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Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the amount of cash earned by exports by the United Kingdom aerospace industry in each year since 1989, and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The value of exports by the United Kingdom aerospace equipment manufacturing and repairing industry, defined as group 364 of the standard industrial classification, 1980 is given in the following table:
Year |UK export ------------------------------ 1989 |7.2 1990 |7.4 1991 |7.3 1992 |6.9
The information for 1993 is due to be published soon in the CSO's business monitor series MQ10, "Overseas Trade analysed in terms of industries".
Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals are in hand to outsource the operational responsibility for the management and supervision of pipelines or outfalls that are or have been used for the disposal of nuclear waste from AEA sites in Dorset.
Mr. Charles Wardle: Responsibility for this activity currently rests with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Government division's radioactive waste services. Government division announced in September that it intends to contractorise the operation as part of its strategy for creating a more competitive market in decommissioning and waste management services. It will continue, however, to determine the programme of work and ensure that the operations are carried out consistent with safety and environmental requirements. Government division is currently considering options for taking forward the process of contractorisation in consultation with employee representatives.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 2 November, Official Report, column 1131, what is his definition of official receivers' case administrative work.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The case administration work of official receivers covers the functions exercised in relation to the estates of insolvent companies and individuals rather than those functions which relate to official receivers' investigatory and regulatory roles.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proportion of disqualification returns or reports submitted by insolvency practitioners during the past four years, and what proportion of disqualification returns or reports submitted by official receivers during the same period, have resulted in disqualification orders being made against directors.
K Insolvency Practitioner Cases Total number Number of submitted Financial year |Returns |Reports |orders --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1991-92 |15,615 |3,602 |146 1992-93 |18,233 |3,901 |211 1993-94 |16,124 |3,727 |194 1994-95<1> |7,698 |1,927 |90 <1> to 31 October 1994
The number of cases reported on relate to the number of companies, whereas the number of disqualification orders made relate to the number of directors disqualified. The figures cannot be related to each other as it can take a number of years from when the report is submitted to the date when the order is made.
Official receiver reports |Total number of Financial year |reports submitted|Number of orders ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991-92 |2,402 |155 1992-93 |2,657 |182 1993-94 |3,532 |147 1994-95<1> |1,537 |48 <1> to 31 October 1994
The number of cases reported on are quoted in terms of the number of companies. The number of disqualification orders made relate to the number of individual directors disqualified. The figures cannot be related to each other as it can take a number of years for a disqualification order to be made following the submission of a report.
The number of unfitted returns for individual directors in official receivers cases is not held.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many initial unfit conduct reports made, pursuant to the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and submitted by (a) insolvency practitioners and (b) official receivers were rejected for not being evidentially strong enough in each of the last three years.
Insolvency practitioner reports |Total number of Financial year |reports submitted|Number rejected ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991-92 |3,602 |3,796 1992-93 |3,901 |3,320 1993-94 |3,727 |3,604 1994-95<1> |1,927 |1,774 <1> To 31 October 1994.
The number rejected for a particular year does not bear any relation to those reports actually submitted for that year. Whilst a high proportion will be rejected in the year that the report was submitted--approximately 70 to 75 per cent.--some will not actually be rejected for some time due to the time taken to investigate the matter further.
The totals for rejections also include those not proceeded with because of parallel criminal proceedings, the bankruptcy of the potential respondent or the discovery of evidence which would refute or mitigate the allegation of misconduct.
Official receivers reports Total number of reports submitted Financial year |Without full report|With full report |Number of full |reports rejected ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1991-92 |2,166 |236 |31 1992-93 |2,536 |121 |32 1993-94 |3,425 |107 |13 1994-95<1> |1,443 |94 |12 <1> To 31 October 1994.
The total rejections for a particular year relate only to the cases which have been submitted with a full report. Some of them will also related to cases which have been submitted in an earlier financial year.
The rejection figures include those which have not been proceeded with because there are already criminal proceedings afoot, the individual concerned has become bankrupt, or there has been evidence discovered which would refute or mitigate the allegations of misconduct.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what criteria he will use to determine whether or not a pilot scheme will be implemented to evaluate the costs and benefits of contracting out parts of the Insolvency Service.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: Any decision to contract out official receivers' functions will be made on the basis of value for money. A pilot scheme would be appropriate if it were felt that the practical details of a contract needed to be tested.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the resources which it will be necessary to provide to the Insolvency Service Agency to concentrate its investigative role if the recommendations of Stoy Hayward Consulting are implemented in full, indicating the numbers of professional and administrative civil servants.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: No assessment has yet been made of the resources that would be needed to enable the Insolvency Service to pursue its investigative role. In any decision to contract out the administrative work of official receivers' offices, the resource implications of all residual work will be considered.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he will include in the specifications to contract out the initial interview of bankrupts and directors of companies in compulsory liquidation to ensure that they are conducted by adequately qualified staff in the private sector.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: My officials are currently in the process of inviting firms to tender for a contract to work up a specification, bid documentation and evaluation criteria to enable the work of official receivers to be contracted out in the event that such a decision is taken. As part of this work, the successful contractor will be asked to determine performance criteria for all aspects of any work to be contracted out, including the initial interviews of bankrupts and company directors.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to consult insolvency practitioners, trade associations, chambers of trade and commerce and other interested bodies over his proposal
Column 256to contract out part of the official receiver's statutory functions.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: Any contracting out of the official receivers' functions would require them to be consulted pursuant to section 69(3) of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. I and my officials have received representations from a variety of sources on this issue and expect to receive further representations if any decision to proceed with contracting out is made.
