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To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the evidential basis for the statement by the Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Andrew Mitchell, at the consultation meeting to inform his department's business plan on reproductive, maternal and newborn health, that 70,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions.[HL3758]
Baroness Verma: The evidential basis for the Secretary of State's statement at the consultation meeting is the latest updated statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on unsafe abortion (WHO and HRP 2010. Unsafe Abortion in 2008: Global and Regional Levels and Trends). This is based in part on data from the Guttmacher Institute (Singh S et al. Abortion Worldwide: A decade of uneven progress published in 2009). Globally in 2008, an estimated 22 million unsafe abortions took place. Nearly all of these were in developing countries, and resulted in about 70,000 deaths of women and girls.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Andrew Mitchell, made at the consultation meeting to inform his department's business plan on reproductive, maternal and newborn health, why the business plan will not take into account the moral issues surrounding abortion. [HL3759]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development's (DfID's) external consultation for its new reproductive, maternal and newborn health business plan actively sought comments on the full continuum of care, including on neglected and sensitive issues. This included the issues of safe and unsafe abortion.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have that increasing access to abortion will prevent the deaths of (a) mothers, and (b) newborn children, in countries which receive Department for International Development funding; how they reached that conclusion; and what is their forecast of how many additional abortions of unborn children will occur in 2010, compared with 2009.[HL3760]
Baroness Verma: Statistics published in the World Health Organisation's (WHO's) 2010 report Unsafe Abortion 2008: Global and Regional Levels and Trends estimate that nearly 70,000 women die each year following unsafe abortion, and a further 5 million are hospitalised
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To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent reports they have received of countries where the law on abortion was liberalised following support and guidance from United Kingdom Government (a) advisers, and (b) funded bodies.[HL3763]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) has received no recent country-specific reports. The recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Worldwide: A decade of uneven progress, provides information on worldwide trends in abortion legislation since 1997. DfID is also aware of information produced by the Center for Reproductive Rights.
DfID does not support abortion as a method of family planning. We believe the best way to eliminate unsafe abortion is to provide access to family planning information, services and supplies and to ensure that women have more control over the circumstances in which they have sex. In countries where abortion is legal, DfID will support programmes that make abortion safe and accessible. In countries where abortion is illegal and women are dying due to unsafe abortion, DfID will help make the consequences of unsafe abortion more widely understood and will consider supporting processes of legal and policy reform.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The UK Government will continue to support the UK egg industry by standing firm on our position to oppose any delay to the 2012 ban on conventional cages and by continuing to press the European Commission for robust enforcement measures to be put in place to protect those UK producers who have invested heavily in complying with the legislation by the deadline.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The decision to acquire A400M was based on the UK's requirement to bring into service a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The strategic defence and security review confirmed that A400M represented the optimum means to meet the UK's future airlift requirements and that there was scope to retire the C130J fleet early. The decision to purchase A400M, therefore, was not directly related to reducing the deficit.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they define high readiness in the context of Tornado, Typhoon and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft; and what proportion of the fleets of Harrier, Tornado F-3 and GR-4, and Typhoon are currently at high readiness.[HL4012]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): I am withholding this information as its release would or would be likely to prejudice the capability and effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The strategic defence and security review makes a firm commitment to
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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the works on sewerage, electricity and other necessary work on the Ledra Palace Hotel, Cyprus, are on target to be completed by December 2010 to ensure that the accommodation for British military personnel is up to a satisfactory standard.[HL4082]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The renovation and refurbishment of the Ledra Palace Hotel continues as part of a programme agreed between the Republic of Cyprus and the UN. Substantial improvements have already been made or completed to the standard of accommodation for British personnel, including: the replacement of the roof, the repair of the boiler room that has resulted in improvements to the provision of hot water, and the upgrading of the electrical system.
