other co-operatives or marketing groups of producers, or direct to dairies or to manufacturers of milk products. The price at which untreated milk can be bought will no longer be determined by the existing joint committee arrangements and according to its ultimate end -use but by contract between the purchaser and his supplier.
The Scottish Milk Marketing Board will be succeeded by two separate companies, a producer co-operative, Scottish Milk Ltd. and a commercial company, Scottish Pride Holdings plc. The Aberdeen and District Milk Marketing Board will be succeeded by a single company
Column 273co-operative, Aberdeen Milk Company, and the North of Scotland Milk Marketing Board by a single co-operative, the North of Scotland Milk Co-operative.
In view of the delay in the vesting date from 1 April 1994 to 1 November 1994, however, milk producers who have already signed a contract with one of the successor co-operatives will no longer be bound by those contracts, and the boards will be writing to them inviting them to exercise their right to withdraw within two weeks ; in the case of the Aberdeen board, the board will be cancelling all existing producer contracts with Aberdeen Milk Company and offering a revised contract. I urge all producers, including those who have not yet signed a contract with anyone, to decide as soon as possible to whom they wish to sell their milk from 1 November 1994 and to enter into a contract accordingly so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place for the uplift of their milk from that date. I am also about to announce today that, following an announcement by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food on 16 June that she and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will be proposing the establishment of a milk development council for England and Wales, I have decided in the light of the separate consultation I undertook of the industry in Scotland, that Scotland should also be included in this council which will therefore cover the whole of Great Britain. The development council should be operational from 1 November or soon thereafter. The ending of the statutory milk marketing schemes marks a major step forward in the history of the dairy industry in this country. It will enable competition to flourish in a way not possible before, and the industry will be able to respond better and more quickly to the needs and preferences of consumers.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 July 1994] : The Kelso bridge is part of a local road and any decision relating to the provision of a new bridge are matters for Borders regional council as local roads authority.
The Government set annual block allocations for capital expenditure on roads and transport and any proposals contained in councils' financial plans will be given careful consideration, within the resources available, in setting these levels. Thereafter it is for local authorities to set their own priorities for individual projects, such as a new Kelso bridge, taking account of local needs and circumstances.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consultations he has had on heritage-related legislation with the Association of Conservation Officers on Bills which have an impact on the heritage.
Column 274there have therefore been no such consultations. We would, however, expect to consult the Association of Conservation Officers, together with other interests, in the event of such legislation--or proposals for it--being put forward. My Department is always ready to discuss with the Association any particular concerns its members may have about the effect of other legislation on the built heritage.
Q8. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made to co-ordinate policies and operations in relation to the Lockerbie crime involving the destruction of Pan Am 103 between the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the Scottish Office, the Department of Transport, the Intelligence Services, the Attorney-General and the Crown Office ; and which is the lead Department.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the lead department for international aspects.
These Departments consult others on issues for which they are responsible, as they arise.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will make a statement outlining the benefits which will accrue to the manufacturing, construction and retailing sectors of the United Kingdom economy through the acceptance of agenda 21 of the Rio declaration of June 1992 ;
(2) what assessment Her Majesty's Government have undertaken of the costs (a) to date and (b) by the year 2000, of complying with the Rio declaration of June 1992 ;
(3) if he will make a statement summarising the information which he has about the extent to which other signatory countries to agenda 21 of the Rio declaration of June 1992, have begun to implement measures in keeping with the agenda which affect their manufacturing, construction and retailing industries.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 July 1994] : The Rio declaration and agenda 21 clearly recognise the importance of economic development to improvement of the quality of life of present and future generations. The Government are committed to the close involvement of the wealth-creating sectors in the preparation of policies to ensure that economic development is sustainable. Acceptance of the principles of agenda 21 by a large number of the United Kingdom's trading partners will help British business to compete on a level playing field, and
Column 275will create substantial new market opportunities for suppliers of cleaner process technologies and environmental goods and services. The Government seek to take account of the principles of sustainable development in all policies, together with a wide range of other factors. It is often not possible to separate out the cost attributable to abiding by the principles of sustainable development. However, we aim to consider carefully the compliance cost of all new policies.
The United Kingdom Government have been one of the principal proponents of a system of national reporting on progress in the implementation of measures in agenda 21. Our sustainable development strategy was published this January. We shall continue to urge other countries to follow suit through our membership of the Commission on Sustainable Development. We hope that in due course the commission will be able to publish information based on national reports.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of cases alleging unfair dismissal brought before industrial tribunals have disability as their ground ; what the degree of success in such appeals is estimated to be ; and what estimate he has made as to the extent of the practice of dismissing such employees prior to the minimum term of continuous service which would allow appeals to be brought.
Mr. Radice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what surveys of the views, opinions and attitudes of the staff of his Department have been carried out in the last two years ; and if he will place copies of the findings in the Library.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Department conducts an annual attitude survey asking staff for their opinions on internal operational issues such as staff appraisal, communications, job satisfaction, equal opportunities and staff development.
Managers use the results to improve the internal operation of the Department. The results of the 1993 survey are encouraging and show a continuing upward trend compared with previous years.
I have arranged to place copies in the Library of a summary already sent to staff of the responses to the Employment Department's staff attitude survey over recent years.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Officials are considering the effectiveness of the blind home workers scheme. They are canvassing views from local authority, voluntary body and home worker interest groups on future options for the scheme, and proposals will be put forward in due course.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what provision his Department makes for child care facilities for staff ; what is the extent of subsidy to nursery places and holiday playschemes ; if his Department (a) subscribes to "Childcare Solutions" and (b) makes child care vouchers available ; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe : The Employment Department Group currently supports six workplace nurseries and 49 holiday play schemes. The cost of this support across the group as a whole was £430,000 in 1993-94. This includes net expenditure on nursery places and financial help with additional child care costs incurred through attending training courses or other work-based functions. No part of the group subscribes to "Childcare Solutions" or offers child care vouchers. All child care assistance within the group is subject to meeting value for money considerations.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what creche facilities are available through the Employment Service for single parents attending Government training centres in the area of the Derbyshire, North-East parliamentary constituency ; and how they are advertised.
Miss Widdecombe : There are no creche facilities available directly through the Employment Service. Lone parents in north-east Derbyshire on Government-funded vocational training can claim 75p per hour for each child. This is paid by North Derbyshire training and enterprise council, which runs training for work programmes in the area under its "Skillsbuild" banner. The TEC plans to launch an information pack later this month, aimed at women wishing to return to work, including lone parents. It will be circulated widely and be available in our Employment Service jobcentres in the area.