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Written Statements

Volume 691: debated on Monday 23 April 2007

Written Statements

Monday 23 April 2007

Mental Capacity Act 2005: Code of Practice

My noble and learned friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor has today issued the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

In accordance with Section 43 of the Act, the code was laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament on 23 February 2007 for a period of 40 days. That period has now elapsed and today the Lord Chancellor has issued the code in its final form.

The Act requires a range of people to have regard to the code; for example, those acting in relation to a person lacking capacity in a paid or professional role. On 1 April 2007, those aspects of the Act relating to independent mental capacity advocates and the new criminal offence of ill-treatment or neglect came into force. Anyone who is required to have regard to the code will need to have regard to it in relation to those matters from 23 April. All other provisions of the Act are due to come into force on 1 October 2007. Those with a duty to have regard to the code will need to have regard to it for all other purposes from that date.

The code of practice will be a valuable source of information and guidance on the Mental Capacity Act and I am convinced that it will play an important role in shaping the way the Act is put into practice.

Monetary Policy Committee

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am delighted that Kate Barker has accepted my invitation to serve for a further three years as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.

Poverty: Households Below Average Income

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (John Hutton) has made the following Statement.

Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06 was published on 27 March 2007. After publication the production team found that an error had occurred because incorrect population estimates were used to generate the dataset for 2005-06, upon which the publication was based.

Most of the key headline figures from the publication are unaffected by this error. Looking at the measures of relative poverty, correcting the error has had no impact on reported child poverty for 2005-06. However, the revised figures do see an increase in reported poverty among working-age adults, which is seen on both the “Before Housing Costs” and “After Housing Costs” measures. The revisions see both measures increase by an extra 100,000 under the rounding conventions, from 5.3 million to 5.4 million on the former basis and from 7.1 million to 7.2 million on the latter basis. Furthermore, although the revisions have no impact on the reported level of relative pensioner poverty, the rounding conventions we use now mean that we no longer see a change in measured pensioner poverty between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Looking at measures of absolute poverty, the correction of the error has similar effects as on the measures of relative poverty, with no increase in reported measures of child poverty or pensioner poverty and a small increase in reported poverty among working-age adults.

Key headline results for the number of households in relative and absolute poverty, including changes as a result of the revisions, are being placed in the House Libraries. These revisions have been quality assured and verified by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The error does require reproduction of all the statistics and the re-release of the report. The changes to the HBAI statistics also affect other DWP publications, specifically Pension Credit Estimates of Take-up 2005-06 and The Pensioners’ Income Series 2005-06, but both to a minor extent, either in terms of the number of tables affected or the extent of the change.

We anticipate the full set of statistics being completed by the first half of May. We will announce a release date through the national statistical website, in line with National Statistics protocols.