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identity cards were not sold on the basis of, You are buying it from a Labour Government, but if another one come in, things may change and you may have to renegotiate it? [Official Report, 17/11/10; col. 789.]
What does she say to the noble Earl, Lord Erroll, who thought that the Government were guilty of mis-selling? As he said,
If you expect a member of the public, seven months ahead of the general election, to be able to predict its outcome, there are a lot of geniuses among the public whom we ought immediately to recruit to become pollsters.[Official Report, 17/11/10; col. 787.]
Has she taken on board the comments made by her noble friend Lord Phillips of Sudbury? On Report, he said:
Governments must set an example of the standards they expect of private industry. Had private industry engaged in a tactic of this sort, noble Lords on all the Benches would have been up in arms, and rightly so.[Official Report, 17/11/10; col. 785.]
expenditure. If it ceases to be in order and permissible for this House seriously to consider the legislation and the policies brought in by the Government on the basis that financial privilege means that it is not appropriate for us to do so, we might as well pack up and go home. Such a situation would make an absolute mockery of our claim to be a revising Chamber or, indeed, a proper debating Chamber. On that point, I appreciate that the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, always seeks to act in the best interests of the House, as does the noble Lord, Lord McNally, but I would say to them that we are a debating Chamber. As my noble friend Lord Davies said, the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Jones, is very well able to look after herself. The House respects her and I am sure that she is personally willing to enter into debate. On the constitutional point, I think that this really is of the greatest importance. It seems both cowardly on the part of the Government and contemptuous of this House that they seek to evade debate and, under a new and bogus claim of financial privilege, seek to prevent us from voting on issues on which we have traditionally been entitled to vote. This is a constitutional innovation of which your Lordships House should be aware and upon which it should reflect very carefully indeed. Baroness OCathain: My Lords, we have just listened to the most toe-curling self-righteousness from Members of the Opposition, who were, after all, the ones who introduced the ID cards scheme in the first place. They encouraged people to think that it would be a great thing to have an ID card. The fact that 30,000 people or thereabouts bought ID cards does not necessarily mean that those people thought about whether the cards were a good thing; they were encouraged to think so by the previous Government. Now we have the noble Lord, Lord Howarth, whom I have a lot of time for, saying that the Government will have to face up to the consequences of their policies in this House. I say to noble Lords opposite that they should all face up to the consequences of their policy of bringing in ID legislation in the first place and of encouraging people to go and buy the identity cards. I am not taking sides on this one Noble Lords: Oh! Baroness OCathain: No, I am not. Please listen to what I have said. The self-righteousness coming from the other side is quite sickening. I abstained in the debate because I felt that there was a moral justification for the money to be repaid to the people who were conned by those opposite into spending money on ID cards. There is no point in denying that by trying to be the people who support everybody out there and by adopting a high moral tone and self-righteousness. Rubbish. Lord Pannick: My Lords, I hope that I will not be accused of being self-righteous if I say that I share the concerns that have been expressed by the noble Lords, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath and Lord Howarth of Newport.
[LORD MORRIS OF HANDSWORTH] because the Government are required to declare that their legislation complies with the European convention. Can the Minister give that assurance?
Baroness Neville-Jones: Yes, my Lords, I give the assurance that we believe this legislation to be compatible with our commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights. I have tried very hard to answer the Houses points and I beg to move. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords Earl Attlee: After the question has been put, no one can speak. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I wish to move that the House do adjourn to allow the noble Baroness the Minister to seek further advice so that the House may be allowed to hear the response that she should have given to noble Lords following her commitment on Report. I should like to move that further consideration of Motion A be adjourned. Earl Attlee: My Lords, I strongly oppose the question that the House do now adjourn. We need to determine this matter now. The Lord Speaker: It is perfectly in order for the noble Earl to oppose the question after I have put it to the House, so perhaps I may do that. The question, as I understand it, is that further consideration of Motion A be now adjourned. Earl Attlee: My Lords, I strongly oppose the question that we adjourn this debate. We have had a good and tough debate. I understand the sensitivities and it has been difficult but we need to determine this matter. 4.23 pm Division on adjournment of consideration of Motion A. Contents 156; Not-Contents 112. Adjournment of consideration of Motion A agreed.
