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Public Expenditure

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give, in cash and real terms, the expenditure in (a) Scotland and (b) England on (i) education, (ii) health and personal social services, (iii) roads and transport, (iv) housing, (v) law, order and protective services, (vi) trade, industry, energy and employment, (vii) agriculture, fisheries, food and forestry and (viii) total expenditure in the form set out in Chapter 8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (Cm 5101) in each year from 1979-80 to 1999-2000. [160629]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Information on expenditure by function and country, in cash terms and per head, is set out in chapter 8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) 2001-02 (Cm 5101), from 1995-96 up to 1999-2000. Real terms expenditure can be derived using the latest GDP deflator series, updated on 24 March 2001, available in the Commons Library.

Similar information for earlier years (back to 1985-86) has been published in previous editions of PESA. But there have been significant definitional, classification and coverage changes that mean data are not fully comparable between successive editions of PESA. A consistent and comparable time series for expenditure by function and country for the years prior to 1995-96 is not available.

Barnett Formula

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level of funding apportioned per head of population by the Government under the Barnett formula in Scotland and in the north-west of England, broken down by spending on (a) transport, (b) education, (c) health and social services, (d) trade and industry and (e) tourism. [160626]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Barnett formula is used to allocate funding to the devolved Administrations. It is for the devolved Administrations to decide how to allocate their budgets reflecting their own priorities. The Barnett formula is not used to determine spending allocations

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within England. Information on identifiable total managed expenditure per head by country and region and function is published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses.

Financial Services

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he intends to commence powers making the Financial Services Authority the single financial services regulator under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. [160978]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I am pleased to announce that the Government will be commencing, with effect from 18 June 2001, provisions of the Act which make the Financial Services Authority the single financial services regulator, and give it rule-making powers. These provisions will enable the FSA to make the key provisions of its rule-book no later than end July 2001 so that the financial services industry can train and prepare for the commencement of the main provisions of the Act no later than end November 2001.


Hills Task Force

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will publish the report of the Hills Task Force. [160947]

Mr. Nick Brown: I published the report today. The task force has achieved a great deal in three months and I am grateful to its members, particularly the farmers, who have had enormous personal worries due to foot and mouth disease.

I asked the task force to undertake a scoping study, and it has made a thorough one. It has made a number of recommendations, which we will need to examine carefully--to test the evidence and the value for money, to consider compliance with EU rules, and to hear the views of interested organisations including the other Government Departments which are affected. Some recommendations are for the longer term. Others might be more immediately useful in helping the industry, and particularly the hills sector, to recover from foot and mouth disease, and we shall need to look at these ones much more quickly.

The report is available in the House Libraries and on the MAFF website.

Inputs Task Force

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will publish the report of the Inputs Task Force. [160949]

Mr. Nick Brown: I published the report today. The task force found that across the board, UK farmers do not pay more for their inputs than their competitors in Europe, but competitive trade can be frustrated by a lack of transparency in the market, commercial arrangements and differing regulatory requirements for some inputs across EU member states. They also found that there was a wide range of efficiency of input use and substantial scope for improvement.

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The report contains a number of recommendations for action by both Government and industry to reduce input costs and optimise input use. The Government will consider these carefully and publish a full response as soon as possible.

The report is available in the House Libraries and on the MAFF website.

RAF Lyneham

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what reason the practice of renting out grassland on RAF Lyneham for grass keep has been discontinued. [159262]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 27 April 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

We have been unable to find any records concerning the renting of grassland for the purpose of grass keep at RAF Lyneham.

Integrated Administration and Control System

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 4 April 2001, Official Report, column 224W, on IACS, if IACS applicants submitting electronically can be protected against the Post Office using their names and addresses for commercial purposes. [160241]

Ms Quin [holding answer 8 May 2001]: Applicants submitting their 2001 IACS forms electronically must first obtain a digital certificate which they use to digitally sign their applications. Digital certificates are issued by commercial companies who have been accepted as competent Certification Authorities. There are currently two digital certificate providers approved by the Office of the e-Envoy: Equifax Secure who issue SecureMark certificates and the British Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Royal Mail Viacode who issue ChamberSign certificates.

In order to obtain a digital certificate applicants provide personal information to the Certification Authority. The information supplied to certificate providers by applicants is held under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and as such cannot be used for any purposes other than that for which it was originally intended, unless authorised by the applicant. This includes other commercial purposes.

As part of the Public Key Infrastructure which underpins digital certificate technology, some of this information (name, company name and e-mail address) will be held in a public electronic directory. This is necessary to enable the transmission of secure e-mail.

In addition, section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998 also offers protection to the applicant against the use of personal data for the purposes of direct marketing. Section 11 states:

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Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the outcome was of the recent consultation exercise into an appeal mechanism for IACS claimants in England. [160948]

Mr. Nick Brown: The responses to the consultation exercise on an IACS appeals mechanism in England that began in December 2000 have now been evaluated and I am pleased to say that new appeal arrangements for IACS claimants in England will be introduced.

These arrangements will reflect the three-stage appeal mechanism on which we consulted that attracted positive support from the farming industry for handling IACS appeals in England. The decision to proceed with the introduction of the new arrangements is in line with both the recommendations of the IACS and Inspections Red Tape Working Group and, more recently, of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee in its report on "The Implementation of IACS in the European Union."

A good deal of detailed work remains to be done but we aim to work with industry to introduce the new arrangements as soon as we can.


Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make available the latest progress report prepared by his Department on bovine spongiform encephalopathy. [160951]

Mr. Nick Brown: A further progress report on BSE in Great Britain was placed in the Library of the House today.

The report outlines the measures which have been taken to protect public health since June 2000 and includes the latest EU requirements for testing and surveillance.

There is also a section on the protection of animal health which covers controls on animal feed.

The epidemiology section shows that the epidemic of BSE in Great Britain continues to decline in line with predictions.

The report is also published on the MAFF website:

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