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Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what levels of part-time earnings make job seekers ineligible for consideration under the job interview guarantee scheme; and what plans he has to change the current arrangements.
Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 31 October 1994]: The basic eligibility condition for the job interview guarantee scheme is that a job seeker must be unemployed for at least 26 weeks, and be in receipt of benefit. The level of part-time earnings in respect of unemployment benefit, and the number of hours worked in respect of income support, can affect a job seeker's entitlement to benefit. This would also affect his eligibility for JIG in the following circumstances:
a client loses entitlement to UB for a day he works and earns more than £2.00, or for a week where he earns more than £57 in that week. a client loses entitlement to IS for a week in which he works for more than 16 hours.
There are no plans to change the programme eligibility for JIG or, in the short term, benefit entitlement conditions. There are, however, proposals to change benefit rules from April 1996. Information about the jobseeker's allowance was announced to Parliament on 24 October.
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what criteria he uses for categorising self-employed workers as being part-time; when this criteria was last changed; and when he plans to alter it in the future.
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 31 October 1994]: Information on the number of self-employed workers is collected from the quarterly labour force survey. As with all LFS questions, the categorisation of full or part-time is based on the self-classification of the respondent.
Although the methodology used to estimate the numbers of self-employed was refined in April 1994, this did not effect the criteria for categorising part-time workers which has, since its inception in 1979, been based on self-classification from the LFS. There are no plans to alter this method in the future.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment at how many deep coal mines in the United Kingdom the refuge holes required under section 40 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954 and regulation 59 of the Shafts Outlets and Roads Regulations have not been excavated; and if he will list the mines.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) on what grounds managers of certain deep coal mines have been given a derogation from their liabilities to cause refuge holes to be excavated; and who gave authority for the derogation;
(2) what is the total number of refuge holes that must now be excavated following the derogation given to managers at certain deep coal mines; and if this work will be completed prior to privatisation.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Prime Minister how many people there were in employment (a) in the United Kingdom, (b) in Scotland and (c) in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency in September in each year since 1979; how many of these jobs were (i) full-time or (ii) part-time; and how many were filled by (1) men and (2) women.
The Prime Minister: The information requested at (a) and (b) is available for all years since 1979 and can be obtained from the Library of the House. Constituency information is available only for September of 1984, 1987, 1989 and 1991.
non-governmental organisations we receive reports from United Nations agencies. Copies of the most recent report from the office of the United Nations co-ordinator in Baghdad have been placed in both Libraries of the House.
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister what response he is making to the petition he received from Lord Attenborough and others on 19 October urging the provision of powered indoor/outdoor wheelchairs for severely disabled people who cannot be independently mobile without them; what action he is taking; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister: A reply has been sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Group to acknowledge the petition and explain our policy on the provision of wheelchairs for disabled people. I have passed the petition itself to the Department of Health. Health Ministers are, of course, aware of the "batteries not included" campaign.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis), is currently studying the feasibility and affordability of a wheelchair voucher scheme and will announce his conclusions in due course.
Column 1097if he will list the official documents, letters or accords that he has allowed photographic reproduction of his signature to appear on; and if he will list the official documents, letters or accords that he has signed which are written in a language that he does not understand.
(for the then Prime Minister's meeting with the Sulton of Brunei)
14 March 1985
(for the then Prime Minister's lunch for President Mubarak) 3 April 1985
(for a meeting with officials)
7 January 1986
(for a meeting with officials)
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 14 June, Official Report , column 370 , if his Office will now seek to obtain the full text of the letter from the Ritz hotel referred to in the correspondence between the Prime Minister and Mr. Peter Preston, editor of The Guardian.
Column 1098The membership and terms of reference of ministerial Cabinet committees were published in May 1992, along with "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".
In May 1992, I avowed for the first time the continuing existence of the secret intelligence service and named its chief. The Intelligence Services Act, which received royal assent in May 1994, puts both Government communications headquarters and the secret intelligence service on a statutory footing. A statutory oversight committee of parliamentarians for the security and intelligence services was also provided for.
The White paper on open government, published in July 1993, proposed the following measures:
A code of practice on access to government information.
Statutory access rights to personal records and health and safety information.
Greater openness in access to public records.
The code of practice came into force in April 1994, providing for:
Information to be volunteered by Government, such as facts and analysis with the policy decisions, and internal guidelines on dealing with the public.
