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Criminal Justice System Business Plan

Lord Gordon of Strathblane asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary, my noble and learned friend the Attorney-General and I will today be publishing jointly a business plan for the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

The plan describes the aims, objectives and performance targets that the Government expect the criminal justice system as a whole to work to deliver.

Copies of the plan will be placed in the Library.

Financial Services Authority: Parliamentary Accountability

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The statement to which the noble Earl refers concerned the question of the Financial Services Authority's making public the results of its discussions with its German counterparts on the regulatory implications of the proposed London Stock Exchange-Deutsche Borse merger. Regulatory decisions concerning the recognition of UK investment exchanges and the continuing compliance of such exchanges with the recognition criteria are matters for the FSA rather than the Government. The Financial Services Authority is accountable to Parliament through Treasury Ministers, and the Financial Services and Markets Bill provides that an annual report by the authority on the discharge of its functions must be laid by the Treasury before Parliament.

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Economic Cycle

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their definition of the present economic cycle and the last economic cycle; what has been the annual deficit or surplus as a percentage of gross domestic product each year of the present cycle; and what was the annual United Kingdom general government deficit or surplus in each year of the last economic cycle.[HL2492]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As set out in paragraph 2.37 of the Budget 2000 Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report (HC346), present indications are that the economy may have completed a full economic cycle starting in the first half of 1997 and ending in the middle of 1999. This assessment would imply that the current cycle started in the middle of 1999. However, given the closeness to trend and possible measurement errors, this conclusion can only be provisional at this stage.

Over the period 1997-98 to 1999-2000, the current Budget, by which performance is measured against the golden rule, was in surplus by -0.7 per cent of GDP in 1997-98, 0.9 per cent in 1998-99 and 1.9 per cent in 1999-2000 (i.e. an average surplus of 0.7 per cent over the cycle, consistent with meeting the golden rule). For 2000-01 the projection is for a current surplus of 1.5 per cent of GDP. General government net borrowing was 0.9 per cent of GDP in 1997-98, -0.6 per cent in 1998-99 and -1.3 per cent in 1999-2000, and is projected to be -0.6 per cent in 2000-01 (where a negative number implies a net repayment).

Sunday Working

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people in England and Wales are estimated to be working on a Sunday in the year 2000 compared with the year 1990; what percentage of the working population this represents; how many are estimated to be women; and how many are estimated to have children.[HL2344]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The latest available figures show that about 4.3 million people in England and Wales said they usually worked on a Sunday in spring 1999, just under 20 per cent of all those in employment. Of this number, 1.8 million were women while 40 per cent of those who usually worked on Sunday had dependent children under 16 years of age. Full estimates are provided in the table below. Comparable information is not available for earlier years.

Frequency of Sunday working1 by sex and by whether respondents have dependent children (under 16 years of age) in England and Wales

Usually work Sundays Ever work Sundays Never work Sunday
ThousandsPer centThousandsPer centThousandsPer cent
All people
Without dependent children2,59159.83,45561.08,11662.8
With dependent children1,73940.22,20639.04,79837.2
Without dependent children1,50760.22,30959.84,06464.8
With dependent children99839.81,55440.22,21035.2
Without dependent children1,08459.41,14663.74,05161.0
With dependent children74140.665336.32,58839.0


Spring 1999 Labour Force Survey.

For all in employment, excluding those on college based schemes.

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Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many companies are estimated to have drawn up contracts since the passage of the 1994 Sunday trading legislation requiring their employees to work on a Sunday. [HL2345]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: My department collects no information on this subject.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assessment has been made of the impact on health and stress and on the unity of family life since workers have been unable to take a shared day off from work following the 1994 Sunday trading legislation. [HL2346]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: My department has conducted no assessment of the kind suggested. When the Sunday Trading Act 1994 deregulated Sunday shopping, it included provisions--now consolidated into the Employment Rights Act 1996--to ensure that all shopworkers, with the exception of those employed to work solely on Sundays, have the right to refuse to work on Sundays and to be protected against dismissal, selection for redundancy or other detrimental action for such refusal.

Stamp Programme

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will require the Post Office to publish the major events in the history of the United Kingdom, including its defence of freedom, the Industrial Revolution and its contribution to world sport and culture for which a special stamp issue was made available during the last 10 years. [HL2350]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Stamp Programme is a matter for the Post Office. The Post Office tells me that it does not hold records of special stamp issues which have been made on major events in the history of the United Kingdom, and this information could not be obtained without disproportionate cost. It tells

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me that the "Great Britain Concise, 1999 Edition", by Stanley Gibbons, provides a definitive list of GB stamps since 1840. It has also pointed out that the Millennium Stamps programme last year covered over 1,000 years of British history and achievement. The programme included the subjects of the Industrial Revolution, equal rights and the 1966 World Cup Final.

Wireless Telegraphy Act Licences: Auction

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What fees they expect in respect of the recent auction of mobile telephone licences; what were the amounts; and who were the recipients.[HL2355]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government expect licence fees totalling £22,477,400,000 from the recent auction of Wireless Telegraphy Act licences for third generation mobile communications. The recipient and licence fee for each licence are as follows.

Licence ATIW UMTS (UK) Limited4,384,700,000
Licence BVodafone Limited5,964,000,000
Licence CBT3G Limited4,030,100,000
Licence DOne2One Personal Communications Limited4,003,600,000
Licence EOrange 3G Limited4,095,000,000

UK Oil Reserves and the EU

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the context of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union, they are aware of any suggestions that the United Kingdom's oil reserves should become a common resource of the European Communities; and, if so, what is their reaction to such suggestions.[HL2356]

23 May 2000 : Column WA81

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There is nothing expressed in any of the articles of the EC Treaty (or of the Treaty on European Union) to support the suggestion that the UK's oil reserves should become a common resource of the European Communities. There can be no doubt that so fundamental a matter would need to be dealt with in the articles of the treaty.

The Hydrocarbons Licensing Directive (94/22/EC) recitals state clearly that "Member States have sovereign rights over hydrocarbon resources on their territories".

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