HC Deb 24 July 1997 vol 298 cc683-4W
Mr. Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to ensure that those statistics on

The details are set out below. Most of our staff are covered by our own payband system and I have given the approximate civil service grade equivalents for guidance.

(a) poverty and (b) other social issues currently available only on a United Kingdom basis are published on a Scottish basis. [6631]

Mr. Wilson

The Scottish Office, the Office for National Statistics and other Government Departments work closely together to publish a wide range of official statistics for Scotland and for the UK. Working across government, the Government statistical service has recently initiated several related development tasks aimed at improving the range, value and accessibility of official statistics. Scottish Office GSS staff are closely involved in that work. They are reviewing what statistical information is published about Scotland and how it is made available, consulting closely with local authorities, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and other key customers.

Wherever possible, key statistical information is published at both Scotland and UK level. Where data are based on surveys, however, the sample size may be too small to allow statistically reliable data to be produced. In other cases, strict comparisons between Scotland and the rest of the UK may not be possible, or must be treated with caution, because of differences between the systems, such as in education.

The latest edition of "Regional Trends", published by ONS on Thursday 10 July, gives key social and economic statistics for both Scotland and the UK. Information at UK level on those with low incomes is available in "Households Below Average Income", published annually by the Department of Social Security and the latest edition, for 1993–94 data, included some information for Scotland.

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