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Justice: Sharia Law


Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It is government policy to prevent the formation of polygamous households in this country. Entry clearance or leave to enter or remain is refused if the applicant's spouse has another spouse living who is, or at any time since their marriage has been, in the UK, or who has been granted a certificate of entitlement in respect of right of abode under Section 2(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 1988, or who has been granted entry clearance to enter the UK on the basis of their marriage.

There are certain exceptions to this general restriction: a spouse who seeks leave to entry or remain if he/she has been in the UK before one August 1988, having been admitted on the basis of his/her marriage; or, if he/she has, since his/her marriage, been in the UK at any time when there was no such other spouse living.

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At the present time we see no firm evidence that further legislation and/or other restrictions, on top of the existing tight restrictions, are necessary.

Latvia and Republic of Ireland


Asked by Lord Kilclooney

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Latvia secured agreement to a €7.5 billion financial support package in December 2008, including €3.1 billion from the European Union's medium-term balance of payments facility and €1.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The UK did not make a bilateral contribution.

The Government are not aware of any request from Ireland for international economic support.

Legal Aid


Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The funding provided to the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission for legal aid in Northern Ireland in each of the past 10 years is as follows;

Financial YearLegal Aid Fund £m





















NHS: Ageism


Asked by Baroness Greengross

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Government are strongly committed to ending age

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discrimination. The National Health Service (NHS) Constitution, published in January 2009, states that “the NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief” and sets out patients' right not to be unlawfully discriminated against in the provision of NHS services, including on grounds of age once the relevant provisions of the Equality Bill are brought into force for the health sector. The Bill, currently before Parliament, includes provisions to prohibit age discrimination in the provision of services and the exercise of public functions. This will apply to health and social care.

NHS professionals are dedicated to offering good care to all patients irrespective of age, but we recognise that more needs to be done to improve services for all age groups and tackle age discrimination where it exists.

The Secretary of State for Health has initiated a national review of age discrimination led from the south-west region by Sir Ian Carruthers, chief executive of the South West Strategic Health Authority, and Jan Ormondroyd, chief executive of Bristol City Council. The review is looking at the key actions health and adult social care should take to prepare for implementation of the ban on age discrimination. More widely, the department is considering how health and social care organisations can ensure that people receive high quality services, whatever their age. The review will make its recommendations in a published report in October 2009.

Parliaments: Members' Costs


Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to Baroness Seccombe on 26 November 2008 (Official Report, col.WA 336-7).



Asked by Lord Ouseley

Lord Brett: We are not aware of any reports in the Polish press of abuse, harassment or threatening behaviour being directed towards black British citizens in Poland. We do not, therefore, have any plans to make representations to the Polish Government about the safety of black British citizens in Poland.

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Population Statistics


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Baroness Crawley: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply

Letter from Karen Dunnell, National Statistician, to Lord Taylor, dated June 2009.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Question asking whether Her Majesty's Government supply the United States Census Bureau with United Kingdom population statistics; and, if so, in what form and how frequently. (HL4053)

Population statistics are published on the ONS website where they are available publicly for all users at 601&More=N.

No other Census or other population statistics are supplied to the United States Census Bureau.

Public Bodies


Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): There are a wide range of public bodies set up by Acts of Parliament. Any concerns about the actions or performance of a particular public body should be raised with the chairman of the body concerned and/or the relevant sponsor department.

Public Sector: Contracts


Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Office of Government Commerce has issued guidance which encourages departments to seek effective management of supply chains by their prime contractors.

This guidance will be reviewed and updated as part of a programme of work to implement the recommendations of the Glover Advisory Committee, which published its report Accelerating the SME economic engine; through transparent, simple and strategic procurement in November 2008. That work includes a project to help ensure small businesses and other firms acting as sub-contractors obtain contract conditions, for example, promptness of payment, that are comparable to those applied to the prime contractor.

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Within central government it is mandatory for major new construction projects to adopt the principles set out in OGC's Guide to Best Fair Payment practices. That requires departments to adopt the principles of OGC's Fair Payment Charter fortheir construction supply chains.

Questions for Written Answer: Websites


Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The presumption should be that, unless it is of such size and complexity that it would not be practicable to do so or would involve disproportionate cost, requested information which is readily available should be provided in the relevant Written Answer itself, in addition to referring the Member to the published sources. I will be reminding departments of the need to do so.

Shipping: Ferry Operators


Asked by Lord Laird

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a short-term passenger certificate, valid for one month, for the MV “CANNA” on 12 September 2008, following an in water survey. No request was made to the MCA for a temporary passenger-carrying certificate in September 2008.

An error occurred in the re-issue of passenger certification in July 2008 to take account of a change of operator to the current operator. This certification should have reflected previous changes, unrelated to the current operator, which would have confirmed that the certification was valid until 18 September 2008, rather than 31 August 2008.

On 5 September 2008 the operators of the MV “CANNA” informed the MCA that the vessel could not be surveyed out of water before 18 September

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2008, the date that the operators believed their survey window expired based on the assumption that the certificate would be valid for 12 months from the date of the last survey. It was during the request for the out of water survey that the basis for confusion was revealed. The surveys on this vessel were current even if the paperwork did not always reflect this.

Following the out of water survey, a new five-year passenger certificate was issued on the 5 October 2008.



Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Total tobacco duty received by the Exchequer in 2006-07 was £8,149 million and is published in the National Statistics Tobacco bulletin available at

Statutory Instruments


Asked by Lord Naseby

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The number of statutory instruments laid in each of the specified Sessions was a follows:

SessionNumber of instruments













Territorial Army


Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Unemployed people who are Territorial Army soldiers can claim jobseeker's allowance provided they are available and actively seeking work. Most TA units have a minimum commitment to train for around three hours per week, one weekend per month and to participate in an annual two week camp for basic training, which may take place in the UK or abroad.

The only time their TA activity would impact on JSA entitlement is during the annual two week training period per year. Normally when a TA solider attends their annual training they tend to close their claim to JSA, as the full time nature of the training means they cannot be available for or actively seeking work during this period.

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