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Revenue and Expenditure Balance (Scotland)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to his answer of 25 November, Official Report, column 68, if he will estimate the total relative surplus or deficit of Government expenditure and revenue in Scotland for each year from 1978-79, assuming a constant relationship between the Scottish deficit, as published in the "Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 1994-95", and the United Kingdom general

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Government borrowing requirement, excluding privatisation proceeds and North sea revenues and included in Scotland's revenue total a 90 per cent. share of North sea revenue and a gross domestic product share of privatisation proceeds; [8877]

Mr. Waldegrave [holding answer 12 December 1996]: The table shows the calculations requested. The assumptions made to produce these figures--particularly for the allocation of North Sea oil revenues to Scotland--are inevitably imprecise.

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Estimates of Scotland's share of the UK General Government Borrowing Requirement (GGBR), assuming a GDP share of privatisation proceeds and 90 per cent. of North Sea oil revenues

£ billion
UK GGBR excluding privatisation proceeds (pps) and North Sea oil revenuesScotland's share of column 1 for 1994-95(7) (per cent.) Scotland's implied share of UK GGBR excluding North Sea oil revenues and pps90 per cent. of oil revenues, and GDP share of UK pps(8) Implied estimates of Scotland's GGBR Implied estimates of Scotland's GGBR, 1996-97 prices(9)

UK GGBR. Source:

Public Finance Trends, 1996. A negative figure indicates a budget surplus.

(7) Source: Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 1994-95, and Public Finance Trends 1996.

(8) Scotland's GDP at factor cost (current prices) as a percentage of GDP in the UK less Continental Shelf, calendar years. Source: Regional Trends, 1996.

(9) Based on the Budget forecast of the GDP deflator in 1996-97.

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Mr. Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have (a) become crippled and (b) died from taking the steroid Prednisolone in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [9645]

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Mrs. Angela Knight [holding answer 17 December 1996]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the chief executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

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Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 13 January 1997:

    *International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, underlying cause codes E932.0 and 305.9 and secondary cause code 962.0.

Information Technology (Euro)

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tenders his Department has put out to convert its information technology systems to be euro compliant; what is the cost and person hours required to convert the systems to handle the euro; and when he expects his Department's systems to be fully economic and monetary union compliant. [9453]

Mr. Kenneth Clarke [holding answer 18 December 1996]: My Department and agencies will need to assess the impact which a single currency, at present assumed to be starting on 1 January 1999, would have on their information systems whether or not the United Kingdom decides to participate in the third stage of economic and monetary union.


"Tackling Drugs Together"

35. Mr. Flynn: To ask the Lord President of the Council what new proposals he has in respect of the initiatives in "Tackling Drugs Together". [8750]

Mr. Newton: "Tackling Drugs Together", contains 19 new specific tasks for the current year, and 20 such tasks for the year 1997-98. I am also announcing today the second drugs challenge fund which provides £2 million additional Government money to be bid for by local drug action teams, in partnership with private business and voluntary groups, for innovative and effective projects.

Sitting Hours

36. Mr. Spearing: To ask the Lord President of the Council on how many occasions the House rose before 10.30 pm on Thursdays (a) in the last Session and (b) since the beginning of the present Session. [8749]

Mr. Newton: The House has risen at or before 10.30 every Thursday last session and so far this Session, apart from once, on 18 April 1996.

Parliamentary Reforms

37. Mr. Steen: To ask the Lord President of the Council what assessment he has made of the operation of the reforms implemented following the Jopling report. [8748]

Mr. Newton: I believe the reforms have been a great success.

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38. Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will review the distribution over the year of parliamentary (a) Sessions and (b) recesses. [8747]

Mr. Newton: This matter was reviewed in 1992 by the Select Committee on Sittings of the House--the Jopling Committee--whose principal recommendation was that the House should rise for the summer recess by mid-July.

Parliamentary Business

39. Mr. MacShane: To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will increase the amount of parliamentary business taken in the morning. [8746]

Mr. Newton: I have no plans to do so.

40. Mr. Winnick: To ask the Lord President of the Council what plans he has to extend the period for which he routinely announces the future business of the House. [8745]

Mr. Newton: In addition to announcing the business of the House for the following week, I try to give as much information as I can, on a provisional basis, about the likely business for the following week. I also use my best endeavours to give early notification of some major debates. I see no reasonable prospect of being able to go beyond this.

Defamation Act 1996

41. Mr. Cohen: To ask the Lord President of the Council what assessment he has made of the impact of the Defamation Act 1996 on the proceedings of the House. [8744]

Mr. Newton: I have not made any such assessment.

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