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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I am grateful for that. I think that the noble Lord proposes a salary of £10,000 less than the Prime Minister's ministerial salary. As a consequence, the Lord Chancellor's salary would be marginally more than my current salary as Secretary of State. My current Secretary of State's salary is around £98,000; it is proposed that the Lord Chancellor's salary be around £110,000. I am grateful for that. I am told that the Lord Chancellor is currently barred from receiving the allowances that other Lords Ministers receive, so that would be a benefit to the new Lord Chancellor.
I understand where the noble Lords, Lord Goodhart and Lord Kingsland, are coming from but I do not agree with the structure proposed in the amendments, even putting aside their particular deficienciesnamely, the effect on previous Lord Chancellors and on my dependents is not necessarily the best outcome. I accept that the salary and therefore
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the pension of the post must be considered in the light of the Prime Minister's and other ministerial remuneration.
The right course at this stage is to consider very carefully what has been said. I do not think that anybody has quite got it right yet. We must consider what the best approach is. It is a point of very considerable importance, having regard to the role of the Lord Chancellor in relation to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. I am sorry that I have not come forward with positive proposals but I recognise the importance of the point.
Lord Goodhart: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord for his reply. As I made clear, I put forward these amendments in order to get the subject discussed. It is an important subject that has not been fully discussed previously. I accept that there are problems with which I have not dealt, such as the rights of families of either former or future Lord Chancellors.
Having said that, it is clear that some provision about the Lord Chancellor's salary and pension should go in this Bill rather than waiting for some other Bill. I very much hope that that will be achieved, probably in the other place. I can see that it would not be practicable to introduce it in your Lordships' House before Third Reading. But before the Bill leaves the other place on its way back here, it should contain appropriate provisions for the Lord Chancellor's salary and pension. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
The noble Lord said: My Lords, I think that, consistent with Amendments Nos. 27 and 28, which were moved by my noble friend Lord Campbell of Alloway, I must also move Amendment No. 35 so that we can expunge any mention of the Great Seal from the Bill. I beg to move.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, on a happy note, as the noble Lord quite rightly says, Amendment No. 35 falls into the same category as the others in group 13. I am happy to accept the amendment.
House adjourned at seventeen minutes before ten o'clock.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Armed Forces attach importance to supporting the spiritual development of their personnel and to facilitating, where possible, religious observance. The service chaplaincy services have a long and distinguished record of caring for service personnel. However, existing chaplains are drawn exclusively from Christian denominations, and although they provide valuable moral, pastoral and welfare support to all service personnel, they are not able to provide spiritual support to those of faiths other than Christian.
I have therefore been considering, in close consultation with the faith community representatives on the Ministry of Defence's religious advisory panel, how best we might enhance our provision for the spiritual support of personnel and their families from faith communities other than Christian. This reflects the increasing diversity of service personnel, and our desire to provide an environment which welcomes and encourages people throughout society to join, and stay with, the Armed Forces.
These consultations have resulted in a decision to recruit civilian chaplains to the Armed Forces from the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths, which are those, other than Christian, most represented within the Armed Forces. These chaplains will be MoD civil servants, but will be integrated into the existing service chaplaincy organisations.
Existing longstanding arrangements under which the Jewish community provides an honorary chaplain to the Armed Forces will continue for the time being, but it is expected that in due course a further civilian chaplain will be recruited to bring the arrangements in line with those for the other faiths.
Advertisements for these four posts will appear in the national press on Thursday 16 December, and in appropriate faith media at the closest convenient date. The relevant faith communities will participate fully in the selection process that will follow in the New Year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Ms Hewitt) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
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I am making this Statement as required by Section 31(6) of the Energy Act 2004 ("the Act") to coincide with the issuing of the ministerial directions giving the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) its designated responsibilities under the Act. The Statement reflects the transitional funding arrangements for the NDA that will be put in place to allow it to get on with its work during the EC Commission investigation into notified state aid to the NDA.
1. Pending the outcome of the European Commission's investigation announced on 1 December 2004 into the UK Government's establishment of the NDA, the basis on which any determinations for the purposes of Section 31(4)(c) are to be made will be to credit to the NDFA such amounts as are sufficient to provide a sound basis for funding the NDA's activities consistent with:
(a) the requirement that no new state resources shall be made available to the NDA for operating, cleaning up or decommissioning in respect of any of the economic activities of the NDA which are the subject of the Commission's investigation; and
(b) the requirement that no advantage shall be conferred on BNFL or its successor companies pending the outcome of the Commission's investigation, and in particular that the net asset position of BNFL and the group of companies of which it forms part must not be improved.
(a) an amount equal to the value of any assets taken out of BNFL's existing resources comprising the Nuclear Liabilities Investment Portfolio ("NLIP") by way of any nuclear transfer scheme which takes effect under Section 42 of the Act during that financial year;
(b) in respect of the NDA's responsibilities in relation to sites operated by UKAEA as at the date of this Statement, and nuclear liabilities for which responsibility is, as at the date of this Statement, accepted by UKAEA, such amount as is appropriate within the Department of Trade and Industry's relevant expenditure limit;
(c) in respect of the NDA's responsibilities in relation to nuclear liabilities for which responsibility was formerly accepted by the Ministry of Defence but is, as at the date of this Statement, accepted by the Department of Trade and Industry, such amount as is appropriate within the Department of Trade and Industry's relevant expenditure limit.
3. To the extent that the assets referred to in paragraph 2(a) above do not comprise cash, their value is to be determined as at the date upon which the transfer scheme whereby they are transferred takes effect.
5. The basis on which this determination has been made is that the sums to be comprised in the determination in any financial year in accordance with paragraph 2 above (combined with any other amounts credited under Section 31(4)(a), (c) or (d)) are expected to be sufficient to fund the NDA's activities during the financial year in question, but no more. It is intended that grants made under Section 22(1) of the Act will be subject to conditions under Section 22(2) which will restrict the use of sums drawn against the credits referred to in paragraphs 2(b) and (c) above to the matters respectively referred to in those paragraphs. To the extent that I conclude that further funding can and should be made available to the NDA in any given year (pending the outcome of the Commission's investigation) other than in respect of the matters referred to in paragraphs 2(b) and (c), further amounts will (if appropriate) be transferred from the NLIP and any determination which has been made under Section 31(4)(c) of the Act will be revised such that
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corresponding credits will be made to the NDFA. Amounts equal to these credits will then be remitted to the NDA by way of grant under Section 22(1) of the Act.
"economic activities" means the provision of services hitherto undertaken by companies in the BNFL group that might in principle have been provided by a private sector entity, given the existence of a commercial market place and the potential for profit making. NDA's responsibilities in relation to "economic activities" will include responsibilities in respect of economic nuclear liabilities;
"economic nuclear liabilities" means those nuclear liabilities which exist or may come into existence in respect of sites operated as at the date of this Statement by companies in the BNFL group, excluding those nuclear liabilities referred to in paragraphs 2(b) and (c) above.
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