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There are also a number of other factors besides market expectations of sovereign default risk that can affect CDS spreads. The market for developed country sovereign CDS is relatively small and illiquid, as it is unlikely that a developed country will default on its sovereign debt. The illiquid nature of the market can lead to large movements in CDS spreads, simply for technical reasons. In addition, there is evidence that developed sovereign CDS contracts are used to hedge a number of other risks, aside from the risk of sovereign default.
The five-year UK sovereign credit default swap spread was quoted at 147 basis points as of Friday 27 February 2009, according to data provided by Bloomberg. This compares to 89 and 86 basis points for France and Germany respectively. This implies that it would cost $14,700 to buy protection for $1,000,000-worth of gilts. It should be noted that we have no evidence that any trades have taken place at these indicative prices.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 24 February (WA 48), what form the discrimination has taken that has brought health inequalities to the Irish ethnic and traveller categories; how many travellers were enumerated in 2001; and whether that census information provided sufficient information on travellers not to repeat the questions in the next census. [HL1947]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): There is evidence from research commissioned by the department and the South West Public Health Observatory of the problems and perceived prejudice that Gypsies and Travellers, including Irish Travellers, face in accessing primary care and other health services in England. Poor continuity of care and follow-up are compounded by the reluctance of general practitioners to register them, and by a lack of medical records. Gypsies and Travellers have a higher incidence of long-term conditions, including mental health and respiratory problems, than the general population.
The 2001 census carried out by the Office for National Statistics did not enumerate Gypsies or Travellers as there was no such category on the ethnicity question. However, there is an intention to include a category for Gypsies and Travellers for the next census in 2011. Every six months, Communities and Local Government commission a count of Gypsies' and Travellers' caravans on sites throughout the country.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): In June 2007, the department published the Tuberculosis (TB) Toolkit (Tuberculosis prevention and treatment: a toolkit for planning, commissioning and delivering high-quality services in England) to help the National Health Service to implement the key elements of the TB action plan through effective commissioning and delivery of TB services. A copy of the toolkit has already been placed in the Library. The department has supported the publication with a series of regional workshops for commissioners, public health and clinical staff. The toolkit provides models of good practice for laboratory services and surveillance as well as service delivery, and recommends that TB clinicians always follow National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on TB when treating patients.
In 2007, the department initiated the Find and Treat project to actively look for cases of TB among the homeless and other vulnerable groups in London, and to help provide supervised medication and support to patients to improve adherence to treatment. Currently, the Find and Treat team is helping over 300 people with TB who have challenging lifestyles to complete their treatment.
In 2008, the department commissioned TB Alert to develop TB awareness raising messages for people at risk of TB to increase referrals for TB testing and effective treatment as well as with primary care workers to increase awareness of TB. This will include the importance of early diagnosis and treatment completion. The awareness raising programme will roll out later this year.
The department is also funding the Health Protection Agency to update its enhanced tuberculosis surveillance system and to develop an electronic tool to support the investigation of contacts of TB patients.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of tuberculosis there were in the most recent year for which figures are available in (a) Bradford, (b) Birmingham, (c) Leicester and (d) Liverpool. [HL1926]
|Number of new tuberculosis cases (selected local authorities, 2006)|
|Local Authority||Number of cases|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what structures are in place to monitor and evaluate tuberculosis sources in England; and what action they take against primary care trusts that do not provide adequate tuberculosis services. [HL1927]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) monitors the occurrence of tuberculosis (TB) in England and Wales through the national surveillance system. In addition, clinical, microbiological and demographic data are collected, as well as information on drug resistance, the outcome of treatment, and outbreaks and incidents. By the end of 2009, the system will provide routine access to data locally to inform management decisions. Annual reports, that describe trends and geographical variation in the incidence of TB, are produced by the HPA.
The department does not have powers to take action against primary care trusts. In June 2007, the department published a TB Toolkit to help the National Health Service to implement the key elements of the action
11 Mar 2009 : Column WA256
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the provisions on parliamentary copyright in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in the light of the practice in other common law parliamentary democracies. [HL1691]
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): Works produced by or under the direction or control of either House of Parliament qualify for copyright protection as parliamentary copyright by virtue of Section 165 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The expression also includes copyright in Bills before Parliament, by virtue of Section 166. Before 1988, such material was covered by Crown copyright.
The licensing of parliamentary copyright material is managed on behalf of the two Houses by the Office of Public Sector Information under the terms of a service level agreement. It may be reproduced without charge under the terms of a click-use licence, which can be found online at www.opsi.gove.uk/advice/parliamentary-copyright/index.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the role, purpose and format of regional housing strategies following the creation of regional strategies under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill; who will be responsible for agreeing regional housing strategies; who will be responsible for owning and implementing them; and what is their relationship to regional strategies. [HL2004]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): As we indicated in our Policy Document on Regional Strategies (published January 2009) we expect the content of former regional housing
11 Mar 2009 : Column WA257
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last December. We are determined to continue to ensure that this landmark document is as powerful in practice as it is in aspiration.
The promotion of democracy and human rights is integral to what the FCO does. They are essential to the delivery of our strategic goals whether in combating the global scourge of terrorism and its causes; preventing conflict and fostering its resolution; promoting a high-growth, low-carbon global economy; or strengthening institutions such as the UN, EU and the Commonwealth, through which the international community can most effectively come together to make a difference in the world.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times, and in which cases, they have made a third party submission to (a) the European Court of Human Rights, and (b) the European Court of Justice, in each of the last three years. [HL1533]
To ask Her Majesty's Government when Revenue and Customs Brief 05/09 on Marks and Spencer plc, issued on 18 February, will be published on the index of Revenue and Customs Briefs at www.hmrc. gov.uk/briefs/index.htm. [HL1955]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Revenue and Customs Brief 05/09, on the judgment of the House of Lords in Marks and Spencer Plc v Commissioners for Revenue and Customs handed down on 4 February 2009, was published on the commissioners' website on 18 February 2009 at www.hmrc.gov.uk/briefs/vat/brief0509.htm. It is now also available at the web address cited above by the noble Lord.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 9 February (WA 165) concerning bonus payments to staff in the Northern Ireland Office, what was the result of the consultation with the trade unions about the bonus schemes. [HL1592]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Lord President (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon) on 9 February (WA 165) concerning bonus payments to staff in the Northern Ireland Office, what was the result of the consultation with the trade unions about the bonus schemes. [HL1666]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The trade union side (PCS and NIPSA) did not endorse the arrangements for the payment of non-consolidated performance-related payments or special bonuses to staff in the Northern Ireland Office. The FDA submits its own evidence to the Senior Salaries Review Body.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office (excluding agencies and executive NDPBs) spent the following on overtime payments to staff in each of the past nine years for which information is available:
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