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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 526: debated on Monday 4 April 2011

Ministerial Corrections

Monday 4 April 2011

Communities and Local Government

Unpublished Research Reports: Immigration, the Economy and Regeneration

The following is an extract from a written ministerial statement on ‘Unpublished Research Reports: Immigration, the Economy and Regeneration’ given by the Minister for Housing and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 1 March 2011.

(ix) Modelling and forecasting county court claims and orders for mortgage repossessions.

This report by Professor John Muellbauer and Janine Aron was commissioned jointly by the former National Housing and Planning Advice Unit and the UK Spatial Economic Centre. The study explores the determinants of mortgage possession court orders as well as forecasting court orders on a regional basis for England and Wales from 2011 to 2015. It observed that the recent house price and credit boom of 2006-08 had increased the proportion of households with overstretched budgets and over-extended debt relative to their assets. The most important determinant of court claims and orders was found to be the debt to income ratio. This report was commissioned in 2009 at a cost of £30,366.

[Official Report, 1 March 2011, Vol. 524, c. 19-21WS.]

Letter of correction from Mr Grant Shapps:

An error has been identified in the written ministerial statement given on 1 March 2011. The penultimate sentence in the text in the section on the research project on mortgage repossessions should have referred to the debt service ratio, as the most important determinant of court claims, and not the debt to income ratio.

The correct text should have read:

(ix) Modelling and forecasting county court claims and orders for mortgage repossessions.

This report by Professor John Muellbauer and Janine Aron was commissioned jointly by the former National Housing and Planning Advice Unit and the UK Spatial Economic Centre. The study explores the determinants of mortgage possession court orders as well as forecasting court orders on a regional basis for England and Wales from 2011 to 2015. It observed that the recent house price and credit boom of 2006-08 had increased the proportion of households with overstretched budgets and over-extended debt relative to their assets. The most important determinant of court claims and orders was found to be the debt service ratio. This report was commissioned in 2009 at a cost of £30,366.

Northern Ireland

Air Passenger Duty

The following is the answer given by the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, the right hon. Member for East Devon (Mr Swire) relating to a question from the hon. Member for Belfast East (Naomi Long) during Northern Ireland Question Time on 23 March 2011.

3. What assessment he has made of the likely effects of changes in air passenger duty on business travel between Northern Ireland and London. (47494)

I have had meetings with the Northern Ireland Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and with my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury to discuss air passenger duty. My Treasury colleagues fully understand the issues involved. The rates that took effect last November were, of course, set and legislated for by the previous Government.

I thank the Minister for his answer. He will be aware that, in addition to air passenger duty, Heathrow and Gatwick intend to levy passenger landing charges for regional flights, which will compound the problem. Will he confirm that this matter is at the top of his agenda, so that we can ensure that Northern Ireland businesses have access to the capital?

Indeed; these things have been discussed at ministerial level. I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is here to listen to the hon. Lady’s comments. We take this matter very seriously. A lot of the issues to do with Gatwick and Heathrow are commercial matters that are more properly dealt with by BAA.

[Official Report, 23 March 2011, Vol. 525, c. 934.]

Letter of correction from Mr Hugo Swire:

An error has been identified in the oral answer given on 23 March 2011. It has come to our attention that commercial matters at Gatwick airport are not the responsibility of BAA, who recently sold the airport to a consortium, with the largest shareholder being Global Infrastructure Partners.

The correct answer should have been:

Indeed; these things have been discussed at ministerial level. I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is here to listen to the hon. Lady's comments. We take this matter very seriously. A lot of the issues to do with Gatwick and Heathrow are commercial matters that are more properly dealt with by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and BAA respectively.