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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he intends to publish the report commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive from the institute of occupational health at Birmingham university on the effect of organo-phosphorous chemicals in sheep dip on 200 sheep farmers. 
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Department's proposed additional expenditure to help people coming off incapacity benefits in each of the years 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98; on what items it is to be spent; and how many people it is estimated will be helped in each of those years. 
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. Alan Simpson, dated 28 March 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about proposed additional expenditure to help people coming off Incapacity Benefit (IB).
We are keen to ensure that people no longer entitled to IB who make a claim for unemployment benefit are given effective help with returning to work. We therefore intend to provide a comprehensive package of additional help for them.
Clients coming off IB will be eligible for immediate entry to a number of our programmes. As a result a number of additional places in Jobplan Workshop (JPW), and Jobclub/Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) scheme are being funded, details of which are as follows.
Year |Clients |Programme |Cost ------------------------------------------------------------- 1995 to 1996 |86,000 |JPW |£9,630,000 |70,000 |Jobclub/JIG|£13,230,000 1996 to 1997 |66,700 |JPW |£7,837,000 |58,000 |Jobplan/JIG|£11,063,000 1997 to 1998 |15,400 |JPW |£1,900,000 |14,000 |Jobplan/JIG|£2,683,000
Those people who are identified at an initial interview as needing specialist help will be referred to Placing, Assessment and Counselling Teams, the number of clients and additional costs for which are estimated as follows.
|Cost Year |Clients |£ ---------------------------------------------- 1995 to 1996 |40,000 |11,840,000 1996 to 1997 |29,000 |8,787,000 1997 to 1998 |15,000 |3,266,000
I hope this information is helpful and assures you of our intent to provide clients who were previously claiming IB with practical advice and information which is geared to their individual needs.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the details of the financial assistance available to job clubs in the Durham North district to assist them in the provision of services for people with disabilities; and what were the amounts spent during the last financial year. 
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. Gerry Steinberg, dated 28 March 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about financial assistance available to Jobclubs in the Durham North District to assist people with disabilities.
The cost of Jobclub provision in Durham North District between April 1994 and February was £161,940. Separate records on the cost of providing facilities for people with disabilities are not maintained.
There are seven Jobclubs within the Durham North District, none of which are specifically for any particular client group. People with disabilities are encouraged to use the standard provision and where necessary specialist help, for example communicators for the deaf and personal readers or specialist equipment is available via our Placing Assessment and Counselling Teams (PACTs).
During the period April 1994 to February, 111 people, who have indicated that they have a long term health problem or disability which affects the kind of work they are able to do, have attended Jobclubs in the Durham North District. None of these clients required extra assistance from the PACT to enable them to utilise facilities in the Jobclubs.
I hope this is helpful.
Ms Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment on what grounds the Health and Safety Executive has ordered cessation of work at the former Lucas Gardner site at Bath road, Bristol; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Oppenheim: Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive visited the former Lucas Gardner site at Bath road, Bristol in December 1994 where demolition work was in progress. They suspected that roofing sheets and pipe lagging contained asbestos. The manner of demolition was such that if asbestos were present it was not being properly removed or controlled to minimise the spread of asbestos fibres. A prohibition notice was served on the contractor preventing further demolition work until a safe system of work had been prepared and appropriate precautions taken.
Mr. Oppenheim: Samples taken from the former Lucas Gardner site and analysed by the Health and Safety Executive were found to contain crysotile (white), crocidolite (blue) and amosite (brown) asbestos.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people he estimates will lose their social security entitlement as a consequence of his reduction of the number of weekly hours which students can commit to their studies without losing benefit eligibility. 
Miss Widdecombe: The Government's proposals are designed to allow the same number of people to study while claiming benefits for the unemployed after the introduction of jobseeker's allowance as do so now. The new rules will not come into force until April 1996. The detail of the transitional arrangements for JSA and other social security benefits is still being considered. I explained to the Jobseeekrs Bill Committee on 14 February 1995 at column 374, however, that our intention is that no one who is currently on a course will have to give it up because of the change that we are proposing.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much his Department spent on public relations during the financial year 1993 94; how much contracts with the private sector cost; and if he will list the activities covered by these contracts. 
