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Written Answers

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Aerospace: Research and Development


Asked by Lord Jones

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): The value of aerospace grants for research and development (R&D) to the UK civil aerospace industry in each of the financial years 1997-98 to 2007-08 is as follows:

YearResearch Grants Commitments


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£20.0 million


£56.8 million


£79.1 million


£16.2 million


£84.7 million

These figures do not include the value of contracted research work, for example within the defence programme, which is not funded through grants.

Aviation: Aircraft


Asked by Lord Jones

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): The Government provided £530 million in a repayable launch investment for the Airbus A380 for the design and development of the wings by Airbus UK. No other financial assistance was provided for the development of the programme.

Banking: Iceland


Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

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The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The EC Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (94/19/EC) sets the minimum terms on which depositors are protected throughout the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA). All EEA member states are required to ensure that the deposit guarantee scheme directive is adequately implemented in their territories.

Under the directive, depositors at branches in a host state are covered by the guarantee scheme of the home state. Depositors with the UK branch of Landsbanki were therefore eligible for compensation (for deposits up to €20,887) from Iceland's Depositor and Investors' Guarantee Fund (DIGF).

On 8 October 2008, the FSA announced that the UK branch of Landsbanki was in default for the purposes of the FSCS. To maintain financial stability and protect retail depositors, the UK Government committed that all Icesave retail depositors with the UK branch of Landsbanki would receive their money in full. In total, around £4.5 billion has been paid. This includes £2.35 billion compensation that the UK Government paid out to depositors on behalf of the DIGF.

On 5 June 2009, the UK Government reached agreement with the Icelandic authorities on a process to ensure the UK is refunded for the compensation that had been provided on behalf of the DIGF. This will be achieved by recognising the assistance provided by the UK Government as a £2.35 billion loan from HM Treasury to the DIGF.

The loan agreement was made with the DIGF, and the original terms included an interest rate of 5.55 per cent payable over 15 years. The loan agreement provided for an initial seven-year period during which interest will be capitalised and the DIGF will have no principal repayment obligations other than to pass on to the FSCS all recoveries made by the DIGF in the winding up of Landsbanki. After the expiration of the seven-year period, interest and principal amounts are payable quarterly over a period of eight years during which period the loan will be guaranteed by Iceland.

Under Icelandic law, the Icelandic Parliament is required to authorise the guarantee. A Bill was passed in August to this effect but with a number of conditions introduced by the Icelandic Parliament.

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Following further negotiations, the loan agreement was amended to take account of these conditions. The amendments include a cap on repayments from years eight to 15 of the loan period to 4 per cent of Iceland's GDP growth relative to 2008, an extension of the maturity from 2024 to 2030; and confirmation that the guarantee will continue until the loan has been repaid in full.

Throughout this process, the UK Government have sought to ensure that repayment would not damage economic recovery in Iceland. The recoveries that the DIGF will make from the Landsbanki estate, and which will be used to repay the loan, are expected to be significant. This should substantially reduce the repayments required from the DIGF and, as a result, substantially reduce the value of the state guarantee for the DIGF repayment obligations. Any outstanding principal and interest will then be repaid in the following years, subject to those payments not exceeding the economic parameters that have been determined by the Iceland Parliament. The Parliament in Iceland has endorsed the loan arrangement and agreed a state guarantee.



Asked by Lord Laird

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for Office for National Statistics, to Lord Laird, dated 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking (a) what percentage of respondents selected Irish as their ethnic group in the 2001 census; (b) why Irish is the only white ethnic group specifically named on the proposed 2011 census form other than those of the home countries/British and Gypsies or Irish travellers; and (c) whether there will be a change to the proposed form to allow ethnic Irish respondents to inscribe "Irish" in "Any other White background" like other European Union nationals. (HL743)

(a) The percentage of all respondents who selected Irish as their ethnic group in the 2001 census in England and Wales was 1.23 per cent.

(b) Consultation on the 2011 census content identified a strong need for comparison of ethnic group statistics with the 2001 census. Consultation also showed that statistics users were happy with the ethnic populations measured in the 2001 census. The Office for National Statistics therefore recommended that the 2001 categories

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should all be retained in the 2011 census. A particular case had been made for the inclusion of an Irish category in the 2001 census by representatives of the Irish community in Britain, and others, and thus this response category has been retained. However, in a prioritisation exercise carried out to decide if any additional categories should be included in the 2011 census, of the several considered no other category within the "White" ethnic group except "Gypsy or Irish Traveller" scored sufficiently high enough. Where it has been possible, the existing categories have been cognitively tested to ensure that the question is still acceptable.

