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National Savings Bank

Lord Stewartby asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Excluding dormant accounts with less than £1, there were 17.9 million accounts to a total value of £1.4 billion as at March 2003.

The current rates of interest are 0.25 per cent per annum for accounts of less than £500, and 0.35 per cent per annum for accounts with balances of £500 or more.

The current maximum holding per person (not per account, because there is no maximum sum which can be deposited in any one account) is £10,000. This was fixed in July 1969 and has not been changed since. This would be worth today £104,534 if up-rated by the RPI.

People Over 60: Employment

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

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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 10 November 2003.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question about the percentage of men and women aged between 60 and 75 who receive income from current employment. (HL5256)

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) classifies as in employment people aged 16 and over who have done at least one hour of paid work (as an employee or self-employed) in the week prior to their LFS interview or if they have a job that they are temporarily away from. People who do unpaid work in a family business and people on government-supported training and employment programmes are also included according to the International Labour Organisation convention. Table 1, attached below, gives the information requested, based on this definition of employment.

Table 2, attached below, gives employment rates for men and women aged 60–75, excluding unpaid family workers. Unpaid family workers are those doing unpaid work for a business they own or for a relative's business.

These estimates are from the Labour Force Survey for the twelve-month period ending August of each year from 1999 to 2003.

Table 1 Percentage of people aged 60–75 in employment: United Kingdom
Per cent

September to AugustAllMaleFemale
1998–9917.423.711.7
1999–200017.723.912.2
2000–0118.024.112.5
2001–0218.624.513.3
2002–0319.726.413.5

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey.

Note:

These Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates have not been interim-adjusted to take account of the Census 2001 result.


Table 2
Percentage of people aged 60–75 in employment, excluding unpaid family workers(2): United Kingdom Per cent

September to AugustAllMaleFemale
1998–9917.023.411.4
1999–200017.423.611.9
2000–0117.723.812.3
2001–0218.324.213.0
2002–0319.426.213.2

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey.

(2) People doing unpaid work for a business they own or for a relative's business.

Note:

These Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates have not been interim-adjusted to take account of the Census 2001 results.


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Child Trust Fund

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect Deloitte and Touche to complete their independent research on price caps for the Child Trust Fund; and whether they will place the full results in the Library of the House when the research is completed. [HL5258]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government are currently analysing and reviewing results from the independent research commissioned by Deloitte, on the impact of different charge cap structures for the CTF. The report will be published shortly and I will ensure that copies are placed in the Library of the House.

Employment Service Estate

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    By what process the Valuation Office arrived at a rental value yield basis of 12.2 per cent in its recent valuation of the freehold properties in the former Employment Service Estate. [HL5260]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Valuation Office Agency was instructed to value the properties on the basis of market value in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' appraisal and valuation standards. Vacant possession of the properties was to be assumed.

The individual yield adopted for each property typically ranged from 8 per cent to 13 per cent. The actual percentage adopted in each case was derived from the investment yields of sales of comparable let properties in the open market and reflected the construction, condition, user and location of the properties. In some cases a direct comparison of capital value was made with comparable properties. The poor letting prospects of most of the properties reduced their final values.

The majority of the properties were situated in secondary and tertiary locations in lower-value areas of Great Britain and in most cases it was necessary to defer the receipt of the estimated rental income from the property for a period typically of one to two years to reflect the period required to find a tenant and any rent-free period that would have to be negotiated with the prospective tenant having regard to market conditions that existed at the time of valuation.

Civil Service: Impartiality

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

    Whether Ministers of the Crown have a duty to respect the independence and impartiality of the Civil Service. [HL5151]

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Sections 1 and 5 of the Ministerial Code make it clear that Ministers must uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service and not ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code.

Inspectors and Regulators: Fee-related Income

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will indicate those government departments or agencies whose enforcement officers, compliance officers or inspectors receive remuneration which includes any element related to the penalties or fees which they charge those whom they examine, inspect or monitor, indicating in respect of each such department or agency the regulatory area concerned.[HL5214]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The types of jobs necessary to deliver business objectives and the criteria on which they are rewarded is a matter for individual departments and agencies. This information is not held centrally.

A14

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to upgrade the A14 trunk road between Felixstowe and the A1; and what are the timescale and costs anticipated for any such upgrading.[HL5215]

Lord Davies of Oldham: I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency to write to the noble Lord.

Letter from Richard Bennett, Board Director of the Highways Agency, dated 10 November 2003.

Lord Davies of Oldham has asked Stephen Hickey to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Highways Agency's plans to upgrade the A14 trunk road between Felixstowe and the A1 including the timescales and costs anticipated. I am replying on Stephen's behalf as he is currently away from the office.

Our current targeted programme of improvements includes the following schemes for the A14:


    A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton Improvement—a public consultation will start in spring 2004 with an anticipated start of works date in 2008. The project is estimated to cost £490 million.


    A14 Haughley New Street to Stowmarket Improvement—public consultation was held earlier this year and a preferred route announcement is expected early in the new year. The start of works is anticipated in 2007. The cost of the scheme is estimated at £29 million.


    A14 Rookery Crossroads—a public inquiry was held in March and Highways Act orders will be published in early November. Start of works is expected next year. The cost of the scheme is estimated at £8 million.

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In addition, the London to South Midlands multimodal study recommended widening the A14 to dual three lanes between Cambridge (Fen Ditton) and the A11 in the longer term. The Secretary of State for Transport, in his response to the study to the regional assembly, stated that the longer-term measures, for delivery beyond 2015, provide a useful indication of future investment needs, but it is too early to take a definitive view on the priorities for which we might provide funding in the latter part of the next decade and beyond. The Highways Agency was not asked to prioritise work on the scheme at this stage.


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