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10 Feb 2003 : Column 580W—continued


Keith Vaz : To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to enhance popular support for the euro prior to the assessment of the five economic tests set out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [96877]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him in the House on 5 February, Official Report, columns 264–65.


Mr. Pike : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list each action taken by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the UN over the last 12 years to secure the disarmament of Iraq in accord with the ceasefire in 1991. [96136]

The Prime Minister: The United Kingdom has supported all the UN Security Council Resolutions relating to Iraqi disarmament obligations. We were one of the principal architects of UNSCR 1284 which

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established UNMOVIC as the successor organisation to UNSCOM in 1999, and of UNSCR 1441 last December.

Reports of UNSCOM, UNMOVIC and IAEA activities in pursuit of their mandates to ensure Iraqi disarmament can be found on their respective websites and

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what the basis is for the figure of 20,000 Iraqi intelligence officers as cited in the dossier he published on Iraq on 3 February; [96141]

The Prime Minister: It is a Government document based—as stated on its front cover—on a number of sources, including intelligence material. The first and third sections of the document, which gave rise to most of the media coverage on publication, are based largely on intelligence material. The first section describes the extreme lengths to which Saddam has gone to hide his weapons and obstruct the inspectors. The third section of the document describes the impact of the regime on the Iraqi people. The second section describes how the regime is structured. Some of that is based on work by Dr. Ibrahim al-Marashi which, as my office have already made clear, in retrospect, we should have acknowledged.

Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what the basis is for the assertion in his dossier on Iraq published on 3 February that Iraq's Government has sought out personal information on UNMOVIC personnel in order to exploit any weaknesses. [96370]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him today.

Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the terrorist groups he believes to have links with the Iraqi Government. [96924]

The Prime Minister: Iraq has a long record of support for terrorism; this includes support for radical Islamic groups such as the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian terrorist groups (e.g. Abu Nidal), the activities of the MeK against Iran, payments to the families of suicide bombers as well as the assassination of political opponents in Iraq and abroad. Saddam Hussein tried to assassinate President Bush and the Emir of Kuwait in 1993.

For links with al-Qaeda, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Inverness West (Mr. Kennedy) in the House on 5 February 2003, Official Report, columns 265–66.

Israel (Defence Exports)

Mr. Berry: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with the Israeli Labour leader regarding the liberalisation of defence exports to Israel. [94577]

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The Prime Minister: I met Amram Mitzna on 9 January and our discussions were on the middle east peace process. The issue of defence exports was raised and I made clear that there is no arms embargo on Israel. We continue to support Israel's right to defend itself, within international law, and to buy arms from British suppliers for this in accordance with the consolidated European Union and national arms export licensing criteria.

Lord Birt

Norman Baker : To ask the Prime Minister on what policy areas Lord Birt is working. [96478]

The Prime Minister: Lord Birt was appointed in October 2001 as my unpaid strategy adviser. The nature of Lord Birt's work is to provide me and other Cabinet Ministers with long-term internal strategic analysis and policy thinking.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Burns: To ask the Prime Minister how many times since 2001 he has taken flights within his official duties in the UK; how many of these were (a) charter flights, (b) first or club class and (c) by helicopter; and who accompanied him on each trip. [95381]

The Prime Minister: I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in chapter 7 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance document, Travel by Ministers.

My office keeps records of my home and overseas travel. Since January 2001, I have been on 85 RAF flights, including six by RAF helicopter. I have made three flights by chartered helicopter. A judgment is always made about what is the most appropriate form of travel in the time available. In line with normal practice appropriate officials and security personnel accompanied me.


Mr. Laws : To ask the Prime Minister how many Government (a) Secretaries of State, (b) other Ministers, (c) Parliamentary Private Secretaries and (d) Whips have been in place in each year from 1980–81 to 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [95826]

The Prime Minister: The numbers of Government Ministers and Whips are limited by the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 and the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975.

The numbers of Ministers for the years requested are set out in publications such as Dod's Parliamentary Companion and British Political Facts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries are not Ministers. The normal rules on their appointment are one each per Cabinet Minister and Minister of State.

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Learning Disability

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the NHS budget has been spent on learning disability in each year since 1979. [94418]

Jacqui Smith: Our White Paper, "Valuing People", A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century, published in March 2001, encourages better integration of health and social care services for people with learning disabilities. To gain a full picture of expenditure on this group it is necessary to look at trends in both areas. Their combined spending on learning disability in 2000–2001 was 3.3 billion.

"Valuing People" also encouraged the National Health Service to treat learning disabled people in mainstream services rather than specialist services wherever appropriate. Information about NHS expenditure on learning disability is available only for specialist learning disability services. It is not collected separately on the expenditure associated with their use of primary and secondary care services. Available details of the proportion of total expenditure that went on social services and specialist NHS services for learning disabled people are shown in the table. "Valuing People" announced two new funds. In April 2002, we introduced the learning disability development fund (LDDF). The £22.6 million LDDF revenue comes from that element of the old long-stay adjustment within general health allocations, which is released as former long-stay patients die. This is being targeted on the priorities set out in Valuing People, including modernising day services, completing the re-provision of the remaining long stay hospitals and enhancing leadership in learning disability services. LDDF revenue is also being used to fund the Valuing People support team. LDDF capital, of £16.7 million in 2002–03, is supporting the development of integrated health and social services facilities for children and young people with severe disabilities and complex needs, specialist services for people with severe challenging behaviour and supported living approaches for people living with older carers.

The £2.3 million implementation support fund was introduced for three years from April 2001 and is focussing on advocacy, a national learning disability information centre and helpline, in partnership with Mencap and a number of development projects.

Financial yearPercentage of total NHS expenditure on specialist learning disability servicesPercentage of total social services expenditure on learning disability services


(41) Figures for social care expenditure on learning disability are unavailable for the years 1978–79 to 1982–83.

(42) The proportion of social care expenditure spent on the learning disabled changed significantly from 1994–95 mainly because the basis of data collection changed from that year. The revised data collection more accurately reflected CIPFA accounting conventions. Figures for expenditure on the learning disabled from 1994–95 include fieldwork, senior management and purchasing costs and management and support costs.

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