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Land Mines

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is giving to countries in the clearance of anti-personnel land mines; and if she will list the countries concerned. [22977]

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 193W

Clare Short: DFID's humanitarian mine action strategy is directed towards widening support for the anti-personnel land mines ban and helping developing countries to develop their own capacity to meet their Ottawa Convention obligations; supporting mines awareness and clearance programmes including, in particular, encouraging practical innovation to enhance safety and efficiency in operations; and strengthening international systems for co-ordination.

DFID has allocated £10 million in the current financial year on humanitarian mine action. Additional resources are available for unforeseen emergency responses such as Afghanistan, for which we have committed a further £2 million for mine action. DFID funding is channelled increasingly towards international organisations (core funding as well as country-specific programmes). Additionally we fund projects bilaterally through NGOs and to a limited extent commercial demining organisations. The profile of expenditure in 2001–02 is expected to be:

Country/organisationAmount (£ million)
Core funding
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)1.0
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)0.6
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)1.0
International Testing and Evaluation Programme (ITEP)0.4
Consultancy/advice0.2
Mine Action Research0.25
Kosovo, Cambodia, Georgia
HALO Trust0.8
N. Iraq, Cambodia, Laos
Mines Action Group (MAG)2.0
Bosnia
International Trust Fund0.5
Cambodia, Laos
UNDP1.0
Croatia
International Trust Fund0.125
Kosovo
Bilateral via NGO and commercial demining organisations2.0
Afghanistan, Ethiopia/Eritrea
UNMAS2.0
Nicaragua
Organisation of American States0.2
Total(1)12.0

(1) Rounded


HIV/AIDS

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial aid and advice her Department gives to countries to counter the spread of HIV/AIDS; and if she will list (a) the countries and (b) the financial help being allocated. [22972]

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Clare Short: My Department supports comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, control and mitigation programmes. We continue to give greatest priority to prevention, but we also place emphasis on reducing the personal, social and economic impact of illness and death caused by the disease. We seek to support the development, strengthening and implementation of national strategies to combat HIV/AIDS and to provide assistance in the framework of such strategies.

In 2000–01, my Department spent over £120 million on HIV/AIDS-related bilateral programmes in many countries, including:


We also made significant contributions in 2000–01 to support the HIV/AIDS programmes of a number of multilateral organisations, including the EC, UNAIDS and the United Nations Population Fund.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 195W

TREASURY

Mr. Graham Mills

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times Mr. Graham Mills, a professional clay pigeon competitor has (a) been stopped by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and (b) had his house raided by Customs and Excise. [18534]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 27 November 2001]: It would be inappropriate to disclose information about enforcement or investigation matters as provided in Exemption 4 (Law enforcement and legal proceedings) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Comprehensive Spending Review

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out spending plans for the NHS beyond 2005–06 in the 2002 Comprehensive Spending Review; and if he will make a statement. [20335]

Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 6 December 2001]: Arrangements for the 2002 Spending Review are set out in Chapter 6 of the pre-Budget report.

Income Tax

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the yield from the upper rate of income tax for each of the years (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01, (c) 2001–02, (d) 2002–03, (e) 2003–04, (f) 2004–05 and (g) 2005–06; and if he will make a statement. [22477]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 13 December 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to "Inland Revenue Statistics", table 3.4, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he plans to take in order to avoid avoidance of income tax liabilities by individuals who pay tax at the upper income tax rate of 40 per cent. by use of capital gains tax; and if he will make a statement. [23246]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue will continue to apply existing legislation which ensures that income is charged to income tax.

In addition, we will keep the position under close review and will not hesitate to take action to protect the income tax yield if new tax avoidance schemes for turning income into capital are introduced.

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to allow the maturation, bottling and packaging of Scotch whisky to qualify for the climate change levy rebate scheme. [23254]

Mr. Boateng: Eligible sectors are those covered by Parts A1 and A2 of Schedule 1 to the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Regulations. These sectors have a regulatory requirement to use energy efficiently, unlike other sectors. There are no current plans to change this definition.

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Holding and Movements Directive

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to seek an amendment to the Holding and Movements Directive to permit spirits producers a defence of due diligence when consignments are lost. [23255]

Mr. Boateng: The Scottish Affairs Committee, in its report published in November 2001, recommended that the Government look at a defence of due diligence when excise consignments are lost. The Government are considering their response to this report and will reply in due course.

Employee Share Schemes

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the capital gains taper relief announced in the pre-Budget report will operate in relation to employee share schemes. [23763]

Dawn Primarolo: Where there is a chargeable gain on the disposal of shares acquired through an employee share scheme, taper relief is available for the qualifying holding period.

This period usually starts when the shares are acquired. For shares acquired under options granted under Enterprise Management Incentives, it starts with the date of grant. For shares acquired under the Share Incentive Plan, it starts when the shares leave the plan.

The business assets rate of taper relief is available to employees of trading companies who dispose of shares in their companies and to employees of non-trading companies who do not have a material interest in the company. Such employees will be able to benefit from the improvements to the taper which were announced in the pre-Budget report.

Tax

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he has taken in response to the 1998 IMF Article IV, Consultation Concluding Statement, regarding tax expenditures; and if he will make a statement. [23757]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the costs of the main tax reliefs in 2000–01 and 2001–02 are published twice a year: in the Budget and, at the time of the pre-Budget report, in the "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs". Both documents are available in the Library of the House.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the 2001 IMF Article IV consultation, Concluding Statement, regarding broadening the tax base; and if he will make a statement. [23756]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government keep all taxes under review and any changes will be made as part of the normal Budget process.


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