The renovation work was expected to be completed by 31 December 2010. However, the way in which the rooms are wired and plumbed together has meant that renovations are proceeding more slowly than planned. The project schedule is currently being reassessed by the Republic of Cyprus in consultation with the UN. No revised estimate of the expected completion date has yet been issued. UN officials will discuss this with Cypriot officials shortly in order to take this forward. To date 61 rooms have been refurbished.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total procurement cost of the Bay class of amphibious support ships; when each ship came into service; what are the average annual running costs of a Bay class ship; and whether any financial penalties will be incurred as a result of the reduction of contractor support on the withdrawal from service of one of the class.[HL3983]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The total procurement cost of the Bay class of amphibious support ships was £660 million. The first ship to enter service was RFA "Mounts Bay" in July 2006, which was followed by
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As stated in the strategic defence and security review, one of the Bay class of ships will be decommissioned. There will be no financial penalties incurred as a result of the associated reduction in contractor support. This is because the provision of long-term maintenance for the ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary is based on partnering agreements with industry and no financial commitment is made until each maintenance period is placed on contract with the partners.
Lord Astor of Hever: Ships of the Bay class are already able to fulfil roles in addition to their main amphibious support function. For example, RFA "Largs Bay" provided humanitarian relief to Haiti earlier this year and "Lyme Bay" is presently supporting mine countermeasures ships in the Gulf. We have no plans to convert any Bay class ships specifically for these or other roles.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 1 November (WA 341), whether they oversee the level of charges levied by the Design and Artists Copyright Society to collect and distribute artists' resale rights, or the uses to which it puts the funds that it retains, given that it is appointed by the Government to collect rights on behalf of all those artists not registered with other collection agencies; and, if not, why not.[HL4038]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The artist's resale right may only be exercised through a collecting society. The applicable legislative framework is the 2001 EU directive1 on artist's resale right, which is implemented in the UK by the Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006.
Under the 2006 regulations, where the holder of the resale right has not transferred the management of that right (including the collection of resale royalty) to a collecting society, the collecting society which manages copyright on behalf of artists is deemed to be mandated to collect resale royalties. Where there is more than one such collecting society, the holder of the resale right may choose which of those societies is mandated. The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) cannot, therefore, be said to be "appointed by the Government to collect rights on behalf of all those artists not registered with other collection agencies".
In the case of all collecting societies, including DACS, the level of administrative charges imposed for royalty collection services is a matter for the society concerned, although my department encourages all collecting societies to operate fairly and transparently.
Baroness Wilcox: Collecting societies, such as the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), are private members' organisations. These societies act on behalf of their members to collect copyright royalties.
There is no direct government regulation of collecting societies as such, but those who collect artists' resale right need to operate within the framework of the relevant legislation, namely the Artist Resale Right Directive1 implemented by the Artist Resale Right Regulations 2006.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Neville-Jones on 8 November (WA 4-5) and 21 October (WA 201-2), whether they will state the precise annual figures for those applicants granted asylum or turned down for asylum each year since 2000 in the various categories mentioned; and what is the overall total for those years, as was stated in relation to dependants, rather than making reference to a web page where the precise figures are not present.[HL3835]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The attached table shows applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom and initial decisions for the years 2000 to 2009, for main applicants, dependants and the overall total. I also refer the noble Lord to my letter of 16 November, and will place a copy into the Library.
The figures in the table are for initial decisions on asylum applications made at port and in country and exclude all subsequent decisions. They are shown by year of decision, initial decisions by year of application not being available. These data are from published National Statistics (Table 2.2 Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom, 2009).
