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Ms. Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the projects aimed at preventing domestic violence to be funded by the Home
Column 182Office programme development unit over the next three years; and the amount of funding to be given in each case.
Mr. Maclean: Domestic violence projects currently receiving funding from the programme development unit are listed. The unit's programme for 1995 98 has not been decided.
Current projects |3-year grant --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leeds Inter-Agency Project, to November 95 |£277,000 Islington Domestic Violence Matters, to September 95 |£330,000 Lewisham SAVE Elder Abuse, to December 95 |£106,000 Keighley Youth Education Project, to August 95 |£36,000
Mr. Spearing: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the amount of natural gas and imported coal respectively, expressed in units of volume or weight, and heat used in the United Kingdom in 1983 for the generation of electricity together with the amounts in 1993; and what is the estimate in respect of the difference in heat units used and the consequent loss of direct and indirect employment.
Mr Eggar [holding answer 17 October 1994]: The amounts of imported coal and natural gas used to generate electricity in the UK are as follows:
Imported Coal<1> Natural Gas |Thousand tonnes of |Thousand tonnes of |Thousand tonnes |oil equivalent<2> |Million therms |oil equivalent<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1983 |471 |270 |83 |210 1993 |4,652 |2,780 |3,021 |7,610 <1>These figures include an estimate of coal imported by autogenerators. <2>A tonne of oil equivalent is defined as 10<7> kilocalories or 397 therms.
Column 181Estimates of the employment effects of fuel switching by the electricity industry between 1983 and 1993 are not available. The March 1993 White Paper, "The Prospects for Coal: Conclusions of the Government's Coal Review" noted, in paragraph 5.14:
"Over time, as the economy adjusts and redundant workers find new employment, the loss of jobs from pit closures would be broadly matched by compensating developments elsewhere. New jobs might be in different industries, and to some extent in different areas, but overall employment would return broadly to its previous level".
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the sums of financial compensation paid to former members of the armed services who were judged by industrial tribunals to have been dismissed unfairly because of their pregnancies; and what was the commissioned or non -commissioned status of those women who have received these sums of money.
Mr. Soames: Up to 4 October, 121 payments totalling £3,300,000 have been made to seven officers--average
Column 182£43,665--and 114 other ranks--average £25,577--as a result of industrial tribunal decisions on compensation for dismissal on the ground of pregnancy. However, tribunal awards represent only a small proportion of the 2,745 pregnancy claims which have so far been settled at an overall average of about £10,000--all ranks. The appeals lodged previously by my Department have resulted in the issue of helpful guidance by the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The indications are that tribunals are now making lower levels of award.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the Defence Clothing and Textile Authority.
Mr. Soames: The Defence Clothing and Textile Authority, comprising some 540 staff, is currently located at seven main sites across the country. Following an examination of the business structure of the DCTA and investment appraisal, it has been concluded that collocation on a single site will allow the introduction of new business methods. The resulting efficiencies should lead to a streamlined structure and savings of up to 117 posts.
I have therefore decided to accept, as the basis for consultation with the trades unions and other interested parties, the recommendation that staff from the existing sites be collocated on one site at Caversfield, Bicester, currently part of the RAF Bicester site. Final decisions
Column 183will be taken only in the light of representations made during the consultation period. A copy of the consultative document is being placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) voluntary and (b) paid blood donations were made in each year since 1990; and how many in each category were used as (i) blood and (ii) plasma.
Mr. Sackville: This country is self-sufficient in blood obtained from our voluntary, unpaid donors and we do not obtain supplies from other sources. The last year for which complete information is available centrally about the number and usage of voluntary donations is 1993. Complete information is not available centrally for earlier years.
In 1993 there were a total of 2,312,000 donations of whole blood and 120,000 plasmapheresis donations.
An individual donation may be put to a number of uses as a number of components may be derived from it. In 1993 the figures for the use of donations were:
Red cell components--1,959,000;
Fresh frozen plasma--266,000.
In addition, some 486,000 litres of plasma were recovered from whole blood donations and 60,000 litres of plasma from plasmapheresis donations.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of whether current laws affecting the employment of children are detrimental to their education or wider social development.
Mr. Bowis: I believe the existing legislative framework provides sufficient protection to children who work but if the hon. Lady has evidence to the contrary I hope that she will write to us about any example of this.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate which departmental publications are currently available (a) in Braille, (b) in large print and (c) on tape; and if he will indicate what efforts have been made by his Department to inform visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
Mr. Gummer: Publications currently available from my Department in large format print, audio tape and Braille are: Council Tax A guide to the new tax for local government
Valuation and banding
Liability, discounts and exemptions
Column 184How to appeal
The transitional reduction scheme
Where publications are made available in these formats, every effort is made by my Department to ensure that the relevant agencies and voluntary bodies are involved.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years to (a) produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) publicise the availability of accessible information amongst visually impaired people.
