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Mr. Gwilym Jones: Ninety-five.

Intensive Care Beds

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairmen of Welsh health authorities and trusts concerning the provision of additional intensive care beds; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: I have not discussed the provision of intensive care beds with NHS chairmen, but will shortly be asking all health authorities in Wales to assess the need for such beds and then to work with hospitals to introduce any changes that are necessary.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 444 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.

Mr. Redwood: Between 1 December 1993 and 30 November 1994, I made 198 appointments, excluding reappointments, to non-departmental public bodies, including NHS bodies.

Cardiff Bay Barrage

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation concerning the dispatch of tender documents for a buildings condition survey in relation to the impact of rising groundwater from the Cardiff bay barrage; how many applications


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were received by the 20 January deadline; what is the estimated survey cost in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: None. My Department has authorised the provision of £5.04 million in total for expenditure on property condition surveys. The number of survey applications received and the estimated cost of surveys in each of the next five years are operational matters for the corporation and the chief executive will write to the hon. Member.

St. David's Hospital, Cardiff

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has received for the construction of a new local neighbourhood hospital on the site of St. David's hospital, Cowbridge road east, Cardiff; on what date he received the full detailed business case; what was the date of its approval; if he will make a statement on the application of the principles of the private finance initiative to the business case; and what was the proposed capital expenditure in (a) 1994 95, (b) 1995 96 and (c) 1996 97.

Mr. Redwood: The Department received and advised on a draft proposal for a local hospital on the site in February 1994. South Glamorgan health authority's revised submission taking into account its strategic purchasing plan and its consultations with local community health councils is still awaited.

If and when the outline business case is approved, expressions of interest will be sought from private sector organisations wishing to submit proposals for the design, build, finance and management of non-clinical facilities.

Stillborn Baby, Wrexham

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of the report of the Wrexham Maelor hospital into the transportation of a stillborn baby from Wrexham to the University hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Mr. Redwood: Yes. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Consultants

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security 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. Hague: No legal action has been taken by the Department of Social Security or its agencies against a consultancy firm during the last five years.

Invalidity Benefit

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State or Social Security how many appeals concerning invalidity benefit were received by his Department during each of the quarters since 1994; and what percentage of these were found in the claimant's favour.


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Mr. Hague: The available information is in the table.


Invalidity benefit appeals                                                                     

                                      |Heard and         |Percentage in                        

Quarters in 1994   |Received          |decided           |appellant's favour                   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January-March      |6,381             |4,005             |58                                   

April-June         |6,290             |3,683             |58                                   

Information from "Quarterly Social Security Appeal Statistics" produced by the Government      

Statistical Service.                                                                           

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report, column 387, how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.

Mr. Hague: There were 87 such appointments or re-appointments to those bodies listed in "Public Bodies 1994".

Unemployment Benefit

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claims for unemployment benefit in the last available year the claimant (a) gained the adult dependent addition and (b) refused the addition on the grounds that the claimant's dependents earnings were above the threshold.

Mr. Roger Evans: The latest available information is that the number of claimants with an adult dependency increase to unemployment benefit in Great Britain, as at May 1994, was 73,000 and, as at November 1993, was 82,000. Figures are for a point in time, rounded to the nearest thousand, and based on a 5 per cent sample. They are derived from the "Half yearly analysis of unemployed claimants", a copy of which is in the Library.

Information on the number of refusals of adult dependency increases by reason is not available.

Incapacity Benefits

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the exercise of monitoring the revised medical control procedures introduced for incapacity benefits will be completed and published.

Mr. Hague: The current medical control arrangements for benefits for incapacity will be superseded by the introduction of incapacity benefit from 13 April 1995. Data collection from the monitoring of the procedural changes introduced in April 1993 will continue for some time after that. We expect analysis to be completed towards the end of the summer.

Net Incomes

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) of 2 February, Official Report , columns 825-26 , if he will provide a comparable table on income distribution for quintiles 2, 3 and 4.

Mr. Burt: The following table gives the change in the real net incomes for quintiles 2, 3 and 4 of the United Kingdom income distribution of families with children for the period 1979 to 1991 92. 1991 92 is the two calendar years combined.


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Information is given both before and after housing costs.


