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Angela Eagle: The use of animals in experiments and other scientific procedures is strictly regulated by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 which is widely regarded as the most rigorous piece of legislation of its type in the world. It offers a high level of protection to animals whilst recognising the need to use animals in
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research. It also requires the latest ideas and technology to be taken into account when deciding whether the use of animals is justified.
We are working to ensure that the highest possible standards of animal welfare are applied and that animals are used only where it is fully justified. To this end, the Home Office has developed and put in place a strategy to ensure that policy is reviewed continuously as scientific and ethical considerations evolve, checking that the costs to animals are minimised and remain outweighed by the potential benefits of the work; compliance and high standards are reinforced through consistently applied inspection, training, guidance and (if necessary) infringement procedures; the advice of the Inspectorate, other welfare and scientific expertise, and the products of local ethical review processes is harnessed in ensuring that there are no alternatives which either replace animal use entirely, reduce the number of animals needed or refine the procedures to minimise suffering (the 3Rs). It also ensures that these are rigorously applied in every case and that the highest standards of animal welfare are implemented.
It is also our strategy to encourage the development and use of alternatives and relevant databases through research funding and education, and through support for the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM); to take a lead in formulating European policies, standards and targets which neither disadvantage the United Kingdom nor drive work abroad to countries where lower standards apply; to liaise actively with legitimate interest groups and encourage the Animal Procedures Committee to take a more public role and offer broadly based and independent advice to Ministers; and to seek to make the administration of the 1986 Act as transparent as possible.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate the cost of converting the Centrex Site at High Ercall, Shropshire, to a centre for housing asylum seekers; 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 25 March 2002]: The Angel Group is under contract to the National Asylum Support Service to provide accommodation for asylum seekers. I can confirm that no discussions have taken place with the Group or other interested parties into the possibility of using the Centrex site at High Ercall as a centre for housing asylum seekers. Since no discussions have taken place I am unable to estimate the cost of converting the site.
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and their dependants under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 have been increased. Also from 8 April all payments will be paid in cash.
In addition, the Regulations have been amended to extend the prescribed period for discontinuing the support of asylum seekers whose claims have been fully determined. From 8 April when the Secretary of State notifies the claimant that he accepts the asylum claim, or notifies the claimant that the asylum claim is rejected but at the same time gives him limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or where an appeal by the claimant against the Secretary of State's decision has been disposed of (within the meaning of Section 94(4) of the Act) by being allowed, the period is increased from 14 days to 28 days. In any other case, the period is increased from 14 days to 21 days.
Amendments to the Asylum Support (Interim Provisions) Regulations 1999 have also been made. These extend the duration of the Regulations until 5 April 2004; amend the prescribed period for asylum seekers supported by local authorities in the same way as for those supported under Section 95 of the 1999 Act and remove the restrictions on the payment of subsistence support in cash.
|Lone parent aged Qualifying couple 18 or over||£37.77|
|Single person aged 25 or over||£37.77|
|Single person aged at least 18 but under 25||£29.89|
|Person aged at least 16 but under 18 (except a member of a qualifying couple)||£32.50|
|Person aged under 16||£33.50|
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Mr. Burnett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to present to Parliament regular progress reports on the preliminary technical work on the assessment of the five economic tests on the euro. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government has said that it will complete the assessment within two years of the start of this Parliament. Once the assessment is complete, the Government will publish the conclusions and the report.
Ruth Kelly: Figures on incoming tourists by UK region, alongside estimates of their expenditure, are contained in Table 4.11 of the Office for National Statistics 2001 Travel Trends publication (ISBN 0 11 621477 55). This covers years up to and including 2000. Figures for 2001 will be published in the Autumn.
Dawn Primarolo: This Government is committed to abolishing child poverty within a generation and halving it by 2010. As part of this commitment, we recently published a strategy document entitled "Tackling child poverty: giving every child the best possible start in life" which will inform the Budget and Spending Review 2002. As a result of tax and benefit changes announced in the last Parliament, there are now 1.2 million fewer children in poverty than there would otherwise have been.
As part of the next stage of tax and benefit reform, a new tax credit for families with childrenthe Child Tax Creditwill be introduced from 2003, building on the foundation of universal Child Benefit. It will bring together the strands of support for children in Children's Tax Credit, Working Families Tax Credit, Disabled Person's Tax Credit and Income Support/Job Seekers' Allowance, and will be a seamless and transparent system of support for children, paid to the main carer, whether the family is in or out of work. Decisions on rates and thresholds will be set out in Budget 2002.
Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the revenue implications of aligning the national insurance upper earnings limit with the higher rate of tax threshold.
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