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Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The mean value of equivalised income Before Housing Costs (BHC), including the self-employed, lies in the seventh decile of the BHC, net, equivalised household income distribution and was £307 in 1996-97. This figure is equivalent to the "actual" income of a couple with no children. The corresponding "actual" values for a single person and a couple with three children aged 3, 8, and 11 are £187 and £509 respectively.

The mean value of equivalised income After Housing Costs (AHC), including the self-employed, lies in the seventh decile of the AHC, net, equivalised household income distribution and was £264 in 1996-97. Again, this figure is equivalent to the "actual" income of a couple with no children. The corresponding "actual" values for a single person and a couple with three children aged 3, 8, and 11 are £145 and £440 respectively. Notes: 1. All figures are estimates and are taken from the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data set which is based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS). The FRS does not include Northern Ireland. 2. 1996-97 is the latest year for which the above information is available. 3. The income measure used is weekly net (disposable) equivalised household income (that is to say "actual" income that is adjusted to reflect the composition of the household). 4. It is standard HBAI practice to give results for income both before and after housing costs, in order to allow for the effect of variations in housing costs between households. 5. It should be noted that deciles are numbered in ascending order relative to their position from the bottom of the income distribution. For example, the 7th decile would be the 7th decile from the bottom of the income distribution (and therefore the 3rd decile from the top of the distribution).

Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The information is in the table.

Percentage of incapacity benefit claimants within selected income ranges

Income rangePercentage (BHC)Percentage (AHC)
Below the average income7876
Above twice the average income(1)(2)
Lying between the average and half of it6146

Source:

Households Below Average Income 1996-97.

Notes:

1. Figures in parenthesis denote low sample sizes, which means that the figures are unreliable as estimates for the population.

2. BHC = Income bands are calculated before adjusting for housing costs; AHC = Income bands are calculated after adjusting for housing costs.

3. These figures are estimates for the latest year available, which was the financial year 1996-97. The data have been derived from the Department of Social Security's Households Below Average Income dataset, which in turn is based upon the Family Resources Survey for the same period.

4. The income figures are based on household income, adjusted for household size and composition. This reflects the commonsense notion that a household of five adults will need a higher income than a person living alone in order to enjoy the same standard of living. The process of adjusting income in this way is known as equivalisation and is needed in order to make sensible income comparisons between households. Each income decile contains 10 per cent. of the population of Great Britain.

5. The equivalence scales make allowance for factors such as household size and the age of any children but not for any extra costs that people with disabilities may have. Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, which are paid to help with the extra costs of disability, are included as income in these estimates. However, removing Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance from indvidiuals' income makes little difference to the figures reported here.


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Lord Ashley of Stoke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of all current incapacity benefit claimants who also receive an occupational pension have incomes (a) below the average income; (b) above twice the average income; and (c) lying between the average income and half of it.[HL2552]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The information is in the table. Percentage of incapacity benefit claimants who are also receiving an occupational pension within selected income ranges

Income rangePercentage (BHC)Percentage (AHC)
Below the average income6155
Above twice the average income(3)(5)
Lying between the average income and half of it5546

Source:

Households Below Average Income 1996-97.

Notes:

1. Figures in parenthesis denote low sample sizes, which means that the figures are unreliable as estimates for the population.

2. BHC= Income bands are calculated before adjusting for housing costs; AHC = Income bands are calculated after adjusting for housing costs.

3. These figures are estimates for the latest year available, which was the financial year 1996-97. The data have been derived from the Department of Social Security's Households Below Average Income dataset, which in turn is based upon the Family Resources Survey for the same period.

4. The income figures are based on household income, adjusted for household size and composition. This reflects the commonsense notion that a household of five adults will need a higher income than a person living alone in order to enjoy the same standard of living. The process of adjusting income in this way is known as equivalisation and is needed in order to make sensible income comparisons between households. Each income decile contains 10 per cent. of the population of Great Britain.

5. The equivalence scales make allowance for factors such as household size and the age of any children but not for any extra costs that people with disabilities may have. Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, which are paid to help with the extra costs of disability, are included as income in these estimates. However, removing Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance from individuals' income makes little difference to the figures reported here.


7 Jun 1999 : Column WA137

Genetically Modified Animals

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to respond to Lord Hylton's Question for Written Answer HL1474, put down on 10 March.[HL2438]

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): I am answering the noble Lord's Question today. The sudden upsurge in media and public interest in genetic modification technology earlier this year resulted in a very substantial increase in the volume of ministerial correspondence, Parliamentary Questions and correspondence from members of the public needing to be handled by officials. Officials have also been required to handle significantly increased levels of briefing resulting from several Select Committee appearances and the general increase in ministerial activity in this area. This increased level of activity, coupled with the need to provide full and considered replies to the large number of sometimes detailed and complex Parliamentary Questions tabled, has inevitably resulted in some increase in response time, which I regret.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or any other legislation, they have a duty to assess the risk of genetically modified animals escaping from captivity, cross-breeding or entering the food chain; what is their current practice in this respect; and whether there are adequate penalties for anyone accidentally or intentionally releasing genetically modified animals, including fish.[HL1474]

Lord Whitty: The keeping of genetically modified (GM) animals is subject to licencing by the Home Office and the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. In addition, anyone intending to keep a GM animal must undertake a risk assessment under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 1992 as amended and the Genetically Modified Organisms (Risk Assessment) (Records and Exemptions) Regulations

7 Jun 1999 : Column WA138

1996 as amended. This assessment must include the risk of genetically modified animals escaping from captivity, cross-breeding or entering the food chain. Depending on the facts of the case, penalties available for the intentional or accidental release of GM animals include a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or imprisonment. We believe the existing penalties to be adequate.

Multi-modal Transport Studies

Lord McNair asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to implement their programme of multi-modal transport studies.[HL2660]

Lord Whitty: Government offices are currently working with regional planning bodies to agree the terms of reference for the first tranche of multi-modal studies, and will begin the process of appointing consultants to take the work forward this summer. Work on the second tranche of multi-modal studies will begin next year.


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