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The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The reduction in benefit expenditure, and hence in the burden on the taxpayer, estimated at the time of the launch of the Child Support Agency was £530 million (93/94); £665 million (94/95); £805 million (95/96). Savings beyond that period were estimated to be of the order of £800 million a year.
Lord Lucas: Allocations for School effectiveness (SE) funding in 199596, which includes basic curriculum and assessment in its coverage, were offered to every LEA by a formula based on school and pupil numbers, rather than by a bidding process. No LEA has turned down the original SE funding offered, although 10 have asked for less money.
Lord Lucas: Since 199293, in England and Wales, data has been collected on a combined basis for expenditure on books and equipment. The previous split between books and equipment had become increasingly arbitrary, and not all local authorities' returns gave separate figures for the two. With increasing delegation of budgets, schools did not always separate their expenditure on books from that relating to the growing use of computers, tapes, videos and other non-printed matter.
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): Estimates of waste arisings in the UK are generally very imprecise. An annual series, showing trends over time, is not available for most types of waste. The fall of approximately 300 million tonnes in UK waste arisings between the figures quoted in 1992 and that quoted in 1993 is not therefore a reflection of a reduction in the amount of waste produced; it is primarily a result of a revision of both the definition of wastes and the methods used to estimate waste arisings. The main changes are a reduction of around 120 million tonnes in estimates of wastes from mining and quarrying activities, which were previously thought to be overestimated, and a reduction of around 170 million tonnes in estimates of agricultural waste, to exclude waste from grazing animals which was previously included in the estimate (only housed animal waste is now included). A fuller description of the changes was given in the Digest of Environmental Protection and Water Statistics. No. 14 and No. 15.
The topics covered in Social Trends change from year to year to maintain topicality and ensure that over a period of time a wide range of topics and sources are covered. Statistics on UK waste arisings were omitted from the 1995 edition of Social Trends because figures were unchanged from those available in 1994.
What proportion of the statutory instruments laid before Parliament in: (i) the first three months of 1995; (ii) each of the last five years; (iii) 1985; (iv) 1980; were instruments which translated European Communities legislation into United Kingdom law; and
How many of the negative statutory instruments laid before Parliament in: (i) the first three months of 1995; (ii) each of the last five years; (iii) 1985; (iv) 1980; were (a) passed without debate; (b) debated;
Lord Inglewood: The "acquis communautaire" is not defined in the Community treaties. It is the sum of what has been achieved since the founding of the Communities by the development and establishment of Community law and practice. This can be developed and changed wherever appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the treaties. Examples of change include the subsidiary review of existing legislation and the deregulation initiative undertaken by the Commission at the Brussels European Council in December 1993. This initiative has the support of all the member states of the Union.
Lord Inglewood: The European Commission has 121 diplomatic missions in countries outside the EU's borders. These offices perform some of the functions of a diplomatic mission. The European Parliament and the Council have no representations outside the European Union. The Commission has published full information on the activities of its representatives abroad in its General Report on the Activities of the European Union in 1994 a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Lord Inglewood: The fact that the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands had decided not to renew their acceptance of the right of individual petition under Article 25 of the European Convention on Human Rights was brought to the attention of the Human Rights Committee in the course of the presentation to the Committee of the United Kingdom's third periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): The Government have made an order increasing London taxi fares by about 4.44 per cent. on average with effect from Saturday 22 April 1995. The new tariff will incorporate a minimum fare of £1.20 (including a hire charge of 80p) for the first 513 metres (561.22 yards) or 111 seconds. The rate will then be 20p for every 256.5 metres (280.61 yards) or 55.5 seconds up to 6 miles and 20p for each 171 metres (187.07 yards) or 37 seconds thereafter. The Government have decided that there will be no increase this year in the fees for London taxi driver and vehicle licences, currently £87 and £78 respectively.
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