(c) The Census Order, which details the questions to be asked in the census, was debated in the House of Lords on 3 December, and Parliament has now approved the order. However, if for any reason, respondents prefer not to tick the "Irish" box but to write in "Irish" under "Any other ethnic White background", they can do so.

Asked by Lord Laird

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for Office for National Statistics, to Lord Laird, dated January 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking (a) why the term "mixed British" was not considered for use in the mixed/multiple ethnic groups' category in the ethnic group census question; and (b) what percentage of responses to national identity or ethnic group questions where "tick one" or "choose all" options were provided in the 2007 test census were incorrect or inadequate. (HL1060)

(a) Research prior to the 2001 census showed that people who were not from "White" ethnic backgrounds but who were born and have been living in the UK for two or more generations want to acknowledge a British identity along with their ethnic group. Thus the "Black" and "Asian" groups incorporate "British" in their titles. However, it was not considered helpful to introduce the term "British" in the "Mixed/multiple" group as the category "Mixed British" could be interpreted as referring to a mix of White British identities, such as English/Scottish.

(b) The instruction in the 2007 test ethnic group question was to "Choose one section from A to E, then tick the box to show your ethnic group". The percentage of responses that were incorrectly "multi-ticked" was 0.7 per cent. Following the evaluation of the 2007 test, the ethnic group instruction has been

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changed to "Choose one section from A to E, then tick one box to best describe your ethnic group or background". In the national identity question where the instruction was to "Tick all boxes that apply" the percentage of those who multi-ticked was 9.9 per cent.

Both the national identity and ethnic group questions are relatively subjective and, as such, there is no measure of "incorrect" response to the 2007 test. The proportions of respondents who did not answer these questions in the 2007 test were 1.8 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.

Further information on the evaluation of the 2007 test is available on the website

Democratic Republic of Congo


Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Brett: We, along with our European counterparts, continue to press for Bosco Ntaganda to be handed over for trial by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The UK strongly supports the ICC and we welcome the court's investigations into events in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Conflict in the region has been marked by atrocities, and those responsible for them should be held to account.

Our ambassador in Kinshasa discussed the arrest warrant with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for the DRC, Alan Doss. He received assurances that the UN mission would support the DRC Government in carrying out the warrant. He has also raised the question of Bosco's position in meetings with the Foreign Minister. He has sought reassurances that Bosco will be handed over to the ICC at the earliest possible opportunity.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Brett: The UK fully supports the work of the UN Group of Experts who have led investigations into the companies and individuals benefiting from the illicit trade in natural resources. We have stayed in touch with the Group of Experts and have offered as much support to them as possible. But we take our obligations under sanctions very seriously and will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company against whom there is sufficient evidence, including UK-based companies or individuals.

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We continue to encourage British companies trading in natural resources from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to do so in a way which is socially, economically and environmentally responsible, and to adhere to the voluntary guidelines set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Our strategy for DRC places a strong emphasis on greater transparency and better management of the minerals sector, including in eastern DRC. We are strong supporters of DRC efforts to fully implement the extractive industry transparency initiative. Together with the World Bank and the DRC Ministry of Mines we are currently developing a multi-year mining sector reform programme, which aims to transform the way the sector is managed and ensure that the Government extend their control over all mining activities in DRC. And our regional Trading for Peace programme is coming up with innovative mechanisms for transforming the mineral wealth in the Great Lakes region from a source of conflict to an engine for growth and stability.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Brett: We strongly support the capacity-building efforts of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC), the EU Mission to provide advice on and assistance with security reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo (EUSEC DRC), and the security sector reform measures of other international partners. We welcome MONUC mandate 1906, which has placed civilian protection as its highest priority, and the fact that MONUC has developed a conditionality policy as a means of withdrawing support from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) units implicated in serious human rights abuses including violence against women.

We are also currently working on projects to promote better accountability and discipline among the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) security forces, which are responsible for many of the abuses the population suffers. We are providing about £80 million over five years to increase accountability of the defence, police and justice sectors through strengthened oversight mechanisms, technical assistance and training.

We remain concerned at the prevalence of violence against women and we successfully pressed for sexual and gender-based violence to be a new focus in the work of EUSEC. We continue to support and strongly lobby the DRC Government to implement their policy of zero tolerance against those responsible for sexual and gender-based violence atrocities.

We have repeatedly called for members of the armed forces guilty of human rights violations to be brought to justice. The UN Security Council, including the UK Permanent Representative, raised this issue with DRC President Kabila and DRC Prime Minister Muzito. We continue to push for legal action against five senior FARDC commanders accused of committing sexual violence, who were named by the UN Security Council during their visit.

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