|Previous Section||Home Page|
Sir George Young: It is for the Inland Revenue to apply existing law as voted by Parliament to the facts of individual cases, and it is not customary for Ministers to intervene in this. The tax bulletin article in question--in fact, published in November 1993--sets out the Revenue's understanding of the particular legislation considered. But the normal rights of appeal are of course available, as the tax bulletin always spells out, to any
Column 665taxpayer who wishes to take issue with the Revenue's view.
Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the annual cost of exchanges between sterling and other EU currencies for (a) exports and imports of goods and services, (b) stock exchange and banking transactions and (c) expenditure by (i) tourists and (ii) business travellers.
Mr. Nelson: The Government have not made any overall or detailed estimate of currency conversion costs between the pound sterling and other EU currencies. However, the European Commission estimates that currency conversion costs amount to 0.4 per cent. of gross domestic product for the EC as a whole.
Mr. Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the annual cost to the European Monetary Institute of (a) wages, (b) benefits in kind, (c) travel allowances and (d) rent for its premises.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil service jobs are now performed by agencies, quangos, trusts and other bodies, (a) overall in the United Kingdom and (b) in each Government Department; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nelson: The total number of civil servants employed in next steps agencies, or on next step lines, at 1 October 1994 was 331,956, of which 25,466 were employed in trading funds. The civil service staff in post summary gives details of the number employed in these Agencies, listed by Government Department. Posts in non-departmental public bodies, trusts and other bodies are outside the civil service. "Public Bodies 1994" gives details of those employed in non-departmental public bodies, listed by Government Department. The annual article on "Employment in the Public and Private Sectors" in the Central Statistical Office's publication "Economic Trends", January 1995, gives information on total numbers employed in general government and public corporations. The article also gives details of major changes between 1983 and 1994. All these publications are available in the Library.
Column 666small departments and net payments to EC institutions will now be published on 9 March.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what health service contracts have been awarded to (a) Hospital Design Consortium and (b) IDC Ltd., by the Scottish health boards or trusts in the past five years; and if these contractors remain on current contractors' lists for Scottish health service contractors.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: As at 31 March 1993 there were 2,535 people being cared for in residential care homes for people with learning disabilities. At the same date, there were 8,439 people attending day centres for people with learning disabilities. The number of people with learning disabilities who are being cared for at home is unknown. Complete information for 1994 is not yet available.
(2) if he will list the number of occasions 3i has acted as equity partners in Scottish Enterprise projects.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to be able to announce his decision in respect of the application by Scottish Aggregates to develop a quarry at Windyhill farm, Elderslie; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: The reporter appointed to hear evidence at the public local inquiry into the proposed quarry will very shortly circulate to parties, for comment, part I of her report containing the summary of evidence and her findings of fact. The reporter will, thereafter, complete the report and submit it to my right hon. Friend with her recommendation. A decision is expected towards the end of the summer.
Column 667district councils in 1994 95 and 1995 96; and if he will make a statement.
Total 1994-95 budgeted expenditure per head of population |£ ------------------------------------ Regional Councils Borders |1,064 Central |964 Dumfries and Galloway |1,052 Fife |972 Grampian |918 Highland |1,170 Lothian |960 Strathclyde |1,026 Tayside |1,008 District Councils Berwickshire |152 Ettrick and Lauderdale |153 Roxburgh |164 Tweeddale |159 Clackmannan |203 Falkirk |168 Stirling |227 Annandale and Eskdale |148 Nithsdale |160 Stewartry |136 Wigtown |197 Dunfermline |163 Kirkcaldy |173 North East Fife |185 Aberdeen |213 Banff and Buchan |157 Gordon |153 Kincardine and Deeside |127 Moray |163 Badenoch and Strathspey |179 Caithness |167 Inverness |151 Lochaber |210 Nairn |152 Ross and Cromarty |219 Skye and Lochalsh |239 Sutherland |213 East Lothian |198 Edinburgh |276 Midlothian |177 West Lothian |166 Argyll and Bute |295 Bearsden and Milngavie |166 Clydebank |268 Clydesdale |201 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth |172 Cumnock and Doon Valley |188 Cunninghame |203 Dumbarton |210 East Kilbride |177 Eastwood |136 Glasgow |318 Hamilton |235 Inverclyde |221 Kilmarnock and Loudon |202 Kyle and Carrick |206 Monklands |238 Motherwell |213 Renfrew |221 Strathkelvin |203 Angus |157 Dundee |251 Perth and Kinross |177 Notes: 1. The total 1994-95 budgeted expenditure is taken from figures returned by local authorities in March/April 1994. 2. The population figures used were the latest available from the General Register Office of Scotland dated 29 April 1994.