Mr. Gummer: For the period referred to the Department spent a total of £68,224 including VAT and all levies, on the production and distribution of public information in formats suitable for use by the visually impaired. A breakdown for each financial year is not available. This figure includes any costs associated with publicising the availability of this information through the appropriate agencies and voluntary bodies.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent information assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the international ban on trade in elephant products, including ivory, in reducing poaching in Africa.
Sir Paul Beresford: There is general agreement that elephant poaching declined significantly in a number of African countries following the 1989 decision to ban international trade in elephant products and that the ban made an important contribution to this decline, though it was not the only factor.
The latest position appears to be less encouraging. Poaching of the rhinoceros has continued and, in some places, grown in intensity during the same period even though there is a ban on international trade in rhino products. A study being carried out in nine African elephant range states, covering all the African regions, by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources African elephant specialist group and TRAFFIC International should give the most up-to-date assessment on illegal killing of elephants. A report is expected shortly.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response he has made to the Latham report on the construction industry; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: I refer to hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Warley, West (Mr. Spellar) on 17 October, Official Report, column 19.
Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, what proposals for provisions in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill he is bringing forward on market franchise rights.
Mr. Curry: Following the decision to withdraw the then clauses 22, 23 and 24 on market franchise rights from the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill, my right hon. Friend the then Minister for Industry expressed the hope that the Government would be able to come forward at a
Column 185later stage with fresh proposals on the deregulation of market franchise rights, which enjoyed a widespread measure of support among interested parties.
The Government remain of the view that the common law on market franchise rights is antiquated. Interested parties do not dispute that the law needs revision, but say that any review would need to be more considered.
In view, however, of the very short time remaining for consideration of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill in Parliament, the Government are not intending to make changes to existing law in the context of the current Bill.
Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes to the memorandum of understanding between the United Kingdom and United States authorities in financial services have taken place following the transfer of some Government financial services functions from the Department of Trade and Industry to Her Majesty's Treasury.
Mr. Nelson: The signatories to the memorandum of understanding between the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry and Securities and Investments Board considered that a revision to the procedures on communication between the United Kingdom and United States authorities was required. It was not, however, necessary to amend the MoU to accomplish this. Instead, an undertaking was made by all parties to the MoU on 29 April 1994 that the necessary procedural changes would be made and that the parties to the MoU intend to co-operate fully under the MoU.
Copies of the memorandum of understanding have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the stock of United Kingdom net overseas assets and the interest and dividend income from those assets for each year since 1979; and if he will explain any sudden or large variation in these figures.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 17 October 1994]: Figures for the stock of United Kingdom net overseas assets and the interest and dividend income from those assets are published in the CSO publication, "The Pink Book 1994", available through HMSO. They are also available from the CSO database, which can be accessed through the House of Commons Library. The net figures are the difference between two very large numbers, each of which can be measured only imperfectly and are subject to a number of variations. Several factors contribute to these variations, including exchange rate fluctuations, changes in prices, interest rate movements, and domestic and overseas profitability.
Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make a statement on the achievements of (a) her policies and (b) her Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; if she will publish the performance indicators by which her Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring; and if she will set out her targets to help small businesses in the next year.
Mr. Jack: 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.
This Department has continued to contribute significantly to the process. For example:
i) the new marketing development scheme, providing £10 million over the next three years, will assist the marketing effort of all those in the food chain including individual farmers or collaborative groups.
ii) MAFF s market task force engages in a number of initiatives offering marketing help to business: the processing and marketing grant, with its requirement that farmers must share in the economic benefits, was reopened for applications on 18 October; the task force also runs seminars to stimulate marketing thinking in individual sectors and stands ready to discuss ideas for developing the marketing performance of anyone's business;
iii) a MAFF guide, "Success With a Small Food Business", has been issued to help small food producers to set up and develop their businesses;
iv) MAFF, through "Food From Britain", continues to provide advice and assistance to groups of speciality food producers. "Food From Britain" also provides export advice and assistance for the food industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises;
v) "The Continental Challenge", a major initiative we ran in January this year, highlighted opportunities for United Kingdom suppliers to exploit continental retail outlets. A wide range of companies participated and "Food From Britain" has been maintaining the momentum generated.
vi) I chaired a seminar with representatives of the fishing industry to discuss the problems of supply and demand in the market. We have also encouraged complementary initiatives by the Sea Fish Industry Authority to improve the marketing of fish, which would be of considerable benefit to the many small firms in the industry. These have included their conference on "Catching for the Market" and the subsequent establishment of a task force;
vii) an amendment to The Corn Returns Act 1882 is proposed which will exempt businesses purchasing small annual tonnages of British cereals direct from growers from the duty of having to make a return;
viii) an organic aid scheme was launched in England on 1 July to encourage conversion to organic farming methods. This is likely to be of interest to many small farmers. The rates of aid are structured so as to assist the small producer by giving an extra £30 per hectare per year for the first five hectares.
ix) meetings with panels of small businessmen continued to be held to enable Ministers to hear at first hand the views of small businessmen on the regulatory burden.
