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Written Answers

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday 25 June 2003

Transport

Motorways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a statement on his assessment of the merits of widening motorways; [121022](2) if he will make a statement on the environmental impacts of increased road building in the midlands. [121023]

The merits and impacts of individual proposals, including motorway widening, are assessed as part of the appraisal and decision taking process. The appraisal covers the expected impact on road safety, journey time and reliability, regeneration, accessibility, integration and the environment. Among the environmental impacts measured in the appraisal are the effects on the scheme on noise, local air quality, greenhouse gases, biodiversity, heritage, landscape and townscape. Full details are provided in the Department's Guidance on the Methodology for Multi-Modal Studies, available on the Department's website.

Vehicle Excise Duty

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many instances there were of vehicle excise duty evasion in (a) England and (b) London broken down by local authority, in each year since 1997. [121523]

The estimated number of vehicles evading Vehicle Excise Duty in each year since 1997 in (a)England and (b)London is as follows:

Thousands
1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–03
England1,424.11,472.71,336.31,403.11,481.41,559.6
London178.8184.6161.8171.0179.1187.2
A breakdown of evasion by local authority area could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
MinisterDateEngagementRegion
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald12 July 2002Hermitage education lecture, DurhamNorth-east
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald5 August 2002Duchy of Lancaster reception, Preston Visit to Yorkshire Forward and launch of YorkshireNorth-west
Minister of State, Cabinet Office, Douglas Alexander9 September 2002Grocers' website Commonwealth Association of Public Administration event:Yorkshire and the Humber
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald10 September 2002"Getting Service Delivery Right", GlasgowScotland
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald26 November 2002Visit to Emergency Planning College, EasingwoldYorkshire and the Humber
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald29 November 2002Visit to Brighton College and Brighton and Hove CouncilSouth-east
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Lord Macdonald6 December 2002Government Procurement Service Conference, BrightonSouth-east
Minister of State, Cabinet Office, Douglas Alexander13 March 2003Speech on devolution, OxfordSouth-east

Cabinet Office

Civil Service

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office from which employment sectors outside appointments to the senior civil service were recruited in the last two years. [116829]

Information is published annually by the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners. Their breakdown of appointments to the senior civil service through open competition is as follows:

Number
2000–01
Civil service77
Other public sector98
Private sector27
2001–02
Civil service77
Other public sector86
Private sector37
2002–03
Civil service42
Other public sector47
Private sector56
Voluntary sector1
Since 16 July 2002 the commissioners have only collected information on open competitions for SCS top management posts as Departments were given authority to run their own open competitions for former grade 5 posts. Prior to this date they collected information on all SCS posts that were put out to open competition. For consistency this answer refers to the commissioners figures.

Ministerial Visits

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list the Cabinet Office Ministers' UK visits broken down by region for May 2002 to May 2003. [120244]

Details of UK visits undertaken by me and Lord Macdonald of Tradeston, between May 2002 and May 2003 are set out in the table.Visits within England are broken down by Government office administrative region. Internal meetings held at locations outside London are not included.

Treasury

Drug Seizures

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made of the quantity of (a) heroin, (b) cocaine and (c) cannabis that escaped detection while being imported into the UK. [121680]

The National Criminal Intelligence Service's published Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2002 estimates that around 30 tonnes of heroin and 40 tonnes of cocaine are smuggled annually into the UK. There is no estimate for cannabis.

Unpaid Carers

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many unpaid carers there are in (a) England, (b) Suffolk, (c) Norfolk, (d) Cambridgeshire and (e) Essex; and what percentage of unpaid carers are working over 50 hours per week. [120417]

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. David Ruffley, dated 25 June 2003:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many unpaid carers there are in (a) England, (b) Suffolk, (c) Norfolk, (d) Cambridgeshire and (e) Essex; and what percentage of unpaid carers are working over 50 hours per week.

The number of people providing unpaid care and percentage of people who provide unpaid care for 50 or more hours a week recorded in the 2001 Census is shown in Table KS08 of the 2001 Census Report on Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales, which was published on 13 February. A copy of this report was placed in the House of Commons library and is also available or the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk statbase/Expodata/Spreadsheets/D6565.xls(Table KS08 Health and Provision of unpaid care).

I have extracted the following figures from the published table.

Provision of unpaid care in the 2001 Census

Number of people who provide unpaid care

Percentage of people who provide unpaid care, who do so for 50 or more hours a week

(a) England

4,877,06020.48

(b)Suffolk

66,48618.92

(c)Norfolk

81,65320.62

(d)Cambridgeshire

50,67317.01

(e)Essex

129,23618.71

source:

2001 Census Report on Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales, Table KS08, ONS

Aviation Fuel

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how much the Treasury would receive per year if aviation fuel was taxed at till same rate as fuel used by the private motorist; and how much income was received from passenger taxes in 2002–03. [121614]

Levying duty on commercial aviation turbine fuel in the UK at the same duty rate as that charged on ultra low sulphur petrol which is currently 45.82 pence per litre, would have raised approximately £6.3 billion in 2002–03, assuming no impact on demand or supply.The revenue raised by the Exchequer from the Air Passenger Duty in 2002–03, as published in this year's Financial Statement and Budget Report (HC 500), is estimated to be £0.8 billion.

Credit Unions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to promote and develop the use of credit unions; and if he will make a statement. [121632]

The Government support credit unions, and the role they play in providing access to affordable credit and alleviating financial exclusion. We are keen to create an environment in which the movement can grow and prosper. For example, we have undertaken a programme of legislative reform to help improve the operational flexibility of credit unions and increase the number of services they can offer their members.We are continuing to work with the sector to see how we can support and encourage its future development.

Energy Efficiency Investment

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on delay in the instigation of the second phase of the consultation exercise on fiscal instruments to promote investment in energy efficiency. [121058]

The Government consulted on the case for using economic instruments to improve household energy efficiency during 2002 and a summary of responses was published on the Treasury website it January 2003.As announced in Budget 2003, having full considered the responses the Government intend to undertake further detailed consultation on specific measures to encourage household energy efficient shortly.

European Economic Convergence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his statement of 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 411, on economic and monetary union what discussions he has had with the Deputy Prime Minister concerning his intention to build on and extent the reforms already announced in respect of planning and supply in the housing market. [121436]

The Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister are in regular and frequent contact on a wide range of issues including the proposals announced in the statement of 9 June concerning planning and supply.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research he has commissioned into the link between the growth in house prices and consumption in countries in the eurozone. [121526]

I refer the hon. Member to the EMU study 'Housing, consumption and EMU' published alongside the assessment of the five economic tests on 9 June 2003.

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 4 June 2003, Official Report, column 429W, if he has made an assessment of why companies have not taken advantage of these tax incentives. [119208]

At the recent Evian Summit the G8 agreed to ask the IMF and World bank to intensify their efforts to secure the full participation of all creditors, and to explore further options to deal with the issue of creditor litigation. The Government are absolutely committed to the rapid and full implementation of the HIPC initiative and will continue to use future meetings of the IMF and the World bank to push for greater efforts on debt relief.In the UK, tax relief is available to commercial creditors on bad debts owed by overseas states, including HIPCs, and the sovereign debt legislation provides certainty that debts owed by sovereign states could meet the conditions for bad debt relief.The Government encourage all commercial creditors to make full use of all the reliefs available to them under this legislation and play their full part in the HIPC process.

Inflation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications for the proposed move to HICP of the trend in the gap between the RPIX measure of inflation and the HICP measure of inflation. [121566]

I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 412, in which he said that the advantage of the internationally recognised index of consumer prices—HICP—is that it is a better measure, will improve the quality of our target, is in line with best international practice and is used by every other G7 nation but Japan, and by our neighbours in Europe. The Chancellor also said (Official Report, column 414) that, subject to confirmation at the time of the Pre-Budget Report, he intends to change the inflation target at that time.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of changing the measurement used for the Monetary Policy Committee's inflation target on (a) the effectiveness of future monetary policy and (b) the credibility of monetary policy. [121441]

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 412 in which he said that the HICP was a better measure of inflation for setting monetary policy, would improve the quality of our target, and was in line with best international practice.

Inland Revenue (Scottish Charities)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will instruct the Inland Revenue to investigate the compliance with Scottish charity law of (a) Solutions RMC Ltd. and (b) Breast Cancer Research Scotland. [121202]

In Scotland, responsibility for the supervision and regulation of charities is exercised by the Scottish Charities Office, on behalf of the Lord Advocate. The Inland Revenue has no responsibility for the conduct of charities, other than in respect of their tax affairs.

Sniffer Dogs

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many hours a week sniffer-dogs are used to identify illegal meat imports at (a) ports and (b) airports. [121628]

The information requested is not available; Exemption 4 (Law Enforcement and legal proceedings) of the Open Government Code applies to all such information about Customs anti-smuggling activities.

Environment, Food And Rural Affairs

Air Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action will be taken by the Environment Agency in respect of the air quality problems suffered in Castle Point over the last five months. [121541]

The Environment Agency will continue its investigations into the cause of recent air quality problems and when completed, will decide on action in accordance with it's enforcement and prosecution policy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has for improved air quality monitoring for Castle Point and the surrounding areas; [121542](2) what contingency plans she has put in place to deal with future air quality problems in Castle Point and surrounding areas. [121543]

The Environment Agency confirm that there are improved procedures in place at the Pitsea landfill site to monitor and respond to odours produced by the site. Odour checks are carried out by the site operator twice daily, with off site checks carried out weekly. More comprehensive surveys are undertaken bimonthly. The site's odour action plan has been revised in the light of recent events to provide a better response to any odours identified.

