Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the total expenditure on all forms of advertising by his Department and its agencies for each year since 1979, in 1994 prices.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Expenditure on all forms of advertising prior to 1987 88 could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Expenditure on advertising for each year thereafter is shown in the table. In 1993 94, the way in which expenditure is recorded changed, so the figures for 1993 94 and 1994 95--to December--include all forms of publicity. The Lord Chancellor is responsible for three agencies: Her Majesty's Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office. As the hon. Member's question concerns specific operational matters, on which the chief executives are best placed to provide answers, I have accordingly asked the chief executives to reply direct.
Year |£ ------------------------- 1987-88 |6,990 1988-89 |5,117 1989-90 |6,745 1990-91 |5,893 1991-92 |24,324 1992-93 |16,450 1993-94 |78,541 1994-95<1> |80,096 <1> To December Note: 1993-94 prices-adjusted by the GDP deflator published 29 November, 1994.
Letter from Sarah Tyacke to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 10 February 1995:
I have been asked by the Lord Chancellor's Parliamentary Secretary to reply to your question about advertising.
1. The Public Record has spent the following sums (at 1994 prices) on staff recruitment advertising:
1986 87: nil
1987 88: nil
1988 89: nil
1989 90: nil
1990 91: £28
1991 92: £20,666
1992 93: £10,326
1993 94: £77,392
2. In addition to the above figures, since 1991 92 the Office has spent approximately £1,500 per annum advertising its own products for sale.
3. Information for earlier years is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, I am confident that any expenditure on advertising in the earlier years would have been occasional and very small.
Column 476Letter from John Manthorpe to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 10 February 1995:
I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question concerning total expenditure by HM Land Registry on all forms of advertising for each year since 1979. I can provide the following information:
Year |Total advertising |costs |at 1994 Prices |£ ------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |59,340 1980-81 |12,254 1981-82 |14,329 1982-83 |9,296 1983-84 |5,795 1984-85 |6,792 1985-86 |11,609 1986-87 |19,112 1987-88 |47,020 1988-89 |94,278 1989-90 |45,719 1990-91 |24,327 1991-92 |6,932 1992-93 |15,770 1993-94 |16,558
The Registry major expenditure on advertising has been for staff recruitment, particularly to meet the property boom of the late 1980's; for advertising in connection with the registration of high value transactions (until 1980); and to give effect to a continuing statutory requirement concerning the replacement of Land and Charge Certificates.
I do hope that this answers the points raised with the Parliamentary Secretary but please contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Letter from Julia C. Lomas to Mr Malcolm Bruce, dated 10 February 1995:
The Parliamentary Secretary of the Lord Chancellor's Department has asked me to reply to you as part of the Lord Chancellor's response to your parliamentary question listed on 9 February 1995, regarding expenditure on all forms of advertising since 1979. The Public Trust Office does not have a policy of advertising its services and there has been no expenditure on advertising since 1987/88.
The office is only obliged to keep expenditure accounts for six years and if any spending took place on advertising prior to 1987/88 this could only be ascertained if available at disproportionate cost.
Column 477proposed Cardiff Bay opera house of (a) breaches in the rules of the competition organised by the Cardiff Bay opera house trust and (b) breaches of the planning permission of the local planning authority; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dorrell [holding answer 20 January 1995]: This is a matter for the Millennium Commission. I shall reply to the hon. Member in my capacity as chairman of the commission and place a copy in the Library of the House.
Sir George Young: The Government have announced plans to transfer the following executive agencies to the private sector: the Transport Research Laboratory; the National Engineering Laboratory; the Laboratory of the Government Chemist; ADAS, in part; the Natural Resources Institute; and the Accreditation Services, part of the National Physical Laboratory.
Mr. Aitken: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the hon. Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers) on 2 February, Official Report, column 1199.
Mr. Darling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the redundancy terms offered to staff in his Department following the Treasury's fundamental review of expenditure.
Mr. Nelson: The Treasury's fundamental expenditure review is still continuing. At all but the most senior grades the precise staff levels required have not yet been finalised. If there is a surplus of staff at any level, it will be managed by means other than redundancy, where possible.
The financial terms in the event of redundancy are those set out in the civil service compensation scheme. This scheme--formerly section 10 of the principal civil service pension scheme--which applies throughout civil service, was laid before Parliament on 20 December 1994.
The deregulation task force chaired by Francis Maude is looking at capital gains tax as part of its efforts to reduce compliance costs for businesses. We shall consider carefully any recommendations the task force may make in due course.