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what guidelines his Department has issued to its agencies and other public bodies under its authority in respect of the employment of public relations companies and the procedures to be adopted in relation to requesting tenders for public relations companies. 
Miss Widdecombe: Central guidance on publicity and the use of public relations consultants has been produced by the Cabinet Office for Government Departments. The Employment Department Group and its agencies have been issued with that guidance which stipulates the stated policy of successive administrations to rely on the expertise and experience of the Government's own advisers and to decline offers from commercial public relations companies.
Mr. Paice: We are making £669 million available for modern apprenticeships and youth training in England in 1995 96. Modern apprenticeships are part of the youth programme budget and it is not possible to distinguish
Column 614elements for youth training from those for modern apprenticeships.
Mr. Peter Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what facilities are provided and arrangements made for the comfort and well -being of staff who (a) smoke and (b) do not wish to be affected by smoking at (i) the work station and (ii) rest, recreation and refreshment facilities at Caxton house, Tothill street, London. 
Miss Widdecombe: All refurbished offices and other areas are designated non-smoking areas. There are four rooms on the refurbished floors for staff who wish to smoke. In unrefurbished areas, people may smoke only if all staff in the area consent. The staff restaurant, staff tea point areas and all common areas are designated non-smoking areas.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if the Careers Service contracts awarded to private sector companies are identical to those awarded to TEC/LEA partnerships other than in respect of volumes and other volume-related details. 
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the cost of producing and circulating the last departmental annual report what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; how many copies were sold; and at what price. 
Miss Widdecombe: A total of 3,550 copies of the Department's 1995 departmental report, Cm 2805, were printed and published. In addition to the copies presented to Parliament and placed in the Library, the report was also circulated to the Employment Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the media and internally within the Department. The costs of printing and publishing the report were borne by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which aims to recover the costs from sales revenue. The Department met the design costs of the report, which were £35,600. The cover price of the report is £14.60. A total of 2,134 copies of the report have been sold since its publication on 10 March 1995.
Miss Widdecombe: Departmental reports were published for the first time in 1991. Printing and publishing costs of the reports have been borne by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which has sought to recover these costs from sales revenue. The Department is responsible for the design costs of the report. Data for the five years of publication are as follows:
The increased costs for the 1994 and 1995 reports reflect decisions to improve the range, quality and
Column 615presentation of informaiton provided to both Parliament and the public.
Miss Widdecombe: The Government do not seek to influence the number of people employed in specific parts of the economy. Our role is to promote the right framework in which businesses can create jobs. If there is a demand for more jobs that enhance the environment, employment in that sector will increase. The Government's commitment to sustainable development encourages economic development that is compatible with environmental protection and enhancement.
1979 80: Not available
1994 95: 14.5
The Department's press office was merged with the Training Agency press office in November 1989. Staffing figures reflect this.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the duties and job objectives of the client advisers appointed by his Department to liaise with claimants of unemployment benefit or other benefits granted as a consequence of unemployment; and whether these objectives include facilitating clients to find work or a place on a training scheme. 
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. Malcolm Bruce, dated 28 March 1995:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the duties and objectives of Employment Service (ES) client advisers.
Employment Service (ES) client advisers have two main objectives: to help people into work as soon as possible by providing them with practical advice and information about jobs, training and other opportunities that are available; and to make sure people claiming benefit understand and comply with the conditions under which it is paid. These are that people are available for, capable of and actively seeking work.
To fulfil these objectives all my offices offer our unemployed clients a structured and coherent information and advisory service which is based on regular interviews with an adviser. At these interviews clients are able to discuss their situation, the steps they are taking to find work and the employment and training opportunities which are available. The aim of each interview is to assess the client's situation, determine their needs and agree an appropriate course of action which, if taken, will offer the client the best chance of success in their search for work.
As part of this, our advisers liaise closely with employers, providers of employment, training and other opportunities, to
Column 616maintain their knowledge of the jobs market and make sure clients have access to as wider range of opportunities as possible. They are also able to give clients advice and information on other benefits, including benefits available to people in work.
I hope this is helpful and assures you of our intent to provide our clients with as much practical help as possible to support their search for work.