Bushmeat

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the quantity of bushmeat that has arrived in the United Kingdom from African countries in each of the last three years. [120587]

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency published a risk assessment report on 25 March 2003. This estimated the amount of illegal meat of any type imported annually, on average, to be 7,500 tonnes, with 90 per cent. certainty that the amount of illegal meat imported will range from 2,800 tonnes to 17,500 tonnes per year. Table 6–6 indicates that bushmeat contributes on average 6 per cent. of the estimated total flow of illegal meat. Table 6–1, which shows the contribution by world region to the total estimate of illegal flow of meat into GB, indicates that about 23 per cent. of the total comes from African countries. Most—but not all—bushmeat comes from African countries.Copies of the report have been placed in the House Libraries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for International Development on controlling the commercial exploitation of bushmeat. [121080]

We are in regular contact at Ministerial and official level with the Department for International Development. Most recently, I met the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Hilary Benn), on 10 June to discuss a range of issues, including action to deal with the trade in bushmeat.

Compensation Claims

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Rural Payments Agency and British Cattle Movement Service claims remain outstanding; what steps are being taken to clear these claims up; and if she will make a statement. [120536]

All claims under CAP Bovine Schemes in England are paid by the Rural Payments Agency. All involve cross checking of claim details with records maintained by the British Cattle Movement Service on the Cattle Tracing System.As at 20 June there were 41,762 advance payments outstanding compared with a scheme total of 242,817 for 2003. At the same date there were 191,358 balance payments outstanding.Outstanding advance payments will be paid with the balance payment as a single payment.Although the Regulations require payments to be made by 30 June, the UK and several other member states have made representations to the European Commission for extra time in which to complete the process because the introductions this year of a system of aggregated penalties has necessitated extensive redevelopment of the computer system needed to process claims and make the payments.Every effort is being made to clear the outstanding payments as quickly as possible. Up-to-date information is posted on the RPA's website www.rpa.gov.uk and information is provided to the press from time to time.

Dairy Farmers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy that direct payments made to dairy farmers under the single farm payment scheme will be allocated only to active producers. [120266]

We agree that, at the outset, dairy compensation payments should be directed to dairy farmers rather than to those who have already left the sector. But with decoupling proposals, single farm payments would not require recipients to remain in dairy thereafter, providing that their land remained in cross compliance. This is all subject to the continuing negotiations on the CAP reform package.

Euro Roadshow

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the events she plans to attend as part of the Government's euro roadshow. [121387]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard), on 20 June 2003, Official Report, column 458W, by my hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth (Mr. Healey).

Farming Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 11 June 2003, Official Report, column 875W, on farming subsidies, if she will break down the figure for subsidy in 2001–02 indicating (a) what was subsidised, and by how much and (b) how much of the subsidy was supplied from each funding source; and if she will make a statement. [120014]

In 2001–02 public expenditure under the CAP and on national grants and subsidies was £4,664 million. The amount is broken down in table 9.1 of the Defra publication "Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2002", which is available in the Library of the House. This indicates the amounts falling either to the EU or the UK budget. Payments for market support and certain payments for rural development will not all have been received directly by the farming industry.In addition, UK farmers benefited from the effect of the market regimes and import tariffs, which kept the price of many commodities in the EU higher than elsewhere. The cost of this will have fallen to consumers. In 2000, the latest year for which UK figures are available, we estimate that the CAP cost UK consumers around £3.5 billion through higher prices.

Gm Crops

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the antibiotics to which marker genes used in the production of genetically modified crops convey resistance and the medical uses of those antibiotics. [121657]

The following table lists antibiotics to which marker genes used in the development of genetically modified crops convey resistance and their medical uses in the UK.

Antibiotic

Medical uses

Kanamycinvery little therapeutic use, no licensed products in the UK
NeomycinVarious eye drops, dermatology preparations for topical treatment, bowel sterilisation before surgery
AmpicillinA broad spectrum antibiotic, urinary and respiratory tract infections
AmoxyciUinA broad spectrum antibiotic, urinary and respiratory tract infections, prevention of endocarditis
HygromycinNot licensed in the UK

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which antibiotic marker genes are no longer in use in the genetic modification of plant crops; [121658](2) what progress has been made in phasing out the use of antibiotic marker genes in the genetic modification of plant crops. [121660]

There is no current list of antibiotic resistance markers that cannot be used in the genetic modification of plant crops. Article 4(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC refers to the phasing out of genes expressing resistance to antibiotics which may have adverse effects on human health and the environment or are of use in medical or veterinary treatment. This phasing out must take place by 31 December 2004 in the case of GM crop plants for marketing and by 31 December 2008 in the case of the release of GM crop plants for research and development purposes. In accordance with this requirement the Commission has established an expert working group to address the use of antibiotic resistance marker (ARMs) genes that GMOs may contain and will aim to produce a list of ARMs which must be phased out.The Advisory Committee on Release to the Environment (ACRE) encourages the avoidance and minimisation of the use and expression of superfluous transgenes or sequences in the development of GM crops, including reduced use of marker genes such as ARMs

1 . Antibiotic maker genes which are considered to have adverse effects on human health or the environment have not been approved for either research and development or commercial releases of GM crop plants.

1 Guidance on Principles of Best Practice in the Design of Genetically Modified Plants; available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ acre/bestprac/guidance/index.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the antibiotic marker genes, and the antibiotics to which they convey resistance, that are in use in the genetic modification of plant crops. [121659]

The table lists the antibiotic resistance marker genes and the antibiotics to which they convey resistance, which have been used in the genetic modification of crop plants for research releases in the United Kingdom.

GeneAntibiotic
nptll or neoKanamycin and Neomycin
blaAmpicillin and Amoxycillin
hptllHygromycin

The intact nptll gene is present in some of the GM crop plants which have received marketing authorisation. The bla gene has been used in the development of some commercial GM crop plants however a fully functional coding gene is not present in any GM plants which have received marketing authorisation in the EU.

Marine Stewardship Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list those fisheries which have been awarded grants towards attaining Marine Stewardship Council certification; and what plans she has to publicise them. [117811]

[holding answer 9 June 2003]: Defra has awarded grants under the European Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance towards four fisheries seeking or renewing Marine Stewardship Council fisheries accreditation: the South West handline mackerel fishery; and Dover sole, mackerel and herring caught by the Hastings fishing fleet. South West PESCA Ltd, the Objective 1 grant facilitator in Cornwall, has issued a news release in connection with the former, and Hastings Borough Council is planning to issue a news release shortly in connection with the latter three.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to publicise the work of the Marine Stewardship Council on her Department's website. [117813]

[holding answer 9 June 2003]: The Government welcome the fact that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) encourages and rewards environmentally responsible fisheries management and practices. However, responsibility for publicising the work of the MSC—an independent organisation—lies with the MSC itself.

Ospar

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times OSPAR Radioactive Substances Committee met between the OSPAR Conference in Sintra in July 1998 and 31 May 2003; how many reports the Committee published; what the subject matters addressed by the Committee were; and if he will make a statement. [120113]

The Radioactive Substances Committee (formally the Working Group on Radioactive Substances) has met on six occasions since the OSPAR Conference in Sintra in July 1998 to discuss matters relating to the implementation of the OSPAR Strategy for Radioactive Substances. Copies of the Summary Records of the RSC meetings are available on the OSPAR website at: www.ospar.org The Committee has published eight reports since 1998, as follows:

Liquid Discharges from Nuclear Installations in 1996. ISBN 0 946955 85 9, published 1998;
Summary of the Report on Sources, Inputs and Temporal Trends on Radioactive Discharges from Nuclear Installations for the years 1989 to 1995. ISBN number as above, published 1998;
Liquid Discharges from Nuclear Installations in 1997. ISBN 0 946955 91 3, published 1999:
Summary of the Reports Submitted in the Second Round of Implementation Reporting in Accordance with PARCOM Recommendation 91/4. ISBN number as above, published 1999;
Liquid Discharges from Nuclear Installations in 1998. ISBN 0 946955 97 2, published 2001;
Liquid Discharges from Nuclear Installations in 1999. ISBN 0 946956 63 4, published 2001;
Liquid Discharges from Nuclear Installations in 2000. ISBN 0 946956 91 X, published 2002; and
Discharges of Radioactive Substances into the Maritime Area by Non-nuclear Industry. ISBN 0 946956 90 1, published 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why OSPAR's Radioactive Substances Committee was unable in February 2003 to reach agreement on the baseline for discharges of radioactive waste from the Sellafield Nuclear Re-processing Plant into the Irish Sea; and if she will make a statement. [120114]

The establishment of a baseline in relation to the OSPAR Strategy for radioactive substances covers radioactive discharges from all nuclear and non-nuclear sources into the marine environment, concentrations in the marine environment and resulting doses to members of the public. Broad agreement has already been reached by the Radioactive Substances Committee on the methodology for establishing a baseline, including the principle that it should use annual values averaged over a period of several years. I am confident that agreement can be reached at the forthcoming OSPAR meeting in Bremen on the spread of years this period should cover.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the United Kingdom policies on radioactive discharges that will be put to the OSPAR ministerial meeting in Bremen; and if she will place in the Library copies of documents being submitted by the UK to the OSPAR meeting. [120786]

Radioactive substances is one of a number of issues being considered at the OSPAR Commission meeting in Bremen from 23 to 27 June. There will be a Ministerial session on 25 and 26 June.The meeting will consider the progress made in implementing the commitments agreed at the last ministerial meeting in 1998. All Contracting Parties have submitted national reports to the OSPAR Commission. The United Kingdom's report—the UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges 2001–2002—was published in July 2002. Copies were placed in the Library at the time.

