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Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many appointments to public bodies have been made through his Department (a) from April 2000 to March 2001 and (b) since 31 March 2001; and how many of these were (i) men and (ii) women. 
Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 12 February 2002]: The number of men and women appointed, or re-appointed, by Treasury Ministers to bodies sponsored by the Treasury during the periods in question is as follows:
|Period||Men appointed(5)||Women appointed(5)|
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001||31||11|
|1 April 2001 to 28 February 2002||5||3|
(5) Includes re-appointments.
Mr. Gordon Brown: I am pleased to say that Sir Howard Davies has today agreed to an extension to his appointment as Chairman and Director of the FSA until 31 January 2004. At a time when the FSA has only just taken on its full regulatory powers and is establishing itself as a fully independent single regulator I believe it is invaluable to have Sir Howard remaining in post with his breadth of experience.
It is primarily the responsibility of the financial lenders to ensure that good quality equity release products are available. As Housing Minister, I am particularly interested in how local authorities will use their proposed new powers, contained in draft legislation currently before Parliament, to provide financial assistance to improve housing conditions. I also take a close interest in monitoring the impact of the developing equity release products on our overall policy to promote sustainable home ownership.
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Ruth Kelly [holding answer 1 February 2002]: I welcome the initiatives that aim to improve our knowledge and understanding of autism and raise awareness of the condition. I refer my hon. Friend to the replies given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of Health on 8 January 2002, Official Report, columns 67273W, and by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 239W, which set out the Government's support for this initiative. I have nothing to add to those replies.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new entrants to the Civil Service were employed in his Department in each of the last five years; and how many in each year were aged 50 and over. 
|Of which aged 50 years and over||292||343||406||632||526|
|Of which below 50 years||3,557||4,045||4,544||5,774||5,984|
Figures include HM Treasury, Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, Office of Government Commerce, Debt Management Office, Royal Mint, Valuation Office, Government Actuary's Department, Department of National Savings and Investments, National Investments and Loans Office, Office of National Statistics and the Statistics Commission.
Ruth Kelly: My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary announced on 21 January that the Troika replacement insurance scheme for UK aviation would be extended for a final time until 20 March. There is nothing further to add to this announcement. There are now commercial providers of third party war risk and terrorism cover for airlines in the market.
Jean Corston: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Bristol, East constituency, the effects on Bristol of his Department's policies and actions (a) from 5 May 1994 to 2 May 1997, (b) from 2 May 1997 to 7 May 1998, and (c) since 7 May 1998. 
Ruth Kelly: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Minister of State, Cabinet Office on 4 March 2002, Official Report column 80W. Bristol, East, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, is benefiting from the long-term action we have taken since 1997 to build economic stability and secure high and stable levels of growth and employment. Claimant count unemployment in the constituency, for example, fell by over 737, or 21 per cent., between May 1997 and May 1998; and has fallen by a further 900, or 32 per cent., since May 1998 1 .
Macroeconomic stability is being complemented at the microeconomic level by the Government's policies to ease the transition from welfare into work and to make work pay for lower and middle income families, and to reduce child poverty. The Government are also committed to enabling all persons to share in the country's rising prosperity. The numbers of beneficiaries of the new deal, the working families tax credit, child benefit, state retirement pension, winter fuel payments, free TV licences and minimum income guarantee in the Bristol, East constituency are given in the table. These data are also available in the Library of the House of Commons.
|Policy||5 May 1994||2 May 1997||7 May 1998||March 2002|
|New Deal 1824||Not applicable||Not applicable||Not available||1,637 starts and 758 jobs gained (Dec 2001)|
|Working families tax credit||Not applicable||Not applicable||1,600 families (May 2000)||2,140 families (Aug 2001)|
|Child benefit||Not available||Not available||11,560 families (August 2000)||11,190 families (November 2001)|
|State retirement pension||Not available||Not available||15,400 (September 1999)||15,200 (September 2001)|
|Winter fuel payment||Not applicable||Not applicable||15,300 pensioners (winter 199900)||16,600 pensioners (winter 200001)|
|Free TV licences||Not applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable||(7)Around 7,300 pensioners over 75|
|Minimum income guarantee||Not available||2,500||2,600||2,900 (November 2001)|
(6) Changes to ward boundaries mean that ONS can supply claimant count date for the Bristol, East constituency on a consistent basis only from January 1996 onwards.
(7) Over 99 per cent. of pensioners nationally have availed themselves of the free TV licence option.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are employed in his Department on a job share contract; and what percentage of vacant positions was advertised on this basis in the last 12 months. 
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Job sharing is only one of a number of alternative and flexible working patterns that employees are welcome to take up. These include part-time working, compressed hours, job-sharing, home working, term-time or part-year working and flexible working hours.
Most recruitment to Treasury is generally advertised as available for a range of alternative working patterns. However there are always some occasions where due to the nature of the work, this is not possible.
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