Column 187All the schemes operated by this Department are closely monitored. New schemes will be announced as they emerge. Reports on particular schemes are published from time to time.
Mr. Burden: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 11 July, Official Report, column 446, what action she is taking to ensure that the laws governing the import of live animals are rigorously adhered to.
Mrs. Browning: Local authorities are responsible for enforcing animal health and welfare legislation in Great Britain in respect of imported animals. In addition, the state veterinary service is conducting a significant number of checks on imported animals at their final destinations and continues to monitor imports at south and east coast ports on a regular basis.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years to (a) produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) publicise the availability of accessible information among visually impaired people.
Mr. Jack: As part of its wider "Foodsense" campaign, MAFF has spent £23,000 since 1993 on producing information in alternative formats for visually impaired
Column 188people. Availability has been publicised through the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether the members of the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee are required to declare their commercial and non-commercial interests;
(2) if she will publish the commercial and non-commercial interests of the members of the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to her answer of 17 May Official Report , column 446 , for what reason members of the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee are not required to provide details of consultancies held; and how this practice differs from that applied to other advisory committees for which she is responsible.
Mrs. Browning [holding answer 19 July 1994]: Members of the spongiform encephalopathy advisory committee are appointed for their relevant experience and scientific expertise in this very specialised field. Appointments are made in accordance with the information set out in "Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NCPBs): A Guide to Departments". Members are not required to declare their commercial and non-commercial interests as this is a scientific advisory committee with no trading or financial objectives. However, in the interests of open Government the members of SEAC have been asked for this information and the interests declared are listed in the following table:
Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee Member Commercial Non commercial interests interests |Name of company |Nature of interest |Name of company |Nature of interest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Dr. D. A. J. Tyrrell, Chairmam |Reckitt and Colman |Consultant |None |None |Smith Kline Beecham |PEP Shareholder |Procter and Gamble |Editorial work Dr. R. G. Will, Deputy Chairman |None |None |Department of Health |Grant Holder |Scottish Home and Health Dept. |Grant Holder Prof. I. Allen |None |None |Multiple Sclerosis Society |Grant Holder Prof. F. Brown |None |None |None |None Dr. W. D. Hueston |None |None |None |None Dr. R. H. Kimberlin |Petfood Industry (world-wide) |Adviser |European Commission |Adviser |Pharmaceutical Industry (world-wide) |Adviser |Meat and Livestock Commission |Adviser |United Nations (Food and Agriculture) Dept.|Adviser |Office International des Epizooties |Adviser |National Governments in Europe, |Adviser |Americas and Australasia |World Health Organisation |Adviser Mr. D. B. Pepper |Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry |Freelance consultant |None |None |Veterinary Defence Society Ltd. |Claims Consultant Dr. W. A. Watson
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much was spent in each European Union country in £ sterling, and what was the take-up in hectares, in 1993 on (a) the set-aside part of the arable area payments scheme or its equivalent and (b) set-aside measures introduced prior to the common agricultural policy reform of May 1992; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack [pursuant to the reply, 4 July 1994, c. 29-30]: I wish to clarify the figures given for expenditure on the five-year set- aside scheme. First, the payment figures, which were the latest available at the time of reply, relate to payments made between October and December 1993 and do not necessarily reflect payments made on all land set-aside under the scheme during 1993, as payments are made at different periods in different member states. Secondly, the payment figures given for five-year set-aside represent the element of member states' total payments which is funded by the EU. This is approximately 60 per cent. of total payments. Figures for total payments are not available. In the case of the arable area payments scheme, the majority of payments in all member states were made by the end of December and are 100 per cent. EU funded, so the figures given more closely reflect total expenditure. The updated figures show EU- funded expenditure under both schemes up to April 1994.
Arable Area Payments Scheme Member State |Area Set Aside |Payments |Sterling Equivalent |(rounded) |(`000 ha) |<1>(`000 ccu) |(£`000) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belgium |19 |6,399 |4,880 Denmark |205 |57,483 |43,833 Fed Rep of Germany |1,063 |321,394 |245,077 Greece |17 |2,683 |2,046 Spain |909 |135,908 |103,636 France |1,589 |517,023 |394,253 Republic of Ireland |24 |- |- Italy |207 |39,973 |30,481 Luxembourg |2 |395 |301 Netherlands |8 |2,754 |2,100 Portugal |78 |6,435 |4,907 United Kingdom |556 |169,948 |129,593 |---- |---- |---- Total |4,674 |1,260,395 |961,107 <1> Ecu/hectare payment rates are based on historical regional yields and are different in each member states.
