Mr Burden : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the cost of legal aid in connection with actions by council tenants under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and relevant predecessor legislation.
Mr. John M. Taylor : It is not possible to identify actions specifically involving council tenants. Nor is it possible to identify actions taken specifically under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act, or any relevant predecessor legislation, since the information is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Where a private individual brings a prosecution under section 82 he would not qualify for legal aid. An individual defending an action may be granted criminal legal aid provided that it was considered to be in the interest of justice and his means are such that he requires assistance.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what variation is permitted within the laid-down guidelines regarding (a) awarded costs and (b) expedited costs in (i) civil and (ii) criminal cases ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Departmental targets for the payment of costs in criminal proceedings and recent performance against those targets were referred to in the answer I gave the hon. Member on 11 January 1994 at columns 66-68. There are no permissible or formal levels of variation from target. The targets represent realisable but challenging aims for taxing authorities and are used as a means of monitoring and discussing levels of performance. Monitoring is undertaken regularly at various managerial levels in the court service and resources redeployed if necessary to meet fluctuations in workload.
Payment of costs in civil proceedings is a matter for the parties, rather than the courts. Where the court orders payment of costs within a specific period, it is open to either party to apply to vary the time for payment. Whether the application is granted, and on what terms, is a matter for judicial discretion and will depend on the individual circumstances of each case. Enforcement of the order to pay costs is also a matter for the parties to take forward.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in how many instances (a) costs and (b) expedited costs were paid within the standard laid down by charter ; in how many cases payments were made (i) only after six months and (ii) only after a year or more in each of the past three years ; how much money was involved in each case ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total cost of (a) construction, (b) maintenance and (c) improvements to the M25 in each year since construction commenced at both current and constant 1992-93 prices.
The cost of building the M25 was nearly £1000 million. It was constructed over a period of 14 years between 1972 and 1986 giving an average cost per year of £71.42 million. These are actual costs.
|£ million ------------------------------------- (b) Maintenance 1990-91 |10.63 1991-92 |30.73 1992-93 |24.36 1993-94 |<1>30.58 (c) Improvements 1990-91 |9.31 1991-92 |14.82 1992-93 |16.39 1994-94 |<1>10.70 <1>Estimated spend at current prices.
Information on spend on maintenance and improvements is not collected for particular routes. The figures given have been collated from a number of different sources and some components have been estimated. Reliable information for the years before 1990-91 is not available.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list each scheme relating to the M25 in his Department's current trunk roads and motorways programme with the total cost in each year since construction began up to estimated completion, at both current and constant 1992-93 prices, for (a) junction improvements, (b) increasing capacity and (c) other improvements.
|£ million ------------------------------------ Junctions 15-16 1992-93 |7.1 1993-94 |<1>22.9 1994-95 |<1>5.3 Junctions 10-11 1993-94 |<1>1.5 1994-95 |<1>33.5 Junctions 7-8 1993-94 |<1>1.0 1994-95 |<1>30.0 1995-96 |<1>15.0 <1> Estimated spend at current prices.
All three schemes are to increase capacity to dual four lanes largely within the highway boundary.
Mr. Eastham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of evidence from abroad as to the effectiveness of the installation of automatic roadside speed cameras as a means of reducing the number of road deaths.
However, it is difficult to translate overseas experience to Britain because of the different social attitudes and enforcement practices.
Mr. Eastham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the British Medical Association urging the installation of automatic roadside speed cameras as a means of reducing the number of road deaths.
Mr. Key : Such a study has already been commissioned. The Transport Research Laboratory is monitoring the effects of speed cameras on both speed and accidents. Early results from the pilot project in west London suggest that accidents have fallen by 25 per cent. and the number of people killed or seriously injured by over 40 per cent.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 22 February, Official Report , column 118 , what traffic surveys have been carried out to establish demand for a means of access from the M45 to the A5 in Warwickshire.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) to what extent and on what occasions since the beginning of 1985 Ministers or representatives of Government Departments have been involved in discussions with the Government of Malaysia, and the Malaysian airline MAS, about increasing the availability of slots for that airline at Heathrow airport ;
Column 702(2) to what extent and on what occasions since the beginning of 1985 his Department has been involved in discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority about increasing the availability of slots for the Malaysian airline MAS at Heathrow airport.
Mr. Norris : No discussions have been held with any of these parties concerning the availability of slots at Heathrow airport. Slot allocation is a matter for the independent co-ordinator at the airport.
Governmental talks concerning air services arrangements at which both MAS and British Airways were represented were held with the Malaysian Government in July and September 1985, March and August 1989 and March 1993. In 1985 liberal air service arrangements were concluded involving increases in capacity and amendments to routeing and traffic rights for both sides. For the outcome of the 1989 talks I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Williams) on 15 Febraury. No further rights were agreed at the talks in 1993 and no dates for further discussions have so far been agreed.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax regime applies to payments from share dealings in the United Kingdom received by a person who is resident in the United Kingdom for less than 90 days per year.
Mr. Dorrell : All purchases of shares completed within the United Kingdom attract stamp duty. Gains realised on the disposal of shares are liable to capital gains tax if the holder is either actually resident or ordinarily resident within the United Kingdom.
Sir John Cope : In the magistrates court the maximum penalty for evading duty is the greater of £5,000 or three times the value of the goods. In the Crown court the penalty is unlimited and offenders can be imprisoned. The word "fine" is not used in the Customs and Excise Acts. A penalty is to all intents and purposes the same as a fine.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the rules or procedures concerning bridging loans for permanent transfer expenses and assistance to staff facing serious financial hardships.
Mr. Dorrell : Departments are responsible for setting the rules on the expenses that may be paid to members of staff who permanently transfer to another office and who move their homes as a result. The framework of principles under which Departments can determine those rules are set out in the transfer section of the "Civil Service Management Code", a copy of which is in the House Library.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions have been received by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise from commission auditors in respect of the examining of food exports entered at any particular port ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Cope : Commission auditors produced a report following their visit to United Kingdom Customs in January 1993. Although satisfied with the number of examinations carried out on food exports, they were not satisfied with the depth and rigour of examinations. After considering the auditor's report, Customs issued more detailed guidance to staff on the standards to be observed when carrying out CAP examinations.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the reasons for the practice of Her Majesty's Customs requiring 5 per cent. of goods exported under the common agricultural policy and clearance through ports have to be examined by completely offloading the goods from the container ; what ports this applies to ; what consultations have been held with food exporters in this and what delays are imposed by it ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir John Cope [holding answer 1 March 1994] : In a move to combat fraud against Community funds, all EC Customs authorities are required under Council regulation 386/90 to examine a minimum of 5 per cent. of goods on which a claim to common agricultural policy export refunds is made. This procedure applies to all ports. Officers must satisfy themselves as to the description, quality and quantity of the goods by checking representative parts of the load. Goods need be offloaded from the container only when they are packed in such a way that officers cannot otherwise gain access to all parts of the load. In their 1993 report, Commission auditors criticised Customs for failing to carry out export examinations in sufficient depth.
To guard against the risk that export refunds might in future not be reimbursed from EC funds customs recently reviewed their guidance to officers on the standard of examinations. This has led to the prospect of more goods being offloaded for examination than was the case last year. If exporters wish to reduce the likelihood of goods being examined at ports, they may apply for authorisation for local export control, under which the 5 per cent. examinations are undertaken at the exporter's own premises.
Consultation with trade representatives on procedures for the control of CAP export goods takes place on a continuing basis. I have agreed to meet trade representatives to discuss their concerns over the more rigorous examination procedures.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what charges are made by customs at Felixstowe and other ports for mandatory examination of food passing through the ports under the common agricultural policy ; and how many sailings have been missed at Felixstowe because of this requirement since its introduction.
Column 704recovery of costs incurred in customs examinations is between the port authority and the exporter. Up to 11 February, six consignments are said to have missed their boat at Felixstowe in 1994 because of Customs examinations. In each case customs had notified that the consignment was required for examination within four hours of receipt of the documents. Subsequent delays in production of the consignment to customs--in one of the cases amounting to seven days--may have contributed to missed sailings.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recommendations EC auditors made on their recent visit to examine the process of mandatory examination of food exports under the common agricultural policy ; what representations he has made about these recommendations ; and how he intends to implement them.
