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Student Loans: Interest Rate

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blackstone: Our intention is that the interest rate applied to loans should continue to be linked to the RPI as at present. However, the detailed arrangements for accruing interest will be complex because of the time lags which will result from collecting loan repayments through the tax system. We are currently considering the issues and will, if appropriate, bring forward an amendment to the Teaching and Higher Education Bill in due course to clarify the position.

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NHS National Performance Framework

Lord Davies of Oldham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the consultation document on the national performance framework referred to in the Government's White Paper, The New NHS.[HL262]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): We are publishing the consultation document today. Copies have been placed in the Library.

Treaty of Amsterdam: ECJ Jurisdiction

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To what extent Article K7(6) of the Treaty of Amsterdam could affect the present British constitutional position that "no parliament can bind the hands of its successors".[HL5]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Under Article K7(6) of the Treaty on European Union, as substituted by the Amsterdam Treaty, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice is limited to reviewing the actions of the Council, and does not extend to measures taken by member states to give effect in their national law to any resulting obligations.

Immigration Advisers

Lord Davies of Oldham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action is being taken to control immigration advisers.[HL261]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Our manifesto commits us to controlling unscrupulous immigration advisers. We have examined the options for delivering on this commitment and will tomorrow place a copy of a consultation paper in the Library at 9am. Copies of the consultation paper will be sent to interested parties and further copies will be available on request. Comments are invited by 23 March.

Deaths in Custody

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people over and under 21 respectively died in 1997 in the custody of the Prison Service in England and Wales; the Prison Service in Scotland; the police in England and Wales; the police in Scotland; the special hospitals in England and Wales and the Armed Forces respectively; how many of the deaths in each of these cases were self inflicted; and what proportion each of these figures represented of

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    the average number in custody during the year in each of these classes of establishment.[HL48]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The available information is as follows:

Deaths in Custody in 1997

Over 2121 and underTotal
Prison Service (England and Wales)
97 (self-inflicted 53)18 (self-inflicted 17)115
Prison Service (Scotland)
16 (self-inflicted 11)3 (self-inflicted 3)19
Police Service (England and Wales) April 1996--March 1997
53 (self-inflicted 8)4 (self-inflicted 2)(1)57
Police Service (Scotland)
10 (self-inflicted 1)1 (self-inflicted 0)(1)11
High Security Hospitals (England and Wales)
14 (self-inflicted 3)Nil14
Armed Forces

(1) Includes deaths in custody outside the police station.

Information on the average daily population in the custody of each of these services in 1997 is not readily available, but deaths in custody obviously represent a minute proportion of the total figures.

Maternity Benefit Payments

Lord Hayhoe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many individuals have received maternity benefits, during each of the last five years for which information or estimates are available (a) exceeding £18,000; (b) between £10,000 and £18,000 per week; (c) between £1,000 and £9,999 per week.[HL63]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The information is not available in the form requested and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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Royal Armouries Museum: Admissions

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the monthly admission figures for the Royal Armouries in Leeds since their opening; and, in each month, how many were adults and children paying the full charge; how many were parties of children paying a reduced rate or no charge; and how many were complimentary.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is owned and operated by Royal Armouries (International) plc (RAI), the private sector partner of the Royal Armouries. RAI have provided the following monthly admission figures for the Royal Armouries in Leeds since its opening. I will write further to the noble Lord about the availability of details of the pricing structure and the public's response to it.

1996-97 Total805,822

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