Mr. Shersby : To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the number of undetected bogus marriages taking place in the United Kingdom ; and if he will appoint a senior Cabinet Minister to co-ordiinate an investigation into the abuse of the marriage laws, the extent to which this is facilitating illegal overstaying, circumvention of the immigration laws and the acquisition of British citizenship ; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : No realistic estimate can be made of the number of undetected bogus marriages, but superintendent registrars are alert to the need to report to the Registrar General where they have reason to believe that a marriage has been arranged solely for the purpose of circumventing immigration controls. Where this also involved a lawful impediment to the marriage, the superintendent registrar would not proceed with the ceremony.
Where the Registrar General believes that a marriage is prima facie one of convenience, the facts are passed to the Home Office to take whatever action is necessary to enforce the immigration law. These arrangements will be kept under review, but I doubt whether an investigation of the kind suggested would increase their effectiveness. I shall, however, draw to the attention of my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health the information that my hon. Friend has sent me.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consultations she has held with the representatives of diary and calendar printers about the proposed abolition of the May day bank holiday ; what consideration was given to their views ; if her proposed change in the date of the bank holiday will take place in 1994 ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Department published a consultation document on the May day bank holiday on 1 December. Responses to the consultation document were received from a wide range of organisations, including some from within the dairy and calendar industry.
An announcement on the future of the May day bank holiday will be made shortly.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Bill, currently before Parliament, significantly enhances the statutory right to a written statement of main terms and conditions of employment, reducing from 13 weeks to two months the period within which it must be provided and extending entitlement to employees working between eight and 16 hours a week, who have hitherto had to complete five years continuous service in order to qualify.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals she will bring forward to protect employees of under two years standing whose employers have not issued a written statement of terms and conditions of employment and persistently fail to provide one.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Employees who have not received a written statement to which they are entitled under the provisions of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 may refer the matter to an industrial tribunal.
Clause 28 of the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Bill, currently before Parliament, introduces a new provision making it automatically unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee, regardless of length of service or hours of work, for having sought in good faith to exercise a statutory employment protection right, including the right to a written statement.
Mr. Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if she will publish the numbers and percentages of her staff in grades one to five who each have (a) arts degrees, (b) science degrees, (c) technical degrees, (d) who are qualified accountants, (e) have post-graduate qualifications in management and (f) who were educated in (i) local authority and (ii) private schools.
Column 305Grade 1--total staff in post=1
No degrees held
Grade 2--total staff in post=3
100 per cent. of Grade 2s have a degree in science
33 per cent of Grade 2s have a degree in arts
Grade 3--total staff in post=17
35 per cent. of Grade 3s have a degree in science
24 per cent. of Grade 3s have a degree in arts
5 per cent. of Grade 3s have a qualification in management Grade 4--total staff in post=8
50 per cent. of Grade 4s have a degree in science
25 per cent. of Grade 4s have a degree in arts
37 per cent. of Grade 4s have a qualification in management Grade 5--total staff in post=89
29 per cent. of Grade 5s have a degree in science
22 per cent. of Grade 5s have a degree in arts
10 per cent. of Grade 5s have a qualification in management 1 per cent. of Grade 5s are qualified accountants.
Mr. Soley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many grades of laboratory technician are registered in the United Kingdom ; and how many are designated as medical laboratory scientific officers.
Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is her estimate of the number of people employed in (a) onshore and (b) offshore oil and gas related activity in (i) 1991 and (ii) 1992 ; and what is her estimate of the total at the latest available date.
The available information is as follows :
Employees in employment: Great Britain |February 1991|February 1992|February 1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Extraction of mineral oil and natural gas |<1> 50,000 |n/a |n/a Mineral oil processing |18,000 |17,000 |16,000 Public gas supply |78,000 |78,000 |75,000 <1> The latest estimate available is taken from the September 1991 census of employment.
Mr. McLoughlin : Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that in autumn 1992 (September--November), people in full-time employment worked on average 45 hours per week including overtime (not seasonally adjusted).
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what studies her Department has undertaken of the effectiveness of small business support schemes delivered by training and enterprise councils ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department currently has responsibility for the business start-up scheme (BSUS), (formerly enterprise allowance), which assists unemployed people to set up a business. The following studies have been carried out on the effectiveness of BSUS since training and enterprise councils (TECs) took over responsibility for its delivery :
"Enterprise Allowance Scheme : Evaluation of Development Projects", PIEDA, 1992.
"Enterprise Allowance/Business Start Up : A Survey of TEC Schemes", IFF Research Ltd., 1992.
The Department regularly carries out evaluation of all its major programmes, including the BSUS, and will continue to do so. A number of other small business support measures run by TECs are now the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. McLeish : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if she will give for each travel-to-work area and jobcentre area in Scotland the absolute change in the numbers of unemployed claimants between February and March and, for the same period, the numbers of claimants, (i) obtaining paid employments, (ii) entering into Government training schemes, (iii) being transferred to other benefits, (iv) being removed from the claimant count for reasons other than entering employment, (v) failing the actively seeking work test and (vi) having benefit disqualified.
Figures on the net monthly changes in total claimant unemployment and the flows in and out of claimant unemployment for each parliamentary constituency, local authority area, travel-to-work area, and jobcentre area in Scotland can be obtained from the NOMIS database in the Library.
31. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussions he has held with Civil Service unions concerning the impact of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 on the policy of market testing civil service jobs.