Division No. 1
CONTENTS Aberdare, L. Ahmed, L. Anderson of Swansea, L. Bach, L. Barnett, L. Bassam of Brighton, L. [Teller] Beecham, L. Berkeley, L. Best, L. Bew, L. Billingham, B. Bilston, L. Blackstone, B. Boateng, L. Borrie, L. Bragg, L. Brooke of Alverthorpe, L. Brookman, L. Browne of Ladyton, L. Campbell-Savours, L. Chorley, L. Clancarty, E. Clark of Windermere, L. Clinton-Davis, L. Coussins, B. Crisp, L. Davies of Coity, L. Davies of Oldham, L. Davies of Stamford, L. Donaghy, B. Donoughue, L. Drake, B. DSouza, B. Dubs, L. Elder, L. Elystan-Morgan, L. Erroll, E. Farrington of Ribbleton, B. Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Finlay of Llandaff, B. Flather, B. Foster of Bishop Auckland, L. Freyberg, L. Gale, B. Goudie, B. Graham of Edmonton, L. Grantchester, L. Greaves, L. Guildford, Bp. Hannay of Chiswick, L. Harries of Pentregarth, L. Harris of Haringey, L. Harrison, L. Hart of Chilton, L. Haworth, L. Hayter of Kentish Town, B. Healy of Primrose Hill, B. Henig, B. Hilton of Eggardon, B. Hollis of Heigham, B. Howarth of Newport, L. Howe of Idlicote, B. Howells of St Davids, B. Howie of Troon, L. Hoyle, L. Hunt of Kings Heath, L. Hutton of Furness, L. Irvine of Lairg, L. Janner of Braunstone, L. Jones, L. Jones of Whitchurch, B. Kakkar, L. Kennedy of The Shaws, B. Kerr of Kinlochard, L. Kilclooney, L. Knight of Weymouth, L. Krebs, L. Lea of Crondall, L. Lester of Herne Hill, L. Liddle, L. Linklater of Butterstone, B. Lipsey, L. Listowel, E. Low of Dalston, L. McAvoy, L. McFall of Alcluith, L. Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L. McKenzie of Luton, L. Maclennan of Rogart, L. Mar and Kellie, E. Masham of Ilton, B. Maxton, L. Monks, L. Morgan, L. Morgan of Drefelin, B. Morgan of Huyton, B. Morris of Aberavon, L.
UK banks holdings of sovereign debt issued by countries under heightened strain are relatively small. But total claims on these economies, including lending to households and businesses, are larger. Losses on such lending could increase were heightened sovereign concerns to be accompanied by weakening economic conditions. Credit risk could also be amplified by the interconnectedness of European banking systems. UK banks have claims of almost 300 billion on France and Germany, whose banking systems are more heavily exposed to the most affected economies.
Britain therefore will not be part of it. Since our coalition Government came into office, we have taken action to put our own house in order. We are now in a strong position that enables us to help Ireland, our closest neighbour, in its hour of need. As I have said, this is clearly in our national interest. A strong Irelandindeed, a strong Europeis vital to the success of the British economy. Todays Bill will help to ensure this. I beg to move. 5.01 pm Lord Liddle: My Lords, first I apologise most sincerely to the Minister for not being in the House for the start of his speech. I was trying to catch what his ministerial colleague Mr Lidington was saying to us in evidence in the EU Committee about the permanent mechanism. I support very strongly the principle of helping Ireland in its hour of need. The case seems self-evident given the interconnectedness of our economies, with 5 per cent of our exports going to the Republic, and the consequences for us of a collapse of its economy, which would be serious, not least for British banks. No simple solution such as coming out of the euro is available for Ireland, as a lot of people who opposed the legislation seemed to think. It is worth bearing
The Bank of England argues that there is strong interconnectedness, and we must think in those terms, not that we are something separate and apart. Thirdly, when there is a crisis, we will end up paying for it just as if we were in the eurozone. I looked at the Hansard report of the debate in the other place on this subject and at what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to say about it. He said that,
our contribution has been calculated on the basis of what we would have paid if we had been part of the facility.[Official Report, Commons, 15/12/10; col. 946.]
