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Social Fund Training Programmes

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate the average number of unemployed claimants in 1996-97 who participate in European social fund training programmes. [18113]

Mr. Forth: It is not possible to estimate the number of unemployed claimants participating in ESF training programmes. Although the majority of participants are unemployed, they do not have to be claimant unemployed to be eligible for ESF support and this information is not therefore recorded.

29 Feb 1996 : Column: 647

Jobmatch Scheme

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will estimate the effect on public revenues in 1996-97 and 1997-98 of making the jobmatch pilot a nationwide scheme. [18101]

Mr. Forth: At this stage of the jobmatch pilots, there is insufficient evaluation information available to be able to estimate accurately the effects on public revenues.

Assisted Places

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will announce the allocation of extra assisted places among schools in England for 1996-97. [18726]

Mrs. Gillian Shephard: There has been an excellent response to my announcement of 29 November inviting bids for the first instalment of the expansion of the assisted places scheme from September 1996. Over 400 schools applied for more than 7,400 new entry places this year. Bids were also received for over 5,200 additional places in 1997.

I have allocated over 4,000 new entry places at around 280 schools in England for the academic year 1996-97. This is a significant contribution to expansion. As successive years' entries move up through the schools, the total number of places will eventually double the 34,000 currently available in England. Over half the new places will be for secondary pupils entering at ages 11 to 13 as in the existing scheme, and about a quarter for direct sixth form entry. Subject to parliamentary approval, I also intend to make places available for children to enter the scheme below the age of 11 at schools which have an integral junior department.

I am placing in the Library of the House a list of the 226 schools currently participating in the scheme which will be increasing the number of assisted places. These amount to around 2,800 new entry places.

A further 60 schools will be new to the scheme and have not previously had assisted places. I am completing negotiations with these on the provision of about 1,100 new entry places, and will place a list in the Library shortly.

I will also announce shortly the allocation of some 100 additional aided places under the parallel at specialist schools for talented pupils of music and dance.

Every region of England will benefit from these allocations. Nearly two fifths of the new places will be in girls' schools, and the remainder in coeducational and boys schools. This new tranche of assisted places secures an equitable distribution across the scheme as a whole.

Many of the independent schools in the scheme serve major urban areas. I am asking those schools where appropriate to encourage applications for places for pupils from inner-city areas and the ethnic minority communities.

All the schools receiving allocations for 1996 achieve outstanding GCSE and A-level results and maintain strong sixth forms. Many of the other schools bidding for places also have excellent records, and I regret that it was not possible to accommodate them within the provision available for the first instalment. I am keen to offer further

29 Feb 1996 : Column: 648

allocations of new entry places for 1997, and to extend places to separate preparatory schools for pupils aged below 11 and to encourage schools to develop distinctive facilities for pupils within particular needs.

The extension of the assisted places scheme improves the opportunities for able children from less well-off families to benefit from the excellent education offered by all the schools participating in it.



Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total yield from higher and lower rate taxpayers in 1994-95 for each English county or tax area. [16769]

Mr. Jack: The table provides estimates based on the survey of personal incomes for 1993-94, the latest available year for which information can be provided below the United Kingdom level.

Lower and higher rate taxpayers, 1993-94
£ million

Taxpayers liable at lower rate but not basic rateTaxpayers liable at higher rate
Total taxTotal tax
Tyne and Wear27166
North Yorkshire16300
South Yorkshire25221
West Yorkshire49749
Greater Manchester62559
Hereford and Worcester16313
West Midlands48452
East Sussex19278
Greater London1246,070
West Sussex15422
Isle of Wight521

29 Feb 1996 : Column: 649

VAT (Leisure Complexes)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those member counties of the European Union which allow reduced VAT rates for leisure complexes; and in each case what is the ordinary rate and the reduced rate and the date on which the concession was made. [17790]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: There is no common definition of leisure complexes. However, under the terms of the relevant EC agreements on VAT, member states have the option to apply reduced rates to certain specified goods and services, which include admission to sporting events and the use of sporting facilities. On the basis that those two categories most closely equate to leisure complexes, the table lists the member states that apply reduced rates. Detailed information on the date of introduction of the reduced rates is not readily available although, in general, reduced rates tend to date from the time when VAT was first introduced in the member state concerned.


EC member stateStandard rate of VATReduced rate of VAT applied admissions to sporting eventsReduced rate of VAT applied to use of sporting facilities
Spain167 (amateur events only)--


European Commission Report on the operation of the VAT rates provisions in the Single Market (COM(94)584).

Government Deficits

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the outturn against the Treasury Red Book forecast of Government deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product in the last four years including 1995 using the public sector borrowing requirement and Maastricht convergence, GGFD--general Government financial deficit--methods of measurement of Government deficit. [17663]

Mr. Waldegrave: The table sets out the information requested. Calendar year forecasts are not made. Outturns for 1995-96 are not as yet known.

29 Feb 1996 : Column: 650

Percentage of GDP

Budget forecastOutturnBudget forecastOutturn

(5) March 1992 and March 1993 Budgets respectively.

(6) November 1993 and November 1994 Budgets respectively.

Nuclear Industry

Mr. Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the net subsidy to the nuclear generation industry from the Exchequer in 1995 prices in each year since 1996 to the proposed privatisation date of British Energy. [12474]

Mr. Jack: A public corporation's external finance requirement consists broadly of net flows of funds from the Government to the company, plus any net borrowing by the company. The external financing requirements of Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear have been as follows since 1990-91, in 1994-95 prices (million):

Nuclear ElectricScottish Nuclear


1. Negative numbers indicate positive net cash generation by the industry. These funds will have been used for both revenue and capital expenditure. In the years concerned, Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear's expenditure on fixed assets was as follows, in 1994-95 prices (million £):


"Public Expenditure", Cm 2821, HM Treasury 1995. Financial year GDP deflator.

Nuclear ElectricScottish Nuclear


Industry figures. Financial year GDP deflator.

Prior to 1990, the Central Electricity Generating Board and the South of Scotland Electricity Board were responsible for most nuclear generation in the UK. The accounts of those companies did not separately identify detailed financial information on nuclear generation.

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