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Child Benefit

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of claimants for (a) child benefit and (b) one parent benefit in (i) Crewe and Nantwich and (ii) Cheshire for each of the last five years. [36347]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: The information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

European Commission (Expenditure)

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 3 April, Official Report, column 360, if he will make a statement on the further action by the European Commission to incur expenditure without legal authority. [37689]

Mr. Lilley: My Department has become aware that the European Commission has invited further applications for funding for projects seeking to combat social exclusion. The substantive issue--of expenditure without the necessary legal authority is identical to the case that the Government took to the European Court of Justice in April. We have therefore this week lodged an application in the European Court of Justice challenging the legal basis of the Commission's proposed further expenditure.

SCOTLAND

Departmental Staff

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was, at the latest available date, the number of Scottish Office and related agencies staff in 1995 by department or agency, the number of administrative and professional staff in each grade above clerical, by grade, their annual salary costs in each department or agency, the totals in each category, and the population of Scotland. [35993]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The estimated population of Scotland at mid-1995 was 5,136,600. The numbers of staff at 1 April 1995 employed in the Scottish Office and its executive agencies, detailing administrative and professional staff in each grade above clerical and annual salary costs, are set out in the tables.

12 Jul 1996 : Column: 341

All permanent staff in the Scottish Office and its executive agencies at 1 April 1995
Full time equivalents

Department/AgencyAgencies-parent departmentFTE
Scottish Office Core:4,217.3
of which:
Under Secretary of State's Department461.0
Development Department546.3
Education and Industry Department559.1
Home Department436.2
Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department1,740.2
Department of Health282.9
Other(6)191.6
Executive Agencies:5,542.4
Historic ScotlandDD633.6
Scottish Fisheries Protection AgencyAEFD237.5
Scottish Office Pensions AgencyEID161.4
Scottish Agricultural Science AgencyAEFD142.2
Student Awards Agency for ScotlandEID135.0
Scottish Prison ServiceHD4,232.7
Total9,759.7

(6) Covers centrally funded staff such as those on maternity leave or sick leave.


Actual pay costs for permanent staff, by Department, 1995-96 including ERNIC and superannuation

DepartmentPay
£ million
Under Secretary of State's Department10.3
Development Department13.3
Education and Industry Department15.5
Home Department11.1
Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department35.5
Department of Health7.3
Other2.4
Total95.4

Actual pay costs for executive agencies are not held centrally.


All permanent administrative and professional staff above the clerical grades in the Scottish Office and its executive agencies other than Scottish Prison Service position at 1 April 1995

Grade equivalentAdministration groupProfessional groupTotal
Senior Civil Service(7)87.876.8164.6
Grade 614.0166.3180.3
Grade 7199.4230.1429.5
SEO155.3257.4412.7
HEO538.0290.1828.1
EO587.1371.8958.9
Total1,493.81,315.72,809.5

(7) Formerly Grades 1 to 5.

Due to a pay and grading review, Scottish Prison Service staff are no longer classified by the standard civil service grades and are not split into pay bands.

Consequently, no breakdown along the lines requested is possible for SPS.


12 Jul 1996 : Column: 342

Legislation

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the Scottish laws, statutory instruments or rules in the field of (a) state and private pensions and (b) commercial law enacted since May 1992. [35994]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Matters relating to state and private pensions are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security. Matters relating to commercial law are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the need for Scotland to maintain separate social security legislation in the form of Acts, statutory instruments and rules, or for similar separate laws on pensions and road traffic regulations. [35995]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Most road traffic regulation applicable to Scotland is embodied in legislation which applies to the whole of Great Britain. As a matter of administrative responsibility, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State may promote subordinate legislation where this exclusively relates to traffic regulation in Scotland.

Matters relating to pensions and social security are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security.

Land Title Registration

Mr. Gallie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made in extending registration of title under the Land Register (Scotland) Act 1979 to further areas of Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [37691]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The programme to extend the land register was announced in 1992. At that time the counties of Renfrew, Dunbarton, Lanark and the Barony and Regality of Glasgow were already on the land register.

Since 1992, the counties of Clackmannan, Stirling, West Lothian, Fife, Aberdeen and Kincardine have been taken on and the land register now covers 57 per cent. of total housing stock.

Following the 1994 report of the Committee of Public Accounts, "Registers of Scotland: Service to the Public" Cmd 2739, the Keeper of the Registers has been considering whether the programme should be amended. I have now approved a revised programme for the remaining counties as shown in the table.

The main changes are that Wigtown and Kirkcudbright are to be covered in 1997 and the borders counties and East Lothian in 1999, instead of in all cases in 2002.

Operational dateCounty
1 April 1997Ayr Dumfries Wigtown Kirkcudbright

12 Jul 1996 : Column: 343

Operational dateCounty
1 April 1998Angus Perth Kinross
1 April 1999Berwick East Lothian Peebles Roxburgh Selkirk
1 April 2000Midlothian
1 April 2002Argyll Bute
1 April 2003Banff Caithness Inverness Moray Nairn Orkney and Shetland Ross and Cromarty Sutherland

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Mr. Gallie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to lay before Parliament a draft of the guidance he is required to give to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency under section 31 of the Environment Act 1995. [37692]

Mr. Michael Forsyth: I am today laying before the House a draft of the guidance I am required under section 31 of the Environment Act 1995 to give to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on its objectives, including the contribution it is to make towards the achievement of sustainable development.

I will also be providing to the agency an explanatory document which provides background information to set the statutory guidance into context and offers a commentary on SEPA's duty to take account of likely costs and benefits. Copies of this document will be placed in the Library.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Tied Aid

Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the three reports prepared in 1995 by the Overseas Development Administration, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury on tied aid. [36652]

Mr. Hanley: The ODA will publish in the next few weeks a version of the reports containing a full account of the studies, their findings and ODA conclusions, but excluding commercially sensitive information.

Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy on reducing the proportion of tied aid; and if he will make a statement. [36592]

12 Jul 1996 : Column: 344

Mr. Hanley: In the interests of both the British taxpayer and aid recipients, we have to obtain value for money when buying goods and services with public funds. Subject to this criterion, it is also established policy that, as far as possible, the goods and services financed under the aid programme should be British. In practice the proportion of the aid programme that is tied is falling because of the increase in multilateral aid, the increased use of local goods and services, and reciprocal untying of programme aid under the Special Programme for Africa.

Three recent studies examined the effects and impact of ODA's tying policies. The findings, which will be published shortly in a summary report by ODA, show that: there would be marginal benefits to the UK economy from unilateral untying and somewhat larger benefits from multilateral untying, but that the costs of tying are relatively low because UK goods and services are for the most part internationally competitive and because a significant part even of the bilateral aid programme is effectively untied. The studies point to a few areas where there is scope for ODA to seek cost-effective procurement more rigorously, but indicate that unilateral untying would yield few efficiency gains for the aid programme, would bring little commercial benefit, and would be unpopular with individual firms and businesses competing for aid-funded contracts.

The Government remain convinced that multilateral untying would be in the best interests of donors and developing countries. They will continue their efforts to encourage other donors to agree jointly to untie aid.

Miss Lestor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 14 December, Official Report, column 751, what factors underlie the percentage fall in bilateral tied aid between 1993 and 1994. [36649]

Mr. Hanley: The downward trend reflects recent changes in ODA's procurement system, driven by value for money and efficiency incentives, and continuing efforts to untie aid where this is appropriate for example, jointly with other donors under the special programme of assistance for Africa.


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