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The department does not report contract spend or performance to Buying Solutions, unless there is a specific problem with a supplier's performance.

European Parliament: Hereditary Peers


Asked by Baroness Rawlings

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The position of hereditary Peers was given full consideration by the House of Lords during the debate held on the European Parliament (House of Lords Disqualification) Regulations 2008 on 14 October 2008. We do not consider that these regulations are discriminatory in nature. The regulations were an interim measure in response to a particular issue that had arisen prior to the European parliamentary elections in June 2009.

Asked by Baroness Rawlings

Lord Bach: The Government have no plans to table such amendments to the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill, as the Bill includes provision to allow a person who is a life Peer or an hereditary Peer who is a member of the House of Lords to resign at any time from the House of Lords.

Health: Medicines


Asked by Earl Howe

2 Mar 2010 : Column WA341

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): In developing the proposals and analysis set out in the consultation document The Proposals to Implement "Generic Substitution" in Primary Care, Further to the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) 2009 and its associated partial impact assessment, published on 5 January 2010, the department was informed by information from stakeholders. During 2009, the department undertook a series of meetings with key national stakeholders, representing general practitioners, community pharmacists, and manufacturers, to discuss the commitment in the PPRS agreement in England. These national stakeholders were the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, the British Generic Manufacturers Association and the Ethical Medicines Industry Group. We also received written representations from a number of other stakeholders, such as individual manufacturers and patient groups, for example those representing people with epilepsy.

The department will publish references to the key articles reviewed to support the partial impact assessment on its website. We recognise that further evidence may be available in relation to these issues, which is why we are holding a full public consultation, to which all those with an interest can input. The consultation document and partial impact assessment can be found on the department's website at

Copies of the consultation document have already been placed in the Library. Details of the consultation events can be found on the NHS Primary Care Commissioning website at



Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

2 Mar 2010 : Column WA342

Baroness Crawley: The information requested is not held centrally. Employer pension contributions for those non-departmental public bodies that participate in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme are accounted for in the Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts.

Shipping: Piracy


Asked by Lord Tebbit

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The eight suspected pirates detained by Royal Navy forces in November 2008 remain on trial in Kenya. The defence case has now been heard by the court, with final submissions still expected from both the prosecution and defence. The UK continues to monitor progress. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the trial continues.

Stateless People


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

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 Lester of Herne Hill, dated March 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many stateless people there are in the United Kingdom; and how they are categorised for the purpose of national statistics.

The information requested is not available.

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