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3 Dec 2003 : Column 56Wcontinued
Mr. Pearson: On 19 February 2003 I announced details of a five year £2.1 billion Strategic Investment Programme. A Strategic Investment Board has been established and made considerable progress in improving the performance of Northern Ireland's capital expenditure programme. It is actively involved in many key projects, including eight which it sponsors directly.
In addition six former security sites have been made available for social and economic regeneration. One site is to be sold with the proceeds ring-fenced for Reinvestment and Reform Initiative purposes. An Urban Regeneration Company has been established to regenerate the Ebrington Barracks site and consultation is under way to determine the best possible use for the other four sites.
10. Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions his Department has held with Belfast International Airports Authority regarding future policing arrangements at the airport; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: A Security Co-ordinating Committee, chaired by a NIO Official and including representatives from PSNI, RAF Aldergrove, Department for Transport, Department for Rural Development and the Airport Authority, oversees the provision of security at Belfast International Airport. Earlier this year a review of security was carried out by PSNI, the results of which were approved by the Security Coordinating Committee.
11. Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps religious schools have to take to teach ethical, moral and religious views other than their own faith; and if he will make a statement. 
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Jane Kennedy: Religious Education is a compulsory subject in all grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland. While the RE core syllabus is Christian in content, it is intended to comprise only 50 per cent. of teaching time for RE, allowing schools scope to include study about other world religions if they so wish. A revised core syllabus, currently under development, includes proposals for the study of other world religions.
Angela Smith: Support remains for the principle of a national sports stadium but this must be considered on the grounds of need, long term sustainability and in light of other priorities. The Sports Council for Northern Ireland is presently re-considering options for the way forward on a national stadium and this may provide a basis for discussions with the appropriate stake holders in due course.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the harmonised index of consumer prices will apply to index-linked pay in (a) central government employment, (b) the National Health Service and (c) independent statutory agencies and regulators. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to link index-linked public sector (a) pay and (b) pensions to the harmonised index of consumer prices; and what estimate he has made of the change in annual public sector annuities which would result. 
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Nor are there any plans to link index-linked public service pensions to the harmonised index of consumer prices. When the Chancellor announced his intention to change the inflation target to one set on the consumer prices (HICP) definition, in his statements on Economic and Monetary Union on 9 June and 10 July, he also confirmed that pensions such as State second pension and public service pension benefits would be calculated on exactly the same basis as now. Public service pensions will continue to be increased in line with the September to September movement in the retail prices index, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). benefits would be calculated on exactly the same basis as now. Public service pensions will continue to be increased in line with the September to September movement in the retail prices index, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the interest paid on index-linked government securities was in each year since 1997; and what the interest payments would have been if the harmonised index of consumer prices had been applied. 
(2) Including RPI inflation uplift
No estimates have been produced of the interest costs of index-linked gilts based on a calculated inflation uplift using the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) rather than the general index of retail prices (RPI).
David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter of 25 September from the honourable Member for Haltemprice and Howden concerning the signing off of the EU's accounts by the Council of Ministers and Commissioner Kinnock's conduct as Vice President of the Commission and Commissioner for Administrative Reform. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many inspections were carried out by HM Customs on (a) vessels entering Shoreham Harbour and (b) aircraft landing at Shoreham Airport in the last year. 
John Healey: HM Customs and Excise do not publish precise details of how many searches or examinations are conducted at specific locations as there is a risk of prejudicing ongoing and future law enforcement operations.
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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the (a) average and (b) median earnings of graduates who are full-time employees in each age cohort from the age of 25. 
|Average gross weekly earnings (£s)|
|Age group (4)||Mean||Median|
|25 and over||669||577|
|50 and over||733||678|
(3) People whose highest qualification is degree level or above
(4) Upper age limit is 64 for men and 59 for women.
(5) The definition of full-time/part-time is based on respondents' self-assessment.
These estimates have not been adjusted to reflect the 2001 Census results.
Labour Force Survey (ONS)
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