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VAT receipts |£ billion --------------------------------------- 1993-94 |38.9 1994-95<1> |43.3 1995-96<1> |48.1 <1> Forecast.
Alcohol revenue |£ billion ------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 |5.1 1993-94 |5.2 1994-95<1> |5.4 <1> Forecast.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the current capitalisation values of (a) British Telecom, (b) British Steel, (c) British Gas, (d) the privatised water industry, (e) the privatised electricity industry, including the distribution element--Powergen and National Power and (f) the coal industry.
Sir George Young: The capitalisations of BT, British Steel, British Gas, the privatised water and sewerage companies and the privatised electricity companies are shown in the table. They reflect the market's assessment of the increased value achieved by the companies concerned since their flotation. The capitalisation of the privatised coal industry cannot be readily determined.
Capitalisation of Privatised industries |<1>Capitalisation Company(ies) |(£ billion) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- BT |24.6 British Steel |3.1 British Gas |13.5 Water and sewerage companies (10 companies) |11.8 Electricity companies<2> (17 companies) |30.4 <1> As at close of business, 10 February 1995.<2> Excludes the four generating companies in Northern Ireland which are not listed companies.
Mr. Aitken: Provision for the remuneration of chairmen and members of non-departmental public bodies is generally set out in the founding legislation of those statutory bodies. The Government's policy is to pay the appropriate remuneration as determined by Ministers with the consent of the Treasury.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 7 February, Official Report , column 67 , when the consultation document on credit unions is to be issued; and if he will place a copy in the Library.
Sir Peter Fry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the cost to date of the Treasury's preparation on economic convergence in the European Union with a view to the possible introduction of a common currency and monetary union.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 14 February 1995]: It is not possible separately to cost work within the Treasury on economic convergence within the EU. The Government's macro-economic policies are directed toward achieving sound public finances and permanently low inflation. These objectives are shared by other EU member states, and are also key elements of the convergence criteria set out in the Maastricht treaty.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 716, how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list (a) the number of trains and (b) the percentage of trains, which arrived more than five minutes late during peak hours on each of the Network SouthEast divisions in each four-week period during (i) 1992, (ii) 1993 and (iii) 1994; (2) if he will list (a) the number of trains cancelled and (b) the percentage of trains cancelled on each of the Network SouthEast divisions in each four-week period during (i) 1992, (ii) 1993 and (iii) 1994.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department or consultants to his Department have made of the suitability of the use of (a) elastomer rather than metallic seals and (b) austenitic steel rather than other metallic containment in the transport flasks used for the forthcoming shipment of high-level waste to Japan.
Mr. Norris: The Department judges the suitability of both seal materials and materials of construction of the containment system as a part of the design assessment process, against the stringent leaktightness criteria required by the International Atomic Energy Agency's regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material, for each application for design approval which it is required to undertake.
The forthcoming shipment of high-level waste to Japan will use a French design of package, assessed to the same standards by the competent authority of France.
Mr. Watts: British Rail has discretion to vary services and many changes are made each year. Information on such changes could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Complete closure of a line or station is subject to statutory closures procedures.
Column 663Since April 1992 services have been completely withdrawn from the following stations:
Dover Western Docks
Mr. Norris: Before issuing any permits to a non-European Economic Area airline to operate an aircraft for flights to or from the United Kingdom under article 88 of the Air Navigation Order 1989, my Department must be satisfied that the aircraft to be used has, among other things, a valid certificate of airworthiness issued by the state of registry of the aircraft.
In view of concern about the safety of flights engaged in the transportation of live cattle from Coventry airport as a result of the Air Algerie crash on 21 December 1994, the Department has taken the additional measure of requesting the Civil Aviation Authority to conduct inspections of the non-EEA aircraft for which an article 88 permit has been made in order to ensure, among other things, that the aircraft is airworthy.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what was the total Government spending for medical research into the causes and treatment of repetitive strain injury in each year since 1991; and what is the projected figure for 1995.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give details of the clear-up work necessary at each of the abandoned British bases in the Antarctic region with the estimated costs in each case.
Mr. David Hunt: The removal of hazardous waste will be given priority. The cost, estimated at around £45,000 per station, is subject to weather conditions and accessibility. Complete removal of the abandoned stations may be necessary in the longer term.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reason in each case.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many public appointments have been made by his Department in the last year; and how many of those appointed were first identified by the public appointments unit.
Of these, 57 were to the scientific research councils whose creation was announced in the White Paper "Realising Our Potential". One of these was first identified by the public appointments unit. In common with other Departments, the Cabinet Office-OPSS follows the guidance provided in the "Guide on Public Appointments Procedures". This advises that PAU is just one option which may be appropriate in filling certain posts.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, pursuant to his answer of 2 February, Official Report , columns 757 58 , what number of research scientists and engineers were employed by higher education institutes in each year since 1981 82.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: The estimated number of research scientists and engineers, as defined by OECD, employed in HEIs are available only for selected years and are shown in the table. It should be noted that these data are derived from total HEI staff numbers using a set of factors representing the proportion of time that different categories of staff spend on teaching or research. The numbers also include academics working directly on research and development, and the time of central support staff attributed to R and D.
