Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



5 Dec 2006 : Column WA115

Written Answers

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Ambulance Service: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Ambulance staff are eligible to receive the ambulance service (emergency services) long service and good conduct medal, the Ambulance Service Association (ASA) long service medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal.

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) is considering a proposal for a Northern Ireland volunteer medal for members of the Order of St John, the Order of Malta and the British Red Cross.

Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): A research project has been tendered to assess whether the current ban has resulted in increased seizures of illegal imports, to identify how the ban has impacted on the livelihood of those in the source countries and how this may result in negative conservation. The tender process was carried out on a restricted basis, recognising the relevant knowledge and expertise required to carry out the study. Those invited to tender were as follows:

Institute of Zoology;

Overseas Development Institute;

Zoological Society of London;

World Conservation Monitoring Centre; and

TRAFFIC International.

Officials are considering the tenders received, with a view to letting the contract shortly. Once the contract is let, the research will take eight months. I see no reason to exclude relevant evidence from Bird Life International in the study. However, it will be for the successful candidate to decide, in conjunction with Defra, how such evidence is considered.



5 Dec 2006 : Column WA116

Benefits: Incapacity Benefit

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The information is in the table.

The number of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants by age decile at 31 May (2006)

Under 20

38,800

20-29

278,720

30-39

464,470

40-49

667,270

50-59

928,110

60-69

336,330

70-79

13,410

80-89

2,770

90 and over

60

DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions longitudinal study 100 per cent data.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
“Claimant” figures include all IB and SDA, including IB credits-only cases.

Civil Service: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Fourteen Northern Ireland civil servants work in the NSMC in Armagh. To provide a breakdown by community background of such a small group of staff would risk breaching the statutory requirement for confidentiality in fair employment monitoring legislation and would be contrary to the Data Protection Act.

Climate Change: Greenhouse Gases

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Understanding and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from farming and the interaction between GHG emissions and reducing the overall environmental impact of agriculture is a complex

5 Dec 2006 : Column WA117

area. Research to inform policy development is therefore a priority, and we can also draw on an extensive back catalogue of work already conducted by Defra and its predecessors. Research is prominent in our commitments in the 2006 UK Climate Change Programme, including:

research, at a cost of £1 million over three years, to improve the inventory of emissions from agriculture;research on impacts and adaptation responses for land managers;research to improve our understanding of the contribution which improved land management practices, including environmental stewardship measures, can make to climate change mitigation; andraising the efficiency of nitrogen use in agriculture.

We are also developing a policy position, supported by research and development work, on the use of anaerobic digestion to reduce methane emissions. The full range of research and development projects—past, current and proposed—to reduce emissions are available on the Defra website at www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/Default.asp.

Crime: Fuel Smuggling

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Estimates of the revenue lost through the illegal consumption of diesel and petrol in Northern Ireland are not available because it is not yet possible to split revenue losses between those resulting from the illicit market and those from legitimate cross-border shopping. However, estimates of the total non-UK duty-paid consumption are reported in Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2005, which is published alongside the PBR and can be found in the House of Commons Library. Estimates for 2005 are due to be published at the time of the PBR.

Economy: Growth

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

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

Letter from the National Statistician, Karen Dunnell, to Lord Bradshaw, dated December 2006.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning GDP growth and evidenced passenger growth

5 Dec 2006 : Column WA118

(HL315). GDP is the key economic indicator of real growth in an economy. It is measured according to internationally agreed specifications and seeks to include all economic activity. Passenger growth does not cover all economic activity in an economy and therefore is unlikely to be a more appropriate indicator.

Equality: Sexual Orientation

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The regulations have been drafted in accordance with the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion has been afforded protection under the terms of Regulation 16. This provides an exemption from the regulations where organisations exist whose purpose is to practice, advance or teach the practice or principle of a religion or belief; or to enable persons of a religion or belief to receive any benefit or engage in any activity within the framework of that religion or belief. In all cases the protection is afforded where it is necessary to comply with the doctrines of the organisation or to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers.

EU: Popular Myths

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The summary of conclusions (Chapter 7) to this House's European Union Committee report Financial Management and Fraud in the European Union (HL Paper 270-I) states at paragraph 145:

At paragraph 146, the report states:



5 Dec 2006 : Column WA119

Paragraph 160 states:

Paragraph 166 states:

Exports: Manufactured Goods

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The information on the value of manufactured goods exported from Northern Ireland to India in 2004-05 is shown in the table.

Value1 of manufactured goods exported from Northern Ireland2 to India in 2004-05 (£ million)
YearManufactured goods3

2004

7.8

2005

10.5

1 Value of goods declared
2 Traders registered in Northern Ireland
3 Goods classified under Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) Section 6
Source: HM Revenue & Customs, regional trade statistics

Extraordinary Rendition

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Government co-operated fully with the European Parliament Committee in its preparation of this draft report. We have found no evidence since 1997 of detainees being rendered through the UK or overseas territories where there were substantial grounds to believe that there was a real risk of torture. I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement made by my right honourable friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr Jack Straw) on 20 January 2006 (Official Report, Commons, 20/1/06; col. 38WS), which clearly sets out our position.



5 Dec 2006 : Column WA120

Football: Use of Olympic Stadium

Lord Luke asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Minister for Sport had exploratory discussions about the legacy use of the Olympic stadium at meetings with representatives from West Ham United on 8 March 2006 and 3 July 2006, in phone calls with West Ham United on 18 May 2006 and 17 October 2006, and at meetings with representatives from Tottenham Hotspur on 7 March 2006 and 5 June 2006.

Freedom of Information: Environmental Information Regulations

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Regulation 11 of the Environmental Information Regulations sets out the mechanism for those requesting environmental information to ask public authorities to review their response to requests. The request for a review must be made within 40 days of the date on which the requester believes the authority failed to comply with a requirement of the regulations. The Government do not hold information centrally on when these reviews take place.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is committed to publishing quarterly updates on departmental performance under the Freedom of Information Act. This includes information on the number of requests referred for internal review on the grounds that requested information was not provided. The most recent of these was published on 29 September 2006 and can be found both on the DCA website at www.foi.gov.uk/reference/statsAndReports/stats06_ apr-jun.htm and in the Library. The next bulletin is due next month, while an annual report is due to be published in early 2007.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page