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Galileo Project

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the next stage of funding for the Galileo project was discussed at the November European Space Agency ministerial meeting; what commitments were made by each member state; and if she will make a statement. [19085]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 29 November 2001]: Yes. A declaration for subscription to the next phase of the Galileo programme was opened at the Ministerial Council. A majority of ESA member states subscribed. The UK indicated that it would want to await the outcome of the EU Transport Council before finalising its position.

My Department is working closely with the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and others within Whitehall to examine the economic case for providing further funding to the Galileo project, if it goes ahead.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will consult on (a) employment and (b) goods and services in age discrimination legislation. [18837]

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Alan Johnson: The forthcoming consultation on age discrimination legislation will focus on employment and vocational training. This is our priority, and will implement the EU employment directive. Those responding to the consultation are free, of course, to raise related matters, including the question of extending provision to goods and services.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many letters her Department received from hon. and right hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July. [18570]

Ms Hewitt: My Department received 936 letters from hon. and right hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July.


Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on the proposed takeover of Railtrack by WestLB. [17285]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

The Government welcome the interest shown in the role of the network operator by third parties. However, ultimately it is for the administrator to formulate a proposal for a transfer scheme and put it to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions for approval.


Pre-Budget Report

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish disaggregated figures for the (a) Customs and Excise duties and (b) other taxes and royalties shown on lines 8 and 10 of table B8, page 174, of the pre-Budget report 2001. [20129]

Mr. Andrew Smith: More detailed figures for tax receipts in 2000–01 and 2001–02 are shown in table C7, page 192, of the Budget 2001 and in table B11, page 184, of the 2001 pre-Budget report.

Financial Services Authority

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the FSA took two months to issue a public statement after being informed on 24 September of a previously undisclosed letter dated 1 April 1999 from Mr. Christopher Headdon, then Actuary to Equitable Life, to Irish European Reinsurance Company. [19887]

Ruth Kelly: I understand that the FSA disclosed the existence of the letter at the earliest point that it was appropriate to do so. The letter was relevant to commercial negotiations which have only just been concluded and the FSA press statement of 26 November reported the outcome of those discussions as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the negotiations.

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Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received a copy of the report requested in the letter of 16 October from the Economic Secretary to Sir Howard Davies; and if he will publish it. [20817]

Ruth Kelly: The FSA sent the report to the Treasury on 20 November 2001. I have today forwarded the report to Lord Penrose as further input to his Inquiry. I have also asked the FSA to make the report publicly available. Copies of my letter to Lord Penrose and the report itself have been deposited in the Library of the House.

London Underground

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what involvement officials from HM Treasury have had in the value for money assessment of the public-private partnership for the London Underground; if he will place in the Library the assessment he has received from the Office for National Statistics concerning the accounting treatment for the PPP for the London Underground; and if he will make a statement. [19519]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The value for money assessment of the London Underground PPP will be carried out by London Transport in line with the relevant guidance produced by HM Treasury and the Treasury Taskforce. London Transport is also working to ensure that when it evaluates final PPP bids it addresses the issues raised by the National Audit Office in its report 'The financial analysis for the London Underground Public Private Partnerships'.

The Office for National Statistics has made no assessment of the accounting treatment of the PPP.

Treasury Investment Appraisal Guidance

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes he plans to make to Treasury investment appraisal guidance; and if he will make a statement. [19521]

Mr. Andrew Smith: A review of the Capital Appraisal process, including the detailed guidance issued by the Treasury on investment appraisal, was announced at the time of the pre-Budget report last year. When the review concludes I will decide whether any changes need to be made to the current guidance.

Cross-border Bank Transfers

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the average charge for a cross-border bank transfer of 100 euros (a) in the Euro zone and (b) involving a UK bank; and if he will make a statement. [19587]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury has made no assessment of charges for cross-border credit transfers either (a) in the Euro zone, or (b) involving a UK bank.

Capital Assets

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 20 November 2001, Official Report, column 270W, on capital assets, (1) if he will place in the Library the classification of each asset

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reverting to the public sector for PPP contracts signed in the last 12 months; and what was their aggregate value; [19185]

Mr. Andrew Smith: This information is not held centrally. Information on the assets held by each department and major PPP projects is available in departmental resource account.

Regional Investment

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the expenditure was (a) under the single regeneration budget, and its equivalents, (b) under the housing capital programmes outside the SRB, (c) under the European regional development fund and the European social fund, (d) by specialised economic regeneration agencies, (e) by TECs, skills and learning councils and on education and training by the Employment Service and the further education funding councils, (f) by the DTI on regional policies including regional selective assistance, (g) by the enterprise boards and (h) under specialist regeneration activities including employment zones and new deal in communities in each of the last 10 years for each of the nations of Great Britain. [18522]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Spending in devolved areas is a matter for the devolved Administrations to determine within their overall departmental expenditure limits, announced following Spending Review 2000. Information on receipts from European Community institutions analysed by fund and by Department is published in table 14d of the departmental report of the Chancellor's Departments (Cm 5116). Information on the programmes of UK Government Departments is published in the relevant Department's departmental report.

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to allow regional development agencies to issue regional bonds as a regional investment facility. [18514]

Mr. Andrew Smith: There are no such plans. However, Regional Venture Capital Funds will shortly be up and running across the country. These will provide at least £270 million of investment in the regions and are supported by up to £80 million of Government resources.

Asian Community Events

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Asian community events he has attended within the last 12 months. [15914]

Ruth Kelly: Over the last 12 months, Treasury Ministers have attended numerous meetings at which members of the Asian business, faith and other communities have been present, including the Bradford Mela (Peel Park, Bradford, 1 July 2001), Diwali celebrations in Southend-on-Sea (5 November 2001) and 16th Anniversary Asian Traders Dinner (London, 13 November 2001).

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