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CABINET OFFICE

Regulatory Impact Assessments

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the regulatory impact assessments published during the latest six month period. [156748]

Mr. Stringer: The Government are committed to ensuring that regulations are necessary, give effective protection, balance cost and risk, are fair and command public confidence. In accordance with this, we require Departments to produce and publish Regulatory Impact Assessments for all regulatory proposals likely to have an impact on business.

I have presented to Parliament today a Command Paper listing Regulatory Impact Assessments published between 1 July and 31 December 2000. Copies of those listed have been placed in the House Libraries. This is the fourteenth such Command Paper.

Drug Addicts

Mrs. Gorman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will estimate the number of drug addicts in the UK. [156203]

Mr. Stringer: The number of problematic drug users--usually characterised as 'addicts'--in the mid-to-late 1990s, has been estimated at 266,000 for England, Scotland and Wales.

Foot and Mouth

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what discussions she has had with (a) the Prime

30 Mar 2001 : Column: 858W

Minister and (b) other Cabinet colleagues on whether the foot and mouth epidemic would justify declaring a state of emergency; and if she will list the dates of such discussions. [156205]

Marjorie Mowlam: Under Exemption 2 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, information about internal discussions is not disclosed.

Absenteeism

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her answer of 12 March 2001, Official Report, column 472W, if she will reconcile her statement concerning the classification of the requested data by public and private sector with the answer from the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 20 March 2001, Official Report, columns 196-97W. [155397]

Marjorie Mowlam: The answer I gave to the hon. Member on 12 March 2001, Official Report, column 472W, was partly inaccurate. The correct position has been set out in a letter to him dated 20 March 2001 from the Director of Social Statistics in ONS, Official Report, column 197W.

Chief Scientific Adviser

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the role of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the work of the Hawley Group. [154517]

Mr. Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The Chief Scientific Adviser has been kept fully informed of key developments stemming from the work of the Hawley Group.