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Why United Kingdom produced linseed oil which has a high concentration of essential fatty acid Omega 3 is subject to value added tax when non-United Kingdom developed linseed oil which has no comparable Omega 3 content is not. [HL1527]
Lord McKenzie of Luton: Food for human consumption is generally VAT zero-rated. Linseed oil is not considered to be food for human consumption and is always VAT standard-rated regardless of its Omega-3 content.
Further to the letter of 5 October 2001 published by the Cabinet Office setting out the terms of the Lord Birt's contract as the Prime Minister's strategy adviser, what assessment arrangements for independent advisers working across government have been made. [HL956]
How much they have given Papua New Guinea in aid over the past 10 years; whether they expect to increase aid in future; and what other measures they are taking to alleviate Papua New Guinea's economic decline. [HL1492]
DfID does provide indirect support through contributions to the European Commission development programme, which disburses some £6 million per year, and to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations.
Baroness Amos: The Department for International Development does not maintain a programme in Papua New Guinea and has not made representations to the European Union, or other donors, for increased assistance.
Baroness Amos: The United Nations Development Programme made an assessment of Papua New Guinea's progress to the millennium development goals in 2004. A summary of the assessment is in the table below.
|Goal||Likelihood of meeting the goal|
|Goal 1: Extreme poverty||Very unlikely|
|Goal 2: Primary education||Very unlikely|
|Goal 3: Gender equity||Very unlikely|
|Goal 4: Child mortality||Very unlikely|
|Goal 5: Maternal mortality||Very unlikely|
|Goal 6: HIV/AIDS||Very unlikely|
|Goal 7: Environmental sustainability||Very unlikely|
Baroness Amos: The Department for International Development is not providing any direct financial support to HIV and AIDS programmes in Papua New Guinea (PNG). DfID is, however, providing technical advice to the government of Australia for the development of their HIV and AIDS strategy in PNG. The global fund for HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, to which DfID is a major contributor, is providing US$15 million to combat HIV and AIDS in PNG.
What is their assessment of the consequences over the next 10 years, or other convenient medium-term period, of the policy of rent restructuring in those inner London boroughs where it has been implemented on (a) the ability to attract key workers to inner London and to retain them; (b) the level of evictions from council property for non-payment of rent; (c) the level of housing benefit paid out in those areas; and (d) the propensity of households to move to alternative social housing. [HL1442]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): The policy of rent restructuring is based upon detailed analysis of the financial implications for tenants and landlords, including the payment of housing benefit. The purpose of the policy is to bring a standard approach to the calculation of social rents, so that similar properties in the same area attract similar rents within the social rented sector regardless of landlord.
Key workers are targeted separately by their own housing scheme, key worker living, which provides equity loans, shared ownership and intermediate rented units to help recruit and retain key workers in London, the east and south east of England. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is currently undertaking an evaluation of the impact of the key worker living programme.
Evictions for the non-payment of rent are a matter for the landlord. In the past councils have been keen to find alternative solutions, and ODPM guidance has recently reaffirmed that eviction should be the very last resort. Housing benefit is available to help all those who are entitled whether or not they are in work.
We estimate that 60 per cent. of social rents are covered by HB. We do not expect this to change significantly as a result of the relatively small changes introduced by rent restructuring. As some rents increase in real terms, others will fall.
Tenants will not be required to move to alternative social housing. We are not aware of any evidence which suggests that rents are the sole factor for tenants choosing to move. One of the objectives for rent restructuring is greater transparency to support the greater choice afforded by choice-based letting. So if tenants do decide to move home, perhaps to a smaller
12 Oct 2005 : Column WA100
property, they will find rent pricing structures more transparent in future across the social rented sector.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend, the Prime Minister has meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a wide, range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
What discussions have been held between the Ministry of Defence and United States officials during the past year about a successor system to Trident; and whether discussions on this subject have taken place with any companies in the United Kingdom or overseas. [HL1343]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): No decisions have yet been taken on any replacement for Trident. Information obviously needs to be gathered from a variety of sources to support these future decisions, but it is not our general practice to comment on the detail of any such discussions with other governments and industry.
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