HC Deb 10 December 1997 vol 302 cc620-1W
Mr. Swinney

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that the range of social and economic statistical information currently provided in respect of the United Kingdom will be provided in respect of Scotland in time for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [19153]

Mr. Wilson

[holding answer 8 December 1997]: In almost all cases, social statistical information published by the Government about the UK is also available about Scotland. Members of the Government Statistical Service working in the Scottish Office are working with colleagues in other Departments to ensure this can continue after the establishment of a Scottish Parliament. My officials are also working with staff in local authorities, the Scottish Health Service and other organisations to develop and improve the range and quality of social statistics available about Scotland.

An extensive range of Scottish economic and labour market statistics is already available for Scotland. Scottish Office economists and statisticians are currently consulting with the Office for National Statistics and with academics, consultants and overseas statistical offices to identify and consider how to meet the likely additional needs of a Scottish Parliament for economic and labour market statistics, both in terms of new information and in providing more detailed, timely and robust estimates of current figures.

These developments are designed to anticipate and meet the information needs of a Scottish Parliament. It will, of course, be for the Parliament itself to determine its own priorities.