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Mr. Vaz: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) of 1 December, Official Report, columns 895-96, if he will make a statement regarding his Department's expenditure on special advisers in each of the last three financial years and for the financial year 1979 80.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what measures have been taken to reform the common agricultural policy in the interests of consumers since the publication of Cmnd. 6003--"Membership of the European
Community-report on Renegotiation";
(2) if he will describe by reference to each commodity listed in paragraph 9 of Cmnd. 6003, the progress which has been made since 1974 towards securing a better balance between supply and demand.
Mr. Jack: Since 1979, the common agricultural policy has seen a number of changes. The most notable of these was the 1992 CAP reform agreement, which was a major development in moving the CAP closer to the market. The agreement included significant reductions in support prices of major commodities and other measures to cut excess production, thereby securing a better balance between supply and demand, reducing dependence on intervention and reducing the cost to consumers.
There are no commodities listed in paragraph 9 of Cmnd. 6003.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what action is currently being considered at (a) national and (b) international level to exclude industrial fishing from those areas of the North sea which are of high environmental value; (2) if he will seek to introduce a quota system for sandeels when he attends the European Council of Fisheries Ministers later in December.
Mr. Jack: It is recognised that sandeel and other short-lived species serve as food for many of the human consumption fish and other top predators in the marine eco-system. Scientific knowledge of the short-lived species is not as extensive as for other fish species. For this, and other reasons, the United Kingdom pressed the Commission to establish a working party of marine ecologists and fisheries biologists to study the implications for the marine eco-system of fishing in general and industrial fishing in particular. This group met in May and has reported to the Commission. When its report is discussed in the Council, attention will need to be paid to the environmental aspects of industrial fishing. It is for the European Commission to propose new quotas. It has not done so for sandeels for 1995; the current scientific advice is that sandeels in the North sea can sustain fisheries at their present level.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 13 December, Official Report, column 627, regarding exported livestock, what plans he has to prosecute livestock exporters for not fulfilling the journey plan and not feeding and watering the animals after 15 hours.
Mrs. Browning: We have no such plans. The departure from the original journey plan was due to weather conditions beyond the transporter's control. When the calves arrived back at Coventry having failed to land at Rennes, a judgment had to be made, in the light of their condition and all the circumstances, whether they should be taken straight back to their premises of origin or whether a stop for food and rest should be arranged first. The Ministry's veterinary inspector, who was present and had the power to serve a notice requiring food and rest to be provided, agreed with the judgment that it was in the best interest of the calves to be taken back to their home premises without further delay. The fact that in the event the overall journey took fifteen and a half hours does not invalidate that judgment.
Mrs. Browning: The United Kingdom voted against the proposed Council decision to continue the moratorium on the marketing and use of bovine somatotropin until 31 December 1999, as this proposal was without scientific justification. The decision was, however, adopted by qualified majority.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list for each of the three counties of Yorkshire and for Humberside the total cost in each year since 1991 of (a) the sheep annual premium, (b) suckler cow premium and (c) the beef special premium; and what is his estimate for 1994.
Total |North |South |West annual |Yorkshire |Yorkshire |Yorkshire |Humberside payments |£ |£ |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1991 SAPS<1> |- |- |- |- SCPS |2,458,165 |329,368 |652,597 |606,320 BSPS<2> |- |- |- |- 1992 SAPS<3> |2,556,670 |798,337 |18,669,499|1,050,303 SCPS |2,726,418 |381,756 |733,215 |657,953 BSPS<2> |- |- |- |- 1993 SAPS<3> |2,437,136 |732,425 |18,324,704|1,060,504 SCPS<4> |3,751,256 |481,010 |958,669 |857,170 BSPS<4> |5,406,598 |606,618 |826,398 |1,287,532 1994 (est) SAPS |1,500,028 |450,829 |11,318,695|658,345 SCPS<4> |4,609,305 |615,934 |1,218,486 |1,092,518 BSPS<5> |2,650,500 |276,879 |410,012 |640,863 <1> Breakdown by county not readily available. <2> Current BSPS was introduced in 1993, earlier figures not comparable. <3> LFA Supplement included. <4> Extensification premium included. <5> Advances of premium paid as at 20.12.94.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the yield figures set for land in (a) less-favoured areas and (b) non less-favoured areas in the calculation of arable aid payments in each of the three counties of Yorkshire and Humberside for the 1994 95 marketing year; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack: The yield figures used in the calculation of the arable area aid payments in England are the same for both less-favoured areas and non less-favoured areas and also for each county. For cereals, protein crops, linseed and set-aside areas this 5.93 tonne per hectare and for oilseed crops it is 3.08 tonnes per hectare. These figures are based on the average yield for cereals and oilseeds in England over the five years from 1986 87 to 1990 91, excluding the highest and lowest figures.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much a farmer growing cereals will be paid in arable aid for each hectare of cereals grown in 1994 95 in each of the three counties of Yorkshire and Humberside in (a) less-favoured areas and (b) non less- favoured areas; what are the figures for the year 1993 94; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack: The arable area payment for cereals grown in 1994 95 will be 265 ecu per hectare. The sterling equivalent of this can not be calculated until the green rate for ecu conversion is known for 10 July 1995. However, it is expected that it will be approximately £247 per hectare. The figure will be same for both less-favoured areas and non less- favoured areas in England.,
The arable area payment for cereals grown in England in 1993 94 is £193.53 per hectare.
