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Hunting Bill: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The UK Government are committed to abiding by the principles set down in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 and are satisfied that the provisions of the Hunting Bill are compatible with the declaration.

St Andrews Golf Club

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): The home sports councils deal with applications from organisations seeking recognition as United Kingdom or home country governing bodies. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews is the international governing body for golf (with the exception of the United States of America) and as such the sports councils have no authority over the body. The body therefore would not need to, and has not applied for, recognition by the Sports Councils. It is not possible to say if all requirements are met without a detailed application.

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NHS: Delayed Discharge and EmergencyRe-admission

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 2 December (WA77), why the information on the Department of Health website about delayed discharge and emergency re-admission does not include the data provided by primary care trust areas; and whether in future it will do so.[HL802]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The quarterly headline figures appearing on the Department of Health's website provide a high level summary of performance against a wide range of measures. Quarterly information to primary care trust level on delayed discharges is made available to the Library in response to Parliamentary Questions. lynne

Diabetes National Service Framework Delivery Strategy

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the Diabetes National Service Framework Delivery Strategy.[HL998]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We are publishing the Diabetes National Service Framework Delivery Strategy today, just 13 months after publishing the Diabetes National Service Framework Standards. An implementation group of outside experts has helped us to develop the delivery strategy. This is an important NSF and the first to be published under the Shifting the Balance of Power reforms. As such, it needed to be developed in a new way.

The delivery strategy confirms the targets in Improvement, Expansion and Reform: the next 3 years, putting in place registers, education and advice to support systematic treatment regimes and ensuring a systematic eye-screening programme to national standards.

These are the first steps in reaching national diabetes standards for services which lead to fewer people developing diabetes and better care for those who have it; are centred around the needs of people with diabetes, developed in partnership with health care staff, equitable, integrated and focused on delivering the best outcomes for the person with diabetes; and offer care that is structured and pro-active, providing people with the support they need to manage their own condition.

The delivery strategy offers a framework for the NHS to build capacity to put in place building blocks for the NHS to reach the national service framework (NSF) standards over the next 10 years. In addition to the two targets, key elements are setting up a local diabetes network, or similarly robust mechanism, which involves identifying local leaders and

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appointing and resourcing network managers, clinical champions and a person(s) with diabetes to champion the views of local people; reviewing the local baseline assessment, establishing and promulgating local implementation arrangements with a trajectory to reach the standards; participating in comparative local and national audit; undertaking a local workforce skills profile of staff involved in the care of people with diabetes and developing education and training programmes with the local workforce development confederation.

As announced in the delivery strategy, we plan to appoint a national clinical director for diabetes this spring to provide both national leadership and support to localities in delivering the national service framework.

Copies of the Diabetes National Service Framework Delivery Strategy will be placed in the Library.

Free Prescriptions and Tax Credits

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the position regarding entitlement to free prescriptions when new tax credits are introduced in April.[HL999]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: When new tax credits start from next April—working tax credit and child tax credit—the arrangements for entitlement to help with health costs via tax credits will continue largely the same as now. Families (single people or couples) who get working tax credit and child tax credit or working tax credit with a disability addition and whose income is below a certain limit will be entitled to full help with health costs.

In addition, families who cannot get working tax credit because they do not work 16 hours per week but get child tax credit and whose income is below the same limit will also be entitled to full help with health costs. This will include families whose income support stops when they start to get child tax credit.

The income limit will be based on the family's gross annual income; that is, income for the year before tax and national insurance are taken off. For tax credit awards, which start from April 2003, the income limit will be £14, 200 gross per year. This is around the same income level as now after taking account of inflation and 2002 Budget changes to tax and national insurance. lynne

Currently the Inland Revenue sends out a tax credit exemption certificate to families who are entitled to full help with health costs. For awards of the new tax credits, the Prescription Pricing Authority (in Newcastle) will send out exemption certificates on behalf of all the health departments. Families in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland getting new tax credits who are entitled to full help with health costs will all be sent their exemption certificates by the Prescription Pricing Authority on the basis of information provided by the Inland Revenue.

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The Inland Revenue will include information for the public in a leaflet to be sent out with new tax credit awards.

Irish Government: Respect for Traditions

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA174) concerning the Irish Government's respect for tradition, what were the 137 organisations involved in a wide range of cross-community education research and outreach programmes in 1999 and 2000; how much each received and for what project; what percentage went to groups in the Irish Republic; and what was the equality proofing for the allocation.[HL183]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Details of all grants made from the Reconciliation Fund from 1999 to August 2002 are available on the Irish Government's website at

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA174-175), what progress has been made by the interdepartmental committee established in January 1998 to develop the Battle of the Boyne site; what is the purpose of the committee; who are its members; how much it has spent; and what are the grounds for considering that its progress has been good.[HL355]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The mandate of this interdepartmental committee is to examine how best to develop the historic Battle of the Boyne. The committee is making progress on this historic project, which has unique symbolic significance for the Unionist tradition in Ireland. Membership of the committee is made up of representatives of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, the Taoiseach, arts, heritage, Gaeltacht and the island, environment and local government as well as the Office of Public Works and Bord Failte.

Belfast Agreement

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 6 November (WA127), who are the parties to the Belfast Agreement, what are the obligations of the Irish Government under the Belfast Agreement; and to what extent, if at all, they consider that the Irish Government have honoured their obligations.[HL257]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The parties to the Belfast Agreement are those political parties represented in the negotiations that took place between 1996 and 1998 who remained at the conclusion of the talks and made clear their support for the agreement, along with the British and Irish Governments. The obligations of the Irish Government are as set out in the agreement

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(and there are other obligations on the two governments in the international agreement concluded at the same time). The Belfast Agreement is still in the course of fulfilment, but we believe that the Irish Government, like the British, have made very substantial headway in meeting their obligations. lynne

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