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29 Nov 2004 : Column 16W—continued

International Cricket Conference Headquarters

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on taxation issues affecting the proposed International Cricket Conference Headquarters in London. [200363]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government have received a number of representations from a variety of organisations regarding taxation issues affecting International Sports Federations such as the International Cricket Council.

Mortgages

Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further steps he proposes to take to protect the financial interests of those applying for mortgages in the UK. [199590]


 
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Mr. Timms: The Financial Services Authority assumed responsibility for regulating first charge mortgages, including advising and arranging on mortgages, on 31 October 2004. The FSA will review how the new regime is functioning in due course.

The Government intend to bring forward legislation to bring Home Reversion schemes under FSA regulation as soon the Parliamentary timetable allows.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to regulate shared appreciation mortgages. [200214]

Mr. Timms: The Financial Services Authority assumed responsibility for regulating first charge mortgages, including advising on and arranging such mortgages, on 31 October 2004. The regime incorporates shared appreciation mortgages.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to how many written questions tabled in the last parliamentary session his Department had been unable to provide a substantive answer before the end of the session. [199643]

John Healey: One, which first appeared on the day before prorogation.

Petrol/Diesel (Duty)

Tom Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue his Department has received from the duty paid on petrol and diesel oils in each of the last three years. [200314]

John Healey: Historic petrol and diesel fuel duty revenue figures are published by HM Customs and Excise in the Hydrocarbon Oils Bulletin, a copy of which is available on the UK Trade information website (www.uktradeinfo.com).

Post-16 Statistics

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many 16 and 17 year olds are not in employment, full-time education or training. [200159]

Mr. Timms: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Steve Webb dated 29 November 2004:


 
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Staff Numbers

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff there were in his Department in each year since 1997. [200185]

Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 8 July 2004 to the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb), Official Report, column 811W.

Tax Credits

Brian Cotter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in the constituency of Weston-Super-Mare are in receipt of (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit. [199770]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the reply the Economic Secretary gave on 18 November 2004, Official Report, column 1712W to the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Paul Farrelly).

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to reply to the letter of 26 August from a constituent of the hon. Member for Vale of York regarding child tax credit. [199835]

Dawn Primarolo: The hon. Member's letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was passed to the Inland Revenue, who replied to the hon. Member on 17 November.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the average length of time to process (a) a child tax credit and (b) a working tax credit application is. [199836]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 18 November 2004, Official Report, Column 1510–1511W.

Tobacco Smuggling and Fraud

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the proportion of tobacco products consumed in the UK which had evaded duty through (a) smuggling and (b) fraud in each of the last five years. [199470]

John Healey: HM Customs and Excise do not separately estimate the proportion of illicit tobacco products which evade duty through (a) smuggling and (b) fraud. However, the latest combined smuggling and fraud estimates, for cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco, are available in HM Customs and Excise's paper "Measuring and Tackling Indirect Tax Losses", published alongside the pre-Budget report in December 2003, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.

Treasury Audit

Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the European Commission to undertake a treasury audit. [200303]

Mr. Timms: The European Commission has no reason to audit the Treasury as it has no direct responsibility for the management of EC funds.
 
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ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Beekeeping

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to maintain the regulation of (a) Varroasis and (b) European Foul Brood in beekeeping.[199527

Alun Michael: The Department has no plans to maintain a statutory enforcement role for the control of varroasis. Since the disease is now endemic we plan to remove it from the list of notifiable bee diseases in 2005.

In the case of European foul brood, we are working towards delisting this as a notifiable disease by the end of 2007–08. This will be subject to making satisfactory progress with trials of the 'shook swarm' technique, which the National Bee Unit is currently evaluating.

Refrigerator Recycling

Mr. Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Environment Agency report auditing the refrigerator recycling scheme was published; and if she will make a statement. [199947]

Mr. Morley: The results of an audit of refrigerator and freezer treatment facilities have been discussed with the site operators and the Environment Agency expects to publish the key findings shortly.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Departmental Websites

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department's .gov.uk websites comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines adopted by the Government in 2001; and if she will make a statement. [199624]

Mr. Caborn: Our main website complies with all of the Consortium's Priority 1 checkpoints, most of Priority 2 and some of Priority 3. The RNIB has undertaken an audit to assess accessibility of our main website. We will work with the RNIB to address the outstanding issues over the next six months.

Football (Racism)

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has made to the Spanish authorities over (a) the remarks of the Spanish coach and (b) the actions of the crowd at the recent international football matches in Spain. [199595]

Mr. Caborn: None. However, I wrote to the Spanish Minister of Sport last week about the incidents of racism at the England games in Spain last week. The Football Association has also written to the Spanish Football Association.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assistance she has given to (a) the Football Association and (b) the Kick It Out campaign over the issue of racism in football. [199597]


 
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Mr. Caborn: The Government fully supports the initiatives undertaken by football, including the campaign Kick it Out and the charity Show Racism the Red Card, to help eradicate racism in the sport. Through the Football Foundation, the Government (with its funding partners the FA and FA Premier League) provides £155,000 to the Kick it Out campaign, and £161,000 to Show Racism the Red Card.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Football Association on the sanctions available to (a) international referees, (b) participating teams and (c) international coaches or managers when faced with racism at international matches. [199601]

Mr. Caborn: None. There is no place for racism in sport—nor in modern society and I believe the strongest action should be taken, at the highest level, to ensure its eradiation from the game. I have written to the UEFA and FIFA expressing these points and I await their reply.


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