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9 Feb 1995 : Column WA15

Written Answers

Thursday 9th February 1995

Meat and Livestock Commission: Consumer Representation

Lord Gallacher asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether it is proposed to retain a member representing the interests of consumers on the Meat and Livestock Commission and, if so, what will be the future consumer point of contact for such member in view of the decision by Her Majesty's Government's Agricultural Departments to remove the statutory requirement for a Consumers' Committee.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): A member of the Meat and Livestock Commission is appointed from a consumer background and we have no plans to change that current arrangement. The Consumers' Committee is the sole remaining statutory committee of the three set up by the Agriculture Act in 1967. The Meat and Livestock Commission may continue with a non-statutory consumers' committee if it so wishes but we believe that the MLC itself is best equipped to consult, and take account of, consumer interests.

AIDS and HIV: Clinical Definition

Lord Kilmarnock asked Her Majesty's Government: What are the current clinical definitions of HIV and AIDS; and how often have they been changed over the past 10 years.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The clinical definition of AIDS is evidence of HIV infection and the diagnosis of one or more of a list of AIDS indicator diseases. A list of these indicator diseases is given in the AIDS Surveillance and HIV Death Clinical Report, copies of which are available in the Library. The list of indicator diseases was amended in 1987 and 1993.

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Mental Health Act 1983, s.12(2): Training Package

Lord Mottistone asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether the training package for doctors seeking approval under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983, which has been under discussion with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has now been completed and, if so, when will it be published.

Baroness Cumberlege: This exercise has taken longer to complete than we anticipated. Producing a high quality training package for doctors seeking approval under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 has proved to be a complex task requiring careful handling. We are meeting the college shortly to determine how the work can most quickly be completed.

Murders: Use of Firearms

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government: In how many convictions for murder in 1993 was a firearm the weapon used; what percentage of all murder convictions in the same year this represents; and whether there has been an upward trend in the number of such murders in recent years.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The available information relates to convictions for homicides recorded during 1993 and takes into account court proceedings completed by 5 August 1994.

By 5 August 1994, 13 suspects had been convicted of murder arising from offences of homicide initially recorded during 1993 in which the apparent method of killing was shooting. This represents 10 per cent. of all suspects convicted of murder arising from offences of homicide initially recorded during 1993.

On 5 August 1994, court proceedings were pending for 26 offences of homicide in which the apparent method of killing was shooting.

There is no evidence of an increase in recent years in the number of homicides where the apparent method of killing was shooting. The following figures show that in the period 1984–1988, there were on average 54.4 initially recorded homicides each year in which the apparent method of killing was shooting, compared with 54.0 during 1989–1993.

Currently recorded homicide involving shooting Suspects found guilty of murder involving shooting Suspects found guilty of murder involving shooting as a per cent. of all suspects found guilty of murder
1984 61 25 15
1985 44 16 10
1986 47 17 8
1987 78 26 12
1988 42 12 6
1989 38 13 7
1990 58 26 14
1991 50 16 8
1992 52 14 7
1993 72 13 10

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Pay Review Bodies: Reports

Viscount Whitelaw asked Her Majesty's Government: What is their response to the Review Body reports.

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne): The 1995 reports of the Review Bodies on the pay of school teachers, senior civil servants, the senior military, the judiciary, the armed forces, doctors and dentists, nursing staff, midwives, health visitors and the professions allied to medicine have now been published. Copies are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library of the House. The Government are grateful to the members of the Review Bodies for the time and care which they have put into the preparation of the reports.

The Government's policy is that increases in pay must be fully met from existing budgets. Pay increases for public sector staff therefore have to be paid for by greater efficiency or by other economies. This position was reaffirmed in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement on public sector pay on 14 September 1994, and in the Government's evidence to the Review Bodies. It is fundamental to the Government's response to their recommendations.

The Review Bodies have made the following recommendations:

    The Armed Forces Pay Review body has recommended a range of increases in daily rates of between 2.5 and 2.9 per cent., averaging 2.6 per cent., for the various ranks in its remit group.

    The Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine has recommended a 1.0 per cent. increase in national salary rates to be supplemented by local negotiations on pay and, where appropriate, leads and allowances and/or conditions. The Review Body has said it expects that, in the majority of cases, the outcome of local negotiations would provide improvements for the staff concerned totalling between 1.5 and 3 per cent., including 1 per cent. increase in national rates.

    The Doctors and Dentists Review Body has recommended pay increases of 2.5 per cent. generally for members of its remit group, and 3 per cent. in the intended average net remuneration of general medical practitioners. It has recommended that trusts able to conclude local agreements with the profession should proceed accordingly. It also recommends an alternative system of transitional local pay for hospital consultants accepting a divergence from the nationally determined scale subject to a maximum increase of 5 per cent. in consultants' average salary in each trust.

    The School Teachers Review Body has recommended a 2.7 per cent. increase in teachers' pay.

    The Senior Salaries Review Body has recommended:

i. an increase of 2.5 per cent. in the budget for performance-related pay for civil servants in

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Grades 2 and 3 and increases in the relevant pay ranges ii. a new pay range for Permanent Secretaries to replace the existing system of spot rates with pay decisions to be made on the basis of advice from a new remuneration committee iii. a range of increases between 2.5 and 3.8 per cent. averaging 3.2 per cent. in the pay of senior Armed Forces officers. iv. a 2.5 per cent. increase in the pay of the judiciary.

The Government have taken their decisions on these recommendations on the basis of their approach to public sector pay. They accept the recommendations and propose to implement them from the due date of 1 April. The costs will be met from the public expenditure totals published at Budget time. There will be no new money to finance these pay increases, and for the third year running there will be no call on the Reserve.

The Government in particular welcome and support the recommendations of the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine for the development of local pay determination for members of its remit groups. Negotiations with the staff sides at national level need to be concluded quickly to facilitate additional local payments. The Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body has reaffirmed its support for moves towards local pay determination and negotiations are being held with the professions on changes to the distinction awards scheme for consultants which should lead to much greater local involvement. The Review Body has advocated brisk progress and both sides expect these negotiations to be concluded in the next few months.

I am announcing separately the arrangements for determining the pay of individual Permanent Secretaries.

Summary of Main Pay Recommendations

Main pay increase Paybill costs(70895.3")
Per cent. £ million Per cent.
DDRB (Doctors and Dentists) (70895.4")2.5–3.0 144 2.9
NAPRB (Nurses and Allied Professions)
—Nurses and Midwives (70895.5")1.5–3.0 117–234 1.5–3.0
—PAMs (70895.5")1.5–3.0 15–31 1.5–3.0
—All NAPRB groups (70895.5")1.5–3.0 132-165 1.5–3.0
SSRB (Senior Civil Service, Military and Judiciary)
—CS Grades 2–3 (70895.6")— 1.2 2.5
—Senior Military 2.5–3.8 0.4 3.2
—Judiciary 2.5 3.9 2.8
—All SSRB groups 5.5 2.7
AFPRB (Armed Forces)(70895.7") 2.5–2.9 140 2.6
STRB (School Teachers) 2.7 294 2.7

Notes to table

(1895.3") Paybill costings include employers' national insurance and superannuation payments.

(2895.4") Plus up to 2.5 per cent. on average salaries for consultants under transitional local pay arrangements.

(3895.5") Comprising 1 per cent. on national pay scales and the NPRB estimate of additional amounts likely to result from local pay negotiations.

(4895.6") No across-the-board increase. 2.5 per cent. to be paid through the performance pay budget.

(5895.7") increases on daily rates.

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