In other words, it is a bilateral contribution but it is based on a calculation of what we would have paid if we had joined. Mr George Osborne goes on to say:
We are paying pretty much exactly what we would have paid if we had been a member of the euro.[Official Report, Commons, 15/12/10; col. 948.]
[LORD LIDDLE] We cannot avoid our obligations to the rest of the European Union by pretending that this is something apart from us. What is going on here is that UK politics is taking priority over the national interest. Clearly, we in Britain are in this up to our necks. Our banks are in it up to their necks and our prospects for growth are dependent on the euro area. Instead of the Prime Minister saying, This is nothing to do with us, he should be doing today what Gordon Brown did in October 2008; he should go to the summit of the eurozone countries and say, Here is the plan to rescue the banks in the area. Britain has a vital interest in being part of this. Instead, we get a washing of the hands of Britains role. It is clear that this policy will not last. I looked at what various economic experts were saying about the likely pattern of what was likely to happen in the eurozone. It is difficult for the Government to comment on this because no Government can forecast that there will be defaults. I looked at an article by the one professor who forecast the crash of 2007 and 2008Professor Roubini. In his view, what he describes as the current strategy of kicking the can down the road will soon reach its limits. He goes on to argue that,
constituency that is known as Little Donegal. When the 2001 election was put off until June due to the foot and mouth outbreak, I was advised to go and knock on a number of doors in Donegal to shore up my support, but I felt that my majority was big enough that I did not have to cross the Irish Sea, which proved to be the case. So these social contacts are very important. There have been many fine Irish men and women living in my community for many years, a lot of whom fought with the British Army in the Second World War. They adapted to and assimilated the culture of the UK, notwithstanding the problems existing at a wider level between Ireland and the United Kingdom. In its latest manifestation, we see the concept of a private debt crisis being transferred to a sovereign debt crisis. To repeat a phrase that has been used a lot in the other place, we are all in this together. That is because what is happening in Ireland affects every other country in the EU, including ourselves here in the UK. The situation is that the banks in Ireland have brought that country to the verge of bankruptcy. The tensions in Ireland that were mentioned earlier have been experienced in other countries. Ireland itself is contributing 17.5 billion from its pension funds to the very important 67 billion bailout, so the people of Ireland are already saying, It is our money. We are contributing to this. The problem started off in the banks, but as a result of that situation, it has ended up on the streets. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we manage this economic process well, taking account of the social instabilities, so that we end up with a sound economic system and a stable social system. As was said earlier, there are good reasons for the UK to provide the loan, not least of which is the fact that Ireland is a major trading partner and that UK banks are exposed in Ireland. Only last week, Lloyds and HBOS declared a 4.3 billion loss on the banking groups Irish loans. Lloyds said that it had sufficient capital to withstand the loss, but that situation is an illustration of the interdependence that exists between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. As a former Minister for Northern Ireland, I am very much aware of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republicit is so porous that it really is not a border. I well remember chairing an inquiry into the euro in 2002, when I chaired the Treasury Select Committee. One of our visits was to Newry, where the currency in use included the euro because people were travelling there from across the border. That interlink between Northern Ireland and the Republic should make certain that we provide a friend in need with a loan. If instead of doing that we were to sit on our hands, economic stagnation would take place. We need a strong Europe if we are to make the most of our competitive exchange rate. That is what the Bank of England said. The loan makes historical, economic and social sense, so I commend the Bill to the House. 