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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: No comprehensive central record is maintained by the Government of attendance at such events. I shall arrange for the noble Lord to receive a copy of the Constitution Unit's own list of participants.
When they intend to answer Written Question HL503 dated 13 January in the name of Lord Chesham.[HL1564]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit's seventh annual report has been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library. The report documents the unit's findings in relation to sporadic, familial, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD) up to 31 December 1998.
Baroness Hayman: Quinquennial reviews of both agencies are now due. They will address the performance of each agency and will re-examine the options ("Prior Options") which were considered before each agency was established. They will look at all options, although they will be informed by the study which we announced on 9 December 1998 to investigate the longer term organisational arrangements--including merger--which would best support the effective regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This study has just been completed and has recommended that the agencies should not be merged at this time. The report of the study has been placed in the Library.
The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): I have arranged for the noble Lord to receive a copy of the graph. I am also arranging to have copies of the graph placed in the Library of the House.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: I refer the noble Lord to the report of the 1996 Scottish House Condition Survey, a copy of which is in the Library. The survey estimated that there were some 109,000 empty houses in Scotland, representing 5 per cent. of the total housing stock. Of these, 64,000 were estimated to be empty temporarily while the property was being sold or re-let, 34,000 were estimated to be empty in the longer term, with the status of the remainder being unknown.
The Government launched its Empty Homes Initiative in 1997 to help local authorities to tackle the problem of empty housing. This initiative encourages councils to assess the scale and nature of the problem in their areas and develop appropriate strategies. It also provides funding to help local authorities bring empty properties back into use to meet housing need. Altogether a total of £24 million has been provided to Scottish local authorities and details of projects to be funded through the third round of the initiative, covering the period 1999-2000 to 2001-02, were announced recently.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: We have no record of having received the noble Lord's letter of 2 January. However, the copy which the noble Lord was kind enough to resubmit is now being considered, and a reply will be sent to him as soon as possible.
What is their estimate of the yield of one penny in the £ on the standard rate of income tax for Scottish taxpayers as provided for in the Scotland Act 1998 after the 20 pence rate has been abolished.[HL1711]
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: It is currently estimated for 2000-01 that the yield from a decision to increase the basic rate of income tax by one penny would be approximately plus or minus £230 million, compared with plus or minus £180 million prior to the abolition of the 20 pence rate.
What is their estimate of the cost to a Scottish taxpayer who pays tax on the full standard rate tax band of the one penny in the £ on the standard rate of income tax as provided for in the Scotland Act 1998 after the 20 pence rate has been abolished.[HL1713]
The purpose of this order is to adjust temporarily the shares of National Lottery income to good causes so as to provide the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) with the additional income we have promised it to launch three new initiatives before the end of the year. Because of higher forecast income than originally anticipated, arts, sports, heritage and charities can also expect an additional £50 million over the life of the operator's licence.
At the end of the 13-week period, the share of lottery income for each of the four original good causes will revert to 16 2/3 per cent. and NOF's to 13 1/3 per cent. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has given guarantees that there will be no further changes to the percentages for those four original good causes up to and beyond the end of the licence.
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