Agriculture Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she estimates British agriculture is likely to benefit through Pillar 2 funding in the next 12 months. [121269]

[holding answer 23 June 2003]: Pillar 2 of the CAP is aimed at strengthening the agricultural and forestry sectors, improving the competitiveness of rural businesses and preserving the environment and rural heritage. Rural Development Programmes drawn up by EU member states set out how the Pillar 2 measures, as detailed in the EC Rural Development Regulation, will be implemented over the period 2000 to 2006.Copies of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) and the separate programmes covering Wales and Scotland are in the Library, and they may also be viewed on the websites of the respective Departments. The programmes define the scope and objectives of a number of grant schemes, the expected benefits to the environment, the rural economy and rural communities which are expected to have been secured by the end of the Programmes, together with indicative financial budgets. In the 2003–04 financial year, the total budget allocated to the ERDP is approximately £255 million, of which almost £100 million is from the EU.The agricultural sector is the principal recipient of ERDP funding, but the benefits will accrue to rural communities as a whole; those benefits accruing to agriculture alone cannot be identified separately.

Recycling Targets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list local authorities that are (a) failing to meet Government recycling targets, (b) expected to meet them and (c) exceeding them; and what estimate she has made of performance against targets for recycling in England in (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05. [120778]

Local authority Statutory Performance Standards (`targets') for recycling and composting of household waste have been set for the years 2003–04 and 2005–06. Local authorities will submit performance data, against which the 2003–04 targets will be measured, to the Audit Commission in Summer 2004 and audited performance figures will be available towards the end of 2004.Targets for individual authorities are published on Defra's website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ waste/management/guidance/mwms/10.htm.The most recent data on progress to targets are for 2001–02. According to those figures there is a big difference amongst authorities in their progress to their individual 2003–04 targets: 12 per cent. of authorities are already recycling at the individual target level, but 16 per cent. have over 15 per cent. to go.The intention to set targets for local authorities was set out in Waste Strategy 2000 and it is likely that many authorities have put, or are putting, schemes in place, the effects of which will not show up in data until 2002–03 or 2003–04.The Audit Commission will make audited performance figures for the year 2002–03 available later this year.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the Department's Regulatory Impact Assessment procedure; and how many RIAs have been reviewed in respect of the Department over the last year. [120847]

A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) must be completed for all policy proposals that have a potential impact on businesses, charities or the voluntary sector. It includes details of the arrangements for monitoring and evaluating policy proposals and their impact.Information on the number of RIAs that have been reviewed in the last year is not held.From this year the National Audit Office (NAO) has a new role in independently evaluating a selection of RIAs. In their Annual Report, published in February 2003, the Better Regulation Task Force put forward suggestions of RIAs for the NAO to review.The NAO review will focus on the quality of analysis in the RIAs and the thoroughness with which the RIAs have been undertaken. The findings and recommendations of best practice will be fed back to departments. It will play a valuable part in driving up standards of RIAs.

Sewel Motions (Scottish Parliament)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list Sewel motions passed by the Scottish Parliament since May 1999 that apply to her Department's responsibilities and Government Bills she has sponsored. [120694]

Since Defra came into being on 8 June 2001, the Department has sponsored one Bill that was the subject of a Sewel motion in the Scottish Parliament on the date indicated.

Waste and Emissions Trading Bill (28 November 2002).

MAFF sponsored

Food Standards Bill (23 June 1999), which is now the responsibility of the Department of Health.
Sea Fishing Grants (Charges) Bill (8 December 1999).

Sickness Absence Targets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of whether the sickness absence reduction target for 2002–03 in her Department will be met. [120898]

Our target is based on the calendar year rather than the financial year. The Department is committed to the effective management of sickness absence, and to working towards its Service Delivery Agreement target of an average of 6.9 days per year, by 31 December 2003.Looking back to before the creation of Defra, available data show a reduction from 9.8 days in 1999 to nine days in 2000 and 7.4 days in 2001. The data for 2001 are not broken down to take into account the creation of Defra in June of that year. Figures for sickness absence in 2002 will be available, via the Cabinet Office, in July 2003.

Sunset Clauses

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to include a sunset clause in all new legislation promoted by her Department unless a specific case can be made to exclude a sunset clause. [120849]

The revised RIA guidance 'Better Policy Making: A Guide to Regulatory Impact Assessments' was published on 28 January 2003. It advises policy officials to consider time limiting or sunsetting at an early stage of policy development and gives specific examples of where sunsetting may be appropriate.Defra actively promotes the better regulation agenda and the use of sunsetting where appropriate.

Waste Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the total cost since May 1997 including (a) employment on-costs and (b) legal advice commissioned by her Department in connection with action taken following contact received from the European Commission in respect of the UK's non-compliance with EU Directives and Regulation relating to waste. [120519]

Employment and legal costs associated with infraction proceedings are not separately identified in the Department's accounts and it would not be feasible to compile these costs from historical records. The requested information is not therefore available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the United Kingdom's performance was in 2002 against the recovery and recycling targets in the EC directive on packaging and packaging waste; and if she will make a statement; [120777](2) what new recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2003 have been set; and if she will make a statement. [120899]

The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste set targets of 50 per cent. recovery, 25 per cent. recycling and 15 per cent. recycling of each specified material which had to be met by 2001.Provisional figures for the United Kingdom for 2002, which were made public on 16 May, suggested a 53.6 per cent. recovery and 47.5 per cent. recycling rate had been achieved. However, as noted then, some figures may have to be adjusted in light of a fact-finding mission to look at possible inappropriate issue of Packaging Waste Recovery Notes in 2002. In addition, as the Information Bulletin noted, the figure for the amount of wood flowing into the waste stream might have to be adjusted. Such changes will affect the final level of recovery and recycling.Targets for 2003 were set in October 2002 and remain as announced then, that is 59 per cent. for recovery and 19 per cent. material-specific recycling. We are preparing a consultation document on possible future targets for 2004 to 2008 and hope to publish this next month.

Windows

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research has been conducted by and for her Department on the environmental impact of (a) wood, (b) plastic and (c) other material used in windows; and if she will place copies of documents published in the Library. [120521]

A life-cycle assessment of PVC and a range of alternative materials was published by the then DETR in September 2000. It included an assessment of the environmental impact of a wooden window frame in comparison to a PVC frame. Comparisons with other materials were made for other common uses of PVC ie packaging, drain pipes and flooring material. A copy of the report was placed in the Library at that time and a summary document aimed at the non-specialist is available on the Defra website at (www.defraweb/environment/consult/pvc/index.htm

Minister For Women

Graduates (Earning Differences)

To ask the Minister for Women what recent assessment she has made of the differences in earnings between male and female graduates during their working lives and the reasons for such differences. [120515]

The table shows recent analysis of the differences in earnings between male and female graduates in the UK.

Average annual earnings of graduates, 1999–2000
AgeMen (£)Women (£)Percentage by which average male earnings exceeded those with females
20 to 2416,73814,59214.7
25 to 2923,30220,15415.6
30 to 3430,44824,93922.1
35 to 3936,94827,77433.2
40 to 4436,94926,69138.4
45 to 4936,69626,11340.5
50 to 5438,15326,54943.7
All ages under 6032,55523,63037.8

Source:

Labour Force Survey, September 1999 to August 2000 (pooled data).

This is a complex area and recent surveys offer various opinions for such differences. Relevant factors which contribute to an earnings gap between men and women at the early stages of their careers include the different career choices made by men and women and their different academic backgrounds and skills. The largest recent survey of final year under graduates indicates that women have systematically lower expectations than men of the salaries they will earn, both in their first posts and five years later.

Earnings differentials widen with age. This can be explained to some extent by the differences in labour market participation rates, employment continuity records, longer hours worked by male than female full-time employees and women's greater likelihood of having worked part-time for some or all of their careers.

Wales

Departmental Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many Ministers there were in the Welsh Office and Office of the Secretary of State for Wales in each year since 1996. [120985]

The Welsh Office had one Secretary of State and two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State from 1996 until its demise in 1999; since then the Wales Office has had one Secretary of State and one Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.

Foot And Mouth

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the impact of the foot and mouth epidemic and 11 September on tourism into Wales. [118526]

None; responsibility for tourism is devolved to the National Assembly for Wales. However, figures released by the Wales Tourist Board for the Easter holiday weekend 2003, suggests that with 78 per cent. of the businesses contacted in the survey fully occupied, Wales has had a successful start to the 2003 tourist season.

Sub Post Offices

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many sub-post offices there were in Wales in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002. [117520]

In 2002 there were 1,355 sub-post offices in Wales.No figures were collected for 1997.

Source:

Royal Mail Group PLC

Wales Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the estimated (a) administrative costs and (b) budget for the Wales Office are for 2003–04; and how these have changed following the changes set out in the Prime Minister's statement of 18 June. [121479]

The Wales Departmental Expenditure Limit for 2003–04 is £11.055 billion, within which the running costs of the Wales Office amounts to £4.154 million.These figures have not changed since the 18 June statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his London office address is. [121476]

Welsh Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of his time he expects to spend on Welsh affairs following his additional responsibility as Leader of the House. [120787]

I intend to spend as much time as is necessary to fulfil my responsibilities as Secretary of State for Wales, including spending the same proportion of time in Wales as has been the case previously.