6.41 pm Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I suppose that, as it is almost the last day before the Christmas Recess, it is right that the Minister should have a good day. He got the Consolidated Fund Bill through the House in
clear about is that the bilateral loan is being made under domestic UK legislation. That is why we are here today. Provided that your Lordships see fit to give this Bill a clean passage, the question of the legality of this loan will not arise. If the noble Lord was also, as I suspect he was, harking back to the question of the so-called no-bailout provision in Article 122(2) and the creation of the 60 billion fund, that was agreed by the previous Government. We said at the time that we did not approve of the use of this provision, which was originally intended for natural disasters, to create this mechanism. But it was, and we are where we are. The critical thing is that the current coalition Government have a clear commitment that when in 2013 the new mechanism is put in place this will fall away and not be used again. The question of illegality does not arise. It may be regrettable, but the position is legal. Lord Pearson of Rannoch: My Lords, the noble Lord is being a little unfair to the previous Government. Surely, the decision was taken under Article 122(2) which is by qualified majority vote. That is the very reason the Eurocrats chose the clause that allows mutual support in the event of natural disasters to pass this Act. Through our membership of the European Union and the terms of the treaties that we have signed, there was nothing that the previous Government could do about it. I asked the Minister whether he agreed with the French Finance Minister who said that the whole bailout process is illegal. Lord Sassoon: The noble Lord is possibly putting a spin on Madame Lagardes words that she would not entirely accept. If he wished to correspond with her I am sure she would explain her position. All I can do is explain the Governments position. I was not trying to be unfair to the previous Government but merely stating the facts of the situation as to when the 60 billion bailout fund was agreed. Yes, I accept that if the UK had opposed it, it would have been a matter dealt with under qualified majority voting. I will spend one minute responding to points made by the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham. I am grateful to him for being clear about the Official Oppositions support for the Bill. He asked about the amount of the loan and why, if we could devote this amount of money to Ireland, we could not devote it to other causes. He quoted one possible use of funds. As I explained, the loan to Ireland does not affect the fiscal position. We are able to make it without in any way affecting the fiscal position. If it did affect it, we might need to look for other savings, but we are in a position that that is fortunately not required. The noble Lord mentioned the global dimension. We have talked a lot about the need for the UK to be at the heart of the European debate on this. I completely agree that the global dimension is an important one. We have heard about the importance of global growth and we will continue to engage with the G20 and the other international forums which will reinforce the ongoing drive to make sure that we learn all the lessons on fiscal and financial stability. It has been an interesting debate and it is understandable, given the size of the proposed package, that the importance of what we are discussing to
That is okay as far as it goes, but there are questions to be asked. The Campaign to Protect Rural England suggests that the advice to Ministers should be,
robust, independent and evidence-based policy advocacy.
