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Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many start-up businesses were supported by the enterprise allowance scheme or any of its renamed successors in each of the last five years.
Mr. Paice: The number of start-ups in England supported by the enterprise allowance scheme, known as the business start-up scheme since 1992, are shown in the following table:
1989 90: 63,500
1990 91: 50,300
1991 92: 41,800
1992 93: 33,600
1993 94: 34,500
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he will be able to make an
Column 495announcement on whether he supports the proposal that the Health and Safety Executive should report data on industrial accidents to both the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.
Mr. Oppenheim: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 28 February 1995, Official Report, column 557 .
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many career development loans were made in (a) Wales and (b) Britain, between April 1993 and September 1994; what was their total value in each case; and what proportion of the total funds taken up by such loans for Britain was for lending in Wales.
Mr. Paice: Between April 1993 and September 1994, 17,607 career development loans with a total loan value of £52,074,087 were approved nationally.
This includes 656 loans approved in Wales with a total loan value of £1,929,244.50. This represents nearly 4 per cent. of the national total.
Mr. Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it his policy to introduce legal forms of positive discrimination to enable companies to advertise for disabled employees specifically so that they could ensure that disabled quotas are reached.
Miss Widdecombe: Not enough people have chosen to register as disabled for all employers to meet the quota requirement. Employers are free to discriminate in favour of people with disabilities when recruiting; the Disability Discrimination Bill will not alter this position. The Bill will, however, make it unlawful for an employer to treat a disabled person less favourably than other people because of their disability, unless there are justifiable reasons.
Mr. Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what help his Department gives in making companies more aware of the benefits of employing disabled people.
Miss Widdecombe: The Department has an on-going programme of education and persuasion designed to make employers aware of the benefits of employing disabled people. Placing, assessment and counselling teams promote the "Code of Good Practice on the Employment of Disabled People" to employers. As well as giving advice to employers about recruitment and general practices relating to the employment of people with disabilities, the code also includes information about the full and effective role of people with disabilities at work. The Department has also mounted advertising campaigns this year, and in the previous two years, focusing on demonstrating the abilities of disabled people at work.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Robertson) of 7 March, Official Report, column 133 35, if he will place in the Library (a) the memorandum on social clauses in trade agreements, (b) the resolution on implementation of legislation in the social field to be discussed at the EU
Column 496Social Affairs Council on 27 March and (c) all relevant United Kingdom and EU documents pertaining thereto.
Miss Widdecombe: The presidency has not yet finalised the texts to be put to the Council. I shall be writing to the scrutiny committees about the state of play on these and other matters in advance of the Council. I shall place both documents in the Library when they become available.
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much time an unemployed person is granted for bereavements, without being discounted as available for work.
Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Colin Pickthall, dated 14 March 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the amount of time an unemployed person is granted for bereavements, without being discounted as available for work. It may help if I explain that the receipt of unemployment benefit, National Insurance contribution credits and income support when unemployed, is conditional upon a person being available for and actively seeking work. This means that the individual must be available to start work immediately; must not place such restrictions on the work they are willing to do as to leave them with no real prospects of finding a job; and must take those steps each week that offer them their best prospects of being offered work.
Availability is a daily condition which means that the client must be available to do some work on every day of claim, usually Monday to Saturday.
If a client declares to my people in local offices that they are not available for work for any day(s), Social Security regulations provide for their claim to be referred to an independent adjudication officer for a decision about entitlement.
However, my local office and section managers have some discretion in deciding whether a claim is referred or not. If a client is unable to attend on their normal signing day, or cannot attend a pre-arranged interview, because of a domestic crisis such as a bereavement, my people have discretion to treat the claim as straightforward, without reference to an adjudication officer. In such circumstances there are no time limits. I expect my people to use judgement and decide what is reasonable in the light of the circumstances of each case.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for each standard region for each year since 1979 the average (a) hourly and (b) weekly (i) full-time and (ii) part-time (1) male and(2) female earnings, the total number and proportion of (c) male and (d) female (iii) part-time employees earning less than £5.88 per hour and (iv) full-time employees earning less than £221.50 per week, and the average weekly earnings of the top and bottom deciles of (e) full-time and (f) part-time, (v) male and (vi) female employees.
