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Poultry

Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures are taken to ensure that poultry meat imported into the United Kingdom meets EU and United Kingdom rules and legislation; and what steps he will take to ensure fair competition in the UK poultry meat market. [46977]

Mr. Rooker: All fresh meat, including poultrymeat, imported into the UK, whether from other Member States or third countries, must have been produced in accordance with harmonised Community rules. These rules require all meat which is intended for sale for human consumption to fulfil the required public health standards. This means that it must be produced in EC approved establishments and, to signify this, must be stamped with a health mark before leaving the plant.

Ensuring that all Member States comply with their Community obligations in properly implementing and applying Community rules is the responsibility of the European Commission, whose Office of Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection carries out regular programmes of inspections visits to all Member States. The inspection, approval and monitoring of poultrymeat slaughterhouses in third countries are also the responsibility of the European Commission.

In addition, meat imported from third countries must be accompanied by agreed animal and public health certification which is issued at the plant of origin and must take place via approved Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) where they undergo veterinary checks to ensure that they comply with EU animal and public health legislation.

Livestock Support

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the levels of (a) suckler cow, (b) ewe premium and (c) HLCA payments for beef and sheep per animal in cash prices and at 1997 prices for each of the last five years and his proposals for 1998-99. [23484]

Mr. Rooker [pursuant to the reply, 8 June 1998, c. 455]: The information requested is set out in the following table. This has been updated in respect of payment rates for 1997 and, where possible, for 1998.

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 487

Payment rates (£ per head)--sheep annual premium scheme, suckler cow premium scheme, hill livestock compensatory allowances

199319941995199619971998(15)
Sheep annual premium:
including LFA supplement
Cash prices24.2122.2126.9519.0416.76n/a
1997 prices27.3224.2828.4719.6416.76n/a
excluding LFA supplement
Cash prices19.2516.9621.2613.6611.61n/a
1997 prices21.5518.5422.4614.0911.61n/a
Suckler cow premium:
including extensification premia
Cash prices93.90115.12143.04155.15(11)159.48(11)152.75
(12)146.52(12)140.34
1997 prices105.12125.83151.10160.03(11)159.48n/a
(12)146.52
excluding extensification premia
Cash prices65.7387.49114.43124.12117.36112.41
1997 prices73.5895.63120.88128.02117.36n/a
Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances:
SDA Beef Cow
Cash prices63.3047.5047.5047.50(13)97.5047.50
1997 Prices70.8651.9250.1848.9997.50n/a
DA Beef Cow
Cash prices31.6523.7523.7523.75(14)69.7523.75
1997 prices35.4325.9625.0924.5069.75n/a
SDA High Rate Ewe
Cash prices6.505.755.755.755.755.75
1997 prices7.286.286.075.935.75n/a
SDA Lower Rate Ewe
Cash prices3.603.003.003.003.003.00
1997 prices4.033.283.173.093.00n/a
DA Ewe Rate
Cash prices2.862.442.442.652.652.65
1997 prices3.202.672.582.732.65n/a

(11) Where stocking density is less than 1 livestock unit (LU) per hectare

(12) Where stocking density is 1 LU/ha or more, but less than 1.4 LU/ha

(13) Includes Beef special aid of £50.00

(14) Includes Beef special aid of £46.00

(15) 1997 cash prices for 1998 are not available. 1997 is the latest full year for which RPI figures are available

Note:

LFA = Less Favoured Area

SDA = Severely Disadvantaged Area

DA = Disadvantaged Area


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23 Jun 1998 : Column: 489

HEALTH

Young Carers

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of the implementation of the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 on young carers; and what estimate he has made of the number of assessments made of young carers under the Act. [46572]

Mr. Boateng: We continue to monitor the implementation of the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act, through commissioned research and as part of the social services inspection programme. Estimates of the number of young carers' assessments under the Act are not available.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if support for young carers will be included in the national strategy for carers. [46568]

Mr. Boateng: The national strategy will be concerned with all carers. We take a close and active interest in the needs of children and young people who undertake responsibility for the well-being of a relative or friend with a disability or chronic illness.

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 490

Newspaper Rounds

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what effect EC Directive 94/33 will have on the employment of young people in the home delivery of newspapers. [46983]

Mr. Boateng: None.

Nurses Day

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what initiatives the Government took to promote the UN International Nurses Day on 12 May. [47220]

Mr. Milburn: We were involved in a number of initiatives to promote the United Nations International Nurses Day on 12 May, and during that week.

The Chief Nursing Officer for England, Mrs. Yvonne Moores, attended and supported the international gathering of global senior nurses at the 51st World Health Assembly in Geneva, organised by the International Council of Nurses on International Nurses Day.

To mark International Nurses Day, and the United Kingdom Presidency of the European Union, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, supported by her UK Chief Nursing Officer colleagues, hosted a "masterclass" for European Union Government Chief Nurses, in London

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 491

from the evening of 12 May to 14 May. The "masterclass" aimed to debate the nursing, midwifery and health visiting contribution to public health. The keynote address to the conference was given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Public Health. Other invited speakers included senior nurses and others from the World Health Organisation, the EU, the Commission and senior nurse colleagues from member states. A report of the "masterclass" is being prepared.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Chief Nursing Officers for England, Scotland and Ireland, with many of the European Chief Nurses, attended the Florence Nightingale memorial service in Westminster Abbey on 14 May.

Departmental Cash Limits

Ms Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what changes will be made to the cash limits of his Department in 1998-99. [47439]

Mr. Dobson: Subject to Parliamentary approval, the cash limit for Class XI, Vote 1 (Hospital, community health, family health and related services, England) will be increased by £6,600,000 (from £31,385,613,000 to £31,392,213,000). This allows for a transfer of £6,600,000 from Class IX, Vote 1 (Department for Education and Employment: programmes and central services) to reflect the initial transfer of funding responsibilities for students in health care professions.

The cash limit for Class XI, Vote 2 (Department of Health, administration, miscellaneous health and personal social services, England) will be reduced by £1,130,000 (£75,000 running costs), from £1,097,507,000 to £1,096,377,000. This reduction allows for the transfer of responsibility for childcare and early years policy to Class IX, Vote 1 (Department for Education and Employment: programmes and central services) as announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 27 March 1998, Official Report, column 296.

The Department's gross running cost limit will be increased by £4,425,000 from £258,490,000 to £262,915,000 for additional work being carried out by the National Health Service Pensions Agency on missold pensions (£4,500,000) less part of the transfer mentioned above.

All increases will be offset by savings, increased receipts or transfers to or from other Votes and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.


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