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The departmental figures for the years from 2001-02 to 2003-04 relate to national research programme expenditure. They do not include the part of the research and development allocations made annually at that time to NHS providers and spent on dementia research. That information was not collected prior to 2004-05.

The national research network on dementia and neurodegenerative disease, funded by the department's National Institute for Health Research, was launched in August 2006. Its first year costs are included in the department's aggregate expenditure figure for 2005-06.



26 Mar 2008 : Column WA95

Housing: Stamp Duty

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

Lord Davies of Oldham: The estimated costs of moving from current tax rates and thresholds for residential transactions in 2008-09, to the tax rates and thresholds in the Question, are given in the table below:

New tax rates and thresholdsEstimated Cost of moving to new tax rates and thresholds in 2008-09 (£ billion)

0 per cent to £200,000, 5 per cent on excess over £200,000

2.0

0 per cent to £200,000, 6 per cent on excess over £200,000

1.1

These estimates assume no allowance for behavioural change.

Iran: Interception of US Warships

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: We have made no representations concerning the incident in the Straits of Hormuz on 6 January involving Iranian patrol boats and US warships.

Israel and Palestine: Occupied Territories

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We are concerned by reports that Israel plans to build in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev. We have raised our concerns about these latest reports with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and stressed that we see this as unhelpful, particularly when Israelis and Palestinians should be focusing on full implementation of their obligations under phase one of the road map, which include freezing all settlement activity, including natural growth.



26 Mar 2008 : Column WA96

As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has stated, the UK believes that all Israeli settlements anywhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal under international law. We believe they are a serious impediment to a negotiated two-state solution.

Israel and Palestine: West Bank

Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We are concerned by reports that Israel plans to build in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev. We have raised our concerns about these latest reports with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and stressed that we see this as unhelpful particularly when Israelis and Palestinians should be focusing on full implementation of their obligations under the road map, which include freezing all settlement activity.

The UK believes that all Israeli settlements anywhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal under international law and they are a serious impediment to a negotiated two-state solution.

Legal Aid

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Legal aid expenditure in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years is set out in the following table.

YearExpenditure in £ millions

2002-03

£45.0

2003-04

£49.9

2004-05

£58.9

2005-06

£57.5

2006-07

£69.0

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



26 Mar 2008 : Column WA97

Lord Rooker: I am advised that the expenses incurred by Chris Sidoti, chair of the Bill of Rights Forum are as set out in the following table.

DescriptionCosts

Hotels/Overnight Accommodation

£6,304.29

Flights

£10,829.14

Allowances

£1,100.00

Misc. Travel Costs

£64.06

Total

£18,297.49

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I am not aware of any impact on equality for any particular individual arising from the Bill of Rights Forum appointment process.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I refer the noble Lord to my Written Answer of 10 March 2008 (Official Report, col. WA 213). Evidence is gathered through a variety of means, including public consultation where appropriate, and analysed to inform the judgment as to a potential adverse impact on equality.

Northern Rock

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Northern Rock operates on an arm's-length basis from Government as a commercial entity. It publishes its audited reports and accounts on a regular basis in accordance with statutory reporting requirements.

The publication of audited reports and accounts for 2007 will take place in due course, exactly when is a matter for the board of Northern Rock.

Lord De Mauley asked Her Majesty's Government:



26 Mar 2008 : Column WA98

Lord Davies of Oldham: Northern Rock's accounts are audited according to generally applicable accounting standards.

Northern Rock has certain commercial arrangements with Granite, namely wholesale deposit bank accounts, swap agreements and an agreement to provide services. Northern Rock is liable to Granite in respect of these arrangements in the same way as it is liable to any other commercial counterparty. However, it is not liable for any of the bonds issued by Granite and those bonds are not covered by the HMT guarantee arrangements.

Lord De Mauley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Northern Rock is contractually obliged to provide certain services to Granite. Northern Rock also has interest rate swap contracts with Granite, and holds some funds on account for Granite. Northern Rock is liable to Granite for these arrangements in the same way it is liable to any other commercial counterparty. Northern Rock has no liability to make good losses on the Granite bonds, and the bonds are not secured on Northern Rock's assets.

Passports

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): This information is not available as passport applicants are not asked what nationality status they wish to have in their passport; this is determined by the Identity and Passport Service and recorded on the personal details page of the passport. The Identity and Passport Service cannot change the status that applicants hold under the British Nationality Act 1981 and British subjects who qualify to become British citizens must apply for registration to the Border and Immigration Agency.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The Identity and Passport Service does not record statistics distinguishing between the different forms of British nationality recorded in passports. The total numbers of passports issued from the Belfast office over the past 10 complete calendar years are shown in the attached table.



26 Mar 2008 : Column WA99

YearPassport Output

1998

356,264

1999

385,696

2000

328,664

2001

216,599

2002

248,479

2003

234,506

2004

296,601

2005

361,099

2006

354,688

2007

380,455

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) does not hold statistics distinguishing between passports issued to British citizens and those issued to British subjects. The information could only be obtained from individual records and the cost would be disproportionate. The total number of passports issued by IPS and currently valid is estimated at 48,080,000 (an exact figure cannot be given because passports lost and stolen may not immediately be replaced). This figure does not include British passports issued outside the UK by Foreign and Commonwealth Office consular posts.


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