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Disability Income Guarantee

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to uprate the disability income guarantee in line with earnings; and if he will make a statement. [8967]

Maria Eagle: In line with section 150 of the Social Security Administration Act, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is currently reviewing the rates of benefit. He will make an announcement in due course.


Foot and Mouth

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the part played by the resistance by farmers to the slaughter of their stock in the spread of the foot and mouth outbreak. [12421]

Margaret Beckett: Resistance to the slaughter of stock on contiguous premises has led to delays in some disease control operations, seriously hampering efforts to bring the epidemic under control. The longer that animals which are believed to have been exposed to the virus remain alive, the greater the risk of them developing disease and spreading infection to neighbouring farms.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to review licensing arrangements for animal movements following the recent foot and mouth disease outbreaks. [8546]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 October 2001]: The licensing arrangements for animal movements are kept under constant review and have been regularly amended to reflect the improving disease situation. Once foot and mouth disease has been eradicated, we will need to look closely at the way in which animal movements contributed to the rapid spread of disease. This aspect of the outbreak is likely to be one of the issues that will be examined by Dr. Iain Anderson's independent inquiry.

There have been restrictions on the movement of pigs for many years. Any proposal to retain licensing for other animal movements would need to balance carefully the needs of the livestock industry and the inherent disease control risks associated with animal movements.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the amount of FMD vaccine (a) held in the UK and (b) available from elsewhere in Europe. [12291]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 November 2001]: As at the end of October, the Government's commercial supplies of a suitable vaccine to protect against the current strain of FMD virus would be sufficient to vaccinate at least 2.5 million animals. The exact number of doses needed per animal depends on the potency of the final vaccine, the number of doses given and the length of time we wish the animals to be protected. Stocks were increased and kept up to date as part of our vaccination contingency plans.

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We also have access to some of the estimated 6 million doses of the relevant vaccine held in the European vaccine bank. We placed a reserve on 125,000 doses in April 2001 as a precautionary measure.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) value of contracts (i) negotiated and (ii) yet to be negotiated in relation to (A) cleansing and (B) restocking following infection of the foot and mouth disease. [8149]

Mr. Morley: Secondary cleansing and disinfection work required to be undertaken under contracts agreed with contractors and farmers has now been completed on about 5,300 premises. A further 1,400 premises which are subject to similar contractual arrangements are undergoing cleansing and disinfection at present, with another 210 still to be started.

The cost of carrying out contracted work on cleansing and disinfection, based on completed, continuing and a small number of premises still to be started, is estimated to be about £250 million.

Restocking of premises is a matter for the individual owner of the premises and stock and no contractual information is available.

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to lift the three kilometre D notice in the infected area in Leominster. [6662]

Mr. Morley: There have been no infected premises within 10 kilometres of Leominster and therefore there are no three kilometre D notice restrictions in place around Leominster. All protection zone restrictions in Herefordshire have been lifted; the last was lifted on 21 August. However, there is currently sampling and testing of the premises in the three to 10 kilometre surveillance zones in Herefordshire and until this has been completed satisfactorily, the county remains at "at risk" status.

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what is the total number of animals, by species, slaughtered under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme since 19 February. [14055]

Mr. Morley: The Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme was opened on 22 March 2001, to deal with severe welfare problems arising from the foot and mouth disease movement restrictions that cannot be dealt with by any other means. As at 7 November, the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme had dealt with a total of 1,929,891 animals since it opened. Of these, 1,481,049 were sheep (76.7 per cent.), 279,126 were pigs (14.5 per cent.), 166,531 were cattle (8.6 per cent.) and 3,185 were other species (0.2 per cent.).


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many sheep, on how many farms, are subject to restrictions resulting from the fallout of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, broken down by region. [9938]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

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The table shows the current numbers of farms and sheep remaining under restrictions arising from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The figures are presented for England, Wales and Scotland. The last restrictions in place in Northern Ireland were removed in April 2000.



Mr. Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support her Department is giving to Bristol University and to Silsoe Research Institute in Bedford for the development of the Crustastun. [11198]

Mr. Morley: I have been advised that DEFRA is not supporting the development of Crustastun which is a trade name. DEFRA has supported link projects looking at the use of electric stunning for farmed fish.


Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the annual cost of clearing up litter in the UK in each of the last three years. [11968]

Mr. Meacher: The Government do not keep consolidated data on how much each local authority spends on litter removal annually. A recent estimate by the Tidy Britain Group suggests that total annual expenditure on litter removal in England is about £370 million.

Rural Recovery Programme

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the money committed to rural businesses as part of the rural recovery programme following the FMD crisis has been allotted. [9601]

Alun Michael: All of the £27 million allocated as direct grants to business in May has been committed. Some £21 million has already been approved for payment. Payment is made as soon as possible after a claim is submitted, subject to the usual checks, and it is expected that the full allocation will be used. The submission of a claim depends on the individual business which has received grant approval depending on individual RDA/ Business Link procedures.

Computer Crime

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of computer (a) hacking, (b) fraud and (c) theft her Department recorded in (i) 2000 and (ii) 2001; and on how many occasions in those years computer systems have been illegally accessed by computer hackers (A) within and (B) outside his Department. [13138]

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Mr. Morley: There were no cases of computer hacking detected for 2000 and two cases in 2001, to date, perpetrated by persons outside the Department. There were no cases of fraud detected during the same period. The number of computer thefts detected was 19 in 2000 (15 by insiders and the remainder by persons outside the Department) and 16 in 2001, to date, (15 by insiders and the remainder by persons outside the Department). Figures for 2000 and until 11 June 2001 relate to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and after that date to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list those members of the Carbon Trust Board who represent (a) the energy supply industry, (b) the energy efficiency industry, (c) local government and (d) the rest of the public sector. [12102]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 8 November 2001]: For a full list of Carbon Trust Board Members, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to him on 5 November 2001, Official Report, column 36–37W. Appointments to the Carbon Trust Board are a matter for the Chairman and the Board. However, Government non-executive directors are appointed to represent the public interest and the interests of their respective Departments and Devolved Administrations.

The independent non-executive directors are appointed on a personal basis and not to represent any particular interest. The aim is to bring the right balance of skills and experience to the strategic direction of the company. The executive team and work programme of the Carbon Trust will be developed to address operational or sectoral needs. In addition the Carbon Trust will be establishing stakeholder advisory groups to establish dialogue with and represent the interests of particular groups.

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what was the total level of Government financial support made available to energy efficiency measures in each year since 1990. [12791]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 7 November 2001]: The funding made available by the Department and its predecessors to support and promote efficiency measures in each year since 1990 is as follows:

Year£ million

(26) Estimated

The core of this spend is the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, support for the Energy Saving Trust and the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme. Energy Saving Trust funding for Scotland was devolved from 1 July

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1999. Between 1991–99, the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme covered the whole of Great Britain. In July 1999 and April 2000, separate programmes were set up in Scotland and Wales respectively. For these devolved areas, it is the responsibility of the respective Parliaments and Assemblies to comment on the funding situation.

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