Scotland

Health Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how much has been paid by Scottish NHS trusts to English trusts for the treatment of patients in NHS hospitals in England, broken down by trust areas, in each of the last five years; [114770]

Out of area transfers from Scottish health boards to English NHS trusts
£
Health board1999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–04
Argyll and Clyde729,513618,678495,338424,812446,496
Ayrshire and Arran764,038585,990682,494489,166514,135
Borders131,897228,943164,756198,718208,861
Dumfries and Galloway326,272197,639286,811195,343205,314
Fife705,143577,732573,035382,915402,460
Forth Valley400,443296,704417,482255,692268,744
Grampian797,1331,127,993960,777593,643623,944
Greater Glasgow1,414,4251,394,6291,104,867836,195878,878
Highland391,627621,367345,01 138,979251,177
Lanarkshire649,313636,880714,627411,806432,214
Lothian1,463,3071,503,9031,289,186744,715782,728
Orkney25,42321,07833,98266,00569,375
Shetland35,38986,19519,93315,99816,815
Tayside806,135889,94025,825423,813445,446
Western Isles33,34376,39417,56654,82757,625
Total8,673,4018,864,0667,731,6905,332,6285,604,212

Note:

The information relating to 2002–03 and 2003–04 are estimates based on previous costs, rather than actual figures.

Information for the last five years on the number of episodes of admitted care for patients normally resident in Scotland treated in England, split by NHS trust in England, is available. Given the lengthy nature of this information, I have placed it in the House Library. This information relates to admissions to hospitals: treatment in accident and emergency clinics and outpatient attendances are not included.

Tax Credits

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last met the Paymaster General to discuss the implementation of the new system of tax credits. [118330]

My right hon. Friend and I have discussions, as the need arises, with the Paymaster General and our officials are in regular contact with the Inland Revenue to discuss implementation of the new Tax Credits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the number of tax credit claims outstanding in Scotland. [118331]

I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General's remarks during the debate in Westminster Hall on 4 June 2003, Official Report, columns 120–22WH. No breakdown of the figures that my right hon. Friend gave is available below UK level.

(2) how many patients normally resident in Scotland have been treated in NHS hospitals in England, broken down by regional NHS trusts, in each of the last five years. [114772]

[holding answer 20 May 2003]: The information readily available is outlined in the table.The table shows the transfers since 1999–2000 to fund –Scottish residents out of area treatment in English NHS hospitals. These transfers primarily relate to emergency admissions (for example, when a patient is on holiday) where no service level agreement exists in relation to a patient's treatment.

Education And Skills

11-Year-Olds

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 11-year-olds reached the level expected of their age in English in each year since 2000 in the Bury St. Edmunds constituency. [120428]

The table shows the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in the Key Stage 2 English tests in maintained schools in the Bury St. Edmunds constituency between 2000 and 2002:

Bury St. EdmundsEngland
20007975
20017975
20027775

A-Levels

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 19 May 2003, Official Report, column 550W, on A-levels, whether he has set a date for publishing the Memorandum of Understanding. [119911]

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and QCA was published on QCA's website on 19 June. I placed a copy in the Library on 18 June.

Area Child Protection Committees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to put Area Child Protection Committees on a statutory footing. [121620]

The Joint Chief Inspectors' report, "Safeguarding Children", published in October 2002, recommends that the Department of Health should review the current arrangements for Area Child Protection Committees. The substantive response to the Joint Chief Inspectors' report, together with that to the Victoria Climbie Inquiry report, will be published as part of the Green Paper on Children at Risk.

Arson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many malicious fires relating to maintained school premises there have been in each year since 1997 (a) by LEA and (b) as a proportion of all maintained schools across England and Wales. [119438]

Breakfast Clubs

:To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding is available to schools to provide breakfast clubs for children in poor socio-economic areas. [120467]

Breakfast clubs are available in a number of schools as part of study support or childcare provision, and will form an important element in our extended schools programme. They promote healthy eating, can offer learning opportunities, and help working parents by providing a safe environment for their children.My Department assists breakfast clubs through the Standards Fund grant for study support (out-of-school-hours learning). This amounts to £75 million this year, including a 'top up' element going to Excellence in Cities areas. Our new Sure Start Out of School Programme will also be available from August to fund new childcare places, including breakfast provision. We have announced plans to provide over 63 million in the next three years to create 96,000 new out of school places. Nearly half of these places would be in disadvantaged areas where funding would be available for up to three years.In addition breakfast clubs can be supported through the National Healthy Schools Standard, the New Opportunities Fund, voluntary organisations and commercial sponsorship, such the scheme run by Education Extra and sponsored by Kellogg. In disadvantaged areas, regeneration and neighbourhood renewal funding may be available. Schools can also fund breakfast clubs from other programmes or from their own budgets.

Car Parking (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost per space of providing car parking places within school grounds. [120450]

The Department does not publish any official guide costs for parking places, but it is estimated that the cost per space is currently in the range £2,000–£4,000 per place depending on the layout of the car park and ground conditions.

Classrooms

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the cost of constructing standard classrooms of 50 square metres. [120451]

A single standalone classroom of traditional construction of 50 square metres including fitting out and design fees could be in the range £80,000–£90,000 at current costs. The cost will vary according to geographical region.

Criminal Records Bureau

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average cost of an individual Criminal Records Bureau check incurred by schools has been. [119430]

The cost of a CRB check falls to individuals: schools which decide to pay their fee are expected to meet this cost from within their existing budgets. The fee for both Standard and Enhanced Disclosures is currently 12. Disclosures for volunteers are free of charge. From 1 July Standard Disclosures will cost £24 and Enhanced Disclosures £29. Disclosures for volunteers will remain free of charge.

Drugs (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans he has to introduce random drug testing in schools; and what assessment has been made of levels of drug taking in schools, and its effects; [121517](2) what punishment may be given to pupils found to have

(a) dealt drugs and (b) taken drugs on school premises; and if he will make a statement on measures taken since 1997 to reduce drug abuse in schools; [121518]

(3) what lessons on the dangers of drugs and drug taking are given to school pupils as a part of the curriculum; and what assessment he has made of the value this form of information. [121519]

Drug education should be a part of every school's curriculum. There is a statutory requirement for drug education in the National Curriculum Science Order. Pupils should be taught about the role of drugs as medicines; the effects on the human body of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and how these relate to their personal health and how the abuse of alcohol, solvents, tobacco and other drugs affects health. This represents the statutory minimum. Schools are expected to use the non-statutory frameworks for PSHE and Citizenship at key stages 1 and 2, PSHE at key stages 3 and 4 and the Citizenship programme of study at key stages 3 and 4 as the context for developing drug education. We believe drug education in schools has an essential role to play in enabling pupils to develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding about drugs.Since 1997, we have taken a range of measures to tackle drug misuse in schools. We have allocated over £68 million to support drug alcohol and tobacco education and prevention in schools, including £17.5 million this year. From April 2001, we have supported the appointment of Schools Drug Advisors to help them deliver drug education and support tailored to the needs of pupils. We have supported the development of training packages to support professionals deliver effective drug education. We are also supporting a national five year research programme called "Blueprint" to test the effectiveness of drug education initiatives in schools. It will make a significant contribution to developing a UK evidence based for drug, alcohol and tobacco education.It is for schools in full consultation with local partners, including the police, to decide on appropriate strategies, including drug testing, for detecting illegal drug possession or use by pupils. Where schools adopt such strategies they should make sure, in advance, that they have clear evidence of consent. We have offered guidance on this issue in the draft document "Drugs: Guidance for schools (April 2003)". The Department of Health conducts regular surveys on the level of drug taking among young people. Data on the levels of drug taking in schools is not collected separately. The adverse effects of drug taking among young people are well documented and are highlighted in the Government's "Updated Drug Strategy 2002".Schools should develop a range of options for responding to the identified needs of those involved in a drug incident. These could range from early intervention work with pupils through to fixed period and permanent exclusions. The response should always be appropriate to the seriousness of the incident, the needs of the pupil, other pupils, the school and the community and be consistent with school rules. Responses to drug use and sanctions should be contained in the school's drug policy and be developed through wide consultation with members of the school community.

Early Literacy Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 12 June 2003, Official Report, column 1022W, when he will place in the Library a copy of the Go Karts video of the Early Literacy Support programme. [121553]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 June 2003, Official Report, column 1022W. I have also sent the hon. Member a copy of the video.

Higher Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the annual cost of the proposed Office of Fair Access. [119960]

[holding answer 17 June 2003]: This matter will be addressed in the explanatory notes which will be published when legislative proposals are presented to the House. We have proposed, in "Widening Participation in Higher Education" that OFFA will be separate from but supported by HEFCE.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the revenue to be raised from tuition fees and top-up fees, between 2003 and 2010, (a) in gross terms and (b) net of assistance given to students from low income backgrounds, on the assumption that all universities charge the maximum top-up fees allowed each year. [119961]

[holding answer 17 June 2003]: No such assessment has been made: it will be for universities to decide what level of fees they set from 2006/07 onwards, subject to a maximum fee of £3,000; and they will also decide what level of bursaries to offer, as required by their Access Agreements, which will require approval by the Office of Fair Access before they can raise their fees. The table sets out estimates of fee income per year using the following fixed data and assumptions: a standard tuition fee of £1,125; a maximum tuition fee of £3,000; estimated numbers of students; estimated grant for fee remission of £416 million. All figures are for students at English HE Institutions for 2003/04. The grant has been netted off against the standard fee income.