Government information to be released in response to specific requests.
Reasons to be provided for administrative decisions.
Enforcement by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, at no cost to the applicant.
A similar code of practice, covering the national health service, is currently the subject of consultation.
Over 24,000 records have been released since the open government initiatives began. These include almost 4,000 pieces of the intelligence material shown to Winston Churchill during the war--the so-called "Dir C Archive"; 840 pieces from the Special Operations Executive archive relating to SOE activities in the far east, Scandinavia, the middle east and Africa; previously withheld wartime Cabinet minutes; Admiralty intelligence papers; and War Office papers relating to the interrogation of prisoners-of-war.
A code of conduct has been issued to national health service boards, emphasising that high standards of corporate conduct and probity are at the heart of the NHS. Public registers of interests have been established.
A similar Treasury code of best practice for board members of other public bodies has also been promulgated. It recommends that all boards should establish a register of board members' interests. As I announced to the House on 20 October, Official Report , column 421 , a review of the system of appointments to public bodies is currently being carried out. The conclusions of the review will be made public, and will also be made available to the Nolan committee.
The Prime Minister: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary token supplementary estimate, the cash limit for security and intelligence services, class XIX, vote 2 will be increased by £1, 000 from
Column 1099£881,486,000 to £881487,000 and the gross running cost limit will be reduced by £2,361,000 from £449,850,000 to £447,489,000. This takes account of increased capital spending arising from the slippage of a building project and unforeseen capital and other purchases. These increases are being offset by increased receipts and reductions in both running costs and other current expenditure.
The Prime Minister: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for the Cabinet Office: other services, class XIX, vote 1, will be increased by £1, 452,000 from £43,381,000 to £44,833,000. At the same time, the running costs limit will be increased by £1,452,000 from £41,762,000 to £43,214,000.
Column 1100The increase reflects the transfer of certain administrative functions and the move to repayment for some common service support as follows:
(a) transfer of running costs provision for certain Ministry of Defence property charges (Class 1 Vote 1) (£494,000);
(b) transfer of running costs provision for support to former Prime Ministers (Class VIII, Vote 3) (£163,000);
(c) transfer of running costs provision for central services (Class XVII, Vote 1) (£80,000); and
(d) transfer of provision for the calculation of the average property price list (£3,000).
In addition, as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 14 July 1994, Official Report , columns 729 734 , this vote is eligible for a cash limit increase of £721,000 in respect of end year flexibility arrangements for running costs expenditure. This supplementary estimate gives effect to the increase. All the increases are either offset by inter- departmental transfers or have been charged to the reverse and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard: The national targets for education and training aim to help improve Britain's competitiveness by raising expectations of what young people and adults can achieve at school, college and at work.
Mr. Robin Squire: Cornwalls' allocation for capital for 1994 95 is £1.744 million. With regard to bids for 1995 96, I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South-West (Sir D. Madel).
Mr. Boswell: Since 1990, the total resources available to students through grant and student loan have been uprated annually by the rate of inflation estimated at the time, thus maintaining their value in real terms. Additionally, access funds are available for students who are in particular financial difficulties.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 24 October, Official Report, columns 416 17, if she will provide a table showing (a) the cost of teacher salaries by local education authority and (b) the cost of implementing the school teachers pay and conditions document 1993.