Research scientists and engineers engaged on R and D within HEIs, 1986-1992<1> (Full-time equivalents) |1986 |1988 |1990 |1991 |1992 ------------------------------------------------- UK |25,000|26,000|28,000|29,000|31,000 Note: <1> The definition of R and D employment is from the Frascati manual. Source: Forward Look 1994 Statistical Supplement (table 1.7.1).
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what account she has taken, in formulating policy, of research carried out by Peter Mortimore of the London Institute of Education, linking performance in reading and mathematics to class size.
Mr. Robin Squire: The Department is aware of research published by Professor Mortimore and his colleagues in 1988. His report noted that the weight of earlier research had supported the view that larger classes were more effective. The Department will continue to monitor research in this field.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will list the occasions during the last five years when her Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Column 666legal action against a consultancy firm during the last five years.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to her answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 398 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by her Department in the last year.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment she has made of the quality of careers advice for those aged 16 to 19 years in south-east London; and if she will make a statement.
Quarterly and half-yearly reviews of the careers services in south-east London have indicated that they are achieving the objectives set out in their business plans. Impartial and timely careers advice is essential to help young people make informed choices about education, training and employment.
Mr. Atkins: My Department, in co-operation with Rotherham metropolitan borough council, monitors levels of smoke and sulphur dioxide at four sites and nitrogen dioxide at four sites in the Rotherham area.
Sir Paul Beresford: We have invited many organisations, including the English Historic Towns Forum, to discuss our proposals to improve the quality of design in our towns and cities, set out in the discussion document "Quality in Town and Country".
Mr. Atkins: Diesel vehicles emit a range of pollutants, notably small particles--PM10. Advisory committees of my Department and of the Department of Health are examining possible health and environmental effects of PM10 and are expected to make recommendations on possible air quality standards shortly. More generally, Government will continue to fund research into links between air quality and, in particular, respiratory health.
26. Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduced revenue support grant on the provision of services in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins: From time to time Ministers and officials do meet representatives of the water companies to discuss matters of mutual interest. My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans for meetings to discuss quality and reliability of water supply.
Column 668prospects for new house building in the coming year and the impact of Government policies.
Mr. Curry: The housing market will continue to benefit from a range of Government policies, including the right to buy, cash incentives and shared ownership schemes for local authority and housing association tenants, and from our economic policies which have produced low interest rates and made home ownership more affordable than for many years.
Sir Paul Beresford: My Department launched last summer a wide- ranging initiative, "Quality in Town and Country", designed to see what more can be done to improve the quality of the built environment, in city, town and village. In the light of the overwhelmingly positive response, we are considering how best Government and others can take forward this initiative. The Government already help to improve the quality of life in urban and other areas through the single regeneration budget, including city challenge partnerships. My Department has also issued planning policy guidance aimed at sustaining the vitality and viability of town centres, and encouraging effective town centre management.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: On a comparable basis, Leicester city council's SSA increases by 2.6 per cent. from £40.340 million in 1994 95 to £41.396 million in 1995 96. This compares with an increase of 0.1 per cent. for non-metropolitan districts as a whole.
Column 669of the Environment Bill, which is currently being considered in another place. No doubt my hon. Friend and other hon. Members whose constituents live in the parks will make their views known when the Bill comes before the House in due course.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what financial resources, broken down by programme where possible, have been allocated and are to be allocated by each department to each Government office for the regions, in the financial years 1993 94, 1994 95 and 1995 96.
Mr. Patten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment 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. Gummer: Details of the public bodies for which I have departmental responsibility are listed in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies 1994". A copy is available in the House of Commons Library. In addition to the bodies listed in that publication I now have responsibility for two further executive non-departmental public bodies. These are:
Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, Brent
The National Forest Company
I announced plans in October 1994 to privatise the docklands light railway which is wholly owned by the London Docklands development corporation. The first step will be taken in 1996, when DLR operations will be franchised to the private sector for a period of about seven years. The second step will be taken at the end of the franchise period, when the aim will be to transfer the railway as a whole into the private sector.
There are no plans at present to privatise any of the other public bodies, but non-departmental public bodies are subject to a quinquennial review. Each such review considers the scope for privatising, contracting out or market testing all or part of the functions of the body. The Department's larger executive public bodies have programmes to contract out and market test parts of their work, where this is not already carried out in the private sector.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out a year-by-year projection from 2000 to 2010 of the projected level of sulphur dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom; and if he will
Column 670indicate for each projected sulphur dioxide total the targets required under the United Nations economic commission's second sulphur protocol.
The most recent published projections of sulphur dioxide emissions, prepared by the Warren Spring Laboratory, now the National Environmental Technology Research Centre, were: