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6 Nov 2002 : Column 287Wcontinued
Mr. Flight: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to introduce the necessary legislation regarding Pool Re' insurance cover to include the Government's new wider definition of terrorism. 
Ruth Kelly: We currently have no plans to amend the definition of acts of terrorism in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993. We are not persuaded that there is an issue of sufficient substance to justify primary legislation.
Mr. Flight: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement on the Government's discussions with the commercial insurance sector regarding commercial cover being available in respect of
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the substantial area not covered by Pool Re' where presently commercial exclusion is absolute; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: The availability of terrorism cover in the commercial market is a matter that we have and will continue to discuss with the insurance industry. We are not persuaded that there is an issue of sufficient substance to justify primary legislation to amend the definition of acts of terrorism in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993.
James Purnell: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate what the annual cost would be of in-service death benefits extended to unmarried partners, in accordance with the rules for the new Civil Service Pension, for the financial year 200304, and each of the five subsequent years at 200304, prices for (a) the whole of the public sector, (b) the Teachers' Pension Scheme, (c) the NHS Pension Scheme, (d) the Local Government Pension Scheme, (e) the Firemen's Pension Scheme, (f) the Police Pension Scheme and (g) the Armed Forces Pension Scheme; 
Ruth Kelly: There is no cost to the Exchequer from the introduction on 1 October 2002 of new pension arrangements for the Civil Service. Members participating in those arrangements will meet the full costs of all the benefit improvements, including the introduction of survivor pensions for unmarried partners, through higher employee contributions.
Our policy is that public service pension schemes may introduce unmarried partner pensions only if members want the change and are prepared to pay for it through higher member contributions or a rebalancing of other benefits which is cost neutral overall to employers and the taxpayer. Death lump sum benefits may be provided, however, to unmarried partners in schemes where members are able to nominate the recipient.
Ruth Kelly: Details of the United Kingdom's net contribution in 200102, and the abatement included within it, can be found at Table 3.1 (page 12) of the 2001 European Community Finances White Paper (Cm 5547). Equivalent figures for calendar year 2001 can be found at Table 3 (page 40) of the same publication.
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Lynne Jones: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer to parliamentary question 76983, if he will provide separate figures for deaths caused by (a) crack cocaine and (c) cocaine in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent research his Department has commissioned into money laundering in the UK; and if he will publish the results of this research. 
Ruth Kelly: The Treasury is preparing a strategy document to explain the objectives and key criteria of the UK's anti-money laundering regime, and assess the extent to which current measures meet our overarching objectives. This will be finalised after discussions in the Money Laundering Advisory Committee and will then be published on the Treasury website.
Mr. Flight: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what procedures his Department has in place to monitor other Government Departments' performance in relation to their agreed public service agreement. 
Mr. Boateng: Departments provide regular information about their performance to the Treasury. Departments will shortly publish progress in their Autumn Performance Reports, and the Government will introduce regular web-based reporting of progress against all the PSA targets announced in the 2002 Spending Review.
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Recruitment, development, performance management and retention policies are continuously reviewed. There are no age barriers to employment and retirement age is determined on business needs only. The Treasury has no upper age limit for any of its recruitment schemes, other than the retirement age, which is currently 60. The recruitment literature states,
|Year||Percentage of New Recruits Aged 50 and Over|
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001||2.2|
|1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002||1.6|
Ruth Kelly: The Treasury makes no assumption about the costs of asbestos liability claims. It is for individual Departments to make provision in their accounts for any liabilities against them. Details of a Department's provisions and possible contingent liabilities can be found in the notes to their Resource Accounts in the line with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UKGAAP)
Mr. Flight: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent meetings his Department has had with the Department of Trade and Industry regarding a merger of British Energy with BNFL; and if he will place the minutes in the Library; 
(3) what recent meetings his Department has had with (a) the Finance Director and (b) the former Chief Executive of British Energy; and if he will place the minutes in the Library. 
John Healey: I refer to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 11 February 2002, Official Report, c.11415. In line with previous Administrations, it is not this Government's practice to provide details of the meetings they routinely have with a wide range of organisations.
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Mr. Flight: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations his Department has received from British Energy requesting exclusion from the Climate Change Levy; and if he will place in the Library the minutes of meetings with British Energy on this subject. 
John Healey: Treasury Ministers have received numerous representations on the climate change levy. As the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his answer of 11 February 2002, Official Report, c. 11415, in line with previous Administrations, it is not this Government's practice to provide details of the meetings they routinely have with a wide range of organisations.
With regard to nuclear power, the Government made it clear when the detail of the levy was announced in the November 1999 PBR that electricity from nuclear power would be subject to the levy. The Government have restated since then that there are no plans to exempt nuclear energy from the levy, which is designed to encourage energy efficiency across the business and public sectors and to increase the use of sustainable forms of energy.
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