Ms Corston: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what factors lead to the description of advertisements in public places, newspapers or periodicals as being placed on behalf of a Minister of the Crown rather than on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Within the framework of collective responsibility, there is no practical distinction between publicity described as being issued by a single Minister or Her Majesty's Government. The terminology used may properly reflect the content and context of the advertising.
Ms Primarolo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what types of oil fuel are subject to a reduced or rebated rate of excise duty; what are the rates on rebated fuel; what are the unrebated rates; and what are the most common uses for the rebated fuels.
The full, unrebated, rate of duty on light oil is 36.14p per litre. This is levied on leaded motor spirit.
These are two types of rebated light oil: unleaded motor spirit which is rebated to a rate of 31.32p per litre is used in cars, taxis, light goods vans, and motor cycles; and furnace fuel which is rebated to a rate of 1.66p per litre is burned by approved furnace operators.
The full, unrebated, rate of duty on heavy oil is 31.32p per litre. This is levied on diesel road fuel and kerosene when used as a road fuel.
There are four types of rebated heavy oil:
Kerosene which is fully rebated is used for heating and lighting in the domestic, industrial, and agricultural sectors, and as aviation turbine fuel to power jet aircraft;
Gas oil which is rebated to a rate of 2.14p per litre is used as a heating fuel, as power for heavy industrial and marine diesel engines, and can be used instead of diesel road fuel in certain off road situations, for example, in agricultural or construction plant; Fuel oil which is rebated to a rate of 1.66p per litre is used mainly as a power source in electricity generation and in manufacturing industries;
Other heavy oil which, by chemical analysis, falls outside the preceding categories is fully rebated and is used in grease making, road building, and as lubricating oil.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to be able to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen to the Financial Secretary regarding the Wessex regional health authority dated 9 December 1994.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list each training and tuition course with a total cost exceeding £5, 000 paid for by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies during the last 12 months, showing the title and objectives of each course, the name of the organisations engaged, the total cost of each course, a summary of the responsibilities of staff members taking part and the process for course evaluation by the Department or agency.
|Course description --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For HM Treasury: Title: |Finance programme for | generalists Objective: |To enable and prepare | non-specialists-in finance- | to work more effectively in | the specialist finance areas of | Treasury Organisation: |Management Development | Associates Ltd. Responsibility of participants: |Senior managers Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants from which | written reports produced Title: |Management training | programme-four separate | courses Objective: |For good management skills to | be perceived as integral for | performance effectiveness Organisation: |Sundridge Park Responsibility of participants: |Senior managers Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants from which |written reports produced Title: |Economics for generalists Objectives: |To enable officials with general | responsibilities to work more | effectively with specialist | economists Organisation: |London business school Responsibility of participants: |Senior managers Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants from which | written reports produced Title: |Equal opportunities seminars Objective: |To increase the understanding of | equal opportunities with Organisation: |Pearn Kandola Responsibility of participants: |All staff Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants and post-course | evaluation workshops For the Royal Mint: Title: |Commercial systems analysis Objective: |To increase the understanding of | new computer systems and | how they can be applied Organisation: |W S Atkins Management | Consultants Responsibility of participants: |First-line supervisors Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants and feedback | to departmental manager Title: |Operators training course Objective: |To become fully conversant | with new equipment supplied | and familiarise operators | with the operator input | to System 21 Organisation: |Davy International Ltd. Responsibility of participants: |Shop floor operators and shift | managers Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants and shop | floor feedback Title: |System 21 integrated training Objective: |Familiarisation operation | and maintain the ability | of the system Organisation: |Davy International Ltd. Responsibility of participants: |Plant electricians/technicians Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants and feedback | to departmental managers Title: |1st year off-the-job Apprentice | training Objective: |To gain initial | skills/qualifications as part of | the engineering | apprenticeship Organisation: |Pontypridd technical college Responsibility of participants: |1st year engineering apprentices Evaluation: |Achievement of NVQS and | evaluation by EnTRA | assessor Title: |Total quality facilitator training Objective: |To provide training for newly | appointed facilitators as | part of a total | quality programme Organisation: |Coopers and Lybrand Responsibility of participants: |Cross-section from first line Evaluation: |Evaluation forms from course | participants and feedback | to quality manager For the Central Statistical Office: Title: |Leadership and management | programme Objective: |To improve the leadership and | management skills of CSO | staff Organisation: |Centre for Action learning Responsibility of participants: |All staff Evaluation: |Questionnaire Title: |Aspects of hardware | communication Objective: |To train staff in aspects of | information systems Organisation: |Networks Responsibility of participants: |Information systems staff Evaluation: |Questionnaire For Paymaster: Title: |Customer care/Telephone skills/Letter writing Objective: |To give the pensions staff the | necessary skills to deal with | both pensioners and | customers in various media Organisation: |West Sussex Training | Association Responsibility of participants: |All staff up to higher executive | officer grade in pensions | sections Evaluation: |Questionnaire For the Valuation office: |None
Providing the actual costs paid in each case could be unfairly advantageous to possible future competitors. However, the total cost of the above training is £113,718 for the Treasury and £239,734 for the agencies.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the annual cost to the Exchequer of the tax reliefs afforded to profit-related pay schemes; and what margins of error should be attributed to such estimates.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the annual cost to the Exchequer of (a) bonus payments to employees paid gross of tax, in terms of the interest opportunity cost to the Exchequer and (b) bonus payments paid by employers in such a way as to temporarily or permanently avoid paying employers' national insurance contributions on such payments.
