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11 Mar 2002 : Column 704W
deaths from cancer which could be avoided in the UK each year if cancer survival rates were raised to the average level of other EU countries. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the official visits (1) to (a) Paris and (b) Brussels made by each Minister in his Department in 2001 and the mode of travel used; and what guidance is provided to Ministers in his Department on the choice of mode of travel for such visits; 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what incentives are in place to aid investment in research for smaller quoted companies; and what steps the Government are taking to make competition for investment capital less biased towards larger quoted companies. 
Dawn Primarolo: An R&D tax credit for small and medium sized companies was introduced in Budget 2000. The credit increases the tax deduction for current spending on qualifying R&D from 100 per cent. to 150 per cent., reducing the cash cost of R&D by 30 per cent. for a company paying tax at the small companies rate. The credit can also be paid to companies that are not yet in profit, at a rate of 24 per cent. An R&D tax credit for larger companies will be introduced in Budget 2002. There are also 100 per cent. allowances for R&D capital spending, which are available to all companies and allow immediate tax deductions for qualifying capital expenditure.
The Government commissioned the Myners Review in 2000 to look at factors that may be distorting the investment decision-making of institutions. The review reported in March 2001 and found weaknesses in the investment process that affect all quoted companies, including smaller quoted companies. The Government have accepted all the recommendations made in the review in principle and have published consultation documents on specific issues that were highlighted.
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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government intend to define initial costs incurred as a result of raising equity as a legitimate expense and allow them to be written off against tax. 
Dawn Primarolo: The costs of raising equity finance are treated consistently between taxable profits and commercial accountsthey are not allowed as a deduction against profits because they relate to ownership of the company. The Government have not stated any intention to change this rule.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the escaped terrorist prisoners who were on the run and have been granted early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland Sentences Act 1998. 
Dr. John Reid: 11 prisoners on the run have successfully applied to the Sentence Review Commissioners for early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. In addition eight prisoners on the run have met the principles of the early release scheme but a strict application of the Sentences Act has created an anomaly whereby the Sentence Review Commissioners are unable to grant an early release. In those circumstances the Secretary of State's powers under the Northern Ireland Prisons Act 1953 or the Royal Prerogative of Mercy have been used to provide early release. It has always been the Government's policy that they do not name individuals released under the early release scheme.
Dr. John Reid: The Government have acknowledged that there is an issue concerning fugitives on the run who would stand to benefit from the early release scheme if they were convicted. As part of the package of measures proposed at Weston Park last July the Government made a commitment to take steps to resolve this issue. The Government are currently considering how to take this forward. An announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many reclaimed ballistic protection kits have been (a) taken out of service and (b) retained for future use in the event of increased security demands. 
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Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the President of the Council what representations he has received on the responsibilities of hon. Members under the Data Protection Act 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Robin Cook: I have received a number of representations from hon. Members about difficulties they are experiencing in dealing with constituency cases as a result of the Data Protection Act. At my instigation, officials are consulting their colleagues in the Lord Chancellor's Department about what changes might be needed to the present arrangements.
Norman Baker: To ask the President of the Council how many Government Bills were announced in the Queen's Speech and were not introduced in the same Session of Parliament in the (a) 199798, (b) 199899, (c) 19992000 and (d) 200001 Sessions of Parliament; and if he will make a statement. 
Queen's Speech 1999 announced our intention to introduce legislation to increase the effectiveness of the power to remove regulatory burdens and to improve the education of children with special educational needs; the Regulatory Reform Act and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act were introduced the following Session.
Queen's Speech 2000 announced our intention to re-introduce legislation on giving courts the power to decide whether certain defendants should be tried by jury or by magistrates; the Government have subsequently announced their intention to bring forward legislation to reform the criminal courts system in the light of the recommendations from the review by Lord Justice Auld.
Norman Baker: To ask the President of the Council if he will list the average number of days of consideration for Government Bills in (a) the House of Commons and (b) the House of Lords in each parliamentary Session since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|Government Bills consideredfloor||53||31||40||26|
|Time taken debating||781 hours 53 minutes||396 hours 38 minutes||565 hours 5 minutes||243 hours 35 minutes|
|Average time per Bill||14 hours 45 minutes||12 hours 48 minutes||14 hours 8 minutes||9 hours 22 minutes|
|Government Bills considered(13)||31||26||37||17|
|Average sittings per Bill||7.35||7.96||9.22||7.12|
(13) Standing Committee
11 Mar 2002 : Column 707W
|Government Bills considered(14)||50||29||42||27|
|Time taken debating||806 hours 55 minutes||622 hours 45 minutes||791 hours 33 minutes||223 hours 38 minutes|
|Average time per Bill||16 hours 8 minutes||21 hours 28 minutes||18 hours 51 minutes||8 hours 17 minutes|
(14) Floor or Grand Committee
|Number of Government Bills|
|Session/Bill||Introduced||Which failed to complete their passage|
|European Parliamentary Elections||53||1|
|Sexual Offences (Amendment)||13||4|
|Financial Services and Markets(15)|
|Criminal Justice No. 1(16)|
|Criminal Justice No. 2(16)||42||3|
|European Parliamentary Elections|
|Adoption and Children|
|Commonhold and Leasehold|
|Culture and Recreation|
|Tobacco Advertising and Promotion|
(15) Carried over
(16) Mode of Trial
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