Mr. Portillo: I attended the Social Affairs Council on 27 March in Brussels. I was accompanied by my hon. Friend the Minister of State. The principal items on the agenda were the draft directive on posted workers, a draft decision on the programme to combat social exclusion, draft resolutions on the balanced participation of women and men in decision- making and on implementation of community social legislation, a Presidency memorandum on the social dimension of international trade and discussion of follow-up to the discussion of employment issues at the Essen European Council on 9 and 10 December 1994. Discussion of the draft directive on posted workers was once again inconclusive. The UK has considerable and long-standing difficulties of both principle and detail. A number of other member states also had significant difficulties with various aspects of the proposal, which the Presidency referred back to COREPER for further work. There was, in the event, no discussion of the social exclusion programme. The resolutions on the balanced participation of women and men in decision- making and on the implementation of directives in the social field were unanimously agreed with little discussion. There was a tour de table on the Presidency memorandum on the social dimension of international trade. I said that the UK was strongly opposed to child and forced labour and that developing countries needed help and encouragement to eliminate such practices. I emphasised the importance of free trade in promoting both economic and social development in the third world and that trade sanctions would hold back rather than encourage social progress. No Council conclusions were reached, though the Presidency drew some conclusions of its own.
There was a discussion of the role of the Social Affairs Council in the follow-up to the conclusions of the Essen European Council on employment. The Commission reported briefly on progress on establishing the European Health and Safety Agency and on action it was taking under the social protocol.
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 27 March 1995]: Work with Lindane--the common name for Gamma HCH, also known as Gamma BHC--is covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994. COSHH requires employers to inform, instruct and train their employees about: the nature of the substances
Column 617they work with, the risks created by exposure to those substances, and the precautions to be taken. When used as a pesticide, lindane is also subject to the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. COPR requires that pesticides are approved by Ministers. Conditions of approval and instructions for use appear on the product labels.
Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what evidence has been supplied by the London Hazards Centre to the Government about health problems and hazards to the development and functions of vital organs possibly caused by the use of Lindane--Gamma HCH or Gamma BHC; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 27 March 1995]: The Government are not aware of any such evidence supplied by the London Hazards Centre. The Government's armoury of controls for chemicals, including Lindane, provide adequate safeguards to protect the health of users and people who might be affected by their use.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will ensure that his ministerial management information system for establishing objectives for his Department includes deregulation objectives (a) for him and (b) for each of the Ministers within his Department. 
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 27 March 1995]: The Department and its Ministers pursue objectives which fully reflect the need to minimise regulatory and administrative burdens on business. There is also a Minister with particular responsibility for promoting deregulation within the Department.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the number of employees in employment covered by the Agricultural Wages Board, using micro data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, for all quarters from spring 1992 to the last quarter. 
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 27 March 1995]: All employees in agriculture and horticulture are covered by the Agricultural Wages Board. The table gives information from the Labour Force Survey for the number of employees in agriculture for all quarters from spring 1992.
Number of employees in agriculture and horticulture in the United Kingdom between spring 1992 and autumn 1994, Great Britain- not seasonally adjusted |Thousands ----------------------------------- SIC 80 Spring 1992 |216 Summer 1992 |211 Autumn 1992 |210 Winter 1992-93 |184 Spring 1993 |196 Summer 1993 |212 Autumn 1993 |216 SIC 92 Winter 1993-94 |195 Spring 1994 |199 Summer 1994 |213 Autumn 1994 |196 The figures above the line are not strictly comparable with those below the line following the change in the standard industrial classification in winter 1993-94.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at what price British wholesalers buy butter per 250g pack; at what price the European Community sells butter per 250g pack on the world market; what are the levels of European Community production and consumption of butter; what is the level of common agricultural policy expenditure on butter subsidies; and what is the annual cost to the British Exchequer of European Community intervention in the butter market. 
Mr. Jack: The first-hand delivered price of butter in the United Kingdom is between 68p to 82.5p per 250g pack. The price of butter on the world market fluctuates and is currently in a range $2,000 to $2, 430 per tonne.
Estimates of production and consumption of butter in the European Community are given in "Agriculture Situation in the Community, 1993 Report".
CAP expenditure in 1994 on internal butter disposal subsidies was 669.4 million ecu=£517.1 using the average 1994 conversion rate of 1 ecu=£0.77249 million.
Details of the Exchequer cost of CAP support in the UK for butter can be found in section I of table 9.1 of "Agriculture in the UK". The UK also contributes to the EC budget as a whole, which funds the cost of the CAP support in other member states.