Sir George Young: In the Finance Act 1994 and subsequent regulations, the Government introduced measures to counter the avoidance of pay as you earn and national insurance contributions. These measures are expected to end the deferral of about £300 million in PAYE tax and the avoidance of about £75 million of NICs. These costs relate to all forms of remuneration paid to employees by their employers. Employers are not required to identify bonus payments separately from other payments, and figures on bonus payments could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Since these measures were introduced, the Secretary of State for Social Security has announced further measures to combat other NIC avoidance devices.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the absenteeism rate for (a) his Department, (b) the Central Statistical Office, (c) the office of the Paymaster and (d) the Royal Mint in each year since 1991.
|1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------- HMT |7.5 |6.9 |7.1 |9.2 CSO |9.8 |9.2 |8.9 |<1>9.9 Paymaster |10.6 |10.6 |10.4 |13.7 Royal Mint<2> |5.9 |5.3 |5.7 |8.4 <1> Provisional figure <2> Non-industrial staff only
Ms Gordon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has to assist self-employed workers who are part of the new flexible work force to overcome difficulties they experience in obtaining a mortgage when purchasing a home; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson: The lending policies of mortgage providers are matters for their own commercial judgment, though it is clear that lenders remain keen to do business with those who can sustain the costs of home ownership in the longer term. Lenders have a responsibility to ensure that mortgages are adequately secured, and that borrowers are in a position to meet the repayments.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The Treasury publication "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs" suggests that the exemption from the standard rate of VAT of health services--a category which includes private health care--costs £300 million in a full year. These figures make no allowance for behavioural responses.
Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for reviewing the Building Societies Act 1986 so that all long-term investors are treated equitably when a building society is subject to a takeover bid.
(2) what differences between credit cards and charge cards have implications for the imposition of a tax on each.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) on how many occasions in the last four months he or any of his Ministers have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements; (2) on how many occasions in the last four months of which he has knowledge any civil servants in his Department have been approached by commercial lobbying organisations on behalf of their clients at informal or unofficial engagements.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 25 January 1995]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 25 January 1995, Official Report , column 116 , by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 27 January 1995]: The table shows the number of permanent or fixed-term appointments to HM Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer's executive agencies during 1994, together with the cost of recruitment arrangements.
|Cost |Number of|including |staff |VAT |£ --------------------------------------------------------- HM Treasury |27 |216,750 Central Statistical Office |72 |202,388 Paymaster |3 |1,148 Royal Mint |20 |17,214 Valuation Office |61 |nil Total |183 |437,500
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out for each of the next steps agencies in his Department, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within his Department; how many of them publish periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual cost; how many have corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery.
The Building Research Establishment
The Buying Agency
The Planning Inspectorate
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
The Securities Facilities Executive
Responsibility for the subject matter of the question has been delegated to the chief executive of each agency. I have asked each of them to reply to the right hon. Member in respect of their own agency.
The Secretary of State for the Environment is also responsible for Ordnance Survey, a separate Department and next steps agency. I have also asked its chief executive to reply to the right hon. Member. Letter from R. G. Courtney to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 30 January 1995:
I have been asked by the Secretary of State for the Environment to reply to this PQ in respect of the Building Research Establishment.
The relevant information is:
BRE's headquarters are unchanged since becoming an Executive Agency.
Devolution of personnel, finance and estates responsibilities from DOE and PSA has led to the creation of four additional posts at Grade 7 and above; overall, however, support staff numbers have fallen by 30.
The BRE Annual Review has not changed in style. The cost of preparing the 1994 Review was £49k (including staff costs). BRE's use of cars is unchanged; the annual cost of its two cars in 1993/4 was £14.6k.
The BRE logo has not changed.
BRE does no provide corporate clothing.
BRE's stationery was redesigned in 1994 at a cost of £3.36k because the previous stationery referred to a site that was closed.
Column 464Letter from S. P. Sage to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 30 January 1995:
The Secretary of State for the Environment has asked me to reply to your Question about various items of expenditure incurred by The Buying Agency (TBA), one of DOE's executive agencies. The details are as follows:
TBA remains in the same premises it occupied prior to agency status in 1991.
