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Statistical Information

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

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

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated December 2001.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question about the provision of statistical information relating to the whole of the United Kingdom.

When asked in a Parliamentary question and where such information is readily available, the Office for National Statistics will itself continue to give statistical information for the whole of the United Kingdom, split between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Where statistical information to answer such a question requires a special analysis by officials of a devolved administration, that contribution will be dependent on the agreement of the devolved administration.

Landfill Tax

Lord Northbrook asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Around £346 million, or 17 per cent, of landfill tax has been claimed as tax credits under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme since the tax was introduced on 1 October 1996. This represents 90 per cent of the total amount contributed to environmental bodies. Of the total money contributed, £251 million has so far been spent by the environmental bodies. This spend is apportioned as follows:

Project% of total spend to October 2001
Enhance local environment around a landfill site59.5
Contribute to sustainable waste management (including recycling education projects)33.2

Private Finance Initiative

Baroness Hooper asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have commissioned research into the use made of the private finance initiative by central and local government; and, if so, when results of any such research will be published. [HL2162]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government keep the implementation of PFI under constant review, drawing on relevant information from a number of sources, including the work of the Public Accounts Committee, National Audit Office, Office of Government Commerce and Partnerships UK. Research is commissioned from time to time into various topics relevant to PFI. Where appropriate, as in the case of the two reports by Sir Malcolm Bates and the Arthur Andersen/LSE Report on Value for Money Drivers in PFI Projects, these are placed in the Library of the House and made available on the OGC website.

Belfast International Airport

Lord Glentoran asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to ensure that Belfast International Airport remains viable.[HL1424]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): Details of discussions between the Government and commercial undertakings on requests of financial assistance are confidential and cannot be disclosed in accordance with exemption 13 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Northern Ireland: Parity of Esteem

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's comments in Liverpool on 21 November

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    that "Unionists have still to be convinced that their culture is really understood, let alone respected in the Republic of Ireland" represent government policy; and[HL1635]

    Whether the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's comments in Liverpool on 21 November that "the Unionist community feels itself isolated with its foundations eroded and victims of violence who are witnesses to a stream of concessions to the other side" represent government policy; and[HL1637]

    Whether the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's comments in Liverpool on 21 November that "Northern Ireland must not become a cold place for protestants, or we will have failed" represent government policy.[HL1639]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Quotations taken out of context rarely give the whole picture. In his speech in Liverpool on 21 November, the Secretary of State drew attention to the fact that despite the very many gains achieved for all sides through the implementation of the Belfast Agreement, there is still a perception among many unionists that their traditions, needs and aspirations are somehow respected less than those of the nationalist side of the community.

As explained by the Secretary of State, the Government do not believe this to be the case. The Belfast Agreement addresses many of the deep-seated concerns of both sides of the community in a balanced way, taking parity of esteem as one of its guiding principles. However, as a consequence of its implementation many fundamental changes have been

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instigated in a relatively short space of time; and change can be a very unsettling experience.

The Secretary of State's intention in making this speech was to acknowledge that both communities in Northern Ireland are in need of persuasion. He expressed the Government's desire to work towards reversing negative perceptions of the political process and encouraging unionism and nationalism to embrace the changes which are being brought about; to encourage all sections of the community to feel that they belong to the new Northern Ireland. He also called on political and community leaders in Northern Ireland to take an active role in achieving this goal. Taken in its entirety, the speech is a reflection of government policy.

Northern Ireland: Terrorist Incidents

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many incidents have occurred in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Great Britain which they believe are the responsibility of (i) the Real IRA, (ii) the Continuity IRA, (iii) the Provisional IRA and (iv) other republican groups in each of the years since 1993.[HL1803]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Security statistics do not assign attribution for terrorist incidents to specific paramilitary groupings. Therefore, it has not been possible to supply the level of detail asked. However, I have attached separate statistics for terrorist incidents attributed to republican paramilitary groups for Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Northern Ireland security statistics for loyalist terrorist incidents have also been provided for comparison.

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Northern Ireland Security Statistics

199319941995199619971998199920002001 (to 3 Dec)
By Republican352479537443
By Loyalist473725151731411
Shooting incidents
By Republican16610315347962437193
By Loyalist20219110509010365183219
Bombing incidents
By Republican201140211593301840
By Loyalist56650318887494278
Casualties as a result of paramilitary style shootings
By Republican2554032638265063
By Loyalist606832146344786114
Casualties as a result of paramilitary style assaults
By Republican61411411727855445249
By Loyalist3538761307889907685

Note: Statistics for 2001 are provisional and may be subject to minor amendment at a later date.

Great Britain Security Statistics for Republican Groups

199319941995199619971998199920002001 (to 3 Dec)
Bombing incidents233127535
Shooting incidents311

Note: Statistics for 2001 are provisional and may be subject to minor amendment at a later date.

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Northern Ireland: Policing

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 5 December (WA 139), whether it is appropriate to co-operate with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on policing when the Garda Sochana is required to "render good and true service and obedience to the constitution and government of the Republic".[HL1972]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Yes. The Government believe that it is entirely appropriate to work with the Irish Government to take forward the Patten recommendations concerning north/south co-operation on policing matters. Indeed, a recent joint operation between law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border resulted in 10 arrests, with nine people charged for a variety of offences linked to smuggling and laundering of fuel, and there have also been a number of very significant seizures of illegal cigarettes on both sides of the border.

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