That is what the CRC has been doing. For example, its report on uplands, published in June, called High Ground, High PotentialA Future for Englands Upland Communities, was a model of its kind. It was well researched, evidence-based and put forward a series of proposals on behalf of the rural areas of England that are most disadvantaged. It is difficult to see how a unit within Defra could do that with the style and commitment that was evident in that report. 8 pm Perhaps more important is the annual State of the Countryside report thatagain according to the CPRE provides a key yardstick of the social, economic and environmental trends in rural England. The report for 2010 is divided into three main sections. One is on living in the countryside and population services; one is on the economy of rural England; and one is on
land and environment, including farming. This is a substantial, evidential report that is published and available to everybody. Will that report be produced in future by Defra with the same thoroughness and evidential base? I hope that the Minister will be able to satisfy me that that will be the case. In summary, I will ask first about the strength of research in the new unit. What resources will be given to it? Will the research be on a par with that which now takes place in the arms-length body? How will the system work of having a rural champion in the department? At the moment the Rural Affairs Minister is Richard Benyon, who is energetic, keen and capable. However, the problem with Ministers is that they come and go. Who knows whether a future Minister will take on this work with the same enthusiasm? Will a Minister who is not a Secretary of State but is more junior have the clout across government to do the advocacy, the work and the rural proofing that is required? How transparent will the new processes be? Government departments are notoriously secretive. Advice to Ministers is supposed to be confidential, as we heard earlier. When my younger daughter got a temporary job in the Government Office for the North West, she said: Ive got to sign this thing called the Official Secrets Act. Is that all right, Dad?. I said: Youd better do it if your job depends on it. When junior staff such as her have to sign the Official Secrets Act, the prospect of transparency and openness of the kind that one gets with an arms-length body seems remote. Will the policy advice that Ministers get be genuinely independent and evidence-based? How will ministerial accountability to Parliament differ from how it is now? We know that the system exists, but we also know that it is imperfect. This is a typical example of a body that was set up by a substantial piece of primary legislation. The proposal is to create a system whereby it can and will be abolished by ministerial order. If the Bill goes through in its present form, this is the best opportunity that we will have before the order is made to scrutinise the proposal. I hope that the Minister will be able to provide a great deal of the information that I am asking for today. If he cannot answer all the questions this evening, I hope that he will be able to answer them between now and Report, whenever that may be. My final question is the one that I started with. Is this just about doing the same thing in a different, perhaps better, way: and will the Minister tell us which of the existing functions of the Commission for Rural Communities will not be performed in future? That is the crunch point. I beg to move. Lord Knight of Weymouth: My Lords, I was very pleased to put my name to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Greaves. I pay tribute to him for the way in which he is scrutinising this Bill, and in particular the arms-length bodies in the Defra family, as we lovingly call it. My interest in this is as the midwife of the Commission for Rural Communities. I was the Rural Affairs Minister responsible for the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, and for the creation of the Commission for Rural Communities in 2005.
person does. Such a person has the capacity to name and shame and the statutory right to go to see the Prime Minister and present his report. I say finally to the Minister, listen to the voices that I have read out from newspapers and the media, listen to other Members of this House, listen to the countryside and at least retain an independent voice for rural-proofing. If at some point down the line the Minister wants to reorganise functions, it is set out in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, in Part 8, Flexible administrative arrangements, which allows Defra functions to be transferred between Defra and Defra bodies and gives the Government the legislative freedom to do what they want to do without rushing at it here and now. Lord Newton of Braintree: My Lords, I shall join in briefly, even though I am far from being an expert on this commission like my noble friend Lord Greaves and, from what he has just said, the noble Lord, Lord Knight. What I do have is some 18 years ministerial experience, man and boy, continuously from 1979 to 1997, at every level of government, including several years as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary, before becoming what was, in terms of nomenclature, rather more grand. In that, I share some experience with my noble friend on the Front Bench: we overlapped each other at the old DHSS, or was it by then the DSS? It might have had yet another title: they change more or less every week. I want to contribute a priori from that, picking up a couple of the points that have been made. First, I just do not understand the general arguments that are being put forward for the proposition in the real world, as distinct from some hypothetical world. It is said that there should be greater direct accountability by Ministers within the department and that the department should be the champion. We all know that if the Ministry of Justice decides to abolish magistrates courts, another department cannot act as the champion for anything. We all know that what happens is that, by and large, these matters are settled at meetings of relatively junior Ministers, where you may or may not carry the day, but you cannot then go round outside that Cabinet committee saying, I championed this but the rest would not agree. You cannot say, We lost on this, but we will now campaign to have it reversed or to make people think again. Equally, when I was such a junior Minister faced with those difficulties, I welcomed having an authoritative external body to which I could point as a support for what I wanted to get my colleagues to agree to. Far more convincing than saying, My unit in the department tells me that this is what we want, is to say, We have this great and good body of external people who really know what they are talking about and who have done some research, and this is what they are advocating. Some of this thinking does not connect with the real world. I would be most grateful if my noble friend would comment, if he feels able. The only other thing that I would say is that I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, will not press his amendment, because I think we could have a much more productive argument when Ministers have had a chance to think about just what it is that they want to do.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Her Majesty the Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Lieutenant General David Leakey, CMG, CBE as the next Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, in succession to Sir Freddie Viggers. He will take up his post on Tuesday 1 February.
