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1 Jul 2003 : Column WA73

Written Answers

Tuesday, 1st July 2003.

[The first four Written Answers should have been printed in the Official Report of Monday, 30th June.]

Housing Costs and Household Earnings

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each of the last 50 years and in total (in so far as statistics are available) what were:


    (a) average household earnings;


    (b) the retail prices index;


    (c) the price of a standard unit of housing;


    (d) (c) divided by (a); and


    (e) (a) divided by (b).[HL3391]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (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 30 June 2003.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question on average household earnings, the retail price index and the price of a standard unit of housing over the last 50 years. (HL3391)

I regret that we are unable to provide an answer at this time. We are investigating the cause of an unexpected result in one of the data series that you requested. This work is proceeding as a matter of urgency.

A full answer will be provided shortly once this issue has been resolved.

Employment: Aerospace and Steel Industries

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the numbers employed in (a) the United Kingdom aerospace industry and (b) the United Kingdom steel industry in (i) 1970 and (ii) 2000. [HL3468]

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 27 June 2003.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question about the numbers employed in (a) the United Kingdom aerospace industry and (b) the United Kingdom steel industry in (i) 1970 and (ii) 2000. (HL3468).

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Unfortunately it is not possible to provide data on the present Standard Industrial Classification (SIC (92)) prior to 1978. The available information is given in the table below.

Employee jobs, United KingdomEnd-year estimates (thousands)

SIC (92) codeDescription19782000
35Manufacture of other transport equipment (including aircraft and spacecraft)375173
35.3Manufacture of aircraft and spacecraftn.a.120
27Manufacture of basic metals372114
21.1 to 27.3Manufacture of iron, steel, ferro-alloys, tubes and other first processing of iron and steeln.a.57

n.a.–not available


VAT: Building Work

Lord Freyberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they support English Heritage's campaign for a 5 per cent flat rate of VAT on all building work whether new build or repair and maintenance to existing building.[HL3563]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government have no plans to remove the zero rates of VAT on the construction of new housing, residential buildings and charity buildings, so have not accepted the case for a 5 per cent rate of VAT on all building work. However, the Government will carefully consider the representations from English Heritage and other bodies for a reduced rate on all building repair work in the context of the upcoming European Commission review of the reduced rates provisions in EC VAT law.

Census: Wards and Smaller Areas

Lord Davies of Coity asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When detailed results from the 2001 census for wards and smaller areas in England and Wales will be published.[HL3673]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: A report on the 2001 census key statistics for wards in England and Wales is being laid before Parliament today. Copies in electronic media are available in the Libraries of the House and from the Office for National Statistics.

The report will provide a compact and self-contained reference, providing key results covering a wide range of census topics. Figures for the 8,875 wards and electoral divisions in England and Wales, presented generally as percentage distributions, can be readily compared with those for other areas and with the national averages. The report, in the form of a CD ROM, is effectively a supplement to the 2001 census report on key statistics for local authorities in England

1 Jul 2003 : Column WA75

and Wales, laid before the House on 13 February, but which, for technical reasons, could not be released at that time.

The report will comprise a set of 24 tables covering all the 8,005 wards in England and the 870 electoral divisions in Wales, as well as comparable national figures for England and Wales.

A similar range of statistics for census output areas, prepared under Section 4(2) of the Census Act, is also being made publicly available today. Output areas are the smallest geographical area level for which detailed census information is produced. They are areas that typically comprise around 125 households, and have a minimum population threshold of 100 persons and 40 resident households, below which key statistics may not be released.

These key statistics for wards and output areas will also be freely available on the National Statistics website through the Neighbourhood Statistic Service from today.

Census: Age Brackets

Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the breakdown of the population of the United Kingdom in the age brackets used in the national census; and what is the number of disabled people in those age brackets.[HL3570]

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 30 June 2003.

As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what is the breakdown of the population of the United Kingdom in the age brackets used in the National Census; and what is the number of disabled people in those age brackets. (HL3570)

The 2001 Census did not ask a question on disability but did ask a question about limiting long-term illness. Standard Table S016 of the 2001 Census National Report for England and Wales, which was published on 7 May shows the breakdown of the population by age, and by limiting long-term illness. A copy of this report was placed in the House of Lords library and is also availabe on the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/census2001/National_report_EW_Part1_Section1.pdf

The Registrars General for Scotland and for Northern Ireland are responsible for their own Census 2001 Standard Tables. These are available on their respective websites at: http://www.gro-scotland.gov. uk/grosweb/grosweb.nsf/pages/file4/$file/st.pdf and http://www.nisra.gov.uk/Census/pdf/standard–tables–section2.pdf

For information I have attached copies of the relevant pages from each publication.

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The Judiciary

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who is now the head of the judiciary with the function of ensuring the independence of the judiciary from the executive.[HL3418]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Pending legislation changing the constitutional position, I will continue to fulfil all the responsibilities of the Lord Chancellor in relation to the judiciary, save I will not sit as a judge.

Judicial Appointments

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Judicial Appointments Commission will be responsible not only for the appointment but also for the promotion of members of the judiciary and others exercising judicial power, and for matters of discipline and court management and administration; and, if not, where responsibility will lie.[HL3421]

The Lord Chancellor: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 19 June 2003 (Official Report, WA 131). The Government have undertaken to consult on the arrangements for the new Judicial Appointments Commission before the summer recess. No decisions will be taken on the specific role and functions of the Commission until the consultation exercise has been completed.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Judicial Appointments Commission will be responsible for matters concerning the judiciary throughout the United Kingdom or only in England and Wales.[HL3422]

The Lord Chancellor: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 19 June 2003 (Official Report, WA 131). The new Judicial Appointments Commission will be responsible for matters concerning the judiciary only in England and Wales. Scotland has its own Judicial Appointments Board. The Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 set out the framework for establishing a Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission. The Government have undertaken to consult on the arrangements for the new Commission for England and Wales before the summer recess.

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Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the North/South Ministerial Council's decision of 19 May concerning salaries of the Language Implementation Body, why the decision paper entitled General Round Pay Increases for Staff for An Foras Teanga refers in paragraph 2 to the Department of Community, Arts and Leisure; when this department was created; and who is the responsible Minister.[HL3214]

The Lord President of the Council (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The decision paper IP LAN 5 in the background note, paragraph 2, referred to "the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Community, Arts and Leisure". The reference should have read "the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure".


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