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Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 10 April 2002]: There are two special advisers in my Department. On salaries, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 11W.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she will take to protect Clydesdale bank staff whose jobs are threatened by plans to cut the European work force of National Australia bank 
Mrs. Liddell: I am aware of concerns about the National Australia bank's announcement that it expects to cut 500 jobs across its European operations and the potential impact on the group's Clydesdale bank operations in Scotland. I hope to meet shortly with senior management of the bank to discuss their future plans for their operations in Scotland.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by her Department on paying pensions to retired employees of his Department in 200102; if she will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if she will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if she will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 20 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the former Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 23 May 2002, Official Report, column 561W.
Mrs. Liddell: The Government's policy on membership of the single currency remains as set out by the Chancellor in October 1997, and restated by the Prime Minister in 1999. The determining factor underpinning any Government decision on membership of the single currency is the national economic interest and whether the economic case for joining is clear and unambiguous. The five economic tests will define whether a clear and unambiguous case can be made. The Government have said that the Treasury will complete an assessment of the five tests within two years of the start of this Parliament. The five tests will assess the economic case for entry of the whole of the UK, including Scotland.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many times her Office has made representations to the Scottish Executive since May 1999 broken down by (a) department approached, (b) subject and (c) date; 
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Mrs. Liddell: Information is not held in the form requested. There are frequent communications, many of them informal, between the Scotland Office and the Scottish Executive, both at ministerial and at official level.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to seek the transfer of the administration of reserved powers or functions of UK Government Departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies within their remit from those departments to the Scotland Office. 
Mrs. Liddell: Local government election pilots in Scotland, England and Wales are currently being evaluated by local authorities and the Electoral Commission. Proposals on any changes to the electoral system will take the results of these and any other pilots into account.
Mrs. McGuire: Although the Scotland Office has meetings with a wide range of representative bodies, my right hon. Friend rarely has need to consult formally. However, she launched an exercise in December last year seeking views on the size of the Scottish Parliament. Youthlink Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament were among the bodies consulted.
(3) what Ministers have an opportunity to view and comment on Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland prior to its publication; 
(4) if work has begun on Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland for 200001. 
Mrs. Liddell: The Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (GERS) reports are produced by the Scottish Executive. The report draws on information produced by HM Treasury, Inland Revenue and Customs
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and Excise and the Office of National Statistics. Since 1999 publication of the reports has been announced in a joint Scottish Executive/Scotland Office news release. Advance copies of the final text of the GERS report are available to Ministers from the Scotland Office, Treasury and Scottish Executive. The timetable for the Scottish Executive's work on the 200001 report is a matter for the Scottish Executive as are the production costs, but I understand that the total cost of printing, publishing and distributing the GERS report for 19992000 was £6,200. Details of costs for the earlier years are not readily available.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations she has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the differential levels of taxation for different gas pipelines within Scotland and England. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what the duties are of hon. Members appointed as sponsors to her Department; and what assistance is given by officials in her Department to them in carrying out these duties; 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the impact on the livestock industry in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland of the proposed EU regulations on drivers' hours. 
Mrs. Liddell: Responsibility for the regulation of drivers' hours in Great Britain rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. The previous Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions carried out an extensive public consultation exercise on the proposal in question as part of its assessment of the likely impact on British industry. The National Farmers' Union Scotland was among the bodies consulted.
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last met representatives of (a) Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland, (b) Amnesty International, (c) Scottish Human Rights Centre, (d) Unison Scotland, (e) WWF Scotland, (f) Cancer Research Campaign Scotland, (g) National Asthma Campaign Scotland, (h) Transform Scotland, (i) Charter 88 Scotland, (j) Equality Network, (k) BDA Scotland, (l) Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (m) Capital Rail Action Group, (n) Children 1, (o) Help the Aged Scotland, (p) Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, (q) Ash Scotland, (r) Shelter Scotland, (s) Church of Scotland, (t) Scottish Trades Union Congress, (u) Friends of the Earth Scotland, (v) Scottish Refugee Council, (w) Age Concern Scotland, (x) Equal Opportunities Commission, Scotland and (y) Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; what was discussed; and what future plans she has to meet them. 
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