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Young People Living Independently and Claiming Benefit

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Our policy is to help prevent family breakdown which can lead to young people leaving home. That is why it has instituted a range of policies across departments to support children and families. The recent publication of the Connexions strategy document illustrates our commitment to transform the support young people receive as they make the transition from adolescence to adult and working life.

The information on young people living independently which informed the Written Answer of 20 January was drawn from the Family Resources Survey 1997-98 and covered people living in private households. The information gathered indicated that, for those young people who were not living with their natural parents and/or stepparents, all had access to some source of income. The survey did not cover

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young people in institutions nor those who were homeless at the time of the survey.

Half-price Travel Concessions

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

    Why they consider that Clauses 123 to 129 of the Transport Bill are compatible with Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights read with Article 14 of the convention, given that these provisions discriminate between elderly persons as regards half-price travel concessions on the basis of the different pensionable ages for men and women.[HL865]

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The provisions in the Transport Bill require local authorities to provide half-price travel concessions for people who have attained pensionable age. The Government take the view that entitlement to concessionary travel is not a pecuniary right falling within Article 1 of the First Protocol to the convention and that consequently the United Kingdom is not subject to the provisions of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in respect of the grant of such a concession. The Government have already announced their intention to equalise pensionable age at 65 for men and women over a transitional period between 2010 and 2020.

House of Lords Appointments Commission: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the cost of retaining PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist in the recruitment of members of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.[HL785]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The total cost will be £52,000 plus expenses and VAT. Advertising costs will be in addition to this.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What consultations there were with the Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers about the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist in the recruitment of Members of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and about its terms of reference.[HL786]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Covenor of the Cross-Bench Peers was not consulted about the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Search and Selection to assist in the process of identifying suitable candidates for the independent chairman and independent members of the appointments commission. Although Ministers

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approved the principle of the use of headhunters, they also were not involved in the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The terms of reference are:


    Assist in the drawing up of advertisements for the chairman and members.


    Advise on where to place such advertisements and place them.


    Devise an information pack for candidates for both positions.


    Handle all initial inquiries and send out information packs.


    Use its knowlege and resources to identify strong candidates who could be invited to apply for either the chairmanship or membership. All such candidates would have to go through the full appointments process.


    Receive and process applications, including an initial sift of applications to eliminate non-viable candidates.


    Produce a long list of serious possibilities.


    Work with the Constitution Secretariat, Cabinet Office, to produce final shortlists.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there was an open tender process before PricewaterhouseCoopers were retained to assist in the recruitment of members of the House of Lords Appointments Commission; when the tender process was initiated; and how many firms applied.[HL787]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: Yes. There was an open tender process before PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Search and Selection was retained.

It is standard practice in these cases to invite tenders from a number of companies. Invitations to tender were sent to four recruitment consultants who have previous experience of working with government departments. The invitations to tender were sent in December 1999 and all four submitted bids.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report the terms of reference under which PricewaterhouseCoopers has been retained to assist in the recruitment of members of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.[HL788]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: The terms of reference under which PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Search and Selection has been employed are:

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    Assist in the drawing up of advertisements for the chairman and members.


    Advise on where to place such advertisements and place them.


    Devise an information pack for candidates for both positions.


    Handle all initial inquiries and send out information packs.


    Use its knowledge and resources to identify strong candidates who could be invited to apply for either the chairmanship or membership. All such candidates would have to go through the full appointments process.


    Receive and process applications, including an initial sift of applications to eliminate non-viable candidates.


    Produce a long list of serious possibilities.


    Work with the Constitution Secretariat, Cabinet Office, to produce final shortlists.

House of Lords Appointments Commission: Advertising Campaign

Lord Dean of Harptree asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the cost of the national press advertising campaign to attract candidates to be members of the House of Lords Appointments Committee.[HL800]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: About £30,000 plus VAT.

House of Lords: Transitional Period

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

    Whether, throughout the transitional period of the second Chamber, they will use their powers of creation of life peers to give effect to the principle of broad parity and proportionate creation, as envisaged in the White Paper, Modernising Parliament Reforming the House of Lords (Cm 4183, January 1999).[HL843]

Baroness Jay of Paddington: During the period of the transitional House, the Prime Minister will ensure that the number of peers he recommends, and the number of recommendations he invites from other parties, are consistent with and move towards the overall objectives set out in the White Paper Modernising Parliament Reforming the House of Lords (Cm 4183, January 1999). The power of creation of life peerages is vested in the Queen, not the Prime Minister.

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