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Nuclear Levy

Mr. Battle: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much money in 1995 prices it is expected will be raised from the nuclear levy from the present day until the removal of the levy. [12478]

Mr. Eggar: The element of the fossil fuel levy that is attributable to Nuclear Electric will end at the time of privatisation, subject to the recovery of outstanding moneys due. It is not possible at this time to estimate the amount of money that will be raised in respect of this element from the present day, as this will depend on a number of factors that are still uncertain.

British Coal Pensions

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what changes have occurred in the respect of British Coal pensions funding arrangements between the

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publication of his Department's paper on proposals for British Coal pensions after privatisation and his answer of 24 October, Official Report, column 553. [12736]

Mr. Page: Following the publication in September 1993 of the Government's proposals for British Coal pensions after privatisation, a number of changes took place to the arrangements governing the mineworkers pension scheme and the British Coal staff superannuation scheme. The modified arrangements took effect from 31 October 1994 and were described in some detail by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Industry and Energy, in his answer of 27 April 1994, Official Report, column 168. My answer of 24 October 1995 concerned the unrelated issue of British Coal's industrial death and retirement scheme.

Characterr Ceramics, Falmouth

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what inquiries his Department undertook into the background of the directors of Character Ceramics, Falmouth, before making them a grant. [10111]

Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 18 January 1996]: No inquiries were made. The Department considers making checks where the circumstances suggest that it would be appropriate to do so.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Positive about Disabled People Symbol

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list for his Department and each of the agencies for which he is responsible if it uses the Employment Service's positive about disabled people symbol for (a) external recruitment and (b) internal recruitment and promotion. [11925]

The Attorney-General: All the Law Officers' Departments seek to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination on the basis of disability. Although those Departments do not at present use the positive about disabled people symbol, the Crown Prosecution Service proposes to apply shortly for use of the symbol in relation to both (a) external recruitment and (b) internal recruitment and promotion. The Government property lawyers have undertaken preparatory work with a view to applying for use of the symbol in the near future, and the Treasury Solicitor's Department is also considering its use.

"Despatches" Programme

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Attorney-General if the inquiries by the Ministry of Defence police and Strathclyde police into allegations made in the "Despatches" programme are complete. [12729]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service has received a report from the Ministry of Defence police and is awaiting the outcome of further investigations being carried out by Strathclyde police. The conduct and progress of those investigations are matters for my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate.

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PRIME MINISTER

Absenteeism

Mr Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what estimate he has made of absenteeism rates in days per annum for staff in his Department for each of the years (a) 1979-80, (b) 1989-90, (c) 1991-92, (d) 1993-94, (e) 1994-95 and (f) 1995-96. [11365]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 January 1996]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service, on Tuesday 30 January.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what is his estimate of his Department's expenditure on newspapers and magazines in (a) 1993-94, (b) 1994-95 and (c) 1995-96, to date; and if he will list the publications purchased for the latest year for which information is available. [11457]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 30 January 1996]: For this purpose, my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 30 January by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what is his estimate of departmental expenditure on administration for (a) 1979-80, (b) 1989-90, (c) 1991-92, (d) 1993-94, (e) 1994-95, (f) 1995-96 and (g) 1996-97. [11454]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 30 January 1990]: For this purpose, my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 30 January, by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service. Figures for 1979-80 are not available on a comparable basis.

Nuclear Testing (India)

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Prime Minister what action he is taking in respect of the Indian Government's plans to resume nuclear testing; and if he will make a statement. [12873]

The Prime Minister: The Indian Minister for External Affairs confirmed in Delhi on 19 December that India was not planning to conduct a nuclear test. We have welcomed this assurance.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Joint Funding Scheme

Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes are proposed for the criteria for joint funding scheme project selection; and if he will make a statement. [12256]

Mr. Hanley: Any changes to the criteria for the selection of projects under the joint funding scheme will be considered in the context of a forthcoming general

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review by the ODA of our relationships with non-governmental organisations. At this point, we do not envisage any substantial change, particularly to the primary objective of the scheme, which is to bring lasting benefits to the poorest people in developing countries. NGOs will be fully consulted in our review of these arrangements.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Agricultural Incomes

Sir John Cope: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on agricultural and farm incomes. [13226]

Mr. Douglas Hogg: Total income from farming is estimated to have risen by 22 per cent. in real terms in 1995 compared with 1994. This increase is partly due to agrimonetary developments and to unusual weather conditions which, on balance, had a favourable effect on agricultural incomes. However, the Government's success in creating the right conditions for growth also played an important part. Detailed estimates of the income, output and productivity of United Kingdom agriculture in 1995 were published this morning and have been placed in the Library of the House.

Fish Farming

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many fish farms throughout Northern Ireland have been granted exemption permits; what are the conditions of exemptions; and on what dates they were signed. [10669]

Mr. Ancram: I have been asked to reply.

A total of six fish farms in Northern Ireland have been granted permits exempting them from the obligations imposed by section 59 of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, as amended. Conditions vary on each exemption issued and are site specific, but the underlying principle is that exemptions are issued subject to conditions which result in no diminution of the level of protection afforded to fish stocks. The dates of issue of the permits were 12 September 1994, 3 April 1995, 2 May 1995, 16 May 1995--two--and 1 August 1995.

Mr. Robinson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many fish farms in Northern Ireland were identified by the Fisheries Conservatory Board as not complying with the provisions contained in the Fisheries Act in each of the past two years. [10670]

Mr. Ancram: I have been asked to reply.

The information is as follows:


Abattoirs

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many abattoirs continue to operate either as (a) fully EC approved and (b) under temporary derogation; and by how much the overall total differs from December 1995. [10420]

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Mrs. Browning: The information for red meat abattoirs in England is set out in the table:

Licence status Number of premisesNumber of premises
1 December 199519 January 1996
EC approved 101113
National market only
Permanently derogated low throughput (no more than 20 livestock units per week) 119140
Temporary derogated full throughput (more than 20 livestock units per week) 122107
Temporary derogated low throughput (no more than 20 livestock units per week) 6041
Total 402401


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