The increase is the final one planned under the arable area payments scheme to compensate for reductions in intervention prices for cereals.
Column 47I will write to him with this information as soon as it is available.
Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food how much per tonne is given to European farmers for growing sugar beet; and what is the value on the world market for sugar per tonne.
Mr. Jack [pursuant to his reply, 15 December 1994, column 791]: The price at which quota sugar can be sold on the world market with the aid of export refunds was incorrect. This should have been around 280 ecu/tonne--£267/tonne*
*1 ecu = £0.953575
Dr. Wright: To ask the minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department (a) hold open meetings, (b) conduct public consultation exercises, (c) conduct consultation exercises with outside commercial interests, (d) publish a register of members' interests (e) publish agendas for meetings and (f) publish the minutes of meetings; and whether this is in each case (i) under a statutory requirement or (ii) voluntary.
In every case where information is published, this is done on a voluntary basis.
|(C) conduct |consultation |(B) conduct |exercises with |(D) publish a |public |outside |register of |(E) publish |(F) publish the Advisory NDPBS |(A) hold open |consultation |commercial |members' |agendas for |minutes of sponsored by MAFF which |meetings |exercises |interests |interests |meetings |meetings ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes |no |yes |yes |yes |yes |no Advisory Committee on Pesticides |no |no |no |yes |no |no Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees |no |no |no |no |no |no Committee on Agricultural Valuation |no |<1>yes |no |no |no |no Consultative Panel on Badgers and Tuberculosis |no |no |no |no |no |no Consumer Panel |no |no |no |yes |yes |yes Consumers Committee for England and Wales |no |no |yes |no |no |no Consumers Committee for Great Britain |no |no |yes |no |no |no Farm Animal Welfare Council |no |yes |yes |no |no |no Food Advisory Committee |no |yes |yes |yes |yes |no Hill Farming Advisory Committee for England, Wales and Northern Ireland |no |no |no |no |no |no National Food Survey Committee |no |no |no<2> |no |no |no Regional Panels for the Farming Industry |no |no |no |no |no |no Salmon Advisory Committee |no |no |no |no |no |no Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee |no |no |no |yes |no |no Sugar Beet Research and Education Committee |no |no |no |no |no |no Veterinary Products Committee |no |no |no |yes |no |<3>no <1> Occasional consultation with industry representative organisations. <2> Membership includes representatives of outside commercial interests. <3> A voluntary news release is published after each meeting detailing the main points.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment has been made as to the additional costs which will be incurred by his Department as a result of the changes in national telephone dialling codes next year; and how much this change will cost his Department in additional expenditure.
Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will release funds to Clwyd county council to enable the Highways Authority to put signal controls at the A494 junction Tan Law lane, Alltami.
Column 49signals would not be appropriate at the A494 junction, Tan Lan lane, Alltami. Officials are reviewing conditions at the junction to see if any measures can be introducted to enhance safety.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of operating per head of population on NHS provision in Wales, with family health services expenditure shown separately.
District health |<1>Total expenditure|<2>Per capita authority |1992-93 |spending |£000 |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Clwyd |173,967 |420 East Dyfed |110,099 |464 Gwent |195,361 |435 Gwynedd |109,915 |459 Mid Glamorgan |247,073 |455 Pembrokeshire |48,623 |427 Powys |62,501 |524 South Glamorgan |223,460 |544 West Glamorgan |168,143 |453 Wales |1,339,142 |462 Source: Final accounts 1992-93. Notes: <1> 1992 estimate for 1994-95 target population. <2> In addition, WHCSA total expenditure for 1992-93 was £31.509 million.