Civil Service Compensation Scheme
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My right honourable friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office (Francis Maude) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement. I am laying before Parliament today the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (Amendment No.2) Scheme 2010 and the associated revisions to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. The new scheme will replace the old scheme which the previous Government tried to reform in February 2010. I first announced that the coalition Government intended to reform the Civil Service compensation scheme on 6 July 2010, following which the Superannuation Bill was introduced to Parliament on 15 July to ensure that reform of the scheme could not be vetoed by any one of the unions. Extensive discussions then took place between officials and ministers and the Civil Service trade unions. Proposals were put to the Council of Civil Service Unions on 24 September. In the event, the council did not accept those proposals, but five of the unions Prospect, the FDA, the Prison Officers Association (POA), the GMB and Uniteapproached the Government directly and asked to continue discussions on those terms. There followed an intensive period of meetings between the five unions and officials, which on 5 October resulted in an agreement being reached between the negotiators on terms that might form the basis of a new compensation scheme. The five unions wrote to confirm that these terms had accurately recorded an agreement, that all their negotiating teams were able to recommend positively to their executives, as being the best that might be achieved in negotiation. Subsequently, the POAs executive committee voted to distance itself from that agreement and to request further discussion. The sixth union, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, had decided not
to take part in the talks at the point when the five other unions had agreed to negotiate separately with the Government. The Superannuation Act 2010, which received Royal Assent on 16 December, amended the Superannuation Act 1972 so as to remove the requirement for agreement of the Civil Service unions to any changes that could reduce the benefits of the compensation scheme. However, during the passage through Parliament of the Superannuation Bill, the Government agreed a number of changes to it, including a further amendment to the Superannuation Act 1972 so as to introduce a clear requirement that future consultation on any changes that would reduce the value of the Civil Service compensation scheme must be undertaken with a view to reaching agreement and that a report is made to Parliament setting out the details of the consultation that has been carried out with the unions. During the Superannuation Bills passage through Parliament, the Government remained committed to trying to reach an agreement with the Council of Civil Service Unions and offered every opportunity to those unions that wished to engage constructively in negotiations. Five of them did so, and their proposals formed the basis of the discussions and subsequent agreement on which the new proposed scheme is based. On 9 November, the Council of Civil Service Unions wrote with suggestions for areas that could be considered in further talks, and I responded on 15 November. The suggestions made in the councils letter would have had the effect of reducing the level of compensation paid to many lower-paid civil servants, and I therefore did not wish those suggestions to form the basis of further discussions. Having a new scheme that provides genuinely better protection for the lowest-paid Civil Service workers, many of whom are members of the PCS, has been an important aim of the Government throughout the discussions on reform. I explained to the Council of Civil Service Unions that, in the absence of detailed proposals from the PCS, work would have to proceed on drafting the rules for a new scheme. On 6 December 2010 officials sent the draft rules for the new compensation scheme to the Council of Civil Service Unions to seek its views. Those rules form the basis of the new compensation scheme, which is being laid before Parliament today. The Superannuation Act 2010 provides a fall-back position by introducing statutory caps on compensation which would be applied if, for any reason, the Government cannot implement the new proposals. The Government are now in a position to be able to repeal the caps set out in the Act through the Superannuation Act 2010 (Repeal of Limits on Compensation) Order 2010, which comes into force today. The repeal means that the statutory caps of a maximum of 15 months pay for voluntary departures and 12 months pay for compulsory departures, will not apply to the new Civil Service Compensation Scheme that is starting on 22 December 2010. The key points of the new Civil Service Compensation Scheme are as follows: Voluntary Redundancy below normal pension age (either aged 60 or 65) one months pay per year of service up to
Armed Forces: Overseas Bases
Asked by Lord Jopling To ask Her Majestys Government what assessment they have made, in light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, of the future of the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Alberta, Canada.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, we will maintain our training areas in Canada to prepare our forces for operations. Our presence at the British Army Training Unit Suffield also reflects the UKs close and valued defence relationship with Canada.
