Mr. Cousin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to introduce legislation to control share settlements systems, with particular reference to control of the exposure of holdings by market makers.
Mr. Nelson: Securities settlements systems are already governed by legislation, notably the Financial Services Act 1986 and the Companies Acts. New, computerised securities settlements systems such as CREST will require changes to the existing law. The Treasury is preparing regulations under section 207 of the Companies Act 1989 to allow such systems to operate. These regulations will not affect existing arrangements regarding control of the exposure of holdings by market makers.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those agencies expected to take full pay delegation by 1 April 1995; and if he will identify separately all those agencies that already have delegated responsibility for pay.
HM Customs and Excise
Defence Research Agency
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Driving Standards Agency
Fire Service College
Forensic Science Service
Health and Safety Executive
HM Prison Service
Her Majesty's Stationery Office
HM Land Registry
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
Scottish Prison Service
Social Security Benefits Agency
Social Security Contributions Agency
Social Security Information Technology Services Agency
Valuation Office Agency
The following are expected to do so from April 1995:
Child Support Agency
Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce
Meat Hygiene Service
Service Children's Schools (North West Europe)
War Pensions Agency
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now bring up to date the import-home demand ratio as set out in ratio I in table 15.10 of the "Monthly Digest of Statistics" as published in 1987.
Mr. Nelson: It is the policy of the Central Statistical Office to publish and make available as much as possible of the data that it collects. Provisional data on import penetration will be included in the CSO's "Monthly Digest of Statistics" early in 1995.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when and in what form the summaries of the import penetration figures on an industry basis from the CSO-Taylor Neilson A6 new business series will be made available to hon. Members.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 14 November 1994]: Conditions of service for the staff of my Department incorporate the general principles of conduct that require civil servants not to misuse information which they acquire in the course of their duties; not to make use of their official position to further their private interests or those of others; and not to receive gifts, hospitality or benefits of any kind from a third party, which might be seen to compromise their personal judgment or integrity.
Column 472Guidance for Ministers is set out in "Questions of Procedure for Ministers".
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 24 November 1994]: An increase of 2.9 per cent. in the retail prices index component index for gas would have the effect of adding around 0.05 percentage points to the percentage change over 12 months in the all items retail prices index.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 25 November 1994]: The growth assumptions are for the Community as a whole and are based on real growth of 2.5 per cent. per annum and inflation of 2.5 per cent. per annum over the period 1995 to 1999.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the (a) net contributions per capital and (b) the gross contributions per capita in each EU country after the raising of the VAT ceiling is in force.
The table shows each member state's net balance per capita to the 1993 Community budget.
Member States' Net Balances 1993 Community Budget |Contributions |Net balance per |Receipts |(billion ecu) |Net |capita (ecu) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Belgium |2.4 |2.5 |-0.1 |-10 Denmark |1.2 |1.6 |-0.4 |-70 Germany |19.1 |7.2 |+11.8 |+150 Greece |1.0 |5.1 |-4.1 |-410 Spain |5.2 |8.3 |-3.1 |-80 France |11.5 |10.5 |+1.0 |+20 Ireland |0.6 |2.9 |-2.3 |-700 Italy |10.3 |8.7 |+1.5 |+30 Luxembourg |0.2 |0.4 |-0.2 |-600 Netherlands |4.0 |2.7 |+1.3 |+90 Portugal |0.9 |3.4 |-2.5 |-240 United Kingdom |7.6 |4.5 |+3.1 |+50 Allocation not applicable or available |- |6.3 Total |64.0 |64.2 Source: European Court of Auditors' Report for 1993.) Notes: += net contributor -= net recipient "Allocation not applicable or available" refers mainly to development aid and administrative expenditure for the other institutions.
Future estimates would depend on what specific assumptions are made about the pattern of the European
Column 472Community spending. I gave a broad assessment of likely developments in reply to the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) on 24 November, Official Report, columns 353 54.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what assumptions about the sums agreed for the EU budget for each of the next five years, his assessment of the British net contribution in his letter to hon. Members was based.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 25 November 1994]: I presume that the hon. Member's intention was to ask on what assumptions my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's assessment was based.
