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Children (London)

Ms Harman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children aged under 16 years there are in (a) London and (b) each London borough. [152195]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell to Ms Harriet Harman, dated 8 March 2001:

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Financial Services Authority

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to include (a) term assurance, (b) mortgage protection and (c) clinical illness cover within the remit of the FSA. [152950]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Companies that provide these forms of insurance in the UK are prudentially regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Duty Free

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will publish the findings of the post implementation review of the duty free successor regime for intra-EU journeys; and if he will make a statement. [153212]

Dawn Primarolo: Sales of duty-free alcohol and tobacco on intra-EU journeys, for passengers to take away, were abolished from 1 July 1999. On 24 October 2000 I announced that a post implementation review of the successor regime would take place. Customs have completed that review and copies of the findings have now been placed in the House Libraries.

The review focused on how well the successor regime was working and what further technical improvements could be made. The report makes a number of deregulatory recommendations, which I support. The administrative and operational simplifications to the system will make the regime easier for Customs and the trade to administer.


Crown Prosecution Service

33. Mr. McCabe: To ask the Solicitor-General in what ways the additional funding recently announced for the Crown Prosecution Service will affect the funding of local offices. [151421]

The Solicitor-General: The additional finding for the Crown Prosecution Service, from the Spending Review settlement and the Criminal Justice Reserve represents a significant increase in the resources available to the CPS's 42 Areas in 2001-02. On average the local offices will receive an additional 19 per cent. from April as well as benefiting from the central CPS initiatives on which the remaining extra money will be spent. Areas will be able to recruit up to 500 more front-line lawyers, caseworkers and administrative staff. There will be more training so staff will be better equipped and they will have modern IT facilities to do the job. The additional resources mean that the CPS will be able to deal with more cases, improve its performance and deliver key initiatives including informing victims about prosecution decisions.

34. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will make a statement on the impact of his plans to fund the Crown Prosecution Service on reducing the length of time for bringing prosecutions. [151422]

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The Solicitor-General: The increase in funding for the CPS from April of 23 per cent. in real terms is likely to have a substantial effect on the time taken to bring prosecutions. In particular more resources will be focused:

Additional resources from the Treasury's Capital Modernisation Fund are being used to assist in the establishment of Criminal Justice Units. A Performance Improvement Programme fund aimed principally at improving individual Area performance concerning quality and timeliness has been established.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Solicitor-General what assessment he has made of the Crown Prosecution Service's performance in giving advice on criminal charges to the police. [151423]

The Solicitor-General: A thematic report on the provision of advice to the police by Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) was published in September 1998 and concluded that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) provides good quality written advice. There is also no ongoing programme of Area inspections, each of which covers the issue. I consider each report prepared by the Inspectorate.

Apart from this, the Attorney-General and I regularly see CPS files which enables us to assess the performance of the CPS in giving advice on criminal charges to the police. Often, the files contain good quality and timely case specific advice as well as tackling wider issues such as explaining general prosecution policies. I have also been impressed on my frequent visits to CPS offices by the involvement of CPS lawyers at the pre-charge stages of police investigations, often in large and complex cases.

Treasury Solicitor's Department

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Solicitor-General what plans he has to review the work of the Treasury Solicitor's Department. [153211]

The Solicitor-General: I am pleased to announce that, in accordance with the Government's commitment that all agencies should be reviewed regularly, a review of the work of the Treasury Solicitor's Department is now being launched. The review, which will be conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Office Guidance published in January 2000, will be in two stages: first to assess the Department's performance as an agency and to consider whether agency status is the right organisational model and second to assess the scope for improving performance. The review will be supervised by a Steering group chaired by Mr. George Staple and conducted by Sir Quentin Thomas.

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Hill Farming

10. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to increase the incomes of hill farmers; and if he will make a statement. [151395]

Ms Quin: Hill farmers benefit from the full range of CAP support payments, including agrimonetary compensation. Later this month they will receive payments of Hill Farm Allowance totalling almost £44 million. They also have access to the ERDP whose funding will build up steadily over the next few years.

Agrimonetary Compensation

12. Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on agrimonetary compensation. [151397]

Ms Quin: Last week this Government announced that they intend to draw down £171 million in agrimonetary compensation for the beef, sheep and dairy sectors, including all of the £156 million in optional compensation. These funds have become available as a result of movements in the euro/sterling exchange rate during 2000.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much agrimonetary compensation was provided in each year since 1997 for each sector; and, for each figure, how much was funded by (a) Her Majesty's Treasury and (b) the EU. [150334]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: The figures are set out in the table. The 2001 figures include the compensation announced on 27 February which is subject to Commission approval.

£ million
Year eligible
All sectors

(27) EU figures include UK Exchequer contribution of around 71 per cent.


Agrimonetary compensation paid/to be paid.

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