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In 2001, the Government set a target for 10 per cent of the UK's power generation from renewable sources by 2010. At the spring European Council in March 2007, EU Heads of Government agreed to a target to supply 20 per cent of the EU's energy—heat, electricity and transport—from renewable sources by 2020. Agreement has not yet been reached on the contribution that each member state will make towards this EU target.

On 10 December, the Government announced the launch of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on a draft plan for up to 25 GW (installed capacity) of new offshore wind farms by 2020. Depending on the results of the SEA and the magnitude of impacts identified, the Government will take a decision on what the acceptable level of offshore wind development is.

Developers would then be required to bid for site leases through leasing competitions to be held by the Crown Estate and, if successful, conduct their own site evaluations and undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment before applying for the necessary development and environmental consents to build an offshore wind farm.

The number of offshore wind turbines therefore required up to 2020 will depend on the outcome of the SEA, a future decision by the Government on the level of offshore wind generation, and on the size of turbines selected by developers for specific sites.

EU: Free Trade Agreements

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:



16 Jan 2008 : Column WA254

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): The European Union has free trade agreements with South Africa, Chile, Mexico and Switzerland as well as Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland (as part of the European Economic Area).

Other agreements that include elements of free trade include economic partnership agreements, association agreements, stabilisation and association agreements and partnership and co-operation agreements.

N.B. The European Commission website provides information on all the European Union's bilateral trade relations at http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/bilateral/index_en.htm.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Jones of Birmingham: The EU is currently negotiating free trade agreements with: India; the Republic of Korea; the Gulf Co-operation Council (comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay); the Euro-Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey); the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and Cambodia); Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama) and the Community of Andean Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).

Other agreements that include elements of free trade include economic partnership agreements, association agreements, stabilisation and association agreements and partnership and co-operation agreements.

N.B. The European Commission website provides information on all the European Union's bilateral trade relations at http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/bilateral/index_en.htm.

Gershon Review: Cabinet Office/Office of the Leader of the Commons

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is part of the Cabinet Office for staffing purposes. Costs of redundancy are identifiable separately from 30 June 2004. From that time to 31 March 2007, the redundancy cost to the Cabinet Office was £72,199 arising from voluntary departure.

Between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2007, the size of the Cabinet Office reduced from 2,176 to 1,479 staff.

Gershon Review: DBERR

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: As a result of the Gershon review in July 2004, a total of 736 staff have taken voluntary early retirement or severance and to 1 December 2007 there were seven compulsory redundancies. The total cost of voluntary retirements/severance was £35.4 million and compulsory redundancies was £380,000.



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The earliest figures readily available on natural wastage are for the period between April 2005 to March 2006. During this time the natural wastage rate was 5 per cent (180 employees). Between February 2006 to January 2007 the natural wastage rate was 4 per cent (129 employees). The latest figures we have are for the period between September 2006 and October 2007. During this time the natural wastage rate was 5 per cent (149 employees).

Data for natural wastage prior to 2005 are not readily available and the cost of preparing an Answer will be disproportionate to the benefit to be derived.

Natural wastage includes actuarially reduced retirement, approved early retirement, death in service, dismissal for inefficiency/discipline grounds, permanent transfer to other government departments, resignation, retirement, transfer to the non-Civil Service public sector.

Gershon Review: DCLG

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): During the financial years covered by the Gershon review total figures are as follows:

(a) Voluntary redundancies(b) Compulsory RedundanciesCost (£m)Natural Wastage

2004-05 Central CLG

40

0

*

291

2004-05 Government Office

0

0

0

164

2005-06 Central CLG

117

0

4.6

224

2005-06 Government Office

0

0

0

140

2006-07 Central CLG

203

2

26.7 of which £9k compulsory payments

193

2006-07 Government Offices

106

0

7.69

134

Total

466

2

37.86

982

* Obtaining information for earlier years would entail disproportionate cost

It is not possible to separate exits which contribute directly to the Gershon target from others. These are total figures for department.

Data on turnover and redundancy costs for executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are not collected centrally.

Health: Biosimilar Medicines

Lord Walton of Detchant asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory

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Agency has granted marketing authorisations for the following biosimilar medicines:

Omnitrope (somatropin);Valtropin (somatropin);Epoetin alfa hexal, Abseamed, Binocrit (all containing epoetin alfa); and Silapo, Retacrit (both containing epoetin zeta).

We are not aware of any legal basis for such automatic substitution. Section 58 (2)(a) of the Medicines Act 1968 provides for prescription-only medicines to be sold or supplied only in accordance with a prescription given by an appropriate practitioner. If a branded medicinal product is prescribed, then it must be dispensed. A pharmacist who substitutes another product for a branded drug without first agreeing this with the prescriber would be in breach of medicines legislation.

Patient information leaflets include all the relevant information on usage, side effects etc and reflect the information contained in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC). The Government have no plans to call for the introduction of a requirement for patient information leaflets to specify the possible risks associated with the use of biosimilar medicines. If a particular risk is identified in relation to a particular product, the SPC for that product will detail that risk and the patient information leaflet will reflect the SPC.

Health: European Health Insurance Card

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The European Health Insurance card was introduced into the United Kingdom on 1 September 2005. As claims for 2005 are still being received it is too early to do any meaningful analysis.

Health: MMR Vaccine

Lord McColl of Dulwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The first funding certificates associated with this litigation were granted by the Legal Aid Board in 1992. Section 15(2) of the Legal Aid Act 1988 allowed funding in cases which met the reasonableness criterion. The Legal Aid Board would have taken a view on reasonableness based on the material put forward by the solicitors. Public confidence would not have been a relevant consideration. The Legal Aid Act 1988 has been superseded by the Access to Justice Act 1999 which created the Legal Services Commission (which replaced the Legal Aid Board) and tightened up the criteria for granting legal aid.

India: Orissa

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): While such incidents remain an internal matter for the Indian Government, we continue to monitor the situation and seek out opportunities to raise human rights issues with the appropriate Indian authorities, including UK concerns about incidents of religious intolerance.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Malloch-Brown: While following the situation closely, such incidents remain an internal matter for the Indian Government. We will continue to highlight the need for the right to freedom of religion to be upheld and for those responsible for attacks against people on grounds of their religion to be brought to justice. We remain committed to seek out opportunities to raise with the appropriate Indian authorities the UK's concern about incidents of human rights abuses, including religious intolerance.


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