My right hon. and learned Friend's assessment was based on the assumption that the European Community budget will fully utilise the own resources ceilings in each of the years 1995 to 1999. Assuming 2.5 per cent. annual inflation in the Community, 2.5 per cent. annual growth in real Community GNP, and an exchange rate of £1=1.30 ecu, the figures are as follows:
Own resources ceiling (EC12, assuming increases agreed at Edinburgh) £ billion 1995 |1996|1997|1998|1999 ------------------------------ 55.5 |59.1|63.1|67.4|71.4
The own resources ceiling is a limit on the revenue the Community can call up from the member states, not an entitlement to spend or a target for spending. The Community budget is negotiated annually within the framework of the financial perspective. It is therefore more than possible that in practice annual budgets will be smaller than assumed for the purposes of this assessment.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what assumptions of the allocations to Britain from the structural funds on which his estimate of the net United Kingdom contributions to the EC budget were based.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 25 November 1994]: The assumption underlying the latest forecast of the United Kingdom net contributions is that our receipts from the structural funds will average around 8.6 per cent. per year. The United Kingdom's allocation is expected to decline slowly over the period of the forecast reflecting the changes in the allocation of the structural funds agreed at Edinburgh.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much public money will be spent on entertaining, Christmas decorations and other festive activities this Christmas season by his Department and Government agencies answerable to his Department; and of this sum how much will be spent in Ministers' private offices and official residences.
Dr. Mawhinney: Disaggregated information of this nature is not available. Such costs are covered by the entertainment expenditure for this Department, which is published in the annual report, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many official Christmas cards he and his Ministers intend to send in 1994; how much these cards will cost (a) to buy, (b) to post and (c) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes; and if he will place in the Members' Library a sample copy of the official Christmas card he intends to send this year.
Dr. Mawhinney: This Department's Ministers intend to send 700 official Christmas cards at an anticipated cost of £668 to buy. Postage will cost approximately £175.00. The information regarding the cost in staff time to sign, address and place the cards in envelopes is not available.
I do not plan to place a sample copy of my official Christmas card in the Members' Library.
(2) if he will list those European countries that currently have a system of photographs on driving licences, and indicate which of those countries have a written constitution.
Mr. Norris: All other member states of the European Union have driving licences with photographs. Most member states have some form of written instructions or legislation which could be regarded as a constitution.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the deadline for submissions on the consultation document "Photographs on Driving Licences"; and when the decision was taken to include photographs on driving licences.
Mr. Norris: The closing date for receiving comments as part of the consultation exercise is 30 November. We issued a press notice on 4 November 1991 announcing that photographs would be included on the British driving licence.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the study into the main legal, privacy and administrative issues, referred to on page 1 of his Department's consultation document "Photographs on Driving Licences".
Mr. Wicks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the figures available in respect of the origins and destinations and types of vehicles using the existing A27 from Polegate to Lewes on dates subsequent to 1 January 1990; what are the figures available in respect of projections made for the years 2000, 2005 and 2010 in respect of the origins, destinations and types of vehicles using (i) the existing A27 and (ii) the proposed improved A27; what feasibility studies are being made in the use of tunnelling in connection with the proposed new A27; and when these are due to be published.
Column 475Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Malcolm Wicks, dated 28 November 1994:
The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. Watts, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the proposed improvement of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate in East Sussex as the information requested relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency.
East Sussex County Council carried out traffic counts on the A27 and the surrounding road network during 1993 to enable us to compile information on the origins and destinations of vehicles using the A27 in the area. The raw data has been submitted to the Agency but it has not yet been analysed. A considerable amount of work will need to be done to translate the figures into `readable' facts. I am therefore unable to supply you with the information you requested at this stage. I will arrange for it to be sent to you as soon as possible, but this is unlikely to be before the middle of next
Column 476year. The data from this survey will be used to inform the detailed design stage.
Similarly, there are no future year projects available in the form requested. However, Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) flows have been predicted using 1990 traffic survey data. The attached table sets out the low growth (LG) and high growth (HG) figures for the A27 with and without the proposed improvement for the years you requested.
A proposal for a tunnel south of Mount Caburn was rejected as uneconomic and not without environmental problems in the preferred route statement issued in July 1993.
We have however, undertaken to look at measures to reduce the impact of the preferred route on the surrounding area during the detailed design stage. This will include considering alternative means of crossing the Glynde Reach at a lower level than the bridge included in the preferred route proposals. I am afraid it is too early to say when this work will be completed.