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22 Nov 2005 : Column WA197

Written Answers

Tuesday, 22 November 2005.

Alcoholic Drinks: Expenditure

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl on behalf of the National Statistician, dated 22 November 2005.

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how much was spent in net present value terms on alcoholic drinks in the United Kingdom in 1950; 1960; 1970; 1980; 1990; 1995; 2000; and 2003. I am replying in her absence.

Expenditure on alcoholic drinks can be made by both businesses and households. This expenditure can either be for final consumption purposes or as intermediate consumption. An assumption has been made that the interest of this Parliamentary Question is in the final consumption expenditure of households on alcohol.
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The Question asks for net present value data. The closest we have to this are data based on 2002 prices, which removes the effect of price inflation from the data, using the prices prevalent in 2002. The Question also asks for data in a number of years. The earliest year for which data are available is 1956.
Household final consumption expenditure on alcohol in the United Kingdom (based on 2002 prices in £ million)


This information is available in the quarterly publication Consumer Trends, which can be downloaded in pdf format, free of charge on the National Statistics website at the following

Also included is a spreadsheet showing the above data, and the data in current price terms (the prices prevailing at the time in each period) and a split of these data between spirits/wine/beer. These data are also provided with a split of whether the alcohol was bought in a shop/supermarket (retail) or whether it was bought in a restaurant/bar/hotel.
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Current prices, £ million


Constant price (chained volume) measure, reference year 2002, £ million(1)


Implied price index, 2002 = 100(2)


1 This is the measure of the "real" level of expenditure removing the effect of price movements (rather than the "nominal" level of expenditure as measured by current prices).

2 Calculated as current price divided by volume measure. This series shows (in index form) the movements in alcohol prices over time.

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Israel: Bethlehem

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Bethlehem is of unique religious and cultural significance including to Christians during Advent and Christmas. Restrictions on access and freedom of worship in Bethlehem are one of the many negative consequences of the Israeli closure regime in the West Bank.

The European Council of Ministers and the quartet continue to raise freedom of movement with the Israelis, in particular the routing of the barrier on occupied land and freedom of access to religious sites. The UK does so bilaterally too.

British Overseas Territories: Student Fees

Lord Jones of Cheltenham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): There are no plans to review the fees payable by students from British Overseas Territories. Individuals from the overseas territories are treated equitably with others who enjoy British citizenship. They have complete freedom of movement to come to and live in the UK, which enables them to build up the three-year residency requirement needed in order to be entitled to home tuition fee status. It is important that tuition fee policy is consistent across the piece for British citizens.

Careless Driving

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Available data for the specific offence of careless driving, contrary to Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in England, Wales and Scotland or Article 12, Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, do not indicate whether the incidents to which they relate involved injury or death.

China: EU Arms Embargo

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Triesman: The Government do not believe that the EU arms embargo is an entirely effective way to control the EU's strategic exports to China. Member states do not share a common interpretation of the scope of the embargo.

In practice, the EU code of conduct, rather than the embargo, is the primary instrument with which the possible export to China of military listed goods and technology is considered. The code has either been integrated directly into member states' national law, or they consider it binding guidance on the implementation of national law. The code effectively controls the EU's exports for countries like North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya, where no EU or UN embargoes are in place.

In the UK, the code is considered binding guidance under the Export Control Act, and we accordingly treat it as seriously as the rest of the Act. The code is used in more than 80 per cent. of all our decisions to refuse export licences for China.

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