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Earl Russell: My Lords, I recall that very well and I congratulate the noble Baroness on the figures.

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I thank the noble Earl. Some of the New Deal programmes are tailored to tackle this, such as step-up and outreach programmes, along with action teams. All of those work extensively with ethnic minority communities and voluntary organisations to try to overcome the effects of multiple deprivation. However, I have to agree that, when considering the statistics, young people and some older people in the ethnic minority communities are facing not only disadvantage but also discrimination. Some of that may be related to language issues, poor health or underdeveloped social skills, while some may be associated with lack of access to anyone in the local knowledge community or with connections in the job market.

It is clear that we have to do far more. Such deprivation is found in the heart of almost every great city and certainly does not reflect the North-South divide. Indeed, unemployment among ethnic minorities has fallen more appropriately in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North, while it has become worse in London. The noble Earl is absolutely right: whereas for the rest of us unemployment has fallen to one-third of the 1993 levels, in more than half the regions of the UK it has actually increased for ethnic minorities. I was quite shocked by the figures.

We have gone wide of the orders before us, but I hope that we have had an opportunity to address and explore issues that otherwise we might not have done. I hope too that I have answered as best I can questions raised by noble Lords. If I have not done so, I am sure that they will lobby me and I shall come back to them. With that, I hope that noble Lords will agree to the order.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Guaranteed Minimum Pensions Increase Order 2003

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, I beg to move the second Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 5th February be approved [10th Report from the Joint Committee].—(Baroness Hollis of Heigham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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