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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 October 1995

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Capital Building Programme

Mr. William Powell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list each capital building programme, costing more than £1 million, completed in each year since 1979 80, by or on behalf of his Department or local magistrates committees, together with the cost expressed in 1995 96 prices.     [38331]

Mr. John M. Taylor: A schedule of all Crown, combined court and county court schemes is attached at annexe A. The readily available information on magistrates courts schemes is attached at annexe B. Although it is completed for the last four years, the Department does not hold detailed records of all magistrates court schemes completed prior to 1992 which is when responsibility transferred from the Home Office.


Annexe A: Crown county and combined court building project                             
£ million                                                                              
                                                       |Works cost                     
                       |Type of        |Works cost     |1995-96                        
Title of scheme        |court          |cash           |prices                         
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1979-80                                |0              |0                              
                                                                                       
1980-81                                                                                
Wood Green Phase 1     |Crown          |1.25           |2.73                           
Leicester              |Crown          |4.42           |9.66                           
Romford                |County         |1.03           |2.24                           
Nottingham Phase 1     |Crown          |2.23           |4.86                           
Birmingham Newton St   |County         |1.10           |2.40                           
Snaresbrook Phase 1    |Crown          |2.78           |6.07                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |12.80          |27.97                          
                                                                                       
1981-82                                                                                
Burnley                |Crown          |1.50           |2.99                           
Kings Lynn             |Crown          |1.12           |2.22                           
Bolton                 |Comb           |4.00           |7.97                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |6.61           |13.18                          
                                                                                       
1982-83                                                                                
Portsmouth             |Comb           |7.00           |13.02                          
Chelmsford             |Crown          |5.61           |10.43                          
Leeds                  |Comb           |9.68           |18.00                          
Southwark              |Crown          |12.60          |23.44                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |34.89          |64.89                          
                                                                                       
1983-84                                                                                
RCJCrypt               |High           |2.47           |4.38                           
Maidstone              |Comb           |10.20          |18.14                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |12.67          |22.52                          
                                                                                       
1984-85                                                                                
Liverpool              |Comb           |43.44          |73.55                          
Snaresbrook Rebuild                                                                    
  (Fire)               |Crown          |1.40           |2.37                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |44.84          |75.92                          
1985-86                                                                                
Oxford                 |Comb           |5.17           |8.29                           
Swindon                |Comb           |2.36           |3.79                           
Salisbury              |Crown          |1.18           |1.89                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |8.71           |13.97                          
                                                                                       
1986-87                                                                                
Isleworth D.O.G. House |Crown          |4.43           |6.91                           
Milton Keynes          |County         |1.17           |1.82                           
Guildford              |Crown          |4.70           |7.32                           
Manchester Wood St                                                                     
  Phase 1              |Crown          |10.13          |15.78                          
Peterborough           |Comb           |3.96           |6.16                           
Southampton            |Comb           |7.08           |11.02                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |31.46          |49.01                          
                                                                                       
1987-88                                                                                
Birmingham             |Crown          |8.87           |13.12                          
Newcastle Moot Hall    |Crown          |1.68           |2.48                           
Nottingham Phases 2&3  |Crown          |6.18           |9.14                           
Norwich                |Comb           |7.02           |10.38                          
Swansea                |Crown          |5.15           |7.62                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |18.90          |42.74                          
                                                                                       
1988-89                                                                                
Lambeth                |County         |1.14           |1.58                           
Coventry               |Comb           |5.25           |7..28                          
Telford                |County         |1.05           |1.46                           
Snaresbrook Phase 2    |Crown          |2.50           |3.47                           
St. Dunstans House     |High           |1.67           |2.31                           
Truro                  |Comb           |4.93           |6.84                           
Middlesex Guildhall    |Crown          |6.90           |9.56                           
Grimsby                |Comb           |4.84           |6.71                           
Derby                  |Comb           |7.40           |10.26                          
Croydon                |Comb           |15.13          |20.97                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |50.82          |70.44                          
                                                                                       
