|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Following the Divisional Court judgment in March 1987 in the case of Handscomb (which strictly applied only to discretionary life sentence prisoners), it was decided that the views of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice about the requirements of retribution and deterrence would be obtained in all life sentence cases as soon as possible after sentence. This was introduced in October 1987. At the same time it was decided that the date of the first formal review of the cases of prisoners serving mandatory life sentences would also be fixed as soon as practicable after conviction.
The House of Lords judgment of 24 June 1993 in Doody and others required the Secretary of State to inform mandatory life sentence prisoners of the recommendations made by the judiciary as to the period necessary to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence, and of the substance of any opinions expressed by the judiciary which are relevant to his decision as to the appropriate minimum period to be served to satisfy those requirements. In addition, the judgment required him to afford to the prisoner the opportunity to submit written representations. Although he is not required to adopt the judicial advice, the Secretary of State must give reasons where he decides to depart from it. New procedures to comply with the judgment were introduced on 4 November 1993 as outlined in my right honourable friend's Written Answer of that day in another place.
Baroness Blatch: In 1993, 212 defendants were found guilty of murder in England and Wales. The number of offences currently recorded as homicide which involved shooting during 1993 is 71. According to information available to me, 24 defendants have, to date, been found guilty of murder for offences of homicide involving shooting which occurred during 1993.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): Under the European Community Agreements all goods imported into the Community are, in principle, subject to Customs duty and VAT. The agreements do allow relief from payment of customs duty on importation for postage stamps, covers, and other postal collectables. However the standard rate of VAT applies to these items unless they qualify for relief as antiques or collectors' pieces of historical interest. From 1 June 1995 those items which are currently entitled to relief from VAT will instead be taxed at importation into the United Kingdom on a reduced value, giving an effective VAT rate of 2.5 per cent.
No Customs duties are chargeable in respect of goods in free circulation which are traded between member states. When postage stamps, covers and postal collectables are supplied by a trader registered for VAT in another member state to a trader registered for VAT in the United Kingdom, VAT need not be charged by the EC supplier on despatch of the goods. VAT is due from the United Kingdom trader on acquisition of the goods in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom trader would account for any VAT due, at the rate applicable to the goods, on his normal VAT return and would be able to claim this VAT as input tax on the same return, subject to the normal rules.
When postage stamps, covers and postal collectables are supplied by a VAT-registered EC supplier to a person not registered for VAT in the United Kingdom, VAT would be charged by the supplier in the country of despatch of the goods. No further VAT would be due on the arrival of the goods in the United Kingdom.
Lord Henley: VAT is not chargeable on unused stamps which are valid for postal use in the UK or the Isle of Man provided that the price of the stamp does not exceed its face value; if it does, VAT is chargeable on the excess.
Other stamps, covers and postal collectables are subject to VAT at the standard rate either on the full selling price or, if sold under the optional margin scheme, on the difference between the purchase and selling price.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Notifications of tuberculosis in England and Wales fell from 49,558 in 1950 to 18,937 in 1963 and 5,086 in 1987. They then levelled out and there has been a small increase in recent years. There were 5,961 notifications in 1993.
In response to the small increase in tuberculosis notifications, an Inter-Departmental Working Group to consider policies for control in this country and to recommend best practice has been established. The group will focus on improving screening, prevention and treatment for those groups known to be at higher risk, including the homeless and immigrants from countries with high tuberculosis prevalence.
Earl Ferrers: The Council of Ministers broadly endorsed the Commission Communication at their meeting on 10 April 1995. A copy of the Council's conclusions is enclosed for the noble Lord and another has been placed in the Library of the House.
The Commission Communication is generally in line with long-standing United Kingdom objectives on international investment policy, which are to achieve liberalisation of restrictions on investment and effective protection of United Kingdom investments overseas. The Commission envisages an early start to negotiations in the World Trade Organisation, whereas the Government are anxious that any early preparatory work there should not divert resources from work already under way in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
At its meeting on 5 April 1995 the Permanent Representatives Committee agreed to suggest that the Council, as an "A" item at its meeting on 10 April 1995, approve the draft Council conclusions annexed hereto.
2. Given that this agreement will include provisions covered by joint (Community and national) competence in relation to the Treaty, the Council requests the Commission to submit a formal recommendation for a directive authorising the latter to participate in negotiations opened at the OECD in respect of matters covered by Community competence.
3. These conclusions are without prejudice to the arrangements to be adopted for such participation and for the conduct of the negotiations. The arrangements will have to guarantee close co-operation between the Community and the Member States.
|Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|