Home Page

Column 557

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 15 June 1994

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

Desertification Convention

Mr. McGrady : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to announce a change in funds to combat desertification at the signing of the desertification convention in Paris in June.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Ceredigion and Pembroke, North (Mr. Dafis) on 14 April at column 257.

We have no plans to make an announcement in Paris, but we will consider our position in the light of the agreement reached.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Citizenship Applications

Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for British nationality have been outstanding for (a) more than one year, (b) more than two years and (c) more than three years.

Mr. Charles Wardle : On 31 May 1994, there were 11,388 applications for British citizenship in the nationality division which had been outstanding for more than one year, of which 2,915 had been outstanding for more than two years, including 818 for more than three years.

Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average length of time taken to process applications for British nationality ; and what were the average times taken in 1979, 1984 and 1989.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Average waiting times for certificates of British citizenship issued in May 1994 were 15 months for naturalisations and 11 months for registrations ; and in May 1989, 22 and 18 months respectively. Comparable figures for 1984 and 1979 are not available, but average waiting times for the first quarter of 1985--calculated on a different basis--were 13 and 11 months, and for 1979, 25 months for naturalisations.

Migration Statistics

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigrants have entered the United Kingdom in the last 10 years ; and if he will provide a breakdown of the ages and nationalities contained within this figure ;

(2) how many people have emigrated from the United Kingdom in the last 10 years ; and if he will provide a breakdown of the ages and nationalities contained with this figure.


Column 558

Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on immigration and emigration from the United Kingdom is provided by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys from the international passenger survey, which defines a migrant as a person leaving one country where he or she has been a resident for a year or longer with the intention of residing in another country for a year or longer. In the 10 years 1983-92, the total numbers of intending immigrants and emigrants were 2.31 million and 2.09 million respectively. These figures include British citizens and other EC nationals, but exclude migration between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Analyses of the annual data by broad nationality and by broad age group are given in tables 2.1 and 2.9 respectively of the OPCS publication "International Migration, 1992", a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Data for 1993 are not yet available.

As the IPS data are based on intentions to migrate, it is highly likely that they exclude persons seeking asylum after entering the country and other persons admitted as short-term visitors who are subsequently granted an extension of stay for a year or longer. It is estimated that there were around 200,000 such persons in 1983-92, net of persons leaving the United Kingdom for a short-term period who stayed overseas for longer than originally intended.

The OPCS data include temporary migration for a year or longer by, for example, students and workers. Home Office data on immigration relate to the number of persons accepted for settlement--that is, allowed to stay indefinitely. There were 514,000 such persons in the 10-year period 1984- 93. Analyses by nationality of the annual data for 1984-92 and 1993 are given in table 6.5 of "Control of Immigration : Statistics, United Kingdom, 1992", Cm 2368, and table 1.1 of the statistical bulletin "Control of Immigration : Statistics--Third and Fourth Quarters and Year 1993", issue 9/94, respectively. An analysis by age of person is readily available only for 1992 and is given in table 6.2 of Cm 2368. Copies of both Home Office publications are also in the Library.

DTELS

Sir Ivan Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he intends to pay the residual expenses arising from the privatisation of DTELS.

Mr. Howard : DTELS--formerly the Directorate of

Telecommunications--was sold on 1 March 1994 to National Transcommunications Ltd. for £6.6 million. The balance of proceeds, after payment of expenses relating to 1993-94, was surrendered to the Consolidated Fund in March 1994.

There are further expenses arising from the sale to be paid in 1994-95. Parliamentary approval for this new service will be sought in a summer supplementary estimate for the Home Office's administration, immigration, probation and police support services vote, class VIII, vote 3. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £800,000 will be met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund.

Cash Limits

Sir Ivan Lawrence : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for changes to the 1994-95 cash limits within his responsibilities and to the Home Office running costs limit.


Column 559

Mr. Howard : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class VIII, vote 3--Home Office administration, immigration, probation and police support services, England and Wales--will be increased by £442,000 from £1,212,240,000 to £1,212,682,000. This will enable repayment of an advance from the contingencies fund of £800,000 for residual payments, which are not included in the public expenditure control total, in connection with the privatisation of the Directorate of Telecommunications : the amount required is reduced because of transfers totalling £358,000 out of the vote to other Government Departments. In consequence of these transfers, the Home Office gross running cost limit will be reduced by £358,000 from £1,706,534,000 to £1,706,176,000.

The local authority capital non-voted HO/LACAP cash limit will be increased by £421,000 from £121,870,000 to £122,291,000. The additional provision results from the transfer of supplementary credit approvals from the Welsh Office's non-voted cash limit WO/LACAP for the purpose of the replacement of fire service mobilisation and communications systems, to allow the Home Office to hold and issue the entire provision of fire supplementary credit approvals for both England and Wales. The increase will be offset by a transfer and will not therefore add to the planned total of expenditure.