Sir John Cope [holding answer 1 March 1994] : As part of the European Community fight against fraud, Commission auditors check that member states are properly carrying out their obligations under Community regulations. If they are not satisfied they may prevent the reimbursement from Community funds of refunds paid by member states to exporters. In the case of the United Kingdom, the auditors made it clear following their 1993 audit that significant disallowance would follow if customs' examination standards were not immediately improved.
I am advised that the auditors' findings in the United Kingdom were reflected elsewhere in the Community and, as a result, the Commission has reminded all member states of the standards that should be achieved. Customs have reviewed their guidance to officers in order to improve the quality and depth of CAP export examinations.
Mr. Dorrell : United Kingdom-resident individuals or companies conducting business and commerce in Brecqhou are liable to United Kingdom income tax or corporation tax on profits earned from such activities.
No direct taxes are imposed on Brecqhou on either residents or non- residents. The only taxes are a nominal charge on the value of property and import duties, chiefly on liquor and tobacco.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a list of the equipment stolen from his Department in the last three years for which information is available ; and what was the approximate value of each item.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 16 February 1994] : The list provides the information which is available within each of my Departments. The values given are approximate and are not the replacement value. Government Actuary's Department
No equipment stolen in the last three years.
Column 705Office of Her Majesty's Paymaster General
No equipment stolen in the last three years.
Her Majesty's Treasury |£ ------------------------------------------------------ Approximate value Mobile Telephone |350.00 6 Answerphones | 77.00 each 14 Dictaphones |120.00 each 2 Standard Telephone Handsets | 20.00 each 3 Large Desk Staplers | 66.00 each 3 Portable Computers |500.00 each 4 Scientific calculators | 11.50 each 4 High energy Light Bulbs | 36.00 Typist chair | 80.00 Video Player |400.00 Fan | 32.90
No equipment stolen in last three years.
Department for National Savings |£ --------------------------------------- Approximate value Pair of Digital Scales | 35.00 Feature Telephone | 40.00 Ordinary Grey Telephone | 8.00 3 Time Delay Humidistats | 50.00
National Investment and Loans Office
No equipment stolen in the last three years.
Her Majesty's Customs and Excise
27 Personal Computers
10 Portable Computers
2 Lap-Top Computers
5 Fax Machines
4 Radio Handsets
Total Value of goods=£77,725.28
22 Personal Computers and Software
3 Fax Machines
2 Mobile Telephones
2 PC Mice
Camera Lens, Case
8 Radio Handsets
Total Value of goods=£60,210.19
No breakdown available for individual items.
Central Statistical Office Approximate value ------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 Standard Telephone Handsets |£22.00each 9 Facility Telephone Handsets |£60.00each Electric Stapler |£98.00
