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Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To help local authorities with their service planning responsibilities, we first need to establish whether an increase in the numbers of autistic children is expected. We are therefore examining a number of potential sources of health and social care data on autism. On a pilot basis, autism will be included in the next Children in Need Survey, to be carried out in the autumn.

We have also asked the Medical Research Council (MRC) to obtain a clear and comprehensive picture of the current knowledge about the incidence, prevalence and causes of autism and how strong is the evidence which underpins that knowledge. The MRC will submit a report to the Department of Health in autumn 2001. This will be circulated more widely to a range of policy-makers, patients, interest groups, the research community and the public.

Our increased investment in health, education and personal social services in England over the next three years will benefit people with autism as well as everyone else who needs them.

Chinook ZD576: Position of Crewmen

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 20 December 2000 (WA 67) whether Air Vice Marshal Day was mistaken when he stated in the Board of Inquiry report on the Chinook ZD576 crash that Master Air Loadmaster Forbes and Sergeant Hardie were probably stationed in the aircraft cabin during the overseas transit. [HL1015]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): No. Air Marshal Day stated in the Board of Inquiry report that Master Air Loadmaster Forbes and Sergeant Hardie were probably stationed in the aircraft's cabin during the overseas transit. From the positions of the casualties relative to the wreckage, we cannot be certain where the two crewmen were at impact. It is possible that one of the crewmen was either sitting in the jump seat or standing behind the pilots. The jump seat, which folds up so that a member of the crew may also stand in this position, is in a small gap between the back of the two pilots' seats and the main cabin area, with large cabinets to each side. It takes but one step to move from the main cabin to the folded-seat area.

PAY 2000: Army Expenditure

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether PAY 2000 will increase or decrease the Army's expenditure on pay and allowance.[HL1027]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The implementation of PAY 2000 will increase the Army's expenditure on pay by £29 million in the financial year 2001-2002. PAY 2000 will have no effect on expenditure on allowances. The move to PAY 2000 is

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fully supported by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body.

Army Personnel: Overseas Tours

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Burlison on 13 February (WA 29-30), whether they will confirm that no central record exists of overseas tours of Army personnel; if not, why not; and at what level are such records maintained.[HL1069]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Various categories of overseas tours are recorded on an individual's record of service, and these records are held centrally. However, searches can be made only on one category at a time and no single search would produce all the information relevant to the widest definition of "overseas tour". To put together such a record would, therefore, entail a disproportionate cost.

Monitoring deployments at unit level gives a clearer picture of the pattern of deployment and operational commitment within the Army. Some 22 per cent of the trained Army is currently committed to operations; this figure includes units preparing for, deployed on and recovering from operations. Within this, 15 per cent of the trained Army is currently deployed on operations.

EC Own Resources: UK Net Contributions

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Prime Minister's statement in the House of Commons on 11 December 2000 (HC Deb, col. 349) that the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Community would be roughly equivalent to that of France and Italy, what is the estimated United Kingdom annual net contribution as a percentage of total European Community's own resources in each year during the period 2001 to 2006; and what has been the comparable United Kingdom net contribution as a percentage of the European Community's total own resources income during each year in the period 1980 to 2000.[HL887]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Government estimates of the United Kingdom's net contribution as a percentage of total EC own resources for the period 2001 to 2006 are set out below:


    2001: 5.08%


    2002: 4.46%


    2003: 5.25%


    2004: 6.31%


    2005: 5.27%


    2006: 5.67%

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The United Kingdom's net contributions as a percentage of total EC own resources for the period 1980 to 2000 were as follows:


    1980: 8.94%


    1981: 4.17%


    1982: 5.45%


    1983: 4.35%


    1984: 5.37%


    1985: 7.60%


    1986: 4.32%


    1987: 7.37%


    1988: 5.06%


    1989: 7.57%


    1990: 8.18%


    1991: 1.26%


    1992: 4.24%


    1993: 4.89%


    1994: 1.81%


    1995: 6.96%


    1996: 3.20%


    1997: 2.44%


    1998: 6.88%


    1999: 6.41%


    2000: 7.62%

European Union: Inflation Comparisons

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average rate of inflation in the year 2000 of the three best performing member states of the European Union; and what was the comparable rate of inflation in the United Kingdom in the same year.[HL1086]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The average inflation rate in 2000 was 1.3 per cent. The comparable rate of inflation in the UK was 0.8 per cent.

European Union Long-term Interest Rate Comparisons

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average nominal long-term interest rate of the three best performing member states of the European Union in the year 2000; and what was the comparable long-term interest rate in the United Kingdom in the same year.[HL1087]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The average nominal long-term interest rate in 2000 was 5.5 per cent. The comparable rate for the United Kingdom was 5.0 per cent.

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Millennium Dome Faith Zone Donation: VAT

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether VAT is payable in regard to the donation of £1 million made by the Hinduja family to the Faith Zone at the Millennium Dome; and, if so, why it is payable, how much is payable, when and by whom.[HL1081]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is a long-standing practice of successive governments not to comment on the VAT affairs of individual businesses.

Barnett Formula Allocations

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much money was allocated under the Barnett formula for each of the last five years, per head of population, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.[HL1200]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Public expenditure figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over this period were published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses in April 2000 and the Spending Review in July 2000. The arrangements for determining the budgets of the devolved administrations were set out in the Statement of Funding Policy in July 2000, including the population figures used in the 2000 Spending Review.

QCs and Judges: Appointment Processes Scrutiny

Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress the Government have made in implementing the recommendations of Sir Leonard Peach's independent scrutiny report on the appointment processes for judges and Queen's Counsel in England and Wales. [HL1236]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): I am pleased to announce that Her Majesty yesterday made Orders in Council defining the functions of her Commissioners for Judicial Appointments and appointing Professor Sir Colin Murray Campbell, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, as her First Commissioner for Judicial Appointments. The Commission has commenced its work today. The recruitment of Deputy Commissioners will begin shortly and I hope the first of them will be appointed in the autumn.

Sir Leonard also recommended that a pilot scheme be produced for an assessment centre for judicial appointments. The tendering process will commence shortly to identify consultants who will advise on the design and development of the pilot scheme. Several of

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Sir Leonard's other recommendations--such as improvements to the forms used in consultations on candidates for judicial appointment, and to the procedures for appointment to Silk--have already been implemented.


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