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12 Dec 1995 : Column: 562
discrimination in respect of the training and enterprise council operating agreement with regard to priority for training for work for particular age groups. 
Mr. Paice: No one has priority for entry to training for work solely on the grounds of age. Priority for entry to training for work is given to people who are regarded as being seriously disadvantaged in the labour market. This includes 18 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for two years or more. Priority comes into effect only when there is a waiting list for entry. It is unlikely that this has occurred in practice.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on the function of classroom assistants; what is her policy on the extent to which they are expected to engage in formal class teaching; and what guidance her Department issues regarding their engagement and use. 
Mr. Robin Squire: Decisions on the engagement and deployment of classroom assistants are for headteachers and governors in consultation with the teaching staff whose work is to be supported. The Department is currently funding a pilot programme of training for specialist teacher assistants, and has defined the competences that this group of assistants will need to offer effective support to classroom teachers, principally at key stage 1, in the teaching of the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.
Mr. Forth: This information is not available from the Department for Education and Employment as individuals are required to contact social security (income support) directly if they wish to apply for family credit.
Mr. Hindchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate she has made of the number of jobs in the construction industry which would be created by a building programme of 35,000 homes in one year. 
Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the performance of the Quantock school, Somerset to establish if it meets the standards required by her Department. 
Mrs Gillan: Standards at independent schools are monitored through educational inspection by Ofsted and, in the case of boarding schools, by local services departments for child welfare provision. Inspectors from Ofsted and Somerset social services department have
12 Dec 1995 : Column: 563
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of firms closed down in each year as a consequence of the actions of VAT inspectors for each year since 1979 by county. 
|Year to||Bankruptcy orders||Winding-up orders|
|31 March 1987||1,147||938|
|31 March 1988||778||690|
|31 March 1989||1,010||552|
|31 March 1990||1,047||1,172|
|31 March 1991||1,394||1,649|
|31 March 1992||3,025||2,098|
|31 March 1993||4,006||3,537|
|31 March 1994||4,970||3,668|
|31 March 1995||2,270||2,409|
Mr. Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the value of the United Kingdom equity market was (a) in the hands of private shareholders and (b) held by pension funds for each year since 1979. 
|Percentage of total equity owned, 31 December|
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the change in take-home pay after tax and inflation for a one-earner couple on average male earnings with two children for the years (a) 1978-79 and 1996-97 (b) 1991-92 and 1996-97 and (c) 1995-96 and 1996-97. 
12 Dec 1995 : Column: 564
|One earner couple on average male earnings with two children|
|£ per week (1995-96 prices)||£ per year (1995-96 prices)|
|1978-79 to 1996-97||88.20||4,590|
|1991-92 to 1996-97||13.20||690|
|1995-96 to 1996-97||8.60||450|
Mrs. Angela Knight: The information requested for 1990 onwards, for consumption as a proportion of gross domestic product, can be derived from table 2.2 of "Economic Trends", November 1995 edition, No. 505, which is available in the House of Commons Library. Figures for earlier years are available in "Economic Trends" annual supplement, 1996 edition. They are also held on the Central Statistical Office database which can be accessed by the Library. The CSO database identifiers are:
Consumers expenditure: CCBH
Gross domestic product: CAOP.
Consumer Credit: AILA prior to 1987. VZRD 1987 onwards.
Total UK population: DYAY.
Ms Corston: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to tables 1.3, 7.1 and 10.4 in the latest report on the family expenditure survey, what was the average weekly expenditure in 1994-95 of all non-retired households on (i) contributions to pension and superannuation funds deducted by employees, (ii) personal pensions and (iii) national insurance contributions paid by employees, by gross income decile or quintile group. 
Mrs. Angela Knight: Estimates of the average weekly expenditure on these items by households where the head of household is non-retired are given below. The figures are estimates from the FES, and are subject to sampling variations. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10p.
|Lowest quintile||Second quintile||Third quintile||Fourth quintile||Highest quintile||All households|
|Contributions to pension and superannuation funds deducted by employers||0.0||1.60||5.40||8.60||18.80||6.90|
|National insurance contributions paid by employees||0.60||8.00||17.90||26.30||37.70||18.10|
12 Dec 1995 : Column: 565
12 Dec 1995 : Column: 565
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will raise the subject of the consequences of EU member states' attempts to meet the Maastricht convergence criteria at the EU Finance Council in Brussels on 11 December. 
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