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Gold Prices: Effect on South Africa

Lord Steel of Aikwood asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As the Prime Minister said in a Written Answer today, the Government announced on 7 May that we were undertaking the sale of gold to produce a better balance in the portfolio of UK reserves. We have carried out the sale on a clear and transparent basis in order to minimise market uncertainty. The Prime Minister wrote to the South African President on 11 June to set out these reasons in some detail and to follow up discussions we had already had with his Government.

Wales: Spending Review and Objective 1 Status

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Yes. I can confirm that the Treasury will consider on their merits representations from the National Assembly for Wales about the public spending implications arising from objective 1 status as part of the next spending review.

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Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Barnett formula is applicable to the allocation of funds to Wales to support expenditure under objective 1 status; and, if so, how it will be applied.[HL3744]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The next spending review will be the process for considering Wales' overall spending plans.

Under the Barnett formula, Wales receives a population-based proportion of changes in planned spending on comparable United Kingdom government expenditure in England.

The Treasury has said that it will consider representations from the National Assembly of Wales about the implications for Wales of objective 1 status as part of the next spending review.

Labour Market Status

Lord Blease asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish statistics for the 12 labour market regions of the United Kingdom for the periods March to May 1996 and March to May 1999 concerning the total number of people:

    (a) economically active (employed and unemployed);

    (b) defined as "economically inactive"; and

    (c) included in group (b), who do not satisfy the full International Labour Organisation job search criteria.[HL3775]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Dr. Tim Holt, dated 26 July 1999.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question on the economic status of people by region for spring 1996 and spring 1999.

The information requested is shown in the attached table.

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Labour market status for people of working age(1), by Government Office Region, spring 1996 and spring 1999, not seasonally adjusted
Thousands

Economically active Economically inactive Wants a job
TotalTotal Wants job but not seeking in last 4 weeksIn employ- mentILO unemploy- edTotalDoes not want a jobTotalWants a job and seeking but not available to start(2) Total Available to start Not available to start(2)
Spring 1996
United Kingdom35,53527,76425,4502,3147,7705,4352,3352272,1088631,245
Great Britain34,56627,07524,8292,2467,4915,2122,2792242,0558441,212
England29,69523,39221,4681,9246,3034,4071,8961901,706709996
North East1,5711,1631,035128408285122141083672
North West4,1583,1522,8832691,0057592462322488135
Yorkshire & Humberside3,0482,3682,1741946814821992217674102
East Midlands2,5222,0261,873154496345150141365978
West Midlands3,2122,5182,2802386944792152219378115
Eastern3,2152,6062,4431626094331761716057102
London4,4203,4063,0143911,01463737730347156191
South East4,7053,8753,6362408305882412921295117
South West2,8452,2782,129149567398168191506683
Wales1,7221,2711,163108452306144111334983
Scotland3,1492,4122,1982147374982392321785132
Northern Ireland9696906216827922356(3)--531934
Spring 1999
United Kingdom35,93228,15926,4371,7227,7735,4282,3452522,0936591,434
Great Britain34,93527,44625,7761,6697,4905,2082,2812422,0396491,390
England30,05723,76122,3651,3956,2974,3851,9112141,6985341,164
North East1,5701,1331,017116437298140151254580
North West4,1873,1632,9632001,0247272972926878190
Yorkshire & Humberside3,0732,3832,2251586894662232320056143
East Midlands2,5682,0591,951108510364146161294090
West Midlands3,2312,5552,3781766784821942716758110
Eastern3,2592,6542,5411126054421631614743103
London4,4763,4673,2042631,00966234737311102209
South East4,7873,9613,8161458265892373020766141
South West2,9052,3862,270116519355164211434796
Wales1,7391,2791,18692461321140101304486
Scotland3,1392,4062,2251827325022301921170141
Northern Ireland9977146615328322064(3)--541044

(1) Men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.

(2) Not available to start work in next two weeks including a few people who did not state whether or not they were available.

(3) Sample size too small for a reliable estimate

Source:

ONS, Labour Force Survey.


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Unemployment: Local Authority Wards

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the local authority wards of Great Britain, as existing in 1991, ranked by the level of unemployment.[HL3801]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Dr. Tim Holt, dated 26 July 1999.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question on unemployment in local authority wards of Great Britain as existing in 1991.

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The ONS publish a monthly count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits. The claimant count consists of all people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or National Insurance credits at Employment Service local offices. They must declare that they are out of work, capable of, available for and actively seeking work during the week in which the claim is made.

Information on the levels of claimant count by local authority wards based on the 1991 census are available from January 1996 onwards, though to list wards ranked by level of unemployment could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Privileges Committee Report

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to give effect to the report of the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege which reported on 30 March.[HL3640]

26 Jul 1999 : Column WA145

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Government are considering the report and will seek the views of both Houses when time permits.

Human Rights: Joint Committee

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will support the appointment of a joint committee on human rights with effect from the beginning of the next Parliamentary Session; and, if not, why not.[HL3762]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Government have already announced that they will invite both Houses to appoint a joint committee. This is in the context of the Human Rights Act 1998. The Act will come into force on 2 October 2000. It remains the intention to set up the joint committee before the Human Rights Act comes fully into force, but no decision has been taken on when exactly both Houses will be asked to approve Motions to appoint such a joint committee.


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