HC Deb 29 March 1999 vol 328 cc520-1W
Mr. John M. Taylor

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been derived by the Exchequer, since 1990, from the sale of(a) micro-film and other copies of United Kingdom 1841/1851 to 1991 decennial population census enumerators' books and (b) certified copies of 19th and 20th century United Kingdom birth, marriage and death certificates. [78275]

Ms Hewitt

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. John M. Taylor, dated 29 March 1999: As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on revenue derived from the sale of census books and birth, marriage and death certificates. The Census Returns from 1901 and 1911 are closed to the public by virtue of Instrument 12 dated 1966 of the Public Records Act 1958. Censuses from 1921 onwards were taken under the terms of the 1920 Census Act as amended by the Census (Confidentiality) Act 1991 which gives protection to personal census information given by the public. Accordingly, there have been no sales of microfilm, or other copies, of the census enumerators' books from the Censuses for 1901–1991. Records from the 1841–1891 Censuses are open to the public and are in the custody of the Public Record Office. Disaggregated sales information from the Public Record Office Copy Service, in the form requested, is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Public Expenditure and Receipts Act 1968 requires that the costs of the service provided must be recovered by the fees levied. Each year the Economic Secretary to the Treasury conducts a review of the fees prescribed by the Registration Acts, including certificate fees, in order to advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the need to exercise his powers under the 1968 Act to make an order amending those fees. Revenue relating to certificate income is as follows:

Year £ million
1991/92 2.9
1992/93 3.2
1993/94 3.6
1994/95 4.0
1995/96 3.9
1996/97 4.4
1997/98 4.8
Information relating to earlier years could only be obtained at.