Fire Service

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the fire service is required to attend train and plane crashes not involving fires ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Under section 1 of the Fire Services Act 1947, a fire authority has a duty to make provision for firefighting purposes, and in particular to secure the services of a fire brigade and equipment in order to meet efficiently all normal requirements. Section 3(1) (e) of the 1947 Act gives a fire authority supplementary powers to employ its brigade for purposes other than firefighting. This may include attendance at train and aircraft accidents not involving fires.

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of fatalities resulting from fires in buildings built since 1979 for each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle : This information is not available from the statistics collected from fire brigades.

Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill

Mr. Sims : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to take steps, ahead of Royal Assent, to implement any provisions of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill.

Mr. Howard : I intend that the new police authorities should be set up this autumn to prepare for the assumption of their full responsibilities from 1 April 1995. Under the terms of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill currently before Parliament, the new authorities will include independent members who are neither councillors nor magistrates. I intend to undertake an advertising exercise at a cost not exceeding £40,000, so that members of the public can apply for appointment as an independent


Column 560

member of their police authority. No appointments will be made until the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill has become law. The appointments will be made by the councillor and magistrate members of the new police authorities.

Parliamentary approval for expenditure on this new service will be sought in a summer supplementary estimate for the Home Office administration, immigration, probation and police support services, England and Wales vote, class VIII, vote 3. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £40,000 will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.

TREASURY

Taxation

Mr. Cox : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department is to make as to the effect of the recent tax increases on economic recovery within the Greater London area.

Mr. Nelson : The forecast for economic growth this year, including Greater London, takes full account of the effect of the tax increases announced in last year's Budgets. A number of recent indicators, including manufacturing output, retail sales, and new car registrations, suggest that the economy is continuing to recover.

Civil Servants (Outside Appointments)

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many job offers were reported by staff in his Department under the requirements of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years by (a) staff of grade 3 and above, (b) staff below grade 3, (c) staff in sections concerned with procurement or contract work, under section 15 of the rules of 1 February 1993 and (d) staff in other sections, under section 14 ; and how many of these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.

Mr. Nelson : The Treasury only holds records on the information requested from 1987. The answer to each question is as follows : (

(a) Six : one in 1990, three in 1991, one in 1992 and one in 1993. All were followed by an application to join the company concerned. (

(b) No records are held centrally because they are notified to line managers.

(c) Six in 1993, and one in 1994. None of these has been followed by applications to join any of the companies concerned.

(d) No central records are held for staff below grade 3 because they are notified to line managers. Details for staff at grade 3 and above are listed at (a).

Gilts

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of British gilts were bought by foreign purchasers in each of the last three years and for 1994 to date.

Mr. Nelson : A sectoral breakdown of purchases of Government securities is given at table 10.2F of the Central Statistical Office's "Financial Statistics".


Column 561

ECOFIN

Mr. Simon Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the most recent Council meeting of the European Economic and Finance Ministers.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke : I represented the United Kingdom at the Economic and Finance Council of the European Union--ECOFIN--in Luxembourg on 6 June.

The Council discussed follow-up work to the Brussels European Council conclusions on the Commission's White Paper on "Growth, Competitiveness and Employment." The Council endorsed a report from the Economic Policy Committee on labour markets which stressed the need for structural reforms and greater flexibility. The Council welcomed the indication from the President of the European Commission that he was ready to pursue the suggestion made by the German Minister for the establishment of an independent task force to consider deregulation. The Council considered reports from the European Commission and the European investment bank of trans-European networks.

Most Ministers agreed that there was insufficient evidence to show that a "financing gap" existed regarding TENs. The presidency will present a report to the Corfu European Council summarising the views expressed at ECOFIN.

The Council approved a recommendation on broad economic guidelines for consideration by the Corfu European Council in accordance with article 103(2) of the treaty.

The Council adopted the decision allowing the Community to participate in the European investment fund. I am placing in the Libraries of both Houses a copy of that decision and the associated EIF statute.

The Council took note of the work of a high-level group on possible taxes on carbon and energy, which would report to the Environment Council on 8-9 June, and concluded that final responsibility for taxation matters rests with the ECOFIN Council.

Finally, the Council also had a brief general discussion on fraud. However, a substantive discussion was deferred until July when detailed conclusions are expected to be adopted.

There were no formal votes.

Cash Limits

Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes are proposed to the Inland Revenue's cash and running costs limits for 1994-95.


