Previous Section Index Home Page


Asylum Applications

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the average time from the lodging of the asylum application to the determination of the appeal for those cases where a determination of an appeal to an adjudicator against an initial asylum decision has been made in each of the last three calendar months; [95884]

Mrs. Roche: The available information is given in the table. The figures were calculated by taking the mean length of time between the date that the asylum application was lodged and the date of the initial decision, for asylum decisions taken in July, August and September 1999. The figures relate to asylum applications lodged by

26 Oct 1999 : Column: 837

principal applicants only. Separate figures for single people and for people with dependent children are not presently available.

Average time to initial decision, in months (12), (13), (14) July, August and September 1999

Month of decisionPre 1993 Act casesPost 1993 Act casesTotal
July842848
August852849
September882649
July-September882749

(12) Figures are estimates based on cases for which information is recorded

(13) Mean average is used

(14) Excluding dependants


Immigration and Asylum Bill

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with Amnesty International regarding the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Bill; and if he will make a statement. [95568]

Mrs. Roche: I met representatives of Amnesty International on 19 October to discuss the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Bill.

Laser Pens

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to regulate the use of laser pens; and if he will make a statement. [95668]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Anyone carrying a laser pointer as a weapon in a public place or a school may be liable to prosecution under section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953. In addition, laser pointers which may present an unacceptable risk in the hands of the general consumer, are subject to consumer safety legislation.

We have no plans to introduce further regulation in this area.

Police Officers

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were employed in England and Wales during the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many he expects will be employed in (a) 2000-01 and (b) 2001-02. [95664]

Mr. Charles Clarke: As at 31 March 1999, there were 126,096 police officers in England and Wales. Under legislation passed by the previous Government, the powers of the Home Secretary to set overall police numbers were removed. The number of police officers at any given time is determined by chief constables on the basis of resources made available to them. The Government are making available additional resources, in a new ring-fenced crime fighting fund, to provide 5,000 extra police recruits over the next three years.

Vivisection

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the

26 Oct 1999 : Column: 838

benefits to medical science of vivisection; what plans he has to review the practice; and if he will make a statement. [95722]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The development of many new drugs and medical technologies has depended on, and continues to depend on, the use of animals. Their use is regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which is widely viewed as the most rigorous piece of legislation of its type in the world.

In 1998, the Animal Procedures Committee completed a review of the operation of the Act. Its results were published in November 1998 as part of the Committee's annual report for 1997. The Committee concluded that further examination of the cost/benefit assessment should be undertaken and that the validity of science using animals could be part of their review. The Committee is planning to consult publicly and I await their further advice.

Convicted Sex Offenders

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requirement there is (a) for convicted sex offenders against children to notify authorities of addresses they are staying at abroad and (b) for sex offenders convicted abroad for offences against children to notify authorities when residing in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [95564]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Under the Sex Offenders Act 1997, there is no requirement for offenders to register if they travel abroad or for those with overseas convictions to register if they reside in the United Kingdom. This is one of a number of issues we are looking at in evaluating the operation of the registration requirement in the 1997 Act. Once the review is completed, we shall then need to consider whether, and if so what, changes are necessary.

TREASURY

Departmental Twinning

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests there have been to his Department for placement of officials from Central, East European and CIS states as twins of his officials; how many such officials have been accepted as twins; and from which countries (a) those who were accepted and (b) those who were not accepted came. [93994]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 25 October 1999]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) on 25 October 1999, Official Report, columns 739-40.

ONS

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the reasons are for the Office for National Statistics five-year survey of companies' fixed assets; [95917]

26 Oct 1999 : Column: 839

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Nick Gibb, dated 26 October 1999:



    The new Fixed Assets Survey to collect details of capital stocks held by businesses is one of a number of measures introduced to improve the quality of the National Accounts. The survey was introduced in 1999 to provide a more reliable basis for calculating the value of fixed assets held in the UK, required for the National Accounts. It will cover all industries in a rolling programme so that each industry is surveyed only once in about five years.


    The questionnaire requesting details of fixed assets was sent to a sample of 264 companies in manufacturing, of which 257 were in the food processing industry. The estimate of the total compliance cost for these industries is £19,000.


Revenue

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of total revenue was raised (a) directly and (b) indirectly (i) 30 years ago, (ii) 20 years ago, (iii) 10 years ago and (iv) currently. [95517]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Frank Field, dated 26 October 1999:



    The ONS does not publish data under the headings of direct and indirect taxation.


    In table 10.1 of the United Kingdom National Accounts (Blue Book) 1999 a full list of UK taxes is published on a European System of Accounts (ESA 1995) basis. Copies of this publication are available in the House of Commons Library. Broadly speaking they are split into:


    (i) taxes on products and production (D.2 taxes) including taxes such as VAT and business rates


    and the rest which includes


    (ii) taxes on income and wealth including taxes such as income tax, corporation tax, motor vehicle duties (D.5)


    (iii) social contributions including employers and employees compulsory contributions (D.611)


    (iv) capital taxes including taxes such as inheritance tax (D.91)

Year1968197819881998
Taxes on production as a percentage of total taxes39.035.238.138.4
Other taxes as a percentage of total taxes61.064.861.961.6


Next Section Index Home Page