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This report explains the UK's work with the World Bank from the start of the bank's financial year 2005 (known as FY05: July 2004June 2005) through to its annual meetings in September 2005. It sets out the positions the UK took in a number of discussions at the bankon the bank's support to poor countries' development, its role in responding to debates on global issues such as debt, and its institutional effectiveness. The report also records the UK's position on resolutions adopted by the Board of Governors. It is an annual publication, and the next report will cover the period October 2005September 2006.
During the year the UK: helped to secure a large increase in the aid the World Bank will give to the poorest countries via its International Development Association; brokered a historic debt deal that will write off 100 per cent. of the debt owed by the heavily indebted poor countries to the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank; encouraged the bank to step up the pace of its work in Africa with a new Africa action plan; and convinced the bank to review its use of conditionality, leading to a set of good practice principles which reflect the spirit of the UK's own policy. We will report on the implementation of these commitments in our next report on the UK and the World Bank.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Shaun Woodward): I have placed copies of the Northern Ireland Prison Service's Corporate and Business Plan for 200609 in the Libraries of both Houses.
To ensure 87 per cent. of prisoners serving six months or more are working to a resettlement plan and that 97 per cent. of lifers work to a life sentence plan, including preparation of the plan, within the first six months of sentence.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Shaun Woodward): The fourth report of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) on the pay of governor and officer grades in the Northern Ireland Prison Service has been published today.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has decided that the recommendations will be implemented in full, with effect from the operative date of the award of 1 April 2006. The cost of the award will be met from within the existing budget allocation for the service.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair):
In answer to questions in the House of Commons on 17 November 1966, the then Prime Minister, the right hon. Harold Wilson MP, said that he had given instructions that there was to be no tapping of the telephones of Members of Parliament and that if there were a development which required a change of policy he would at such a
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moment as was compatible with the security of the country make a statement in the House about it. This approach, known as the Wilson Doctrine, has been maintained under successive administrations.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 updated existing laws and set in place new legal procedures governing the interception of communications carried on both public and private telecommunications systems. I advised the House in a Written Ministerial Statement on 15 December 2005, Official Report, column 173WS, that I had received advice from the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the right hon. Sir Swinton Thomas, on his view of the implications for the Wilson Doctrine of the regulatory framework established under that Act.
It was Sir Swinton's advice, taking into account the new and robust regulatory framework governing interception and the changed circumstances since 1966, that the Wilson Doctrine should not be sustained.
I have considered Sir Swinton's advice very seriously, together with concerns expressed in this House in response to my written ministerial statement on 15 December. I have decided that the Wilson Doctrine should be maintained.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): The 28th report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries, which makes recommendations about the pay of the senior civil service, senior military personnel and the judiciary, is being published today. Copies are in the Vote Office and the Library of the House. I am grateful to the Chairman and members of the Review Body for their work.
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The Government have decided in the light of what is affordable within expenditure plans and the specific circumstances relating to the senior civil service that the increase in paybill proposed by the Review Body should
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be implemented in two stages. 1 per cent. will be implemented with effect from 1 April 2006, and the remainder with effect from 1 November 2006. The increase in the non-consolidated bonus pot will be implemented with effect from 1 April 2006.
The Review Body's main recommendation for the senior military is an increase of 3 per cent. in the incremental pay scales for senior military officers. The Government accept the recommendations for the senior military and they will be implemented in full from 1 April 2006.
The Government have decided in the light of what is affordable within expenditure plans and the specific circumstances relating to the judiciary that the increases proposed by the Review Body should be paid in two stages. All office holders will receive 1 per cent. with effect from 1 April 2006, and the balance of the recommended amount will be paid with effect from 1 November 2006.
Pay increases for Members of Parliament and Ministers are linked automatically to the movement of the mid point of the pay bands for the senior civil service. This therefore results in an increase to their salaries of 2 per cent. However, the Government proposes that this increase should also be paid in two stages1 per cent. with effect from 1 April 2006, and the remainder with effect from 1 November 2006.
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