Data stating the annual figure for the outcome of these asylum claims grouped by the categories referred to in the Written Answer of 21 October (Official Report, col. WA201-2) cannot be provided. Data are not available prior to 2004 because a bio-metric identifier
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|Table 1 Applications (1) received for asylum in the United Kingdom by category, initial decisions and percentages, 2000 to 2009|
(8) The figures for 2000 and 2001 figures are estimated. They include dependants who applied with the principal applicant and those who arrived subsequently but before the principal application was decided. Figures from 2002 are based on actual data and therefore rounded to the nearest 5. Previous dependants applications figures are rounded to the nearest 100 due to being an estimation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government intend to keep the use of community treatment orders under review, and to take any action shown to be necessary.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the risk weighting proposed under Basel III for trade finance; and what steps they will take to ensure that it will not disadvantage United Kingdom banks compared with banks based elsewhere.[HL3813]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government welcome the endorsement by G20 leaders in Seoul of the Basel reforms to global capital and liquidity standards, which are essential to strengthen financial stability. Basel III introduces a requirement to hold more high-quality capital against all exposures, including trade finance products. The Basel III reforms do not increase the relative capital required for trade finance exposures. G20 leaders have agreed to evaluate the impact of regulatory regimes on trade finance. Detailed questions about the UK's stance at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision should be directed to the UK representatives-that is, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.
Lord Sassoon: As I have noted in a previous Answer [HL3031], the overall aim of quantitative easing (QE) was to avoid the substantial risk that inflation would undershoot the target in the medium term. The Bank of England has published several assessments on the channels through which QE is expected to work (for example Quantitative Easing Explained) and on evidence of its impact (see the May 2010 Inflation Report).
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about plans by the banks to phase out the use of cheques by 2018; what is their assessment of those plans; and how they are using their influence with (a) the banks that they largely or partially own, and (b) other banks, to act upon representations made to them.[HL3729]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The banking industry has given a clear public assurance, through the Payments Council, that cheque facilities will not be withdrawn unless and until suitable alternatives are in place.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 1 November (WA 344-5), what sanctions are available if a new agreement cannot be reached with Iceland over the repayment of funds; and whether they would support Iceland's entry to the European Union regardless of whether agreement is reached on the repayment of moneys due.[HL3737]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The negotiations to repay the loan made by the previous Government in respect of Iceland's obligations under the Deposit Guarantee Directive to UK depositors in Icesave are ongoing.
Under the European Directive 94/14/EC on deposit guarantee schemes (DGS), Iceland has an international obligation to establish a compensation scheme which can provide compensation of €20,887 per depositor. This is a European Economic Area (EEA) obligation. DGS are an important pillar of the European financial architecture and essential for safeguarding financial stability. It is therefore crucial that the minimum protection level for depositors is guaranteed by all EEA member states.
The UK continues to support Iceland's bid for EU membership. Like other candidates, Iceland must meet the EU membership criteria, including meeting the Copenhagen Criteria and fully implementing its EEA obligations. The June European Council Conclusions make it clear that Iceland must meet these obligations by resolving the Icesave issue during the negotiations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why United Kingdom Financial Investments and HM Treasury sought to place Mr Gary Hoffman of Northern Rock on "gardening leave" contrary to his wishes; and what total cost would have been incurred had this decision not been reversed on the insistence of Mr Hoffman.[HL3738]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Gary Hoffman has been placed on "gardening leave" for reasons of commercial confidentiality. Northern Rock assessed that it would not be in the best interests of the company and therefore of the taxpayer for Mr Hoffman to take up a position in NBNK Investments, a company with ambitions to acquire UK banking assets, immediately after leaving his current position as chief executive of Northern Rock plc, where he was in possession of commercially sensitive information.
Mr Hoffman has subsequently chosen to waive his contractual entitlement to pay and other benefits during his gardening leave. Had Mr Hoffman not waived this, Northern Rock plc would have been contractually obliged to pay him his salary and additional benefits amounting to £496,420.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The green investment bank (GIB) has yet to be established. We are committed to completing the design of the green investment bank (GIB), and to conducting further market testing by spring 2011, with the GIB being operational by September 2012.
