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Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what proportion of the increase in the departmental expenditure limit from 2001–02 to 2002–03 will be accounted for by wage costs. [20666]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The level of wage costs within departmental budgets this year and in future years will be dependent upon negotiations. Departmental reports published next spring will give full retrospective costs.

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House of Lords (Reform)

Mr. Miliband: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will publish the series of background papers on reform of the House of Lords promised in the Government's White Paper, "The House of Lords—Completing the Reform". [21864]

Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Department is today issuing a single report, entitled "The House of Lords—Completing the Reform—Supporting Documents", that contains all of the background papers. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies of the report have also been placed in the Vote Office.

Further copies of the report may be obtained from:

The report is also available on the LCD website at

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department for what reasons the Government have not established a Joint Committee of both Houses to consider the reform of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement. [19636]

Mr. Wills: The Government proposed a Joint Committee in their manifesto for the 1997 election, which they stated would focus on the parliamentary aspects of reform. During the course of the last Parliament, they made strenuous efforts to set up such a Committee. However, it was not possible to reach agreement with the other main political parties as to the terms of reference for the Joint Committee.

There was no commitment in the 2001 manifesto to the creation of such a Committee. The 2001 manifesto committed the Government to the introduction of the second stage of reform of the House of Lords, by the most effective implementation possible of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on reform of the House of Lords.

The Government's proposals were published on 7 November in the White Paper "The House of Lords—Completing the Reform" (Cm 5291). They are subject to consultation; the consultation period ends on 31 January 2002.

Victims of Crime

Andrew George: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in which types of cases victims' personal statements may be used in court cases since 1 October. [20325]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I have been asked to reply.

The Victim Personal Statement scheme is intended to give victims of crime a more formal opportunity to say how they have been affected by the crime. The statement will become part of the papers and should help all Criminal Justice Agencies subsequently dealing with the case to take more informed decisions. All personal victims of crime, or serious road traffic incidents, are covered by

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the Victim Personal Statements (VPS) scheme and will be offered the chance to make VPSs which can be used in court.

The term "victim" includes the bereaved relatives or partners (including same sex partners) in fatal road traffic cases leading to criminal action; the bereaved relatives or partners (including same sex partners) in homicide cases; partners or carers where the primary victim is a child or vulnerable adult; and small businesses (such as small shops, but not large retailers or corporations).


Performance and Innovation Unit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister what legislation has resulted from the establishment of the Performance and Innovation Unit. [21245]

The Prime Minister: The implementation of PIU reports is taken forward by the relevant Government Departments. In many cases, the wide-ranging nature of PIU reports means that it is not possible to identify specific pieces of legislation that have arisen from those reports. However, examples include the PIU "Encryption and Law Enforcement" report which influenced the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and the PIU "Recovering the Proceeds of Crime report" which contributed to legislation in the Proceeds of Crime Bill.

NHS Spending

Mr. Laws: To ask the Prime Minister if it is his policy to increase the level of spending on the NHS to the European average level by 2005; and if he will make a statement. [20305]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the right hon. Members for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr. Duncan Smith), for Ross, Skye and Inverness, West (Mr. Kennedy) and for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on 5 December 2001, Official Report, columns 325–30.

Special Advisers

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish (a) the standard form of contract for and (b) the disciplinary procedures for special advisers; and if he will state where these differ from those of career civil servants. [21356]

The Prime Minister: All special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Copies of the model contract are in the Library of the House. Clause 15 of the contract sets out the disciplinary procedures that apply.


Stakeholder Pensions

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information he collates on the amount and frequency of payments into stakeholder pension schemes. [20955]

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Mr. McCartney: Information is supplied by the Inland Revenue, derived from returns made by scheme administrators when claiming tax relief, on the amount of contributions to stakeholder pensions. Information for the first quarter of the financial year is published on its website. Information on the frequency of payments is not available.

Pension Schemes

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension schemes have been closed to new members in each year since 1997; and what the size is of each of the schemes that has been closed. [15149]

Mr. McCartney: Further to the answer given to the hon. Member for Havant on 10 April 2001, Official Report, columns 623–24W, inaccuracies occurred in the information provided. The information in the text of the answer and column (a) were correct at the date of the original answer. The information given in column (c) for years prior to 1990 was unreliable, but was accurate for subsequent years. Information has been subsequently supplied which increases the numbers in columns (a) and (c). The information in column (b) supplied at the time was incorrect. The correct information is contained in table 1.

Table 1

Number of schemes with commencement dates in that yearNumber of occupational schemes closed within a particular yearNumber of schemes that wound up in that year

(19) The total number of schemes that closed prior to 2 April 1997 was 2,021. This may include schemes closed before 1979, but still in existence when schemes were required to register in 1991.

(20) Figure covers the period 2 April 1997 to 31 December 1997

Column (a) is based on scheme commencement date until 1991 and then registrable date. Schemes with at least two members have been required to register since 1991. Schemes already in existence in 1991 had to provide the date of scheme commencement on registration.

Column (b) shows numbers of schemes closed to new members during the year. The Pension Schemes Registry did not require schemes to provide the date of closure

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prior to 2 April 1997, although some schemes did. Therefore, in most cases, it is not possible to identify the individual years in which schemes closed prior to this date.

Column (c) is based on the wound-up date of the occupational pension scheme. Many of these schemes will have begun the winding-up process in an earlier year. Figures for years before 1991 are not available.

The Pension Schemes Registry (PSR) records the number of closed schemes (that is schemes closed to new members but which still have active members accruing benefits) but it would be disproportionately expensive to identify the size of each individual scheme. The information in tables 2 and 3 identify the number of schemes according to the membership bands used by the PSR to assess a schemes levy liability.

Table 2: Occupational pension schemes closed from an effective date within each year

Levy membership band1997(21),(22)1998199920002001(23)

Table 3: Personal Pension schemes closed from an effective date within each year

Levy membership band1997(21),(22)1998199920002001(23)

(21) The PSR computer system is not able to identify the year of closure of schemes prior to 2 April 1997

(22) 2 April to 31 December

(23) To date


1. Schemes with one member are not required to register and are therefore not included in the figures

2. The schemes listed as closed are those which still have active members

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