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What progress has been made with the Department for Work and Pensions' feasibility study to determine the measurement of extra costs falling on people with long-term disabilities and their carers. [HL1798]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The department published the results of Meeting long-term information needs on disability: a feasibility report in September, in the research report series, number 267. Copies are available in the Library. The feasibility study assessed whether and how it would be possible to meet a range of information needs on disabilityincluding the extra costs of disability.
This review found that there is substantial disagreement over what constitutes the extra costs disabled people may face, and also over how to measure them. Several approaches have been used and, while there is general agreement that disabled people do experience extra costs, results vary significantly as to the level and nature of these costs.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government have not undertaken any studies into the relative merits of subterranean and overhead cables for connecting offshore generation.
To date all power transmission offshore has involved undersea cables. There are a number of severe technical difficulties, which would appear to preclude an overhead pylon system at sea and therefore the feasibility of such a system would be a matter for the electricity industry to consider.
Whether they have proposals to introduce a presumption into planning guidance that, where streets are wide enough and other circumstances are appropriate, permission should be given to add a second or third storey to a house. [HL1852]
Baroness Andrews: Planning for housing policies, currently set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 3 (PPG3), aim to secure sustainable, well-designed development that makes the best use of land, and which is sensitive to the impact it has on the environment and the surrounding area. Where planning applications are made for permission to be given to add a second or third storey to a house, it will be for local planning authorities to consider such applications on their individual merits, having regard to local circumstances set out in their development plans and to the guidance set out in PPG3. The Government do not therefore consider it necessary to introduce into national planning policy guidance the presumption suggested by the noble Lord.
What is the estimated cost of (a) the provision of public services to immigrants; and (b) the capital cost of providing infrastructure to determine the number of immigrants who should be admitted to the United Kingdom. [HL1753]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government do not have precise estimates of the cost of providing public services specifically to migrants. In 2002 the Home Office published research into the net fiscal
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contribution of migrants. This was based on figures for 19992000 and estimated that migrants (defined as foreign born) made a net fiscal contribution of £2.5 billion. This research was recently updated by IPPR based on figures for 200304 (Sriskandarajah, Cooley and Reed: Paying their way: the fiscal contribution of immigrants in the UK, IPPR, London, 2005). This found that migrants (defined as the foreign born) accounted for 9.6 per cent of the population, yet 1 per cent of government revenue and only 9.1 per cent of government expenditure. The Government do not calculate the capital cost of providing infrastructure as a means of determining the number of immigrants who should be admitted to the UK.
Whether they will consider the process of obtaining planning permission, including public inquiries, for major infrastructure and transport projects, which were determined by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. [HL1889]
Baroness Andrews: The Town and Country Planning (Major Infrastructure Project Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2005 (SI 2005/2115) only came into force on 24 August. Supporting guidance was issued in ODPM Circular 07/2005 which states that the new arrangements will be monitored over a five year period and if necessary changes will be considered.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government have noted the content of this useful publication. Many of its recommendations and key concerns are addressed in our document Securing Better Mental Health. We will be addressing other issues in the forthcoming Older People's Mental Health Service Development Guide.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Metropolitan Police Authority has a general duty to secure and maintain an effective and efficient police force in the metropolis. It has a specific duty under the Police Reform Act 2002 to keep itself informed about the nature and handling of all complaints and conduct matters arising in the Metropolitan Police Service. If any disciplinary matters regarding an officer above the rank of chief superintendent arises from the IPCC investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Metropolitan Police Authority must deal with them under the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2004. In regard to the complaint against the commissioner of the metropolis, the Metropolitan Police Authority must deal with it, subject to the requirements of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, in accordance with its statutory responsibilities under the Police Reform Act 2002. If the IPCC determines that the complaint must be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Authority, then the authority must refer the matter to the Secretary of State for the Home Department who will nominate a person to conduct the investigation.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I would like to express my deep regret for the tragic death of Mrs Bates, who was killed by an offender subject to a curfew. The Home Office has issued new guidance to make sure that the electronic monitoring service providers respond to all future curfew violations and report them promptly in line with contractual obligations. The company that was responsible for monitoring the offender has altered its own procedures to bring them into line with our requirements. The Scottish Executive manage a separate contract for electronic monitoring in Scotland. There are no electronic monitoring services in Northern Ireland.
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