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Flexible Working

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of the staff of his Department are (a) job sharing, (b) terming working and (c) engaged in another form of flexible working. [42415]

Ruth Kelly: Further to my answer of 13 March 2002, Official Report, columns 1110–11W, there are 16 job sharers in HM Treasury (1.4 per cent. of total staff), one term worker (0.1 per cent. of total staff) and 55 other staff engaged in other forms of flexible working (4.8 per cent. of total staff) (all figures rounded to nearest 0.1 per cent.).

Community Development Venture Capital Fund

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer over what period the community development venture capital fund will provide the £40 million referred to in his Budget speech. [52369]

Mr. Boateng: The Government expect the Community Development Venture Fund to be launched and begin operating shortly. The first investments are likely to be made in 2002–03, and the fund is likely to be invested within three to six years, allowing a reserve for follow-on investments as portfolio companies grow. The investment profile and timing will depend on the opportunities that the fund identifies, the time taken to bring companies to the point of investment readiness, and on market conditions.

Economic Growth

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Treasury's latest forecast is of UK economic growth for the forthcoming year. [53077]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury's latest economic forecast is set out in Chapter B of the Financial Statement and Budget Report, which was published on 17 April. UK GDP is forecast to increase by between 2 and 2.5 per cent. in 2002.

Stamp Duty

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of stamp duty on commercial property on (a) property unit trusts and (b) the attractiveness of collective investment schemes investing in property for institutional pension fund investors. [52977]

Ruth Kelly: UK stamp duty rates on property compare favourably with other EU countries. We regularly review the impact of stamp duty on all aspects of the commercial property market.

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Sulphur-free Fuel

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment has been undertaken by his Department of the (a) current and (b) projected future availability of sulphur-free fuel in (i) the UK and (ii) Europe; and if he will make a statement. [52398]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

Under a Common Position reached at the December 2001 EU Environment Council, member states set an EU-wide maximum limit for sulphur of 10ppm (termed "sulphur-free" fuel) from 1 January 2009, this date being subject to review by the Commission with respect to diesel fuel. The Common Position would also require member states to ensure the widespread availability of these fuels from 1 January 2005 in order that it is available for the latest technology vehicles that can take best advantage of it. The European Parliament will now consider the Common Position at its Second Reading.

Almost all petrol and diesel sold in the UK is already ultra low (50ppm) sulphur. Sulphur-free petrol and diesel has now been introduced at 18 retail sites in and around Edinburgh. Current availability of sulphur free fuels in most EU member states is minimal. However, sulphur- free diesel is quite widely available in Sweden and all super unleaded petrol is sulphur-free in Germany.

In the period up to 1 January 2009, the availability of sulphur-free fuels will be influenced by the rate of investment in new refinery technology needed to produce the fuels and also the level of fiscal incentives offered by individual member states to encourage its supply. In this respect, the Chancellor, in his recent Budget statement, announced plans to introduce duty incentives favouring sulphur-free fuels in 2003, subject to European agreement. Germany has also announced similar plans. The Benelux countries are also expected to follow this UK and German lead with the result that fairly widespread availability may be expected in these countries from 2003 onwards. Under the terms of the directive, widespread availability is to be expected in all EU member states from 2005.



Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what information she has collated with regard to the formal procedures followed by the Government of Tanzania in respect of consideration of tenders for supply of an air traffic control system; and whether such procedures met recognised international standards; [51737]

Clare Short: DFID has not collated specific information regarding formal procedures adopted by the Government of Tanzania on the tender process in this case. However, I can confirm that DFID has been actively involved in helping the Government of Tanzania draft and

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introduce a new Public Procurement Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2001. This ensures that GoT's tendering procedures meet recognised international standards.


Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many net additional staff

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her Department has recruited in each month since June 2001 at (a) executive officer level and (b) administrative level. [52423]

Clare Short: Details of the net additional staff recruited by DFID at executive officer level and administrative levels, for each month since June 2001, are as follows:

MonthNumber of net additional staff recruited at executive officer level(6) EntrantsLeaversNet positionNumber of net additional staff recruited at administrative level(7) EntrantsLeaversNet positionTotal of net additional staff recruited at executive officer and administrative level

(6) Grade B2

(7) Grades C1 and C2

South America

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid went to each South American country in the last 12 months; and whether it was ring-fenced for particular projects. [52146]

Clare Short: The bilateral development programmes for Latin American (central and south) countries last year were:

£ million

Central America(9)5.560
Costa Rica0.200

(8) Includes provisional figures for 2001–02 and provisional figures for DFID debt relief (comprising both interest and principal foregone under retrospective terms adjustment, repayment which would have fallen due in year).

(9) A regional programme including Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador.

In addition to these figures the European Commission spent £153 million in Latin America (which includes Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in addition to the countries listed) of which UK share is approximately over £29 million which is drawn from my Department's budget.

All our programmes are carried out in accordance with our country strategies, which are jointly agreed with our counterparts in country. Our role is to add value to the combined effort to the international community to create the right conditions necessary for poverty reduction.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of aid from the UK was spent on (a) education, (b) health and (c) environmental projects overseas in the last 12 months. [52147]

Clare Short: The information required on the proportion of the UK's bilateral aid programmed allocable by sector in 2000–01, the latest period for which figures are available, is:

Renewable natural resources12

Environment is such a cross cutting issue that it is mainstreamed into many of our projects and programmes and as such we do not have a separate environment market for our projects. Therefore for the purposes of answering this question we have taken renewable natural resources as a proxy.

These figures represent expenditure on projects specific to sectors but do not capture the full extent of our efforts in each policy area because they exclude multi-sector projects, block funding to civil society organisations and budget support or balance of payments. Also excluded are activities in sectors funded through multilateral channels.

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