Mr. James Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to implement the TRUST programme--currently being introduced in Birmingham--to other bus routes in and around London.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The legal aid scheme provides legal advice, assistance and representation to those who might otherwise be unable to obtain it on account of their means, regardless of whether they are currently serving a prison sentence.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make it his policy that a person serving a prison sentence who has not fully disclosed the whereabouts of the proceeds of the crime of which they were convicted should not be allowed legal aid.
Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what legal aid is available to prisoners wishing to appeal against sentence; and what restrictions there are on the number of appeals a prisoner may launch.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Criminal legal aid may be granted to a convicted person for proceedings in respect of a sentence, provided that it is desirable in the interests of justice and that his or her financial resources are such that he or she requires help in meeting his or her costs.
A person convicted by a magistrates court has the right to appeal against sentence to the Crown court. Where an appeal is dismissed by the Crown court, a person may apply to the High Court for judicial review of that decision.
A person wishing to appeal against a sentence imposed in the Crown court must initially seek leave to appeal from a single judge in the Court of Appeal, criminal division.
If leave to appeal is granted, the matter will then be heard by the full court. If leave is refused, the application may be renewed to the full court. If the full court determines that leave to appeal should not be granted, a case can be referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Home Office, in exceptional circumstances.
Mr. John M. Taylor: I am not aware of any publicly funded legal assistance currently being received byMs Hindley, though it is possible that she may be receiving legal advice under the "green form" scheme.
Mr. Nelson: A number of representations have been received recently from hon. Members. The Government's role under the Financial Services Act has been to establish the framework within which the regulators work. A statement on an individual firm is a matter for the regulators. The Securities and Investments Board has made two public statements on this firm.
Mr. Simon Coombs: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the effect on the level of eating out in hotels, restaurants and pubs, of the difference of 17.5 per cent. between the applicable rate of VAT on food consumed in these locations and at home.
Mr. Nelson: It is the role of monetary policy to deliver low inflation. Since monetary policy influences inflation with a lag, interest rate decisions are based on an assessment of the prospects for underlying inflation in one to two years' time. This assessment is based on a wide range of information including movements in the exchange rate.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the effect of the rise in the rate of exchange against the Deutschmark between February 1993 and January 1994 on the standard of living of manual workers in manufacturing industry relative to those of white-collar workers in the private sector.
VAT rates on hotel accommodation in the EU |Rate: budget |Rate: luxury |accommodation|accommodation Country |Per cent. |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------- Austria |10 |10 Belgium |6 |6 Denmark |25 |25 Finland |22 |22 France<1> |5.5 |5.5 Germany |15 |15 Greece |8 |8 Ireland |12.5 |12.5 Italy |9 |19 Luxembourg |15 |15 Netherlands |6 |6 Portugal<2> |5 (4) |5 (4) Spain |6 |6 Sweden |12 |12 UK<3> |17.5 (5) |17.5 (5) Notes: <1> The following rates apply generally in Corsica: 0.9 per cent., 2.1 per cent., 8 per cent. and 13 per cent. <2> The rates in brackets apply in Madeira and the Azores Archipelagoes. <3> The five per cent. shown in the UK list applies to hotel accommodation in Isle of Man as from 1 October 1994. Sources: VAT in Europe (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation), EU member states' embassies in London.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the years since 1975 in which the percentage increase in the retail price of goods has exceeded the increase in the price of services.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: The information requested is not available at present as there are no unique definitions of goods or services in the retail prices index. However, the central statistical office is currently working on a goods and services breakdown of the RPI and hope to be able to publish such a breakdown dating back to 1987 in the February 1995 RPI business monitor, MM23.
Mr. Kenneth Clarke: I represented the UK at the Economic and Finance Council of the European Union in Brussels on 20 February. The President of the Commission presented the Commission's work programme for 1995. He suggested that the main tasks facing the Ecofin Council were: contributing to stable and sustained growth, employment and preparations for economic and monetary union. He stressed that structural reform efforts to combat unemployment should not be slackened as a result of the economic recovery. He also summarised the Commission's activities and plans on competitiveness, the internal market and preparation for central and eastern European enlargement and stressed the importance attached by the Commission to the fight against fraud.
I said that the work programme should be judged by its effects on jobs and investment. The key to this was to ensure competitiveness. On EMU, I repeated the policy the Government have followed since Maastricht and recently reaffirmed by the Cabinet.
Commissioner Gradin presented the Commission's programme of anti-fraud activity for 1995. She said that fraud against the Community's financial interests had to be seen in a broad political context. European citizens were concerned that the Community's resources were spent properly and Community institutions and member states could demonstrate that the problem of fraud was being tackled effectively.
The Council discussed preparations for the meeting with Finance Ministers of the associated countries of central and eastern Europe, scheduled to take place in accordance with the conclusions of the Essen European Council. The Council took note of the Commission's paper on preparing the dialogue and agreed that further work was needed. The Council agreed to postpone the meeting until May. The Council agreed to hold a meeting with the EFTA countries during the Spanish presidency.
Sir Leon Brittan gave a report on progress in the GATS financial services negotiations.
No formal votes were taken at the Council meeting.