1989-90                                                                                
Doncaster              |Crown          |3.42           |4.44                           
RCJ 123 Additional     |HC             |11.36          |14.72                          
Manchester Cr Sq/Wd St                                                                 
  2/3                  |Comb           |4.97           |6.44                           
Taunton                |Crown          |2.79           |3.62                           
Wood Green Phase 2     |Crown          |15.26          |19.77                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |37.80          |48.99                          
                                                                                       
1990-91                                                                                
Wolverhampton          |Comb           |9.17           |11.00                          
RCJ Thomas More        |High           |2.54           |3.05                           
Newcastle Quayside     |Comb           |17.13          |20.56                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |28.84          |34.61                          
                                                                                       
1991-92                                                                                
Northampton            |Comb           |11.49          |12.97                          
Teesside               |Comb           |15.09          |17.04                          
Hull                   |Co-loc         |11.28          |12.73                          
Stoke                  |Comb           |9.50           |10.72                          
Stafford               |Comb           |10.35          |11.68                          
Harrow                 |Crown          |17.61          |19.88                          
Lincoln                |County         |2.31           |2.61                           
Luton                  |Crown          |9.96           |11.25                          
Warrington             |Comb           |7.48           |8.44                           
Newport                |Crown          |10.90          |12.30                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |105.96         |119.63                         
1992-93                                                                                
Carlisle               |Comb           |9.29           |10.08                          
St. Albans             |Crown          |16.34          |17.73                          
Central London County                                                                  
  Court Phase 1        |County         |1.62           |1.76                           
Bradford               |Comb           |18.85          |20.45                          
Chester                |Crown          |6.55           |7.10                           
Borough                |Crown          |19.06          |20.68                          
Dartford               |County         |2.16           |2.34                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |73.87          |80.15                          
                                                                                       
1993-94                                                                                
Woolwich               |Crown          |31.15          |32.80                          
Bristol                |Crown          |33.49          |35.26                          
                                                                                       
Total                                  |64.64          |68.06                          
                                                                                       
1994-95                                                                                
RCJ East Wing          |High           |15.57          |16.08                          
Neath and Port Talbot  |County         |1.31           |1.35                           
Pontypridd             |County         |1.42           |1.46                           
Central London County                                                                  
  Phase 2              |County         |6.43           |6.64                           
Newport (IOW)          |Comb           |2.23           |2.3-0                          
Leicester              |County         |3.47           |3.59                           
Birmingham             |County         |33.34          |34.44                          
Cardiff County         |County         |3.49           |3.61                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |67.25          |69.47                          
                                                                                       
1995-96                                                                                
Canterbury             |Comb           |15.69          |15.69                          
Preston                |Comb           |24.84          |24.84                          
Worcester              |Comb           |7.80           |7.80                           
                                                                                       
Total                                  |48.33          |48.33                          
                                                                                       
Grand Total                            |658.37         |849.87                         

Annexe B: Magistrates court building projects                   
£ million                                                       
                                |Cost at 1995-96                
Scheme          |Actual cost    |prices                         
----------------------------------------------------------------
1981-82                                                         
Lancaster       |1.925          |3.836                          
                                                                
1987-88                                                         
Merton          |3.196          |4.727                          
Lewes           |2.394          |3.541                          
                                                                
1988-89                                                         
Lowestoft       |2.099          |2.909                          
Brighton        |2.289          |3.172                          
Port Talbot     |1.415          |1.961                          
Stockport       |4.630          |6.417                          
Bath            |2.098          |2.908                          
Dewsbury        |2.394          |3.318                          
                                                                
1989-90                                                         
Brent           |7.782          |10.085                         
Cardiff         |7.401          |9.592                          
Hertford        |4.000          |5.184                          
Oldbury         |2.795          |3.622                          
Woking          |2.064          |2.675                          
Thames          |5.086          |6.591                          
1990-91                                                         
Bootle          |2.935          |3.522                          
Bury            |3.541          |4.249                          
Chester         |3.700          |4.440                          
Basildon        |2.700          |3.240                          
Great Yarmouth  |3.167          |3.811                          
Harrogate       |2.351          |2.821                          
Lincoln         |4.113          |4.935                          
Milton Keynes   |4.587          |5.504                          
Newton Aycliffe |1.657          |1.988                          
Wigan           |5.077          |6.092                          
City of London  |3.990          |4.788                          
                                                                
