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Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Sir Peter Gershon remains head of the efficiency review. The Budget announced that John Oughton, the new chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce, will be responsible for overall implementation of agreed efficiency programmes.

Immigration: Effect on Economic Growth

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The basis of the Prime Minister's statement that "economic growth would be almost ½ per cent lower over the next two years if net migration were to cease" lies in the Treasury's trend growth assessment, as explained in recent Pre-Budget and Budget Reports and the paper Trend Growth: Recent Developments and Prospects, HM Treasury, April 2002, published alongside Budget 2002. Net inward migration contributes to economic growth by adding to the population of working age and hence labour supply. Treasury assumptions about growth in the population of working age are informed by recent data and Government Actuary's Department projections. Latest data for net inward migration show that it contributed 0.4 percentage points to growth in the population of working age betwen 2001 and 2002.

Personal Remittances

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 28 May 2004.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question concerning the flow of personal remittances to and from the United Kingdom in each of the past five years, and the countries which were the main sources or recipients (HL2952).
 
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Personal remittances to the UK are included within the figures for Other Receipts of Households, as published in Table 5.1 (Credits) of the 2003 UK Balance of Payments "Pink Book".

Personal remittances from the UK are included within Other Payments by Households, as published in Table 5.1 (Debits) of the 2003 Pink Book.

The figures for both receipts and payments include estimates for non-profit institutions serving households as well as for households themselves. The published figures are as follows:
£ million


Year19981999200020012002
Other Receipts of
Households (FKIL)2,6332,7302,6532,6892,698
Other Payments by
Households (FKIQ)2,9062,9753,2363,3643,541

Figures for 2003 will be published in the 2004 Pink Book dataset on 30 June. A breakdown by country is not available.

Job Vacancies

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the Director of Macroeconomics and Labour Market at the Office for National Statistics, Colin Mowl, dated 28 May 2004.

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about job vacancies in the United Kingdom. I am replying in his absence (HL2954).

The following table shows the numbers of vacancies in April of each year since 2001 according the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Vacancy Survey. There are no earlier comparable figures, because the survey did not start until April 2001.
Number of job vacancies
United Kingdom, 2002–04 (April of each year) not seasonally adjusted

YearNumber of vacancies
2001660,300
2002594,300
2003564,500
2004603,500




Source: ONS Vacancy Survey





Earlier figures from April 1997, shown below, are available in respect of vacancies notified to Jobcentres in Great Britain but these represent only a proportion
 
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of all the vacancies available. Corresponding figures are not available for Northern Ireland to provide United Kingdom totals for these dates.
Number of unfilled vacancies at Jobcentres
Great Britain, 1997–2001 (April of each year), not seasonally adjusted

YearNumber of unfilled vacancies
1997265,900
1998270,100
1999274,900
2000332,500
2001362,500




Source: Jobcentre Plus administrative system





Jobcentre vacancy statistics were withdrawn from National Statistics in September 2001 as a result of distortions to the data, which occurred following the introduction of new administrative procedures by Jobcentre Plus. Comparable figures for later than April 2001 are therefore unavailable.

Results from the ONS Vacancy Survey were released as National Statistics from July 2003, but are not available by region or skill. The attached table shows the number of unfilled vacancies at Jobcentres by broad occupational group and Government Office Region in Great Britain for October 2000, the latest date for which such analysis is published. However, please note that unfilled Jobcentre vacancies may not be representative of all job vacancies across the labour market.
 
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Table 1: Number of unfilled vacancies at Jobcentres by occupation
Government Office Regions in Great Britain, October 2000 (not seasonally adjusted)

Occupations*
Government Office RegionManagers/
Administrators
ProfessionalAssociate/
Professional Technical
Clerical/
Secretarial
Craft/
Related
Personal/
Protective
Service
Sales
Plant/
Machine
Operatives
OtherTotal
East Midlands9332777463,0972,4065,5924,7573,2874,27825,368
Eastern1,0444198013,5952,6505,6724,6563,3205,35727,514
London2,2686581,0116,8543,2809,0816,7883,9777,39441,311
North East9493169413,4791,8404,7605,7212,3193,58323,908
North West1,8166591,8528,5553,99011,2859,0324,7518,65550,595
Scotland1,7978573,0946,9573,8389,8479,0554,9198,64549,009
South East2,5386311,3986,2484,36010,82911,3454,3319,94551,625
South West1,6915781,2184,8653,4959,2137,4533,5167,56139,590
Wales8044501,1862,8191,6404,9763,4681,8813,15220,376
West Midlands1,7826021,3606,2263,5757,9179,5725,4836,84043,357
Yorkshire and The Humber1,2545651,5066,4643,7277,5938,1414,7306,81440,794
Great Britain16,8766,01215,11359,15934,80186,76579,98842,51472,219413,447




*Standard Occupational Classification 1990, Major groups







 
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Meat: Illegal Imports

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: All HM Customs and Excise detection staff include products of animal origin in their frontier responsibilities. Their strike force detection teams are part of Customs' wider strategy to deter and detect illegal products of animal origin from entering the UK. These four new teams have increased Customs' ability to deploy in larger numbers, less predictably and with greater impact. This means that the numbers tackling a particular threat are not static but are regularly reviewed against the latest assessments of risk.

There are national communication systems in place to enable strike force teams to give and receive
 
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briefings and share information with local Customs staff, who are primarily responsible for communications with port health staff in each location.

The total number of seizures of products of animal origin from air travellers arriving in the UK by all agencies in 2003 was 11,360. In addition Customs made a number of seizures in freight and postal traffic that had originally entered the UK by air. In their spring report (Cm 6224) Customs reported 9,571 seizures in total in the period 1 April–31 December 2003.

Customs did not identify any cases suitable for prosecution during 2003, although two smugglers have been convicted in 2004. Information regarding prosecutions by other agencies is not held centrally.


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