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School Uniform for Girls

Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): It is up to school governors to decide on school uniform or dress code policies in the light of relevant legislation, and to defend those policies locally.

Disability Benefits: Take-up

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): There are no estimates of take-up rates for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) for 1998-99. However, the number of people receiving Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance continues to increase, as the table indicates. In addition we expect take-up of benefits to increase, as a result of the Minimum Income Guarantee campaign, ONE, and the Incapacity Benefit Keeping in Touch project.

People receiving DLA or AA (thousands)Percentage increase
DLA February 19971,853
DLA February 20002,11014
AA February 19971,166
AA February 20001,2427

The Minimum Income Guarantee will help the poorest pensioners. A single pensioner will now be at least £280 a year better off than in April 1999. Around 1.5 million pensioners are already gaining. We estimate some 500,000 pensioners have not yet claimed the Minimum Income Guarantee, so the Government have launched a national take-up campaign to encourage them to claim.

Source: DSS 5 per cent sample data.


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Employment Appeal Tribunals

Lord Christopher asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many appeals have been decided by the English and Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunals for each year during the past five years. [HL3989]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville):

PeriodEngland/WalesScotlandTotal
1995-961,3301101,440
1996-971,419821,501
1997-981,266921,358
1998-991,240831,323
1999-20001,264701,334

Number of appeals disposed of by financial year and geographical location.

Source: Employment Tribunals Service


Lord Christopher asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the average annual period of time within which appeals have been determined by the English and Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunals during each of the last five years. [HL3990]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville:

Hearing TypeJuly 1996July 1997July 1998July 1999July 2000
Prelim (1)----446
Full856812

Average length of time (in months) from receipt of the appeal to date of hearing for appeals at the end of each judicial year--England and Wales

(1) Figures for the length of time taken to reach a preliminary hearing are not available for 1996 and 1997.

The Employment Tribunals Service does not hold the information requested on the average periods of time in which appeals are determined. However, the above table is an indication of the length of time at the end of each judicial year that appeals were taking from receipt until a preliminary hearing and, where required, a full hearing.

Due to the smaller number of appeals dealt with in Scotland, the average length of time taken for cases to reach a full hearing is four months. It is not the practice of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Scotland to hold preliminary hearings.


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Lord Christopher asked her Majesty's Government:

    What period of time they consider to be reasonable within which the Employment Appeal Tribunals should determine appeals.[HL3991]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Employment Appeal Tribunal seeks to ensure that appeals will come either to a preliminary or a full hearing within four and eight months respectively. However, due to the complexity of individual appeals and the need for proper judicial consideration, it is not possible to ensure specific periods of time are achieved in individual cases if justice is to be done.

Forest Enterprise: Softwood Thinnings

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty' Government:

    Whether they will instruct Forest Enterprise to take full account of the interests of private forest producers when deciding the size of their own annual production of softwood thinnings and setting acceptable prices for it.[HL3811]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Forest Enterprise already takes account of the interests of private forest producers when deciding the size of its own annual production. By publishing annual timber production targets, which are based on long term production forecasts, it helps to bring confidence and stability to the market, benefiting processors and growers alike. The prices obtained for the timber are set by the market, not by Forest Enterprise, as they are strongly linked to the prices of imported timber. This is because the United Kingdom imports about 85 per cent of its timber requirements. If Forest Enterprise was not prepared to sell its timber at a competitive price, end users would simply switch to buying imported timber.

Owner Occupied Houses: Prices, Depreciation & RPI

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What the retail price index would be, excluding mortgage interest payments (RPIX) in August if the depreciation component of the RPI for owner occupied houses had been introduced in 1950 based upon a rate of inflation since 1950 of 2,000 per cent and an increase in house prices of 4,750 per cent.[HL4063]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter to Lord Jacobs from the National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics, Mr Len Cook, dated 16 October 2000.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary Question, which asks

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what the Retail Price Index would be, excluding mortgage interest payments (RPIX) in August if the depreciation component of the RPI for owner occupied houses had been introduced in 1950 based upon a rate of inflation since 1950 of 2,000 per cent and an increase in house prices of 4,750 per cent.

The historical RPIX series cannot be recalculated with the addition of depreciation as the index would have to be re-weighted for all years and this could only be undertaken at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Cars

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What advice is given to government departments in relation to the purchase of cars; and[HL4005]

    How government departments dispose of cars after use.[HL4006]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No specific guidance is issued to government departments concerning the purchase and disposal of vehicles. Individual departments are responsible for taking decisions on the purchase and disposal of goods, taking into account the Government's policy of securing value for money.

Public Expenditure

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the annual increase in real terms in total public expenditure in £ millions and in percentage terms in every year since 1996-97; and what is now the proposed total spending and percentage increase for each year up to the end of the period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review.[HL3962]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The table below gives the information requested, based on the most recently published figures.

Total Managed Expenditure and Annual Increases in Real Terms(2)

Total Managed Expenditure Real Terms (£ billion)Annual Increase/Decrease (£ billion)Percentage Increase/Decrease
1996-97343.0
1997-98340.7-2.3-0.7
1998-99339.4-1.3-0.4
1999-2000(3)341.52.10.6
2000-01(4)363.5226
2001-02374.911.4
2002-03386.711.8
2003-04399.212.5

(2) At 1999-2000 prices, using GDP deflators consistent with the ONS June 2000 National Accounts first release.

(3) Provisional outturn.

(4) Plans revised in the Spending Review 2000 include a carry forward of underspend on 1999-2000 plans.



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