1991-92                                                         
Haywards Heath  |2.576          |2.908                          
Kendal          |1.552          |1.752                          
Wimbledon       |3.196          |3.608                          
Leicester       |7.432          |8.391                          
                                                                
1992-93                                                         
Bedlington      |2.848          |3.090                          
Woolwich        |3.294          |3.574                          
Newport (IOW)   |3.406          |3.695                          
Taunton         |2.503          |2.716                          
                                                                
1993-94                                                         
Fareham         |2.637          |2.777                          
Leeds           |18.132         |19.093                         
Llandudno       |1.810          |1.906                          
North Shields   |3.262          |3.435                          
Rotherham       |5.400          |5.686                          
                                                                
1994-95                                                         
Newham          |11.747         |12.135                         
Shrewsbury      |3.983          |4.114                          
Rhondda         |1.678          |1.733                          
Barrow          |3.072          |3.173                          
Bexley          |1.208          |1.248                          
Milton Keynes   |1.108          |1.144                          
                                                                
1995-96                                                         
Nottingham      |20.000         |20.000                         
Mansfield       |5.127          |5.127                          
West London     |8.335          |8.335                          

flag Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the acreage and percentage of land in each county in England which is unregistered.     [38037]

Mr. John M. Taylor: The registration of land is the responsibility of Her Majesty's Land Registry which was established as an executive agency of the Lord Chancellor in July 1990. The question concerns a specific matter on which the chief executive of the agency is best placed to provide the answer. I have accordingly asked the chief executive of Her Majesty's Land Registry to reply direct.

Letter from E. Beardsall to Mr. Gordon Prentice, dated 26 October 1995:

Acreage and Percentage of land in each English County which is unregistered

In the absence of the Chief Executive, who is presently away from the office, I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question to


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him concerning the acreage and percentage of land in each county of England which is unregistered.

I regret that statistics relating to unregistered land or to land acreage are not maintained by the Registry but I can tell you that out of an estimated 20 million titles in England, nearly 15 million are registered. The majority of registered titles relate to residential properties in urban areas.

I hope this information will be helpful.

Pay Bargaining

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will provide in respect of his plan of pay delegation submitted to the Treasury (a) a description of the staff in each bargaining unit covered by the plan, distinguishing staff in HQ functions, agencies and agency candidates, and in other identifiable business units and (b) proposals for trade union recognition in each bargaining unit and the negotiating machinery to be put in place in each bargaining unit.     [38271]

Mr. John M. Taylor: In addition to the headquarters of the Lord Chancellor's Department and associated offices, the Lord Chancellor has responsibility for four agencies: the Court Service, Her Majesty's Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office. He is also responsible for the Legal Aid Board, which is an executive non-departmental public body.

The Public Trust Office and the Court Service became executive agencies in July 1994 and April 1995 respectively, but pay issues of common interest have continued to be subject to joint consultation with LCD HQ. From 1 April 1996, however, the headquarters of the Lord Chancellor's Department-- with associated offices--the Court Service and the Public Trust Office will each assume responsibility for the pay and grading of their staff and from that date will become separate units for collective bargaining purposes. The Legal Aid Board already has delegated responsibility in this area, from 1 April 1995. Staff in headquarters, the two agencies and the Legal Aid Board are primarily in senior management, executive, clerical, secretarial and office support grades. The Court Service also includes county court bailiffs, clerks to HM judges and a small number of domestic staff, the latter serving judges' lodgings.

The present pay and grading structures are, however, now under review. It is not envisaged that, in the immediate term, there will be any significant changes in the present recognition arrangements with the trade unions, who have been invited by headquarters and the two agencies to be party to interim pay agreements which would remain in place pending the outcome of the pay and grading reviews. Changes in pay, structure and collective bargaining arrangements may follow, after consultation and negotiation, as a result of these reviews. The chief executives of Her Majesty's Land Registry and the Public Record Office have been asked to reply direct.

Letter from Sarah Tyacke to Mr. John McAllion, dated 26 October 1995:

I have been asked by the Lord Chancellor's Parliamentary Secretary to reply to your question about pay delegation.

