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Government Special Shares

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Government Special shares in the following companies have expired or been redeemed since 1980:

    The 10 privatised water and sewerage companies in England and Wales

    National Grid Company plc

    BT plc

    British Technology Group

    Mersey Docks and Harbour Company

    British Steel

    Amersham International


    Enterprise Oil


    AEA Technology

We believe that this is a complete list, although there is a possibility of omissions given the long time period covered by the question.

The Government still hold Special shares in the following companies:

    Cable & Wireless plc

    Stena Line Ltd


    Rolls-Royce plc

    VSEL Ltd

    BAA plc

    Belfast International Airport Ltd

    Viridian Group plc

    Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd

    National Grid Group plc

    BG plc

    National Power plc

    PowerGen plc

    Scottish Power plc

24 Jul 2000 : Column WA10

    Scottish & Southern Energy plc

    British Energy plc, with separate shares in

    British Energy Generation Ltd

    British Energy Generation (UK) Ltd

    Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd

    Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd

    UK Nirex Ltd

    London and Continental Railways Ltd

    Eurostar (UK) Ltd

    Inter-Capital and Regional Rail Limited

    CDC plc

    PUK plc

Luncheon Vouchers

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How luncheon vouchers are treated (a) for tax purposes and (b) for the purpose of national insurance contributions.[HL3441]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The value of any luncheon vouchers awarded to an employee in excess of 15 pence per day is subject to tax and National Insurance contributions.

Long-term Care Insurance

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to receive the report of the Treasury enquiry into long-term care insurance; and whether it will be published.[HL3537]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The report will be published shortly at the same time as a consultation document on the regulation of long-term care insurance.

EU Preliminary Draft Budget

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in respect of the EU Document Preliminary Draft Budget 2001, Volume 0, General Introduction (Provisional version--May 2000), they will issue an amendment to their Explanatory Memorandum of 3 July (Glossary) setting out a detailed commentary on, and explanation of, the textual introduction at page 3 of the Budget, and, in particular, the following terms:

    (a) "Activity-based Budgeting (ABB)";

    (b) "Activity-based Management";

    (c) "top-down budgeting";

    (d) "quantitative guidelines";

24 Jul 2000 : Column WA11

    (e) "the Commission's twenty-nine policy areas";

    (f) "priorities expressed by Parliament";

    (g) "the employment proposal linked to the new economy";

    (h) "overview of all the various resources"; and

    (i) "major exercise of matching human resources to activities"; and their collective interpretations.[HL3277]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Glossary submitted with the Explanatory Memorandum on the Preliminary Draft Budget 2001, (Volume 0--Provisional version), is intended as a general guide to annual EU Budget terms only.

Details of the Commission's plans for reform of the budgetary process were included in COM (2000) 200, "White Paper on Reforming the Commission and Action Plan for Reforming the Commission". which was the subject of an Explanatory Memorandum submitted by the Foreign Office on 28 March 2000.

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will indicate what arrangements have been made, or will be made, for consideration to be given by each House of Parliament to the EU Document Preliminary Draft Budget 2001, together with the Explanatory Memorandum thereon; the Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee B thereon (No. 21337); and their answer to HL 3277.[HL3278]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Economic Secretary to the Treasury has deposited Explanatory Memoranda in Parliament on the EU Documents Nos. COM(2000) 300, the Preliminary Draft Budget (PDB) 2001 (Volumes 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8), and the Commission's Overview of the PDB (Provisional Volume 0), on 10 July and on 27 June respectively.

In addition, the House of Commons European Standing Committee B debated these documents and the Government's efforts to maintain budget discipline in the Community, on Wednesday 12 July. The Economic Secretary was present for the Government.

Houses of Parliament: Sittings Statistics

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On how many days (a) the House of Lords and (b) the House of Commons sat during the 1998-99 Session; and on how many days the Lords rose later than the Commons.[HL3260]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The Information Office of the House of Lords is usually able to provide statistics such as these. I have asked them to write to the noble Lord providing the information which has been requested.

24 Jul 2000 : Column WA12

Central Office of Information Trading Fund: Accounts

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to publish the accounts of the Central Office of Information Trading Fund.[HL3434]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The accounts of the Central Office of Information Trading Fund were laid before the House on Wednesday 19 July.

Northern Ireland: Terrorist Intimidation

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people are known to have left Northern Ireland because of terrorist threats between 1 January and 30 June 2000; and how the total compares with the same period in 1999.[HL3246]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: There are no figures of this sort available.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proposals they have to combat punishment beatings and the threats by terrorist groups which force people to leave Northern Ireland.[HL 3247]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Paramilitary style attacks by their nature are difficult to combat, as are cases of intimidation which may result in people leaving Northern Ireland. Police investigations of such offences are often hampered when victims generally decline to make a formal complaint.

It is therefore important that members of communities within which these attacks are taking place pass to police any relevant information. They may do so in strict confidence using the Crimestoppers line. They should be encouraged by all community leaders to do so.

Northern Ireland: Drug-related Crimes

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many people were convicted of drug-related crimes in Northern Ireland in each year from 1990-1999.[HL3268]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The table below shows numbers of persons convicted for drug-related offences in Northern Ireland. Please note that only figures for 1992-1997 are available for all courts.

YearNumbers Convicted
1990-1991Data no longer held on accessible database format
1999Not available(1)

(1)Crown Court only. Court data for 1998 (Magistrates' Courts) and 1999 are not yet available due to changes in crime counting rules and the recent change to financial year recording of crime.

24 Jul 2000 : Column WA13

Millennium Dome

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 29 June (WA 96) that a number of the Dome's sponsors have recently introduced discounted ticket offers, which organisation bears the revenue costs of these discounted ticket offers: the sponsor or the New Millennium Experience Company. [HL3222]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Some sponsors are supporting the New Millennium Experience Company's (NMEC) ticket marketing efforts by including discounted offers in their own marketing literature. As is normal in such cases, the actual discount is funded by the attraction (i.e. the Dome) and the company carrying the promotion (i.e. the sponsor) meets the cost of all the publicity, literature and point of sale material. The company believes that the sales volume and subsequent retailing opportunities generated by such offers will be significant, making this type of initiative a viable part of the NMEC's marketing strategy.

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