Mr. Eggar: Approximately 40 per cent. of British Gas's revenue base is in the competitive sector. In 1993, the British Gas Group turnover totalled approximately £11.2 billion. The tariff sector, which is both regulated by Ofgas and a monopoly business, accounted for approximately £6.5 billion, leaving around £4.8 billion revenue, or 40 per cent., derived from the competitive sector.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his oral answer of 23 November, Official Report, column 583, if he will publish any evidence that British industry's level of competitiveness has changed relative to the rest of the EEC since 1979.
Mr. Needham: The Government's White Paper "Helping Business To Win"- -Cm 2563--set out a detailed analysis of the improvements in British industry's competitive position relative to our international competitors since 1979. The White Paper contained a formidable agenda of actions and initiatives committing the Government to work with industry to build on this success.
Mr. Ainger: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answers of 30 November, Official Report, column 706, regarding the provision of environmental advice, if he will specify the advice he received from each organisation.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 5 December 1994]: Consultation of other Departments and organisations took place on the understanding that the information provided would be treated in confidence. This is our established practice with regard to consultation on blocks offered for licensing.
Officials took account of the concerns of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Countryside Council for Wales, regarding the ecological status of the area. It was agreed that blocks could be offered and special conditions should be attached to each licence. These special conditions have been agreed with, among others, the Department of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the JNCC, which has consulted the CCW.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list those public projects which received European regional development funding and were subsequently privatised over the last 10 years, indicating (a) the level of funding and (b) the dates when it was received.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 24 November 1994]: The bodies that have been privatised during the last 10 years and received European regional development funding for projects were British Gas, British Telecommunications and the Electricity Boards. The dates and amounts of grants are listed in the following table:
British Telecom |£ -------------------------------------------------------- 1984 17 May Manchester |102,000 17 September Newcastle |1,058,400 North Tyneside |1,118,400 South Tyneside |405,600 South Tyneside |1,355,100 South Tyneside |116,700 Sunderland |560,100 Middlesborough |274,800 Durham |1,194,300 Darlington |230,400 Darlington |300,000 Northumberland |210,600 Northumberland |24,900 Bradford |895,200 Rotherham |231,600 Doncastor |394,200 Barnsley |201,000 Redruth/Hayle |872,700 Liskeard/ Newquay/Roche |1,070,700 Birmingham |96,900 Birmingham |298,800 Birmingham |935,400 Birmingham |688,500 Birmingham |85,200 Birmingham |111,900 Birmingham |233,400 Birmingham |29,100 Birmingham |647,400 Birmingham |506,400 Birmingham |488,400 Coventry |38,700 Coventry |175,500 Wolverhampton |577,500 Wolverhampton |77,400 Wolverhampton |905,400 Wolverhampton |83,400 Walsall |560,400 West Bromwich |122,400 Birmingham |541,800 Liverpool |102,600 Wirral |24,000 Liverpool |38,700 Liverpool |38,100 Liverpool |31,500 Liverpool |159,600 Liverpool |95,400 Sefton |87,000 Sefton |97,200 St. Helens |63,900 St. Helens |54,900 Sefton |704,700 Wirral |669,300 Liverpool |139,200 Liverpool |732,300 Liverpool |45,300 Liverpool |74,700 Liverpool |391,200 Rossendale |18,000 Rochdale |29,400
Electricity |£ Companies ------------------------------------- 1984 17 September Burnley |79,500 Wigan |816,600 1985 24 January Blaydon |74,100 Hull |45,000 Hull |30,900 Torridge |25,600 Tavistock |46,500 Lynton |259,800 30 September (Various) |889,500 1986 29 January Rossendale |1,830,000 1987 27 January Manchester |255,000 The Wrekin |80,500 1988 27 January Chester |440,000 Salford |76,000 (Various) |436,000 Manchester |45,000 Hartlepool |512,500
British Gas |£ -------------------------------------- 1984 12 January Washington |48,000 17 May Sheffield |58,800 17 September Barnsley |619,500 Bradford |43,800 Halton |151,200 1985 24 January Consett |28,800 Rotherham |811,500 Bideford |88,500 Birmingham |18,200 Blackburn |116,400 Liverpool |134,400 Rochdale |66,600 30 September Sheffield |643,500 Bradford |39,500 Bradford |28,000 Wolverhampton |430,000 Halton |29,250
Mr. Needham [holding answer 5 December 1994]: Our trade relations with Argentina continue to develop strongly. Not only are our exports growing rapidly but some of our best-known companies have invested over US$1 billion in Argentina over the last two years. In addition, there have been a growing number of trade missions to Argentina, including one which I led in July 1994.