Fee income1Gross (£ million)2Net of fee remission (£ million)
From standard fee847431
Income if maximum fee charged2,2591,843
Additional from maximum fee1,4121,412
1 Represents fee income to universities from the standard fee of £1,125, not including full time post graduates (apart from PGCE students).
2 Net of fee remission of £416 million (for undergraduate and Initial Teacher Training students at English HEIs). The new HE grant to be introduced in 2004/05 (£300 million for England and Wales) has not been netted off, and neither has spend on bursaries offered by universities under their access agreements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to his answer of 3 June 2003, Official Report, column 215W, when he plans to publish the Regulatory Impact Assessment; what plans he has to consult the business and public sectors on its contents; and if he will make a statement. [120721]

The Regulatory Impact Assessment of the higher education white paper is due to be published in the summer.Officials in my department are consulting with Cabinet Office colleagues, the Inland Revenue, and the higher education Better Regulation Review Group to assess the costs and benefits of the proposals in more detail.

Local Education Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the local education authorities that have not passported 100 per cent. of allocated resources to schools for 2003–04 and have failed to give him an explanation for withholding resources that he deems adequate. [120970]

In the analysis of local education authorities' (LEA) budget returns, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State published on 2 May 2003, 19 LEAs were shown as failing to pass on, or passport, the full increase in their schools formula spending share to their schools budgets. The non-passporting LEAs set out their reasons for not doing so in their responses to my Department's letter to them of 2 May 2003. My Department is in discussion with a number of LEAs about the passporting situation.I have made clear that I expect LEAs that are not passporting this year to make every effort to passport in full next year and over the three years 2003–04 to 2005–06 taken together.

Nannies

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will create a register of people unsuitable to work as nannies; [118622](2) if he will make it his policy to give statutory backing to the draft Code of Practice for Nanny Agencies. [118655]

There are no current plans to introduce a registration scheme for nannies or to give statutory backing to a code of practice for nanny agencies. However, my noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for Sure Start, has received a number of proposals and representations on this issue. We are in the process of assessing the best way in which the extension to the Home Child Carers' Scheme can be managed. The extension will increase the regulated childcare available within people's homes which is eligible for tax credits. The study will look at how we can achieve this and who will provide the care once the scheme is widened.

Public Service Agreements

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Minister for Higher Education will be introducing new Public Service Agreements. [121001]

We have no plans to set any new Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets before the next spending review. The PSA targets which the Department for Education and Skills will be taking over with its new, additional responsibilities for children and families will be published on its website in due course.

Pupil Referral Units

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many SEN registered children there were within pupil referral units in each LEA in each year since 1997. [119425]

The information requested has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

School Budgets (Leicestershire)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether schools in Leicestershire that use money from building budgets to maintain teachers in post will be required to repay that money. [121012]

[holding answer 23 June 2003]: On 15 May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced that in response to exceptional pressures this year on some school budgets he has decided to help schools manage their budgets by allowing them, in discussion with their local education authorities (LEAs), to use their devolved capital funding to support their day-to-day running costs. This is to be for this year only and must be a decision taken by the school with the agreement of the LEA.If schools decide that they wish to take advantage of this flexibility they will not be required to repay any of the funding. However, as the guidance issued by my Department to LEAs on 16 May to enable them immediately to discuss locally where this capital flexibility can be used makes clear, any school which seeks to use this flexibility would irrevocably forego their capital allocation. They would, therefore, lose the benefits over the longer term of the capital investment in their school buildings to pupil standards. This flexibility has an opportunity cost, and should only be used where failure to do so would lead to excessive instability within the school. We did not intend to increase the total funding available to any school.My Department is working with representatives of local government and schools to consider what changes to the schools funding system are needed from 2004–05 to ensure that every school receives a reasonable per pupil settlement next year.

School Playing Fields

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what area of school playing field space was available in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire in each year since 1997; and what area of school playing field space was lost in (i) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (ii) Shropshire in each year since 1997; [120478](2) how many school playing fields there were in

(a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire in each year since 1997; [120479]

(3) which schools in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire have lost school playing field space in each year since 1997; [120480]

(4) how much was raised from the sale of school playing field space from schools in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire in each year since 1997. [120481]

There are no central records that show (i) the area of school playing field space that was available or (ii) how many school playing fields there were in either (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham or (b) Shropshire in any particular year.

Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced in October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate selling of school playing fields that had occurred in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s. Before then, there were no central records of how many playing fields had been lost. Local authorities and schools now need the Secretary of State's consent before they can sell any part of a school's playing field. Applications to sell school playing fields are only approved where it is clear that they meet published criteria and, in particular, that any proceeds will be used to improve school sports provision or education facilities.

Since October 1998 we have approved only one application in Shropshire that resulted in the net loss of school playing field that was capable of forming at least a small sports pitch. In October 2001 the Secretary of State gave consent to the sale of the surplus lower school site at the Grove School in Market Drayton to help the School to amalgamate onto its main site. The sale of this site raised approximately £1,000,000 which contributed towards the cost of providing a brand new building on the School's main site.

We have not approved any applications where there would be a net loss of sports pitches in Shrewsbury and Atcham.

Schools (Extensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage on-cost is allowed in his Department's calculations for school extensions for (a) architects and (b) other administration and consultation fees. [120452]

The Department does not set fixed levels for architects and other administration and consultation fees. For grant aided projects, we would expect overall fee levels to fall within the range 13–15 per cent. of the building cost, although this would be dependent on the size and complexity of the project.

Schools Curricula

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will assess the effectiveness of (a) competence-led curricula and (b) separate-subject curricula. [121258]

It is important that children learn a range of skills as well as covering a broad and rich curriculum in terms of content. But these two things are complementary and not in competition. Our primary strategy sets out how we will be developing a framework for learning and teaching which will focus on skills development across the whole curriculum. Our forthcoming skills strategy will set out proposals for ensuring that generic skills are developed throughout the education system. It is also important to remember that schools can choose how they teach the National Curriculum, including whether to do it in separate subject lessons or not. They can choose to focus on learning skills without abandoning the breadth and richness of content that is guaranteed by the National Curriculum.

Schools Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will publish the risk assessment of the procurement process for new schools introduced by Building Schools for the Future. [121000]

The Department is currently developing the commercial propositions involved in the Building Schools for the Future programme. Risk assessments have been undertaken in accordance with OGC best practice guidance. As is customary in such cases, the risk assessments are treated as commercial in confidence as the Department's position in subsequent negotiations with prospective partners would be seriously weakened by their release.

Sex Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many schools in England make forms of contraception available to pupils; what counselling is given; and what plans he has to abolish the practice of making contraception available; [121511](2) what consultation takes place with parents of school children before deciding whether their schools will be allowed to make forms of contraception available to pupils; [121512](3) what assessment he has made of the effect of easy access to contraception in schools on sexual promiscuity in underage teenagers; and if he will make a statement. [121513]

The Department of Health is currently collecting data on the number of local authorities in which schools are providing, or planning to provide, an on-site service which includes contraceptive advice. The data will be available at the end of June. We welcome the provision of school based health services where the school identifies a need. The decision to provide such services, and the range of the service, is for governing bodies in consultations with pupils, parents and the wider community. Guidance to schools states that trained staff in secondary schools should be able to give young people full information about different types of contraception, their effectiveness and where advice and treatment can be obtained. This should be made clear in the school's sex and relationship education policy which is discussed with parents.Contraception, including emergency contraception, is provided to young people under aged 16 only under medical supervision. This includes the supply by health professionals such as school nurses and community pharmacists. Health professionals can provide contraception to young people under 16 if they are satisfied that the young person is competent to understand fully the implications of any treatment and to make a choice of the treatment involved. Health professionals work within an established legal framework which involves assessing the young person's competence to understand the choices they are making and encouraging them to talk to their parents. All professionals are bound by their professional code of confidentiality. A young person's request for confidentiality is respected unless there are serious child protection issues.

There is no evidence that access to contraception increases rates of sexual activity among young people under 16. Over the 1990s while the national figure for under 16s attendance at family planning clinics in England increased, the proportion of young people having sex before 16 remained stable. (Wellings, K. et al (2001) Sexual Behaviour in Britain: Early Heterosexual Experience. Lancet, 358: 1843–50)

Specialist Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 10 June 2003, Official Report, column 784W, on specialist status schools, if he will make a statement on the statistical significance of an added value measure of (a) + 1 percentage point for specialist sports colleges and (b) - 1.5 percentage points compared with all non-selective, non specialist schools and non-selective sports colleges. [119794]

Student Drop-Outs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action is taken in the event of a student dropping out from a course of higher education (a) during and (b) at the end of an academic year to recover costs for the institution involved in respect of (i) uncollected private tuition fees and (ii) transfers from the Higher Education Funding Council in respect of the education of that student. [120958]

UndergraduatePostgraduate2
First YearFinal YearFirst YearFinal Year
2000/01NumberPercentage3NumberPercentage4NumberPercentage3NumberPercentage4,5
Primary4056.0160.33535.521.3
Maths139.021.31069.766.5
English and Drama810.10.01527.815.9
Science74.510.52019.356.8
Modern Languages318.826.11559.50.0
Technology5144.141.11098.20.0
History657.4
Geography0.00.0637.3
PE244.110.1182.9
Art0.017.1577.10.0
Music13.80.0305.80.0
RE0.00.0407.60.0
Other6319.3
Total secondary705.1110.71,0278.13.8
All4755.8270.41,3807.2143.0

Note:

