|Previous Section||Home Page|
Column 1291earlier forecast for the same financial year contained in the March 1991 Financial Statement and Budget Report; and if he will estimate how much of the difference was due to (a) discretionary changes to public expenditure plans, taxes or other receipts, (b) changes resulting from errors in forecasting the level of out-put, (c) changes resulting from errors in forecasting the rate of inflation, (d) errors in forecasting debt interest and (e) other errors.
Mr. Aitken: I regret that I cannot answer substantively before Parliament is prorogued. I will, however, write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the average weekly expenditure in 1997 98 and 1996 97 of (a) all households, (b) families with children, (c) non-retired households and (d) retired households, on domestic fuel, showing separately for 1995-96 the extra expenditure as a result of VAT at 17.5 per cent.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 2 November 1994]: The table shows figures for 1993 based on the family expenditure survey, the most recent data available. Making projections for 1996 97 and 1997--98 would require hypothetical assumptions on the development of earnings, the distribution of income between household types and future energy prices.
|Extra expenditure |Average weekly |from 17" per cent. |expenditure 1993 |VAT |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All households |13.24 |1.81 Families with children |15.25 |2.08 Non retired households |13.40 |1.83 Retired households |11.03 |1.51
Mr. Allason: To ask the Attorney-General how many people are the subject of an immunity from prosecution; and if he will name them.
The Attorney-General: The term "immunities" is variously used to signify specific assurances given by prosecuting authorities that an offender will not be prosecuted for a particular offence or offences as well as the assurance which may be implied when a prosecuting authority concludes that the public interest is being served by using an individual who may have played some part in a crime as a witness rather than prosecuting that individual.
The term may also be used to describe assurances given to an individual that answers to questions given before a particular tribunal --for example, a public inquiry--will not be used in evidence against that person; albeit a prosecution may still be brought if evidence from other
Column 1292sources is available and sufficient to justify the institution of proceedings.
No central record of "immunities" is maintained.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Attorney-General what properties are owned or leased by his Department for the use of Ministers; what was the total running cost for each property for the latest year available broken down into (a) furniture and fittings, (b) maintenance, (c) staffing, including the number of butlers, cooks and housekeepers, (d) food and hospitality and (e) other costs; what is the estimated value of each property; and how many times in the latest year the property was stayed in overnight by a Minister.
The Attorney-General: Excluding departmental offices, no such properties are owned or leased by the Departments for which I am responsible.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Attorney-General how many contracts his Department or Government agencies responsible to his Department have entered into with Spencer Stuart consultants in the last two years.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is his latest estimate of (a) the export value of United Kingdom broadcasters programmes and (b) the value of imports into the United Kingdom of foreign programmes.
Mr. Nelson: I have been asked to reply.
In 1993, exports and imports by United Kingdom television companies were £113 million and £228 million respectively. These figures include the making of television programmes and the buying and selling of completed programmes.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he made to and what assessment he has made of the decision of the European Parliament regarding cross media ownership; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department is aware of the view of the European Parliament, which is likely to be reflected in the European Commission's forthcoming communication on pluralism and media concentrations.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what contact his Department has had with the European Commission Council of Ministers arising from the European Parliament's decision in January to request draft legislation from Commissioner Vanni d' Archirapi on diversification of media ownership.
Mr. Dorrell: There has been no discussion within the Culture Council on the issue of media ownership. The
Industry/Telecommunications Council on 28 September 1994 noted the European Commission's response to the Bangemann group report on the Information Society, which included reference to media concentration.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what response his Department has made to the EU Commission's communication on the information Society in respect of European regulation of media concentrations.
Mr. Dorrell: The European Commission's communication on the Information Society indicated that the Commission will shortly present a communication to the Council and Parliament on the follow up to the Green Paper on pluralism and media concentration in the internal market. I shall consider any response once the communication is available.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the research papers produced by his Department or commissioned from consultants in the last year on matters which fall under the scope of the broadcasting policy and media divisions of his Department.
Mr. Dorrell: "Setting the level of the television licence fee", a report by management consultants, Touche Ross, was published on 4 November 1993. No other research papers have been produced in the last year in the areas falling within the scope of my Department's broadcasting policy and media divisions.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when the franchises for the regional television companies are to be re auctioned; and what amendments to the proceedings he will introduce.
Mr. Dorrell: The channel 3 licences which came into force on 1 January 1993 are valid for ten years. An application for renewal may be made by the current licence holder any time after six years from the start of the licence. The terms of any renewal will be set by the Independent Television Commission. I have no plans to amend the procedures.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage when he last met representatives of the ITN network; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: I met Michael Green, who is the chairman of ITN, on 6 October and discussed a number of broadcasting issues.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what response his Department has made to the European Green Paper on pluralism and media 1992; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department has discussed the Green Paper with officials from the European Commission on a number of occasions. I shall consider any response to the Commission's forthcoming communication on this matter once the communication is available.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to change the ownership rules for ITV franchises; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: The ownership rules for all broadcasters, including the ITV franchises, are being considered as part of the Government's review of cross media ownership. An announcement about the outcome will be made once the Government have determined the way ahead.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what is his Department's policy towards extending the diversity of ownership of the press and broadcasting media;
(2) what is his Department's policy on the extension to broadcasting of the existing laws of libel and obscenity as apply to other media;
Column 1294(3) what was the income received by Her Majesty's Government from each of the independent television companies for the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will list separately the levy, the annual bid price and other sources of revenue.