Baroness Wilcox: Further design and testing work are being undertaken to ensure that the green investment bank (GIB) is effective in mobilising additional private sector investment into green infrastructure projects. All decisions on the GIB's business and operating model are subject to the Government's tests of effectiveness, affordability and transparency.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): According to the report, The Adult Social Care Market and the Quality of Services, published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 9 November, the CQC, as at 31 March 2010, rated 83 per cent of care and nursing homes as "good" or "excellent", 16 per cent as "adequate" and 1 per cent as "poor", according to the registration system in force at the time, under the Care Standards Act 2000.
The report is available on the CQC's website at: www.cqc.org.uk/publications.cfm?fde_id=16477.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): As announced in July, the Government have established an independent commission to make recommendations on how to achieve an affordable and sustainable funding system or systems for care and support, for all adults in England, both in the home and other settings. The Commission on the Funding of Care and Support is chaired by Andrew Dilnot and has been asked to deliver practical and deliverable recommendations within a year (July 2011). The commission should build on the extensive existing body of work in this area and provide advice on how to implement its chosen options.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the provisions of the Aarhus Convention, to which the United Kingdom is a party, apply to the Cayman Islands; and, if so, what steps have been taken to implement them there.[HL4205]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The United Kingdom's instrument of ratification of the Aarhus Convention has not been extended to the Cayman Islands. We do invite our overseas territories to join in our instruments of ratification to multilateral environmental agreements. However, this is a matter for them to decide.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 25 October (WA 223-4), whether they will publish the details and results of the negotiation with trade unions on redundancy which included a limit of 21 months' pay for those leaving on a voluntary basis to replace that of 15 months; and whether they will table consequential amendments to the Superannuation Bill.[HL3832]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Strathclyde on 8 November (Official Report, col. 6), which stated that the Government's responses to the consultation on the Programme for Government were available on departments' websites, why responses on (a) crime and equalities, (b) Europe, (c) families and children, (d) foreign affairs, (e) government transparency, (f) civil liberties, (g) immigration, (h) national security, (i) the National Health Service, (j) political reform, (k) public health, (l) schools, (m) social action, (n) social care and disabilities, and (o) transport, no longer appear on departmental websites; and what plans they have to reinstate them.[HL3791]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): All of the responses referred to in the Question are still available on departmental websites. I have asked for a page to be created on the Cabinet Office site which clearly links to each of the departmental responses. Links to some departmental responses on the archived version of The Coalition: Our Programme for Government may not work. This is because the technology used to archive websites has difficulty capturing content held on sites other than the "target" site. I have asked the National Archives to investigate a solution to this.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to meet European Commission representatives to discuss the forthcoming European Commission green paper on future Common Agriculture Policy reforms.[HL4141]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): My honourable friend the Minister of State (Jim Paice) will attend the Agriculture Council in Brussels on 29 November, where there will be a first discussion on the European Commission's proposals (published on 18 November) on the future common agricultural policy. We will continue to engage actively with the European Commission, European Parliament and other member states throughout the duration of the negotiations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): At this stage, detailed funding allocations for the spending review period, financial year 2011-12 to financial year 2014-15, have not been determined. Once determined, we will be able to calculate the proposed central budget allocation for administration support of the Academies and Free Schools programmes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (a) primary, and (b) secondary schools, will receive less than a 0.1 per cent increase in their budgets following the introduction of the Dedicated Schools Grant during the next spending review period. [HL3847]
Lord Hill of Oareford: Following the outcome of the spending review on 20 October, we are protecting overall school funding in the system at flat cash per pupil before adding the pupil premium. Flat cash per pupil means that as pupil numbers go up, the overall budget goes up in line.
The pupil premium is in addition to this and will be worth £2.5 billion by 2014-15. All schools with deprived children will benefit from the pupil premium, and the premium itself will not cause any school to receive a cash cut in its budget.
Combined, these measures mean we will increase funding for the schools budget by £3.6 billion in cash terms by the end of the period, a 0.1 per cent real-terms increase in each year of the spending review.
