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Departmental Overspend

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Departments overspent their allocated budget in 2000–01; and by how much in each case. [27927]

Mr. Andrew Smith: As set out in "Public Expenditure 2000–2001 Provisional Outturn" Cm 5243, one Department overspent its departmental expenditure limit in 2000–01—the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by £4,932,000.

International Aid

Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he estimates the Government will reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent. of GNI for international aid. [27863]

Mr. Boateng: The Government remain fully committed to the UN 0.7 per cent. oda/GNP target. We have set out our plans for the next three years to 2003–04 and, as these show, development assistance as a proportion of GNP will rise to 0.33 per cent. in 2003–04, up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997. In his speech in New York and in his pre-Budget report speech, the Chancellor emphasised his commitment to ensuring further substantial increases in development assistance. The forthcoming Spending Review is an opportunity to consider plans for development spending beyond 2003–04, alongside other priorities and pressures.

Aid effectiveness is also important as well as aid volumes. The Government are committed to redirecting their development assistance budget to the poorest countries, particularly those with effective Governments pursuing high growth and pro-poor economic and social policies. In addition the Government have untied all their aid as from 1 April last year.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will suspend Arthur Andersen accountants from Government contracts until the US Senate Committee investigation into Enron is completed. [28518]

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Mr. Andrew Smith: I am aware of no evidence to suggest any involvement by UK members of Arthur Andersen and so there are no grounds to consider suspending the firm from Government contracts.

Oil and Gas Industry (National Insurance)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans HM Treasury has to amend the liability for and collection method of NIC contributions from those individuals employed offshore in the UK continental shelf area by non-UK companies; and if he will make a statement. [29479]

Dawn Primarolo: We have no plans to amend the liability for or collection method of national insurance contributions from these individuals.

Aggregates Levy

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the introduction of the aggregates levy on the Scottish economy in terms of (a) employment and (b) output. [29362]

Mr. Boateng: A Regulatory Impact Assessment for the aggregates levy was published at the time of the Budget 2000. It is available from the Customs and Excise website.

Terrorism (Spending)

Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide a breakdown of the expected cost to Her Majesty's Government over the current financial year of the measures to combat terrorism announced by the Home Secretary on 15 October 2001, Official Report, columns 923–25. [10008]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 25 October 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

£8.5 million of additional funding has been allocated for a range of anti-terrorism measures in the current year. In addition to this, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Statement on the pre-Budget report, announced on 27 November that a further £30 million had been made available to the Metropolitan police and other police forces to fund the need for additional policing since 11 September, during the current financial year.

National Minimum Wage (Wealden)

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in Wealden received the recent increase in the national minimum wage. [29712]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Charles Hendry, dated 23 January 2002:

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Gulf War Veterans

Mr. Savidge: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest figures are for deaths to Gulf veterans; and what the figures are among the control group. [30323]

Dr. Moonie: Peer reviewed scientific data comparing the mortality rates of UK Gulf veterans to an era group of service personnel who did not deploy to the Gulf were published for the first time in the Lancet on 1 July 2000. Updates to these figures were provided by the Ministry of Defence to the House on 20 July 2000, 22 January 2001

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and 18 July 2001. The MOD has undertaken to continue to monitor the mortality of both Gulf veterans and the era group and will publish updated figures on a regular basis. The figures as at 31 December 2001 are shown in the table.

Overall, in the period 1 April 1991 to 31 December 2001, the mortality of UK Gulf veterans was no different than that of the control group. Slightly fewer Gulf veterans have died from disease-related causes than have those in the control group, whereas the number of Gulf veterans dying of external causes is a little higher than for the control group. These differences are similar to those shown by the figures published in July 2001.

Deaths to UK Gulf veterans(6) 1 April 1991 to 31 December 2001 Causes (coded to ICD-9)(7)

ICD ChapterCause of deathGulfEraMortality rate ratio(8)
All deaths5245201.00
All cause coded deaths5145101.00
I-XVIDisease-related causes1982400.82
IInfectious and parasitic diseases321.49
IIIEndocrine and immune disorders140.25
VMental disorders11120.91
VIDiseases of the nervous system and sense organs761.16
VIIDiseases of the circulatory system68900.75
VIIDiseases of the respiratory system1051.99
IXDiseases of the digestive system11160.68
IV, X-XVIAll other disease-related causes3110.27
EXVIIExternal causes of injury and poisoning3162701.17
Railway accidents413.98
Motor vehicle accidents110921.19
Water transport accidents413.98
Air and space accidents25171.46
Other vehicles accidents010.00
Accidental poisoning10140.71
Accidental falls861.33
Accidents due to fire/flames020.00
Accidents due to natural environmental factors221.00
Accidents due to submersion/suffocation/foreign bodies1772.42
Other accidents31271.14
Late effects of accident/injury020.00
Suicide and injury undetermined whether accidental97901.07
Injury resulting from the operations of war340.75
Other deaths for which coded cause data are not yet available77
Overseas deaths for which cause data are not available33

(6) Service and ex-Service personnel only.

(7) World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases 9th revision 1997.

(8) Mortality rate ratios differ marginally from the crude deaths ratio owing to some small differences between the Gulf and Era cohorts.

Computer Crime

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of computer (a) hacking, (b) fraud and (c) theft his Department recorded in 2000 and 2001; and on how many occasions in 2000 and 2001 computer systems in his Department have been illegally accessed by computer hackers within and outside his Department. [10975]

Dr. Moonie: The number of incidents affecting computer systems for the years 2000 and 2001 are summarised in the table:

Incident type20002001(9)
Computer hacking total912
of which there were:
website defacements32
internal incursions610
Computer fraud44
Computer theft(10)267312

(9) Reports thus far.

(10) Computer theft figures include desktops, laptops and items of computer peripheral equipment.

None of the instances of hacking had any operational impact, and despite widespread and frequent probes of the Ministry of Defence firewalls connected to the internet, there is no evidence of any successful incursion from an external source to any departmental computer system. While website defacement may constitute an offence under The Computer Misuse Act 1990, none of the instances recorded provided clear grounds for prosecution.

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In the case of computer fraud, all instances are cases where MOD computers have been used in support of fraudulent activities, rather than specific fraud of a computer based system.

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