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Mr. Lang [holding answer 21 November 1994]: Between 1 January and 30 June 1994, Ministers in my Department made 11 overseas visits in their official capacity. Fund-raising activities for the Conservative party are not part of our official duties.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 24 November 1994]: As shown in the table, Scottish exports continue to rise. The Scottish Council Development and Industry's survey of Scottish manufactured exports revealed that, in 1993, exports reached a new high of almost £11.5 billion. The growth rate of 19.2 per cent. from the previous year indicates that the opportunities presented by a competitive currency and lower interest rates over the past two years have been grasped by Scottish industry.
Scottish manufactured exports have grown faster in the last two years than in the previous six
Scotland's share of United Kingdom exports 1994-95 Year |Per cent. share|Year |Per cent. share -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1974 |10.4 |1984 |9.6 1975 |11.2 |1985 |9.6 1976 |12.3 |1986 |8.9 1977 |11.5 |1987 |9.6 1978 |9.5 |1988 |10.0 1979 |9.1 |1989 |9.4 1980 |9.0 |1990 |9.5 1981 |9.8 |1991 |9.6 1982 |9.3 |1992 |10.1 1983 |9.6 |1993 |10.3
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the value of Scottish exports to the Scottish economy in (a) absolute terms and (b) as a percentage of gross domestic product in each year since 1979.
Value of Scottish Exports 1979-93 |Value |Current Prices Year |£ million --------------------------------------------- 1979 |3,410 1980 |3,762 1981 |4,024 1982 |4,065 1983 |4,532 1984 |4,953 1985 |5,522 1986 |5,300 1987 |6,393 1988 |7,166 1989 |7,664 1990 |8,574 1991 |8,833 1992 |9,682 1993 |11,540
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the value to Scotland's economy of exports from the (a) food and drink, (b) chemicals, (c) oil and gas, (d) engineering, (e) electronics, (f) financial services and (g) tourism sectors; and if he will make a statement.
Sectoral performances in 1993 reveal food and drink exports were worth some £2.5 billion, of which £2.1 billion is whisky; chemicals worth £1.3 billion; engineering, including mechanical, transport equipment and motor vehicle parts £1.4 billion; electronics, including computers, £4.9 billion; tourism £670 million provisional figure- -financial services worth £285 million, rising to around £393.7 million if legal and accountancy figures are included.
Oil and gas sector exports in the period were estimated to be worth some £850 million. This figure relates to exports generated by service sector and supply companies in the world marketplace. Such Scottish companies export around 20 per cent. of their annual turnover.
Mr. Norman Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice he has given to regional and islands councils on the gritting of roads leading to schools which are not designated bus routes; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 November 1994]: No specific advice has been given to regional and islands councils on the gritting of roads leading to schools which are not designated bus routes. Regional and islands councils determine their own priorities for gritting roads for which they are responsible.
Mr. Norman Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice he has given to education authorities on school bussing in adverse weather conditions and where access to a school requires school buses to travel on roads other than designated bus routes; and if he will make a statement.
Column 691provision of school transport are placed on individual education authorities.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 November 1994]: After widespread consultation, a decision will be taken shortly on the proposed route for the M80, followed in due course by initiation of the appropriate statutory procedures. The construction
Column 692timetable will be dependent on completion of the statutory procedures and the availability of finance.
Mr. Norman Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many full national vocational qualifications have been awarded in the current year and in each year since 1992; at which levels these awards were made; and how many, at each level, were awarded in construction, engineering, manufacturing, health and social care, business administration, accounting and financial services and management, respectively.
|SVQ |SVQ |SVQ |SVQ |SVQ Standard |Level 1 |Level 2 |Level 3 |Level 4 |Level 5 occupational classification group ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Constructing |- |44 |6 |- |- Engineering |42 |- |44 |- |- Manufacturing |- |91 |- |- |- Providing health, social care and protective services |248 |225 |1 |- |- Providing business services |589 |684 |43 |10 |8 Other |648 |879 |- |- |- Total |1,527 |1,923 |94 |10 |8 Source: Data files supplied by SCOTVEC.
Mr. Dunnachie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to review the current practice whereby colleges charge asylum seekers and political refugees the home student rates of fees for part-time study; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 November 1994]: The Scottish Office Education Department is currently consulting further higher education institutions about the possibility of allowing them to charge part-time students from overseas a different rate of fees from home students. It is not our intention to change how individuals granted refugee status are treated. Institutions have specifically been asked as part of the consultation if they are likely to offer concessions to students who have applied for refugee status. Their responses will be taken into account in taking any proposals forward.
Ms Rachel Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what considerations led him to favour the private sector for the development of a mixed economy of community care; what consideration he gave to the use of the voluntary sector or direct local provision; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton [holding answer 28 November 1994]: Prior to 1 April 1993 local authorities purchased no community care services from the private sector. Since then the Government have transferred considerable resources to local authorities which under previous arrangements would have been used to purchase residential and nursing homes care from the private and voluntary sectors. The new arrangements are based on local authorities undertaking an enabling role. They should commission services offering quality and value for
Column 692money. That involves not only arranging care in their own provider units but purchasing care from providers in the private and voluntary sectors.
While many authorities have taken on this role on an even-handed, basis some appear to wish to use the additional resources to favour their own provider units even when these do not offer best value for money. The Secretary of State has encouraged authorities to make best use of the resources available to meet the care needs of the people in their areas.
Ms Rachel Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what priority he gives to (a) quality and standards, (b) accessibility and affordability for all and (c) cost-efficiency in the development of a mixed economy of community care.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton [holding answer 28 November 1994]: The Government, in their guidance to local statutory and independent sector agencies, have pointed to the importance of all these factors. Local authorities are responsible for evaluating the relative importance of each of these factors as they relate to individuals' needs. In doing so they must also take full account of individuals' choice.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the areas of land identified by the Forestry Commission or Forest Enterprise for sale since 1981 but which have not been sold, with the size of those areas, the county or, if in Scotland, region in which they are situated and the year in which they were identified for sale.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 28 November 1994]: The Forestry Commission keeps records of all the land it has sold and of land it currently has on the market. It does not, however, retain records on cases where land was put on the market and then later withdrawn, for whatever reason. The information requested is therefore not available.