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Coroners

Baroness Whitaker asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Ministers have yet to make their final decisions on the reform of the death certification and coroner system. I anticipate that a paper will be published early this year that will set out the Government's position based on consideration of all the recent reports. The experiences of bereaved families when coming into contact with the coroner service were looked at in detail as part of the fundamental review 2003 and as part of the work of the Shipman inquiry. Any changes will take into account the requirements and expectations of different faith groups and communities, as discussed in the debate on 24 January 2001.

Intercepted Communications: Evidential Use

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

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: A review is currently under way. It is too soon to say whether this will recommend removing the prohibition on the evidential use of intercepted communications.

Religious Offences

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

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government have no plans at present to do so, but will listen carefully to any forthcoming debates on the House of Lords Select Committee Report on Religious Offences and on the Privy Counsellor Review Committee report on the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, both of which touch on this issue.

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government as a whole are not themselves subject to the duty to promote race equality under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. However, individual government departments, including the Home Office, are.

The collation of a central list of racist organisations is not a specific duty under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and the Home Office does not maintain such a list. However, we will consider introducing such a list should a need become apparent.

We have no plans to amend the enforcement powers available under existing legislation. The existing law provides sanctions against racially discriminatory behaviour under the Race Relations Act 1976. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Public Order Act 1986 provide the criminal justice agencies with the powers to take action against organisations or individuals who commit criminally racist acts. Should a need become apparent, however, we will review the situation.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has recently agreed with the view that membership of groups such as the British National Party (BNP) by police officers should be made a disciplinary offence.

Immigration and Household Projection Statistics

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What according to the sensitivity analysis accompanying the most recent household projections would be the effect of immigration at a level of 103,000 people per year; and what would be the effect of a level of 158,000 people per year on the forecast household formation.[HL627]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): The 1996-based household projections showed that the number of households in England were projected to grow from 20.2 million in 1996 to 24 million in 2021, an increase of 3.8 million or 19 per cent. The sensitivity analyses shows that increasing the assumed net international migration from 66,000 to 103,000 per year would increase the projected number of additional households over the same period by 416,000. It is not possible to estimate the effect of net international migration of around 158,000 per year.

Iraq: Compensation Payments arising from Combat Operations

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy towards the payment of compensation to Iraqi citizens for deaths, injuries and property damage caused by the coalition forces;

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    and what are the practices currently employed by United Kingdom personnel and by other coalition partners.[HL294]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Claims made by Iraqis for losses that do not arise in connection with combat operations are handled in accordance with the direction of the Coalition Provisional Authority—specifically Section 6 of CPA order number 17. This states that:

"Third party claims including those for property loss or damage and for personal injury and death or in respect of any other matter arising from or attributing to Coalition personnel or any persons employed by them, whether normally resident in Iraq or not, and that do not arise in connection with military combat operations, shall be submitted and dealt with by the Parent State whose coalition personnel, property, activities or other assets are alleged to have caused the claimed damage, in a manner consistent with the national laws of the Parent State".

Hence, we will generally pay compensation in circumstances where the loss would give rise to a legal liability under English law.

The payment of compensation by other coalition partners is a matter for them.

Royal Air Force: High G Centrifuge Facility

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the in-service date for the Royal Air Force Centrifuge.[HL718]

Lord Bach: The requirement for a High G Centrifuge facility is under review. An in-service date will not be set until the main investment decision. Subject to the outcome of the present review this is likely to be in the second half of the decade.

MoD and Environmental Tectonics Corporation

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the present state of the legal proceedings between the Ministry of Defence and Environmental Tectonics Corporation.[HL719]

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Lord Bach: Efforts continue under mediation to reach a negotiated settlement.

Chiropodists and Podiatrists: Medicines Dispensing

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have (a) to make it possible for both qualified and registered chiropodists and podiatrists to dispense Lamisil and other related "over the counter" dispensed medicines; and (b) to enable qualified and registered chiropodists to give a complete service so that their patients can be assured that they receive the medicines they are directed to use.[HL398]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): State registered chiropodists/podiatrists have long-standing exemptions under medicines legislation which allow them to sell or supply a specified range of medicines direct to their patients. They are able to sell or supply any general sale List (GSL) product for external use provided the medicine is pre-packed and the supply is in the course of their professional practice. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has just completed a public consultation exercise on the reclassification of Lamisil 1% Cream and Lamisil 1% Spray from P (Pharmacy) to GSL. Both products are for topical administration. The agency is now considering the responses to the consultation exercise.

Obesity

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have data on the percentages of young children who are malnourished or obese in relation to socio-economic status.[HL633]

Lord Warner: Figures for the percentage of children in England who are obese, as defined by the 95th body mass index (BMI) percentiles of the United Kingdom reference curves, in relation to socio-economic status are available based on data from the Health Survey for England and are shown in the table. No figures are available for the percentage of young children who are malnourished.

Prevalence of child obesity(1) among English children aged 2–15 by age, sex and National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) category of household reference person
Aged 2–15 with a valid BMI measurement2002

NS-SECBoys Girls Total
Age Age
2–56–1011–152–56–1011–152–15
%%%%%%%
Managerial and professional occupations13.711.216.810.816.516.314.3
Intermediate occupations12.117.121.317.717.622.018.2
Small employers and own account workers19.913.915.413.57.520.014.8
Lower supervisory and technical occupations9.719.719.710.818.317.717.0
Semi-routine occupations18.118.220.412.924.521.219.6
Bases (unweighted)7511,2241,1727761,0991,1546,176

(1) equal to or greater than 95th BMI centile

1. Cole TJ, Freeman JV, and Preece MA. Body mass index reference curves for the UK, 1990. Arch. Dis.Child. 1995; 73: 25-29.


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