Column 562

Mr. Dorrell : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate, the cash limit for class XVII vote 5 will be reduced by £51,462,000 from £1,704,123,000 to £1,652,661,000 and the running costs limits will be increased by £25,738,000 to £1,714,655, 000. The cash limit reduction allows for £362,000 to be transferred to the Lord Chancellor's Department--class IX, vote 1--in respect of the transfer of responsibility to that Department for the costs of the general commissioners of income tax. The balance of the cash limit reduction and the increase in the running costs limit arise from the outsourcing of some of the Department's information technology work to EDS Scicon Ltd. on 1 July 1994. This involves switching capital expenditure into running costs.

LORD CHANCELLORS'S DEPARTMENT

Legal Services Ombudsman

Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary. Lord Chancellor's Department when the legal services ombudsman intends to publish his third annual report.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The legal services ombudsman has today published his third annual report.

Domestic Violence

Mr. Fabricant : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to implement the recommendations in the Law Commission's report, "Domestic Violence and Occupation of the Family Home."

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Government have decided to implement almost all the recommendations contained in the report and consider them to provide a firm basis upon which to reform the law relating to the civil remedies for domestic violence and occupation of the family home. Legislation to implement the recommendations will be introduced when a suitable opportunity occurs.

The Government have not accepted the recommendation to give the police the power to take civil action on behalf of victims of domestic violence or the recommendation for two of the proposed new categories of associated persons who would be able to apply for non-molestation and occupation orders.

The categories which have not been accepted are people

"who have at any time agreed to marry each other (whether or not that agreement has been terminated)"

and people

"who have or have had a sexual relationship with each other (whether or not including sexual intercourse)".


Column 563

TRANSPORT

Cash Limits

Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has to change his Department's cash limits and running costs limits for 1994-95.

Mr. MacGregor : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate and supplementary estimates, the following changes will be made :

(i) the cash limit for class VI, vote 1--Highways Agency--will be reduced by £3,500,000 from £2,102,028,000 to £2,098,528,000 to give effect to the transfer of expenditure on the Woolwich ferry to class VI, vote 5 ;

(ii) the cash limit for class VI, vote 5--local roads and transport--will be increased by £2,855,000 from £530,049,000 to £532, 904,000. The increase is made up of a transfer from class VI, vote 1 of £3,500,000 offset by a transfer to DoT/LACAP of £645,000 which will therefore increase DoT/LACAP cash limit by £645,000 from £290, 713,000 ;

(iii) the cash limit for class VI, vote 2--administration and transport services--will be increased by £1,015,000 from £234,410,000 to £235,425,000. Additional provision is required for residual expenses in connection with the sale of DVOIT at £15,000 and for the sale of the Transport Research Laboratory at £1,000,000.

The overall increase will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Accidents (Agricultural Machinery)

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the number of accidents involving a tractor or other agricultural machinery on public roads and (b) the number of fatalities resulting from such accidents for each of the past eight years ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 564

Mr. Key : It is not possible to identify tractors and agricultural machinery in the road injury accident data collection system. However, by linking road accident data with vehicle licencing information, it is possible to provide broad estimates of the information required since 1989, which are shown in the table.


Injury road accidents         

involving agricultural        

machines<1>                   

Great Britain 1989-92         

          |Accidents          

------------------------------

1989      |684                

1990      |711                

1991      |850                

1992      |858                

<1> Vehicles with a taxation  

class of "agricultural        

machine".                     


Casualties: number   

of people killed in  

accidents involving  

agricultural         

machines<1> in Great 

Britain 1989-92      

       |Killed       

---------------------

1989   |32           

1990   |33           

1991   |25           

1992   |38           

<1> Vehicles with a  

taxation class of    

"agricultural        

machine".            

Road Maintenance

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total public expenditure on road maintenance in England for each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key : The figures are :


Column 563


£ million                                                                                                                     

               Department of                             Local authority                                                      

               Transport                                 expenditure                                                          

               expenditure                                                                                                    

Year          |Trunk roads- |Trunk road   |Trunk roads- |Principal    |Bridges-     |Local roads- |Total                      

              |capital      |bridges-     |current      |roads-capital|capital      |current                                  

                            |capital      |(routine)                                                                          

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1989-90       |240          |66           |104          |-            |-            |1,410        |1,820                      

1990-91       |289          |87           |121          |-            |-            |1,665        |2,162                      

1991-92       |307          |120          |145          |-            |80           |1,690        |2,342                      

1992-93       |365          |116          |160          |117          |108          |1,788        |2,654                      

1993-94       |403          |129          |162          |176          |146          |1,744        |2,760                      

Notes:                                                                                                                        

1. Local authority expenditure for capital work on principal roads and bridges is funded via transport supplementary grant.   

