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Baroness Hayman: We know that the French authorities are now working to expedite the consideration of claims and to decide them as quickly as possible. Our officials are continuing to work closely with the authorities to ensure that valid claims are dealt with fairly and within the framework of French law, which we understand does not provide for the payment of interest.
Baroness Hayman: The Government are looking closely at the recommendations in this report, many of which are obviously sensible. We will announce our conclusions in due course. Implementation would require primary legislation.
Baroness Hayman: The information available is for households living in Great Britain, an estimated 250,000 of whom owned or rented a second home in Great Britain in 1996-97. This figure excludes second homes owned or rented in Great Britain by people living abroad or in Northern Ireland. The information is from the Survey of English Housing and the ONS Omnibus Survey.
How many United Kingdom households with two or more children live in homes with fewer than three bedrooms.[HL778]
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Office for National Statistics, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent questions on United Kingdom households with three or more bedrooms and with two or more children living in homes with less than three bedrooms.
During 1996-97, 61 per cent. of households in Great Britain lived in accommodation which had three or more bedrooms. For this same year, among families in Great Britain with two or more dependent children, 13 per cent. of these families lived in accommodation with fewer than three bedrooms.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The decision to end duty-free shopping within the European Union on 30 June 1999 was taken by the Council of Finance Ministers in 1991. Any review of that decision has to be for the Council as a whole. The Government have
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government's objective is to see that all those investors who were mis-sold a personal pension receive prompt redress. To this end, the Government have since June 1997 collected and published each month figures from the firms with most cases to review, showing the progress each has made. The latest figures, covering the period to the end of January 1998, were published on 12 February.
However, there is no room for complacency, many cases remain unresolved, and we fully support the regulators in their ongoing efforts to ensure that all firms deal with their caseloads quickly and fairly.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Only services performed in the course of the construction of a building are zero-rated. The services of architects and surveyors are not regarded as being directly connected to the actual construction of a building and are therefore excluded from zero-rating.
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