Figures for visible United Kingdom exports to and imports from Argentina over the last full five years and in 1994 to end September are:
S £ million |Jan-Sept|Jan-Sept |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |1993 |1994 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- UK exports |13.6 |36.0 |69.7 |118.7 |179.3 |115.3 |163.7 UK imports |99.0 |144.2 |135.6 |124.6 |141.1 |98.3 |131.3 Balance |-85.4 |-108.2 |-65.9 |-5.9 |38.2 |17.0 |32.4 Source: Overseas Trade Statistics of the UK NORTHERN IRELAND
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has to extend the control of wild animals legislation to, or to propose similar legislation for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Moss: There are no plans at present to introduce legislation to extend the control of wild animals. In Northern Ireland the keeping of non- domestic animals is controlled under public health and animal welfare legislation. Native species of wild animals are subject to the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, which among other things controls the keeping of protected species listed in the order.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what occasions since 1979 civil servants in his Department have been asked to draft speeches of a constituency nature for use in a Minister's own constituency.
Sir John Wheeler: I am aware of none. Civil servants may provide briefing of a factual nature for Ministers on matters relating to their own Departments. In addition, Ministers in preparing for a constituency speech can draw on material produced by their Department during the normal course of business.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps will be taken to prevent the erosion of hill livestock compensatory allowances and restore the HLCA rates to 1992 93 levels; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ancram: The recently announced decision that HLCA rates for 1995 would remain at their 1994 levels was taken following the Government's completion of the annual review of economic conditions in the hills and uplands. The rates announced apply throughout the United Kingdom. The same procedure will apply again next year.
Sir Patrick Mayhew: I have no plans at present to revise what has come to be known as the Hurd policy but I will of course keep the policy under review in the light of developments in Northern Ireland.
Column 261The targets that I have set for the Child Support Agency for 1994 95 are as follows:
--50 per cent. of people with care of children making eligible applications to the Child Support Agency to have maintenance arranged;
--a score of 65 out of 100 on an index of client satisfaction with the agency's service, as determined by an independent survey; --annual benefit savings of £10.2 million;
--to manage the agency's resources so as to deliver its business plan within a total budget of £5.7 million;
--by the end of March 1995, no more than 55 per cent. of outstanding maintenance applications to be over 13-weeks-old, no more than 25 per cent. over 26-weeks-old, and no more than 1 per cent. over 52-weeks-old.
The agency is making a number of operational and procedural changes this year which should significantly improve performance. The new targets take this expected improvement into account. They are higher than the agency's achievements last year; and they will be challenging but they should be achievable.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the reduction in the number of persons by grade and gender employed by his Department and associated offices and agencies, nationally and regionally over the next three years, as a result of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget statement of 29 November, indicating which branch, agency and region will be affected and stating his estimate of the number of job losses in each year which will be by (a) natural wastage, (b) voluntary redundancy and (c) compulsory redundancy; and what estimate he has made of the yearly total of savings in wages and associated costs as a result of these reductions in each Department, branch and agency.
Sir John Wheeler [holding answer 5 December 1994]: The information requested is not yet available. It is likely, however, that further reductions will be necessary over and above the 500 voluntary redundancies in the Northern Ireland civil service which will take place before 31 March 1995. The Department's staffing plans for 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98 will be set out in the departmental report, to be published on 10 March 1995.
The Government's aim has been, and will continue to be, that reductions in the size of the civil service should, as far as possible, be achieved without compulsory redundancies.
Mr. Dewar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the insurance premium tax applies to insurance policies taken out to protect mortgage interest payments against the risk of sickness or unemployment.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: In common with most other forms of general insurance, policies taken out to protect mortgage interest payments against the risk of sickness or unemployment are subject to insurance premium tax.
(2) what assessment he has made of the impact on general betting duty receipts of the deregulation of licensed betting offices up to and including those measures announced by the Home Secretary in July 1994;
(3) what assessment he has made of the potential impact on general betting duty receipts of the removal of restrictions on advertising of licensed betting offices.
On-course--no liability to general betting duty from 29
Off-course--12 July 1981 to 1 April 1992--8 per cent.
