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Special Advisers

Mr. Burns: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many special advisers there were in his Department; and what their salaries were in each of the last five years. [47057]

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Mr. Wills: A Special Adviser was appointed on 5 March 1998. He was reappointed after the General Election in 2001. There are no other Special Advisers. The salary of Special Advisers was dealt with in the answer provided by the Prime Minister on 10 April 2002, column 11W.

Royal Peculiars

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will publish the response to the Review of Royal Peculiars. [50577]

Mr. Wills: On current plans, the response to the Review of the Royal Peculiars will be published in October of this year.

Court Costs

Ms Buck: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the average cost per day of a court case in (a) a Crown court and (b) a magistrates' court was over the last 12 months. [51292]

Mr. Wills: The estimated average cost per day of a court case for the financial year 2001–2002 is (a) £2,975 in the Crown Court, and (b) £1610 in the magistrates' court. These figures exclude Legal Aid costs.

TREASURY

Volunteering

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the joint discussion document on fiscal and other changes to promote volunteering and community service will be published; and if it will then be subject to consulation. [52358]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government believes that voluntary and community service plays a key role in building strong and cohesive communities. As the Chancellor announced in Budget 2002, a joint discussion document by HM Treasury and the Home Office will be published later this year on how best we can promote and develop voluntary and community service.

Public Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the additional £1 billion that he is allocating to the NHS and other public services in 2002–03, referred to in the Official Report, 17 April 2002, column 590, will be spent in 2002–03. [52867]

Mr. Ansrew Smith: Our projections assume that spending within Departmental Expenditure Limits will be fully spent in 2002–03.

Cancer Deaths

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many deaths were caused by (a) lung cancer, (b) breast cancer, (c) skin cancer, (d) lower gastrointestinal cancer, (e) upper gastrointestinal cancer, (f) gynaecological cancers, (g) head and neck cancers and (h) all other cancers; and what percentage each of (a) to (h) represented of recorded cases of cancer in (A) St Helens and Knowsley Health Authority, (B) Merseyside,

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(C) Manchester, (D) the North West, (E) the South East and (F) England, in (1) 1991, (2) 1997, (3) 1998, (4) 1999, (5) 2000 and (6) 2001. [50503]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

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Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Shaun Woodward dated 25 April 2002:


Ministerial Training

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent by his Department on voice coaching for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52708]

Ruth Kelly: Nothing.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent by his Department on training in leadership skills for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52732]

Ruth Kelly: Nothing.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent by his Department on training by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52748]

Ruth Kelly: Nothing.

Annuities

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the age rule affecting annuities. [52318]

Ruth Kelly: As the consultation document "Modernising Annuities" sets out, there are sound financial reasons for people to annuitise their retirement savings by age 75. So the Government does not propose to abolish the age 75 rule.

The consultation, which ran until 5 April, was intended to stimulate discussion on annuity issues. The Government is now considering the responses carefully before deciding how to proceed.

Debt Management Office

Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the UK Debt Management Office's targets and business plan for 2002–03. [53584]

Ruth Kelly: The DMO's targets for 2002–2003 are set out below, together with a brief commentary on last year's outturn in relation to the comparable target. The DMO is today also publishing its Business Plan for 2002–2003. I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library. The DMO, with HM Treasury, will in due course be reviewing its planning objectives in the light of the decision that I announced on 25 March to integrate the National Debt Office (NDO) and the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) into the DMO with effect from 1 July 2002. Targets for the Debt Management Office 2002–03

1. To ensure full compliance with the Government's remit for the DMO as set out in the Debt and Reserves Management Report 2002–03, within the tolerances and subject to the review triggers notified separately to the Office and consistent with the objectives of monetary policy. [Target met in 2001–02]

2. To ensure that the maximum time taken to issue the results of gilt auctions does not exceed 40 minutes, that for structured Treasury Bill tenders does not exceed 30 minutes, and that for ad hoc Treasury Bill or other tenders does not exceed 15 minutes, while achieving complete accuracy. [Target met in 2001–02]

3. To achieve complete accuracy, within agreed accounting tolerances, in the recording and reporting of transactions through the Debt Management Account (DMA), and in delivering money (and reconciling payments) to the National Loans Fund (NLF) and to meet the statutory deadlines for publication or submission for audit of the annual accounts of the DMO Agency, and DMA. [First half of target met in 2001–02. The second half relating to timeliness of publication of accounts was also met].

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4. To acknowledge all letters and e-mail enquiries from the public within 5 working days and for at least 95 per cent to be sent a substantive reply within 2 weeks. [Target met in 2001–02]

5. To achieve less than 6 breaches of the operational market notices (excluding any breaches that the Treasury accept were beyond control of the Office). [Equivalent target met in 2001–02]

6. To ensure that the statutory constraint on DMO market borrowing (not to exceed its deposits with the NLF and Bank of England) is always met. [Target met in 2001–02]

7. To ensure that, when there is a late change in the forecast, any necessary use of end-of-day borrowing or lending facilities is notified by the due time. [Target met in 2001–02]

8. To ensure that instructions to counterparties, agents and external systems are complete, accurate and timely, and that monitoring of the progress of transactions through to settlement is effective, so that DMO achieves at least 99 per cent (by value) successful settlement of agreed trades on the due date. [Target met in 2001–02]

To release all market sensitive data on announcements in a timely manner and to achieve no more than 10 factual errors in material published by the DMO, including on the web site (insofar as the material is under the control of the DMO and not third parties). [Equivalent target—which required complete accuracy covering also immaterial errors—not met in 2001–02. In particular on 14 March 2002 there was a premature release onto the web site of market sensitive information on the breakdown of planned gilt sales in 2002–03. The proposed target has been expanded to include timeliness of release allows for some but fewer errors than in 2001–02.]


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