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16 Feb 2000 : Column WA151

Written Answers

Wednesday, 16th February 2000.

Building Maintenance and Repairs: VAT

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 22 June 1999 (WA 82), what progress has been made on the European Union's offer of a reduction of VAT on building maintenance and repairs.[HL954]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Council Directive 1999/85/EC which provides for an optional, experimental, reduced VAT rate on a narrow range of labour-intensive services was adopted on 22 October 1999. The list includes the renovation and repairing of private dwellings, excluding materials which form a significant part of the value of the supply.

Agriculture: Employment Figures

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of persons employed in agriculture in the United Kingdom in each of the last 12 years, showing separately the numbers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.[HL978]

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 Social Statistics, Mr John Pallinger, dated 16 February 2000.

The Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on the number of people employed in agriculture. I am replying in Dr Holt's absence.

The attached table gives estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the main source of labour market data on individuals. It gives the number of people in employment in the agriculture, hunting and forestry industries in the UK and England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The data are for spring (March to May) quarters from 1988 to 1999 and are not seasonally adjusted.

People aged 16 or over are classed as in employment by the LFS if they have done at least one hour of paid work (as an employee or self-employed) in the week prior to their LFS interview or if they have a job that they are temporarily away from. People who do unpaid work in a family business and people on government-supported training and employment programmes are also included according to the International Labour Organisation convention.

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People in employment in agriculture, hunting and forestry industries1 1988 to 1999 (not seasonally adjusted)

United KingdomEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
Spring 1988581446396928
Spring 1989570413547232
Spring 1990554426346232
Spring 1991574454375726
Spring 1992544399466731
Spring 19932501369426327
Spring 19942515370496631
Spring 1995520389435335
Spring 1996498376375431
Spring 1997478352405333
Spring 1998445321464433
Spring 1999407303323933

1 Based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC).

2 SIC 92 replaced SIC 80 in winter 1993-94. For dates prior to winter 1993-94 the SIC 80 codes have been converted to SIC 92 codes to give reasonable comparisons not exact conversions. Because the conversions are not exact, there is a discontinuity in the table between spring 1993 and spring 1994.


Labour Force Survey.

Individual Asylum Applications, Debates in Parliament

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list in the Official Report all those occasions in the past 10 years in which individual asylum applications have been discussed in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords.[HL908]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): I regret that this information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Police Numbers

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the recommended establishment by chief constables for policing their areas of responsibility; and what is the shortfall in each area.[HL942]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Ministers have no direct control over police numbers. Under legislation passed by the previous government in 1994 it is for individual chief constables to determine the number of police officers in their force within the resources that are available. At the end of September 1999 there were 125,464 police officers in England and Wales. The table sets out the numbers of officers in each force as at 30 September 1999.

My right honourable Friend the Home Secretary announced on 9 February (House of Commons Official Report, cols. 172-74W) the allocation of funding under the Crime Fighting Fund for the recruitment of 5,000 extra police officers over and above the number that would otherwise have been recruited over the next three years.

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Police Numbers--Change between March 1999
and September 1999

ForceStrength as at 30 September 1999Change since 31 March 1999
Avon & Somerset2,988.7-11
City of London744.6-33
Devon & Cornwall2,861.1-26
Greater Manchester6,810.3No change
Metropolitan Police25,884.5-188
Norfolk1,381.5No change
North Wales1,399+8
North Yorkshire1,293.7-43
South Wales2,983+2
South Yorkshire3,165-3
Thames Valley3,749.5+1
West Mercia1,979.4-45
West Midlands7,296.4-24
West Yorkshire4,873-109
Force total strength123,050-791
Seconded police officers2,414+159
Total police service strength125,464-632

1Includes officers seconded to NCS, NCIS and central services such as National Police Training.

Martin McGartland:Police Protection

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their intention to remove police protection from Martin McGartland.[HL943]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Individual protection arrangements are a matter for the chief constable of the police force concerned and are not discussed for security reasons.

16 Feb 2000 : Column WA154

Mike Tyson:Criminal Record of Member of Entourage

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 2 February (WA 36), what is the nature of the criminal record of the member of Mr Mike Tyson's entourage to which that reply referred.[HL948]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The member of Mr Tyson's entourage referred to in my reply of 2 February (Official Report, col. WA 36) had been convicted in 1989 of voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, for which he received a sentence of eight years' imprisonment. He was released on parole in 1991.

Gambling Review Body:Appointment of Chairman

Baroness Massey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they plan to announce the appointment of the Chairman of the Gambling Review Body and the body's terms of reference.[HL1105]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Further to the reply of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary in another place (House of Commons Official Report, col. 534W on 8 December), he has today appointed Sir Alan Budd as chairman of the Gambling Review Body. Sir Alan is Provost of The Queen's College, Oxford, and a former Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury. The position is unpaid.

We will make a further announcement on the membership of the review body in the next few weeks. We hope it will start work shortly after Easter, to report by the summer, 2001.

The terms of reference for the gambling review are as follows:

    Consider the current state of the gambling industry and the ways in which it might change over the next 10 years in the light of economic pressures, the growth of e-commerce, technological developments and wider leisure industry and international trends.

    Consider the social impact of gambling and the costs and benefits.

    Consider, and make recommendations for the kind and extent of regulation appropriate for gambling activities in Great Britain, having regard to:

    their wider social impact;

    the need to protect the young and vulnerable from exploitation and to protect all gamblers from unfair practices;

    the importance of preventing gambling from being carried out in a way which allows crime and disorder or public nuisance;

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    the need to keep the industry free from infiltration by organised and other serious crime and from money laundering risks;

    the desirability of creating an environment in which the commercial opportunities for gambling, including its international competitiveness, maximise the United Kingdom's economic welfare; and

    the implications for the current system of taxation, and the scope for its further development.

Consider the need for, and if necessary recommend, new machinery appropriate for carrying out that regulation which achieves a more consistent and streamlined approach than is now possible and which is financed by the gambling industry itself.

Consider the availability and effectiveness of treatment programmes for problem gamblers and make recommendations for their future provision, potential costings and funding.

In conducting this review, the body should not consider changes to the National Lottery, but it will need to look at the impact on the lottery of any proposed changes, including an assessment of the potential effect on the income to good causes.

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