Percentage change in real incomes of 2nd, 3rd and 4th quintiles  

of families with children, 1979 to 1991-92                       

                     |Quintile 2|Quintile 3|Quintile 4           

                     |20-40     |40-60     |60-80                

                     |per cent. |per cent. |per cent.            

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Before housing costs |(7)       |22        |33                   

After housing costs  |(1)       |20        |32                   

Notes:                                                           

1. In the table quintiles 2, 3 and 4 refer to the second from    

bottom, middle and second from top quintiles respectively.       

2. Percentage growth estimates are calculated from the median    

income of each quintile.                                         

3. Estimates in brackets () are particularly uncertain; see      

appendix 5 of "Households Below Average Income 1979 to 1991-92-a 

copy of which is in the Library-for details of the tests applied 

to estimates of changes in real incomes.                         

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) of 2 February, Official Report, columns 825 26, on income distribution, if he will indicate (a) the numbers in each quintile in each year, (b) the actual income levels in each year for each quintile, 1 to 5 and (c) at what income level there was no change in income (i) before housing costs and (ii) after housing cost; and if he will provide a regional analysis of real income levels in each quintile, 1 to 5.

Mr. Burt: Information is provided for the United Kingdom as a whole. Information is not available on a regional basis.

In 1979 there were 5.5 million individuals in each quintile of the income distribution of families with children. For 1991 92 the equivalent figure is 5 million. 1991 92 is the two calendar years combined.

The available information is in the table.


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Income of families with children: quintile medians for 1979 and 1991-92                                                                      

                     |Quintile 1         |Quintile 2         |Quintile 3         |Quintile 4         |Quintile 5                             

                     |bottom 20 per cent.|20-40 per cent.    |40-60 per cent.    |60-80 per cent.    |Top 20 per cent.                       

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before housing costs                                                                                                                         

1979                 |103                |138                |165                |198                |261                                    

1991-92              |100                |148                |202                |263                |394                                    

                                                                                                                                             

After housing costs                                                                                                                          

1979                 |86                 |117                |141                |172                |227                                    

1991-92              |76                 |118                |169                |226                |339                                    

Notes:                                                                                                                                       

1. The figures relate to the median income level in each quintile in April 1994 prices. Estimates are for weekly income and are given to the 

nearest whole £.                                                                                                                             

2. The figures given are for equivalised income.                                                                                             

3. All estimates are subject to sampling error.                                                                                              

Before housing costs the income level of the 21st percentile of the income distribution of families with children is the same in 1979 as in 1991 92. After housing costs the equivalent figure is approximately the 29th percentile.

Newcastle Estate

Mr. Trotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy that as part of the proposed redevelopment of his Department's Newcastle estate the new office will be in the Tyneside area and will not involve any loss of jobs locally.

Mr. Arbuthnot: The administration of the Department's Newcastle estate is the responsibility of Mr. George Bertram, the acting chief executive of the Contributions Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from George Bertram to Mr. Neville Trotter dated 14 February 1995:

As Acting Chief Executive of the Contributions Agency, I have responsibility for control and administration of the Department of Social Security's Newcastle Estate. I have been asked to reply to your question to the Secretary of State for Social Security regarding the proposed development of the Estate.

The Newcastle Estate Development Project seeks to provide new accommodation within a ten mile radius (approximately) of Newcastle city centre. This encompasses the whole of the Tyneside


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area and also extends into Wearside, whilst skirting the boundaries of Durham and Northumberland.

Organisations who express interest will, over the coming months, develop proposals to satisfy our accommodation requirements, the evaluation of which will consider all factors including location, and most importantly, value for money for the taxpayer.

The aim of the project is to provide modern, multi-functional accommodation for the use of DSS staff currently on the Newcastle Estate. As you know, the Department continues to seek efficiency savings and possible future reductions in staffing levels may coincide with a change of location. However, the rationalisation of the accommodation will not itself involve any loss of jobs although the physical location of the jobs may change within the ten mile radius.

I hope you find this information helpful.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Poultry Transport

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the regulations applying to the transport of poultry; and if he will make a statement.


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Mrs. Browning: The following orders, made under the Animal Health Act 1981, apply to the transport of poultry:

The Transit of Animals (General) Order 1973

The Welfare of Poultry Transport Order 1988

The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1994.

Consultants

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.

