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Disability Costs

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The department published the results of Meeting long-term information needs on disability: a feasibility report in September, in the research report series, number 267. Copies are available in the Library. The feasibility study assessed whether and how it would be possible to meet a range of information needs on disability—including the extra costs of disability.

On the same day the department published a Review of existing research on the extra costs of disability, in September in the working paper series, number 21. Copies are available in the Library.

This review found that there is substantial disagreement over what constitutes the extra costs disabled people may face, and also over how to measure them. Several approaches have been used and, while there is general agreement that disabled people do experience extra costs, results vary significantly as to the level and nature of these costs.

The department is currently considering how to take forward the recommendations made in the feasibility study.

The work referred to above did not cover carers.

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Electricity: Offshore Generation

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government have not undertaken any studies into the relative merits of subterranean and overhead cables for connecting offshore generation.

To date all power transmission offshore has involved undersea cables. There are a number of severe technical difficulties, which would appear to preclude an overhead pylon system at sea and therefore the feasibility of such a system would be a matter for the electricity industry to consider.

Housing: Planning Policy Guidance

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: Planning for housing policies, currently set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 3 (PPG3), aim to secure sustainable, well-designed development that makes the best use of land, and which is sensitive to the impact it has on the environment and the surrounding area. Where planning applications are made for permission to be given to add a second or third storey to a house, it will be for local planning authorities to consider such applications on their individual merits, having regard to local circumstances set out in their development plans and to the guidance set out in PPG3. The Government do not therefore consider it necessary to introduce into national planning policy guidance the presumption suggested by the noble Lord.

Immigration: Annual Costs and Benefits

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government do not have precise estimates of the cost of providing public services specifically to migrants. In 2002 the Home Office published research into the net fiscal
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contribution of migrants. This was based on figures for 1999–2000 and estimated that migrants (defined as foreign born) made a net fiscal contribution of £2.5 billion. This research was recently updated by IPPR based on figures for 2003–04 (Sriskandarajah, Cooley and Reed: Paying their way: the fiscal contribution of immigrants in the UK, IPPR, London, 2005). This found that migrants (defined as the foreign born) accounted for 9.6 per cent of the population, yet 1 per cent of government revenue and only 9.1 per cent of government expenditure. The Government do not calculate the capital cost of providing infrastructure as a means of determining the number of immigrants who should be admitted to the UK.

Infrastructure Projects: Planning Permission Procedure

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: The Town and Country Planning (Major Infrastructure Project Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2005 (SI 2005/2115) only came into force on 24 August. Supporting guidance was issued in ODPM Circular 07/2005 which states that the new arrangements will be monitored over a five year period and if necessary changes will be considered.

Mental Health Services

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government have noted the content of this useful publication. Many of its recommendations and key concerns are addressed in our document Securing Better Mental Health. We will be addressing other issues in the forthcoming Older People's Mental Health Service Development Guide.

Metropolitan Police Authority: Death of Jean Charles de Menezes

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Metropolitan Police Authority has a general duty to secure and maintain an effective and efficient police force in the metropolis. It has a specific duty under the Police Reform Act 2002 to keep itself informed about the nature and handling of all complaints and conduct matters arising in the Metropolitan Police Service. If any disciplinary matters regarding an officer above the rank of chief superintendent arises from the IPCC investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Metropolitan Police Authority must deal with them under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2004. In regard to the complaint against the commissioner of the metropolis, the Metropolitan Police Authority must deal with it, subject to the requirements of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, in accordance with its statutory responsibilities under the Police Reform Act 2002. If the IPCC determines that the complaint must be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Authority, then the authority must refer the matter to the Secretary of State for the Home Department who will nominate a person to conduct the investigation.

Offenders: Electronic Tagging

Lord Steinberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I would like to express my deep regret for the tragic death of Mrs Bates, who was killed by an offender subject to a curfew. The Home Office has issued new guidance to make sure that the electronic monitoring service providers respond to all future curfew violations and report them promptly in line with contractual obligations. The company that was responsible for monitoring the offender has altered its own procedures to bring them into line with our requirements. The Scottish Executive manage a separate contract for electronic monitoring in Scotland. There are no electronic monitoring services in Northern Ireland.

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