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The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Inter-agency guidance on the strategic management of complex child abuse investigations is published today in response to Recommendation 22 of Lost in Care, the report of the tribunal of inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the former county council areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974.
This new guidance builds on the key principles for investigating organised or multiple abuse set out in the Government's child protection guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, published in 1999. It has been developed by an inter-agency working group, chaired by the Association of Chief Police Officers, which drew together the experience of a number of police forces, local authorities and voluntary organisations which have been closely involved in undertaking complex child abuse investigations.
The guidance is aimed primarily at the police and social services. It focuses on the specific issues highlighted in Recommendation 22 of access to records and information-sharing, and it also provides practical advice on key inter-agency issues such as setting up and closing an investigation, victim and witness support and media handling. The guidance also addresses concerns raised by those who have questioned the investigative methods used in inquiries, including the methods used to contact potential witnesses and the treatment of alleged offenders.
Baroness Crawley: The Government welcome the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as an African owned and led initiative. NEPAD has set up teams to work in five areas, which are peace and security, economic and corporate governance, infrastructure, central bank and financial standards, and agriculture and market access.
We are working with our G8 partners to develop a strong response to NEPAD at the Kananaskis Summit through the G8 Action Plan for Africa. We are focusing on the key areas of conflict, trade, education, health, development assistance and debt, where G8 policies affect Africa.
Baroness Crawley: The most recent report from the International Labour Organisation estimates that there are 246 million working children: 179 million of them are engaged in the worst forms of child labour that endanger their physical, mental and moral well-being.
The Government will continue to support partners that tackle child labour internationally, nationally and locally, and to promote policies that support poverty elimination and social justice for children. My department has recently published a paper, Liberating Childrencombating hidden and harmful child labour. which looks at why there are so many children in harmful work and suggests how everyonegovernments, international organisations, business and civil societyhas a part to play in tackling this persistent problem.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Clause 88 in the Finance Bill gives the UK the reserve power to introduce regulations in the UK to protect the UK tax base. The clause concerns the UK tax liability of UK resident companies and does not affect the constitutional arrangements with the Channel Islands.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government support fair tax competition and the abolition of harmful tax measures on as wide a geographical basis as possible. Regarding the code of conduct, the UK supports the timetable agreed by the ECOFIN on 2627 November 2000 regarding the rollback of harmful measures.
In announcing the decision in Jersey, the President of Jersey's Policy and Resources Committee, Senator Pierre Horsfall, said, ''We believe that the impact of this change on our economy is likely to be negligible and that our customers will welcome the certainty this will provide looking forward''.
In announcing the decision in Guernsey, the States Supervisor said, ''It is also in the Island's best long-term economic interests since it protects both our finance industry's competitiveness and the Island's reputation as a responsible and co-operative jurisdiction''.
The effect on the economies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man of adopting the principles of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation would depend on the nature of the tax changes introduced to replace the current harmful features. The purpose of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation is to remove practices that distort competition, and in particular those that discriminate against residents.
Regarding the City of London, the Government's support for the draft Directive on Savings followed extensive discussions with interests in the City, which indicated clearly that an approach based on exchange of information rather than a withholding tax was the right way to proceed. The Government introduced legislation in 2000 requiring details of UK savings income of EU residents to be collected and reported to the Inland Revenue. And the UK has no tax measures considered to have harmful features by the report of 29 November 1999 of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation.
Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed the standards of fair tax competition as most recently set out in the OECD's 2001 progress report.
Of the 35 jurisdictions identified by the OECD in its 2000 report as meeting the criteria of tax havens, the following 28 jurisdictions have since changed their legislation or made commitments to co-operate with the OECD principles: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cook Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, the Republic of the Maldives, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Niue, Panama, Samoa, the Republic of the Seychelles, St. Lucia, the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tonga, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands. A further six jurisdictions made commitments to co-operate prior to publication of the 2000 report: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius and San Marino.
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