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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport has been involved in trials of body scanner technology at Luton and Heathrow airports, and at Paddington railway station, as part of joint industry and Government effort to further improve the security of the travelling public in the UK. Currently there are no body scanners deployed for transport security purposes at airports, ports and railway stations.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions his Department has had with the shipping industry on reducing incidental noise from commercial shipping operations in the marine environment; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what plans his Department has to contribute to the work of the International Marine Organisation's correspondence group on drafting non-mandatory guidelines on ship noise reduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Shipping is a global industry and the regulation of international shipping is best taken forward in the forum of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). IMOs Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) met in October and, following discussion of a submission from the USA, MEPC agreed a new work programme item aimed at minimising the introduction of incidental noise from ships into the marine environment.
Consequently, at future sessions of MEPC there will be an agenda item entitled Noise from commercial shipping and its adverse impacts on marine life. This Department and its Maritime and Coastguard Agency will take part in the work under this agenda item, including the IMO correspondence group which is being coordinated by the USA.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of speed cameras deliberately damaged or destroyed in Essex in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport has not made any such estimate. This information may be held by Essex police who take such criminal behaviour seriously and seek to prosecute anyone caught committing such acts.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the economic impact of the revised rates of air passenger duty on air travel (a) to, (b) from and (c) within the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: The existing scope of, and exemptions from, air passenger duty will remain in place, including the exemption for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. There will be no economic impact of the revised rates of air passenger duty on the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in his Department were engaged in preparatory work for the recent assessment of the UK's performance against the five economic tests for joining the euro. 
the Government do not propose a euro assessment to be initiated at the time of this budget.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effects on sterling of the scale of bank deposits and other short-term instruments held by non-residents. 
Ian Pearson: Exchange rates are determined by a range of factors. The Governments objective is for a stable and competitive exchange rate in the medium term, consistent with meeting the inflation target.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of income tax receipts were paid by the wealthiest (a) one per cent., (b) five per cent., (c) 10 per cent., (d) 25 per cent. and (e) 50 per cent. of the population in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Ian Pearson: As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, told this House on 3 December 2008, Official Report, column 38, there will be a statement on Equitable Life before the House rises at Christmas.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter dated 24 September 2008 and subsequent correspondence from the hon. Member for Billericay regarding a constituent, Mr D. Randall. 
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions have been made on the net present value of public-private partnership projects for the purposes of preparing the pre-Budget report for 2008. 
Angela Eagle: HM Treasury uses departmental returns as the basis for its statistics on public-private partnerships published at each pre-Budget and Budget report. These are in turn based on HM Treasury's Green Book, which can be found on the Treasury's website at
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discount rate of capital is used when determining the net present value of public-private partnership projects; and what risk premium is included in that rate. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to change the designation for VAT purposes of products designed to protect children from the sun; and if he will make a statement. 
(2) if he will make it his policy to change the definition for VAT purposes of childrens clothing from clothing to fit an average-sized 13 year old and smaller to that which fits an average-sized 15 year old and smaller; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the VAT agreements with our European partners, signed by successive Governments, we can retain our existing VAT zero rates, but we may not extend them or introduce new ones. It is therefore not possible to extend the present zero-rating for childrens clothing to clothing designed for children older than 13.
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the effect of the changes in value added tax announced in the Pre-Budget Report 2008 on the financial services sector. 
Mr. Timms: The reduction in the standard rate of VAT from 17.5 per cent. to 15 per cent. between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 will benefit the financial services sector because it will incur less irrecoverable VAT (in respect of its exempt supplies).
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether he authorised under the terms of the Wilson Doctrine the interception of telephone or other electronic communications of the hon. Member for Ashford (a) before and (b) after his recent arrest; 
(2) whether (a) listening devices and (b) other forms of surveillance technology have been placed in the homes or offices of an hon. Member by (a) the police and (b) the intelligence and security services in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality with reference to paragraph 3.11 of the Carers at the Heart of 21st Century Families and Communities report, how much of the £150 million funding for breaks for carers of disabled children will be provided by the Government Equalities Office over each of the next two years. 
Maria Eagle: I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on this matter in my capacity as Ministerial Champion for Women in the Criminal Justice System and through the inter-ministerial group on reducing re-offending and the ministerial sub-group on Corston. The Government are fully committed to providing appropriate alternatives to custody for women who are not violent or dangerous, in line with recommendations set out in Baroness Corstons review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system. A progress report one year on from the Governments response to Baroness Corstons review will be published later this month and will outline progress and future plans on this important issue.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding from each regional development agency project budget for 2008-09 was reallocated to the Homebuy Direct scheme. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what percentage of households of each (a) type of tenure, (b) size, (c) income level and (d) ethnicity in each region in England are estimated to be overcrowded. 
|Table 1: Overcrowded( 1) households by region and tenure, England, 2004-05 to 2006-07( 2)|
|Tenure (thousand households)||Percentage|
|Government office region||Owner occupiers||Social renters||Private renters||All tenures||Owner occupiers||Social renters||Private renters||All tenures|
|(1) Overcrowded i.e. one or more bedrooms below the bedroom standard. (2) Sample sizes are too small to give robust annual figures. A three-year average is therefore provided. Source: Communities and Local Government, Survey of English Housing.|
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