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Children and Vulnerable Adults

Mr. Rowe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he intends to implement Part V of the Police Act 1997; [18998]

Mr. Michael: We are reviewing the provisions of Part V of the Police Act 1997 in the light of our top priority in this area which is the protection of children and vulnerable adults. As we promised when the provisions of Part V of the Act were debated in the House, we will consult voluntary organisations before reaching a decision.

Criminal Injury Compensation

Mr. Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the four-year limit for claiming criminal injury compensation. [19342]

Mr. Michael: The time limit for submitting claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which administers the new, tariff-based compensation scheme introduced on 1 April 1996, is two years. The operation of the scheme as a whole is monitored on a continuing basis, but there are no plans to make any changes until the findings of the current comprehensive spending review have been considered.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Parades and Marches

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 14 November 1997, Official Report, column 693, concerning compensation claims arising from disturbances during July, what is the time scale for the completion and payment of the outstanding (a) criminal injury and (b) criminal damage claims. [18197]

Mr. Ingram: Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Compensation Agency under its chief executive, Mr. D. A. Stanley. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Mr. D. A. Stanley to Mr. Eddie McGrady, dated 2 December 1997:



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Down District Council (Employees)

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make a statement on the perceived religious denomination of employees of Down District Council. [18711]

Mr. Ingram: In common with all other specified Public Authorities, Down District Council is required to monitor the religious composition of its work force on an annual basis. The latest available monitoring information is contained in the FEC's Seventh Annual Monitoring Report which was published in March 1997. That document shows that the composition in 1996 was:

NumberPer cent.
Protestant7028
Roman Catholic18072
Other7--
Total257

Mr. Andy Wood

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the financial settlement given to Mr. Andy Wood following his removal as head of the Northern Ireland Information Service. [18665]

Marjorie Mowlam: Mr. Wood remains a Civil Servant. The financial arrangements between the Department and Mr. Wood are a private matter for them.

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what duties Mr. Andy Wood, former head of the Northern Ireland Information Service, is carrying out on behalf of (a) the Northern Ireland Office; and (b) the Home Office; what is the nature of the work; and how long he is expected to be employed. [18664]

Marjorie Mowlam: Mr. Wood is conducting a joint Home Office/Northern Ireland Office project concerning the handling of the media during major incidents. It is expected that he will conclude the project during the first half of 1998.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Departmental Staff

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) special advisers, (b) task force members and (c) review body members her Department employs; what is the total salary and benefits of (a) to (c); and what was the equivalent cost prior to 1 May. [19315]

Clare Short: My Department has employed two special advisers since 1 May 1997. Their combined annual salary totals £53,592. They have claimed no other benefits. Prior to 1 May, DFID was not a Cabinet Department and had no special advisers.

No task force members or review body members have been employed since 1 May 1997, or in the period immediately before that, other than staff carrying out policy and management review functions as part of their

5 Dec 1997 : Column: 365

continuing work. Members of the business community and other figures in public life have contributed to the work of my Department without charge.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Ministerial Responsibilities

Sir Alastair Goodlad: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which Minister in her Department is responsible for liaising with the Department for International Development on WTO matters. [18946]

Mrs. Beckett: I refer the right hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr. Paterson) on 27 November 1997, Official Report, columns 646-47. Responsibility for WTO matters falls to my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade.

Ministerial Announcements

Mr. Webb: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many ministerial announcements have not been made in the first instance to the House; and of those how many were (a) speeches to outside bodies, (b) press releases, (c) press briefings and (d) made by other means, since 1 May; and if she will make a statement about her Department's policy in respect of making public ministerial announcements. [18901]

Mrs. Beckett [holding answer 3 December 1997]: Since 1 May, my Department has made 455 announcements by press release, including a number relating to public speeches. All major announcements are made to Parliament first when it is sitting, excluding certain market-sensitive decisions. Recent announcements include the extension of the fossil fuel levy to imported electricity, the review to modernise partnership law and the Bill to introduce the National Minimum Wage. Press briefings are usually held to give further explanation to announcements, after they have been made public.

TREASURY

Euro (Information Campaigns)

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums he is seeking from the European Union to finance information campaigns about the euro; and what plans he has for expenditure of such sums. [19205]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 4 December 1997]: The Government has applied to the European Commission for financial assistance towards the cost of producing and

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distributing the Treasury's business guide "Practical Information for Business". The European Commission has approved the request in principle.

The Government is currently engaged in a dialogue with the European Commission on future financial assistance to help inform business and the wider public about preparation for EMU.

Resource Accounting

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the Government's estimate of the number of additional (a) accountants and (b) other staff who will need to be employed by central government as a result of the switch to resource accounting and budgeting. [19157]

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: The move to resource accounting and budgeting will mean that there is a greater need for skills in finance and accountancy throughout government departments, and at all levels. It is for individual departments to decide on how best to meet this need, whether through development, training or recruitment. There are no central estimates of the amount of additional staff, if any, who will be employed as part of this process.

Productivity

Mr. Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his oral statement of 25 November 1997, Official Report, column 773, what was the source document of his statement that United Kingdom's productivity today is 20 per cent. less than that of the United Kingdom's main competitors. [18543]

Mrs. Liddell: The Chancellor's statement that UK productivity is some 20 per cent. below our main competitors was based on OECD sources. Figures on productivity levels can be found in "Labour productivity comparisons in selected OECD countries", published by the OECD, June 1996. Further information can be derived from OECD Economic Outlook, June 1997 and OECD Employment Outlook, July 1997.


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