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Aluminium Industry

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the (a) financial and (b) employment situation in the British aluminium industry. [17654]

Mr. Wilson: With greater consolidation in the world aluminium industry over the last two years, rationalisation is inevitable. In response to the downturn in world aluminium markets major global players, notably Alcan and Alcoa (which both own plant in the UK), have brought forward plans for restructuring their respective global operations. Along with other countries, the UK will be affected.

Solar Power

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the total amounts of grant aid available in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02 for the installation of domestic solar water heating systems, together with (i) the name of each local project responsible for administering this budget, (ii) the targets set in these financial years for each local project and (iii) their budget allocation. [16632]

Mr. Wilson: There are no grants available for the installation of solar water heating systems from central Government at present, though professionally installed systems have benefited from a reduced rate (5 per cent.) of VAT since April 2000. Government do not maintain a register of the number of systems installed and neither does the trade association, though it is probably somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 systems a year.

There are various incentives and grants available from individual local authorities and organisations and from some utilities. Some useful examples can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website or on the website of the trade association

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the total amount of grant aid available in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02, for the installation of photovoltaic panels and roofing together with (i) the name of each local project responsible for administering the budget, (ii) the targets set in both of these financial years and (iii) their budget allocation. [16634]

Mr. Wilson: The Department has funded two rounds of the Domestic PV Systems Field Trial in 2000 and 2001, together supporting some 32 projects (over 500 homes) for the budget of £5.4 million. In addition, a Call for Proposals for the Large-Scale Building—Integrated PV Field Trial for Public Buildings is currently open. This should see around 15 projects on schools, hospitals etc. being supported for the budget of £3 million, and the results should be known by the end of February 2002.

The names of the nine project teams from the first round of the Domestic Field Trial will be included in a newsletter being prepared by the Building Research Establishment, and a copy will be sent to my hon. Friend and copies placed in the Libraries of the House. Summaries of the 23 successful projects from the second round are attached to the press release of 22 October on the DTI website, No targets were set for these financial years.

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Looking to the future, the Department is currently working up the design for the first phase of the Major PV Demonstration Programme, announced in the Government's White Paper "Opportunity for All" on 13 February 2001. This has £20 million allocated over the next two financial years, and it is envisaged it will be open to applications from all types and sizes of building, with an average 50 per cent. capital grant on offer. There are no specific targets as yet, but it is expected that the first phase will result in up to 3,000 domestic roof-top systems and a couple of hundred larger non-domestic installations. Targets for subsequent phases will depend on the success of the first phase and the level of funding available.


Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if the Government have (a) transferred and (b) approved the transfer of controlled goods to (i) the Northern Alliance, (ii) its component factions and (iii) other non-state actors operating in Afghanistan since 11 September; [18215]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

The Government are involved in military operations in self-defence against international terrorists within Afghanistan. Information and plans about these operations are extremely sensitive, and it would not be in the public interest for them to be disclosed. In my opinion, exemptions 1a) and b) (Defence, Security and International Relations) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information apply here.

Public Service Orders

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funds are available from (a) the Treasury and (b) the EU for the subsidising of public service orders. [18728]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

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Public Service Obligations (PSOs) are at present imposed in the UK only on lifeline routes within Scotland. These routes receive subsidies from the Scottish Executive and the Island Councils. There is no provision for the EU to subsidise air services which are subject to PSOs.


War Pensions

Dr. Palmer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out the new rates of war pensions and allowances proposed from April 2002. [19996]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is set out in the table. The Annual uprating of war pensions and allowances for 2002 will take place from the week beginning 8 April.

War pensions rates
Weekly rates unless otherwise shown

Rates 2001Rates 2002
Disablement Pensions (100% rates)
Officer (£ per annum)6,251.006,356.00
Other ranks119.80121.80
Age allowances
over 50 but not over 70%12.3512.55
over 70 but over 90%17.5517.85
over 90%24.7025.10
Disablement gratuity
Specified minor injury (minimum)762.00775.00
Specified minor injury (maximum)5,695.005,792.00
Unspecified minor injury (minimum)316.00321.00
Unspecified minor injury (maximum)7,406.007,532.00
Unemployability allowance
Adult dependency increase41.7542.45
Increase for first child9.709.85
Increase for subsequent children11.3511.55
Invalidity allowance
Higher rate14.6514.90
Middle rate9.309.50
Lower rate4.654.75
Constant attendance allowance
Exception rate90.4092.00
Intermediate rate67.8069.00
Full day rate45.2046.00
Part day rate22.6023.00
Comforts allowance
Higher rate19.4019.70
Lower rate9.709.85
Mobility supplement43.1043.85
Allowance for lowered standard of occupation (maximum)45.1645.92
Exceptionally severe disablement allowance45.2046.00
Severe disablement occupational allowance22.6023.00
Clothing allowance (£ per annum)154.00157.00
Education allowance (£ per annum) (maximum)120.00120.00
War widow's pension
Widow (private)90.4592.00
Widow (NCO)90.7592.30
Widow—officer (£ pa maximum)5,594.005,689.00
Childless widow u-40 (private)21.7522.12
Childless widow u-40 (NCO)21.7522.12
Childless widow (Officer maximum £s pa)5,594.005,689.00
Supplementary pension58.9559.95
Age allowance
(a) age 65 to 6910.3510.55
(b) age 70 to 7919.8520.20
(c) age 80 and over29.5530.05
Children's allowance
Increase for first child14.3014.55
Increase for subsequent children15.9516.20
Orphan's pension
Increase for first child16.2016.50
Increase for subsequent children17.8518.15
Unmarried dependant living as spouse (maximum)88.4089.95
Rent allowance (maximum)34.20 34.80
Adult orphan's pension (maximum)69.7570.95
Widower's pension
Private (maximum)90.4592.00
Officer (£ per annum) (maximum)5,594.005,689.00

29 Nov 2001 : Column: 1052W

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