Asked by Lord Marlesford To ask Her Majestys Government how many UK Border Agency desks there are at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Stansted for checking passengers arriving from and departing to overseas destinations.
Armed Forces: Uniforms
Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay To ask Her Majestys Government how much was spent on replacing the ceremonial uniforms of (a) the Grenadier Guards, (b) the Coldstream Guards, (c) the Scots Guards, (d) the Irish Guards, and (e) the Welsh Guards, in each of the last five years.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness NevilleJones): The UK Border Agency has the following capability to check passengers arriving from and departing to overseas locations: Port Arrivals (Fixed) Departures (Mobile) Heathrow Gatwick Stansted Checks are made on an intelligence-led basis. Asked by Lord Marlesford To ask Her Majestys Government how many of the departure desks at (a) Heathrow, (b) Gatwick and (c) Stansted, are fitted with electronic terminals for the checking of travel documents; and what would be the cost of installing such terminals at [HL4830] those desks where they are not fitted. Baroness Neville-Jones: The UK Border Agency has a mobile capability to undertake departure checks at the airports listed. The electronic checking of travel documents is carried out using portable devices as set out below. This is done on an intelligence-led basis. Port Mobile Departures Mobile Devices Heathrow 27 9
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The expenditure over the past five complete financial years for replacing ceremonial uniforms, including hats, boots, belts, jackets, trousers and gloves, is provided in the following table.
Guard Regiment Financial Year 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Grenadier Guards Coldstream Guards Scots Guards Irish Guards Welsh Guards 38,000 151,000 28,000 33,000 129,000 170,000 290,000 172,000 172,000 163,000 349,000 146,000 69,000 114,000 109,000 282,000 188,000 185,000 872,000 86,000 2009-10 86,000 35,000 37,000 61,000 78,000
We cannot comment on where US cluster munitions have been relocated. That is a matter for the USA. Asked by Lord Chidgey To ask Her Majestys Government where cluster bomb stocks owned by the United Kingdom are [HL5122] stored and maintained. Lord Astor of Hever: Approximately 48 per cent of UK cluster munitions have now been destroyed. The remainder are stored safely either in the UK or in Germany, pending disposal. The majority of the remaining stocks are stored by Joint Support Chain Services (JSCS) (formerly the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency) at their explosives storage facilities at Kineton (Warwickshire), Longtown (Cumbria), Eastriggs (Dumfries and Galloway) and Wulfen (Germany). Some stocks of UK M26 rockets are also stored at the US ammunition base at Miseau (Germany), due to JSCSs temporary storage capacity limitations and by one of our disposal contractors, NAMMO Buck, in Germany. All stocks are maintained for the purpose of ensuring their safe storage and, where appropriate, transportation. It is our intention to have completed the destruction of all UK cluster munitions by the end of 2013. Asked by Lord Chidgey
Asked by Lord Chidgey To ask Her Majestys Government on what date cluster bombs were removed from the United Kingdom. [HL5120] The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): All UK cluster munitions were withdrawn from service in May 2008. To date 48 per cent of the UKs stocks have been destroyed. As the UK has no specialist cluster munition destruction facilities of its own, destruction has had to be contracted overseas. As a result, UK cluster munitions continue to be removed from the UK as they are called forward as part of the ongoing destruction process. It is our intention to have completed the destruction of all UK cluster munitions by the end of 2013. As was announced to Parliament during the passage of the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010, the US agreed to remove all of their stockpiles from UK territory by 2013. Since then the UK was able to announce to the First Meeting of States Parties to the Cluster Munitions Convention in November 2010 that, in fact, the US has now withdrawn all stockpiles from UK territory ahead of schedule. Asked by Lord Chidgey To ask Her Majestys Government where cluster bombs removed from the United Kingdom have [HL5121] been relocated. Lord Astor of Hever: All UK cluster munitions are in a destruction programme and have been removed from service. As part of this destruction programme UK cluster bombs are only removed from the UK for destruction. As part of the destruction process, UK cluster munitions are securely stored at specialist facilities in Germany, while awaiting collection by the disposal contractor. Under current plans, it is our intention to have destroyed all UK cluster munitions by the end of 2013.