Mr. Boyes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer 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 production, publication and distribution; and what was the total equivalent cost in 1980.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 2 March 1995]: The Treasury and the agencies responsible to the Chancellor issued four White Papers, one Green Paper and 28 pamphlets in 1994. In respect of those white papers, green papers and other publications published by the HMSO all costs were borne by the HMSO, who aim to recover these from sales revenue. Production, printing and distribution costs of pamphlets printed externally are set out below. Production and distribution of pamphlets produced in-house or pamphlets printed externally are handled by staff as part of their normal work, and therefore disaggregated costs are not available. Information on costs in 1980 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
CSO annual report 1993 94 (HCP 521)
Departmental report of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departments (Cm 2517)
RPI Advisory Committee. Housing costs (Cm 2717)
RPI Advisory Committee. New and used car prices (CM 2716) Green papers
Better accounting for taxpayer's money (Cm 2626)
Pamphlets produced externally Cost (£)
Brief guide to sources (CSO)19,731.00
Budget in brief (HMT)21,004.00
Civil service statistics (HMSO for HMT)0.00
CSO Databank (CSO)10,181.00
Economic briefing (HMT)66,911.00
Government procurement: progress report (HMSO)
Government statistical service annual report (CSO)14,800.00 Key figures on civil service staffing (HMT)715.00
Paymaster newsletter (PGO)24,435.42
Producer prices--how they work (CSO)5,320.00
Statistics for students (CSO)6,472.00
Summer economic forecast 1994 (HMSO for HMT)0.00
United Kingdom coinage review (Royal Mint)4,917.37
United Kingdom coinage review (braille) Royal Mint)2,641.00 UK in figures (CSO)10,058.00
Pamphlets produced in-house
Civil service staffing 1979 1994 (HMT)
Code of best practice for board members of public bodies (HMT) Crest: the legal issues (HMT)
Government economic forecasts 1969 1993 (HMT)
Help with fuel bills (HMT)
Implementation of the deposit guarantee directive (HMT) Implementation of the investment services directive and capital adequacy directive (HMT)
Minutes of the monthly monetary meeting (HMT)
Open government: how to obtain information from the Treasury (HMT)
Public offer of securities regulations (HMT)
Review of Building Societies Act 1986 (HMT)
Column 744Review of Building Societies Act 1986: background papers (HMT)
Revised implementation of the EC prospectus directive (HMT) Winding up directive (HMT)
Pamphlets are defined for the purposes of this answer as booklets of more than one sheet originated and distributed generally to the public for the first time in 1994 or made available to the public for purposes of discussion for the first time in 1994 and do not include reprints of earlier published material.
Mr. Macshane: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the voluntary creation of European works councils by leading British firms as a contribution to harmonious employee relations; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Oppenheim: It is too early to make any such assessment. We are in favour of greater worker consultation and involvement. This may take many forms, which are best left to the judgment of individual companies. But we are against the prescriptive, inflexible, top-down approach to greater worker consultation and, on that basis, I do not believe that European works councils will make any significant contribution to genuine employee involvement.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if unemployed people receiving the job seeker's allowance will be able to participate in (a) postgraduate courses, (b) degree courses, (c) courses in preparation for a degree, (d) diploma of higher education courses, (e) higher national diploma courses, (f) A-level courses, (g) GCSE courses, (h) teaching qualification courses and (i) other courses of a similar nature; and if he will make a statement.
People claiming JSA will be able to take part-time courses provided that they remain available for and actively seek employment. In the case of courses funded by the Further Education Funding Council, part-time courses will be defined as courses of up to 16 guided learned hours a week. This definition will not extend to higher education and other sectors, where we expect the definition of a part-time course to remain essentially unchanged. Similar arrangements will apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if unemployed people claiming the job seeker's allowance will be able to study part-time higher education courses for up to 21 hours a week; and if he will make a statement.
People claiming JSA will be able to take part-time courses provided that they remain available for and actively seek employment. That will include part-time higher education courses, where we expect the definition of a part-time course to remain essentially unchanged.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in what circumstances when the jobseeker's allowance is introduced the Employment Service client advisers will accept that participation in a part-time education or training course is a positive outcome and an active step in looking for work; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe: A course of up to two weeks' duration will be accepted as an active step in seeking employment if it will help improve the jobseeker's chances of getting work. Longer courses, whether part-time or full-time, will not be accepted as an active step in substitution for job search activity.
Starting a course of education or training which takes the jobseeker out of unemployment is treated as a positive outcome of an Employment Service advisory interview and we propose to continue this.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the maximum number of hours that unemployed people claiming the jobseeker's allowance will be allowed to participate in courses run by voluntary organisations and local authorities which are partly funded by the European social fund; and if he will make a statement.
People claiming JSA will be able to take part-time courses provided that they remain available for and actively seek employment. In the case of courses funded by the Further Education Funding Council, part-time courses will be defined as courses of up to 16 guided learning hours a week. This definition will not extend to higher education and other sectors, where we expect the definition of a part-time course to remain essentially unchanged. Similar arrangements will apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These rules will apply to all courses, including those funded by the European social fund.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in his Department or its agencies; and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.