Column 497Mr. Oppenheim: Analyses by standard region of the new earnings survey results for full-time employees are published in part E of the report.
Tables 110 and 113 contain average gross weekly and hourly earnings, and the top and bottom deciles of weekly earnings, for men and women respectively.
Table 114 contains the sample numbers and the percentages with weekly earnings below a range of levels. These include £220 in 1994 but in 1979 the top of the range was £200 for men and £100 for women.
Table 115 contains similar information on a range of hourly earnings that included £6 per hour in 1994 but in 1979 the top of the range was £3.50 for men and £2.20 for women.
Information for part-time women is published in part F. Table 180 contains information similar to table 113 and table 175 contains information similar to table 115.
Copies of the new earnings survey reports can be found in the Library.
The information is not available for part-time men.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was (a) the number of places available each year, (b) the actual number taken up, (c) the number of people involved in the programme who are presently in employment and (d) the number of different employers involved in the programme, in respect of each pilot workstart programme.
Miss Widdecombe: Workstart was piloted in four areas between July 1993 and December 1994: Devon and Cornwall, Kent, Tyneside and south and south-west London. The figures requested are shown in the following table. All available places were taken up. In the survey of employers, published on 12 December 1994, over 80 per cent. of employers interviewed said they intended to keep the workstart employee on after the subsidy ended. The follow-up survey due to report in November 1995 will give more information on this matter. Five thousand places will be available on the further pilots, announced in the Budget, which will begin in April 1995.
|(c) the number of |(b) the number of |people still |(d) the number of Pilot |places taken up<1>|participating |employers |involved<2> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kent |468 |238 |380 Devon and Cornwall |626 |433 |309 Tyneside |243 |137 |130 South west and south London |238 |108 |144
Figures February 1995. Figures September 1994 (evaluation completed in September).
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 14 March 1995.
Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 14 March.
Mr. Newton: I have been asked to reply.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is currently on an official visit to Israel, the occupied territories and Jordan. He is also accompanied by a large delegation of British business men.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister who authorised the approach by police to the journalist, David Johnston, of Radio Forth, to be offered the facility of direct communication with the then Prime Minister, in order to induce him to reveal the source of certain information relating to Lockerbie in December 1988.
Mr. Newton: I have been asked to reply.
As has been repeatedly made clear it is not appropriate for the investigating authorities to give details of investigative steps which have been taken.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with Chancellor Kohl attempts by the Bundeskriminalamt and the Verfassungschu tz to deflect blame for the Lockerbie crime from the Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt, and the statement by the
Column 498Bundesministerium of Justice on 20 February 1995 letter Gescha ftzeichen 111 BLA 4038 E 634/88 about the absence of knowledge by the investigators of the public prosecutors office in Frankfurt of whether explosives which led to the crashing of the Pan Am plane got on board the feeder plane in Frankfurt am Main.
Mr. Newton: I have been asked to reply.
Mr. Dalyell: To aks the Prime Minister what assistance Her Majesty's Government are giving to relatives of the British Lockerbie victims in their presentation of a petition to the European Parliament, drawing attention to six years of effort to find the truth about Lockerbie.
Mr. Newton: I have been asked to reply.
