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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): It would not be possible to make a meaningful estimate of such costs. A review of police tasks in 1995 recommended that responsibility for the execution of warrants, such as those for non-payment of fines, should be transferred from the police to the Magistrates' Courts as this was not core policing work. Legislative changes are necessary to ensure that the courts have the necessary powers to execute such warrants. Such changes are under consideration by my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government announced on 3 July 1997 that they intended to review the United Kingdom's position under various international instruments. This includes whether to accept the right of individuals to submit complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Committee under the First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This review is under way and we expect it to be completed by the end of the year.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government have been considering the United Kingdom's position on the Second Optional Protocol as part of our general review on various international human rights instruments. The
Lord Williams of Mostyn: There is not a Sixth Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Question may be intended to refer to Protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government have undertaken to ratify that Protocol.
The rights contained in Protocol 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights have been added to the Convention rights contained in the Human Rights Bill [H.L.]. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is now considering what needs to be done to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the Protocol.
In relation to their contribution to the Association of Chief Police Officers of £458,000, what is the split between salaries and administration expenses.[HL2244]
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The 1996-97 accounts of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) related to a period before the association became a private company limited by guarantee and before it was in receipt of funding from police authorities. The contribution by the Government to ACPO of £458,000 is managed by the Home Office, which pays invoices for approved expenditure incurred by ACPO, and consequently has not been included in the accounts. From 1998-99 the accounts will be presented in the Companies House format and the Home Office contribution will be included in the accounts.
The Government contribute £458,000 towards the salaries and administrative costs of ACPO. The apportionment of this sum between the two types of costs is a matter for the internal management of the association.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): It is the duty of the United Kingdom product licence holder to report to the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) any product defect which may warrant a recall or restriction of supply. Informal arrangements exist between the MCA and the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for the effective exchange of information on such products. In the case of US manufactured EpiPen auto injectors, the UK licence holder informed the MCA on 13 May that product from affected batches had been distributed in the UK. In this case, the FDA did not communicate with the MCA because the US manufacturer, and therefore the FDA, was not immediately aware that any of the defective product was on the market in the UK. This was because Denmark is the importing EC member state for this product before onward distribution to, among others, the UK. The MCA initiated discussions with the FDA and the US manufacturer and subsequently issued a Drug Alert/"Caution in Use" message on 21 May. This was upgraded to a Drug Alert/"Recall within 48 hours" message on 29 May, when replacement stocks of EpiPen became available.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: At present there are no national standards set for night time care or for night time staffing levels. It is for local trusts to determine what monitoring takes place of the quality of night time care and what staffing levels are appropriate.
What is their estimate of the number respectively of men and women with current earnings exceeding £87,600 per annum who either after 1 June 1989 became, and currently remain, members of a retirement benefits scheme which is approved under Sections 590 or 591 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, or of a relevant statutory scheme within the meaning of Section 611A of that Act, or who joined such a scheme which came into existence on or after 14 March 1989, and in either case is also a member of a funded unapproved retirement benefits scheme (FURBS).[HL2248]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The WFTC will reduce marginal tax rates for over half a million families. The number of families facing marginal deduction rates of 80 per cent. or more will fall from 300,000 to 200,000 and those facing marginal deduction rates of 90 per cent. or more will fall from 130,000 to only 20,000. The Government will continue to keep the number facing high marginal deduction rates under review and work to reduce numbers further where this is practicable.
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