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Mr. Nelson : There is no particular rate of economic growth which would trigger off change in interest rates. It is the role of monetary policy to deliver low inflation. Monetary policy decisions are based on an assessment of a range of monetary indicators and other data, in particular the growth of narrow and broad money and movements in the exchange rate and assets prices. Estimates of the extent of spare capacity in the economy are also taken into account. The minutes of the monthly meetings of the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England to discuss monetary policy are now published. The latest minutes of the 8 June meeting were published on 20 July.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the Government's policy on corporate government by shareholders ; and if he will ensure that any proposals for the reform of stock exchange transactions do not prevent small private shareholders from holding share certificates and receiving automatically all documents relating to company business at the same time as they are received by corporate shareholders without incurring additional costs.
Mr. Nelson : The Government recognise the importance of shareholders being able to participate appropriately in the government of the companies in which they hold shares. The stock exchange introduced rolling settlement on Monday, 18 July. Initially, settlement will be 10 days after the transaction, with a possible reduction to five days in 1995. Some market makers have stated that they will offer settlement on non-standard terms to shareholders who keep their share certificates. This will enable those shareholders to keep their own names on the company register and hence to receive all documents relating to company business direct from the company at no cost and at the same time as other shareholders.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many seizures of parts of endangered animals were made in the United Kingdom during 1992 and 1993 ; and how many of these seizures were in connection with their use as components of traditional Chinese or far eastern medicine.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : There were 345 seizures of such goods in 1992 and 178 in 1993 by HM Customs and Excise. Two of the 1992 seizures and 12 of the 1993 seizures were of far eastern goods claimed to have medicinal properties.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the percentage change in the retail price of coffee since August 1992 ; and what further change may be expected as a result of the increase in the world price of coffee beans this year to date.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 12 July if he will now give the information on the ratio of the direct cost of employment to take-home pay for each year since 1964 of a person on two-thirds or twice average earnings requested without pensions contributions.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I regret that it has not been possible to provide a substantive answer before the summer recess. I shall write to my hon. Friend shortly and place a copy of the letter in the Library.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of intimidation have been reported in Newtownabbey in each of the last five years ; and how many cases have resulted in forced change of address.
Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on policy appraisal and fair treatment with regard to the application of relevant principles and procedures in the context of the housing policy review.
Mr. Tim Smith : The Government are committed to securing equality of opportunity and equity of treatment for all people in Northern Ireland through the elimination of unlawful discrimination and the promotion of fair treatment.
The policy appraisal and fair treatment principles will be taken into account throughout the period of the housing policy review. Comments have been invited from a wide range of housing interests including constitutional political parties, public bodies, the voluntary sector and disabled groups.
Existing policies and any new policies arising from the housing policy review will be subject to the PAFT principles and procedures.
Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the proportionate religious breakdown of heads of household in Northern Ireland who are (a) owner occupiers, (b) Housing Executive tenants and (c) housing association tenants ; and what is the breakdown for the population as a whole.
Table 1 Proportionate religion breakdown of heads of household in Northern Ireland |Households |<1>Households |Households renting |owning their |renting their |their accommodation |own accommodation |accommodation from |from a housing |a public authority |assocation or |charitable trust --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total number |330,198 |155,817 |8,405 Population proportion |1 |1 |1 Roman Catholic number |101,355 |59,686 |2,371 Proportion |0.3070 |0.3831 |0.2821 Presbytarian number |86,279 |28,962 |1,859 Proportion |0.2613 |0.1859 |0.2212 Church of Ireland number |61,019 |34,321 |1,961 Proportion |0.1848 |0.2203 |0.2333 Methodist number |14,751 |5,625 |486 Proportion |0.0447 |0.0361 |0.0578 Other denominations number 28,090 10,379 819 Proportion |0.0851 |0.0666 |0.0974 None number |15,766 |5,557 |385 Proportion |0.0477 |0.0357 |0.0458 Not stated number |22,938 |11,287 |524 Proportion |0.0695 |0.0724 |0.0623 <1>For example, Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Table 2 Proportionate religion breakdown of Northern Ireland usually resident population Religion |Number |Proportion ---------------------------------------------------- Total population |1,577,836 |1.0000 Roman Catholic |605,639 |0.3838 Presbyterian |336,891 |0.2135 Church of Ireland |279,280 |0.1770 Methodist |59,517 |0.0377 Other denomination |122,448 |0.0776 None |59,234 |0.0375 Not stated |114,827 |0.0728
Mr. Hume : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportions of (a) Housing Executive and (b) housing association tenants are in receipt of (i) housing benefit and (ii) maximum housing benefit.