—no one training in subject

1 95 per cent. of entrants to PG courses in 2000/01 were on a 1 year course

2 As a proportion of those entering ITT

3 As a proportion of those entering final year of course

4 Those on PGCE courses which are more than one year in duration

5 Technology includes Design and Technology, Information Technology, and Business Studies and Home Economics

6 Other includes Social Studies, Economics, and Classics

Source:

TTA Peformance Profiles 2002

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what evidence he collates on the relationship between prior academic attainments and the drop-out rate of students. [120589]

A number of research studies have explored the factors associated with dropping out of higher education. These include:

Guidance issued by Universities UK (UUK) and the Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP) in July 2002 recommends that where a student withdraws from a course during an academic year, the institution should charge the student a reduced fee contribution fixed in proportion to the number of weeks that the student attended. In particular, the total fee contribution due for the year is divided by 30 and multiplied by the number of weeks the student spent at the institution. Students who complete a full year would be liable for the full fee. Higher education institutions are responsible for pursuing any uncollected tuition fees.The Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) teaching funding method provides funding for students who complete their year of study. Students who do not complete the year of study are not fundable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of students in each subject area dropped out after (a) one year, (b) two years, (c) three years and (d) before the completion of their course in the last year for which figures are available. [118124]

The table shows the number of trainees who dropped out of undergraduate and postgraduate courses of initial teacher training at institutions in England in their first or final year in 2000/01, the latest year for which data are available. Data on wastage in other years of teacher training are not collected.Improving student achievement in the English higher education sector HC 486, Parliamentary Session 2001/02;"Dropping Out: A study of early leavers from Higher Education" (2003) Rhys Davies and Peter Elias, DfES Research Report 386; and Smith J. and R. A. Naylor, "Dropping out of University: a statistical analysis of the probability of withdrawal for UK university students", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 2001, vol. 164, pp. 389–405.Several of these have investigated the effect of prior attainment and found that students with lower prior attainment are where they do not receive appropriate support are less likely to complete their higher education course. However, the evidence also shows that non-completion is a complex process that cannot normally be explained by any single factor. Other important factors (many of which are inter-related) include

  • incompatibility between the student and their course or institution;
  • lack of preparation for higher education;
  • lack of commitment to the course;
  • financial hardship;
  • poor academic progress;
  • health or other personal reasons;
  • age;
  • gender; and
  • whether or not the individual applied through clearing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action his Department is taking in conjunction with higher education institutions to reduce student dropout rates. [120590]

In spite of a considerable expansion of student numbers, the UK non-completion rate has stayed broadly the same at 17–18 per cent. since 1991–92, representing one of the highest completion rates in the world. We are determined to maintain that performance as we increase participation towards 50 per cent. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has allocated £265 million to higher education institutions in 2003–04 for widening access and improving retention. This figure recognises the additional costs of supporting students from non-traditional backgrounds.Research indicates that there is no single cause of non-completion. However, students making the wrong initial choice of course or institution is a major factor. Under our plans set out in The Future of Higher Education' (Cm 5735), more information will be available about institutions and their performance to assist prospective students. We are also working with HEFCE to develop an electronic portal to give faster access to all available information. In addition, HEFCE is working with institutions to improve retention rates, and to disseminate good practice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the student percentage drop-out rates were for each academic year since 1992/93. [120591]

Since 1996/97, information on non-completion rates has been published annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education". The latest figures giving overall non-completion rates for students starting full-time first degree courses in the UK are as follows:

Percentage

Students starting courses in:

Non-completion rate

1999/0017
1998/9917
1997/9817
1996/9718

Non-completion rates for earlier years were calculated and published by the Department and are shown in the following table. These figures also cover students on full-time first degree courses but the methodology and institutional coverage used by the Department was different to that used by HEFCE, so the two sets of figures are not directly comparable.

Percentage

Students starting courses in:

Non completion rate:

1995/96118–19
1994/95117–18
1993/94117–18
1992/9317

1 A range is given for these years because the introduction of a new data source in 1994/95 made it difficult to measure non- completion, as it was then calculated, accurately.

Figures published in 2002 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the UK as a whole has one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.

Students (Non-Academic Work)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the frequency distribution of non-academic term-time work carried out by students enrolled on full-time courses. [120592]

The Department does not have up-to-date and reliable information on the frequency distribution of paid term-time work undertaken by full-time students and does not have any information on the proportion of work that is non-academic. However, findings from the 1998/99 Student Income and Expenditure Survey (SIES) show that more than 50 per cent. of full-time students do not undertake paid term-time employment and of those that do work, over half work 10 hours or less a week only.

Student Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many former students have had their student loan liabilities cancelled owing to bankruptcy. [120385]

[holding answer 19 June 2003]: No loans have been written off since Margaret Hodge's written statement to Parliament on bankruptcy and student loans, made on 15 May. The Student Loans Company (SLC) are now taking this forward.The SLC have identified 633 bankrupt borrowers, with a total of £2.4 million in outstanding loan balances to be written off. Against a customer base of 2.4 million and a total loan book of £10 billion, the proportion of affected borrowers is very small.

Teacher Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to put mechanisms in place to support advanced skills teachers who specialise in teacher education. [120230]

In 2002–03 the DfES funded ASTs to work in Initial Teacher Training in the context of the Teacher Training Agency-led partnerships project, which was designed to encourage providers of initial teacher training, schools and LEAs to work together to improve provision. As funding at 100 per cent. grant rate would last for only a year we encouraged LEAs to absorb the ASTs recruited in support of the scheme into their cadre of ASTs once the year was up. In order to facilitate this we included sufficient funding in the allocation of the AST match funded Standards Fund grant for 2003–04 to enable each LEA to continue to fund posts previously funded at the 100 per cent. grant rate.

Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers were employed in England in the last 10 years; and how many were made redundant in each of these years. [120011]

The following table shows the number of full-time equivalent teachers in the maintained schools sector in England in each of the years shown. Definitive information on teacher redundancies is not collected centrally.

Regular teachers
2003423,900
2002419,600
2001410,200
2000404,600
1999401,200
1998397,700
1997399,200
1996399,800
1995399,600
1994397,000

Source:

DfES annual 618G survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to allow graduates to teach in UK schools without (a) teacher training and (b) qualified teacher status. [121589]

Regulations to be made shortly under section 133 of the Education Act 2002 will define the circumstances under which staff without Qualified Teacher Status can undertake specified work in schools in England. These provisions have already been the subject of extensive consultation with teachers' employers, the teaching unions and other interested parties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will define qualified teacher status and instructor status for people wishing to teach in schools in England and Wales. [121590]

The definition of a qualified teacher is set out in the Education (Teachers' Qualifications and Health Standards) (England) Regulations 1999. Instructors are teachers without QTS but with special qualifications or experience, or both, who can be employed when there are no suitably qualified teachers available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates were teaching in English schools without qualified teacher status in each year since 1997–98. [121591]

The table shows the number of new entrants to the Graduate Teacher Programme and the Overseas-Trained Teacher Programme in each academic year since 1997/98. The rising numbers reflect the growth and success of these programmes, which allow graduates to be employed as teachers in schools in England while working towards Qualified Teacher Status. Information on the qualifications held by other categories of unqualified teachers is not collected centrally.

New entrants to the Graduate Teacher Programme
1997/981998/991999/20002000/012001/022002/031
GTP2811933651,5073,2163,750
OTTP3000249921821
Total811933651,7561374,571

Notes:

1 Figures to date.

2 Graduate Teacher Programme, introduced from January 1998

3 Overseas-Trained Teacher Programme, introduced from April 2001.

Source:

Teacher Training Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what additional resources he has made available to local education authorities to prevent the loss of (a) teaching and (b) non-teaching staff as a result of this year's budget settlement to schools. [120968]

The funding of schools is a shared responsibility of central and local Government. In 2003–04, there have been a number of very significant pressures on LEA and school spending. Nationally, the additional resources provided for education more than match those pressures. However, changes to the distribution formula for Education Formula Spending, together with the ending of a substantial body of ring-fenced grants from my Department's Standards Fund, have meant that different LEAs and schools have received a wide range of year-on-year increases in overall support for education.The Department has taken steps through an additional grant of £28 million to ensure that all LEAs have at least a minimum increase of 3.2 per cent. per pupil, in addition to taking account of the effect of the Standards Fund and teachers' pension changes. We have also provided a special grant costing £11 million to 18 London LEAs to help them fund this year's increases in London weighting. In addition, LEAs and schools will be given the additional flexibility to use their devolved formula capital funding from the Department to support revenue expenditure. The decision to use a school's capital funding in this way will need to be made jointly by the school and its LEA, and should be taken only in those circumstances where failure to do so would lead to excessive instability within that school.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average salary of a teacher in (a) Blackpool and (b) Lancashire was in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2003. [121348]

The table provides the average salary of full-time1 regular qualified teachers in the maintained schools sector, as at March of each year shown. The figures shown for former Lancashire for 1999 and 2001 are based on the boundaries prior to local government reorganisation in April 1998. In April 1998, due to local government reorganisation, Lancashire split into three separate local education authorities, Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool. The figures shown for former Lancashire for 1999 and 2001 are based on the boundaries prior to local government reorganisation.

1 Figures cover all grades and include any allowances paid. The average salary figures include some threshold payments that were made before March 2001, following the introduction of the threshold in September 2000. Some threshold assessments were not made in time for the associated payments to be reflected in the March 2001 data, but these were ultimately backdated to September 2000. As a result the figures in the table will be an under estimate of the actual average salary in March 2001.