Mr. Jack: Expenditure on consultants in each of the years concerned was as follows:


                              |Expenditure at               

               |Expenditure   |1994 prices                  

Financial year |£             |£                            

------------------------------------------------------------

1987-88        |44,015        |61,887                       

1988-89        |1,174,114     |1,547,016                    

1989-90        |2,972,150     |3,661,506                    

1990-91        |4,495,793     |5,125,327                    

1991-92        |5,374,284     |5,761,665                    

1992-93        |7,010,814     |7,238,665                    

1993-94        |12,169,785    |12,169,785                   

1994-95        |<1>11,534,575 |-                            

<1> Estimated.                                              

The figures for 1987 88 exclude computer consultants.

It is not possible to quantify savings accruing from this expenditure, since most of the benefits derive from new systems and working methods, and from the consultants' expertise in certain fields, in which permanent staff do not have the necessary knowledge and experience.

Live Animal Exports

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what checks were made that the calves unable to be flown from Coventry airport on 3 February were fed, watered and rested every 15 hours; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: Two consignments of calves that had arrived at the airport were returned to their premises of origin after planned flights were disrupted by demonstrators. A third consignment was turned back before reaching the airport. Two of the three would have reached their premises of origin within the 15-hour statutory period. The third could not and the calves were therefore returned under a notice requiring their feeding and watering immediately on arrival at the home premises.

As a result of this incident we are now insisting that exporters make contingency arrangements for the animals to be lairaged in premises near the airport in the event of similar disruptions.

Fur Farms

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many mink were killed on fur farms in the United Kingdom in 1994; and how their carcasses were disposed of.


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Mrs. Browning: This information is not available.

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people were employed in the killing of animals on fur farms in the United Kingdom in 1994; and what were their qualifications for this.

Mrs. Browning: In monitoring welfare standards on fur farms the state veterinary service takes account of guidelines laid down in the recommendation concerning fur animals adopted by the Council of Europe in 1990. That recommendation specifies that the killing of farmed fur-bearing animals must be carried out by a competent person. However, no specific qualifications are laid down and information regarding the number of people involved is not available.

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the environment needs of farmed mink and Arctic fox; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: The Farm Animal Welfare Council's review of fur farming in 1989 considered the environmental needs of farmed mink and fox. It concluded that there was insufficient evidence to make specific recommendations on the keeping of fur-bearing animals and recommended that the industry should carry out further research. The Farm Animal Welfare Council has recently given its views on a report by Respect For Animals which made certain recommendations regarding the keeping of mink and Arctic fox. Interested organisations are being consulted on this further advice from FAWC.

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many reports he has received of mink escaping from fur farms on the Isle of Wight in the last 10 years.

Mrs. Browning: Over the last 10 years no reports have been received by this Ministry of mink escaping from the licensed mink farm on the Isle of Wight.

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many licences for fur factory farms of the Isle of Wight he has issued in the last 10 years.

Mrs. Browning: In each of the last 10 years only one licence has been issued to keep mink at premises on the Isle of Wight.

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what checks are carried out to ensure that pentobarbiturate used killing animals on fur farms has been properly and legally authorised and obtained.

Mrs. Browning: Products used to kill animals require authorisation under the marketing authorisation for veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994. All such products are categorised as

prescription-only medicines and are subject to the usual checks for product of that sort. Members of the state veterinary service, as part of their duties during regular visits to all farms for welfare purposes, including fur farms, check that veterinary medicines have been properly authorised and obtained.

Consultants

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Ministry or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.


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Mr. Jack: No central records are kept, but so far as we can ascertain no such actions have been taken.

Public Appointments

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 17 January, Official Report , column 447 , how many appointments to public positions have been made by his Department in the last year.

Mr. Jack: In the last year, my right hon. Friend has made 205 appointments to those bodies listed in "Public Bodies 1994". Of these, 80 were re-appointments and 125 were new appointments.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of compensation paid in respect of animals slaughtered as BSE carriers has subsequently been discovered to have been paid in respect of animals which were not infected in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning: The percentage of cattle slaughtered as BSE suspects which were subsequently not confirmed after laboratory examination for the past five years is as follows:


            |Percentage             

Year        |unconfirmed            

------------------------------------

1990        |15                     

1991        |14                     

1992        |15                     

1993        |16                     

1994        |<1>23                  

<1> Provisional figure.             