Mr. Waldegrave : In previous years, savings arising from market testing have typically been around 25 per cent. of the original cost even where the activity has remained in-house. Savings from the programme for the period ending on 30 September 1993 are not yet available. When they are, I am sure that they will show significant savings in costs and improvements in quality, such as reliability and timeliness.
Mr. Robert Jackson : Since my right hon. Friend's statement to the House on 25 November 1992 the citizens charter has brought about further significant achievements. These include three new and one revised charter, the announcement of a complaints adjudicator for the Inland Revenue, and the launch of the second charter mark scheme. We shall publish a further White Paper in due course to record achievements across all public services.
Mr. Robert Jackson : As I said in reply to the hon. Member on 29 March at col. 14, an amendment to the civil service code is to be published shortly. The amendment will remind civil servants that freemasonry is among the possible sources of conflicts of interest which should be reported if and when they occur. A copy of the amendment will be placed in the Library of the House when published.
40. Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to visit Hall I'th Wood Museum, Bolton, to discuss measures to increase awareness of science amongst the public ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Waldegrave : I have consulted working scientists and industry, professional bodies, research charities and many others in order to prepare for the forthcoming White Paper on science and technology. I have published over 250 of the written submissions I have received.
Mr. Jackson : United Kingdom research teams take an active part in EC programmes, and in negotiating the fourth framework programme we shall aim to ensure that it reflects United Kingdom research needs. We shall also advertise the opportunities to carry out research under EC programmes as widely as possible throughout the United Kingdom science and technology community.
Mr. Jackson : No. When service providers publish a charter they should set out standards of service to meet the needs of all the various users. Of course these include small firms, to which the Government attach great importance.
|Cost (rounded to|From |nearest £000) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ BR passengers charter |1,000.0 |May 1992 London Underground Limited customers charter |41.0 |August 1992 Benefits Agency customer charter |1,058.0 |April 1992 Jobseekers charter |89.0 |April 1992 Contributions Agency employers and contributors charters |63.0 |April 1992 Northern Ireland Railways passengers charter |0.4 |November 1992 Travellers charter |9.0 |January 1992 |------- Total |2,260.4
In addition to this, in the financial year 1992-93 the Inland Revenue paid £389,000 in compensations for
Column 309"serious error" as defined in the code of practice "Mistakes by the Inland Revenue". Customs and Excise has paid £315,000 in ex-gratia payments.
Mr. Hain : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide figures for expenditure for the Office of Science and Technology for (a) technology transfer and (b) industrial innovation (i) for the past five years and (ii) as projected for the next three years.
Mr. Jackson : The table lists the expenditure by the Office of Science and Technology for the "technology transfer" component of the primary purpose classification of research and development, as defined in the 1992 edition of the Annual Review of Government Funded Research and Development. Information is not available under the heading "industrial innovation" as there is, as yet, no accepted standard definition of the term. The table lists the Office's expenditure under the primary purpose category "technology support", which includes strategic and applied research and pre-competitive schemes such as LINK.
Year |Technology transfer |Technology support £ |£ million |million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1988-89 |4.9 |<1>- 1989-90 |4.0 |209.0 1990-91 |4.6 |238.0 1991-92 |6.1 |243.9 1992-93 |6.8 |289.6 1993-94 |8.7 |326.9 1994-95 |8.9 |347.2 1995-96 |9.1 |358.1 <1> Note: The primary purpose classifications were changed between 1988-89 and 1989-90 with the introduction of a new class "technology support", but did not affect "technology transfer".
Mr. Salmond : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the role of his Department in the Nuclear Electric/Scottish Nuclear/BNFL discussions about reprocessing contracts at the thermal oxide reprocessing plant.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish his Department's report, drawn up by its aviation committee, into future DTI funding for civil aviation research ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heseltine : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that my right hon. Friend the Minister for Industry gave to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Cousins) on 4 May 1993, Official Report, column 5.
Mr. Robin Cook : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how long his Department has been in possession of its aviation committee's report into future DTI funding for civil aircraft research ; and what action he has taken in light of its conclusions.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what recent inquiries there have been from the private sector into the possibility of taking over the running of Betws colliery : and if he will make a statement.
British Coal is, of course, committed to offering to the private sector pits which it no longer wishes to operate and is keen to begin this process as rapidly as possible.
Mr. Garrett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish the numbers and percentages of his staff in grades 1 to 5 who have (a) arts degrees, (b) science degrees, (c) technical degrees, (d) who are qualified accountants and (e) have postgraduate qualifications in management.
Mr. Eggar : Of the 328 people in grades 1 to 5 who are on the permanent staff of the Department of Trade and Industry, 176 (54 per cent.) have arts degrees, 86 (26 per cent.) have science degrees and 21 (6 per cent.) have technical degrees. There are 10 qualified accountants and 10 whose records indicate postgraduate qualifications in management.
Mr. Darling : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many exploration and appointed oil and gas wells were drilled in the United Kingdom continental shelf fin 1992 ; and what is his estimate of the number to be drilled in (a) 1993, (b) 1994 and (c) 1995.
Column 311conduct regular surveys of company plans for drilling wells looking up to two years ahead. The results of the last survey were published in the August 1992 issues of "Energy Trends", a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Morgan : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place a copy in the Library of the information letter on the stage 2 privatisation options exercise circulated to all members of the staff of Companies house in the last week of April ; what date he has set for the completion of the stage 2 exercise ; and if he will make a statement.