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Climate Change

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made in climate change negotiations. [15127]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs led the UK delegation to the recent climate change negotiations in Marrakech. We achieved our aim of successfully translating the political agreement reached in Bonn in July on the implementation of the Kyoto protocol into detailed legal texts, removing the final obstacle to ratification and entry into force of the protocol. The UK intends to ratify, along with our EU partners, in time to allow entry into force by the World Summit on Sustainable Development next September. Since Marrakech, Japan has also announced that it will now press ahead with preparations for ratification next year. We hope that many other countries will follow suit.

Parliamentary Questions

David Winnick: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what is the total cost to public funds of answering the

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questions tabled on 12 November by the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) for answer on the 14 November. [15696]

Mr. Leslie: The hon. Member for Buckingham tabled 118 parliamentary questions on 12 November.

As at April 2000, the latest date for which data are available, the average cost of answering a written parliamentary question was £123. The total cost of answering the questions tabled by the hon. Member for Buckingham on 12 November is therefore approximately £14,500, although given that the cost is based on an average it is a very conservative figure.

Social Exclusion Unit

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the key priorities are for the Social Exclusion Unit in the next 12 months. [14880]

Mrs. Roche: The Social Exclusion Unit has three key priorities for the next 12 months. The first of these is to deliver four new reports on areas of cross-cutting work to address issues of social exclusion. These areas are: reducing the rates of re-offending among ex-prisoners; developing a more effective system to prevent young people from running away and to help those that do; improving the educational achievement of children in care; and removing the transport barriers that prevent people accessing work and critical services.

The Social Exclusion Unit's second priority is to work closely with the implementation units in other Government Departments to ensure that there is effective implementation of previous work carried out by the unit. This relates to projects carried out on rough sleepers, school exclusions and truancy, providing opportunities for 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training, and the national strategy for neighbourhood renewal. To support this work the Social Exclusion Unit will communicate with members of the public, the voluntary and the business sector, local government and key professionals regarding the Government's policies on social exclusion and ensure that they receive accurate, up to date information about the work of the unit.

The third priority for the Social Exclusion Unit over the next 12 months is to plan to deliver new areas of cross-cutting work to address specific issues of social exclusion as directed by the Prime Minister.

Labour Force Statistics

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will disaggregate by (a) age and (b) sex the information given in Figure 3.7 of the document "Winning the Generation Game". [14960]

Mrs. Roche: The Labour Force status of persons not working aged between 50 and State Pension Age, to which Figure 3 of "Winning the Generation Game" refers, are disaggregated by age group and sex in the table.

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Labour Force status of persons aged 50–59 (female)/50–64 (male) by age group and sex, winter 1998–99

Not seasonally adjusted
All 50+50–5455–5960–64
All persons
All persons not working(33)2,8309531,146731
Looking for work28713610546
Looking after family, home40019218820
Long-term sick and disabled1,234409489336
Do not need a job148566923
All persons not working(33)1,518348438731
Looking for work201847146
Looking after family, home58192020
Long-term sick and disabled753189228336
Do not need a job4891623
All persons not working(33)1,312605707
Looking for work865234
Looking after family, home341173169
Long-term sick and disabled481220261
Do not need a job1004753

(33) Includes those ILO unemployed and inactive. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) measure of unemployment refers to people who are: (a) out of work, want a job, have actively sought work in the last four weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks, or (b) are out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks.


ONS—Labour Force Survey

Departmental Publicity

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total expenditure was on (a) advertising, (b) polling, (c) focus groups, (d) design consultants, (e) caterers, (f) production of departmental publications and (g) photographs/photographers by his Department for each year since 1995 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms; what was (A) the annual percentage increase in spending on each category and (B) spending on each category as a percentage of the total departmental running costs; and if he will make a statement. [6906]

Mr. Leslie: The Government are committed to using only whatever medium and channels are judged to be the most cost-effective way to deliver the publicity necessary to support the implementation of policy. Paid advertising is only resorted to after careful consideration of the cost-benefits.



(34) Television, radio and newspaper.


1. These figures include recruitment advertising.

2. Figures only include Cabinet Office entities up to and including 31 March 2001.

3. Figures do not include salary costs for Cabinet Office staff.

4. These figures do not include expenditure undertaken by the COI Communications on behalf of clients, which was as follows:

1995–96: £63,663

1996–97: £69,396

1997–98: £59,039

1998–99: £105,464

1999–2000: £113,493

2000–01: £192,407

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YearPublic opinion research




1. Figures for 1996–97 includes the costs of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Chessington Computer Centre, Recruitment and Assessment Services, and Occupational Health and Safety Agency. These Executive Agencies were privatised during 1996–97 and expenditure for that year is available in their respective Completion Accounts.

2. Figures are taken from accounting definitions and may include procurement of publications not produced by the Cabinet Office, but will not include staff costs or external consultant costs.

3. Expenditure for 2001–02 is for core Cabinet Office only and is taken from the Cabinet Office Resource Accounting System using Publications and Printing/Binding expenditure codes.

The rest of the information asked for is not available in the form requested without incurring disproportionate costs, as it does not correspond with departmental financial coding.

Equality Unit

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the importance of (a) equality of opportunity and (b) equality of outcome in the Equality Unit's strategy; and how they relate. [14865]

Mrs. Roche: Equality of opportunity is one of the Government's key priorities. We are committed to ensuring that everyone should be able to develop and make full use of their talents throughout their lives. It cannot be right that people are held back by unfair discrimination or stereotypical and inaccurate assumptions about their ability.

Equality of outcome is a yardstick that can be used to assess the degree to which people from different backgrounds, or who have different personal characteristics, have had equal opportunities. If there is

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clear evidence that one group of people consistently fare less well than another, then we need to look at why this is happening and address the factors that lead to it.

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