Politics: Questions and Answers

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University student-staff ratio rises

THE RATIO of students to staff in universities was 16.6 in 1995-96, compared to 16.5 in 1994-95, according to Kim Howells, the education minister.

Increase in education funding

ALISTAIR DARLING, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Francis Maude (Con, Horsham) that between 1979-80 and 1997-98 there was a 1.6 per cent increase in real terms of public spending on education.

Mouse-eared bat an extinct species

THERE IS only one confirmed extinction of a species within the UK during the past 10 years - the Greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), which has been extinct since 1990, the environment minister Angela Eagle told Nigel Jones (Lib Dem, Cheltenham.)

Department of Health cost limits

FRANK DOBSON, the Secretary of State for Health, said that the cash limit for hospital, community health, and related services will increase by pounds 6.6m to pounds 31,392,213,000. The cash limit for the Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal social services will be reduced by pounds 1.13m to pounds 1,096,377,000. This reduction will allow for the transfer of responsibility of childcare and early years policy. The department's gross running cost limit will be increased by pounds 4.4m to pounds 262,915,000 to allow for additional work being carried out by the NHS pensions agency on missold pensions, he told Helen Southworth (Lab, Warrington South.)