(a) The Public Record Office, a small Government Department and an Executive Agency of the Lord Chancellor's Department, is making its own arrangements for pay


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delegation. All staff, comprising the unified (administrative and curatorial), secretarial, conservator and support grades, are covered in the bargaining unit.

(b) The office is proposing to continue current trade union recognition (FDA, NUCPS, CPSA and IPMS), and is seeking single table bargaining arrangements.

Letter from E. Beardsall to Mr. John McAllion dated 26 October 1995:

In the absence of the Chief Executive, who is presently away from the office, I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question to him concerning pay delegation in HM Land Registry.

As a separate department, the Registry has always dealt directly with HM Treasury and, since 1 April 1994, has been responsible for its own pay and grading systems. Agreed negotiating machinery is in place which involves three trade unions representing all groups of Land Registry staff.

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.

TREASURY

Less-developed Countries (Debt)

Mr. Denham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table projecting, for each less-developed country, the total debt stock and annual debt service obligation if the Trinidad and Madrid terms were to be implemented in full.     [38396]

Mrs. Angela Knight: I regret that the figures are not available to produce meaningful projections as requested.

Our objective in proposing the Trinidad terms for bilateral debt, and the multilateral debt initiative launched in Madrid, is to reduce the debt burden of the poorest, most indebted countries to sustainable levels. We continue to pursue this objective.

Tobacco Industry

Mr. Parry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the latest figures of people employed in the tobacco industry at the latest available date and the figures for 1990.     [39286]

Mrs. Angela Knight: Available information closest to that requested is for employees in employment in the tobacco manufacturing industry at September 1989, 1991 and 1993. The information is provided in the following table.


Year        |Employees              
            |(thousands)            
------------------------------------
1989        |11.4                   
1991        |8.7                    
1993        |8.0                    
Source: CSO.                        

Labour Statistics

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many jobs, created in the last year, were in (a) small and medium-sized companies, (b) manufacturing industries and (c) service industries.     [39376]


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Mrs. Angela Knight: The information requested for small and medium- sized companies is not available. Information for manufacturing and services is available only for the net change in jobs and is provided in the following table.


Employment in Great Britain: June (thousands)<1>          
              |1994      |1995      |Net change           
----------------------------------------------------------
Manufacturing |4,052     |4,086     |34                   
Services      |17,832    |18,145    |313                  
Note:                                                     
<1> Includes employees and self-employed.                 
Source: CSO.                                              

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is proposing to reduce tendering costs for public finance initiative schemes.     [37162]

Mr. Jack: This is, of course a private not a public finance initiative--although the Government want to keep costs down for both the private and public sectors. I am keen to see an increase in the use of the private finance initiative for the scouring of public projects. However, I am aware of concerns about the costs involved in this exercise and plan shortly to meet with representatives of the construction industry to discuss the matter. However, as experience of the PFI grows costs will continue to fall as Government and business improve their expertise in making contracts in this way. The Government are also encouraging the spread of best practice among Departments, for example by avoiding over- prescriptive

specifications.

Income Tax

Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the rate of higher rate of income tax necessary to counterbalance the effect of (a) abolition of the lower rate of income tax and (b) the abolition of the lower rate of income tax and national insurance contributions for the lowest band tax payers.     [37959]

Mr. Jack: It would be inappropriate to comment about the range of possible changes to tax rates and thresholds being assessed for the Budget statement. The direct revenue effects of illustrative tax changes are shown in "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs" published by HM Treasury in July, a copy of which is in the Library.

Tax Evasion

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of evasion of payments of (a) income tax and (b) other tax have been discovered in each of the last five years; and what has been the value of the revenue recovered in both categories.     [37922]

Mr. Jack: The information requested for taxes administered by the Inland Revenue is as follows:


Column 738


U
                                                   |Yield from                       
                 |Income tax      |Other           |counter-evasion                  
Year             |investigations  |investigations  |work (£ million)                 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989-90          |57,997          |12,551          |933                              
1990-91          |61,755          |13,219          |1,091                            
1991-92          |59,993          |14,421          |1,324                            
1992-93          |55,611          |12,952          |1,361                            
1993-94          |58,420          |12,200          |1,295                            
1994-95          |57,701          |10,643          |1,378                            

The figure of yield for 1994 95 cannot be compiled on a basis exactly comparable with earlier years, owing to a change in the way these figures are maintained. Unlike previous years, it includes the yield from all employer compliance work.

