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18 Apr 2006 : Column 537W—continued

Israel

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 10 March 2006, Official Report, column 1912W on Israel, whether he has asked UN Special Co-Ordinator de Soto what the outcome was of his raising with the Israeli authorities the issue of the Israeli air force operating low-flying aircraft over the Gaza strip. [59110]

Dr. Howells: Our Permanent Mission to the UN has asked UN Special Co-ordinator de Soto about his meetings. Mr. de Soto confirmed that he raised this matter with the Israelis but was unable to provide further details due to the confidential nature of the exchange.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv last raised this with the Israeli air force on 22 March.

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government continues to regard the Green Line as the border of Israel under international law. [64027]

Dr. Howells: The territory beyond the Green Line which Israel occupied in June 1967 is occupied territory. UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) which the UK supported calls for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict and the termination of all claims of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

We continue to believe that final status issues, such as the final determination of borders, should be resolved through negotiations and agreement between the parties themselves. We share the quartet's goal of a two-state solution with Israel secure within her borders and Palestine established as a viable, contiguous state. We shall continue to work to this end.

Palestine

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to persuade Israel to stop taking more Palestinian land for illegal settlements, roads and the Wall in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. [64025]

Dr. Howells: We continue to raise both the barrier and settlements with the Israeli Government. Our ambassador in Tel Aviv last raised both of these issues on 2 March with the Israeli Prime Minister's Special Adviser.
 
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Settlements are illegal under international law and settlement construction is an obstacle to peace. The Roadmap is clear that Israel should freeze all settlement construction including the natural growth" of existing settlements and dismantle all outposts built since 2001.

The barrier's route should be on or behind the Green Line and not on occupied territory. Construction of the barrier on Palestinian land is illegal. The route is particularly damaging around East Jerusalem, as it risks cutting the city off from the West Bank and dividing the West Bank in two.

We will continue to raise our concerns over the settlements and the barrier with the Israeli Government at all levels.

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government recognises the right of return to their homes and land of Palestinian refugees. [64026]

Dr. Howells: The return of refugees is a final status issue. Final status issues should be resolved through negotiations and agreement between the parties themselves. We continue to urge both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority to implement their commitments as the best way to get to a negotiated settlement.

Uganda

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the ability of President Museveni to deal effectively with (a) corruption, (b) rural poverty and (c) HIV/AIDS in Uganda; and if he will make a statement. [62664]

Hilary Benn: I have been asked to reply.

Uganda has made significant progress in reducing poverty since President Museveni came to power in 1986. The percentage of the total population living below the poverty line has fallen from 56 per cent. in the early 1990s to 38 per cent. at the time of the last National Household survey in 2002–03. The third phase of the Government's Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) which commenced in 2004–05 sets out how the Government intend to further reduce poverty over the next three years.

Corruption is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. We welcome the progress that has been made in establishing anti-corruption institutions and legislation including the Government's 2005 National Strategy to Fight Corruption. Strong political commitment is now required to use this framework effectively. Transparency, accountability and the elimination of corruption are identified as key priorities in the PEAP.

Following economic liberalisation in the agriculture sector, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line in rural areas has declined significantly from 60 per cent. in the early 1990s to 42 per cent. in
 
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2002–03. Studies have also shown major improvements in non-income measures of poverty in rural Uganda including the quality of housing and access to education and health care. The Government's plan for the modernisation of agriculture is an important part of the PEAP.

Uganda has been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the percentage of the adult population with HIV has fallen from 18 per cent. to 6 per cent. since the early 1990s. A cause for concern, however, is that the rate of new infections still remains relatively high. Strong political commitment and concerted efforts by both the Government of Uganda and its development partners are required to address this problem. This is also a priority identified in the PEAP.

TREASURY

Anti-Terrorism

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what total amount of money was made available in the 2006 Budget for anti-terrorism purposes; and how much was allocated to each element making up this total. [63400]

Mr. Des Browne: The Budget announced the allocation of £42.5 milion to the Home Office from the counter-terrorism pool to help meet emerging counter-terrorism pressures. This follows the allocation in the pre-Budget report of an additional £85 million to bring forward the planned expansion of Security and Intelligence Agencies and the extension of the availability of the counter-terrorism pool beyond 2005–06.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to paragraph 6.68 of the 2006 Budget report, how much of the planned funding for anti-terrorism will be allocated in (a) 2006–07 and (b) 2007–08. [63441]

Mr. Des Browne: The allocation of £42.5 million from the counter-terrorism pool announced in the Budget is broken down as £22.5 million in 2006–07 and £20 million in 2007–08.

Average Earnings

Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average earnings of full-time employees in the constituency of Kingston upon Hull North were in April of each year since 2000. [62861]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 18 April 2006:


 
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Gross weekly pay for full-time employee jobs(237) by place of work

£
Kingston upon Hull NorthMedianMean
2000*352387
2001*338389
2002*355393
2003*361398
2004*381428
2004(238)*381421
2005*390426


(237) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.
(238) Includes supplementary survey data.
Guide to quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality.
The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV e.g. for an average of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent., we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220.
Key:
CV <=5 per cent.
*CV>5 per cent. and<= 10 per cent.
**CV> 10 per cent. and<=20 per cent.
Note:
The median replaces the mean as the headline statistic. The weighted mean is the sum of the weighted values divided by the sum of the weights. The median is the value below which 50 per cent. of employees fall. It is preferred over the mean for earnings data as it is influenced less by extreme values and because of the skewed distribution of earnings data.
Source:
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.





Gross weekly pay for full-time employee jobs(239) by place of residence

£
Kingston upon Hull NorthMedianMean
2000....
2001....
2002*365389
2003*360393
2004*369404
2004(240)*375413
2005*380422




.. Denotes data not collected before 2002.
(239) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.
(240) Includes Supplementary survey data.
Guide to quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality.
The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV e.g. for an average of 200 with a CV of 5 per cent., we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220.
Key:
CV<=5 per cent.
*CV>5 per cent. and<= 10 per cent.
**CV> 10 per cent. and<=20 per cent.
Note:
The median replaces the mean as the headline statistic. The weighted mean is the sum of the weighted values divided by the sum of the weights. The median is the value below which 50 per cent. of employees fall. It is preferred over the mean for earnings data as it is influenced less by extreme values and because of the skewed distribution of earnings data.
Source:
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.





 
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