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Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 25 April (WA 324) concerning the cost of registration for naturalisation as a British citizen, in what circumstances the registration cost varies. [HL3997]
Whether the British Coal respiratory disease litigation heard by Mr Justice Turner was funded solely by the Legal Aid Board and the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers, South Wales; and, if so, what is their assessment of statements relayed to retired miners, their widows and families by Raleys Solicitors and Thompsons Solicitors and on behalf of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Durham area, that the High Court action had been funded and supported by the NUM for the benefit of its members, and that claimants should make payments out of their compensation to the NUM. [HL4050]
Whether they are taking any action to limit the earnings of solicitors in the British Coal litigation; and if so, what is their assessment of the personal earnings of such solicitors, including Jim Beresford and Andrew Nulty. [HL4053]
Lord Bach: Solicitors' earnings are outside of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's remit. Under the schemes solicitors are paid for their work on an agreed tariff. The number of claims each solicitor handles is outside the Government's control as each claimant chooses their representative. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
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The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Ministry of Justice are providing support to the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), which are able to investigate solicitors conduct.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Appeals to the Secretary of State for Transport about concessionary fares schemes are considered on a case-by-case basis taking account of local circumstances and the information provided. The Department for Transport does not publish the reasons for individual decisions as this would not be appropriate. These are communicated to the interested parties and it is a matter for them as to how the decisions should be publicised.
The department looks to reflect experience gained from previous rounds of appeals in the guidance provided on reimbursement. The latest guidance was published in January 2008 and this is due to be updated to reflect more recent evidence and experience. The department also intends to issue summary information on the more generic points from the 2007-08 appeal round in the form of a lessons learned document. This will be made available to the departments Concessionary Fares Working Group, which has representatives from all tiers of local authorities as well as the bus industry.
What response has been received from Anglo American plc to the statement by the United Kingdom National Contact Point for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines for multinational enterprises on the submission made by Lord Avebury on behalf of Rights and Accountability in Development on 21 February 2002. [HL3857]
Lord Bach: Both Anglo American and RAID (Rights and Accountability in Development) commented on the draft final statement before publication and their comments were taken into account. No further comments have been received from Anglo American plc since the statement was published.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 4 June (WA 5556) about fossil fuel price assumptions, what recommendation the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform makes to other government departments as to which scenario, from low to high-high, should be used in their analytical work. [HL4019]
Lord Bach: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform uses assumptions for fossil fuel prices in its CO2 emissions projections modelling and other analytical work. The assumptions are presented in the form of four illustrative scenarios for different levels of energy prices (low, central, high and high-high scenarios). These illustrative scenarios are meant to capture the uncertainty around the outturn of future fossil fuel prices and are in line with other industry analysts' projections. It is understandable that those analysts who project or forecast prices to hit $200/bbl or more get more publicity than those who project a reduction in prices; however, there is no consensus about the likely future path of oil prices among industry experts.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 4 June (WA 5556) about fossil fuel price assumptions, whether the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform intends to review its assumptions in the light of the current price of oil exceeding the high-high scenario for 2007 and 2010. [HL4020]
Lord Bach: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform uses assumptions for fossil fuel prices in its CO2 emissions projections modelling and other analytical work. These assumptions are meant to capture not short-term volatility in oil prices but long-term fundamentals (demand and supply constraints in oil markets), and are in line with other industry analysts' projections.
There is no consensus about the likely future path of oil prices among industry experts. Therefore, our approach is to use a wide range, which includes the scenario of continued high oil prices at $150/bbl, to test the robustness of our policies against these prices.
In the long term, oil prices will be determined by the costs of marginal production and the cost of alternative sources of transport energy; various analysts put these costs in the range of $50 to $90/bbl of oil.
Whether the statement in the 2007 energy White Paper that From as soon as possible in 2008 to March 2010, any household requesting a real-time display device for their electricity meter should be given one free of charge by their electricity supplier still reflects their policy; and, if so, how consumers can obtain such devices. [HL3996]
Lord Bach: In August 2007 the Government consulted on the proposal on real-time displays set out in the 2007 energy White Paper. The Government response to the consultation was published in April 2008 and this stated that a voluntary agreement with energy suppliers on the distribution of real-time display devices would be sought; we are currently in the process of negotiating this agreement.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The conditions of service of judges of the European Court of Human Rights are set out in Committee of Ministers Resolution 2004(50) on the status and conditions of service of judges of the European Court of Human Rights. The resolution refers to the payment of an all-inclusive annual salary to judges in equal monthly instalments in advance. The annual remuneration is adjusted in accordance with any adjustments made to salaries of Council of Europe staff of Grade A7 based in France. Additional remuneration is paid on a pro-rata basis to the president of the court, the vice-presidents and the presidents of sections. Judges are required to arrange for insurance cover in respect of healthcare and for their pension at their own expense.
Lord Malloch-Brown: Article 25 of the European Convention of Human Rights provides that: The court shall have a registry, the functions and organisation of which shall be laid down in the rules of court. The court shall be assisted by legal secretaries. The role of
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Whether they will request the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to make provision, in accordance with the Parliamentary Assembly's opinion number 248(2004), for a new, separate pension budget for judges of the European Court of Human Rights so as to enhance judicial independence. [HL3963]
Lord Malloch-Brown: The Committee of Ministers took into account the Parliamentary Assembly's opinion 248 (2004) when preparing the 2005 budget. There should be direct dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the Secretary-General on options for a social protection scheme for judges in the course of setting the Council of Europe budget for 2009. The Committee of Ministers will need to approve any new expenditure.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport does not hold information on estimated costs of responding to individual requests. Complying with the Freedom of Information Act does not require compilation of such estimates.
What is the estimated cost incurred by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in answering freedom of information requests from the Taxpayers' Alliance pressure group, including civil servants time. [HL4076]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My department does not hold information on estimated costs of responding to individual requests. Complying with the Freedom of Information Act does not require compilation of such estimates.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Housing and homelessness are devolved matters and this department therefore holds statistics for England only.
English local authorities that conduct rough-sleeper counts collect information on any individuals sleeping rough who do not have recourse to public funds. These will include nationals of the Eastern European states that acceded to the European Union in 2004 and 2007.
|Local authority||Reported number of rough sleepers||of which, Eastern Europeans|
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