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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): Standards relating to Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) for aircraft and their systems already exist and are continuously updated as the level of understanding of EMC and the possibility of Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) increases. Consequently, aircraft systems demonstrate a high level of immunity to EMI.
On large passenger aircraft the level of interference that may be produced by consumer electronics is unlikely to have any detrimental effects on the aircraft's systems. However, due to the diversity of devices available, the Civil Aviation Authority have adopted a cautious approach and placed restrictions on the use of consumer electronics on board aircraft, including a complete ban on the use of mobile telephones. In addition, flight crews are advised to monitor the use of any consumer electronic devices for signs of interference to the aircraft's systems.
Baroness Hayman: Article 36 provides an exception from the Treaty requirement that prevents one member state from restraining imports of goods from, or exports of goods to, another member state, by means of a national quantitative restriction or other measure which has an equivalent effect (e.g. a licensing system).
Article 36 may be based on various grounds one of which is "the protection of health and life of humans". It therefore covers transport safety. Whereas the UK may, in the future, wish to rely on this article in order to preserve transport safety, preliminary research indicates that it has not, so far, found it necessary to invoke it. A comprehensive search to find whether there is such an instance would incur a disproportionate cost.
Baroness Hayman: The operator of a local authority tendered bus service must hold a Public Service Vehicle Operator's Licence or a Community Bus Permit issued by the Traffic Commissioner, who must be satisfied that the operator is professionally competent and of good repute and has adequate financial resources and facilities for maintaining vehicles.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The Government from the outset intended that the White Paper on Scotland and Wales should be published before the Summer Recess.
Lord Sewel: There were 6,435 vacant local authority dwellings in Glasgow as at 1 April 1996, the latest date for which information is available. This represented 5.8 per cent. of their total stock. Over half of the vacant dwellings were due to be demolished or sold with vacant possession.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Any such competition concerns would be considered by the Office of Fair Trading and by the regulators statutorily responsible for particular aspects of these markets: the Independent Television Commission; and OFTEL.
Whether they intend to review their manifesto commitment that after the year 2001 the lottery must be run on a "not for profit" basis.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Proposals for the future of the National Lottery will be set out later this month in a White Paper to be issued by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury): In its recent Communication, Financial Services: Enhancing Consumer Confidence, the European Commission has indicated its intention to bring forward, by autumn 1997, proposals for a fourth directive on motor liability insurance. This directive would address the problems faced by the persons making a claim for compensation for injury or loss which they have suffered through being involved in a road accident while visiting another EU member state. In the course of drawing up its proposals for this directive, the Commission has been holding discussions with member states' representatives. The Government are participating in these informal discussions, but will wish to consider their position further when the Commission presents a formal proposal to the Council of Ministers.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We have issued a statement with other donors in Nairobi expressing our shock at the storming of the All Saints Cathedral by the Kenyan police on 7 July. My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Tony Lloyd, has also written to the Kenyan Government condemning the violence and urging them to put in place the conditions for free and fair elections.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in both Indonesia and East Timor. We are reviewing the criteria used in considering licence applications to export conventional arms so as to meet our commitment not to sell arms to regimes which might use them for internal repression or international aggression. The review does not focus on individual countries but will result in criteria applicable to all destinations for such arms sales.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Our Election Manifesto promised a review of the central areas of insecurity for elderly people in this country. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Social Security has today set up a wide-ranging review of pensions.
We have inherited a major pensions challenge. The failure over the last two decades to develop an adequate pensions strategy has resulted in widening inequalities amongst pensioners. Too many of our older citizens do not enjoy security in retirement.
Only by achieving a sustainable consensus for change can the country meet the pensions challenge. We want everyone who can make a positive contribution to this review to do so. Our starting-point must be the health and success of the wider economy. We must give everyone a real opportunity to be able to participate in it. By establishing the conditions for stable, sustainable growth, we will build a stronger economy and provide the essential foundations for decent and secure pensions. By opening up fresh opportunities to come off welfare and into work, we will ensure that more people have the opportunity to contribute to their own pensions.
We will also build on the good quality second pensions that many employees enjoy by supporting and strengthening the existing framework of occupational pension provision where that is necessary. And we wish to consider with the pensions industry how an Investors in Pensions award could be established to set a benchmark against which employers, employees and trustees can measure the quality of their own scheme.
We recognise that, for many people, security in retirement can best be achieved by building up their own funded second pension. We shall therefore consult widely on how best to take forward our proposals for new Stakeholder Pensions. These will offer secure, flexible and value of money second pensions for those
The review will take forward consultation on the development of Citizenship Pensions for carers who are unable to contribute to pensions in their own right. As a result, carers can lose out on the pension entitlements they would otherwise acquire, and end up on means-tested benefits.
As part of our consultative approach, the Secretary of State for Social Security has invited Tom Ross, of Alexander Clay and vice-president of the National Association of Pension Funds, to chair a group of pensions experts to report to me on the current state of pension provision in the United Kingdom and on likely future trends. Their work will inform the development of our plans for a modern, responsive pensions system for the future.
Modernising the social security system is a key priority of the Government. Our long-term objective is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to build up an adequate pension to guarantee security in retirement. We aim to build a society in which there is a wide consensus on the future for pensions, both now and tomorrow, and provide dignity in retirement for the whole nation.
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