The actual level of budget for each individual school will vary-it will depend on each school's specific circumstances and local decisions about how best to meet needs. This does mean that some schools may see cash cuts in their budgets-either because they have fewer pupils or because changes are made by their local authority to the distribution of funding.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 13 October 2010 (WA 73-74), how many incidents of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) have been reported by clinics whenever a patient had been hospitalised (a) over each of the last two years, and (b) between 1999 and 2003; and how many incidents of OHSS have been reported to the HFEA whenever a licensed clinic became aware of OHSS that is less severe over the same time periods.[HL3889]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the number of cases of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) reported as adverse incidents to the HFEA by licensed clinics for each of the periods requested is set out in the following table.
|Year||Number of cases of OHSS reported as adverse incidents|
Licensed centres are required to report to the HFEA the occurrence of any adverse incident, which includes OHSS that requires a hospital admission and has a severity grading of severe or critical. Licensed centres are not required to report to the HFEA cases of OHSS that do not require admission to hospital.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 24 March (WA 293-4) regarding "category A incidents" and witnessing procedures, how many incidents have been reported annually to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in which embryos were transferred to the wrong womb; how the HFEA ensures that clinics automatically report all such cases as incidents in the light of the dismissal of Bea Pavlovic from her post as a clinical embryologist at Guy's Hospital London pursuant to her whistleblowing actions; and how this eliminates any possibility that embryos used in research could be used in treatment at the same centre if the same personnel are involved in both activities.[HL3891]
Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that, since 2007, three incidents involving the transfer of the wrong embryos to a patient have been reported to the HFEA. Requirements for reporting adverse incidents are set out in HFEA Directions 0011. Requirements and guidance relating to witnessing of clinical and laboratory procedures are set out in the HFEA's Code of Practice (guidance note 18). Both the Directions and Code of Practice are published on the HFEA's website. There is no link between the directions or the Code of Practice and the dismissal of Bea Pavlovic, which is not a matter for the HFEA.
It is a requirement of Section 15(4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 that no embryo appropriated for the purposes of any project of research shall be kept or used otherwise than for the purposes of such a project.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports they have received of treatments for (a) children and (b) adults with disabling conditions, developed as a result of (1) human embryo, (2) embryonic stem cell, and (3) non-embryonic stem cell research since 2001.[HL4115]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports they have received of progress in developing cures for diseases as a result of (a) adult stem cell, (b) embryonic stem cell, and (c) human embryo research since July 2001.[HL4116]
Research on adult stem cell therapies, such as bone marrow transplantation, has been undertaken for over half a century. The biological properties of these stem cells have been used over the past several decades to develop a number of highly successful treatments including bone marrow transplants-for leukaemias and other haematopoietic conditions, corneal transplants, related donor cord blood transplants and skin grafting.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what attempts have been made by government to combine the Human Tissue Authority with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority over the past five years; and why such amalgamation did not take place. [HL4200]
Earl Howe: The review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 Act, between 2004 and 2008, included a proposal to replace the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) with the Regulatory Authority for Tissue and Embryos (RATE).
The Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill, which considered the views of major stakeholders, recommended abandonment of this particular proposal. The committee took the view that greater savings, consistency and co-operation
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Government are committed to ensuring that people looking for work are supported to improve their labour market relevant skills, to help them get sustainable employment.
BIS has recently announced in Skills for Sustainable Growth, that we will continue to fully fund training for young people aged 19 up to 24 without a first full level 2 or 3 qualification to support them in making the transition from education to work. For those on active benefits, there will be state subsidised pre-employment training to support people to obtain work. This could be single units from the Qualifications and Credits Framework or full qualifications depending on what the individual needs.
