§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will use his powers under the Local Government Finance Act to stop access to the community charge register by debt collectors and mail order companies; and how he intends to protect the privacy of an individual when the register is available for public inspection for purposes not connected to the community charge.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The community charge register will not be available for public inspection. An extract of the register showing addresses, initials and surnames will be available for public inspection, but regulations will prohibit registration officers from supplying or selling copies to anyone. No one will have the right to take copies from the extract.
§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which student nurses will pay 20 per cent. of the community charge.
§ Mr. Gummer
On 23 May, the Government announced major changes in nurse training, to be introduced over a number of years, including a substantial reduction in the time spent by student nurses working during their training, and giving them non-taxable bursaries rather than salaries. The Government made clear, during the passage of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, that student nurses training under the new arrangements would pay only 20 per cent. of the personal community charge, like other full-time students. The Government also said that they would consider further the position of student nurses who continue to be trained under the existing arrangements and are paid salaries. They have decided that the definition of "full-time student" for community charge purposes should not be widened to include such nurses, whose average earnings this year are between £5,400 and £6,200.