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Limited Companies

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is his policy to encourage small firms to become limited companies; and if he will make a statement. [55084]

Mr. Boateng: Government policy is to stimulate enterprise and entrepreneurship in its various forms, and not to support one group of businesses over another. Both incorporation and non-incorporation offer a range of benefits to small businesses. The choice as to whether to incorporate or not is influenced by multiple factors, many of which are firm-specific, for example the personal circumstances of the owner(s). The Government take the view that businesses themselves are best placed to assess the relative benefits of different legal structures, and to decide which is most appropriate for them.

Development Taxation

Ms Shipley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to equalise taxes levied on brownfield sites with those levied on greenfield sites. [55179]

Mr. Boateng: The Government introduced a 150 per cent. accelerated payable tax credit in Budget 2001 for owners and investors for the costs they incur in cleaning up contaminated sites. This measure will make the development of these sites more viable. There are no other differences in the tax treatment of brownfield and greenfield sites.

Statutory Instruments

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when proposed drafts of the statutory instruments regarding the working tax credit and the child tax credit will be made available. [55840]

9 May 2002 : Column 344W

Dawn Primarolo: As part of the on-going consultation about the proposed new child tax credit and working tax credit and to inform debate on the Tax Credits Bill, copies of a number of draft statutory instruments have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. A memorandum has been prepared by the Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions to accompany these drafts, copies of which have also been placed in the Libraries.

The draft statutory instruments have been prepared by the Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions. Together they contain proposals for the definition of income for the purposes of the new tax credits, detailed rules about entitlement to those credits and their proposed structure, and the arrangements for paying the credits to claimants. They also set out proposed changes to social security legislation in consequence of the introduction of the new credits.

Drafts of further statutory instruments will be made available in due course.


Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter dated 1 April from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan regarding the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. [55165]

Mr. Boateng: I did so on 30 April and am sending a copy of my letter to the hon. Member.


"Information for Health"

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South Derbyshire (Mr. Todd) on 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 806W, if he will publish the report commissioned from Professor Protti by the Information Policy Unit and the NHS Information Authority on issues of implementing "Information for Health". [44054]

Mr. Hutton: The report from Professor Protti is still under consideration. It is informing the preparation of the delivery plan for information and information technology that the Department is preparing as part of taking forward "Delivering the NHS Plan", published in April 2002. Professor Protti's report will be published later in the year.

Emergency Care

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what cash allocations have been made under the reforming emergency care accident and emergency nurse allocation for 2002–03 to each acute NHS trust in the northern region; upon what basis the allocations have been made; and which trusts are involved in PFI programmes. [47430]

Mr. Hutton: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 622W.

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Performance Assessment Framework

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Performance Assessment Framework assimilates patients' views on (a) food and (b) other issues. [47005]

Jacqui Smith: The Performance Assessment Framework is based on a balanced scorecard, which allows organisations to get a rounded view of performance. The framework highlights a number of areas of performance, including patient/carer experience.

The framework is supported by a set of national NHS performance indicators. The indicators published in February 2002 included a number of measures of patient/carer experience, including an indicator of hospital cleanliness and information on the handling of complaints. We are currently developing indicators to reflect patients' views, based on comprehensive surveys, initially of acute in-patients, on food and other issues that are of importance to them.

Primary Care

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much investment in primary care facilities there has been since the publication of the NHS National Plan. [47018]

Mr. Hutton: Audited health authority finance returns for the years 1999 to 2001 show that a total of £661 million was spent on general medical services primary care premises in that period. Spend on premises used by personal medical services pilot providers is not identified in these returns.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the total savings to public funds of the Private Finance Initiative contract for the Fulbourn School of Nursing by comparison with a non-Private Finance Initiative alternative. [49545]

Mr. Hutton: The business case justifying the individual schemes estimating the net savings in present value terms (ie all future costs and benefits discounted to their present values) compared with publicly funding the scheme is shown in the table.

Net present costs of PSC v. PFI option

TrustsEastern regional office/Fulbourn
PFI (£000)14,449
Public (£000)20,254
Savings in net present value terms (£000)5,805
Difference (%)29

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Generic Drugs

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations his Department has received from (a) Generics UK, (b) Kent Pharmaceuticals, (c) Regent- GM Laboratories, (d) Goldshield Group, (e) Norton Healthcare and (f) Ranbaxy UK regarding generic drugs in the past five years; [50705]

Mr. Hutton: As part of routine business the Department meets with pharmaceutical industry trade associations and individual pharmaceutical companies including Generics UK Ltd., Kent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Regent-GM Laboratories Ltd., Goldshield Group Plc, Norton Healthcare Ltd. (a subsidiary of Ivax Corporation) and Ranbaxy (UK) Ltd. (a subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.) on a regular basis to discuss a range of issues including those relating to licence applications; product safety issues; leaflets and labelling and intellectual property.

In April 2000 the Government introduced a maximum price scheme for controlling the price of specified generic medicines. This was rolled forward in October 2001 and has resulted in annual savings in expenditure of generic medicines in the order of £330 million. In addition, in July 2001 the Department issued a consultation paper on proposals for NHS controls over the future supply and pricing of NHS generic medicines. In compliance with best practice these initiatives required that information and opinions be sought from those companies and organisations affected by the Department's initiatives. Accordingly officials met with and received representations from many interested parties, including Generics UK, Kent Pharmaceuticals, Regent-GM Laboratories, Norton Healthcare/Ivax and Ranbaxy UK.

