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Friday, October 14, 2005

Online gambling bills

Victims of failed pension schemes
A financial rescue package for victims of failed company pension schemes should be extended to employees of a firm which wound up its fund while still solvent, MPs urged. The pensions minister, Malcolm Wicks, said the government was considering the case of APW Electronics, but warned it was wary of helping when the employer remained solvent.

Steve Webb, for the Liberal Democrats asked when APW employees would be "put out of their misery" and learn whether they were eligible for the government's financial assistance scheme (FAS).

Cost of the firefighters' strikes
Using the military to provide emergency cover during recent firefighters' strikes cost more than £75m, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said. The sum has now been paid back to the Ministry of Defence as part of the deal struck to ensure fires were put out when firefighters walked out in 2002 and 2003.

In parliament today
The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and his ministers face MPs at question time. There are then two Tory-initiated debates on implementation of the Licensing Act and renegotiation of the Food Supplements Directive. Backbench debates in Westminster Hall include opening hours and the Licensing Act. In the Lords, peers debate the committee stage of the mental capacity bill.