However, it is not possible without disproportionate costs to divide the total amount paid out in compensation into the percentages for confirmed and unconfirmed cases. The compensation paid varies from animal to animal according to market value within a ceiling which is adjusted monthly--the indicative market price. The ceiling is increased by 25 per cent. for unconfirmed cases.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report , column 645 , what was the nature of the other experiments which revealed that cows milk contains no detectable BSE infectivity.

Mrs. Browning: The other experiments involved challenge of mice with:

A) A mixture of milk and udder by feeding;

B) Milk alone by feeding;

C) Udder alone by inoculation; and

D) Milk alone by inoculation;

All derived from cows with clinical signs of BSE and confirmed by microscopic examination of the brain. No infectivity was detected in any of these studies.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report , column 647 , how the sterilisation of specified bovine offals is undertaken.

Mrs. Browning: The term "sterilised" is defined in the Specified Bovine Offal (Prohibition) Regulations 1989, as amended, and has the meaning as given in the Meat (Sterilisation and Staining) Regulations 1989.


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Under existing legislation, specified bovine offal must either be sterilised or stained at the place of its removal-- that is, at the slaughterhouse. The sterilisation option is rarely used by slaughterhouses and the Government have recently consulted with interested parties on proposals to withdraw this option for slaughterhouses.

SBO will continue to be sent from slaughterhouses to rendering plants for treatment before being buried or incinerated under licence.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report , column 646 , what was the monthly number of cases of BSE confirmed in the United Kingdom during 1994 that (a) were born before 18 July 1988 and (b) after 18 July 1988.

Mrs. Browning: The number of confirmed cases of BSE in Great Britain for 1994 is as follows:


             |Born before |Born after               

Year         |18 July 1988|18 July 1988             

----------------------------------------------------

January      |1,559       |637                      

February     |2,312       |805                      

March        |2,160       |1,119                    

April        |1,643       |945                      

May          |1,425       |558                      

June         |1,480       |1,024                    

July         |948         |493                      

August       |1,019       |539                      

September    |992         |884                      

October      |1,071       |940                      

November     |1,079       |816                      

December     |685         |495                      

                                                    

Total        |16,373      |9,255                    

The number of cases of BSE in Northern Ireland for 1994 is as follows. The ruminant feed ban in NI came into force on 11 January 1989.


                |Born before    |Born after                     

Year            |11 January 1989|11 January 1989                

----------------------------------------------------------------

January         |44             |8                              

February        |36             |7                              

March           |42             |7                              

April           |28             |2                              

May             |11             |0                              

June            |23             |6                              

July            |19             |2                              

August          |23             |4                              

September       |20             |8                              

October         |22             |3                              

November        |22             |7                              

December        |17             |2                              

                                                                

Total           |307            |56                             

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 645, what was the apparent source of the infection in the cow born in April 1989.

Mrs Browning: It is not possible to precisely indicate specific routes of infection for most individual cases. The breeding records relating to the case in question were incomplete and the date of birth was therefore estimated by its dentition. The animal's mother has been sold but has not been reported as a BSE suspect elsewhere.


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Milk Quota

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations he has received concerning delays in transferring milk quota by the Intervention Board.

Mr. Jack: The Ministry received 57 representations concerning the delays in processing milk quota transactions by the Intervention Board following the transfer of responsibility for administering the milk quota system to the board on 1 April 1994. These delays were due in part to technical problems with the Intervention Board's new computer system, but the principal cause was the delay on the part of the milk marketing boards in providing essential information. These problems have now been overcome and the processing of quota transactions is proceeding satisfactorily.

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many transfer applications the Intervention Board had for (a) the sale and (b) the leasing of milk quota in England and in Wales.

Mr. Jack: As milk quotas can be transferred throughout the United Kingdom, separate figures are not available for England and Wales. For the whole of the UK the Intervention Board had received 24,404 applications for the lease of milk quotas by the end of the leasing period on 31 December 1994, and 5,762 applications for the permanent transfer of milk quotas by 13 February 1995.

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the total litreage of milk quota transferred by the Intervention Board (a) by sale and (b) for leasing to date.

Mr. Jack: The total litreage of milk quota processed by the Intervention Board at 13 February 1995 was 341,000,000 litres by permanent transfer and 1,339,000,000 litres by lease.


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