Inland Revenue and Valuation Office Agency |Approximate | value (£) --------------------------------------------------------------------- IT Equipment Panasonic Laser Printer OK1 Dot Matrix Printer ICL CPU Board Drum Replacement Unit 2 Equinox Processors 2 Equinox Tape Streamer 2 Ampex VDUs 2 Ampex keyboards Security Badge |------- Total |20,000.00 Panasonic Laser Printer |1,400.00 Meridian Hard Disk Drive |1,000.00 Amstrad FX Fax Machine |600.00 VDU Security Badge Grundig Dictating Machine 18 Calculators Stop Watch Stationery Electric Grundig Dictating Machine Blank Floppy Disks Training Section Video VDU Printer (PAYE) Printer (CODA) broken |------- Total |12,000.00 Compaq LTD/286 MS DOS Lotus 123 |------- Total |3,000.00 MS Mouse |40.00 Toshiba Laptop Paintjet Printer |800.00 HP Image Scanner |2,000.00 Compaq LTE 286 laptop |3,000.00 MS Mouse |40.00 Cannon Fax |440.00 Agenda Hand Held Computer Organiser Mouse Adapter Lead Compaq LTE 386 Laptop |3,000.00 Interface Card for HP Scanjet Desktop Expansion Base for Compaq LTE |350.00 Freelance Plus Software Compaq 386 VGA Monitor Epson 1050 Workstation HP Laserjet III VDU Keyboard VDU Keyboard |------- Total |3,179.00 Compaq LTE 386 laptop 2 VDUs plus keyboards Printer Bull VDU plus keyboards |------- Total |3,000.00 Disk Drive Monitor Keyboard Floppy disks Mains Smoother |------- Total |630.00 2 X 1mb memory upgrade boards from Compaq laptop 400.00 2 Software packages |400.00 3 Microsoft Mice |120.00 Microsoft Mouse |70.00 Compaq Contura Notebook and Memory Expansion |1,600.00 2 Panasonic Laser Printers |1,500.00 HP95 Palm Top |3,500.00 ICL Mainframe terminal |900.00 ICL Mainframe terminal |900.00 Badge Reader |200.00 Smith Corona PWP7000 Word Processor |600.00 Zenith Bull PC |1,500.00 HP Laserjet 3 Printer |1,000.00 Mainframe Controller |5,000.00 Compaq 386 |1,800.00 HP Laserjet 3 Printer |1,000.00 Epson Printer |3,300.00 Toshiba Portable PC |1,500.00 Circuit Board for HP Painjet |100.00 Artemis Printer |3,000.00 Microsoft Mouse |99.00 Freelance Software Package and Discs |500.00 Hard Disk (84 Mbyte) |650.00 Canon Bubble Jet Printer |300.00 Compaq 2865 Portable PC |3,000.00 Canon Bubble Jet Printer |300.00 Microsoft Mouse |85.00 3 Floppy Discs |10.00 1 Bull Terminal 3 Bull Terminal 5 ICL Keyboards Fax Machine |------- Total |2,000.00 Microsoft Mouse |45.00 Norton Utilities Norton Disk Explorer Manual |------- Total |70.00 Compaq 386 LTE S/20 MS DOS Smart 3.1 |------- Total |2,000.00 3 Deskpro 3865/20 Model 60 Deskpro 3865/20 Model 40 CD ROM and Modem Prolinea 3/255 4 Mice |------- Total |10,000.00 Nokia Terminal |900.00 Compaq Laptop LTE |1,800.00 ICL DRS 55/20 PC Infotec Fax Machine 2 Panasonic Answerphones Portable PC |------- Total |6,000.00 Canon Printer |200.00 MS DOS MS Windows Word for Windows |------- Total |550.00 Compaq 386 MS DOS Smartware 2 Norton Utilities |------- Total |2,000.00 Biofolio Computer Art |150.00 ICL DRS Controller |2,000.00 HP Laser Jet 3 |3,562.00 2 HP Laster Jet 4 |3,000.00 Zenith Bull Compaq 386 2 Mice |------- Total |3,500.00 3 Compaq Deskpro Mouse |------- Total |4,500.00 Canon Photocopier Campaq 386 Epson Printer |------- \ |\Total 6 ICL Tech. 486SX (boxed) |6,250.00 Campaq 386 |1,500.00 Wordstart |Redundant 1 ICL CS 386 |1,200.00 Floppy Discs |120.00 3 ICL Processor |3,400.00 Amstrad Portable |900.00 Pslon Organiser |320.00 ICL DRS 55/20 7 ICL 486 Processor Infotec Fax Machine damaged |------- Total |8,000.00 6 ICL 4865/25 Processors 6 ICL CS386 Processors |------- Total |12,000.00 12 ICL CS386 Processors |12,000.00 HP Laser Jet 3 Compaq Prolinea 4/50 |------- Total |2,650.00 Compaq 486 Lite Laptop |2,500.00 2 Compaq 486 Lite Laptops |5,000.00 Box of Floppy Discs |120.00 Development Tapes |50.00 |------- Total value of equipment lost or stolen |100,287.00
26 Video Recorders (2 with remote control)
4 Mobile Telephones
2 Electronic Typewriters
Column 7095 Photocopiers
11 Fax Machines
4 Dictation Machines
2 Word Processors
PC Computer with Printers
24 CPU (without keyboard or monitors)
3 Grundig Stenorette
Approximate value of known goods = £20,103.49.