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Foot and Mouth

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the recovery of Scotland's rural economy from last year's outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [41471]

Mr. Foulkes: 2002 will continue to present challenges but I am confident that the FMD recovery measures implemented by the Scottish Executive and the sympathetic approach of the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise will help the rural economy in Scotland withstand the effects of the outbreak.

Child Poverty

Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to combat child poverty in Scotland; and if she will make a statement. [45671]

Mr. Foulkes: We are making good progress in tackling child poverty although we acknowledge that much still needs to be done. Full details of the measures taken, and the results achieved, can be found in the Government's annual report on tackling poverty. "Opportunity for All" and the Scottish Executive's annual Social Justice report, "A Scotland where everyone matters".

Tackling child poverty in Scotland requires action from both Government and the Scottish Executive. The "Opportunity for All" report highlights five headline indicators of child poverty: low income, worklessness, health inequalities, educational attainment and housing. Health, education and housing are devolved matters for the Executive. The Government have taken direct action in the areas it is responsible for. On income, for example, the working families tax credit benefits over 119,000 families in Scotland. And we are currently reforming the tax credits system, to improve it further. On worklessness, we have, for example, invested in the new deal: the new deal for lone parents has helped around 14,500 people into employment.

The Government have taken a number of other measures which help reduce child poverty including the national minimum wage; action on personal indebtedness and family-friendly employment measures to help people stay in work and meet family commitments. Tackling child poverty is, and will remain, one of our top priorities.

Train Drivers (Strikes)

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she has taken to represent Scottish interests to the DTLR on the current strikes by train drivers. [46349]

Mrs. Liddell: I have regular discussions with DTLR Ministers on a wide range of matters.

Scotland Act

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to introduce proposals to amend the Scotland Act 1998. [47650]

Mrs. Liddell: I have nothing to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member on 14 March, Official Report, column 1205W.

23 Apr 2002 : Column 146W


St. Helena

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has for the construction of an airport runway on St. Helena; and if she will make a statement. [51479]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 March, Official Report, column 472W. Further discussions are expected to take place over the coming months.


Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid her Department plans to make available to Angola in the next five years. [51298]

Hilary Benn: We are planning to spend some £4 million on humanitarian support and urban poverty reduction in Angola in the current financial year. Spending plans for subsequent years are not yet firm, but are likely to amount to at least as much as the current figure.

Following my right hon. Friend's visit to Angola earlier this month and the positive recent developments in the Angolan peace process we are also examining the potential for a specific DFID contribution to assist in building Government capacity in support of envisaged programmes with the IMF and World bank, particularly in the area of the demobilisation of fighters and transparent financial management.

Millennium Declaration

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the timetable is for implementation of the Millennium Declaration; what steps have been taken to set interim targets for 2005 and 2010; and if she will make a statement. [51922]

Hilary Benn: The Millennium Development Goals have a deadline of 2015 in most cases. (Eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education has a 2005 deadline and improving the lives of slum dwellers is a 2020 target.) Individual developing countries are being encouraged to set and monitor country-relevant interim targets within their poverty reduction strategies. DFID's PSAs/SDAs set targets based on the MDGs for the period up to 2006. Analysis of progress towards these targets is set out in DFID's Departmental Report 2002, which will be published on 24 April. Plans for the implementation of the Millennium Declaration are set out in the UN Secretary General's report "Road map towards the implementation of the UN Millennium Declaration". The UN will report annually on global progress and indicate whether we are on track to meet the goals. As well as setting development targets, the Millennium Declaration renews the commitment of member states to the fundamental principles of the UN, including freedom, equality, tolerance, human rights, peace and security and respect for the environment; and emphasises the needs of Africa and the need to strengthen the UN.

23 Apr 2002 : Column 147W

Cheap Drugs

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with drug companies to ensure that their products are made available to third world countries cheaply. [52145]

Hilary Benn: The Working Group on Access to Medicines, which I chair, brings together UK Government, the pharmaceuticals industry and others to look at options for bringing about widespread, sustainable and predictable differential pricing of medicines at reduced prices for the poor in third world countries. The Group has met twice and made good progress in identifying the best ways to address under-investment in research and development for diseases affecting the poor. The third meeting will discuss donations, pricing and affordability issues. The Group is scheduled to complete its work and report back to the Prime Minister in July.

In addition we have committed over £1 billion since 1997 to strengthening developing countries' health systems, building their capacity both to deliver medicines to the poor and to make effective choices about the selection and use of drugs.


Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid was given by her Department to Zimbabwe in the last year for which figures are available. [51537]

Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development provided assistance worth £16 million for Zimbabwe in 2001–02, focused on humanitarian relief including HIV/AIDS programmes.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the humanitarian situation within Palestinian refugee camps; what assistance her Department provides to the refugee camps; and if she intends to increase aid to the refugee camps. [48966]

Hilary Benn: [pursuant to Clare Short's reply, 15 April 2002, column 730W]: I apologise for the error contained in my right hon. Friend's reply. The answer should read:

We have steadily increased our financial and technical support to UNRWA, from £6 million in 1997 to £25 million in 2001 in response to the rising needs.


National Stadium

Mr. Purchase: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if the £20 million investment into Wembley National Stadium in addition to the £120 million Lottery grant, will be exclusively to fund transport and infrastructure improvement in the Brent area with no other Treasury moneys being made available to this project. [46190]

23 Apr 2002 : Column 148W

Tessa Jowell: Subject to the Football Association and Wembley National Stadium Limited meeting the conditions I set out to the House on 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 291–93, it is the Government's intention to make up to £20 million available for non-stadium infrastructure improvements. The current intention is that the Government's grant would repay funds spent by WNSL arising from its agreement with the London borough of Brent pursuant to section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to contribute towards a number of specified infrastructure projects in the Brent area including improvements to stations, roads and public amenities in the area.

The London Development Agency (LDA) has decided to commit up to £21 million to the National Stadium project subject to certain conditions. Any LDA funding will be subject to Treasury approval and will be conditional on the Football Association and WNSL meeting the Government's conditions which I set out on 19 December.

In addition, I would draw my hon. Friend's attention to the announcement my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions made in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North on 12 March 2002, and which appeared on 19 March 2002, Official Report, column 238W that a further £7 million would be made available from his transport provision for improvements to Wembley Park Underground station and that the Mayor of London had also agreed to make available a similar sum.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the replacement of the directors of the Wembley Board. [52136]

Tessa Jowell: The Football Association announced on 11 April a new board of Wembley National Stadium Ltd. The FA wished to move from a 'representative' board of 12 to a smaller board of seven which contained the core skills of construction/capital project management; finance and marketing. My officials continue to co-operate closely with the FA and Sport England as the FA and WNSL work to address the issues I set out to the House on 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 291–93.

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