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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The United Kingdom's contribution to the United Nations' Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture was £130,000 in 1999. The UK's contribution was the second largest in 1999. The UK's contribution in 1998 (£130,000) was the third largest.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): Yes. Professor David Feldman, currently Barber Professor of Jurisprudence and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Birmingham, has been appointed with effect from 1 September 2000. If a committee is appointed before that date, Professor Feldman will be available to assist it on an ad hoc basis.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government encourage employers to ensure that they do not discriminate in their recruitment processes. I understand that some employers may consider it appropriate to monitor applications with a view to
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport expects to announce details of the membership of the panel within a very few weeks. Members will not be representing interested organistations but will be appointed in an independent capacity, with expertise and experience relevant to the work of the panel.
For the purpose of Working Families' and Disabled Person's Tax Credit, family is defined as a married or unmarried couple responsible for a child, or a young person in non-advanced education, who is a member of the same household for whom at least one of them is responsible, or as a lone parent who is responsible for such a child or young person.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The latest available statistics give the total strength of the Army Cadet Forces as 42,550. The three Army Cadet Force contingents that are strongest numerically are:
|Humberside and South Yorkshire||17,079|
|Yorkshire North and West||14,016|
|Leicestershire and Northamptonshire||13,051|
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: There are well-established procedures between the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence for calling on military support for relief work in overseas humanitarian emergencies. These procedures are reviewed as a matter of routine following every operation.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government reaffirm their high regard for the work of the Services Cotswold Centre on behalf of Army families. The Centre is, however, under-utilised and a working group has recently been set up to explore alternative means of providing the service and to identify a solution that offers better value for money. The centre will not be closed until an appropriate alternative solution is in place. I shall write further to the noble Baroness when the position is clearer and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: There are no widows in receipt of both a Forces Family Pension and an attributable Forces Family Pension. A widow may receive either a Forces Family Pension or an attributable Forces Family Pension from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, but not both. A widow of a serviceman who dies for reasons attributable to service may receive a family pension from the AFPS and a War Widow's Pension from the DSS War Pension Scheme.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The supply of food to our Armed Forces is contracted out to "3663". The MoD does not specify the source from which our contractor should obtain meat (or any other products) but expects them to seek the best market price, consistent with meeting our quality standards; indeed to do otherwise would contravene European law. I am as keen, however, on seeing our servicemen and women eating British products as I am for our contractor to secure the best value for money. Accordingly, our contractor is required specifically to give full consideration to British products, which we look to them to buy wherever they are competitive. Currently all beef for consumption by our UK-based service personnel is British. In addition, 100 per cent of our pork; some 50 per cent of our bacon and gammon; and 30 per cent of our chicken is being sourced in the UK.