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TEACHERS: The numbers of teachers taking early retirement each year in England and Wales nearly doubled from 10,103 in 1987-88 to 17,798 in 1993-94, Robin Squire, Under-Secretary of State for Education, told Stephen Byers, the Labour MP for Wallsend. The total cost in 1993-94 was pounds 236.7m, compared with pounds 148.6m five years previously.

PRIVATISATION: The total receipts from the sale of publicly-owned enterprises since 1979 are expected to be pounds 82.4bn at current prices by the end of this financial year, Sir George Young, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, told Alan Milburn (Lab, Darlington).

RED TAPE: The Prime Minister yesterday announced the setting up of a new ministerial committee to oversee the Government's initiative aimed at removing bureaucratic rules that are a burden on business. Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, would be chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Deregulation, Mr Major said. It would co- ordinate the programme and consider "how the burden of deregulation on businesses, charities and individuals can be kept to a minimum".

nBUSINESS TODAY - Commons: Education questions; Prime Minister's questions; Criminal Injuries Compensation Bill, Second Reading. Lords: Jobseekers Bill, Third Reading; Land Registers (Scotland) Bill, Second Reading; Prisoners (Amendment) Rules.

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