Mr. Kynoch: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that my hon. Friend the Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart) gave on 19 January, Official Report , columns 665 66, which covered allowances for all councillors. In respect of the existing scheme, which continues to apply to the members of the regional and district councils until 31 March 1996, the usual annual review is currently under way.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the (a) names, (b) employment or previous employment, (c) date of appointment, (d) date for reappointment and (e) salary, honorarium and/or allowance payable to each member of the board of Scottish Homes, including the executive and non-executive directors; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The information requested is set out in the table. Appointments and reappointments are considered by my right hon. Friend in terms of the most effective mix of expertise required by Scottish Homes at the appropriate time.
|Period of current |Salary Name |Occupation |Date of appointment |appointment |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sir James Mellon KCMG (Chairman) |Former Diplomat |1.4.89 |1.4.93-31.3.96 |38,330 Mrs. Frances McCall MBE |Member, Management | Committee, Calvay | Co-operative |1.12.88 |1.4.91-31.3.95<1> |6,660 Professor Duncan Maclennan MA MPhil FRSA |Director of the Centre for | Housing Research at | Glasgow University |1.12.88 |1.4.93-31.3.97 |6,600 Dr. Tom Begg OBE JP BA PhD |Lecturer in Economics at | Queen Margaret College, | Edinburgh |1.12.88 |1.4.91-31.3.95 |6,600 Mrs. Heather Sheerin OBE |Co-director family-owned | retail carpet business |1.12.88 |1.4.93-31.3.97 |6,600 Mrs. Daphne M.W. Sleigh |Freelance Market Researcher|14.9.90 |14.9.90-31.3.95<1> |6,600 Cameron Parker OBE |Non-executive Vice | Chairman, Lithgows Ltd. |1.4.92 |1.4.92-31.3.96 |6,600 Professor John R. Small CBE |Deputy Principal, Heriot | Watt University and | Professor of Accountancy | and Finance |1.4.93 |1.4.93-31.3.97 |6,600 Alistair Dempster |Chief Executive, TSB Bank | Scotland plc; Deputy | Chairman TSB Bank | Channel Islands Limited |1.10.93 |1.4.93-31.3.98 |6,600 Peter McKinlay (ex-officio) |Chief Executive, Scottish | Homes |7.10.91 |7.10.91-6.10.97 |76,599
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The chairman of Scottish Homes is responsible to my right hon. Friend for its overall direction and management within the policy framework set by him. He is the principal spokesman for Scottish Homes and the main contact with Ministers, raising issues with them as appropriate. The chief executive is designated as accounting officer and is personally responsible for the proper stewardship and expenditure of public funds and the day-to-day operation and management of Scottish Homes.
Mr. Mcmaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what new powers, duties or responsibilities will be given to community councils under the provisions of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994; what plans he has to give local authorities a statutory duty to consult community councils on matters of local interest, planning applications and community planning policy; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: Following local government reorganisation, community councils will have a statutory right to be consulted on planning issues if they so wish and on the decentralisation schemes which the new authorities will draw up for their area. Local authorities will also be encouraged to keep community councils fully informed about local licensing issues.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The Government have consistently adopted a position of neutrality towards field sports. We believe that participation in these activities, including fox hunting, is a matter on which people should make their own decision according to their conscience.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the importance of the carpet manufacturing industry to the local economy of Renfrewshire; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: The carpet manufacturing industry makes a valuable contribution to the economy of Renfrewshire. It currently employs about 440 people, who represent approximately 2 per cent. of Renfrewshire's total manufacturing employment.
Mr. Lang: I am pleased to announce that the prior options study, undertaken as the first stage of the five-yearly policy and financial management review of Scottish Homes, has now been completed. The study was carried out by my Department under the guidance of a steering group chaired by the Secretary of the Scottish Office Environment Department. My announcement on 12 July included an invitation to interested parties to submit comments and the Department wrote to a number of individuals and bodies with a clear interest in the functions of Scottish Homes. I am grateful to all those who took the trouble to respond. A total of 36 responses were received and the views expressed were taken into account. The majority of respondents saw a continuing need for a strong national housing agency.
I have accepted the overall conclusions of the study. Scottish Homes will continue as a single national housing agency playing a major role in taking forward the Government's housing policies in Scotland and supporting local authorities in their role as statutory housing authorities. It will continue to provide development funding to housing associations and other housing providers, promote housing research and innovation and carry out the statutory function of registration and monitoring of housing associations. It will, however, become a more focused organisation as it
Column 671sheds its landlord role in line with the Government's policy to diversify the rented sector in Scotland.