TBA staff numbers have varied only slightly since becoming an agency. In 1991 they averaged 105; in 1995 they will average 110. We publish newsletters to TBA's 10,000 customers and suppliers three times a year. In 1994 the cost was £20,000. The newsletters provide an update on goods and services available through TBA. We operate 13 lease cars for our network of national and regional account managers. In 1994 the cost was £75,000.
Following its launch as an agency TBA modified the logo used by its parent, The Crown Suppliers. There was no development cost. Each member of staff has a TBA tie (men) or scarf (ladies). The cost for design and printing these was about £1,000.
On becoming an agency TBA modified its stationery in line with its logo. Again there was no development cost.
Letter from C. Shepley to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 30 January 1995:
1. The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to this Parliamentary Question insofar as it relates to the Planning Inspectorate Executive Agency.
2. In the Planning Inspectorate we have incurred no expenditure on most of the items you refer to. Specifically, we have not acquired our own buildings; we do not publish a journal; we do not have executive cars; and we do not have a specially designed logo, corporate clothing or corporate stationery as a result of changing to Agency status.
3. The question of support staff is more difficult to answer with precision because a number of functions have been transferred to us by the Department and some of the requirements relating to those functions have since changed. Wherever possible we have carried out these functions with fewer staff than had previously been deployed by the Department for the same tasks. For example our typing unit consists of 8 staff in Bristol and replaced previous arrangements which utilised significantly more staff located away from our Headquarters building. In total we have taken on 31 staff for such tasks--mainly in the typing, personnel and finance areas. This has provided us with more immediate higher quality support services, with increased accountability for the actions they take. Over the period from the launch of the Agency in April 1992 staff numbers in comparable terms have fallen from 649 to 585 despite the arrival of the additional staff.
Letter from Marcus C. Buck to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 24 January 1995 :
I have been asked to reply on behalf of The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) to the range of questions you have asked of Next Steps Agencies in Question 866.
(I) The QEIICC Executive Agency occupies the conference centre building at the discretion of the Secretary of State for the Environment. Since 1993 94 it has paid an annual rent of £6.4 million.
(II) Being a purpose-built conference centre, the QEIICC's operations did not exist prior to the completion of the building in 1986. No staff figures exist within the QEIICC prior to its launch as an Executive Agency in 1989. However the number has reduced from 68 in July 1990 to 64 in January 1995.
Column 465(III) The QEIICC is required to produce an Annual Report and Accounts each year. The most recent--that for 1993 94-- cost £11,000. (IV) The QEIICC has no executive cars.
(V) The QEIICC's logo was designed in-house at no cost. (VI) Approximately half of the QEIICC's staff (those working on events) wear uniforms. The 1994 95 annual budget for uniforms is £6, 000.
(VII) The QEIICC's 1994 95 annual budget for corporate stationery is £22,000. This covers letter-headed and continuation paper, envelopes delegate writing pads and pencils, business cards, job application forms, performance assessment forms, three-part invoices, cheques and remittance advice.
Letter from John King to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 25 January 1995 :
You have asked the Secretary of State for Environment for information about the Next Steps Agencies in his Department. My reply deals exclusively with the Security Facilities Executive (SAFE). The information which you have asked for is given below:
SAFE does not have its own headquarters building. It shares its HQ accommodation with other Government Departments.
A similar number of support staff are employed in the Agency compared with when it was part of DOE.
No periodical journals are published by the Agency.
The Agency does not have any executive cars for senior staff. Our new logo was designed to coincide with the launch of the Agency, and is used on brochures, presentation packs tender documents and corporate stationery. The cost of the new logo cannot be separately identified.
The Agency does not have corporate clothing. However, drivers from the Government Car Service, the InterDespatch Service and Custody guards have always had their own uniforms. The only change has been that the drivers now wear ties incorporating the Agency logo.
The cost of designing new stationery for the Agency was £13,855 plus VAT. This included all general and financial stationery used in dealing with our customers. The cost of the initial print run was £8, 054 plus VAT.
Letter from David Rhind to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 23 January 1995:
The Secretary of State for the Environment has asked to reply to your question about the additional costs attributable to the establishment of Ordnance Survey as an Executive Agency.
Ordnance Survey has always been and remains a department in its own right and the move to operation on Next Steps Agency lines did not of itself incur new or additional costs. The answers to the specific parts of your question are as follows:
Ordnance Survey occupies the same headquarters building that it occupied prior to becoming an Executive Agency;
no additional support staff were required;
Ordnance Survey continues to publish an Annual Report (with Trading Accounts) and a Corporate Plan;
no fleets of executive cars or single executive cars have been purchased;
the Ordnance Survey logo has not changed since becoming an Executive Agency;
Ordnance Survey does not use corporate clothing;
stationery costs have not varied as a result of the change to Executive Agency status.
I hope the foregoing provides all the information you need.