Pensions

Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the average accrued capital value based on private sector annuity rates or other appropriate calculation method of (a) a civil service employee's pension and (b) other public sector employee's pensions of those (i) employees retiring this year and (ii) those current and past employees with future pension rights at retirement.     [37884]

Mr. Waldegrave: Information for all public sector and public service pension arrangements is not kept centrally. However, the table sets out the average capitalised values of retirement benefits for civil servants who are members of the principal civil service pension scheme together with corresponding figures for two of the large public service schemes.


Approximate capitalised value of average accrued retired benefit                
entitlement                                                                     
                    |Pensioners                   |Pensioners                   
                    |retiring over                |with                         
                    |the year to   |Active        |preserved                    
                    |1 October     |members at    |benefits at                  
                    |1995          |1 April 1995  |1 April 1995                 
Pension scheme      |£             |£             |£                            
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. PCSPS (excluding                                                             
  N.I.)             |98,000        |32,000        |14,000                       
2. NHS (England,                                                                
  Wales, Scotland                                                               
  and N.I.)         |80,000        |30,000        |10,000                       
3. Teachers'                                                                    
  Superannuation                                                                
  Scheme (England                                                               
  and Wales)        |146,000       |61,000        |16,000                       
Notes:                                                                          
The capitalised values include the value of pension benefits, lump sum          
retirement benefits and attached spouse's pensions.                             
The values for pensioners retiring over the year to 1 October 1995 exclude      
those retirements due to ill health.                                            
Source:                                                                         
Government Actuary's Department.                                                

Fidelity Bonus

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to funding a fidelity bonus paid to couples who stay married for five years.     [39030]


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Mr. Jack: I have received many interesting proposals in the run-up to the Budget which I am considering carefully.

Black Economy

Sir Ralph Howell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest date when an investigation into the black economy took place; what was its findings; and what was the estimate of the extent of the black economy, and the resulting loss of revenue in income tax, in actual and at 1995 prices.     [39009]

Mr. Jack: It is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the size of the black economy. However, the Inland Revenue has an on-going programme to detect and deter evasion in all areas of the tax system for which it is responsible. I refer the hon. Member to the chapter entitled "Compliance" in the annual report of the board of Inland Revenue for the year ending 31 March 1995, which may be found in the House of Commons Library.

Sir Ralph Howell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the size of the black economy.     [39008]

Mr. Jack: It is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the size of the black economy.

Capital Gains Tax

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the number of people who will pay capital gains tax in 1996 97 and 1997 98.     [39091]

Mr. Jack: The number of individuals and trustees who will have capital gains tax liabilities arising from disposals in 1996 97 and 1997 98 are provisionally estimated at 90,000 and 95,000 respectively.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the behavioural effects of the abolition of capital gains tax.     [39102]

Mr. Jack: It would not be appropriate to comment on tax matters in the run-up to the Budget.

Advance Corporation Tax

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of ACT receipts for 1995 96.     [39095]

Mr. Jack: The forecast of advance corporation tax receipts for 1995 96 made at the time of the 1995 summer economic forecast was £9.5 billion.

Defence Expenditure

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the savings that could be made annually by linking British defence expenditure to the average level of other western European countries.     [39252]

Mr. Waldegrave: None. UK defence expenditure is determined by UK defence needs and spending priorities. It would be meaningless to link it to the average of other countries' defence spending.


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Overseas Aid Budget

Mr. Luff: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations his Department has received from (a) members of the general public, (b) hon. Members and (c) non-governmental organisations on the size of the overseas aid budget since 1 September; and what were the figures for the same period last year.     [39084]

Mr. Waldegrave: The information is as follows:


                                            |1 September|1 September            
                                            |1995 to    |1994 to                
                                            |23 October |23 October             
                                            |1995       |1994                   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Letters from general public             |1,150      |35                     
(b) Hon. Members' letters                   |260        |20                     
(c) Non-governmental organisations' letters |<1>-       |<1>-                   
<1> Not separately recorded.                                                    

Redundancy Payments

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to end or alter the tax reliefs available on the first £30,000 of redundancy payments; and if he will make a

statement.     [39143]

Mr. Jack [holding answer 24 October 1995]: I cannot anticipate my right hon. and learned Friend's Budget statement.

