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Departmental Policies (Edinburgh, South)

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Edinburgh, South constituency, the effects on Edinburgh of the Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [155341]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Edinburgh, South along with the rest of the United Kingdom, is benefiting from the long-term action we have taken to build economic stability and secure high and stable levels of growth and employment. Since the General Election, claimant unemployment in the constituency has fallen by 983, or 48 per cent., youth unemployment is down by 83 per cent. and long-term unemployment has fallen by 70 per cent.

Macro-economic stability is being complemented at the micro-economic level by the Government's policies to ease the transition from welfare into work and to make work pay. To the end of December 2000, the New Deal for 18-24 year olds had helped 586 young people in Edinburgh, South constituency gain valuable skills and experience--298 (51 per cent.) of whom had moved into employment. The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), introduced in October 1999, is helping to make work pay for low and middle income families. In August 2000, 900 families in the constituency were benefiting from WFTC.

The Government are also committed to policies that enable pensioners to share in the country's rising prosperity. All pensioners, including 13,300 in Edinburgh, South, will receive an above-inflation increase in the basic state pensions from April 2001. Single pensioners will receive an extra £5 a week, and couples will receive an

26 Mar 2001 : Column: 461W

extra £8 a week. All pensioners aged 75 or over have also been entitled to a free TV licence since November 2000--including around 9,000 in Edinburgh, South.

NHS (Wales)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the funding announced in the Budget for the NHS will be allocated to Wales. [155042]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government announced in the Budget an additional £100 million over three years for Wales. This represented the share for Wales of the overall increases in spending announced in the Budget, including as a consequence of the increases announced for England for health and other spending. It is for the National Assembly for Wales to decide how to allocate the increase in its budget according to its priorities.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what targets have been given to the Valuation Office for the time scale within which appeals against the 2000 rating list must be determined. [155038]

Dawn Primarolo: The Valuation Office Agency's targets for 2001-02 will be published shortly.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is the policy of the Government that small businesses should have priority in the determination of their appeals against the 2000 rating list; and if he will make a statement. [155036]

Dawn Primarolo: Appeals are programmed so that properties of a similar type are considered together but the Valuation Office will give priority to appeals where the ratepayer would otherwise suffer hardship.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will undertake to make resources available to the

26 Mar 2001 : Column: 462W

National Assembly for Wales, in addition to funding under the Barnett formula, to enable financial support to be given to tourism and agriculture-related businesses that have suffered losses as a result of the effects of foot and mouth disease. [154841]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government reported on the work of the Rural Task Force provisionally on 20 March. The funding arrangements for the devolved Administrations were set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published in July 2000.

Utilities Regulators

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 6 March 2001, Official Report, column 163W, how many members or former members of staff of Offer, Ofgas and Ofgem will receive redundancy and severance payments which form part of the total £4.4 million. [152968]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Sixty-eight.

Educational Qualifications

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the highest qualification achieved in each region and nation of the UK was using Labour Force Survey data for summer 2000, broken down (a) into the (i) 16 to 49 and (ii) over 50 age groups and (b) by gender. [154816]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 22 March 2001:

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Highest qualification of working age(11) people by sex, region and age; United Kingdom; summer 2000; not seasonally adjusted

All persons(12)Degree or equivalentQualification intermediate between A-level and degreeGCE A level or equivalentGCSE grades A-C or equivalentOther qualificationsNo qualification
All persons
All of working age
United Kingdom38,3485,4743,0188,5687,9085,0415,930
Great Britain35,3275,3482,9558,3247,6934,9535,689
North East1,573145127388360225314
North West4,1815473821,057944481734
Yorkshire and Humberside3,080380260757680435532
East Midlands2,573336198607588347448
West Midlands3,241405253671722491658
South East4,9148804051,2021,159667551
South West2,925453270707724395354
Northern Ireland1,1091266524421588262
United Kingdom27,7034,4392,2888,5826,8523,6363,621
Great Britain26,9014,3322,2176,3616,8543,5703,452
North East1,19511494287328170188
North West3,168441283793826339462
Yorkshire and Humberside2,345305196569592314337
East Midlands1,937288148484514248287
West Midlands2,441329181513627351404
South East3,708863297922974480315
South West2,168358192531597273201
Northern Ireland8021065020119766169
United Kingdom8,6341,0387522,0081,0581,4052,309
Great Britain8,4261,0187361,9631,0381,3832,217
North East3773133993255125
North West1,01210699264117142272
Yorkshire and Humberside735746318888121195
East Midlands63669521438599181
West Midlands799767215895140251
South East1,206197108280188187235
South West7579678176127122153
Northern Ireland217201643182292
All of working age
United Kingdom19,0393,1771,4275,6713,2602,5402,734
Great Britain18,5143,1051,4015,5103,1712,5042,803
North East8238563270141111141
North West2,198313177739371226342
Yorkshire and Humberside1,629217118517293218244
East Midlands1,353196103408251174199
West Midlands1,712248120451294268306
South East2,571527195758480328259
South West1,535289129462297203160
Northern Ireland52572261618935132
United Kingdom14,0462,4471,0494,0502,8251,8351,648
Great Britain13,8452,3881,0293,9262,7431,8061,566
North East80382471871308482
North West1,160239122522325161216
Yorkshire and Humberside1,20216687364257150158
East Midlands98314473290216125115
West Midlands1,24819280320256190184
South East1,877385143537400241151
South West1,0991988931924514592
Northern Ireland4015820124822882
United Kingdom4,9927313781,6214367051,086
Great Britain4,8687163721,5854286981,036
North East219231583122758
North West58874542174665126
Yorkshire and Humberside4275031153386887
East Midlands3705230118354884
West Midlands48758391313878122
South East694141522188087108
South West4367140144525869
Northern Ireland12414(13)--37(13)--(13)--50
All of working age
United Kingdom17,3072,2971,5912,8974,6472,5023,196
Great Britain16,8132,2431,5522,8134,5212,4493,066
North East7505964116218114173
North West1,983234186318572255392
Yorkshire and Humberside1,451163142240386218288
East Midlands1,22014095200348173249
West Midlands1,528157134220428223350
South East2,343353210447879338291
South West1,390184141245427192194
Northern Ireland49454398412653130
United Kingdom13,6571,9921,2172,5124,0271,8021,973
Great Britain13,2561,9441,1882,4353,9111,7641,885
North East592524710019886106
North West1,558202141271501178246
Yorkshire and Humberside1,143139110205335164180
East Midlands95412273175298122153
West Midlands1,195137101193371161220
South East1,831298155385574238164
South West1,070159103212352128109
Northern Ireland4014829771163887
United Kingdom3,8503053733858217001,223
Great Britain3,5572993643786116851,180
North East158(13)--1816202867
North West4243345477177145
Yorkshire and Humberside3082432355254108
East Midlands288172225515197
West Midlands3332033275762130
South East512555662105100127
South West321253833756485
Northern Ireland93(13)--(13)--(13)--101543

(11) Men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.

(12) Includes people who did not state their highest qualification.

(13) Figure too small for reliable estimate.

26 Mar 2001 : Column: 465W

26 Mar 2001 : Column: 467W

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