Family health |<1>Total expenditure|<2>Per capita services authority |1992-93 |spending |£000 |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Clwyd |63,714 |154 Dyfed<3> |51,455 |147 Gwent |65,045 |145 Gwynedd |35,940 |150 Mid Glamorgan |77,755 |143 Powys |17,728 |149 South Glamorgan |54,816 |134 West Glamorgan |54,842 |148 Wales |421,295 |145 Source: Final accounts 1992-93. Notes: <1> 1992 estimate for 1994-95 target population. <2> Dyfed FHSA covers East Dyfed and Pembrokeshire Health Authorities. <3> In addition, the Dental Practice Board incurred £51.282 million on the provision of General Dental Services in Wales.
Column 50on 14 December, Official Report, column 925 , if he will give details of his proposals for funding national pay awards to doctors and nurses in the NHS in Wales with respect to (a) provider unit prices and (b) purchaser costs.
Mr. Redwood: I expect pay rises in the NHS in Wales in 1995 96 to be offset by improved efficiency, enabling further growth in patient services. I made clear the total increase in cash for the NHS, and look to health authorities to purchase an increasing quantity of good health care with the money.
Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement comparing the guidance notes issued by English Nature with those issued by the Countryside Commission for Wales, Cyngar Cefn Gwlad Cymru, listing those areas not covered in notes by each; what action people in Wales are to take where only English guidance notes exist: and how soon he expects Countryside Commission for Wales to have a complete set of guidance notes in English and Welsh.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the termination of the contract with Acorns Nurseries for the provision of a creche for his Department and other civil service staff in central Cardiff.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to provide a continuation of creche facilities for his staff following the termination of the contract with Acorns Nurseries; what temporary arrangements he has made; and when he expects a long-term replacement contract to be in place.
Mr. Redwood: It is planned to re-open the nursery with a new management contractor for an interim period from early February once essential remedial work has been carried out. At the same time, tenders will be invited for a full three-year contract to follow the interim period.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of States for Wales what is the membership of the GP fundholder steering group; what is the frequency of its meetings; and if he will make a statement concerning its work.
Mr. Redwood: I announced the formation of the GP fundholding steering group in my letter to all GP fundholders of 23 March 1994, copied to all health authorities. The group comprises representatives from the Welsh Office health department, health authorities, trusts and GP fundholders. It has met on three occasions; future meetings are expected to be bi-monthly.
I will write to the hon. Member about the composition of the group and the terms of reference, and place a copy in the Library of the House.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales 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. Gwilym Jones [holding answer 24 November 1994]: A number of projects have been approved for European regional development fund grant since 1 January 1984 in Wales from public bodies which have subsequently been privatised. Payments to such projects would normally cover a number of years following the approval of a project.
A copy of the information available has been placed in the Library of the House.
Gross expenditure on child care services<1> Year |Per cent. ------------------------------ 1988-89 |21 1989-90 |20 1990-91 |22 1991-92 |22 1992-93 |21 Source: Local authority returns. <1> Expenditure on children aged 0-16 as a percentage of total gross local authority expenditure on personal social services. Includes appropriate apportionment for those services which cover children and other client groups.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made on the Eurorail freight depot; what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Welsh Development Agency concerning the evaluation of the short-listed sites from the point of view of (a) freight transport and (b) property development; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 19 December 1994]: No sites have been shortlisted although the agency is considering proposals from private developers. I wish to speed up progress and, to that end, I am discussing the issues with the Secretary of State for Transport.
Mr. Richards [holding answer 19 December 1994]: This information is not held centrally. However, I have asked the further Education Funding Council for Wales to let the hon. Member have information which it will have
Column 52available shortly in relation to the period since the further education colleges were incorporated on 1 April 1993. I have asked the council to place a copy of the reply in the Library.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to ensure that when children are given statements of special educational needs that their parents or guardians are advised to investigate whether their children may be eligible for benefits such as disability allowance.
Mr. Richards [holding answer 19 December 1994]: I would expect that all those who are professionally involved with children in need, whether or not they have statements of special educational need, to seek to identify ways in which the child and his or her parents or guardians may be helped.
(2) how many (a) permanent and (b) casual staff his Department employs at present; and how many in each category he estimates will be employed in 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98;
(3) pursuant to his oral statement on public expenditure in Wales on 14 December, Official Report , column 927 , what is the total number of jobs to be lost in his Department arising from the reduction in total running costs provisions for his Department; and how many in each year between 1995 96 and 1997 98 will be lost in (a) training and enterprise councils, (b) CADW, (c) Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector and (d) the Welsh Office itself.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 20 December 1994]: At 1 December, my Department employed the full-time equivalent of 2,309 permanent and 240 casual staff. Preliminary estimates indicate a reduction of some 200 jobs by 1995 96 and 400 by 1997 98.
