Previous Section Index Home Page

9 Jan 2007 : Column 505W—continued


(vii) Suffering poor health

There was also an increase between 1991 and 2001 in the proportion of working-age individuals reporting poor physical health, from 12 per cent. in 1991 to 14.7 per cent. in 2001. However, this proportion fell to 13.4 per cent. in 2003. This translates into an increase in the number of working-age individuals with poor physical health of 1.1 million between 1991 and 2001, from 4.15 million in 1991 to 5.2 million in 2001. In 2003, approximately 4.8 million working-age adults suffered from poor physical health.

A similar pattern emerges for pensioners, with an increase in the proportion suffering poor health between 1991 and 2001 (from 38.6 per cent. to 49.1 per cent.), and then a fall in 2003 to 44.9 per cent. This translates into an increase in the number of pensioners with poor health from four million in 1991 to 5.2 million in 2001, followed by a fall to 4.8 million in 2003.

Working-age population Pensioners
Proportion Population estimate (million) Proportion Population estimate (million)

1991

12.03

4.15

38.58

4.01

1993

12.47

4.31

37.56

3.91

1995

13.69

4.78

40.36

4.20

1997

14.01

4.86

40.95

4.30

2001

14.76

5.23

49.08

5.20

2003

13.36

4.78

44.90

4.80


(viii) Lives alone

There has been an increase in the proportion of the working-age population living alone from 7.6 per cent. in 1991 to 11.6 per cent. in 2001, translating into an increase of 1.5 million individuals (from 2.6 million in 1991 to 4.1 million in 2001). This proportion fell to 9.7 per cent. in 2003, indicating that about 3.5 million working-age individuals lived alone.

There was also an initial increase in the proportion of pensioners who lived alone from 39.8 per cent. in 1991 to 42.8 per cent. in 1995 (corresponding to an increasing of about 0.3 million individuals). This proportion fell between 1995 and 2003, such that in 2003 36.8 per cent. of pensioners were living alone (corresponding to about 4 million individuals).


9 Jan 2007 : Column 506W
Working age population Pensioners
Proportion Population estimate (million) Proportion Population estimate (million)

1991

7.59

2.62

39.78

4.14

1993

9.39

3.25

42.40

4.41

1995

10.15

3.54

42.75

4.45

1997

10.22

3.55

40.39

4.24

2001

11.63

4.12

39.88

4.23

2003

9.72

3.48

36.76

3.93


(ix) Lacking consumer durables

There has been a big decline in the proportion of the working-age population who lack consumer durables (defined as having access to fewer than five of the following: car, colour TV, VCR, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave oven, home PC, CD player). This proportion has fallen from 34.5 per cent. in 1991 to just 4.6 per cent. in 2003. This translates into a fall in numbers from 11.9 million in 1991 to 1.65 million in 2003.

The fall in the proportion of pensioners lacking consumer durables has been equally dramatic, from 83.6 per cent. in 1991 to 35.9 per cent. in 2003. The number of pension-age individuals lacking consumer durables has fallen from 8.7 million in 1991 to 3.8 million in 2003.

Working-age population Pensioners
Proportion Population estimate (million) Proportion Population estimate (million)

1991

34.46

11.89

83.55

8.69

1993

24.06

8.32

74.01

7.70

1995

17.45

6.09

68.25

7.10

1997

13.02

4.52

59.97

6.30

2001

7.37

2.61

45.26

4.80

2003

4.60

1.65

35.91

3.84


(x) Enduring financial distress

The proportion of the working-age population enduring financial distress (defined as either having problems meeting housing costs or has been more than two months in arrears with their mortgage or rent in the past year) has fallen from 15.2 per cent. in 1991 to 5.6 per cent. in 2003, translating into a reduction of about 3.2 million individuals. In 1991 about 5.2 million working-age adults were enduring financial distress, compared to 2 million in 2003.

There has also been a fall in the proportion of pensioners enduring financial distress over the period, from 6.9 per cent. in 1991 to 1.5 per cent. in 2003. (Although note that this may not be a very good measure of financial distress among pensioners, because a substantial proportion of pensioners do not have housing costs). This reduction translates into a fall in the numbers of pensioners suffering financial distress of about 0.5 million (from 0.7 million in 1991 to 0.2 million in 2003).


9 Jan 2007 : Column 507W
Working-age population Pensioners
Proportion Population estimate (million) Proportion Population estimate (million)

1991

15.18

5.24

6.94

0.72

1993

12.18

4.21

4.80

0.50

1995

8.65

3.02

3.67

0.38

1997

7.53

2.61

3.46

0.36

2001

5.90

2.09

1.83

0.19

2003

5.64

2.02

1.52

0.16


Civil Servants

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on the retirement age, what his Department’s policy is on the application of the national default retirement age to staff below the senior civil service. [109540]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department’s retirement age for staff below the senior civil service is 65; this policy was introduced in 2002. Staff can retire at any age between 60 and 65 subject to giving three months notice and are notified eight months before they are 65 of their right to request to work beyond the age of 65.

EU Emissions Trading System

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the European Commission on price stability in the EU emissions trading system. [109964]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

We have regular discussions with our EU partners about the future of the EU emissions trading scheme, especially in connection with the European Commission’s forthcoming review. One of the UK’s major goals for this review is to increase long-term certainty about the future shape of the trading scheme post-2012, which can help improve price stability and provide appropriate signals for more long-term investment.

Written Questions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what target his Department has for the maximum acceptable amount of time to answer parliamentary written questions; and what percentage of parliamentary answers met that target in each parliamentary session since 2001. [107465]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department aims to answer parliamentary questions within the timescales specified by Parliament which is named days on the day named, and ordinary written questions within a working week.


9 Jan 2007 : Column 508W

Deputy Prime Minister

Furniture

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much has been spent by his Department on furniture made by British firms since May 2006. [105142]

The Deputy Prime Minister: My department has not spent any money on furniture since it was set up in May 2006.

Gender Equality

John Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) when he expects to publish his Department’s gender equality scheme; [101473]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that private organisations contracted to work in his Department are aware of their duties under gender equality legislation when they are exercising public functions on behalf of public bodies; [101522]

(3) what plans he has to carry out gender impact assessments of his Department’s major policy developments and new legislation; [101532]

(4) what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department is taking steps to meet the requirements of the forthcoming duty on public bodies (a) to end unlawful discrimination and harassment and (b) to promote equality between women and men. [101562]

The Deputy Prime Minister: The Government are committed to the implementation of the gender equality legislation which we introduced. My Department is aware of its obligations, and is taking appropriate steps to ensure that it will be able to meet its gender equality duties by the relevant dates.

Hospitality and Travel Costs

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the evidential basis was for his statement of 13 December 2006, Official Report, column 858, that the Government have spent less on hospitality and travel than the previous Administration; [110374]

(2) what the total amount spent on catering, hospitality and official entertainment by his predecessor as Deputy Prime Minister was in 1996-97. [112687]

The Deputy Prime Minister [holding answers 19 December 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 9 February 1998, Official Report, column 16, on 22 July 2004, Official Report, column 465W, and on 19 December 2006, Official Report, column 1808W.

Legal Advice

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much has been spent by his Department on external legal advice since its establishment. [109105]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Nothing.


9 Jan 2007 : Column 509W

Ministerial Duties

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2006, Official Report, column 652W, what the cost was of setting up the website giving information about his official duties. [105722]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) on 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1624W.


Next Section Index Home Page