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National Museum and Gallery of Wales

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The funding of the National Museum and Gallery of Wales in Cardiff is

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a matter for the National Assembly for Wales, not the UK Government.

Works of Art: Temporary Export

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Works of Art Export Reviewing Committee is under any obligation when important works of art come before it for temporary export to ascertain whether they are for genuine exhibition purposes or are being offered for sale; and whether such knowledge would affect its decision to grant temporary export licences.[HL4463]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: A licence application for temporary export would not normally be referred to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art unless an object was considered by expert advisers to be of potential national importance and possibly too fragile to travel. A recommendation made to Ministers by the committee to defer a decision on the granting of an export licence application, whether temporary or permanent, would be based solely on whether the object concerned was judged to have met one or more of the Waverley criteria.

Each case is considered on its merits, and in relation to applications received to date, temporary licences have been granted to applicants who have expressed a desire to exhibit items with a view to later sale. Such licences have been granted because the temporary nature of the licence ensures that the object will return to the UK. There are provisions that any person who has exported goods from the UK under the authority of a licence and who fails to comply with any condition attaching to that licence is guilty of an offence and, if found guilty, would be liable for a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Works of Art: Deferral Period

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether works of art that come before the Works of Art Export Reviewing Committee for a permanent export licence can be seen by members of the public during the deferral period.[HL4464]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey : The owner of an object on which a temporary export bar is placed may undertake to display it publicly to assist any fund-raising appeal that might arise as a result of the deferral period. A member of the public could also request the owner's permission to view the object in the capacity of a potential purchaser. The object remains private property during the deferral period and it is for the owner to decide whether to allow public access to it.

Works of Art: Funding for National Purchase

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How important paintings such as Botticelli's "The Virgin adoring the Christ Child" can be saved

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    for the nation from going abroad if the public funds once earmarked to halt such exports are no longer available.[HL4266]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey : Under this Government, grant-in-aid to the national museums and galleries has been increased: it is for trustees to decide their spending priorities. The acceptance in lieu and private treaty sale schemes continue to provide owners with an incentive to offer outstanding works of art to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. Since its establishment, the Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed very large sums towards major acquisitions by the museums and galleries (such as £8.2 million for George Stubbs's "Whistlejacket"). It is however, for the trustees of the fund to judge the priority to be accorded to any particular application.

Museums and Galleries: Access

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are still committed to free access to all national museums and galleries in the third year of their access scheme.[HL4174]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey : Funds have been made available to permit free access for children from April this year and free access for pensioners from April 2000 to the currently charging national museums funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. We are continuing to evaluate the most effective methods of enhancing access to these institutions in 2001, but decisions will ultimately be taken by the trustees.

Pensioners: Income Support

Baroness Castle of Blackburn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the reports of the nine pilot schemes into the reasons why so many pensioners fail to claim the means-tested benefits to which they are entitled, together with the report analysing their findings; and what is the cost of the whole exercise.[HL4538]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham) : Research on why pensioners do not take up their entitlement to income support was published on 15 October. The evaluation of the pilot initiatives will be published later this year. The cost of the qualitative and quantitative research was £316,000. The pilot evaluation and the contextual survey that will be published with it will cost £279,000.

Incapacity Benefit

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

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    What is their estimate of the minimum and maximum number of beneficiaries (a) per annum; (b) after five years; and (c) after 10 years from the proposal to exempt those who are entitled to the highest rate care component of disability living allowance from the abatement of incapacity benefit by reference to occupational pension which is proposed in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill.[HL4338]

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

The Government's proposal to increase to £85 the threshold above which pension income is taken into account significantly reduces the number of people who will be affected by the measure and therefore the number who would need to rely on the exemption.

Minimum and Maximum Estimated Number Benefiting

Numbers BenefitingYear 1Year 5Year 10
Minimum5006,5007,500
Maximum1,5007,50012,500

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the minimum and maximum number of beneficiaries (a) per annum; (b) after five years; and (c) after 10 years from the proposal to exempt those who have been in receipt of disabled person's tax credit and are earning below the lower earnings limit from the tighter contribution conditions proposed for incapacity benefit in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill; and[HL4340]

    What is their estimate of the savings expected to arise from the proposal to tighten the contribution conditions for incapacity benefit in the light of the further proposal to exempt those who have been in receipt of the disabled person's tax credit and are earning below the lower earnings limit.[HL4341]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Allowing disabled persons tax credit recipients to continue to qualify for incapacity benefit on the basis of contributions paid in any tax year will provide security for up to 2,000 disabled people who want to work but earn less than the lower earnings limit. However, the number of people who will actually need to rely on this provision in order to claim incapacity benefit in any year and the financial effects cannot be estimated reliably.

Under the Government's proposals to amend the requirement to have paid contributions in one year out of the last three tax years rather than one year out of the last two, it is estimated that the savings would be £20 million in year one, £40 million in year two, £55 million in year three and £120 million in year 10. It is not possible to estimate reliably the effects on these figures of the disabled person's tax credit exemption.

Lord Rix asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the cost implications of making exemption from the abatement of incapacity benefit retrospective to the onset of higher rate care needs

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    where disability living allowance care component at the highest rate is subsequently awarded.[HL4343]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: If the highest rate care component of disability living allowance is awarded retrospectively after incapacity benefit is in payment the exemption will apply from the retrospective date of the disability living allowance award. This is included in the estimate that the measure will save £25 million in year one, £75 million in year two, £120 million in year three and £330 million in year 10.

Animal Feed and Sewage

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the producers of animal feed in Britain have ever made use of organic matter recovered from sewage.[HL4456]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): We have no evidence that feed manufacturers in Britain have ever used sewage or recovered organic components. Such action would be illegal under EC and British law.


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