We will also make sure there are clear routes into apprenticeships to widen access to the programme and increase the numbers of young people who have the skills and attributes to secure and complete an apprenticeship with an employer.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will take steps to encourage the alignment of carbon reduction targets established by higher education institutions with those set by the Funding Council; and what pattern of public funding inducements and penalties will be applied in order to achieve those targets.[HL3831]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The higher education carbon reduction target and strategy was published in January 2010. This strategy includes a sector-level target of a 34 per cent reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2020 against a 1990 baseline. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions that occur from sources owned or controlled by the organisation-for example, emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces and vehicles. Scope 2 emissions are from the generation of purchased electricity. This target was not set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England but was instead agreed by the sector after widespread consultation.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) in England are required to have carbon management plans under the terms of the financial memorandum between HEFCE and HEIs. Carbon management plans are also required in order to access any capital funding that may be
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Institutions submitted 2020 carbon reduction targets to HEFCE as part of their submission under the capital investment framework. The targets will be analysed to establish the overall sector trajectory and this information will be published by the end of 2010. The level of institutional targets varies to reflect the contribution that different institutions can make to the sector-level target. If the collective ambition of the institutional targets does not meet the sector-level target HEFCE will consider what action to take.
Many institutions are already reducing their own carbon footprint through energy efficiency, increasing use of sustainable goods and services, and better environmental management. They are required to comply with legislation such as the carbon reduction commitment, building regulations and display energy certificates.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Security of gas supply is provided by the operation of a competitive market, in which the various participants have clearly defined responsibilities, overseen by Ofgem as the independent economic regulator charged to protect the interests of consumers.
The Government propose to bring forward legislation, in the forthcoming Energy Security and Green Economy Bill, to give Ofgem a new power to introduce changes to sharpen the commercial incentives for energy supply companies to meet their contractual supply obligations during a Gas Supply Emergency. In turn, this should also sharpen incentives to avoid the occurrence of such an emergency and help underpin commercial demand for additional gas supply infrastructure such as storage facilities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the long-term worldwide availability of uranium to fuel the new generation of nuclear reactors, particularly if spent nuclear fuel will not be reprocessed.[HL4339]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government consider that there will be ample natural uranium resources available to fuel the next generation of nuclear power plants. This is based on the findings of authoritative international agencies.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which regularly analyse uranium resources, have stated that, regardless of the role that nuclear energy ultimately plays in meeting rising electricity demand, the uranium resource base is more than adequate to meet projected requirements (REF. OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (2010). Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand). The Euratom Supply Agency has also expressed confidence that there are sufficient identified uranium resources to meet the current demand for about 100 years (REF. Euratom Supply Agency (2010). Euratom Supply Agency Annual Report 2009).
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 2 November (WA 385), why the Bank of England does not cease to pay interest on bank reserves or apply a negative rate of interest to encourage lending.[HL3740]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) discussed the merits of changing the structure of remuneration on commercial bank reserves at its meeting on 4 and 5 November 2009. The Committee "noted that such an action would be unlikely to have a significant impact on the outlook given the already low levels of short-term market rates, and that asset purchases were currently a more effective instrument for affecting monetary conditions". The full minutes of the meeting are available at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/minutes/mpc/pdf/2009/mpc0911.pdf.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they propose to make to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea to include data-weak fishing species in its advisory system.[HL4060]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Government are keen to use the best available science as the basis for fisheries management under the Common Fisheries Policy, and supplies the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea with information on data-weak species to support future assessments and provision of scientific advice.
To ask the Chairman of Committees, further to his Written Answer on 2 November (WA 385), whether the Refreshment Committee has recently consulted the House of Commons Refreshment Committee on the sources of their British bacon and the prices they pay for it.[HL4249]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): No, although officials in both Houses regularly discuss pricing issues. The House of Commons pays more and charges more for its bacon and, as previously explained, we do not believe that the use of British bacon is economically viable for the River Restaurant.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): There is a cross-government approach to tackle the issue of forced marriages. The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) will shortly develop its new action plan for 2011-12 in consultation with other government departments and its voluntary sector partners.