St Helena: Airport
Asked by Lord Ashcroft To ask Her Majestys Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 6 December (WA 19), what is the estimated timetable for the completion of the proposed airport for St Helena.
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) is currently considering options to conclude a contract for the St Helena airport that will deliver best value for money for the UK taxpayer. Subsequent timetables will be available in due course.
Shipping: General Lighthouse Authority
Asked by Lord Berkeley To ask Her Majestys Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 27 September (WA 565), (a) whether the figures for cost of flights included taxes; and (b) what was the breakdown of the cost of the flights and taxes for each of the three [HL5327] general lighthouse authorities. Earl Attlee: The information requested is shown in the table below:
Northern Lighthouse Board Yes 462 1,470 1,932 Commissioners of Irish Lights Yes 2,3,525
Asked by Lord Dykes To ask Her Majestys Government whether they will make representations to United Kingdom citizens resident in tax havens to encourage them to cease their current tax status and resume paying United Kingdom personal taxes to contribute to the deficit [HL5197] reduction programme. The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Individuals liability to UK tax is based on their residence and domicile status, which is determined by the relevant facts of their circumstances, as outlined in legislation and common law. All individuals, including UK citizens, are free to choose where they live and work, and their tax status will derive from that choice.
Trinity House Cost of flights included tax Flight cost Taxes and charges Total Yes 6,565 1,469 8,034
Taxation: Interest Rates
To ask Her Majestys Government whether, in light of rising inflation, they will make representations to the Bank of England to increase interest rates.
Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham To ask Her Majestys Government what measures are taken to audit payments made under HealthLink 3 in relation to provision of health facilities and services on St Helena; and whether the scheme provides the taxpayer with value for money.
To ask Her Majestys Government whether, in light of rising inflation, they will make representations to banks operating within the United Kingdom to increase interest rates offered on savings accounts.
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) provides funding for the HealthLink 3 project to the St Helena Government upon receipt of their audited and certified expenditure statements. A competitive bidding process was held in 2008 to ensure best value for money for the implementation of HealthLink 3. The contract was awarded to the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NI-CO).
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The responsibility for decisions on bank rate lies with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England. The MPCs independence is critical for maintaining credibility in the UKs monetary policy framework. The interest rates offered on savings accounts are a commercial decision for providers and, as such, vary. The Consumer Financial Education Body publishes impartial comparative tables of savings accounts and the interest rates offered as part of its Moneymadeclear initiative. These tables can be found at http://www. moneymadeclear.org.uk/ or by calling the Moneymade clear helpline on 5000.
Asked by Lord Hylton To ask Her Majestys Government what representations they are making to the government of Turkey about the postponement until 13 January 2011 of the trial of 151 Kurdish members of parliament, mayors and party members; and whether they will ask for the release from custody of the defendants, on grounds of their long pre-trial detention and of the political nature of their charges.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): I will write to the noble Lord and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
Asked by Lord Laird To ask Her Majestys Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 3 December (WA 506), how many intra-company transfer visa applicants sponsored for employment of 12 months or less in 2009 had a salary of (a) between 24,000 and 40,000, and (b) over 40,000; what were the types of job descriptions for key staff earning less than 24,000 who were granted visas in 2009; and why only staff earning more than 40,000 are eligible for intra-company visa access to the United Kingdom for periods of more than 12 months.
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