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Notes and Coins: Decrease

Lord Sudeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The decrease in notes and coins as a proportion of the total money supply partly reflects the considerable innovation in the banking sector over the last 35 years which has allowed the velocity of circulation of notes and coins to increase.

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Reduced costs of transfer between interest bearing and non-interest bearing money mean that agents now wish to hold a smaller proportion of their assets in the latter form. Any attempt to reverse the trend would place a burden on consumers and firms alike, unnecessarily reducing the efficiency of financial intermediation.

Gross Domestic Product: Scottish Share

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was Scotland's percentage share of (a) the United Kingdom's; and (b) the British gross national product for each year from 1979 to date.[HL1992]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Selkirk of Douglas from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Mr. Tim Holt, dated 29 May 1998.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question on Scotland's share of UK and GB gross national product from 1979 to date.

Information on Scotland's share of (a) the United Kingdom's, and (b) Great Britain's gross domestic product from 1979 to 1996 is given in the attached table. Estimates of regional gross national product are not available.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Scotland's GDP as percentage of:
Great Britain(10)United Kingdom(10)
19799.08.8
19808.98.7
19819.18.9
19829.08.8
19839.18.9
19849.08.8
19858.98.7
19868.78.5
19878.78.5
19888.58.4
19898.58.3
19908.78.5
19918.88.6
19928.98.7
19938.98.7
19948.98.7
19959.08.8
19968.88.6

(10) Scotland as a percentage of UK and GB totals, which exclude GDP not allocated to any particular regions, e.g. the profits generated on the Continental Shelf.


Car Owning Households

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the percentage of households in Scotland owning a car for each year from 1979 to date.[HL1996]

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    What was the percentage of households in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland owning a car for each year from 1979 to date.[HL1997]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Selkirk of Douglas from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Mr. Tim Holt, dated 29 May 1998.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary questions on the percentage of households owning a car in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The attached table shows information from the Family Expenditure Survey for the period from 1979. The figures relate to those households owning or having continuous use of at least one car or van. The data are subject to sampling errors, so while general trends can be seen, care should be taken in interpreting short-term changes in the data.

Percentage of households with one or more cars or vans, 1978-97

EnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
1978-7958625251
1979-8060614952
1980-8162615154
1981-8262635454
1982-8363645254
1983-8463654955
1984-8563685258
1985-8664665359
1986-8764655158
1987-8866675362
1988-8967695560
1989-9068675763
1990-9169655865
199269635763
199370725866
1994-9570666363
1995-9670706467
1996-9770696360

Data for years 1978-79 to 1990-91 cover a period of two calendar years.

Data for years 1992 and 1993 relate to single calendar years.

Data for 1994-95 to 1996-97 relate to single financial years.

ONS, Family Expenditure Survey.


Imported Works of Art: VAT Rate

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What estimate they have made of the effect, in terms of diverting sales of international art from the United Kingdom to unregulated markets outside the European Union, of the European Commission's proposal to enforce VAT at 5 per cent. and to introduce droit de suite.[HL1950]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Goods imported into the UK normally bear VAT at the standard rate

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(17.5 per cent.). Under the terms of EC law implemented in the UK in 1995 certain works of art, antiques and collectors' pieces are eligible until 30 June 1999 for an effective rate of VAT at importation of 2.5 per cent. After that date the UK should increase the VAT rate to at least the normal minimum reduced rate of 5 per cent.

No official estimates have been made of the effect on the UK art market of increasing the rate of VAT on fine art imports to 5 per cent. The annual values of UK imports of works of art and antiques from non-EC countries show considerable quarterly fluctuations and have no discernible pattern. This hampers considerably the ability to identify trends or make forecasts.

The EC Commission, however, is committed to re-examining this year the effect of VAT on imported works of art, and other factors which may affect the competitiveness of the Community art markets. The UK will be actively involved in that review, and will ensure that the special position of the British art market is properly represented.

It is also impossible to be certain about the effects of introducing droit de suite into the UK. However, a study made by the Department of Trade and Industry estimates that if the sales of all works eligible for the right transferred abroad were lost to foreign markets, British dealers and auctioneers could lose fees of up to £68 million per annum and up to 5,000 jobs. If only non-EU originated trade was lost, the losses could amount to £17 million and 1,300 jobs.

Civil Servants: Non-Executive Directorships

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether civil servants are still allowed to become directors of companies in the private sector; if so, how many of them are such directors; whether any work in the Ministry of Defence; and whether they are allowed to conceal the fact from members of the public with whom they deal as civil servants.[HL1960]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Civil servants are allowed to become non-executive directors of companies with the approval of their department. It is the Government's policy to encourage Civil Service interchange with other sectors of the economy. The total number of non-executive directorships held by civil servants across all sectors of the economy was 118 in 1996-97, the latest year for which detailed figures are available. This figure includes two senior civil servants working for the Ministry of Defence who held non-executive appointments as part of the department's interchange programme. There is no specific requirement for civil servants to reveal to members of the public any non-executive directorships that they may hold. But they are required to seek the approval of their department for such appointments and to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

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Old Sarum Park and Ride Site

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they plan to fund the park and ride car park in the vicinity of Old Sarum which is proposed by Salisbury District Council; and, if so, what account they have taken of local objections.[HL2004]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): No specific funds have yet been allocated to this scheme but careful consideration will be given to any future bid for funding the Salisbury transport package received under the transport policies and programme bidding process. A public inquiry will be held on 9 June to hear objections to the draft compulsory purchase and site roads orders relating to the park and ride site.

Motorways: Ragwort Control

Lord Onslow of Woking asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action has been taken to prevent the spread of ragwort along the verges of motorways in England and Wales; and what has been done in the case of other trunk roads.[HL1927]

Baroness Hayman: The policy in England and Wales is to control ragwort in accordance with the code of practice for routine maintenance. However, in England, financial constraints in 1996 and 1997 meant that a more reactive policy in response to complaints was adopted. For this financial year, it is expected to move, once again, towards meeting the full requirements of the code. This code is used as a means of ensuring uniform standards and the right level of maintenance across the network for all managing agents.


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