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UK Birth Rates

Lord McColl of Dulwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): In the UK we currently have around 3.4 people of working age for every person aged state pension age and above. By 2030 this will have fallen to around 2.4.

30 Jul 2002 : Column WA178

The UK National Insurance Fund is financed on a pay-as-you-go basis with current national insurance contributions financing a range of today's contributory benefits, including the state retirement pension.

An increase in the birth rate would help to reduce any future demographic pressure on the National Insurance Fund. However, any increase in the birth rate would need to be sustained over the longer term as any one-off increase would generate future pressures on the National Insurance Fund.

Roding Valley: Football Academy Proposal

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to protect the integrity of the Green Belt within the Epping Forest District; and, if so, whether they will ensure that any proposal for a football academy in Roding Valley is called in for determination by a public inquiry.[HL5458]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The Government Office for the East of England is monitoring the proposal; any decision to call in the application for planning permission will take account of our published criteria.

Beacon Councils Advisory Panel

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for the Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils.[HL5733]

Lord Rooker: The Advisory Panel on Beacon Councils, which is currently an ad hoc body, will be established as an advisory non-departmental public body. The new body will formally come into being on 16 September 2002.

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