If a person is at risk of forced marriage or has already been forced into marriage they can seek support from the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a joint Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office unit; and by applying for a forced marriage civil protection order under the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has no immediate plans to visit Gaza. However, he discussed the situation in Gaza with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his recent visit to the region.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many staff have been employed on temporary or short-term contracts since 12 May to support the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; what are the names of those employed; at what grade and what level of remuneration they were employed; and what selection criteria were used to determine their suitability for the post.[HL3732]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not employed any individual on a temporary or short-term contract of 12 months or less since 12 May. Headline information on the number of staff employed on such a basis is published quarterly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and can be found at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/Product.asp?vlnk=13615.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many staff have been employed on temporary or short-term contracts since 12 May to support the Secretary of State for Health; what are the names of those employed; at what grade and what level of remuneration they were employed; and what selection criteria were used to determine their suitability for the post.[HL3783]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department continues to support the work of the National Health Service in providing information to all couples at risk of genetic conditions to enable them to make informed choices.
As part of the complementary work to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, the department has published the Implementation Plan for Reducing Health Inequalities in Infant Mortality: A Good Practice Guide, a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The document provides details on how genetic screening and counselling services play an important part in this area. Specifically, it highlights the work of two projects funded by the department on how to provide appropriate genetic services and support to communities that practise cousin marriage.
The department supports the work of NHS initiatives among communities with a higher prevalence of cousin marriage on a number of important issues. This includes initiatives delivered through regional NHS genetic counselling services that work to raise awareness of the risks associated with cousin marriage.
Most couples in consanguineous relationships will have healthy children. Overall the risk of any given couple having a child with a severe genetic condition is still relatively small, estimated at 4 per cent for cousin marriages compared to 2 per cent for unrelated parents.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage better relations between the medical profession and those groups within society among whom same-cousin marriages are prevalent.[HL3962]
The department has supported development of local services specifically dealing with consanguineous relationships. This includes initiatives delivered through regional NHS genetic counselling services that work to raise awareness of the risks associated with cousin marriage.
Most couples in consanguineous relationships will have healthy children. Overall the risk of any given couple having a child with a severe genetic condition is still relatively small, estimated at 4 per cent for cousin marriages compared to 2 per cent for unrelated parents.
As Director-General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many recorded deaths there were in each of the past three years for individuals using (a) Class A, (b) Class B or (c) Class C drugs. (HL4065)
It is not possible to determine from information collected at death registration whether the deceased was a regular user of a specific category of drugs, since this information is not routinely recorded. Neither is it possible to determine the number of deaths of regular users of drugs which were attributed to other causes.
However, the table attached provides the number of deaths related to drug poisoning where any drug in (a) Class A, (b) Class B or (c) Class C was mentioned on the death certificate, in England and Wales, for 2007 to 2009 (the latest year available).
The number of deaths related to drug poisoning registered in England and Wales each year by sex, age, cause and specific substance are published annually on the National Statistics website at: www.statistics. gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=11695.
|Table 1. Number of deaths attributed to drug poisoning1 where a drug classified to class A, B or C was mentioned on the death certificate,2 England and Wales, 3 2007-094|
1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Deaths were included where the underlying cause was due to drug poisoning (corresponding ICD-10 codes are shown in Box 1 below) and where a drug classified as A, B or C was mentioned on the death certificate.
|Box 1. International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes used to define drug-related poisoning deaths by underlying cause|
|Regional employment: by region and country of workplace Q2 20101|
|Not seasonally adjusted; thousands|
3. Public sector estimates include banks reclassified to the public sector-Northern Rock from 9 October 2007, Bradford & Bingley from 26 September 2008, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group from 13 October 2008.
5. Estimates of PSE for Northern Ireland will differ to those published by DETINI; ONS figures include HM Forces personnel. In addition, ONS percentage figures use the Labour Force Survey employment as a denominator as opposed to the Quarterly Employment Survey employee estimate used by DETINI.
6. Includes overseas employees, those who did not state their region of workplace when surveyed as part of the Labour Force Survey and approximately 30,000 public sector employees that could not be assigned to a region.
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