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ARMS EXPORT LICENCE REFUSALS

Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Earl Ferrers): Export licence applications for arms may be refused for a number of reasons and this question could only be answered at disproportionate cost. The Annual Report of the Export Control Organisation will however be available shortly and will give some details of licences refused by destination and

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classification of goods. A copy of that report will be placed in the Library of the House and I will also arrange for the noble Lord to receive a personal copy.

TICKET RESALE: REGULATIONS

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they propose to take to prevent consumers from being misled when they buy tickets for the theatre and other forms of entertainment.

Earl Ferrers: Following public consultation, I have today made the Price Indications (Resale of Tickets) Regulations 1994. Under the regulations those who resell tickets will have to disclose specified information about a ticket before making a sale. This will include any original price printed on the ticket and known information about the rights which it confers, such as the location and quality of the seat or space. The regulations will come into force on 20 February 1995.

A compliance cost assessment, which was prepared by my department, concluded that this significant improvement in consumer protection will impose little, if any, additional costs on traders. Copies of the compliance cost assessment have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

HMSO COMMERCIALISATION STUDY

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the HMSO Review (Commercialisation Study) carried out by Binder Hamlyn Consultants.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): No, because it is classified commercial in confidence.

BBC: COMMERCIAL SATELLITE SERVICES

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps have been taken in respect of the BBC's plans to launch two commercial satellite television services in Europe.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): We welcome the BBC's plans to launch these two services, in partnership with Pearson plc. These plans are fully in line with the proposal in our White Paper on the future of the BBC that the BBC should exploit international commercial opportunities in co-operation with private sector partners.

Following consultation with the Independent Television Commission (ITC), my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has today laid before Parliament an order under Section 13(2) of the Broadcasting Act 1990 providing that the services may legally be provided without a licence from the ITC.

My right honourable friend has also placed in the House Libraries copies of an Approval under clause 3(u)

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of the BBC's Royal Charter, approving the setting up of the two companies involved in the provision of the services. The Approval includes conditions requiring the BBC to operate the ventures on a clear arm's length accounting basis from its public services, and on the basis that the services are for reception in mainland Europe, not in the United Kingdom. The Approval also ensures that programmes on the two services will be subject to broadly the same regulatory regime as other commercial non-domestic satellite services, and will comply with the relevant ITC codes. The BBC is required to report on its compliance with the terms of the Approval in its Annual Report which will be laid before both Houses.

NHS: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they accept the recommendations of the report of the NHS Research and Development Task Force chaired by Professor Anthony Culyer.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Since Professor Culyer's report Supporting Research and Development in the NHS was published on 14 September, we have had valuable discussions about it with the academic and research communities and beyond. The broad thrust of the report has been welcomed.

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health has now decided to introduce a new system of funding and supporting research, based largely on the report's proposals, to come into effect from 1996-97. The key points are:

The introduction of a "single funding system" for NHS research and development, service support for R&D and research facilities.

The intention to raise R&D funds by a levy on purchasers of health care.

Changes in the advisory structure for R&D, including revised terms of reference and membership for the Central NHS R&D Committee (CRDC). The CRDC will have a new role advising the NHS how to invest its R&D funds.

The creation of a new National Forum to bring together the major health-related research funders to provide advice for the NHS and the Government.

We are also announcing today that an extra £8 million will be available in 1995-96 for research commissioned by the NHS.

The intention is to set a framework for funding and supporting research in the NHS for the long term and provide a clear focus for future discussions about the detail of implementation.

These decisions follow our recent announcement of £40 million increase for 1995-96 in the ear-marked funds dedicated to meeting the NHS costs of medical and dental education and research. Together they

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underline the Government's strong commitment to the NHS research base and using it to develop further a knowledge-based service.

A note giving further details of the new funding system has been placed in the Library.

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION

Lord Elton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of the recommendations made by the NHS Research and Development Task Force chaired by Professor Culyer how they will ensure the NHS continues to support undergraduate medical education.

Baroness Cumberlege: My honourable friend the Minister for Health has asked Dr. Graham Winyard, National Health Service Executive Health Care Director, to chair an advisory group to make recommendations by March 1995 on future arrangements for allocating funds and contracting for NHS service support and facilities for teaching medical undergraduates. The aim is for the new arrangements to take effect, after appropriate consultation, in April 1996.

Membership of the advisory group will be drawn from a range of interests in the NHS and in education. A copy of the terms of reference will be placed in the Library.

WELSH HEALTH COMMON SERVICES AUTHORITY

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Secretary of State for Wales has, to date, declined to meet UNISON concerning the future if the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, and whether he intends to do so at a future date.

Lord Lucas: The Welsh Health Common Services Authority is implementing the Secretary of State's decision on its future activities as announced in the House of Commons by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales on 21 April 1994. The authority will ensure that staff are fully consulted and any concerns passed to the Secretary of State. At this stage, the Secretary of State sees no need to meet UNISON. It is a matter for WHCSA, as the employer, to consult its staff, and it is doing so.

JOBSEEKERS BILL: SAVINGS ESTIMATES

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the estimates of savings in the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum of the Jobseekers Bill were arrived at.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The information for the measures relating to Jobseeker's Allowance is in the table. Estimates do not take account of tax or behavioural effects.

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Policy measure Benefit expenditure effect in 1996-97 £ million Benefit expenditure effect in 1997-98 £ million
Contributory entitlement six months -70 -180
No adult dependency increases in contributory benefit -10 -20
Unified rates of benefit: effect on 18-24 year old claimants -20 -30
Treatment of income from occupational and personal pensions -10 -10
Waiting days in income-based JSA -40 -40
Anti-fraud measures -10 -10
Benefit sanctions -10 -10
Treatment of earnings: changes in disregards and in partners' hours rule +20 +20
Net effect -140 -270

In addition, on the same underlying assumptions and without accounting for behavioural effects, the measures relating to the Back To Work Bonus bring an estimated increase in benefit expenditure of around £20 million in 1996-97 and around £50 million in 1997-98. However, as observed in the Memorandum, the introduction of the Back To Work Bonus is likely to be broadly cost-neutral when behavioural effects are taken into account. The measures relating to the National Insurance contribution rebate are expected to reduce employers' National Insurance costs by about £45 million in each of 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Notes relating to the table:

1. Assumes 2.4 million unemployed; 500,000 Unemployment Benefit cases; inflow into claimant unemployment of 3.8 million.

2. All estimates rounded to nearest £10 million.

3. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

4. Estimates in cash prices.

5. Benefit sanction estimates are net of hardship payments.

6. Estimates are net of any effects in other benefits.

7. Based on 1993 Annual Statistical Enquiry, 1993 and 1994 Unemployment Benefit Statistics, 1993-94 Adjudication Officer statistics and the Policy Simulation Model using 1990/91/92 family expenditure data.

8. The estimated effects relating to Adult Dependency Increases unified rates assume contributory entitlement lasts six months.

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