Occupational Therapists

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many unfilled vacancies for occupational therapists there are in each health authority in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [52874]

Mr. Hutton: The number of occupational therapists employed in the NHS increased by 2,390 (20 per cent.) between 1997 and 2001.

The information requested is shown in the table.

Department of Health Vacancies Survey, March 2001—vacancies in NHS trusts by region and health authority areas(26), occupational therapists

Three month vacancy: Staff in post:
Rates (percentage)Numbers(wte)(hc)
Northern and Yorkshire4.6701,4301,640
Bradford HA7.510120140
County Durham and Darlington HA3.608090
East Riding and Hull HA6.710100110
Gateshead and South Tyneside HA5.7108090
Leeds HA5.010170200
Newcastle and North Tyneside HA2.20110120
North Cumbria HA6.306070
Northumberland HA6.91090110
Sunderland HA0.004040
Tees HA4.210140150
Wakefield HA7.510120130
North Yorkshire HA1.20160210
Calderdale and Kirklees HA2.50150170
Barnsley HA6.205050
North Derbyshire HA4.00100120
Southern Derbyshire HA0.70140170
Doncaster HA8.31090110
Leicestershire HA0.00210240
Lincolnshire HA4.6080100
North Nottinghamshire HA2.508090
Nottingham HA2.10210240
Rotherham HA6.610110120
Sheffield HA0.00150170
South Humber HA13.002020
West Midlands4.1501,0901,260
Birmingham HA2.710240270
Coventry HA5.306070
Dudley HA4.407080
Herefordshire HA0.704050
Sandwell HA4.105050
Shropshire HA3.00100120
Solihull HA(27)(27)(27)(27)
North Staffordshire HA5.510130150
South Staffordshire HA5.11090110
Walsall HA15.0104040
Warwickshire HA5.5080100
Wolverhampton HA4.807080
Worcestershire HA0.70120150
North West4.8801,4701,710
South Lancashire HA2.5070100
Liverpool HA0.007080
Manchester HA2.710130150
Morecambe Bay HA0.007090
St. Helens and Knowsley HA2.805050
Salford and Trafford HA0.70140160
Sefton HA4.407070
Stockport HA0.005070
West Pennine HA(28)(28)(28)(28)
Bury and Rochdale HA5.405060
North Cheshire HA2.7090100
South Cheshire HA1.0090130
East Lancashire HA4.810100120
North West Lancashire HA4.810150180
Wigan and Bolton HA3.710130150
Wirral HA1.00100120
Bedfordshire HA1.00100130
North Essex HA1.40210250
South Essex HA2.20130150
Suffolk HA0.00130160
East and North Hertfordshire HA4.205060
West Hertfordshire HA4.106080
Cambridgeshire HA5.610170200
Norfolk HA4.310210250
Hillingdon HA8.703030
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster HA2.80140150
Enfield and Haringey HA0.00120140
Redbridge and Waltham Forest HA7.710100110
Bexley and Greenwich HA10.71080100
Bromley HA9.202030
Croydon HA10.204040
Kingston and Richmond HA0.006080
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham HA10.330230250
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth HA4.910200240
Barking and Havering HA10.010110120
Barnet HA(27)(27)(27)(27)
Brent and Harrow HA12.9107080
Camden and Islington HA6.210150170
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow HA6.610190220
East London and The City HA8.220140150
South East3.9701,7902,190
Berkshire HA2.50120150
Buckinghamshire HA3.410170230
East Kent HA1.10170200
West Kent HA9.220160200
East Surrey HA2.40120140
West Surrey HA7.210170210
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove HA3.110170200
West Sussex HA5.310170210
Northamptonshire HA0.50100130
Oxfordshire HA5.210150180
North and Mid Hampshire HA0.907090
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire HA2.8090110
Southampton and South West Hampshire HA0.80120150
Isle of Wight HA16.402020
South West1.2201,2901,590
Somerset HA0.60100130
South and West Devon HA1.90160180
Wiltshire HA2.20130160
Avon HA2.610280360
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly HA0.0090110
Dorset HA0.20220270
North East and Devon HA0.60160200
Gloucestershire HA0.00150180
Special HAs3.40100100

(26) Vacancy and staff in post numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

(27) Figures where sum of staff in post and vacancies is less than 10.

(28) Figures where previously published, where the trusts have advised that the figures supplied were incorrect.


1. Three month vacancies are vacancies as at 31 March 2001 which trusts are actively trying to fill, which had lasted for three months or more (whole time equivalents).

2. Three month vacancy rates are three month vacancies expressed as a percentage of three month vacancies plus staff in post from the September 2000 medical and dental and non-medical work force censuses (whole time equivalent).

3. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

4. Totals may not equal sum of component parts due to rounding.

5. HA figures are based on trusts, and do not necessarily reflect the geographical provision of health care.

6. Due to the way vacancy data have been collected it has sometimes been necessary to provide combined vacancy data information for certain trusts.

7. Due to combined vacancy data being used and rounding calculating the vacancy rates using the above data may not equal the actual vacancy rates.

8. Figures may not match previously published data due to a different method of rounding used on the staff in post data.

9 May 2002 : Column 349W

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