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Helen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children in low income households (a) live within the 20 per cent. of wards which are classified as most deprived and (b) live outside those wards. 
The fifth annual "Opportunity for all" report (Cm 5956) sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents information on the indicators used to measure progress against this strategy. Both documents are available in the Library.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the percentage change has been in unemployment in (a) St. Helens, South, (b) St. Helens, (c) Merseyside and (d) the north-west since 2001. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the percentage change in unemployment. (178112)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics of unemployment from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) following International Labour Organisation definitions. Seasonally adjusted data for regions are published monthly. The most recent figures for the North West show that, between January to March 2001 and January to March 2004, unemployment fell by 17,000 or 10.2 per cent.
Data for areas smaller than regions are available less frequently and changes cannot be measured reliably. The attached table 1 gives the estimates of the levels in Merseyside, St. Helens South Parliamentary Constituency and in the St. Helens Local Authority district between the 12 months ending February 2002 and February 2003, the latest data for which information is available. Comparable figures for the North West are included in the table.
As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are subject to sampling variability.
|Level of unemployment||Percentage change|
|St. Helens South (parliamentary constituency)||2||2||(6)|
(local authority district)
|Number of JSA|
|Area||May 2001||May 2004||Percentage|
|St. Helens South (parliamentary constituency)||2,246||1,661||-26.0|
(local authority district)
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much estimated additional tax revenue the Treasury has gained from the higher fuel prices paid by the public in the last month for which figures are available. 
John Healey: Monthly figures on fuel duty receipts are published in the "Customs and Exercise Hydrocarbon Oils Bulletin", a copy of which is available on the UK trade information website (www.uktradeinfo.com). Road fuel duties are charged at a fixed amount per litre and higher road fuel prices generally reduce revenues from fuel duties as they result in lower fuel consumption. The impact of higher oil prices on overall tax revenues and the public finances is complex, and will depend on their wider impact on the economy in general, including the effect on factors such as profitability and retail prices.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2004, Official Report, column 725W, on housing, if he will list the costs included in the figure given for the average cost of a new build dwelling for social rent in England in 200304. 
The average cost of a new build dwelling for social rent of £116,000 includes land acquisition of £25,000, construction costs of £78,000. The remainder of £13,000 can be attributed to costs such as site development/pre-works and on-costs.
23 Jun 2004 : Column 1410W
Mr. Luff: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the conclusion of Professors Oswald and Blanchflower, on page 4 of the second report on Calculating an Appropriate Regional Funding Adjustment for Worcestershire on the stance of the Office of National Statistics on access for researchers to check the Government's calculations relating to the Area Cost Adjustment. 
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question on the conclusion of Professors Oswald and Blanchflower on the stance of the Office of National Statistics on allowing access for researchers to check the Government's calculations relating to the Area Cost Adjustment. (177066),
Professors Oswald and Blanchflower conclude that a decision has been made by ONS not to release micro-data from the New Earnings Survey (NES) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in order to prevent researchers from checking the government's calculations of the Regional Funding Adjustment. No such decision has been made. On the contrary, ONS policy is to support statistical research in the academic community by supplying micro-data in as much detail as possible, within any legal constraints and with respect to the duty of confidence owed to survey respondents.
Access to confidential NES micro-data is covered by legislation, including the Statistics of Trade Act (1947), and there is no provision to allow access for the research that Professors Oswald and Blanchflower would like to perform. Non-disclosive, fully anonymised NES micro-data is not covered by legislation can be provided to researchers on request. However, the measures taken to prevent disclosure include the removal of small area geographical indicators, which may make the data unsuitable for Professors Oswald and Blanchflower's purposes.
ONS offers secondments to researchers working on behalf of ONS for purposes consistent with the aims of National Statistics and of benefit to ONS. As secondees to ONS, these researchers may use the ONS Business Data Linking research facility which holds identifiable, disclosive, disaggregated NES datasets. Professors Oswald and Blanchflower may wish to explore this option further and should contact Prabhat Vaze at ONS (telephone 020 7533 5905) for further information.
The Labour Force Survey is voluntary, and not governed by legislation. However, information collected in the survey is confidential and subject to the common law duty of confidentiality and the Data Protection Act (1998). The obligation of confidentiality is reinforced by a pledge given to survey respondents, which states that no identifiable information they provide will be passed to any government department or member of the public.
Non-disclosive, fully anonymised LFS micro-datasets are available at the UK Data Archive and are available to the academic research community. However, as for the NES, small area geographical indicators have been removed to prevent disclosure, which may make the data unsuitable for Professors Oswald and Blanchflower's purposes. The Business Data Linking research facility does not presently hold any LFS microdata.
Supporting research is one of the aims of National Statistics, but data access arrangements are bound by the National Statistics Code of Practice and Protocols and by legal and professional constraints that may limit access to confidential data. Compliance with these statutory and common law duties does not constitute a decision to prevent researchers' access to data. It is critically important that these obligations are met, in order to maintain public confidence in the integrity of official statistics and the
In comparison to National Statistics Institutes in other countries, ONS goes to great lengths to enable the use of its microdata for research purposes. We recognise that access to microdata by reputable researchers (within the legal and professional constraints discussed above) adds much to the value and trust of official statistics. It is therefore disappointing that my office's application of these constraints has been subject to criticism.
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