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NHS: Overseas Visitors

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations came into force in 1989. Since then they have occasionally been amended, most recently and
 
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significantly in 2004. The regulations state that anyone who is not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom is classed as being an overseas visitor and will therefore be charged for any National Health Service hospital treatment they receive unless exempted by one of a number of exemption categories listed in the regulations. One amendment in 2004 was to the "12-month residency" exemption in order to ensure that only those who have been lawfully living in the UK for the 12 months preceding treatment can benefit from this exemption. Persons who are not lawfully residing here can no longer rely on this exemption to get free hospital treatment.

No changes have been made in respect of HIV/AIDS treatment or maternity care.

Non-governmental Organisations: Russian Legislation

Baroness Rawlings asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): In the UK, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are not required to seek accreditation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We therefore do not have a list of Russian NGOs operating here, but we believe that any that may be operating here or may choose to come in the future would find their freedom to conduct business to be in stark contrast to the kinds of restrictions that may result from the NGO law currently in draft in the Russian Duma.

Northern Ireland Events Company

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): The financial allocations for 2006–07 and 2007–08 to Northern Ireland departments, and their sponsored bodies, were determined by the Secretary of State and his Northern Ireland ministerial team, having regard to the Government's spending priorities.
 
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Northern Ireland Office: Cost Benefit Analysis

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): Cost benefit analysis is a particular type of economic appraisal. Current guidance in relation to economic appraisal was issued by the Department of Finance and Personnel in the form of a Dear Accounting Officer letter (DAO(DFP)32/03) which introduced the Northern Ireland Practical Guide to the Green Book. The principles in this guide must be applied, with appropriate and proportionate effort, to all proposals that involve spending or saving public money, including EU funds, or changes in the use of public resources. They apply equally to policies, programmes and projects. There are no exceptions to this general requirement. The guidance applies to all departments and public bodies for which departments have responsibility.

Northern Ireland Office: Iceberg Watch

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): Iceberg watch was an internal Northern Ireland Office paper used as a means of looking forward and planning ahead. Such papers are not placed in the Library.

Northern Ireland Office: Questions for Written Answer

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): The Questions referred to by the noble Lord have now been answered. I am sorry for the delay.

From 1 January 2005 to 19 December 2005, the Northern Ireland Office has received in excess of 4,400 Written Parliamentary Questions.

Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of Questions, delays in replying can occur. However, I
 
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acknowledge there have been occasions when noble Lords have received unacceptably late replies. As a result, I have recently raised the issue with my officials, emphasising the importance of answering Questions for Written Answer from noble Lords within the 14-day deadline. I will continue to monitor the situation.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Questions referred to by the noble Lord in HL3004 have now been answered.

From 1 January 2005 to 20 December 2005, the Northern Ireland Office has received in excess of 4,400 Written Parliamentary Questions. Of these, 471 were asked by the noble Lord. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of Questions, delays in replying can occur. However, I acknowledge there have been occasions when noble Lords have received unacceptably late replies. As a result, I have recently raised the issue with my officials, emphasising the importance of answering Questions for Written Answer from noble Lords within the 14-day deadline. I will continue to monitor the situation.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board: C S Lewis Memorial

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has not been asked to fund a memorial to C S Lewis.

The NITB is aware that "The Searcher" by Ross Wilson, a sculpture in honour of C S Lewis, already exists at the Holywood Arches Library and was erected in 1998 to celebrate the centenary of his birth.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board: West Belfast Festival

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): The NITS did not receive an application for funding for marketing from the West Belfast Festival in 2005.

Northern Ireland: "On the Runs"

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): The process to which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland referred was the process of taking steps to address the issue of terrorist suspects on the run. The British and Irish Governments recognised the need to do this at Weston Park and this was recorded in the letter to party leaders of 1 August 2001. Further detail on the proposals was published in May 2003 and in the Government's response to the IRA statement of 28 July 2005.


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