Mr. Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 6 February, Official Report, columns 63 64, about the European Monetary Institute, what period of time is intended to be covered by the institute's budgeted expenditure for which the total capital requirement is 615.6 million ecu.
Mr. Nelson: The capital resources will be used to generate an income necessary to cover the expenditure of the European Monetary Institute until its liquidation, in accordance with article 1091 of the EC treaty. The Council of the EMI intends to review the size of the resources three years after the establishment of the EMI, at the end of 1996.
Sir George Young: The current Finance Bill contains no proposals relating to the tax treatment of the purchase by a company of its own shares, but, as with a wide range of tax issues, the position is kept under review.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last met representatives of the clearing banks to discuss charging policies and the need for openness with customers; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson: My colleagues and I meet the chairmen and other representatives of the clearing banks from time to time to discuss a wide range of issues. Bank charges for business customers were looked at in reviews of the financing of small firms published by the Bank of England in January 1994 and January 1995. Neither highlighted charges as a significant problem. For the retail sector, the code of banking practice, introduced by all the major banks, already encourages greater openness between banks and their customers. All the major banks have now introduced, or are introducing, pre-notification of charges.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the numbers of staff with science, engineering and technology qualifications employed in the civil service by grade in (a) 1979, (b) 1983, (c) 1987 and (d) 1993.
Sir George Young: This information is not held centrally. Below the open structure, there are civil servants employed in the professional and technology group and the science group. Details of the numbers and grades of these staff are available in table 4 of "Civil Service Statistics" for each of the years. Copies of "Civil Service Statistics" are available in the Library.
Sir George Young: Departments and agencies should review the location of their work with the intention of securing cost savings, and wider employment and economic development benefits, including consistency with Ministers' wider regional and inner-city area policies.
Departments considering relocation liaise closely with other Departments, the Government offices for the English regions, local authorities and the training and enterprise councils over their proposals for change.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 6 February 1995]: Since 1988 the Government have issued ecu denominated debt. In addition to widening the options for management of the United Kingdom's reserves, this programme shows the importance the Government attach to providing further opportunities for the development of the private ecu markets in London.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral answer of 2 February to the hon. Member for Warrington, North, (Mr. Hoyle) Official Report, column 1201, what advice he has received from the Council of Mortgage Lenders about the likely effect of the changes he proposed in the Budget to income support for home owners' mortgage interest payments on the number of repossessions.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 7 February 1995]: The Department of Social Security has on-going discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and will continue to do so throughout the consultation process. The council has expressed concern about the possible impact of the proposals. The Government are listening carefully to its concerns but believe that the proposed changes will result in the development of comprehensive quality insurance which will provide better protection for all home owners against repossession, not just those who currently receive income support mortgage interest.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) guidance and (b) direction he has issued to NHS trusts in Scotland relating to local pay bargaining; and if he will place copies of these documents in the Library.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: NHS in Scotland employers are aware of the Government's policy. Responsibility for devising pay arrangements should be delegated wherever possible to those who are responsible for managing the delivery of services. NHS employers in Scotland are responsible for taking appropriate steps to develop and implement local pay.
Mr. Patten: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those public bodies for which he retains departmental responsibility; which of these bodies have been identified as suitable for placing in the private sector; and by when it is expected each of these bodies will enter the private sector.
Mr. Lang: The Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies 1994", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, lists non- departmental public bodies, nationalised industries, public corporations and NHS bodies. None of the bodies listed as being sponsored by my Department has been identified as suitable for placing in the private sector. Non-departmental public bodies are subject to review every five years, at which time consideration is given inter alia to the possibility of privatisation. The position of the other bodies is also considered regularly.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland why he has not yet provided the information about next steps agencies requested by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton in his question of 20 January.
No Government grants were paid to the authority for port-related developments over this period. Payments from the European regional development fund were:
Year |£ ----------------------------------- 1985 |104,957 1986 |80,178 1987 |Nil 1988 |1,389,300 1989 |874,200 1990 |Nil 1991 |353,905 1992 |178,270 1993 |47,491 1994 |520,679 1995 (to date) |Nil Total |3,548,980
Dundee port authority's chairman has met my noble Friend Lord Goschen, and with his professional advisers has had a number of meetings with officials of the Department.
Ms Corston: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions and in what circumstances in the last five years advertisements have been placed in newspapers or periodicals which have been described as being issued by, or on behalf of, Ministers in his Department rather than on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Heseltine: 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. Centrally produced DTI advertising does not refer to either Her Majesty's Government or an individual Minister, but generally includes the DTI logo and its descriptor.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the effect of his proposals for the Insolvency Service on the rights of the employees of the service to transferred rights and conditions.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: In the absence of any decision to contract out the work of official receivers, it is too early to consider the issue of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981, the implications of which may not become clear until the nature of proposals in any bidding process could be assessed.
