22 Jul 1996 : Column: 1

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 22 July 1996

PRIME MINISTER

Internet

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to ensure that major publications from his Department are accompanied by a simultaneous electronic release of the text on the Internet. [37239]

The Prime Minister: For these purposes, my Office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service, on 18 July, Official Report, column 621.

Fraud

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Prime Minister what inquiries to detect fraud by cross-checking his Department's payroll with details of those claiming benefit he has undertaken; when these exercises took place; and how many staff were (a) suspended, (b) dismissed and (c) prosecuted as a result. [37712]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 July 1996]: None, but where the Benefits Agency had reasonable grounds for suspicion that an individual might be involved in benefit fraud the Cabinet Office would respond to its inquiries. Employees found guilty of fraud or dishonesty are liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Next Steps Review

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to publish the next steps review; and if he will make a statement. [36660]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 19 July 1996]: The review will be published in the autumn so as to provide an input into ministerial discussions and subsequent decisions on public expenditure and resource allocation. The 1996 publication will continue the development of the review, providing trend data and other measures common across agencies and will also report on progress towards developing benchmarking or organisational performance.

TREASURY

Customer Charters

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (a) the customer charters which are currently in use within his Department and its executive agencies and (b) the charters which have been withdrawn. [32839]

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Mrs. Angela Knight: HM Treasury does not have any customer charters nor has it withdrawn any. Of its executive agencies, the customer charters currently in use are listed. Neither the Royal Mint nor the Valuation Office has any customer charters, and no charters have been withdrawn by any of the agencies.


European Committee of Central Bankers

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the Bank of England's membership of the European Committee of Central Bankers; and whose policies the bank represents on the committee. [37837]

Mrs. Angela Knight: The committee of governors of the central banks of member states of the European Community was dissolved on 1 January 1994, in accordance with articles 109f(1) and 109e(1) of the EC treaty.

Unemployment (Yorkshire)

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what number of people in (a) North Yorkshire and (b) York had been registered unemployed for (i) six months or longer and (ii) 12 months or longer in (1) January 1992 and (2) January 1996; and what proportion these figures were of the total number of people registered as unemployed at these dates; [38030]

Mrs. Angela Knight: The information requested can be obtained from the Nomis database accessed by the House of Commons Library.

Credit Controls

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce selective controls on credit to reduce the rate of inflation in house prices. [38019]

Mrs. Angela Knight: I have no intention of introducing selective credit controls for housing. The objective of monetary policy is to achieve underlying inflation in the lower half of the 1 to 4 per cent. range by the end of this Parliament and to keep it at 2½ per cent. or less thereafter. The growth in house prices is one of the many indicators I assess when determining what the appropriate level of interest rates is to achieve the inflation target.

Immigration

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many reports have been made by marriage registrars, from which registration areas, to the Registrar-General, that marriages are suspected to be

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solely for immigration purposes, in 1994, 1995 and 1996 to the latest convenient date; and in how many of these instances information has been passed on to the Home Office. [38084]

Mrs. Angela Knight: During 1994 and 1995, superintendent registrars reported 470 and 555 cases to the Registrar-General where they suspected that a proposed marriage had been arranged for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls. Of this number, information in respect of 404 and 467 respectively was passed to the Home Office.

During the first six months of 1996, 309 reports have been received, of which 232 have been referred to the Home Office. Details of the reports received by registration district are shown in the table.

District199419951996(1)
Andover----1
Barking and Dagenham--1--
Barnet--72
Barnsley--1--
Belper1----
Birmingham81--
Blackburn13--
Blackpool and Fylde----1
Bolton11--
Bournemouth112
Bradford31--
Brent473929
Bristol----1
Bromley1----
Cambourne and Redruth1----
Cambridge21
Camden21--
Chichester11--
Colwyn1----
Coventry14--
Croydon122
Dacorum11--
Darlington--1--
Depwade22--
Dudley--1--
Ealing10121
Eastbourne1--1
Fulham--1--
Greenwich35--
Hackney6714292
Hammersmith----1
Haringey11--
Harlow15--
Harrow--1--
Hatfield--1--
Havering11--
Hendon14143
Hereford1----
Hounslow--43
Huddersfield----1
Hull--1--
Ipswich1----
Islington50256
Kensington and Chelsea5----
Kettering--1--
Knowsley1----
Lambeth17--
Leicestershire Central--1--
Lewisham14612063
Lichfield1----
Luton----1
Manchester12--
Mansfield--1--
Melton and Rutland--1--
Merton--3--
Mid Warwickshire--1--
Milton Keynes--41
Newham21--
Norfolk--1--
Northallerton--1--
Northampton--1--
Norwich1----
Nottingham64--
Oldham762
Oxford--1--
Peterborough34--
Portsmouth--21
Preston and South Ribble--1--
Redbridge962
Richmond upon Thames1----
Salford--2--
Sedgemoor1----
Sheffield111
Southend on Sea1----
South Glamorgan1----
Southwark1614--
Stevenage2----
Stroud--1--
Surrey South Western--1--
Sutton72--
Swindon----1
Taunton Deane--1--
Towcester--1--
Tower Hamlets35883
Trafford2----
Waltham Forest36--
Weyland1----
Westminster1682
Weston Super Mare--1--
Wolverhampton242
Wrekin21--
Wycombe234
Total470555309

(1) January to end of June 1996 inclusive.


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Footwear Industry

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) males and (b) females were employed in the United Kingdom footwear industry in 1975, 1979 and 1995. [38171]

Mrs. Angela Knight: The available comparable information is for 1978 onwards. This is provided in the following table:

Employees in footwear manufacture in Great Britain: June (thousands)(2)
Standard industrial classification 1992(SIC92)

MaleFemales
19781648
19791648
19951415

Note:

(2) Unadjusted.

Source:

ONS.



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