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Disabled People: Employment

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: We have a wide range of programmes that offer support in helping disabled people secure work where they are ready and able to do so, including Workstep, Access to Work, and Work Preparation. Jobcentre Plus advisory services and the specialist programmes are available irrespective of benefit (if any) claimed.

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The New Deal for Disabled People is the first national employment programme specifically designed to help disabled people move into and keep jobs. Since the national extension of the programme began, it has helped over 20,000 people into jobs and more than 57,000 have registered with job brokers to actively pursue employment.

Licensing Act 2003

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will lay before Parliament the secondary legislation under the Licensing Act 2003 on (a) the procedures to be followed in making an application for a licence under the Act; (b) the procedures for applying for "grandfather rights" for both a personal and premises licence; (c) the procedures to be followed in applying for a variation to a premises licence; (d) the fees to be paid for a personal licence; (e) the fees to be paid for an application for a premises licence; (f) the annual scale of charges to be levied on premises licences; and (g) the annual fee to be paid to register an interest in a premises licence.[HL5418]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The Government are currently preparing this secondary legislation in consultation with stakeholders including those representing local authorities. We intend to lay before Parliament all the secondary legislation that is required for transition to the new licensing regime, including those referred to by the noble Lord, over the next three months.

Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What additional funds they are allocating to local authorities in order for them to discharge their functions under the Licensing Act 2003.[HL5486]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Licensing Act 2003 provides for fees to be payable to the licensing authorities for discharging their functions under the Act, for example, for applications for premises licences or club premises certificates. The fees will be set centrally by the Secretary of State at a level which will allow for full cost recovery in respect of the administration, inspection and enforcement of the new regime. No additional funding will therefore be required. Where an exemption from the requirement to pay a fee has been granted by the Government, the associated costs will be met from central government funds.

Lord Redesdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recommendations they will make to local authorities with regard to how much they should charge applicants for (a) a premises licence; (b) a club premises licence; (c) a temporary event notice;

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    and (d) a personal licence, when the Licensing Act comes into effect as expected in January 2005.[HL5487]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Licensing Act 2003 provides that the fees which licensing authorities will charge for applications etc for licences, certificates and notices will be set centrally by the Secretary of State. The regulations setting out the fee levels will be made in the next few months. The regulatory impact assessment which accompanied the Licensing Bill contains estimates of the fee levels and is available from the Library of the House.

Public Schools: Charitable Status and Tax Relief

Lord Lea of Crondall asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the annual tax relief for public schools with charitable status in the last financial year.[HL5514]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Information is not available on the costs of charitable reliefs broken down by type of charity. The available information relates to all charities and is published in Table 10.2 of Inland Revenue Statistics at

Export of Cultural Objects

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will be laying under the Export Control Act 2002 (i) an order relating to the export of cultural objects and (ii) guidance about the exercising of licensing powers on cultural objects.[HL5574]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Earlier today, the Government laid the Export of Objects of Cultural Interest (Control) Order 2003 (SI 2003/2759) made under the auspices of the Export Control Act 2002 before Parliament. In addition to this the statutory guidance required under the same Act about the general principles to be followed when exercising licensing powers on objects of cultural interest was also laid.

Newspapers and Periodicals: Resale Price Maintenance

Lord Peston asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the law relating to the prohibition of resale price maintenance applies to the retail sale of newspapers and periodicals.[HL5373]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Resale price maintenance is a form of price fixing, which is prohibited by the Competition Act 1998. The Act applies to the sale of newspapers and periodicals, as it does to other sectors of the economy. Enforcement of the Act is a matter for the Office of Fair Trading.

EU Working Time Directive

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the proposed European Union regulation to remove an individual's right to opt out of the Working Time Directive envisages the exclusion of certain groups of people or types of employment, such as agriculture or horticulture; whether, under the proposed regulations, the period over which the hours worked would be calculated would be extended; and, if so, to what.[HL5458]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There are at present no European Union proposals to remove the working time opt-out. The European Commission intends to issue an initial communication on the working time opt-out, the definition of working time with regard to on-call time and the working time reference period, around the end of November. We are not expecting the communication to contain any legislative proposals. There will then follow a consultation period before the Commission produces formal proposals, but it is too early to say what these will be.


Lord Taylor of Warwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they will take to address the current fall in output in the manufacturing industry.[HL5466]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Manufacturing industry remains under considerable pressure in the UK, as it does in other major economies.

We are doing all we can to help to support UK manufacturers with the actions we are taking forward as part of the Government's manufacturing strategy. By maintaining a stable macroeconomic climate, together with measures such as extending the research and development tax credit to all companies, and establishing the Manufacturing Advisory Service, we are helping our manufacturers to succeed in difficult global conditions. The Manufacturing Advisory Service has been a real success as a major source of advice and support for manufacturers, and has added value worth more than £28 million to firms that have taken up its services since it launched in April 2002.

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Primary Care Practices: List Size

Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the July census date for general practitioner practices disadvantages general practitioners who operate student health services on or near campuses, given that students finishing their courses will have been removed from the general practitioner lists; and, if so, how they propose to make an adjustment to compensate for this adverse effect.[HL5545]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): As part of the new contract for general medical services, primary care practices will receive a proportion of their income related to the size of their practice list. The payments that relate to practice list size will be updated every three months based on data collected on practice lists at the beginning of the quarter. This means that practices that keep their practice lists up to date should not be disadvantaged.

Hunting Bill

Lord Strathclyde asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by the Lord Chancellor on 18 September (HL Deb, col. 1066) that "attempts were made to reach a consensus. This House rejected an elected element and voted for an appointed-only Chamber" and that the Government intended to proceed to legislate for an appointed-only House of Lords, whether the same principle will be applied in the case of hunting, where unsuccessful attempts have been made to reach a consensus and where the House of Lords has on a free vote rejected a ban on hunting and voted for registered hunting; and, if not, why not. [HL5038]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Legislation is normally passed by agreement between the two Houses of Parliament. If the House of Lords fails to pass any Bill, for whatever reason, it is a matter for the House of Commons to decide what to do; in the case of the Hunting Bill, on a free vote.

Better Regulation Task Force Report: Independent Regulators

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that there is a need for 108 independent regulators, as identified by the Better Regulation Task Force report, Independent Regulators. [HL5409]

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: It is for individual government departments to decide the most effective means of delivering a policy objective, and whether to set up an independent regulator.

The Government continue to keep public bodies under review and will establish a new body only where it is the most effective means of discussing a specific function.

The Government welcome the contribution that the Better Regulation Task Force's report makes to this area and will be responding to the recommendations early in the new year.

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Ministers: Training

Lord Norton of Louth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What training is provided for senior Ministers in (a) the structure and administration of government; and (b) the constitutional framework and principles within which Ministers operate. [HL5411]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Ministerial Code provides advice and guidance to Ministers on these issues. Permanent Secretaries also provide advice. In addition, the Centre for Management and Policy Studies in the Cabinet Office runs an induction event for new Ministers where these issues are also covered.

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