2. Local authority current expenditure is funded through revenue support grant paid by DOE based on the highways maintenance  

standard spending assessment.                                                                                                 

3. Figures for local authority expenditure in 1993-94 are budget figures.                                                     

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Cash Limits

Mr. Batiste : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what changes will be made to the cash limits or running costs limits for 1994-95 for which he has responsibility.

Mr. Brooke : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate, the cash limit for class XI, vote 7--Department of National Heritage administration--will be reduced by £3,080,000 from £24,680,000 to


Column 564

£21,600,000. This results from the transfer of responsibility for the international passenger survey to the Central Statistical Office from the 1 April 1994.

In addition, the Department of National Heritage gross running costs limit will be reduced by £3,080,000 from £31,008,000 to £27,928,000.

DEFENCE

Army Manpower

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the percentage reduction in British Army uniformed manpower strength since 1990.


Column 565

Mr. Aitken : Between 1 April 1990 and 1 May 1994, the uniformed strength--trained and untrained personnel--of the Regular Army has reduced by approximately 20 per cent.

Navy Manpower

Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the percentage reduction in Royal Navy uniformed manpower strength since 1990.

Mr. Aitken : Between 1 April 1990 and 1 May 1994, the total uniformed strength--trained and untrained personnel--of the Royal Navy, including Royal Marines, has reduced by approximately 12 per cent.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Cash Limits

Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proposals he has to change the 1994-95 (a) cash limit and (b) running costs limits for the Office of Public Service and Science.

Mr. Waldegrave : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary revised estimate the cash limit for the Office of Public Service and Science, class XVIII, vote 1, will be decreased by £16,366,000 from £75,794,000 to £59,428,000 and the gross running cost limits will also be decreased by £15,745,000 from £95,751,000 to £80,006,000. The functions of the Offices of the Prime Minister, Government Chief Whip and Parliamentary Counsel have been transferred to the Cabinet Office, class XIX, vote 1. The net running cost limits for the Civil Service college has been decreased by £1,244,000 from £1,800,000 to £556,000.

The changes will not add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Science Budget

Mr. Burns : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what changes he proposes to the estimates class XVIII, vote 2--science.

Mr. Waldegrave : The cash limit for this vote is being reduced by £13,030,272 to £1,225,526,728. The reduction is the net effect of the following. A reduction to £13,685,272 in respect of that expenditure of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which is being met from the receipts from the sale of the Plant Breeding Institute. An increase of £655,000 in respect of class 3 super- computing time, responsibilty for which is to transfer from the higher education funding councils for England, Wales and Scotland. The increase will be offset by transfers from class X, vote 2--education : higher and further education--of £542,000 ; class XIV, vote 17--Scotland and Forestry Commission : education, arts and libraries--of £79,000 ; and class XV, vote 4--Wales : training and education--of £34,000. The additional provision has been allocated to subhead A3--the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Civil Servants (Outside Appointments)

Mr. Milburn : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many job offers were reported by staff in his Department under the requirements of the rules on the


Column 566

acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years by (a) staff of grade 3 and above, (b) staff below grade 3, (c) staff in sections concerned with procurement or contract work, under section 15 of the rules of 1 February 1993 and (d) staff in other sections, under section 14 ; and how many of these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.

Mr. Waldegrave : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 14 June at column 371-72 .

PRIME MINISTER

Referendums

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister what was the cost to public funds of the referendums on (a) membership of the European Community and (b) Scottish devolution.

The Prime Minister : The cost to public funds of the 1975 referendum on membership of the European Community was £6,100,000. The 1979 referendum on devolution for Scotland cost £820,500.

Finance

Mr. Whitney : To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements are being made to finance No. 10 Downing street, the Whips Offices, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the ceremonial branch.

The Prime Minister : Responsibility for No. 10, the Whips Offices, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the ceremonial branch has been transferred, within the Cabinet Office, from the Office of Public Service and Science vote to the other services vote, with effect from 1 April 1994.

Parliamentary approval of this transfer of expenditure will be sought in a summer supplementary estimate for the Cabinet Office other services vote, class XIX, vote 1. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £7,365,000 will be met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund.

Cash Limits

Sir Cranley Onslow : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to change the 1994-95 cash limit or running costs limit for the Cabinet Office other services vote.

The Prime Minister : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for Cabinet Office other services, class XIX, vote 1, will be increased by £16,366,000 from £27,015,000 to £43,381,000. At the same time the running costs limit will be increased by £15,467,000 from £26,295,000 to £41,762, 000.

The increase reflects the transfer of certain administrative functions and provision from the Cabinet Office Office of Public Service and Science vote, class XVIII, vote 1, and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.


Next Section

  Home Page