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Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 8 March (WA 74), whether, in keeping with the Ministry of Defence's ministerially-stated commitment to "transparency" in dealing with issues affecting veterans, they will provide Parliament with full information on their legal and other costs incurred in contesting war pension claims of veterans of the 199091 Gulf War. [HL1938]
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bach on 22 March (WA 22), what was the tonnage of sarin and cyclosarin involved in the fall-out from the bombing by United States forces of Iraq's chemical arms depots at Khamisiyah in March 1991. [HL2006]
Lord Bach: The total amount of sarin and cyclosarin released as a consequence of the demolitions at Khamisiyah has been estimated by the US Department of Defense to be 321 kilograms from the Khamisiyah pit and 51 kilograms from bunker 73. A breakdown by individual nerve agent is not available.
5 Apr 2005 : Column WA100
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The Government recognise that jurors who give up their time to do an important civic duty are more likely to suffer personal and financial hardship during trials that last a long time. The Jubilee Line fraud case highlighted the need for this issue to be addressed sooner rather than later. Therefore on 15 November 2004, a new non-retrospective maximum reimbursement for financial loss of £200 per day was introduced from the 201st day of jury service. This would now apply to all future trials, should they last that long.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The area occupied by HM Treasury at 1 Horse Guards Road is approximately 22,215 square metres. The estimated current market rent (as defined in practice statement 3.4 of the RICS Appraisal and Valuation Standards 5th Edition) is approximately £7,500,000 per annum.
What are the items of public expenditure which have been reclassified from capital to current spending in the National Accounts since 1997; and what the amount of reclassification was in each case. [HL1988]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The national accounts are drawn up by the independent ONS. They are based on the definitions in the European System of Accounts (ESA 95), which are determined by Eurostat. Interpretation of these standards is a matter for the ONS. Changes in these standards are a matter for these and other international statistical agencies.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Department for Work and Pension's five-year strategy sets out how we intend to replace incapacity benefit for new claimants with a new structure that more actively focuses people on their own aspiration to get back to work.
This would be done in the context of the national roll-out of Pathways to Work which offers a much more sophisticated system of personalised condition management, employment and financial support. The five-year strategy makes clear that existing claimants, including those who claimed invalidity benefit before 1995, would be free to access all the help and support on offer to help them get back to work.
Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Hollis of Heigham on 14 March (WA 119), whether the Answer is consistent with (a) the Department for Work and Pensions leaflet NP46 issued in April 2004; and (b) the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Pension Scheme leaflet on members' guaranteed minimum pension. [HL1987]
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: I can confirm that my Written Answer of 14 March (WA 119) is consistent with the information given in these leaflets. Any indexation of guaranteed minimum pensions as required under the contracting-out legislation is the responsibility of occupational schemes themselves. Where further indexation is due to pensioners through the additional state pension, this does not form part of the guaranteed minimum pension but is additional to it.
When and by which Minister or Ministers the powers of the Macfarlane Trust were decreed to include the provision of financial support for widows of haemophilia patients who have died from HIV infection by contaminated National Health Service blood products; and what reasons were adduced for their inclusion; and [HL1924]
Which Minister or Ministers decreed the powers of the Skipton Fund to exclude from financial support from the fund the widows of haemophilia patients who have died from HIV infection by contaminated National Health Service blood products; and what reasons were adduced for their inclusion. [HL1925]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The two distinct schemes administered by the Skipton Fund (established last year) and the Macfarlane Trust (established in 1988) have been established for different purposes.
Lord Warner: The latest available data are for 2002. A total of 6,083 cases were reported, 1,999 of which occurred in people who were born in the United Kingdom, and 4,084 occurred in people who were born elsewhere.
What investigation is under way to examine the major releases of farmed salmon in recent escapes to ascertain the extent of interbreeding with wild salmon; and whether the Environment Agency will undertake a report on this matter. [HL1823]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Almost all salmon production takes place in Scotland. As a result of severe storms experienced by the Western Isles during January the aquaculture industry sustained losses resulting from escapes of farmed salmon. I understand that no investigation has been undertaken to ascertain the extent of interbreeding with wild salmon in this instance.
Scientists have advised that salmon escaping in winter suffer the greatest post-release mortality rates of all. About 0.5 per cent of escapees tend to return to spawn in rivers in the vicinity of their site of loss. However, because they are not primed specifically to these rivers, by spawning time the escaped fish will disperse more widely than is usual (i.e. for wild fish).
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