§ Mr. Peter Atkinson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the expenses and allowances paid to parties and witnesses appearing before industrial tribunals. 
Mr. John M. Taylor
Parties, witnesses and some unpaid representatives appearing before industrial tribunals may claim certain expenses and allowances. These have been reviewed recently by my Department. With effect from 1 April 1997, the following may be paid: travel expenses in excess of £5, including the costs of travel by public transport-standard class-or, if a private motor vehicle is used, a mileage allowance of 15p per mile; loss of earnings-or national insurance benefit which would otherwise be payable-subject to a maximum of £40 per day; an overnight allowance of £64.30 (inner London) or £54.30 (elsewhere) to meet hotel and other costs where a night's absence is unavoidable; and other reasonable expenses, subject to certain limits. Such expenses include interpreters' fees, essential child care costs and expenses incurred in securing locum cover.
The daily subsistence allowance presently paid to those absent from home for more than five hours is being withdrawn. The Government do not believe the continued payment of such allowances to those involved in essentially private law disputes is justified.