£

1997

1999

2001

1,2

Former Lancashire22,69024,22027,140
Current Lancashire24,26027,330
Blackpool23,80026,670

1 2001 is the most recent information available.

2 Provisional figures based on pensions data that will be updated.

Significant changes are not expected.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Source:

Database of Teacher Records

Truancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he has given to local education authorities on truancy reduction initiatives. [120160]

In addition to the examples of good practice in this area highlighted on our school attendance website www.dfes.gov.uk/schoolattendance we have within the last year disseminated guidance on the effective operation of truancy sweeps and issued advice on initiatives to meet specific truancy targets to the 61 areas involved in the Behaviour Improvement Programme. We are also providing expert advice and guidance in reducing truancy to 56 local education authorities with relatively high truancy rates.This month we are issuing guidance on the legal measures available to secure regular school attendance to local education authorities, schools and magistrates to promote more-effective handling of truancy cases. This guidance has been produced jointly with a wide range of partners including the former Lord Chancellor's Department, the Magistrates' Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers.In the autumn we will be producing updated school attendance guidance for schools and local education authorities as part of a package of training materials designed to help improve behaviour and attendance.

Tuition Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in (a) Suffolk, (b) Norfolk, (c) Essex, (d) Cambridgeshire and (e) the Bury St. Edmunds constituency are exempt from tuition fees. [120427]

Student support data on the numbers of students contributing to tuition are collected from local education authorities (LEAs) through a voluntary survey. However, the data are only robust enough to be published at the national level. My Department does not collect student support data at the constituency level.

University Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations he has received regarding (a) socio-economic diversity in university admissions and (b) the setting of Government targets on socio-economic diversity in university admissions. [120780]

The Department receives many representations on Higher Education, including matters relating to university admissions. The Government have set out their views on targets in this area in "Widening Participation in Higher Education" available in the Library and on the Department for Education and Skills' website at www.dfes.gov.uk/highereducation.

Prime Minister

Care Standards Act

To ask the Prime Minister which Minister is the appointed Minister under section 23 of the Care Standards Act 2000 in respect of children. [121488]

Children's Trusts

To ask the Prime Minister which department will be responsible for the implementation of Children's Trusts. [120952]

Children's Trusts will bring together education, social care and some health services for children. The policy will continue to be a joint responsibility of the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills to ensure the full involvement of all three services.

Civil Servants

To ask the Prime Minister how many new entrants to the Civil Service were employed in his Office in each of the last five years; and how many in each year were aged 50 or over. [119820]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office gave to him on 24 June 2003.

Devolution

To ask the Prime Minister which Minister will answer for issues relating to the overall devolution settlement in the Commons. [121684]

My hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Leslie), Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Constitutional Affairs, will answer in the House of Commons for issues relating to the overall devolution settlement.

Engagements

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 25 June. [121383]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) at Prime Minister's Questions today.

Euro Roadshow

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the events he plans to attend as part of the Government's euro roadshow. [121394]

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury gave to the right. hon. Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) on 20 June 2003, Official Report, columns 458W—59W.

Government Reorganisation

To ask the Prime Minister what his estimate is of the total costs of the reorganisation of Government announced on 18 June, assuming all items are implemented as proposed. [121482]

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to him during my statement on Changes to Government Departments on 18 June 2003, Official Report, column 369.

Justices Of The Peace (Manchester)

To ask the Prime Minister which Ministry in which Department is responsible for Justices of the Peace in Greater Manchester. [121430]

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible for the appointment of Justices of the Peace in Greater Manchester.

Lord Chancellor

To ask the Prime Minister whether the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is barred from returning to legal practice on leaving office due to his holding the office of Lord Chancellor; and if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which a former Lord Chancellor may return to legal practice. [120021]

As the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs holds the office of Lord Chancellor for the transitional period, then the convention by which former Lord Chancellors cannot resume legal practice will apply to my right hon. and noble Friend. The rules, set out in the Ministerial Code, relating to the acceptance of appointments after leaving ministerial office, also apply.

Referendums

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list those referendums (a) which have taken place and (b) which have been pledged since May 1997; if he will list (i) the votes in favour and (ii) the votes against, and calculate those figures as a percentage of eligible votes; and if he will make a statement on his policy towards identifying criteria for holding referenda. [121466]

The list of referendums and associated statistics requested are contained in the following tables.My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his statement, Economic and Monetary Union, in this House on 9 June 2003,

Official Report, column 415, that the Government propose to publish a draft referendum Bill this autumn.

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) provides the generic statutory framework for the conduct of referendums in the United Kingdom, or a referendum held in Scotland, Wales, England or Northern Ireland, but there are no criteria for determining when it is appropriate to hold a referendum on a particular issue.

National and regional referendums since 1997

Year

Referendum area

Referendum

Result

1998Northern IrelandDo you support the agreement reached at the multi-party talks on Northern Ireland and set out in Command Paper 3883?Yes 676,966 (71.1%) No 274,879 (29.9% Turnout 81%
1998LondonAre you in favour of the Government's proposals for a Greater London Authority, made up of an elected mayor and a separately elected assembly?Yes 1,230,715 (72%) No 478,413 (28%) Turnout 34.1%
1997Wales1. I agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly; or 2. I do not agree that there should be a Welsh AssemblyYes 559,419 (50.3%) No 552,698 (49.7%) Turnout 50.1%
1997Scotland1. I agree that there should be a Scottish Parliament; or 2. I do not agree there should be a Scottish Parliament; 1. I agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers; or 2. I do not agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers1,775,045(74.3%) 614,400(25.7%) 1,512,889 (63.5%) 870,263 (36.5%) Turnout 60.4%

Mayoral referendums since 1997

Date

Council

Result

7 June 2001Berwick-upon-TweedYes 3,61 7 (26%) No 10,212(74%) Turnout 64%
28 June 2001CheltenhamYes 8,083 (33%) No 16,602 (67%) Turnout 32%
28 June 2001GloucesterYes 7,731 (32%) No 16,317(68%) Turnout 31%
12 July 2001WatfordYes 7,636 (52%) No 7,140 (48%) Turnout 25%
20 September 2001DoncasterYes 35,453 (65%) No 19,398 (35%) Turnout 25%
4 October 2001KirkleesYes 10,169(27%) No 27,977 (73%) Turnout 13%
11 October 2001SunderlandYes 9,375 (43%) No 12,209 (57%) Turnout 10%
18 October 2001Brighton & HoveYes 22,724 (38%) No 37,214 (62%) Turnout 32%
18 October 2001HartlepoolYes 10,667 (51%) No 10,294 (49%) Turnout 34%
18 October 2001LewishamYes 16,822 (51%) No 15,914(49%) Turnout 18%
18 October 2001MiddlesbroughYes 29,067 (84%) No 5,422 (16%) Turnout 34%
18 October 2001North TynesideYes 30,262 (58%) No 22,296 (42%) Turnout 36%

Mayoral referendums since 1997

Date

Council

Result

18 October 2001SedgefieldYes 10,628 (47%) No 11,869(53%) Turnout 33%
8 November 2001RedditchYes 7,250 (44%) No 9,198 (56%) Turnout 28%
20 November 2001Durham (City)Yes 8,327 (41%) No 11,974 (59%) Turnout 29%
6 December 2001HarrowYes 17,502 (43%) No 23,554 (57%) Turnout 26%
24 January 2002PlymouthYes 29,559(41%) No 42,811 (59%) Turnout 40%
24 January 2002HarlowYes 5,296 (25%) No 15,490(75%) Turnout 35%
31 January 2002NewhamYes 27,263 (68%) No 12,687 (32%) Turnout 26%
31 January 2002SouthwarkYes 6,054 (31%) No 13,217 (69%) Turnout 11%
31 January 2002West DevonYes 3,555 (23%) No 12,190 (77%) Turnout 42%
31 January 2002ShepwayYes 11,357 (44%) No 14,438 (56%) Turnout 36%
21 February 2002BedfordYes 11,316 (67%) No 5,537 (33%) Turnout 16%
2 May 2002HackneyYes 24,697 (59%) No 10,547 (41%) Turnout 32%

Mayoral referendums since 1997

Date

Council

Result

2 May 2002MansfieldYes 8,973 (55%) No 7,350 (45%) Turnout 21%
2 May 2002Newcastle-under-LymeYes 12,912(44%) No 16,468 (56%) Turnout 31.5%
2 May 2002OxfordYes 14,692 (44%) No 18,686(56%) Turnout 34%
2 May 2002Stoke on TrentYes 28,601 (58%) No 20,578 (42%) Turnout 27%
1 October 2002CorbyYes 5,351 (46%) No 6,239 (53%) Turnout 31%
12 December 2002EalingYes 9,454 (45%) No 11,655(55%) Turnout 9.8%

Trade And Industry

Arms Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many arms export licences for armoured vehicles, aircraft and naval vessels have been granted by the Department since 2001; and what their value was. [121139]

The details of all export licences are published by destination in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. A copy of the 2001 Annual Report is available from the Libraries of the House. The 2002 Annual Report will be published shortly.It would entail disproportionate cost to establish the number of export licences for armoured vehicles, aircraft and naval vessels that have been granted since 2001.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action can be taken by the Department against the purchasers of UK arms exports if the arms are used in undesirable circumstances. [121142]

The Government refuse export licence applications where there is a clear risk that the goods will be used in contravention of the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. The surest way of preventing diversion or misuse is by a thorough risk assessment at the licensing stage, where all information available at the time can be considered including the end user's track record, before the goods are exported.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to which African countries her Department has granted export licences for arms in the last six months. [121272]

[holding answer 23 June 2003]: Between 1 January 2003 and 17 June 2003 the Department of Trade and Industry's Export Control Organisation granted export licences, covering the export of items on the Military List to the following African countries:

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Chad
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nambia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia.

