|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Jay of Paddington: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health launched the Green Paper Our Healthier Nation on 5 February. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland published the Green Paper Working Together For a Healthier Scotland on the same day. Both Green Papers set out proposals for new strategies for health covering all age groups, and consultation on both documents ran until 30 April.
In England, we have received over 5,500 responses, in Scotland some 800, many of which commented on the Green Papers' implications of the proposals for the health of older people. We shall take all these comments into consideration as we develop the final version of the separate strategies which we plan to publish as White Papers later this year.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland published the strategy for improving the health and social well-being of the people of Northern Ireland, Well Into 2000, in December 1997.
(a) AIDS; and
(b) sexually transmitted diseases.[HL2765]
Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Government allocate funds to the National Health Service for the treatment and care of people with HIV and AIDS and in 1998-99 this budget totalled £228.1 million. These funds are not ring-fenced, but are separately identified. HIV/AIDS prevalence is unevenly distributed and funds are allocated to health authorities broadly on the basis of where treatment takes place.
Treatment costs for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not identified separately. Most people with STDs, including many of those with HIV and AIDS, are likely to be treated in genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics which provide free, open access, confidential
Baroness Jay of Paddington: No such studies have been done. The 1996 Cancer Research Campaign/Department of Health Symposium on cancer and minority ethnic groups in England and Wales concluded that cancer is a common and important cause of death in minority ethnic groups. Overall it is less common among Indian, Caribbean and African ethnic migrants than in the total population. However, Caribbean and African ethnic minorities have higher death rates from liver cancer and prostate cancer and there is a higher death rate from oral cancer amongst Asians. Death rates for breast and cervical cancer are not increased overall in ethnic minorities compared to the general population. The Cancer Research Campaign's fact sheet number 8 on cancer in ethnic minorities living in England and Wales is based on extracts from the report of the symposium, published in the British Journal of Cancer (BJC, Vol 74, Supplement XXIX (1996). Copies of the documents mentioned are available in the Library.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: There will be a number of vacancies in membership of the authority later this year. We are considering how best to ensure that applications for these vacancies are invited from as wide a field of suitable people as possible. This will include advertising in the national press shortly.We also intend to maintain a list of potential candidates for vacancies that arise in future years.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Of those receiving basic state retirement pension, 3,251,080 men and 867,440 women receive full pension based on their own contribution records. In addition to this, 59,040 1 men and 2,488,020 1 women receive full pension based on their spouse's contribution records.
There are three main reasons why women often receive less than a full pension. Married women in work may have elected to pay contributions at a reduced rate on the understanding that they would not be entitled to a pension in their own right. Alternatively, they may have stayed at home to care for children, or decided not to work at all.
For men the main reason for receiving less will be that for significant periods of their working life they neither worked nor claimed benefits in the UK. Alternatively they may have been self-employed and their profits were too small for them to be liable for contributions.
1 Includes category B and category AB pensions.
2 Includes all categories of the basic state pension.
5 per cent. sample of the pensions strategy computer system, at September 1997.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The information which found its way into the press could have been derived from a number of sources as official announcement drew near. The prospects of demonstrating successfully the source of the information is poor and, though we deplore any leak of government proposals in advance of their announcement to Parliament, we concluded that a full formal enquiry would not be justified.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government today published a White Paper entitled Promoting Disabled People's Rights: Creating a Disability Rights Commission fit for the 21st Century, setting out their proposals on the role and functions of a disability rights commission. This has been laid before the House and copies have been placed in the Printed Paper Office.
implement the remaining provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act; and
establish a disability rights commission.
In June we announced that we would be bringing in the provisions within the Disability Discrimination Act which will require service providers to make reasonable adjustments to make their services accessible to disabled customers in two main stages, in 1999 and 2004.
We envisage that the role and functions of the disability rights commission will be broadly similar to those of the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality. Our proposals aim to take account of over twenty years of experience gained by equality commissions here and abroad in combating discrimination. We want to create a disability rights commission fit for the 21st century.
The commission will make a large contribution to ending discrimination against disabled people and enabling them to play a full part in society. Discrimination against disabled people remains all too extensive and is totally unacceptable. The commission will provide disabled people with support to sustain the rights which the law creates for them. It will promote conciliation and, where necessary, enforcement. But its role will also be to promote good practice and educate, and it will provide a central source of information and advice to employers and service providers to assist them in meeting their duties.
The commission must be credible with all stakeholders. The body of commissioners between them will need to have sufficient diversity of experience to be able to take account of the interests of all disabled people and to reflect the interests of all key stakeholders, including those of small businesses. We intend that at all times a majority of the commissioners should be disabled.
promote the equalisation of opportunities for disabled people with those of non-disabled people;
promote good practice; and
advise the Government on the operation of the Disability Discrimination Act and other relevant existing legislation, and any future legislation dealing with discrimination against disabled people, and whether changes need to be made to it.
assist individuals in securing their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act and other relevant domestic legislation, under any legislation resulting from the implementation of relevant European Union directives and under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights which makes it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people in the enjoyment of their rights under the convention;
prepare and review statutory codes of practice containing practical guidance on what is necessary to comply with legislation. The commission will have a duty to publish a draft of any codes which it prepares for consultation;
arrange for the provision of an independent conciliation service in respect of access to goods, facilities, services and premises and monitor the performance of that service. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) will
We believe that a disability rights commission is essential in tackling discrimination against disabled people and to promote an inclusive and just society. We invite comments on our White Paper by October 16 and will introduce legislation to establish the commission as soon as the parliamentary timetable allows.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page