The second stage of the review, which will examine Scottish Homes's performance and financial management in detail, will now get under way. Many of the comments submitted as part of the prior options study will be relevant to the second stage.
Separately, the Government will be examining the issue of housing associations wishing to operate in more than one part of the United Kingdom.
Copies of the report of the prior options study will be placed in the Library and can be obtained from the Scottish Office Environment Department, room 423B, St Andrew's house, Edinburgh, EH1 2DG, Tel. 0131 244 2234.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if a housing association which was not a co-operative housing association subsequent to 2 January 1989 granted a tenancy to an individual, either alone or jointly with others, who immediately prior to being granted tenancy had held, alone or with others, the secure tenancy of a different house from the same housing association if (a) the new tenancy would be secure, (b) the new tenancy would be subject to the provisions of the part IV of the Rent (Scotland) 1984, and (c) that house would be subject to the right to purchase under section 61 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 and related provisions.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 28 February 1995]: While it is not for the Government to interpret statute, it is the Government's view that housing legislation provides that where a secure tenant of a housing association transfers to another property owned by the same landlord, the tenancy remains a secure tenancy and is subject to the provisions of the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984. It is also the case that under section 61 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 a secure tenant has a statutory right to purchase this home, subject to certain exemptions.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to implement the recommendations made by Sheriff Neil Gow following the fatal accident inquiry on Hanger 13; and if he will make a statement on the outcome.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 1 March 1995]: The determination in this fatal accident inquiry has underlined the dangers of taking drugs such as Ecstasy and helpfully complements the recommendations in the report of the ministerial drugs task force led by my noble and learned Friend the Minister of State. Particular consideration is being given to Sheriff Gow's recommendation that model conditions in licences for raves should be prepared in legislative form. The task force made a similar recommendation, while recognising that responding to the problems associated with rave events through the licensing system was not straightforward. Consultations are now taking place with
Column 672the police and local authorities, in the light of which we shall consider what action is appropriate, including possible legislative amendment.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average length of time needed to bring to a conclusion legal proceedings concerned with a claim of negligence against medical practitioners employed in (a) general practice and (b) hospital posts; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 27 February 1995]: Information on general medical practitioners is not collected centrally. They are independent contractors and as such insure themselves independently. For hospital practitioners, the length of time taken to settle claims on medical negligence will vary depending on the nature of the case. If agreement is reached before the case goes to court, it can be settled within six to nine months of the claim being lodged. Where the claim is determined by the courts, the average time taken to reach a conclusion is around five years.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many legal cases involving negligence on the part of medical practitioners have been brought to a conclusion in each of the past 10 years; what were the sums of compensation paid to complainers who were found by the courts to have suffered from such negligent conduct; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 27 February 1995]: The information collected centrally on the compensation paid on medical negligence claims makes no distinction between agreed out of court settlements and damages awarded by the courts.
Information on the costs of settlements and the number of cases concerned can be provided only from 1 January 1990 when financial responsibility for medical negligence was assumed by health boards. The costs, as recently updated and including claimants' costs, for this period were as follows:
|Settlements (court |and out of court) |Number of Year |£ |cases ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |957,956 |22 1990-91 |1,327,080 |50 1991-92 |1,143,151 |49 1992-93 |1,215,627 |40 1993-94 |646,038 |27
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he can make concerning the percentage of women being offered cervical smears on a three-yearly basis or less in (a) Inverclyde, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole.
Column 673a three-yearly basis. The only ineligible women are those who have had a total hysterectomy.
The Disability Discrimination Bill is currently being considered by Parliament and the Government have no
Column 674plans to introduce further legislation relating to the employment of disabled people.
The Government encourage the recruitment of disabled employees through their long-standing programme aimed at educating and persuading employers to recognise the abilities of disabled employees and to adopt good employment practices. We will also continue to provide effective and practical help both to employers and to disabled individuals. More than 53,000 disabled people were helped to find work last year by Employment Service advisers and we are aiming to help more than 56,000 this year.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if Ministers in his Department have on any occasion in the last seven days met representatives of (a) Messrs. C. S. M. Parliamentary Consultants Ltd., (b) Dewe Rogerson Ltd., (c) Decision Makers Ltd., (d) G. J. W. Government Relations Ltd., (e) G.P.C., (f) G.J.W., (g) Ian Greer Associates Ltd., (h) Market Access Group, (i) Politics International, (j) Westminster Communications Group, (k) Westminster Strategy (l) Good Relations, (m) Rowland Sallingbury Casey, (n) Lowe Bell, (o) Profile Corporate and Political Relations, and (p) Shandwick Consultants Ltd. and discussed issues relating to the clients of these companies.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Expenditure by the higher courts and central Government grants to local authorities in support of magistrates courts in Wales in 1993 94 was £39.7 million. This figure included preparatory work on the parking enforcement centre, which is attached to Cardiff county court and was completed in 1993 94.
