HC Deb 10 December 1986 vol 107 c203W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Lord Privy Seal, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 5 December, what information on telephone calls from hon. Members offices in the Palace of Westminster is logged.

Mr. Biffen

The logging equipment stores the date and time of each call made from a given extension on telephones connected to the Palace of Westminster telephone exchange. It also stores the number dialled, the duration of the call, and its cost. As I made clear in the reply to which the hon. Gentleman refers, there are no facilities for recording telephone conversations.

Details of international calls, which must be routed through the Palace of Westminster operators, are not covered by the logging equipment.

Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Lord Privy Seal, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby on 5 December, who has access to the logged information on telephone calls in the Palace of Westminster; and who gives access to it.

Mr. Biffen

Within the Staff of the Palace of Westminster, only the Communications Manager and her Deputy have access. In addition, the managing director and four senior staff of the firm which supplied the logging equipment have access for engineering reasons.

The Serjeant at Arms and his Deputy exercise very close control over the accessing of the information stored by the equipment.

Estimated number of total earned incomes received by persons aged less than 65 by range of income: 1986–87 (Thousands)
Range of Total Earned Income (lower limit) Single Persons Married Couples without Wife's Earned Income Married Couples with Wife's Earned Income
£3,000 768 89 58
£4,000 956 120 55
£5,000 985 186 65
£6,000 845 252 89
£7,000 775 232 123
£8,000 554 334 200
£9,000 531 391 273
£10,000 523 651 653
£12,000 327 616 1,105
£15,000 190 377 1,132
£20,000 88 234 830
Total 6,544 3,481 4,582

The Government Actuary's Department estimates that for 1986–87: (1) £13.1 billion will be due from employers and £11.75 billion from employees for class 1 national insurance contributions taking account of the reduced rates for those in contracted out employment. If the upper earnings limit were abolished, an extra £0.8 billion would be due from employees, assuming that the contracted out rebate continued to apply only to earnings between the lower and present upper earnings limits. It is not possible to break down estimated contributions liability by the groups in the table.