The aim will be to manage these reductions by voluntary means, including natural wastage and continuing close control of recruitment, and to avoid compulsory redundancy. Staffing plans for the Welsh Office, including CADW, and OHMCI for 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98 will be set out in the 1995 departmental report to be published in early March. The staffing levels of training and enterprise councils will be determined by their boards in due course.
Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will review the cold weather payments scheme so as more accurately to reflect regional and local variations and to introduce a more flexible scheme.
Mr. Roger Evans: The cold weather payment scheme is reviewed annually with the Meteorological Office to ensure the links between weather stations and local post code areas are as efficient and effective as possible. The
Column 53Meteorological Office uses its judgment and expertise to link post code areas to 63 national weather stations, reflecting the terrain and local conditions. Substantial changes have been introduced to enable automatic payments to be made for each forecasted or sustained period of exceptionally cold weather ensuring a 100 per cent. take-up of payments.
Mr. Roger Evans: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton) on 27 October, Official Report, column 803. The amount recovered in 1994 95--up to and including 30 November 1994--now stands at £66 million.
Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what the average award was made to family recipients of the new child care disregard since its introduction in October; and what was the figure for those receiving maximum family credit and for those on the lowest level of family credit;
(2) how many family credit recipients have claimed the new child care disregard since its introduction in October; and how many of these claims have been (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful.
Mr. Roger Evans: In the two-month period to 30 November 1994, the latest date for which figures are available, 5,060 families received higher family credit awards as a result of the new help with child care charges. In 4,340 of these cases, the additional help increased their award to the maximum amount of family credit. The average additional weekly amount was £15.60. A further 5,180 families claimed help with child care charges but did not receive help; 3,720 families were not eligible because they did not satisfy the qualifying conditions and 1,460 families received no extra help because they were already receiving maximum family credit. Families with child care charges, including those who receive maximum family credit, may get extra help through housing benefit and council tax benefit. It will be some time before the new help takes full effect as existing family credit recipients can only claim the child care help when their current 26- week award expires, while many potential beneficiaries need to find work of 16 hours or more and to make appropriate child care arrangements.
Five per cent. sample of family credit awards made between 1 October 1994 and 30 November 1994. The figures do not include claims made by 30 November 1994 but decided after that date.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many children in (a) the city of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) Yorkshire and Humberside lived in a household whose income was (i) in the lowest 10th of household incomes nationally and (ii) in the highest 10th of household incomes nationally in 1979 and in the most recent year for which figures are available;
Column 54(2) how many children in (a) the city of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) Yorkshire and Humberside lived in a household whose income was half or less than half the national average household income in 1979 and in the most recent year for which figures are available.
Statistics on patterns of household disposable income, for the United Kingdom as a whole, are provided in "Households Below Average Income 1979-- 1991 92", published in July 1994, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has about the number of previously employed and absent parents who have ceased working after receiving an assessment of liability to pay maintenance from the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Khabra: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for the most recent available full year the annual number of people aged under 25 years claiming (a) income support without unemployment benefit, (b) unemployment benefit without income support and (c) both income support and unemployment benefit.
Claimants under 25 years (thousands) Category |November 1993 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Income support without unemployment benefit |1,047 Unemployment benefit without income support |91 Both income support and unemployment benefit |6 Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand. They are from: 1. The income support statistical quarterly inquiry. 2. The half-yearly analysis of unemployed claimants.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to consult the Social Security Advisory Committee regarding his proposals for restricting income support payments for mortgage interest.
Mr. Roger Evans: We will be referring our proposals to the Social Security Advisory Committee. The committee will then decide if it intends to have them formally referred for consultation and a report.
Housing Benefit expenditure (in cash terms) Great Britain |Rent |£ million |allowance |Rent rebate ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1983-84 |536 |1,980 1984-85 |687 |2,145 1985-86 |881 |2,296 1986-87 |996 |2,419 1987-88 |1,030 |2,506 1988-89 |1,055 |2,718 1989-90 |1,336 |2,946 1990-91 |1,597 |3,345 1991-92 |2,322 |3,675 1992-93 |3,257 |4,347 1993-94 (Estimated outturn) |3,817 |5,004 Source: Departmental reports.