Employee Fraud

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total number of cases of all forms of fraud committed by employees of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies for each year from 1991 92 to 1994 95; and for each of these years, what was the total monetary sum (1) misappropriated in such frauds and (2) subsequently recovered.     [39126]

Mrs. Angela Night [holding answer 24 October 1995]: The total number of cases of fraud and the total monetary sum misappropriated and subsequently recovered is shown in the following table.


£                                                              
                       |1991-92|1992-93|1993-94|1994-95        
---------------------------------------------------------------
HM Treasury                                                    
  (cases)              |(0)    |(1)    |(0)    |(0)            
misappropriated        |nil    |22     |nil    |(0)            
recovered              |-      |nil    |-      |-              
                                                               
Forward: Civil Service                                         
  Catering                                                     
  (cases)              |(2)    |(19)   |(1)    |(0)            
misappropriated        |60,000 |78,496 |268    |nil            
recovered              |nil    |790    |nil    |nil            
                                                               
Agencies                                                       
  (cases)              |(2)    |(2)    |(3)    |(0)            
misappropriated        |nil    |31,754 |nil    |nil            
recovered              |-      |23,573 |-      |-              
NDPBs (cases)          |(0)    |(0)    |(0)    |(0)            
misappropriated        |nil    |nil    |nil    |nil            
recovered              |-      |-      |-      |-              

National Insurance

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the additional revenue yield which would result from extending employers' national insurance contributions to all fringe benefits currently liable to income tax only.     [29141]

Mr. Heald: I have been asked to reply.

We estimate the figure to be £250 million based on 1994 95 figures.

TRANSPORT

Transport Council

Mr. Sykes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the result of the Transport Council held in Brussels on 28 September.     [40234]

Sir George Young: The Transport Council met in Brussels on 28 September. My hon. Friend the Minister for Railways and Roads represented the United Kingdom.

The Council discussed proposals for a Community negotiating mandate on road transport agreements with certain central and eastern European countries, and invited the Committee of Permanent Representatives to prepare detailed texts with a view to agreement at the December Transport Council.

The Council met Transport Ministers from the nine central and eastern European countries which have association agreements with the European Community. Discussion concentrated on the approximation of legislation and development of infrastructure.

The Council reached a common position on a consolidating and amending directive on the weights and dimensions of goods vehicles, which extends to national traffic the limits on dimensions--but not weights--applying to international traffic. On the initiative of the UK and the Netherlands, existing goods vehicles which cannot comply with the new provisions may continue in use in national transport until the end of 2006.

The Council also reached a common position on a directive transposing into Community law and applying to national transport the existing regulations on the international carriage of dangerous goods by rail. Special, more stringent rules will continue to apply to the channel tunnel.

The Council reached political agreement on a scrapping scheme to reduce capacity in the inland waterways industry. Together with Germany, the UK opposed the use of Community funds for this purpose. The Council also


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reached political agreement on a regulation giving inland waterways operators the freedom to provide services in any member state. The Council continued to discuss the Commission's proposals for liberalisation of ground handling services at Community airports. These will now be considered further by the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The Council agreed a resolution on air traffic management in situations of crisis and congestion.

Other items raised at the Council included proposals for a plastic card driving licence, which were welcomed by the UK and other member states, and taxation of aviation fuel.

Trans-European Transport Networks

Mr. Tracey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what will be the United Kingdom's share of the funds available in 1995 for priority projects under the European Community's financing programme for trans- European transport networks.     [40233]

Sir George Young: Priority projects in the United Kingdom will receive some £22 million, which is just over 15 per cent. of the total funds available for priority projects in 1995 and more than any other member state will receive from the EC fund. In addition to the £7 million for the west coast main line, which I announced in the House on 18 October, Official Report , column 370 , the channel tunnel rail link will receive £13.6 million and schemes along the Ireland-UK-Benelux road link will benefit from £1.6 million. The UK will also receive £36,000 million for road traffic management research and has an interest in a number of other traffic management schemes, including a global navigation satellite system, which will together receive some £16 million of TENs funding in 1995.