We have received no request to assist in this matter.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if a vet from his Department was present at Shoreham port on the night of 6 March for the arrival of six cattle trucks;
(2) what assessment he has made of whether the transport plan for the six truckloads of cattle destined to leave from Shoreham port on the night of 6 March was capable of being fulfilled, and whether the cattle were rested, fed and watered after 15 hours; what happened to the cattle; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: A veterinary officer was at the port awaiting the arrival of six trucks containing calves. In the event, a demonstration prevented two livestock lorries already on their way to Shoreham from reaching the port. I understand that these lorries returned with the calves to the premises or origin in Oxfordshire. Officials were satisfied that all the animals could be returned to their home premises within the 15-hour limit by which time the animals would have had to be fed and rested.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what time loading commenced of a consignment of calves which arrived in Brightlingsea on 3 March on to the vehicle which transported them to Brightlingsea; how many calves were on the vehicles; at what time and from where the journey to Brightlingsea began; what time they arrived at the port; what subsequently happened to them; when feeding of all the calves was completed; what time the vessel designated to ship the calves to the continent arrived at Brightlingsea; what time loading of the vessel commenced; what time loading of the vessel completed, and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: I understand that the journey of the 194 calves began at 05.30 hours from premises in Kent. The lorry carrying calves arrived at a lairage near Harwich shortly after 10.00 hours where it waited until convoyed to the port, arriving at about 14.00 hours. The calves were fed aboard the lorry between 18.00 hours and 19.50 hours. The vessel berthed at 23.10 hours and the calves were loaded from 23.30 hours and fed immediately. All were aboard by 23.45 hours. Sheep were loaded between 23.45 and 01.20 hours.
The other four livestock lorries were at local lairages ready to load calves already resting there. In the circumstances, loading of those animals for Shoreham did not even begin.
Journey plans had been scrutinised by officials before the proposed export journeys started and were satisfactory.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is the aggregate estimated annual cost of the Meat Hygiene Service;
(2) what is the aggregate annual cost of all Meat Hygiene Service staff in the financial year 1995 96.
Mrs. Browning: The total estimated cost of the Meat Hygiene Service in 1995 96 is £53.4 million. Within this figure, £26.5 million relates to the cost of employed staff--excluding relief cover for holidays, sickness and so on--and £10.2 million is for contracted veterinary services.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what protection has been written into staff contracts of employment to cover the eventuality that the Meat Hygiene Service does not receive parliamentary approval.
Mrs. Browning: Parliamentary approval is not required for the setting up of the Meat Hygiene Service, which will be an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Changes to secondary legislation are required to place responsibility for fresh meat and welfare enforcement on Ministers.
Column 500The majority of Meat Hygiene Service employees will be meat inspectors transferring from their local authority employers to the agency on 1 April 1995 in accordance with the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981.
Meat Hygiene Service staff employed by MAFF in advance of launch are subject to the Ministry's standard terms, which provide for three months notice or payment in lieu.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) on what date the chief executive of the Meat Hygiene Service was appointed;
(2) what is the total remuneration package for the chief executive of the Meat Hygiene Service.
Mrs. Browning: The appointment of the chief executive of the Meat Hygiene Service for an initial period of five years was announced on 19 May 1994 and he took up his post full time on 1 September 1994. The chief executive's annual salary is £70,000. In addition, he is eligible for an annual, non-pensionable performance-related bonus of up to 12.5 per cent. of basic pay.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (1) what is the total number of staff appointed to the Meat Hygiene Service;
(2) what is the ultimate complement of full-time and part-time staff to be appointed to the Meat Hygiene Service.
Mrs. Browning: At launch, the Meat Hygiene Service will employ 947 staff, comprising 872 meat inspectors and veterinarians and 75 management and support staff. Veterinary services will be obtained also through contracts with veterinary practices. The complement of the Meat Hygiene Service will be subject to adjustments to reflect any changes in the number of licensed fresh meat premises and the requirements of the relevant legislation.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (1) on what date it is proposed that the Meat Hygiene Service will become operational;
(2) on what date he made it his policy to establish the Meat Hygiene Service.
Mrs. Browning: In March 1992 the then Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) announced the intention to create a national meat hygiene service, constituted as an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to take over the fresh meat hygiene enforcement currently carried out by local authorities.
The Meat Hygiene Service will become operational on 1 April 1995.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what premises have been acquired or leased by the Meat Hygiene Service.