In addition, £4.9 million of legal aid payments were made through the Crown court in Wales. Expenditure from the legal aid fund cannot be identified separately for Wales because the Legal Aid Board's area offices administer applications and bills from parts of both England and Wales.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) what plans he has to make special arrangements for the recovery of costs by successful plaintiffs in small personal injury cases if the small claims limit is raised;
(2) what plans he has to raise the small claims limit; by what amount; and when he plans to introduce the rise.
Mr. John M. Taylor: This issue, among others, is within the scope of Lord Woolf's comprehensive review of civil justice. The Lord Chancellor is awaiting the first report of this review, and any decisions will be taken in that context.
Mr. Boyes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list all White Papers, Green Papers and pamphlets issued by his Department or agencies for which it is responsible in 1994, giving in each case the total cost to the Exchequer of their
Column 676production, publication and distribution; and what was the total equivalent cost in 1980.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The Department published no White or Green Papers during 1994, but two leaflets were published and are listed with their costs. There were also reports and consultation documents apparently outwith the scope of the question. Information regarding the equivalent costs of White and Green Papers and leaflets produced by the Department in 1980 is not held centrally.
An Introduction to the Lord Chancellor's Department £985.75 An Introduction to the Lord Chancellor's Department
(An Italian version for British Week in Milan) £5,543.00 The Lord Chancellor has responsibilities for three agencies, HM Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office. As the question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executives of the agencies are best placed to provide an answer I have accordingly asked them to reply direct.
Letter from John Manthorpe to Mr. Roland Boyes, dated 1 March 1995:
I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question concerning the white papers, green papers and pamphlets issued by the Registry in 1994.
The Land Registry produces a wide range of explanatory literature containing advice for practitioners and the general public on various aspects of land registration practice and procedure and on the services that it provides. No white papers or green papers were issued in 1994.
There is no cost to the exchequer of production, publication or distribution as the Agency meets all of its costs from fees. 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 Sarah Tyacke to Mr. Roland Boyes, dated 1 March 1995:
I have been asked by the Lord Chancellor's Parliamentary Secretary to reply to your question about white papers, green papers and pamphlets issued by the Public Record Office.
The Public Record Office did not issue any white or green papers in 1994. It produced the following guidance:
Beyond the PRO: Public Records in Places of Deposit
Author: S. Shaw
Printing costs: None
Authorial costs: None
In 1980 the Public Record Office did not issue any white or green papers or pamphlets.
Letter from Julia Lomas to Mr. Roland Boyes, dated 1 March 1995: The Parliamentary Secretary of the Lord Chancellor's Department has asked me to reply to you as part of the Lord Chancellor's Department's response to your parliamentary question, listed on 22 February 1995, regarding a list of the white papers, green papers and pamphlets issued and the cost of their production, publication and distribution.
The Public Trust Office did not issue any white or green papers in 1994.
The cost of producing and publishing pamphlets in 1994 (including Charter Statements explanatory booklets and leaflets sent to our customers) was £37,500. The cost of distribution will have formed part of the Public Trust Office's total postal budget and has not been separately costed.
Column 677The Public Trust Office is required to cover its running costs from fees levied on its clients and the cost of producing, publishing and distributing these pamphlets will, therefore, have been recovered from these fees.
No equivalent figures are available for 1980 as the relevant information is only retained for seven years.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which public relations company was hired by his Department to advise on the logo and other public relations matters for the launch of the new Court Service agency on 3 April; how long the contract with the company is set to last; and what the total cost to the Department of the company's service will be.
Mr. John M. Taylor: No public relations company has been engaged to advise on matters relating to the launch of the Court Service as an executive agency. Following a competitive tender exercise, the Epps Partnership has been retained to design a logo, guidelines for its use and the layout of the documents which will be published attendant on the launch of the agency and also in respect of the courts charter. The contract will come to an end in July 1995. The cost to the Department at 28 February 1995 is £32,741.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what considerations underlay the absence of competition in respect of the invitation for tenders for the supply of electricity to Northern Ireland, prior to the signing of heads of agreement between Scottish Power and Northern Ireland Electricity.
Mr. Ancram: I understand that Northern Ireland Electricity initially approached a number of generating companies including National Power plc, PowerGen plc, Electricite de France and Scottish Hydro Electric plc in addition to Scottish Power plc before entering into detailed negotiations with the last named.