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HOME DEPARTMENT

Voluntary and Community Organisations

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Fiona Mactaggart): I am today announcing the publication of a report on central Government funding of voluntary and community organisations for 1982–83 to 2001–02, which updates an earlier report published in 2001.

The Home Office has lead responsibility for the voluntary and community sector in England. As part of this remit, it has provided information on the funding of voluntary and community organisations by central Government Departments and their associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) in the UK since 1979–80.
 
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The report is based on research and analysis carried out for the Home Office by the Charities Aid Foundation. It provides information on trends in funding from 1982–83 onwards and shows that there were substantial increases in total funding between 1999–2000 to 2001–02. At current prices actual total funding was £2,238.4 million in 1999–2000; £2,755.3 million in 2000–01; and £3,323.7 million in 2001–02. It increased by 23.1 per cent. between 1999–2000 and 2000–01 and 20.6 per cent. between 2000–01 and 2001–02.

These increases were primarily caused by increases in non-housing association funding and not, as in earlier years, by increases in housing association funding. The increases in non-housing association funding are among the largest increases recorded in the last 20 years.

Copies of the document are available in the House Library and on the Home Office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/voluntary1.html.

Organised Crime White Paper

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Caroline Flint): We published on 29 March a White Paper: "One Step Ahead, a 21st Century Strategy to Defeat Organised Crime" (Cm 6167). Although crime has fallen overall, a great deal still needs to be done to tackle specific areas of criminality, including organised crime. Organised crime is big business; its effects are corrosive and it operates across frontiers while at the same time reaching into every neighbourhood, especially some of the most deprived parts of our country.

The White Paper set out clear objectives of year-on-year reductions in the harm that organised crime causes and to make the UK one of the most difficult environments in the world for organised crime to operate. The White Paper also set out our plans to create a serious organised crime agency and for new powers to disrupt activity and to convict organised criminals.

Since it was published, we have received comments from over 50 individuals and organisations with an interest in tackling organised crime, as well as holding workshops with practitioners. The responses have been supportive of our proposed approach and make a number of practical suggestions relating to the different components. We are grateful for these comments and have taken them into account as we start to deliver on the different elements of the strategy.

I am grateful to those who commented and am publishing today a summary of the responses on the Home Office website. A copy of the summary document has been placed in the Library of the House.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Independent Monitoring Commission

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Paul Murphy): Under section 11 (1) of the Northern Ireland (Monitoring Commission etc.) Act 2003, I am required to lay before Parliament each year a report on the operation of the agreement between the British and Irish Governments that established the Independent
 
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Monitoring Commission and the operation of the relevant provisions inserted into the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

The first annual report, published today, covers the 12-month period to 18 September 2004. The report sets out the steps that have been taken to establish the IMC in accordance with the agreement between the two Governments.

The report refers to the two IMC reports published in the reporting period, and describes the actions taken as a consequence of those reports. The various documents and reports referred to in my annual report are all in the public domain.

The IMC continues to fulfil an important and valuable role in Northern Ireland and I am grateful to the Commissioners for their dedication and efforts to date.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

DTI Five Year Programme

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Ms Patricia Hewitt): The Department of Trade and Industry five-year programme, "Creating Wealth from Knowledge", was published today. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and are available from the DTI web site at: www.dti.gov.uk/fiveyearprogramme.html.

On 18 September 2003 I published the DTI strategy, setting out the measures which my Department will take to raise productivity in the UK and achieve our vision of prosperity for all. The five-year programme reaffirms the priorities of the DTI Strategy. It sets out how the UK will develop a strong, modern knowledge-based economy which can meet the challenges posed by the rapidly emerging economies and new technologies.

The five-year programme recognises that we are building on solid foundations. Living standards have gone up, on average, by almost 3 per cent. a year, since 1997. For the first time in nearly half a century the UK has the best growth and employment record of the G7, and we have overtaken France to become the fourth largest economy in the world. However, our world is undergoing a transformation; China is set to be the largest economy in the world within a generation; India produces 3 million highly skilled graduates a year; the new central and eastern European democracies, with wage costs which are 10 per cent. of ours, have joined the EU. In order for the UK to maintain, and build on our strong economic position, we will have to respond to this changing environment.

The five-year programme argues that innovation through the application of science and technology, with highly skilled people, is the key to our country's future prosperity. In the modern world, the countries that create a climate where innovation flourishes will succeed. Those that do not will struggle. The UK already has many strengths to succeed: world class universities; a tradition of science and research; a
 
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dynamic and flexible labour market; and world-beating businesses which make use of new technologies and provide high value-added services.

My Department is at the cutting edge of our country's ambition to create wealth from knowledge. Our five-year programme outlines the means by which we will achieve this, working with other Departments, business, trade unions and other partners at home, in Europe and globally. It sets out the policies needed, over the next five-years, to stimulate the industries and jobs of the future through science and innovation; to create new partnerships with industry to promote enterprise; to delivery new approach to regulation; and to lead the drive for reform in Europe.

WORK AND PENSIONS

Building on New Deal

The Minister for Work (Jane Kennedy): In June this year we announced the publication of a paper "Building on New Deal: Local Solutions Meeting Individual Needs", setting out the Government's strategy for building on the success of our employment programmes. Today, I am announcing the locations for building on new deal prototypes.

We have achieved significant success in our new deal programmes, helping over a million people into work. We are determined to build on this achievement to deliver more support for those people who face the most difficult barriers to work. Building on new deal will give personal advisers and local managers greater flexibility, allowing them to provide tailored support better to meet the needs of individuals and of local labour markets. It will also give them more scope to work in partnership with employers and other agencies to tackle local problems that prevent more people moving from benefit dependency to work.

We will test these flexibilities from late 2005 in 11 Jobcentre Plus prototype districts. The prototypes will provide valuable practical experience of how advisers and managers use their flexibilities. We will be using the lessons learned to determine how best, and when, to extend these improvements nationally.

We will be working with the devolved Administrations, our private and voluntary sector partners, employers and other organisations to successfully deliver this new approach.

The building on new deal approach will be tested in the following Jobcentre Plus districts:

Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde [—Inverclyde from April 2006]

Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Calderdale and Kirklees

Cardiff and Vale

Cheshire and Warrington

Cornwall

Norfolk

Northamptonshire

North East London

The Marches

Gateshead and South Tyneside [—from April 2006]