1 April 1992 to present--7.75 per cent.
Receipts |£ million ------------------------------ 1989-90 |458.7 1990-91 |479.1 1991-92 |482.1 1992-93 |473.7 1993-94 |494.9
Mr. John Greenway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact on general betting duty receipts of the introduction of evening opening of licenced betting offices.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: General betting duty receipts for the months April to August, using 1992 as a baseline, increased by 11.7 per cent. in 1993 and 16.1 per cent. in 1994. General betting duty receipts for the fiscal year 1993 94 were 4.5 per cent. up on 1992 93 and those for 1994 95 will be approximately 6 per cent. up.
Mr. Pendry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 22 November, Official Report, column 71, if he will publish a table showing, for each recognised sport where VAT payments have been refunded to non-profit making organisations supplying sporting services, (a) the name of the sports clubs or associations and (b) the value of the VAT refunded.
Financial year |Inheritance tax<1> |as a percentage ------------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |0.6 1980-81 |0.5 1981-82 |0.5 1982-83 |0.5 1983-84 |0.5 1984-85 |0.5 1985-86 |0.6 1986-87 |0.7 1987-88 |0.7 1988-89 |0.6 1989-90 |0.7 1990-91 |0.6 1991-92 |0.6 1992-93 |0.6 1993-94 |0.6 Footnotes: <1> Includes small residual receipts from estate duty and receipts from capital transfer tax. Estate duty was replaced by capital transfer tax in 1975 which was in turn replaced by inheritance tax in 1986. <2> Taxes on income, on expenditure, on capital, rates/community charge/council tax, royalties and social security contributions.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the direct revenue yield in a full year at 1994 95 levels of income from restricting (a) personal allowances, (b) relief from pension contributions and (c) other reliefs to relief at (i) 25p and (ii) 20p, giving in each case the number of people affected.
Sir George Young: Estimated full-year yields at 1994 95 income levels based on a projection of the 1992 93 survey of personal incomes and other survey data in line with the assumptions in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report 1995 96" are given in the table. The figures do not take account of any behavioural effects which might result from the introduction of such changes, and show the yield from restructuring each allowance or relief separately. If two or more were restricted the total yield would be greater than the sum of individual figures.
Restriction to Basic Rate 20p |Numbers |Numbers Effects of |Yield |affected |Yield |affected restricting |£ million |millions |£ million |millions ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) Personal allowances |1,450 |3.3 |5,600 |26.1 (b) Relief for pension contributions |680 |1.9 |1,330 |11.5 (c) Other reliefs |140 |0.7 |n/a<1> |n/a <1> Information on reliefs given at source is not available from the Survey of Personal Incomes so it is not possible to estimate the effect of restricting other reliefs to 20 per cent.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arguments were advanced at the Council of Finance Ministers in favour of reducing the anti-fraud budget at its meeting in November; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The Commission's preliminary bid for anti-fraud lines in the 1995 budget was for 133.1 mecu, or £103.8 million which was a reduction of 6.1 mecu, or £4.8 million, over the budget for 1994. This is due to a reduction in one-off studies and start-up costs and capital expenditure in agriculture. But the Commission's bid ensured that the amounts for staff and running costs were maintained at their 1994 levels.
The European Parliament sought an increase of 7 mecu, or £5.5 million, over the Commission's bid, made up of: 3 mecu, or £2.3 million, for measures for inspection of animals in the agricultural section; and 3.95 mecu, or £3.1 million, transferred from various programmes to a number of small amounts in administrative expenditure in the operational section of the budget. The latter is contrary to Council policy.
The United Kingdom supported the European Parliament's proposals in this area, although it had considerable sympathy with the Council's view on not creating administrative expenditure lines within the operational expenditure section of the budget because this makes control of the Commission's administration budget more difficult. In the event, the majority's view prevailed and the European Parliament's bid was cut back at the 16 November Budget Council to the Commission's original bid, which both the Commission and the Council considered appropriate for what is required for the fight against fraud. But the majority of the European Parliament's proposals are for non-compulsory expenditure on which final decisions are taken by the European Parliament, and it is still able to reinstate part of this increase in the Budget if it so wishes.
Mr. Goodlad: The export to any destination of arms and other goods listed in the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 is prohibited without a licence issued by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. All applications for export licences for defence equipment are considered on a case by case basis in the light of established criteria. In the case of Indonesia, we would not, for example, licence for export equipment likely to be used for internal repression.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many private consultants were employed by his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what was the total cost.
Mr. Goodlad: There are three categories of external consultants as defined by the Cabinet Office efficiency scrutiny. This is: "Investigating problems, providing analysis or advice, or assisting with the development of new systems, new structures or new capabilities within the organisation".
The diplomatic wing spent £704,542 on the hire of management consultants, £8,600,000 on the commission