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London Stock Exchange Merger

Mr. Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the proposed merger of the London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Borse; and if he will make a statement. [121671]

Miss Melanie Johnson: None. The terms of the proposed merger are a matter for the parties involved, subject to their securing the necessary approval of the relevant regulatory and competition authorities.

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Investment Services Directive

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultation the Government have had on the proposed reform of the Investment Services Directive. [121669]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The European Commission's Communication "Implementing the Framework for Financial Markets: Action Plan" (COM(1999)232) includes a proposal for a Commission Green Paper on upgrading the Investment Services Directive.

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Court Service

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what are the key performance targets for the Court Service Executive Agency for 2000-01. [122147]

Jane Kennedy: The table sets out the key performance targets that the Lord Chancellor has set for the Court Service for 2000-01.

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Performance indicatorTarget 2000-01
KPI 1The quality of service provided to court users85 per cent.
KPI 2The percentage of administrative work in the civil courts processed within target time94 per cent.
KPI 3The percentage of Crown Court cases that commence within target78 per cent.
KPI 4Average waiting time for asylum appeals from receipt at the Immigration Appellate Authority to promulgation of the Adjudicator's decision16 weeks
KPI 5The percentage of the cost of the civil courts recovered through fees94 per cent.

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Community Legal Service

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department for what reason at the launch of the new Community Legal Service an actress was used to portray the legal needs of poor women on video. [121673]

Mr. Lock: Actors were used to preserve client confidentiality because the video illustrated real case histories provided by advice workers. It was made clear, at the time of the launch, that actors were used when the video was introduced in order to illustrate and explain these issues.

Family Law

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the timetable for the Government's response to the recommendations of the Advisory Board on Family Law Children Act Sub-Committee on (a) good practice guidelines for courts in relation to parental contact in cases where there is domestic violence and (b) training for the Court Welfare Service and the judiciary in understanding the effects of domestic violence on children and parents. [121317]

Jane Kennedy: The Lord Chancellor welcomes the Report on Contact between Children and Violent Parents from the Children Act Sub-Committee of the Advisory Board on Family Law. He agreed to make the report available in draft to the Court of Appeal so that it could consider the proposed guidelines in four appeals on this subject which were heard in March and on which judgment has been reserved. Once judgment in those cases has been given, the Lord Chancellor will consider with the President of the Family Division what further action may be necessary. The Family Court Welfare Service is currently the responsibility of the Home Office but I understand that induction for family court welfare officers addresses the issue of domestic violence. As part of the development of the new Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS), which will fall within the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor's Department, current training arrangements are being

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reviewed, with a view to identifying developments and improvements for the new service. Judicial training is the responsibility of the Judicial Studies Board which already provides core training on domestic violence.


Ministerial Speech

(Association of British Insurers)

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will place in the Library a copy of his recent speech to the Association of British Insurers. [121526]

Mr. Darling: My remarks to the annual dinner of the Association of British Insurers were not delivered from a prepared text.

Stakeholder Pensions

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if stakeholder pensions are intended for (a) moderate and high earners and (b) low earners. [121527]

Mr. Darling: The Pensions Green Paper "A new contract for welfare: partnership in pensions", published in December 1998, set out that stakeholder pension schemes will be open to everyone.

Stakeholder pensions are primarily intended for moderate earners--those earning between about £10,000 and £20,000 a year--but many higher earners will also be able to take advantage of the lower charges, greater flexibility, and simpler tax regime which stakeholder pension schemes will introduce.

The Green Paper also describes our proposals to introduce the State Second Pension. This will specifically benefit low earners on incomes of less than £10,000 a year.

IT Procurement

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list each item of IT procurement with a value over £10,000 agreed with Electronic Data Systems

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by his Department since 1 May 1997; when each contact was agreed; when the delivery began; when the system became fully operational; and if the system is still in use. [121622]

Angela Eagle: I refer my right hon. Friend to the written answers provided by the Chief Executive of the Child Support Agency, Faith Boardman on 5 May 2000, Official Report, columns 253-54W, and the former Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, Peter Mathison on 18 April 2000, Official Report, columns 551-52W. These replies set out the current departmental position on IT procurements agreed with EDS since 1 May 1997.

ONE Service

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what percentage of the women who have used the single work-focused gateway were (a) single mothers, (b) married, (c) widows and (d) carers; and what steps have been taken to ensure that staff who operate this service are trained to give the proper advice to each category of women; [121099]

Angela Eagle: Currently, the information we collect from the ONE pilot offices is not broken down by gender or marital status.

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Currently, the information we collect is not broken down by gender. Neither is information on marital status collected.

However, in the first seven months, the basic model ONE service was used over 72,000 times to make a claim to benefit. Over 60,000 of these were claims for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). Of the non-JSA claims, around 22 per cent. were claims for Income Support for lone parents, and around 8 per cent. were claims for other benefits including Widows' Benefit and Invalid Care Allowance.

ONE Personal Advisers receive individual tailored training through the ONE Learning Assessment Framework which has been specifically designed to match training provision with the individual training needs of staff. The Framework will be used by staff to review their learning needs and assess their competence development, which will provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to deal professionally with all ONE clients, including lone parents, widows and carers.

State Pension

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Poplar and Canning Town of 11 April 2000, Official Report, column 144W, on the state pension, what assumptions underlay his answer regarding future rates of increase in prices and earnings and increases in take-up of income support. [121194]

Mr. Rooker: The information is in the table.

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April 1998April 1999April 2000April 2001
Price uprating of RP (based on previous September RPI)
Earnings uprating of RP (based on previous September AEI)
Earnings uprating of the MIG (based on three months to previous July AEI)----4.64.9


1. The minimum income guarantee (MIG) is uprated by average earnings index (AEI), based on an average of three months to July of the previous year. Actual AEI used for April 2000 uprating and an assumption for 2001 uprating. It is assumed that the take-up rate of the MIG remains broadly constant. Therefore any effects of this year's take-up campaign are not included.

2. The assumptions for Retirement Pension are actual price uprating to April 2000, based on previous September's Retail Prices Index (RPI), and an estimate of September 2000 RPI for 2001 uprating. Earnings uprating is based on previous September's average earnings figures up to April 2000, with an estimate of September 2000 earnings for April 2001 uprating.