Information in respect of housing association tenants could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his latest estimate of the total number of persons whose pay and conditions are covered by the Agricultural wages board in Northern Ireland.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his latest estimate of the number of persons whose pay and conditions are covered by the Agricultural Wages Board in Northern Ireland, for each county of Northern Ireland.
|Numbers ---------------------------- Antrim |1,975 Armagh |1,206 Down |2,182 Fermanagh |644 Londonderry |1,453 Tyrone |1,805
Sir James Kilfedder : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about possible executive ageny status for the works service of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Tim Smith : The Government have decided that the works service of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland should be considered as a candidate for executive agency status, under the "next steps" initiative. A prior options study will be undertaken to establish whether agency status or other options would be appropriate. I would welcome comment from interested parties. Comments should be sent by 31 August 1994 to :
Column 444The Secretary
Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland
1. To complete 44,600 rating cases, equivalent to 27,000 work units.
2. To complete 21,750 client service cases, equivalent to 23,500 work units.
3. To achieve a productivity for case working valuers of 304 work units.
To achieve a productivity for all staff of 160 work units. 4. To achieve at least a 3.0 per cent. efficiency saving on the 1993-94 out-turn.
To reduce the unit cost of casework by 3 per cent. in real terms. 5. To issue 93 per cent. of certificates for rating cases subject to backdating within 12 months of the events giving rise to revisions of the valuation list.
To achieve a standard in rating valuations such that 86 per cent. of those determined on appeal are within plus or minus 10 per cent. of the initial assessment.
To complete 70 per cent. of rating appeals within six months of receipt.
To complete 93 per cent. of a representative sample of client services casework within agreed time limits.
Full details are set out in the agency's corporate and business plans, copies of which are being placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Ancram [pursuant to his reply, 17 June 1994, column 678] : In Northern Ireland the average number of beds in the child and adolescent psychiatry specialty has been 20 in each year since 1981 to December 1993, with the exception of 1982 when the average was 21. Information on the child and adolescent psychiatry specialty was not collected prior to 1981.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the most common forms of mental illness for children and teenagers ; and what was their incidence in Northern Ireland in the period 1979 to 1993.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give the latest figures and list for each of the last four years by region the number of (a) doctors, (b) nurses, (c) midwives, (d) health visitors, (e) administration and clerical staff and (f) managers.
|Medical staff |Nursing staff |Midwifery staff |Health visiting |Combined |staff |administrative |and clerical and |managerial staff Year |September |March |March |March |March ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Eastern health and social services board 1990 |984 |9,388 |52 |125 |3,377 1991 |955 |9,123 |55 |137 |3,474 1992 |1,008 |8,739 |56 |192 |3,837 1993 |n/a |8,257 |59 |211 |3,981 1994 |n/a |7,361 |57 |181 |3,784 Northern health and social services board 1990 |215 |2,719 |44 |87 |1,242 1991 |226 |2,675 |42 |86 |1,332 1992 |236 |2,647 |34 |90 |1,435 1993 |n/a |2,574 |32 |89 |1,501 1994 |n/a |2,497 |38 |87 |1,570 Western health and social services board 1990 |190 |2,831 |54 |58 |891 1991 |196 |2,795 |47 |74 |970 1992 |199 |2,755 |46 |71 |980 1993 |n/a |2,711 |43 |66 |1,116 1994 |n/a |2,426 |44 |64 |1,072 Southern health and social services board 1990 |190 |2,665 |24 |78 |928 1991 |193 |2,627 |12 |54 |975 1992 |204 |2,534 |15 |81 |1,019 1993 |n/a |2,580 |24 |82 |1,113 1994 |n/a |2,391 |19 |86 |1,063 National board for nursing and midwifery 1990 |- |297 |- |- |95 1991 |- |294 |- |- |101 1992 |- |302 |- |- |95 1993 |- |308 |- |- |112 1994 |- |284 |- |- |91 Central services agency 1990 |- |- |- |- |386 1991 |- |- |- |- |413 1992 |- |- |- |- |427 1993 |- |- |- |- |413 1994 |- |- |- |- |477 Notes: 1. Total whole time equivalent staffing employed in the Northern Ireland health and personal social services. 2. Nursing staffing figures exclude nursing staff working in the midwifery and health visiting specialties. 3. Project 2000 student nurses excluded from nurse staffing levels as they are not employees. 4. Midwifery and health visiting staffing levels include all grades of nursing staff working in these specialties. 5. Figures for 1993 and 1994 have not yet been collated. 6. Figures include staff involved in patient-related duties eg. ward clerks.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the achievements of (a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months ; if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring ; and if he will set out his targets to help small businesses in the next year.
The Attorney-General : The Government recognise the crucial role played by small firms in the United Kingdom economy. Government help small firms by keeping inflation and interest rates low and by reducing legislation and administrative burdens. They also provide direct assistance where appropriate and are currently establishing a network of business links to provide high-quality business support across the country.
The Departments for which I am responsible are the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. The services provided by the first two are largely internal to Government. The functions of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office relate purely to the criminal justice system.
Column 447As regards purchasing, all the Departments have regard to the desirability of encouraging small businesses in line with the policy of the Government as a whole. However, no specific programmes of support and assistance operate in the Departments for which I am responsible.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions in each of the last three years the Crown Prosecution Service has determined against a prosecution on reasons relating to the publicity of the case being sufficient punishment (a) partially and (b) wholly in (i) Wales and (ii) England.