Teachers' Pay Costs 1992-93 LEA |£000 ------------------------------------------- Corporation of London |428 Camden |36,778 Greenwich |57,441 Hackney |42,157 Hammersmith and Fulham |25,144 Islington |40,339 Kensington and Chelsea |15,969 Lambeth |45,081 Lewisham |43,850 Southwark |43,037 Tower Hamlets |57,235 Wandsworth |41,485 City of Westminster |29,064 Barking |34,134 Barnet |61,723 Bexley |43,229 Brent |48,628 Bromley |37,052 Croydon |56,379 Ealing |48,569 Enfield |57,216 Haringey |46,196 Harrow |38,397 Havering |49,716 Hillingdon |32,850 Hounslow |48,723 Kingston-upon-Thames |26,672 Merton |34,380 Newham |55,156 Redbridge |48,178 Richmond-upon-Thames |25,951 Sutton |26,067 Waltham Forest |49,215 Birmingham |226,986 Coventry |68,241 Dudley |61,409 Sandwell |67,116 Solihull |44,663 Walsall |57,957 Wolverhamton |52,823 Knowsley |34,957 Liverpool |106,122 St. Helens |40,656 Sefton |58,695 Wirral |71,520 Bolton |58,731 Bury |33,786 Manchester |98,210 Oldham |57,609 Rochdale |44,279 Salford |51,731 Stockport |58,114 Tameside |46,054 Trafford |39,523 Wigan |72,263 Barnsley |40,094 Doncaster |61,082 Rotherham |59,486 Sheffield |95,070 Bradford |113,897 Calderdale |40,476 Kirklees |83,022 Leeds |144,719 Wakefield |65,138 Gateshead |41,420 Newcastle-upon-Tyne |54,297 North Tyneside |43,475 South Tyneside |31,785 Sunderland |64,315 Isles of Scilly |599 Avon |179,711 Bedfordshire |116,753 Berkshire |133,913 Buckinghamshire |116,645 Cambridgeshire |121,295 Cheshire |193,359 Cleveland |136,127 Cornwall |86,734 Cumbria |94,791 Derbyshire |187,005 Devon |179,197 Dorset |99,774 Durham |122,305 East Sussex |115,326 Essex |279,683 Gloucestershire |87,598 Hampshire |281,689 Hereford and Worcester |133,454 Hertfordshire |195,847 Humberside |184,702 Isle of Wight |24,255 Kent |257m412 Lancashire |290,367 Leicestershire |192,009 Lincolnshire |94,889 Norfolk |129,927 North Yorkshire |137,936 Northamptonshire |117,669 Northumberland |62,703 Nottinghamshire |204,216 Oxfordshire |102,211 Shropshire |87,570 Somerset |83,851 Staffordshire |201,758 Suffolk |126,106 Surrey |151,970 Warwickshire |90,879 West Sussex |128,140 Wiltshire |105,215 Total |9,371,750 Note: Figures are derived from LEAs' returns of their spending to the Department of Environment.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 24 October, Official Report, columns 416-17, what additional funds her Department has made available to meet the cost of teacher salary re-assessment.
Mr. Robin Squire: Education's share of the 1993 94 local authority grant settlement was £16.8 billion, 2.6 per cent. higher than the comparable figure for the previous year. It was for local authorities to decide how to meet the cost of the 1993 teachers' pay award from within this total.
Mr. Boswell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England is responsible for allocating public funds to individual higher education institutions in England. Institutions are required to ensure that the funds they receive are used in accordance with the Further and
Column 1104Higher Education Act 1992, a financial memorandum with the council and any other conditions that the council prescribe. They provide audited financial statements to the council annually and their books and records are open to inspection by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
Mr. Boswell: The central responsibility for the quality of education and the standard of degrees rests with the universities themselves, acting individually and also collectively through the higher education quality council. My right hon. Friend has made clear the importance that she places on this responsibility, and has welcomed evidence that it is being taken ever more seriously.
Mr. Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what support she proposes to give to those schools that wish to develop a specialism in music, art, languages or other areas of the curriculum.
Mr. Forth: As part of our commitment to increasing choice and diversity in education, we want to encourage schools to specialise in particular subjects. We have already introduced the successful technology colleges programme to support schools which wish to specialise in technology, science and mathematics. We hope to extend this principle in due course to other areas of the curriculum.
Mr. Forth: My right hon. Friend is now consulting widely a range of interests in pre-school education with a view to drawing up detailed proposals on how to achieve the target for expansion of pre-school provision set by the Prime Minister. The need for additional funding will be determined as part of the development of these proposals.
Mr. Forth: At January 1994, 3 per cent. of three and four-year-olds attended nursery classes full-time and 24 per cent. attended such classes part-time. A further 25 per cent. of this age group were in attendance at other infant classes, 23 per cent. full-time and 2 per cent. part-time.
Mr. Robin Squire: The Prime Minister recently reaffirmed the Government's firm commitment to pre-school education. He set a target to provide, over time, a pre-school place for all four-year-olds whose parents wish them to take it up. My right hon. Friend is now consulting widely with a view to drawing up detailed proposals on the expansion. She will make an announcement as soon as practicable.
Mr. Carrington: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the latest estimate she has of the amount of money being tied up in maintaining surplus school places; and what steps she is taking to reduce the number of surplus places.