Five Year Set-Aside Scheme Member State |Area Set Aside |Payments |Sterling Equivalent |(rounded) |('000 ha) |('000 ecu) |(£'000) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belgium |1 |195 |149 Denmark |7 |-2 |-1.5 Fed Rep of Germany |415 |83,043 |63,324 Greece |1 |- |- Spain |95 |6,534 |4,982 France |214 |9,876 |7,531 Republic of Ireland |2 |210 |160 Italy |639 |171,169 |130,524 Luxembourg |- |15 |11 Netherlands |15 |3,133 |2,389 Portugal |- |- |- United Kingdom |133 |19,721 |15,038 -------- |---- |---- |---- Total |1,522 |293,895 |224,107 Note: Sterling equivalents are calculated at the same exchange rate as applied when the previous answer was given (£1-1.3114 ecu) for case of comparison, since then however the exchange rate has changed to £1=1.306 ecu.
Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what expenses were incurred for security purposes during official opening of the Shannon-Erne waterway on 23 May in the presence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Foreign Affairs Minister from the Irish Republic.
Sir John Wheeler: The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many women aged between 60 and 65 years have had the suspension of their invalidity benefit lifted on the grounds of hardship since the Government challenged the decision made by a social security commissioner in the case of Mrs. Graham; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ancram: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive Mr. Alex Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from Alex Wylie to Dr. Norman A. Godman, dated 17 October 1994:
I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on the number of women aged between 60 and 65 who have had the suspension of their invalidity benefit lifted on hardship grounds as a result of the Graham case.
In Northern Ireland the suspension was lifted in a total of eight cases.
Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums have been expended in each of the last five years on (a) extensions to the water mains reticulation system, (b) improvements to the existing system, (c) new sewage treatment plants and (d) improvements to existing sewage treatment plants; what are the sums available for each such purpose in the current year; what are his projections for the next two years.
Mr. Tim Smith: The information is as follows:
|(a) |(b) |(c) |(d) |Extensions to |Improvements to |New Sewage |Improvements to |Existing |Water Mains |Existing System |Treatment Plants|Sewage Treatment |Plants |£000's |£000's |£000's |£000's -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90<1> |- |- |- |- 1990-91 2,508 547 <2>3,873 1991-92 2,208 561 <2>5,974 1992-93 2,055 639 <2>8,855 1993-94 2,245 462 <2>14,657 1994-95(Estimate) |2,312 |476 |14,850 |917 1995-96 (Estimate) |2,393 |493 |6,000 |8,414 1996-97 (Estimate) |2,453 |505 |13,400 |10,981 Notes <1> Prior to 1990 expenditure records were kept in a format which would allow the requested information for 1989-90 to be provided only at disproportionate cost. <2> Prior to 1993-94 expenditure on sewage treatment was not separated/aggregated for new plants and replacements or improvements to existing plants. Disaggreagated information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make available copies of the follow-up report of the audit review group.
Sir John Wheeler: I have arranged for copies of the report to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Lord President of the Council when he expects to publish the results of the review of the Government's strategy for tackling the misuse of drugs.
Mr. Newton: With my right hon. and learned Friend and Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Health and for Education, and my hon. Friend the Paymaster General, I intend to publish tomorrow a Green Paper entitled, "Tackling Drugs Together". Copies will be available in the Vote Office from 10.30 a.m.
Mr. Hargreaves: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Commonwealth Development Corporation has been authorised to operate in additional countries.
Mr. Baldry: Following a request from the corporation, approval has been given for the CDC to operate in E1 Salvador. In accordance with strategic targets agreed in the recent quinquennial review, CDC will aim to give priority to projects in the private sector.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if clients of the Child Support Agency have access to all the information kept on them.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Tony Worthington, dated 18 October 1994:
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about clients access to personal information held by the Child Support Agency.
Clients have access to all automatically processed information kept on them, subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 1984. Access to information held clerically by the Agency is governed by the Department of Social Security s Protection of Personal Information code. As a general policy, this provides that under normal circumstances the Agency will disclose factual, basic and non-sensitive information to clients or their representatives, and any documents completed by the clients themselves.
I hope this reply is helpful.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the Child Support Agency keeps credit ratings on clients.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Tony Worthington, dated 18 October 1994:
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security on whether the Child Support Agency keeps credit ratings on its clients.
The Agency does not keep credit ratings on any of its clients.