Copies of the publications mentioned have been deposited in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farmers have had their monthly milk cheques withheld by Milk Marque because of administration problems at the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce. 
Mr. Jack: Purchasers do not inform the intervention board of payments they are withholding for milk deliveries. This is a matter between the purchaser and the producer. The intervention board has provided Milk Marque, and all other milk purchasers, on a weekly basis with all changes in the quota registered with it confirmed in the previous week. The intervention board is always ready to assist if the processing of any quota movement had been delayed for any reason.
Mr. Jack: A note on "The Cost of the Common Agricultural Policy to Consumers and Taxpayers" was placed in the Library of the House on 9 March 1995. Information on the area farmed in the European Community is given in "Agricultural Situation in the Community, 1993 Report", a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate by how much the average food bill of the average family of four is altered as a direct result of the common agricultural policy, giving figures separately for (a) dairy products, (b) sugar, (c) beef, (d) cereals, (e) rice, (f) fruit and vegetables, (g) potatoes, (h) oilseeds, (i) linseed, (j) olive oil, (k) wine and (l) tobacco. 
Mr. Jack: A note on "The Cost of the Common Agricultural Policy to Consumers and Taxpayers" was placed in the Library of the House on 9 March 1995. Separate figures are not available by commodity, but some information for the European Community as a whole is given in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development publication "Agricultural Policies' Markets and Trade, Monitoring and Outlook 1994" a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will estimate the cost of the common agricultural policy to each household in the United Kingdom, breaking this figure down into (a) the running costs of the common agricultural policy and (b) the amount which the policy adds to food prices;  (2) if he will estimate the combined cost of the common agricultural policy and other national farm aids to the United Kingdom; and if he will break down this figure into (a) payments directly or indirectly received by farmers and (b) the cost to consumers in the form of higher food prices. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the price at which British wholesalers buy (a) linseed, (b) tobacco, (c) cereals, (d) oilseeds, (e) milk and (f) beef per tonne; what he estimates the price of each commodity would be in a free market without European Community price intervention; what are the levels of European Community production and consumption of each commodity; what is the level of common agricultural policy on expenditure on subsidies to each commodity; and what is the cost to the British Exchequer of European Commodity intervention in the market in each community. 
Mr. Jack: Prices received by producers for agricultural commodities are reported to Eurostat, and consistent series for cereals, oilseeds, milk and beef appear in the publication "Agricultural Prices". No representative price series is available for linseed or tobacco.
Column 620It is not possible to estimate what the price of each commodity would be in the free market without European Community intervention without making a large number of hypothetical assumptions. Estimates of production and consumption in the European Community for each commodity are given in the "Agricultural Situation in the Community, 1993 Report".
The 1994 budget outturn estimates of common agricultural policy expenditure on these commodities are as follows:
|mecu |£ million ------------------------------------------------------- Cereals (Market support) |2,087 |1,612 Arable area payments: Cereals |5,540 |4,280 Linseed |125 |97 Oilseeds |2,549 |1,969 Tobacco |1,057 |816 Milk |4,249 |3,282 Beef |3,467 |2,678
Details of the Exchequer cost of CAP support in the UK for these commodities, except tobacco, for which there is no expenditure in the UK, can be found in section I of table 9.1 of "Agriculture in the UK". The UK also contributes to the EC budget as a whole, which funds the cost of the CAP support in other member states.
Copies of the publications referred to are in the Library of the House.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate by how much common agricultural prices have risen in weak currency countries as a direct result of the system of pegging farm prices to the deutschmark via the switchover system for each country. 
Mr. Jack: As support prices are set by the Council of Ministers in the annual price-fixing negotiations, it is not possible to say what prices would have been set had the switchover system not existed. The switchover mechanism was abolished on 1 February 1995. This did not result in any change in the level of CAP support prices in national currency terms. However, there will be no further increases as a result of this mechanism.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at what price British wholesalers buy sugar per kilogramme; at what price the European Community sells sugar per kilogramme on the world market; what are the levels of European Community production and consumption of sugar; what is the level of the common agricultural policy expenditure on sugar subsidies; what is the cost to the British Exchequer of European Community intervention in the sugar market.