Company Insolvency

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her plans for reform of the framework for company insolvency in cases where a service provider on a contingent fee basis has ceased trading because it is insolvent. [121286]

The corporate insolvency provisions of Part 10 of the Enterprise Act 2002 are likely to be brought into force at some point during September 2003, but there are no plans for further reform of the legislative framework relating to company insolvency.

Departmental Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Ministers there were in her Department in each year since 1996. [120988]

Including the Secretary of State, the number of Ministers in my Department since 1996 were as follows:

Number
24 July 1996 to 5 May 19977
6 June 1997 to 27 July 199817
28 July 1998 to 22 December 199818
23 December 1998 to 4 January 199918
5 January 1999 to 28 July 19998
29 July 1999 to 10 June 20017
11 June 2001 to 28 May 20028
29 May 2002 to 12 June 200328
13 June 2003 to date27
1 One Minister shared with the Treasury.
2 One Minister shared with the Foreign Office.

Developing Countries

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will propose (a) restrictions on the size of the delegations of rich countries to the WTO and GATS meetings, (b) that the money saved be passed directly to countries which cannot afford to send delegations to these meetings and (c) that the voting at these meetings be proportional to the size of the populations they represent. [120405]

The Government believe that it is important that all WTO Members are able to participate effectively in WTO negotiations. We are therefore working to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to participate in the WTO and in the international trading system. In doing so, we are helping developing countries and development agencies to build trade policy capacity in both national capitals and in Geneva, where many of the least-developed country Members of the WTO still have no permanent representation. Since 1997, we have committed £45 million to trade-related technical assistance and capacity building.

£
MarketAmounts at riskUnrecovered claimsMoratorium interestTotal (incl. MI)
Abu Dhabi25,792,6650025,792,665
Algeria47,412,908143,703,2620191,116,169
Angola054,037,32055,760,006109,797,326
Anguilla135,73500135,735
Antigua and Barbuda03,197,13403,197,134
Argentina14,507,65934,097,4292,973,14251,578,230
Australia66,086,9954,582,107070,669,103
Austria16,597,6850016,597,685
Azerbaijan13,881,2350013,881,235
Bahrain142,282,27069,4660142,351,736
Bangladesh65,208,0620065,208,062
Barbados6,807,567006,807,567
Belgium85,408,7509,956,409095,365,159
Benin02,491,246169,6662,660,912
Bosnia and Herzegovina0975,089535,7841,510,873
Brazil251,528,094219,870,94886,506,905557,905,948
Brunei Darussalam85,784,1860085,784,186
Burma (Myanmar)023,053,590023,053,590
Cameroon026,719,10132,412,44959,131,551
Canada246,479,4737870246,480,260
Central African Republic0144,746198,513343,259
Chile330,129,80600330,129,806
China1,802,641,883001,802,641,883
Colombia16,479,7020016,479,702
Congo058,027,46298,419,660156,447,122
Congo, Democratic Republic of024,887,98124,824,51849,712,499
Costa Rica203,65400203,654
Cote D Ivoire539,97424,067,78910,304,97634,912,738
Croatia43,263,24455,560,4523,486,477102,310,173
Cuba052,619,66052,349,579104,969,239
Cyprus14,188,9341,400014,190,333
Denmark18,823,9790018,823,979
Dominica7,770,045806,10808,576,154
Dominican Republic44,520,9960044,520,996
EC Market n/k8,544,922008,544,922
Ecuador028,693,11631,560,20860,253,324
Egypt98,596,530138,460,49418,319,561255,376,585
Egypt (Business to 31/12/93)123,78500123,785
El Salvador51,228,9450051,228,945
Ethiopia010,996,464437,02811,433,492
Finland24,711,2010024,711,201
France12,811,72486,752012,898,476
Gabon075,090,15156,957,478132,047,629
Ghana73,442,41439,440,596834,664113,717,673

WTO meetings generally operate on a consensus basis, with agreement reached only when all WTO Members are content with the outcome. As a result, occasions for formal voting are rare but, when they do occur, take place on the basis of one member, one vote, regardless either of the size of countries' populations or of their economic power within the international trading system.

Ecgd

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total outstanding debt owed to the ECGD is, broken down by country. [119835]

The total outstanding debt as at 31 May 2003 in respect of ECGD guaranteed business, broken down by country of obligor, is detailed in the following table. The total is further broken down between Amounts at Risk (payments of principal and interest which have yet to fall due), unrecovered claims (whether rescheduled or not) and moratorium interest accrued on the unrecovered claims.

£

Market

Amounts at risk

Unrecovered claims

Moratorium interest

Total (incl. MI)

Greece112,472,105120,5560112,592,660
Grenada01,632,60901,632,609
Guinea0922,4192,777,8493,700,268
Guyana011,484,68322,819,44834,304,131
Hong Kong424,593,72200424,593,722
Iceland24,123,1500024,123,150
India204,540,1592,157,2280206,697,386
Indonesia703,031,240726,279,98301,429,311,222
Iran (Islamic Republic of)106,074,81428,447,6710134,522,485
Iraq0622,559,3660622,559,366
Israel21,109,8910021,109,891
Italy4,214,416214,13104,428,547
Jamaica19,000,3711,751,701275,37421,027,446
Japan86,3140086,314
Jordan0291,604,87185,723,436377,328,308
Kazakhstan43,057,4997043,057,506
Kenya1,079,95316,575,0402,337,46919,992,462
Korea, Democratic Peoples Republic of05,864,35605,864,356
Korea, Republic of221,108,68800221,108,688
Kuwait29,142,2761,993,296031,135,573
Lebanon14,412,90377014,412,980
Lesotho4,393,619004,393,619
Liberia08,325,99111,583,67919,909,670
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya025,372,379025,372,379
Lithuania6,299,751006,299,751
Luxembourg65,377,0870065,377,087
Macedonia02,954,699619,1063,573,805
Madagascar011,166,82711,502,22222,669,049
Malawi0345,7466,404352,150
Malaysia1,040,867,295001,040,867,295
Maldives1,507,337001,507,337
Mali03,426,888244,8823,671,770
Malta23,068,6200023,068,620
Mauritania03,238,8611,841,8905,080,751
Mauritius36,861,9800036,861,980
Mexico187,784,5311,358,3140189,142,845
Morocco3,147,16428,878,537032,025,701
Mozambique0159,5130159,513
Netherlands129,765,01600129,765,016
Nicaragua0398,383807,3651,205,749
Niger03,370,3194,061,4607,431,779
Nigeria122,731,4901,800,706,4162,480,429,5504,403,867,455
Oman276,107,33300276,107,333
Pakistan83,796,7796,226,898201,33390,225,010
Panama10,576,1940010,576,194
Papua New Guinea34,265,4750034,265,475
Paraguay1,594,479001,594,479
Peru062,284,22758,296,159120,580,385
Philippines799,595,7939,002,2612,169,274810,767,328
Poland0398,751,515368,215,401766,966,916
Portugal41,935,97247,071041,983,043
Qatar261,413,78600261,413,786
Romania84,099,3590084,099,359
Russian Federation270,840,483585,609,18934,564,505891,014,177
Saint Kitts and Nevis9,800,867009,800,867
Saint Lucia267,34400267,344
Saudi Arabia1,015,166,8921,400,58201,016,567,474
Senegal0620,544845,4291,465,973
Serbia and Montenegro0165,342,615112,658,820278,001,435
Seychelles1,418,882391,42301,810,305
Sierra Leone0885,3962,832,2393,717,634
Singapore78,016,6825,326078,022,009
Somalia011,552,71816,937,94828,490,666
South Africa1,298,166,773001,298,166,773
Spain4,531,72064,86704,596,587
Sri Lanka85,045,1080085,045,108
Sudan091,089,944242,925,356334,015,300
Sweden174,311,46800174,311,468
Switzerland162,366,12812,880,4530175,246,580
Taiwan179,410,0251,681,5490181,091,575
Tanzania, United Republic of016,366,76150,437,85366,804,614

£

Market

Amounts at risk

Unrecovered claims

Moratorium interest

Total (incl. MI)

Thailand134,470,98600134,470,986
Togo09,464,0367,867,59317,331,629
Tunisia34,585,4570034,585,457
Turkey634,574,412993,5630635,567,975
Turkmenistan11,959,6800011,959,680
Uganda06190619
United Arab Emirates466,891,05600466,891,056
United Kingdom21,308,8890021,308,889
United States625,884,6343,205,0840629,089,717
Uzbekistan23,321,5210023,321,521
Venezuela107,093,17000107,093,170
Vietnam53,355,9455,615,9794,453,48363,425,407
Zambia083,387,206113,461,745196,848,951
Zimbabwe42,771,08671,477,9380114,249,025
Total14,194,730,7896,171,295,6874,116,947,88624,482,974,362

It Specialists

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment the Government have made of the difference in pay rates between (a) British IT specialists and (b) Asian IT specialists who are working in the United Kingdom. [120301]

The Government have made no such assessment. The UK's work permit arrangements require that the pay and other conditions of employment that apply to an overseas worker coming to work in the UK should be at least equal to those normally given to a 'resident worker' doing similar work. The host employer must also ensure that the employment terms meet all UK legislation. The employer will be expected to operate PAYE and class 1 national insurance contributions.

Personal Loans