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Lord Dixon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Payments under the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund in the last five years have been:

£ millions
FY 1997–987.01
FY 1998–9910.54
FY 1999–20003.99
FY 2000–014.22
FY 2001–025.65

Estimated payments in FY 2002–03 will be in the order of £1.2 million. The Shipbuilding Intervention Fund was closed to new applications on 31 December 2000 in line with the withdrawal of contract subsidies across the EU.

Software Piracy

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of a recent study from the Business Software Alliance suggesting that reductions in software piracy can lead to improved national economic performance, whether existing measures in the United Kingdom to address this problem are sufficient. [HL2449]

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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: We believe existing measures to support software licensing in the UK are sufficient. According to figures produced by the Business Software Alliance, we enjoy, jointly with the USA, the world's best compliance rate for business software licensing and the fastest software sector growth rate in Western Europe.

Hull: Human Rights

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who or what is responsible for the delivery and safeguard of human rights in the city of Hull. [HL2329]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 places a duty on all public authorities to act compatibly with the convention rights. "Public authority" includes a court or tribunal and bodies such as the police and local authorities. It also includes any private organisation with a public function.

Medical Compensation:Conditional Fee Agreements

Lord Chan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their response to the growing number of commercial underwriters who encourage those seeking to claim compensation for medical accidents to use their services to cover "no win no fee" arrangements. [HL2507]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Conditional fee arrangements ("no win no fee") supported by insurance policies can provide access to justice for individuals seeking to pursue meritorious clinical negligence cases but who are ineligible for legal aid. The insurance market provides a range of cover and is continuing to develop new products to support conditional fee agreements for civil actions including clinical negligence cases where the risks and legal costs are generally higher.

European Social Fund Objective 3Co-Financing

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer of 27 March by the Baroness Hollis of Heigham (WA 87), why if only three tenders by European Social Fund Objective 3 co-financing in respect of capacity building have been rejected because their documentation was not completed properly, Jobcentre Plus produce a pro forma letter of rejection for applicants with tick boxes indicating the grounds for rejection, (for

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    example, that the font size was too small); and whether this approach to voluntary organisations is consistent with the desire for capacity building. [HL2404]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Government are satisfied that the tendering arrangements applied by Jobcentre Plus in respect of ESF co-financing are clear and fair, and that they allow for promoting capacity building in the voluntary sector. The arrangements comply with the rules for implementing the ESF and are designed to ensure that public money is used to support projects that aim to offer better quality and more effective services for the unemployed and disadvantaged people that this Government are trying to help.

Jobcentre Plus has a standard procedure for indicating to tenderers why their tender has been rejected. This is done on a pro forma which has been developed for use in all procurement competitions that Jobcentre Plus holds. The standards for tenders are clearly stated when the competition is called. Potential tenderers are able to seek clarification of these procedures at pre-tender meetings or from contract teams. Providers are also invited to discuss the reason for rejection so that they can meet requirements in future tenders.

Funeral Services: Costs

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to paragraph 5.22 of the Budget report (HC 500), whether they know what percentage of undertakers provide a funeral service costing less than £700; and, if so, what is the percentage. [HL2562]

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: We are committed to providing payment for a respectful funeral to people receiving income-related benefits or tax credits who have a good reason for organising the funeral.

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Social Fund funeral payments cover in full the cost of certain necessary, specified charges including fees levied by burial authorities and crematoria. An additional sum is also allowed for other funeral expenses which gives the person arranging the funeral the freedom to select the items or services they consider appropriate. This additional sum, previously up to £600, was increased to a maximum of £700 from 7 April, as announced by my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget Report.

The department does not collect information on the cost of individual funeral services.


Lord Blackwell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What rise in tax receipts would result from a 1 per cent rise in nominal Gross Domestic Product and its components assuming no indexation of allowances, following implementation of measures in the Budget statement on 9 April.[HL2550]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Latest available projections of tax revenues are available in budget 2003 (HC 500). They are based on a deliberately prudent and cautious assumption that trend output growth is ¼ percentage point lower than the Government's neutral view. This corresponds to the lower end of the range of HM Treasury's economic forecasts. Tax forecasts based on alternative forecasts of GDP growth are not available.

Export of Live Horses for Slaughter

Lord Higgins asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ban the export of live horses for slaughter. [HL2453]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Although horses may be exported for slaughter, no one has applied for a licence to export from Great Britain in many years.

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