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Galileo Project

Mr. McWilliam: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of (a) the economic impact of the Galileo project for the UK transport sector and (b) the number of jobs the project will create for British industry; and if he will make a statement. [22236]

Mr. Jamieson: A UK cost-benefit assessment carried out in September for my Department and the British National Space Centre by ESYS Consulting suggested that Galileo could yield net economic benefits for UK users and suppliers, based on European Commission studies and discussions with potential UK users. However, the recent study for the Commission by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), released on 22 November, excludes supplier benefits and estimates a much reduced and narrower range of benefits for transport users than previous Commission estimates. The report also made clear that there would be a need for continuing public sector funding throughout future phases of the project. On Friday the Transport Council deferred decisions on the next stage of Galileo in order to allow time for further consideration of the PWC report.

Transport Expenditure

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of Britain's national income is spent on (a) roads, (b) railways and (c) the underground. [22079]

Mr. Jamieson: About 1.4 per cent. of the UK's gross domestic product is spent on the provision and maintenance of transport infrastructure and support for public transport services.

Of this figure, about one third relates to roads and one third is spent on the railways. The remaining one third covers all other forms of transport spending, of which spending on London Underground forms a small proportion.


Departmental Rents

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the annual rental value is of the London Headquarters of (a) HM Customs and Excises, (b) the Inland Revenue, (c) the Government Actuary's Department and (d) the UK Debt Management Office; and what assessment he has made of the rental values of similar office space size in (i) Coventry, (ii) Birmingham, (iii) Wolverhampton and (iv) Stoke on Trent. [10249]

Ruth Kelly: The following table lists the annual rental value of the London headquarters of (a) HM Customs and Excise; (b) the Inland Revenue; (c) the Government

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Actuary's Department; and (d) the Debt Management Office. HM Customs and Excise and the Government Actuary's Department co-locate in the London accommodation, so the rental value has been apportioned based on their percentage of occupation.

No assessment has been made of the rental value of similar offices in (i) Coventry, (ii) Birmingham, (iii) Wolverhampton and (iv) Stoke on Trent as the Departments do not have offices of a comparable size. Neither the Government Actuary's Department nor the Debt Management Office occupy any space outside of London.

Annual rental value of London headquarters

HM Customs and Excise5,000,000
Inland Revenue2,200,000
Government Actuary's Department650,484
Debt Management Office957,852

Mortgage Advice

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to allow the Financial Services Authority to take over the regulation of mortgage advice to consumers; and if he will make a statement. [8928]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 25 October 2001]: I am announcing today that, in the light of representations made by the industry and others, and taking account of the views of the report and responses to the Banking Services Consumer Codes Review, I have decided to extend the FSA's powers to enable it to regulate mortgage intermediaries and advice.

Manufacturing Summit

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if (a) he and (b) other Treasury Ministers will attend the manufacturing summit in early December. [15698]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 19 November 2001]: The Chief Secretary to the Treasury attended the "Manufacturing and the Regions" summit on 5 December.

HIPC Initiative

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (a) the countries eligible for debt relief under the heavily indebted poorer countries initiative whose debt repayments to the United Kingdom are now being held in trust, (b) the amount of money held in trust in respect of each such country and (c) the level of debt outstanding to the United Kingdom from each such country. [18387]

Mr. Boateng: Since the Chancellor made the announcement on 2 December, the following countries have made payments that are eligible for the hold in trust policy:

CountryPayments held in trust (£000)Amount of debt (£ million)
Burkina Faso64.91.0
Central African Republic2.40.5

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Ethiopia and Guinea have since reached their Decision Point, where they are no longer required to make payments to the UK. Burkina Faso had reached Decision Point before December 2000, but interim relief has been suspended. Payments from Burkina Faso will continue to be held in trust.

The following countries have reached a Decision Point since the Chancellor made the announcement, but prior to Decision Point did not make any payments for holding in trust. Now that they have reached a Decision Point, they are all receiving 100 per cent. debt relief and are no longer required to make any payments to the UK.

£ million

CountryAmount of debt
Guinea Bissau0
Sao Tome and Principe0

The following countries have not yet reached a Decision Point under HIPC, and any payments they do make will be held in trust:

£ million

CountryAmount of debt
Cote D'Ivoire48.0
DR Congo165.5
Laos PDR0
Sierra Leone3.6

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on the treatment of interest earned on money paid as debt service payments by highly indebted poor countries to the United Kingdom and currently held in trust by the Government. [18386]

Mr. Boateng: Money that is held in trust will be returned when the proceeds can be shown to go towards poverty reduction. At that point, the UK will return all payments made since 1 December 2000. The commitment of the Chancellor's speech on 2 December 2000 was that the UK will not benefit financially from these historic

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debts and as such, all payments made will be returned to fund poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in HIPC countries.

Small Businesses

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 20 November 2001, Official Report, column 271W, for what reason he will not reply on the representations he has received on changes to insurance policies and premiums for small businesses since 11 September; and if he will make a statement. [18400]

Ruth Kelly: We receive a great many representations from both industry and individuals. Identifying those that have been sent on a specific subject could not be done without disproportionate cost.

Golden Jubilee Coin

Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans have been made for the production of a Crown piece to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee. [18548]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 27 November 2001]: Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the Chancellor of the Exchequer's recommendation that in 2002 a crown piece should be issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the throne. Further details will be announced shortly.


Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of people whose earnings were (a) below a third and (b) between a third and a half of median male earnings paid tax on each of the last six years. [20456]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the proportion of taxpayers whose earnings were (a) below a third of male median earnings, and (b) between a third and a half of male median earnings are in the table:

Employee taxpayers as a percentage of employees
Yearwith earnings less than 1/3 of male median earnings(12)with earnings between 1/3 and 1/2 of male median earnings(12)

(12) Male median earnings figures are based on New Earnings Survey, full-time male employees on adult rates, whose pay for the survey period was unaffected by absence.

The taxpayer estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes and the employee estimates are based on the Labour Force Survey. These estimates are subject to sampling errors and changes in the percentages over time should be treated with caution.

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