Mr. Dorrell: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the quangos to which his Department is due to make appointments over the next year.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department will be making appointments to the following non-departmental public bodies over the next 12 months; The Arts Council of England
The British Film Institute
The Geffrye Museum
The British Library Board
The British Tourist Authority
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission
The Broadcasting Standards Council
The Crafts Council
The English Tourist Board
The Football Licensing Authority
Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
The Horniman Museum
The National Film Development Fund
The National Film and Television School
National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside
The Public Lending Right Advisory Committee
The Royal Armouries
The Sports Council
The Theatres Trust
In addition, I will be making appointments to the new Library and Information Commission and to a new advisory council which will take over the statutory functions of the Library and Information Services Council (England).
Depending on when they are established, I may also be making appointments to the new United Kingdom and English Sports Councils.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on index linking the television licence fee to maintain its value; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: As announced by my predecessor on4 November 1993, Official Report, columns 309 10, the Government's policy, in the light of a study by independent management consultants, Touche Ross, is to link increases in the television licence fee to the retail prices index for the remaining years of the BBC's current royal charter, that is, until the end of 1996.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what would be the cost of free television licences to all pensioners.
Mr. Dorrell: If free television licences were made available to all pensioners, regardless of their means, the cost to the BBC, in terms of lost licence fee revenue, is currently estimated at £510 million.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations his Department has made
Column 1295on the subject of concessionary television licences in warden-aided accommodation being available to some and not to others; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: As indicated in the White Paper "The Future of the BBC", published on 6 July 1994, the Government have considered the possibility of reviewing the concessionary television licence scheme, as recommended by the National Heritage Select Committee. We have, however concluded that any attempt to remove the perceived anomalies of the scheme would most likely only have the effect of creating fresh ones. The Government therefore have no plans for any changes in the concessionary regulations.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the proper balance between investigative journalism and protection of private individuals from intrusion and harassment.
Mr. Dorrell: The Government's conclusion on this matter will be set out in our response to the National Heritage Select Committee's report on privacy and media intrusion.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) if he will make it his policy to incorporate a public interest defence into any forthcoming legislation on privacy;
(2) when he expects to publish a White Paper on privacy and the media arising from the Lord Chancellor's review and the Calcutt report; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrel: The Government's conclusions on the need for fresh legislation to protect privacy will be set out in our response to the National Heritage Select Committee's report on privacy and media intrusion. I cannot yet say when that will be published.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what is his Department's assessment of the effectiveness of the Press Complaints Commission;
(2) what is his Department's policy on the establishment of a right to free speech and a free press; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: The Government's conclusions on the effectiveness of the Press Complaints Commission, and on the proper balance between the right to privacy and the freedom of the press, will be set out in our response to the National Heritage Select Committee's report on privacy and media intrusion.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what interest his Department has in the development of information super- highways; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department's interest is in contributing to the development of broadcasting, telecommunications and computer networks by providing a regulatory structure for broadcasting that recognises the needs of both consumers and industry.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what his Department's policy is on the European Commission's proposals for a European information super-highway; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell: The European Commission has stimulated an interesting debate on these matters, to which my Department continues to contribute. We remain of the view that it is primarily for the market to determine how to proceed and to grasp the opportunities that the new technologies and continuing liberalisation of world markets will bring.
Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list his official engagements for 27 October and also those of his Parliamentary Under-Secretary with responsibility for tourism.
Mr. Dorrell: On 27 October, I held a number of departmental meetings, attended Cabinet and flew to the US on private business immediately thereafter. My hon. Friend, the Under-Secretary of State, Viscount Astor, also held departmental meetings and attended a British hospitality association dinner.
Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list all independent consultants or firms who have been awarded contracts to carry out tourism-related work for each of the last five years, specifying which body was responsible for the appointment, the dates of appointment, the name of the consultant or firm, the value of the contract and the subject of the consultant's work.
Mr. Dorrell: I shall write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage in what form his Department keeps records of who owns (a) newspapers and (b) television stations and what his statistics indicate about the concentration of ownership.
Mr. Dorrell: Ownership concentrations within the broadcasting sector must conform to the limits prescribed by the Broadcasting Act 1990. Information about the ownership of broadcasters is collected by the Independent Television Commission in accordance with its responsibilities outlined in chapter 1 of part 1 of the Act. My Department does not itself regularly collect ownership information about the newspaper industry.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the occasions on which his Department has expressed a view on the advisability of any item or programme being published or broadcast.
Mr. Dorrell: The Department of National Heritage is not consulted in advance about individual publications or programmes.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage which official functions involving the European People's party he has attended since his appointment.
Mr. Grocott: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage which former hon. Members of this House have been appointed since 1988 by his Department to quasi-autonomas non-governmental organisations; and if he will list, in each case, the title of the post, the salary, the duration of the appointment and the party which each represented as an hon. Member.
Mr. Dorrell: Former Members of the House of Commons who have been appointed since my Department was set up in April 1992 are as follows. Information from prior to this is not held centrally. No salaries are paid except where otherwise indicated.
The right hon. The Lord Barnett (Labour)
Reappointed as Chairman of the National Film Development Fund in July 1993. His term of appointment is due to expire in December 1994 (Salary £2,205).
Mr. John Lee (Conservative)
Appointed Chairman of the Board of the Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry in October 1992 for 3 years, and as Member of the Board of the English Tourist Board in November 1992 for 2 years (Salary £6,550).
Mr. Bryan Magee (Labour 1974 82, SDP 1982 83)
Appointed Member of the Arts Council of Great Britain in January 1993 for 4 years (resigned January 1994).
Mr. Matthew Parris (Conservative)
Appointed Member of the Broadcasting Standards Council in January 1993 for 5 years (Salary £12,510).
Lord Dubs (Labour)
Appointed Member for the Broadcasting Standards Council in April 1992 for 8 months, and reappointed in January 1993 for 6 months (Salary £10,900).
The right hon. The Lord Younger of Preswick KCVO TD (Conservative)
Appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Armouries in October 1994, for 5 years.