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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made the following Ministerial Statement.
I have today laid before this House a copy of the Oversight Commissioner's third statutory report for the year 2004 which is being published today, in accordance with Section 68(4)(a) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000.
This is the third report compiled by Al Hutchinson as Oversight Commissioner and the 12th in the series of oversight reports published since 2001.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): My right honourable friend the Paymaster General has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Legislation to prevent companies bringing forward tax relief for losses prior to transition to international accounting standards is to be included in the Finance Bill 2005. The legislation applies to losses arising on transactions that are designed to accelerate relief that would otherwise be deferred. The changes will have effect from today.
A copy of today's Inland Revenue news release giving the relevant background to this measure has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and is accessible on the Inland Revenue's web site at http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk.
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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Today, I am pleased to announce the allocation of government funding for sport through my department for the next three financial years.
In 200506 funding for sport from the Exchequer will be £126.208 million, in 200607 it will be £149,708 million, and I am also making an indicative allocation of £155.163 in 200708.
The total breaks down over the three-year cycle as follows:
In that time Sport England will receive:
The Football Licensing Authority will receive:
An allocation has been made within the settlement for other sport initiatives, including a possible National Sports Foundation. Exactly how this funding is to be divided has yet to be determined but it in general terms it will be used to support development in terms of volunteering, participation, facilities and the identification and nurture of talented athletes.
Lord Carter is to publish his report in February. This settlement represents a good result for sport. Overall, it will release over £431 million for sport between 200506 and 200708 from the Exchequer, and will see annual funding rise 31 per cent from some £118 million in 200405 to over £155 million in 200708. This will enable us to both strengthen the grass roots of sport, with a renewed emphasis on school and community sport, while also enabling us to identify and nurture a new generation of sporting champions as we build up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the possibility of a London Olympics in 2012.
I believe that this extra support will enable us to continue to progress towards our shared goal of creating an active and successful sporting nation.
My friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Mr Stephen Twigg) has also made a Statement today, on behalf of the Prime Minister and me, announcing another great boost for school sport.
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Of the £431 million announced for sport in this statement, approximately £133.5 million will be used to support the aims and objectives set out in the Statement made by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): My honourable friend the Minister for Europe (Dr Denis MacShane) has made the following Ministerial Statement.
The amendment to the 1958 agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes (Cm6261), which was laid before the House on 21 June 2004, entered into force on 9 December 2004. The amendment extends the application of Article III (bis) of the agreement for a further 10 years, until 2014.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health has made the following Written Ministerial Statement today.
Today I announce the publication of the Department of Health's 2004 Autumn Performance Report (Cm 6417). Copies have been placed in the Library. It shows the progress my department has made towards achieving its public service agreement targets.
The autumn performance report shows that there have been significant further improvements in access to services. The number of National Health Service patients waiting longer than 13 weeks for an out-patient appointment has fallen from 160,745 to 77,503 over the past year. In addition, the number of people waiting more than six months for an in-patient appointment fell from 163,230 to 69,638. During October 2004, 96.4 per cent of all accident and emergency attenders were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival. It is now possible to offer over 99 per cent of patients a general practitioner's appointment within two working days or a primary care professional appointment within one working day.
Patient satisfaction is increasing; the 200304 patient survey results showed that 98 per cent of patients rated the care they received from ambulance trusts as excellent, very good or good, and the number of adult in-patients rating their care as excellent has increased by four percentage points since 200102.
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Premature death rates from heart disease among people under 75 have fallen by 27.1 per cent since the baseline of 1995-97; premature deaths from cancer have fallen by 12.2 per cent over the same period. Suicide rates in England are now at their lowest level on record.
These are just some of the recent achievements of the NHS. These improvements have been made in a demanding year through the hard work, skills and passion of hundreds of thousands of staff in the NHS and its partner organisations, and the increased funding the Government are investing in the NHS.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Filkin): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Mr Stephen Twigg) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (my right honourable friend Tessa Jowell) and I are today announcing another boost for school sport.
In 2002 the Government launched the first ever comprehensive national physical education (PE), school sport and club links strategy with an investment of £459 million for delivery between 2003 and 2006. The aima Public Service Agreement (PSA) target shared by the Departments for Education and Skills and for Culture, Media and Sportis to enhance the take up of sporting opportunities by 5 to 16 year-olds by increasing the percentage of school children who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport, within and beyond the curriculum, from 25 per cent in 2002 to 75 per cent by 2006 and to 85 per cent by 2008, and to at least 75 per cent in each School Sport Partnership by 2008.
Spearheading action is the creation of a national network of at least 400 specialist sports colleges and School Sport Partnerships. There are now 291 collegesincluding four academies with a sports focusand 54 per cent of schools in England are within one of the 313 School Sport Partnerships, benefiting 3.5 million pupils in over 12,000 schools. All schools will be within a School Sport Partnership by 2006.
We are well on the way to delivering the PSA target. The 2003-04 survey of School Sport Partnerships found that 62 per cent of pupils were spending two hours in a typical week on high quality PE and school sport. It also showed a 16 percentage point difference in take up of the two hour entitlement between pupils in the longest established partnerships and those newer to the programme. The results of the survey were published on 29 April and copies of the reportThe Impact of School Sport Partnershipsare available in the House libraries and at http://www.teachemet.gov.uk/pe.
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This is good progress, but we want to do more. By 2010 our ambition is for all children to be offered at least four hours of sport every week, comprising at least two hours high-quality PE and sport at school and the opportunity for at least a further two to three hours beyond the school day (delivered by a range of school, community and club providers). A further £519 million has been allocatedcombined funding from the Departments for Education and Skills and for Culture, Media and Sportto continue work on the national strategy from 200607 to 200708 to take us towards this ambition. That means in the five years up to 2008, including £686 million of dedicated lottery funding, government investment in PE and school sport will have totalled over £1.5 billion.
Many of our 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medal winners are at school today. We are determined to make the pathway from playground to podium a reality for these young people. As part of the additional investment, new competition managers will be put in place to work with School Sport Partnerships. These managers will strengthen the ladder of sporting opportunity by creating a competition structure across all ages, ranging from school-based festivals to national competitions. This will give all children the chance to play competitive sportwhatever their age or ability. Our ultimate aim is to have one in each of our school sport partnerships by 2010.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Ms Jowell) is today announcing the allocation of government funding for sport over the next three financial years. This money, together with the measures we have announced today, represents the best ever deal for sport in schools and will help us to achieve our goal of becoming a nation of sporting excellence.
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