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Global Downturn

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures introduced since 1997 have enabled the United Kingdom to become better placed to withstand a global downturn; and if he will make a statement. [16976]

Ruth Kelly: While no country can fully insulate itself from global conditions, the Government's reforms to the macroeconomic framework and their tough decisions on tax and spending are helping to ensure the UK is better placed to respond than on previous occasions to developments in the world economy. The Government's latest views on economic and policy developments will be set out in the Chancellor's pre-Budget statement to the House on 27 November.

Oil Prices

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the sensitivity of revenues to oil price changes. [17726]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the impact of changes in oil prices on revenues can be found in box B2 of the pre-Budget report 2000, which is available in the Library of the House.

Departmental Stress Audit

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the conclusions on his Department's stress audit presented to the Treasury Management Board in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. [17669]

Ruth Kelly: The Department accepted in full the findings of the 1999 stress audit and has been responding to its recommendations. The Department proposes to carry out a follow-up audit in 2002.

Euro

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what costs his Department has incurred in achieving EMU compliance. [17710]

Ruth Kelly: An update on euro preparations was included in the Fifth Report on Euro Preparations, published on 4 November 2001. Copies of the report are available in the Library of the House.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on planned expenditure in the United Kingdom from the Pericles programme to cover euro-counterfeiting; and if Europol officers will be involved. [17624]

Ruth Kelly: The Pericles programme is not expected to entail significant new expenditure. Most of the costs of the programme will be met by the Community. The costs associated with training UK staff are likely to be met from existing budgets for that purpose within the agencies concerned—principally the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the Bank of England.

Contributors to the Pericles programme will be invited from all the international organisations with relevant expertise, including Europol and Interpol.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what analysis he has made of the establishment of monitors of price stability during the currency switchover period in Eurozone countries; who will fulfil such a role in the context of the UK joining the euro; and if he will make a statement; [17625]

Ruth Kelly: Background to developments in the euro area was set out in the Fifth Report on Euro Preparations, published on 4 November. Preparations for the possibility of the UK joining the single currency are addressed in the second Outline National Changeover Plan, published in March 2000. Copies of both documents are in the Library of the House.

Fair Trade

Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what fairly traded products, other than tea and coffee, have been purchased by his Department in each of the last five years; and what was their value; [17567]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Overseas Detainees

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals are detained in overseas prisons. [13444]

Mr. Bradshaw: As of 1 November we were aware of 3,485 British nationals in prison overseas.

Appointments

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many appointments he has made to public bodies since 7 June; and how many are in his gift. [15483]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office made five ministerial appointments between 7 June and 31 October 2001. The FCO is responsible for 50 ministerial appointments.

Language Charter

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the Government have made in reviewing the case to specify the inclusion of additional UK languages within the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. [15864]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) on 17 January 2001, Official Report, column 233W. This remained the position when the Government ratified the Charter on 27 March 2001. The assessment of whether Cornish also meets the definition of a regional or minority language is not yet completed.

Council of Europe

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Council of Europe (a) conventions, (b) charters and (c) other agreements the United Kingdom (i) has signed and responded to with a report, (ii) has signed but not yet prepared a report, (iii) has under consideration for signature and (iv) has rejected for signature since 1971. [15862]

Mr. MacShane: The UK has signed and ratified 107 of the 186 Council of Europe legal instruments. The need to produce a report is exceptional and required by only four of its legal instruments: the European Social Charter, the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities, the European Charter for regional or minority languages, and the Code of Social Security. The UK has produced reports on its application of the provisions of the first two instruments. A report on implementation of the Languages Charter is due by 1 July 2002. The UK has neither signed nor ratified the Code of Social Security.

Concerning parts (iii) and (iv) of the question, the work involved in gathering the required information on the 62 legal instruments which the UK has not signed would entail disproportionate costs.

British Dependent Territories

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on (a) health care facilities and (b) education provision in each of the British Dependent Territories. [16153]

Mr. Bradshaw: Health and education are the responsibility of the locally elected Governments under the constitutions of the Overseas Territories. Health and education facilities are available on all the inhabited territories commensurate with the size of the populations and available public funds. Reciprocal health agreements for the referral of patients exist between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Helena and the Falklands Islands.

The table sets out facilities available.

EducationHealth
Anguilla
Primary schools7 (includes 1 private)
Secondary schools1
Colleges0
Doctors13 (includes private practice)
Clinics5
Hospitals1
BVI
Primary schools23 (7 private, 1 special needs)
Secondary4 (1 private)
Community college1
Doctors39 (16 private
Health centres12 (3 private)
Hospitals2 (1 private)
Bermuda
Primary schools18
Secondary schools2
Middle schools5
Pre-schools12
Colleges of higher education1
Doctors113 in active practice
Public health centres4
Hospitals1 general and 1 psychiatric
Cayman Islands
Primary schools20 (9 private)
Secondary schools9 (6 private)
Colleges 2 (1 private)
Doctors84 (41 private)
Clinics37 (24 private)
Hospitals4 (1 private)
Falkland Islands(15)
Doctors4 (1 P/T)(16)
Hospital1 (in Stanley)(16)
There are no separate clinics or health centres
GibraltarNo figures available
Hospitals2(17)
Montserrat
Primary schools2
Secondary school1
(18)
Doctors3 (hospital)
Chief Medical Officer1
Private practices3 (1 P/T)
Clinics4
Hospitals1
St. Helena
Primary schools7
Secondary schools1
Doctors4
Dentist1
Hospital1
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands(19)
Doctors1
Medical centre1(20)
Turks and Caicos
Primary schools34 (24 private)(21)
Secondary schools5 (1 private)(21)
Colleges3
Doctors24 (10 private)
Clinics15 (4 private, 1 specialist)
Hospitals2

(15) In the Falkland Islands, one primary school and one secondary school in Stanley, plus a system of Camp education which includes four settlement (primary) schools and a team of travelling teachers who visit 15 locations.

(16) These figures are for facilities provided by the FIG and GSGSSI; they take no account of the modest health and educational facilities funded by the MOD for military personnel and dependants.

(17) There are some referrals across the border to La Linea.

(18) There are no colleges in Montserrat, although a Community College is planned. Sixth form has also resumed this academic year.

(19) There are no children, therefore there are no educational facilities.

(20) For the use of the scientific and administrative communities.

(21) Many of these are quite small private ventures, and will include Haitian schools. It must be remembered that the population of these islands is dispersed throughout six inhabited islands, each of which has its education establishments.


26 Nov 2001 : Column: 651W


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