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The HFEA has advised that since its document on discipline policy was issued in January 2007, no employees have been suspended from duty and there have been five cases of misconduct. In accordance with information collected since October 2007, none of its employees has been suspected of fraud or corruption. The HFEA has also advised that the interim chief executive has not been approached by anyone wishing to make a disclosure, as described in its document on Public Interest Disclosure produced in September 2006.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assumptions they are making about the working life of (a) land-based wind turbines, and (b) sea-level wind turbines, in their cost estimates of providing electricity from wind power. [HL1548]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The cost estimates made by the Government for onshore and offshore wind generally assume a working life of 20 years. This is used as an average figure, around which there will be a range and which itself is uncertain. Longer working lives may be achieved through a more intensive operations and maintenance programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have (a) to ensure that sufficient electricity will be generated when wind turbines are not operating, and (b) to absorb excess power from wind turbines during periods of low electricity demand. [HL1551]
We are currently looking at what our energy pathways to 2050 may be, as indicated in our recently published low carbon transition plan, and the outcome of this work will help us define the role for energy storage within our future low carbon electricity network.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what would be the estimated cost of making provision in the Equality Bill for partially sighted people so they are not disadvantaged by failures to make adjustments for disabled persons. [HL1694]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The reasonable adjustment duty in the Equality Bill requires employers, those providing services and exercising public functions to make reasonable adjustments when disabled people are placed at a substantial disadvantage. The duty applies in respect of all disabled people including people with sensory impairments who are at a substantial disadvantage when accessing information.
This is not a new duty, having been introduced incrementally between 1996 and 2004, and is carried forward from the Disability Discrimination Act with one substantive change. The Equality Bill introduces a common threshold of "substantial disadvantage" for the duty; this is the threshold which currently applies in the employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act. The threshold which currently applies in respect of services and public functions is higher.
The impact assessment for the Equality Bill, copies of which are available in the Library, includes the costs of new policy or changes to policy. It does not cost existing polices being imported into the Bill. Accordingly it costs the introduction of the lower "substantial disadvantage" threshold. The costs, which are aggregated and are not broken down by type of impairment, are estimated in the range of £2 million to £6 million per year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be their response to any proposal from the European Parliament to remove the power of member states to veto decisions of the new European Union financial regulators where they would impact on member states' fiscal autonomy. [HL1866]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Government have been very clear that no decisions by the new European supervisory authorities should impinge on the fiscal responsibilities of the UK. The Government will oppose any proposal of the European Parliament that seeks to undermine this principle.
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The gross household saving ratio is currently 8.6 per cent (2009Q3), up from an average of 4.4 per cent between 2000-06. Estimates of the saving ratio can be revised quite heavily as new data on income and spending become available. The pace and extent of the adjustment currently reported are therefore subject to uncertainty. However, it seems clear that a significant adjustment is underway.
The Government's savings strategy focuses on developing a range of savings opportunities suitable for each life stage, and providing incentives for saving through the tax and benefit system. In support of this, the Government have introduced ISAs and the Child Trust Fund, and will introduce the Saving Gateway in 2010 to encourage saving amongst working-age people on lower incomes. Private pension reform will enable and encourage more people to build up a private pension income.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what disciplinary action has been taken at the Fire Service College due to the college's not having carried out a fire risk
8 Feb 2010 : Column WA85
Lord Brett: UN agencies and non-governmental organisations have published a number of reports on the health of children in Gaza. According to these reports. infant mortality rates in Gaza have stagnated in the past few years, following a long period of sustained decreases. There are high levels of diarrhoeal disease and anaemia among young children. Children's diets have deteriorated due to restrictions on imports, leading to growing levels of acute and chronic malnutrition. At the same time, an increase in overweight children has been recorded, due to reductions in the quality of available food and lack of physical activity. The trauma and stress experienced during last winter's conflict also appear to have resulted in increasing mental health problems in children.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by departments and their agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture in each of the past five years for which information is available. [HL1707]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many patients saw a cancer specialist within two weeks of diagnosis in (a) the north west, (b) Greater Manchester, and (c) the City of Manchester in the latest year for which figures are available. [HL1601]
Baroness Thornton: The following table shows the number of patients seeing a cancer specialist within two weeks of diagnosis at National Health Service trusts in the Greater Manchester and the north-west strategic health authority area.
|Patients Seeing a Cancer Specialist within Two Weeks of Diagnosis (number and percentage compliance)|
|2008-09 Q3||2008-09 Q4||2009/10 Q1||2009/10 Q2|
|Number||as %||Number||as %||Number||as %||Number||as %|
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