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However, the department has taken action against a number of money circulation schemes. The Court of Appeal, in a case which attracted considerable press coverage, stated that such schemes "involve those who set up, promote, purvey and administer the scheme in criminal offences". My department has powers to regulate trading schemes operating within the UK, including money circulation schemes, under the Trading Schemes Act 1996.
Nevertheless, smoking results in serious health problems. The Government are committed to banning tobacco advertising, and the Minister of State for Public Health is holding an international summit on smoking on 14 July. The summit will consider next steps in order to reduce smoking and its conclusions will inform the development of a White Paper, to be published later in the year. The White Paper will include proposals for legislation to ban tobacco advertising and other measures.
The World Trade Organisation does not prevent restrictions being put in place if they are necessary to protect human life or health. Any such restrictions must be based on sound scientific evidence and must not be applied in a discriminatory manner. Any restrictions on
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Government manifesto commitment is to allow a free vote on whether there should be a ban on hunting with hounds. The Private Member's Wild Mammals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill is now before Parliament.
What companies are responsible for project management and the supply of computer hardware and software in relation to the information technology programmes currently being planned and implemented to update the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and Immigration Service; and what penalties are included in their contracts for failure to deliver to cost, on time and to quality; and
Whether they will place in the Library of the House copies of all documentation relating to the computerisation of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, the document reception centre, the public enquiry office and the casework programme.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Casework Programme, to which the noble Earl's questions refer, is a service-provision contract awarded to Siemens Business Services (SBS) under the Private Finance Initiative. Under the terms of that contract SBS are to design, build, finance and operate a new computerised caseworking system for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). Payments will be made to SBS on the basis of the efficiency improvements achieved by IND in consequence of the services provided under the contract. The detailed arrangements are commercially confidential.
I have arranged for a copy of a report describing the IND Casework Programme to be placed in the Library, and I shall make similar arrangements for copies of the contract with SBS, minus the commercially sensitive schedule detailing the charging arrangements.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: There are many ways in which pensioners can share in rising national prosperity--through contributory pension entitlements, through other benefits, or through the income derived from savings.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State will shortly be announcing details of a review of the central areas of insecurity for elderly people. All aspects of the basic pension and its value will be included in our review. We believe that it should provide the foundation of security in retirement. Our priority is to get help to Britain's poorest pensioners and we are commissioning research into why around a million pensioners fail to claim the income support to which they are entitled.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: This Government's approach is to help lone mothers improve their family income by helping them into work. This is a high priority for the Government and we will give lone mothers opportunities to move into work as part of our welfare to work programme.
In May 1996, there were 1.1 million lone mothers in receipt of income support, and 300,000 in receipt of family credit. Roughly three-quarters of all lone parents on income support at the beginning of a year are still there 12 months later--a proportion which has stayed roughly constant for several years. Research also suggests that a high proportion--over 70 per cent.--of lone mothers on income support feel trapped (DSS Research Report Moving off Income Support: Barriers and Bridges).
Lone mothers on income support are also restricted in their income mobility and their economic mobility. Research shows that lone-mother families are less likely to make a transition out of low income than the population as a whole. Of those in the bottom 30 per cent. of the income distribution in 1991, eight out of 10 of those in lone-mother families were still there in 1994, compared with two-thirds of the population as a whole (British Household Panel Survey).
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The best thing a government can do for young unemployed people is to help them back into work. This is precisely the reason we are introducing the New Deal, which will give work, education and other opportunities to young unemployed people aged 18 to 24 who have been unemployed for over six months. They will be offered a choice of:
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