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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The 200203 annual report and accounts for the Meat Hygiene Service was laid before Parliament today. Copies will be placed in the Library, but formal printing and publication will not occur for another six to eight weeks, pending preparation of a version in Welsh as required by the Welsh Language Act.
Which external organisations have been invited or commissioned to submit evidence to the Derek Wanless review on prevention and the wider determinants of health.[HL3709]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The review will be open to public comment and engagement and will seek to take views and the submission of evidence from a wide range of experts. An invitation to submit comments and evidence will be available on the review's webpage on the HM Treasury website shortly.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Full insurance buy out costs are based on the yields of government and corporate bonds, and reflect the full costs of the Financial Services Authority's solvency requirements, as well as incorporating profit margins for the insurance company concerned. Not all of these elements will be relevant for the proposed Pension Protection Fund (PPF). We propose that the PPF will take in the assets of eligible pension schemes as well as any necessary levy. We do not intend for the PPF to be constrained by a legislative requirement to invest solely in gilts and corporate bonds, and over the medium to longer term, corporate bonds and equities have generally provided higher returns than conventional and indexed-linked gilts.
Allowance was made for there to be a correlation between the size of the pension scheme and the probability of the insolvency of the sponsoring company, but no specific allowance was made for a correlation between the size of a pension deficit and the probability of employer insolvency.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Information Age Partnership (IAP) has not been consulted on the Science and Technology Committee's December 2002 report, Chips for Everything: Britain's opportunities in a key global market.
The IAP identifies the key issues across the IT communications, electronics and content sectors, where partnership between government and industry can make a difference. The IAP is orientated to rapid action, and work is driven forward through industry-led and resourced working groups with government participation.
As regards the whole area of electronics, from design through manufacture, these issues are being addressed by the recently announced Electronics Innovation and Growth Team (EIGT) which has some common membership with the IAP and which will no doubt wish to consider issues raised in Chips for Everything.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: As at February 2003 there were approximately 1,500 to 1,700 wells in Iraq producing oil and 10 operating refineries. (Source US Dept of Energy, Energy Information Administration). No comparable statistics have been made available since the end of the hostilities.
The first tender for Iraq oil produced since the end of hostilities was issued on 3 July 2003 for the sale of 8 million barrels of Basra crude. 9.5 million barrels of Iraqi crude were successfully tendered in June. This was oil produced pre-war and stored during the hostilities.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: It is the intention of Her Majesty's Government that 105 MHz of spectrum at 5.8 GHz (known as band C) will be made available for broadband fixed wireless access services by the end of summer 2003 on a light licensed basis.
Officials in my department and the Radiocommunications Agency are working with the Broadband Stakeholders Group to explore the need for the release of further spectrum to help to achieve the Government's broadband target.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: It is disappointing to see that the United Kingdom has fallen from seventh position to eleventh in the 2003 IDC/World Times Information Society Index. However, of the G7 countries only the USA in eighth position and Canada, 10th, rank higher than the UK in the index. In other recent international surveys the UK has performed
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Commission is empowered by Section 110 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to impose penalties for failure to comply with notices relating to the exercise of its investigation powers under the Act. The Competition Commission (Penalties) Order 2003 specifies the maximum penalties that may be imposed. By virtue of Section 113 of the Act, such penalties must be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
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