Mrs. Browning: None. The Meat Hygiene Service is a minority occupier in Government offices in York, Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Taunton, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what subordinate legislation is required to give effect to the Meat Hygiene Service; and what is the timetable for its introduction.
Mrs. Browning [holding answer on 13 March 1995]: Changes are needed to make Ministers responsible for the enforcement of fresh meat hygiene and welfare at slaughter legislation. The following regulations, which include other changes not relevant to the establishment of the Meat Hygiene Service, are being laid before Parliament to come into force on 1 April 1995:
The Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 The Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995 and
The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995. The following regulations will provide for Ministers to enforce controls in fresh meat plants over unfit meat and bovine offals. The Animal By Products (Identification) Regulations 1995, and The Bovine Offal (Prohibition) (Amendment) Regulations 1995.
The Meat (Hygiene, Inspection and Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/361) were laid before Parliament on 17 February and will, mostly, come into operation on 1 April 1995. Regulations 12 and 13 of these regulations, which provide for formal consultation on charges, come into operation on 13 March 1995.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many (a) negative and (b) affirmative statutory instruments have been laid by his Department in each year since 1970; what proportion of the negative statutory instruments were the subject of prayers for their annulment; and what proportions of those prayers were debated.
Mr. Jack: Figures can be provided only from the year 1986 onwards without incurring disproportionate costs. These are as follows:
Type of statutory instrument |Negative |Affirmative Year |resolution |resolution ------------------------------------------------ 1986 |78 |19 1987 |66 |13 1988 |57 |11 1989 |72 |22 1990 |91 |14 1991 |71 |12 1992 |98 |6 1993 |94 |5 1994 |108 |6
It should be borne in mind that not all statutory instruments impose requirements on business and some amend, replace or revoke existing statutory instruments.
No central records are kept of the number of negative statutory instruments which were the subject of a prayer and therefore no information can be supplied on the proportion debated.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list (a) the consultants, (b) the tasks for which they were employed and (c) the payments made to them from the budget of his Department in (i) 1992 93 and (ii) 1993 94.
Mr. Jack: Details of consultants employed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the years 1992 93 and 1993 94 and their tasks and of consultants employed by MAFF's executive agencies will be placed in the Library. The total cost to MAFF and the agencies in each year is as follows:
|1992-93 |1993-94 |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------ MAFF (excluding ITD) |1,903,204 |1,988,234 Information Technology Division |5,200,000 |8,300,000 ADAS |387,000 |985,845 Central Veterinary Laboratory |546,833 |463,037 Central Science Laboratory |17,100 |149,731 Veterinary Medicines Directorate |41,272 |34,281 Pesticides Safety Directorate |- |170,469 Total |8,095,409 |12,091,597
Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people were employed in agriculture in the Harrogate borough council area in each of the last 15 years.
Mr. Jack: The number of persons employed in agriculture in the local government district of Harrogate at June in each of the years from 1987 to 1994 is given in the table. Data for earlier years are not available.
Number of person employed in agriculture in the Harrogate LGD 1987 to 1994 Year |Number --------------------- 1987 |4,777 1988 |4,738 1989 |4,571 1990 |4,457 1991 |4,362 1992 |4,285 1993 |4,256 1994 |4,162 Source: June Census of Agriculture and Horticulture. Notes: 1. Data relates to main holdings (minor holdings excluded). 2. Figures include all categories of workers-i.e. farmers, partners, directors (including spouses); salaried managers; hired workers; family workers; seasonal or casual workers.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current estimated figures in hectares of land under crops used for bio-fuel purposes; what were the figures in (a) 1990, (b) 1991, (c) 1992 and (d) 1993; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jack: The main crop sources for bio-fuels are oilseed rape and short rotation coppice.
Prior to 1993 and the introduction of the arable area payments scheme oilseed rape grown for non-food uses was not recorded separately. In 1993, 24,087 hectares of oilseed rape, excluding high erucic acid rape grown primarily for use as a slipping agent, was planted on