(2) what provision he has made for redundancy costs arising out of his proposals for the Insolvency Service.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: I refer the hon. Member to the announcement my right hon. and noble Friend Earl Ferrers made on 10 October 1994, Official Report, column 94. No early retirement or severance provisions have been made by my Department, as the preparatory work on increasing private sector involvement in the work of the official receivers is still on-going, nor has my Department made any adjustments to its spending plans.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The reports of the National Audit Office and of the Public Accounts Committee contained recommendations that the Insolvency Service should seek to improve the quality and timeliness of reports submitted by insolvency practitioners concerning unfit conduct of directors in insolvent companies.
The Insolvency Service has issued revised guidelines to insolvency practitioners which emphasised the need for timeliness of reports and the adequacy of evidence to support allegations of unfit conduct. These guidelines are being reinforced by the newly constituted joint insolvency monitoring unit set up by the insolvency profession to raise standards of its members. In addition, the Insolvency Service has commenced a programme of visits to practitioners who have a poor record of reporting, backed by prosecution in extreme cases.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what were the levels of steel imports into the United Kingdom for each three- month period since January 1993 from (a) the United States of America, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Korea and (e) Japan.
United Kingdom imports of steel<1> 000 tonnes |United States of |America |France |Germany |South Korea |Japan ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1993 Q1 |10.0 |83.7 |312.6 |0.3 |14.2 Q2 |12.7 |79.6 |354.7 |0.3 |14.3 Q3 |8.9 |94.1 |315.9 |3.4 |17.5 Q4 |11.8 |415.3 |358.8 |0.2 |16.9 1994 Q1 |9.1 |185.2 |359.7 |4.2 |10.0 Q2 |8.8 |191.6 |391.6 |0.2 |17.5 Q3 |11.5 |191.4 |381.4 |2.1 |8.4 Source: Iron and Steel Statistics Bureau. Note: <1> Products of the steel industry in the Standard Industrial Classification (1980), Groups 221, 222 and 223.
Mr. Eggar: My Department established a working group on floating production systems last year and the group has made positive proposals to strengthen the competitiveness of UK yards and other suppliers in this sector. Its recommendations are being pursued with the industry and a report will be published shortly.
Mr. O'Neill: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what allowance was made in the liabilities of PowerGen's accounts for the flue gas desulphurisation of Ferrybridge power station when the company was privatised; what is his estimate of that sum in 1995 prices; and how much has been spent on flue gas desulphurisation of Ferrybridge station.
Mr. Eggar: The expectation that investment in 4 GW of flue gas desulphurisation equipment at PowerGen's coal-fired plant would form part of its capital expenditure programme was taken into account at privatisation. The 1991 prospectus for the sale of PowerGen gave an estimated cost of £250 million for the fitting of flue gas desulphurisation equipment at Ratcliffe power station. PowerGen had applied for planning permission to fit flue gas desulphurisation equipment at Ferrybridge C. This permission has subsequently been granted. Information on expenditure on particular capital projects is a matter for the company.
Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is required to review the conditions of integrated pollution control authorisations granted to power stations and may impose new conditions to prevent or reduce emissions of
Column 484pollutants subject to the application of BATNEEC--best available technique not entailing excessive cost.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has power to direct whether specific conditions should or should not be imposed.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations his Department has received on EU proposals to restrict the block exemptions governing the distribution of cars; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The European Commission has published a draft regulation--OJ 379/16--intended to replace Commission regulation 123/85. This regulation governs the selective and exclusive dealership agreements for motor vehicles, and is due to expire in June 1995.
My Department has consulted interested parties representing United Kingdom manufacturers, dealers, trade associations, consumer groups and legal bodies to obtain their views on the draft. It has received representations from, or held discussions with, some 40 companies and representative organisations.
Mr. Byers: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 2 February, Official Report columns 760 61, if the contract awarded to N. M. Rothschild was for a fixed fee; which tender was recommended to the then Secretary of State for Energy for acceptance by the interdepartmental group; and when the contact is expected to end.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 9 February 1995]: The contract was awarded on the basis of hourly rates. The then Secretary of State for Energy acted in accordance with the advice he received from officials. The contract will end once the privatisation of the British coal Corporation, including the non-mining activities, is completed.