The Solicitor-General : Each case is considered on its individual merits in accordance with the criteria laid down in the code for Crown prosecutors. The most common public interest factors affecting the decision whether to prosecute are set out in the code. Adverse publicity is not mentioned.
In some limited circumstances, the consequences for the offender of the misconduct may be a relevant but not conclusive public interest factor in the decision. However, no statistics are maintained by the CPS as to the numbers of such cases.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Attorney-General (1) if he will make a statement on the factors which led to no charges being brought by the United Kingdom authorities against any individual following the fraud at Ferranti International Signal and Control. in 1989 ;
(2) what action he took following the disclosure to his Department of the relationship between International Signal and Control and (a) South Africa, (b) Chile and (c) Iraq ;
(3) what action he took following the disclosure by the Ferranti chairman that his company had been defrauded in 1989 ; what action he took to secure the records of ISC in west London after the disclosure of fraud in 1989 ; and what action he has taken following the conclusion by the United States courts that the original flotation of ISC in London in 1982 was fraudulent.
The Solicitor-General : I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given to him yesterday by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General. It is my policy not to divulge operational details relating to criminal investigations carried out by the Serious Fraud Office.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proposals he has to introduce a code of conduct for the members of the Broadcasting Council for Wales specifying the proper mode for making declarations of interest on areas where conflicts of interest arise.
Column 448which areas not covered by the cleared frequency plan are expected to be covered by these additional frequencies and using which channels ; and when these frequencies have received clearance, what coverage Channel 5 should then have.
Mr. Sproat : International clearance for the additional frequencies for an analogue Channel 5 service will be sought by the Radiocommunications Agency on the basis of detailed proposals prepared by the Independent Television Commission. The Government believe that it should be possible to assign frequencies for Channel 5 to reach more than 60 per cent. of the population. The Government intend that a successful Channel 5 applicant would also have the option to simulcast the service digitally to around 80 per cent. or perhaps more than 90 per cent. of the population.
Mr. Sproat : I expect PPG15, now entitled "Planning and the Historic Environment", to be published and issued during August. A list of the responses received to last year's consultation paper will be placed in the Library in due course.
The detailed legal instruments relating to listed building and conservation area matters will not form part of the PPG, but will be issued later as soon as the necessary consultations have been completed.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what public funding is given to the British Paralympic Association ; what assessment he has made of whether disabled athletes are adequately consulted by its administrators and have opportunities, on the basis of ability, to participate in the administration of the Association ; what consultation his Department has had with organisations of disabled people on the statement from the association on the absence of people with disabilities who are able to serve it in an administrative post ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sproat : A condition of the Sports Council's 1994-95 grant of £100,000 to the British Paralympic Association is that the BPA should not discriminate against anyone on the basis of their disability. The detailed implementation of this requirement is a matter for the BPA. I am aware that the association has an athletes' committee comprising disabled athletes which has voting status on the BPA's National Paralympic Committee. In addition, a number of other members of this committee and two of the BPA's directors are disabled.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many overseas visits he and each of his Ministers have made between 1 January and 30 June ; during how many he, or each of his Ministers, participated
Column 449in fundraising activities for the Conservative party ; and if he will name the Ministers and the countries in which these activities took place.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many Canada geese have been culled in St. James's park in the last two years ; how they were culled ; by whom and at what time of the day ; and what happened to the carcases.
Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage, pursuant to his answer of 14 July 1994, Official Report , column 705 , on accommodation for Mr. Peat at Kensington palace, who made the decision to allocate specific accommodation to Mr. Peat and to his deputy ; if fees were incurred for each category of expenditure ; under which percentage the reduction of salary is assessed in each case and on what rate these levels were set ; what consideratoin led to the allocation of identical sums for different sized apartments ; which other officials of the royal household have accommodation in this section of Kensington palace ; and if the salaries of Mr. Peat and his deputy are charged against grant- in-aid.
Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission if he will make a statement on the achievements of the Commission in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months ; if he will publish the performance indicators by which the Commission monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring ; and if he will set out his targets to help small businesses in the next year.
Mr. Beith : The House of Commons Commission has a policy of competitive tendering which is broadly in line with that of the civil service. Any company, irrespective of size, capable of meeting the stated requirements is free to put in a tender for work or for the provision of goods and services required by the House.
The House does not keep records of the size of supplier companies.
Mr. Steen : To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, what is the current salary and grade of officers of the House serving the five domestic Committees set up by Standing Order No. 125 ; how many Clerks there are in the Department of the Clerk of the House ; and what is the total annual salary bill.
Mr. Beith : Three officers serve the five domestic Committees, one grade 4 and two grade 7. Their salaries total £131,900 p.a. There are 61 Clerks in the Department of the Clerk of the House. The total annual salary bill for the Clerk's Department, including all support staff but excluding the Vote Office, was £5.1 million for last year.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 24 October to Friday 28 October.
Mr. Knapman : To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.
Mr. Michael J. Martin : I understand that, under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 19 December to Friday 23 December.
Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will investigate the procedures used by Worcester city council in (a) deciding to construct and (b) offering the tender for the new cycle and footbridge over the River Severn, now known as the Sabrina bridge ; and if he will make a statement.