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Lord McIntosh of Haringey : The Government have no plans to increase the amount of grant-in-aid provided to the BTA in order to make extra funding available for its sports tourism strategy. The BTA is receiving £36 million of grant-in-aid in 1999-2000 and £37 million in 2000-01 and its work on the sports tourism strategy is being accommodated within these budgets.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman) : The Government have made it clear to the European Commission that we expect the Commission to take legal action against the French Government quickly for France's failure to lift its import ban on British beef. On 14 December the European Commission issued a Reasoned Opinion. The French responded to the Reasoned Opinion on 30 December again refusing to lift their ban. The Commission, therefore, submitted an application to the European Court of Justice on 4 January.
Baroness Hayman: These issues were taken fully into account by the Intervention Board in letting contracts for the Over Thirty Months Scheme (OTMS) services. As a consequence of the tender, some journey times will inevitably increase, but will remain within animal welfare guidelines. Some journey times will decrease. Similarly, some farmers will face increased costs in transporting their animals to an OTMS abattoir; for others the costs will be lower. Sufficient slaughtering capacity has been contracted to deal with the animals coming forward for slaughter in each region. Since the overall slaughtering capacity available to the scheme will remain broadly the same, it is not envisaged that waiting lists or times in lairage will increase. Animals with diseases such that they are certified by a veterinarian as unfit to travel to a slaughterhouse can access the OTMS through the casualty service, which has worked well since it was introduced in 1996. In other cases, such as where an OTMS animal is held under TB restriction, abattoirs are required to process such animals as a priority.
Baroness Hayman : The Veterinary Laboratory Agency has received reports of two confirmed cases of resistance to Psoroptes ovis to organophosphorus sheep dips in the UK. Both were reports of resistance to propetamphos and were in 1995-96.
Table 2 provides details of quantities of small roundwood sold direct by Forest Enteprise to wood processors in the five years up to 1999 and the average price received. However, over half of all the timber sold by Forest Enterprise during the period was sold standing and the proportion of small roundwood in this type of sale is not recorded.
|Year||Small Roundwood (m3)|
|Year||Small Roundwood (m3)||Average Price £|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): No decision has been made to introduce new regulations dealing with police officers who want to apply for service with Europol, although the matter is currently under review within the Home Office.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government are committed to achieving a step change in race equality in this country. The Race Relations (Amendment) Bill is part of our programme to ensure that the public sector sets the pace in this drive towards equality. We want to send the clearest possible message that discrimination is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. The Government are, therefore, proposing two changes to strengthen the provisions of the Bill.
First, after very careful deliberation we have decided to extend the indirect discrimination provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 to the functions of public authorities to be newly caught by the Act and we will bring forward an amendment to provide for that. The Government have always been in favour of this in principle, but were concerned to ensure that such a provision would be effective without leaving public bodies open to routine legal challenge in circumstances where their policies were entirely proper. Since the Bill was published, however, we have listened carefully to the arguments put forward about the issue and have concluded that, on balance, the risk of spurious challenge is outweighed by the principle of including indirect discrimination in respect of public sector functions in the Bill.
Direct and indirect racial discrimination is already prohibited under the Race Relations Act 1976 in the fields of employment, training, education, housing and the provision of goods, facilities and services in respect of the public and private sector. The Act is already being extended by the Bill to new fields in the public sector which have previously been determined by case law not to be a "service" and to which prohibitions on direct or indirect discrimination did not, therefore, apply. The Act will now extend to areas such as the implementation of central and local government's regulatory, economic and social policies and law enforcement in respect of indirect discrimination as well.
Secondly, the Government also see the promotion of equality as a positive way of eliminating unjustifiable indirect discrimination in these and other fields. Our setting of targets for ethnic minority recruitment, retention and promotion and our guidelines for mainstreaming race equality into policy development and implementation are examples. We are already committed to placing the promotion of equality by public bodies on a statutory footing. We will reinforce that commitment by bringing forward a government amendment to the Race Relations (Amendment) Bill to enshrine the principle on the face of the Bill as a positive duty, leaving room for consultation on how the duty will operate in practice and how it will be enforced.
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