Airports

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the maximum current capacity of each terminal of (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Stansted for (i) passengers and (ii) flights.     [39367]

Mr. Norris: These are matters for BAA plc.

The number of passenger air transport movements at Stansted is limited to 78,000 per annum under the Stansted Airport Aircraft Movement Limit Order 1987.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers used Stansted airport in (a) the year of its opening and (b) 1994.     [39371]

Mr. Norris: Stansted airport opened for commercial use in 1946, but the first regular services did not operate until the following year. The new terminal opened in March 1991, and in that year 1.9 million passengers used the airport. The comparable figure for 1994 was 3.3 million passengers.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will undertake the environmental impact assessment in respect of a new terminal 5 at Heathrow.     [39774]

Mr. Norris: No. An environmental impact assessment was prepared by BAA plc prior to its application for planning permission for a fifth terminal.


Column 743

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers used each of the terminals at (a) Heathrow and (b) Gatwick in (i) 1984 and (ii) 1994.     [39379]

Mr. Norris: I understand from BAA plc that the information requested is as follows:


                       |1984 |1994       
                        Million          
                        passengers       
-----------------------------------------
Heathrow Terminal 1    |11.46|21.37      
Heathrow Terminal 2    |7.45 |8.23       
Heathrow Terminal 3    |10.23|10.79      
Heathrow Terminal 4    |<1>- |10.97      
Gatwick South Terminal |13.95|12.76      
Gatwick North Terminal |<2>- |8.29       
<1> Opened April 1986.                   
<2> Opened March 1988.                   

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of existing (a) passenger and (b) freight capacity is being used currently at (i) Heathrow, and (ii) Gatwick and (iii) Stansted.     [39373]

Mr. Norris: This is a matter for BAA plc.

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has for passenger use of (a) existing Heathrow terminals, (b) Gatwick terminals, (c) Stansted and (d) terminal 5 at Heathrow in (i) 2000 and (ii) 2005.     [39372]

Mr. Norris: I understand that BAA plc has presented the following projections to the Heathrow terminal 5 public inquiry:


                            |2000|2005     
                             (million      
                             passengers per
                             year)         
-------------------------------------------
Existing Heathrow Terminals |60.0|52.6     
Gatwick Terminals           |22.1|27.3     
Stansted                    |7.1 |12.5     
Heathrow Terminal 5<1>      |-   |14.4     
<1>Application to build terminal 5 is      
currently the subject of a public inquiry. 
If planning permission is granted, BAA plc 
aims to have the first phase open by 2003. 

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessments he had made of the environmental impact of the airports on (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Stansted.     [39366]

Mr. Norris: For Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, the Department publishes an aircraft noise exposure index in the form of annual aircraft noise contours using Leq--equivalent continuous sound level, 16 hour dBA. It is the responsibility of airport operators or developers to undertake appropriate environmental impact assessments of any major new developments proposed at airports.

ENVIRONMENT

Green Belt Land

Sir Michael Shersby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on how many occasions in the past five years he has granted planning permission for the development on land in the metropolitan green belt for


Column 744

(a) motorways and (b) motorway service areas; and if he will make a statement.     [38353]

Mr. Robert B. Jones: We are not aware of any such cases in metropolitan green belt land around London. Approval should not be given for inappropriate development in a green belt except in very special circumstances. Further advice on control over development in green belts is given in section 3 of planning policy guidance note 2--revised--January 1995.

My right hon. Friend has called in four planning applications for motorway service areas on different sites in the green belt, along the M25 in Epping Forest district, Essex. They were considered at a joint inquiry which ended in the summer. The Government Office is awaiting the inspector's report.

The Secretary of State is minded to grant permission for a motorway service area in the green belt, on the M25 at Iver, Buckinghamshire, but is considering further representations on new evidence that has arisen.


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