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Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he intends to proceed with his proposal to make it obligatory for part-time directors as well as part-time employees to be included in tax-relieved employee financial participation schemes, included approved executive share option schemes.
Sir George Young: No. After further consideration, and in the light of representations from institutional investors, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury proposes to introduce amendments at Report stage of the Finance Bill to ensure that the new provisions about the inclusion of part-time workers in tax-relieved employee financial participation schemes will apply only to part-time employees and not to part-time directors.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what overseas visits he or his Ministers have made since 1 July 1994; and what was the duration and cost of such visits and the organisations and groups that were met during the course of such visits.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 20 February 1995]: The overseas visits made since 1 July 1994 by Treasury Ministers, and the duration and cost of such visits and the organisations and groups that were met during the course of such visits, are as follows:
Destination |Duration |Cost (£) |Organisations/groups |met ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Chancellor of the Exchequer |1994 Naples |8-10 July |3,316 |G7 Summit. Finance Ministers Brussels |11 July |1,726 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Brussels |27 July |1,844 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Germany |9-11 September |2,172 |Informal ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Malta |26-28 September |1,316 |Commonwealth Finance Ministers Mtg. Madrid |28-30 September |3,087 |Bretton Woods Conference. Ministers and | Businessmen Madrid |1-5 October |2,910 |G7/IMF Meetings with Ministers Luxembourg |10 October |2,782 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Brussels |21 October |985 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Brussels |7 November |1,475 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Chateaudun |18 November |1,325 |Anglo-French Summit Brussels |4-5 December |,383 |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Essen |9-10 December |4,261 |European Council Malaysia |30 December 1994-January 1995 |\ |Official Tour. Ministers and Businessmen | | |1995 | | Thailand |5-10 January | | |<1>15,000 |Official Tour. Ministers and Businessmen Vietnam |10-12 January | | |Official Tour. Ministers and Businessmen | | Brussels |16 January | } |-<2> |ECOFIN. EU Finance Ministers Davos |26-29 January | } |World Economic Forum. Ministers and |Businessmen Brussels |24-25 July 1994 |838 |Summer Budget Council Meeting Brussels |15-16 November 1994 |838 |Winter Budget Council Meeting Minister of State South Africa |18-23 September 1994 |5,701 |Various Businessmen Dubai |23-25 October 1994 |143 |Various Businessmen New York/Boston |3-6 January 1995 |4,405 |Various Businessmen <1> Estimate. <2> Full details not yet available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the cost to the United Kingdom economy of financing the deficit in the current account of the balance of payments since 1986; and if it is the Government's policy to move the current account back into surplus to enable the debt to be repaid.
Mr. Nelson: Figures for the current and capital accounts of the UK's balance of payments are published by the Central Statistical Office annually in the Pink Book, with quarterly data available on the CSO database. Both are available through the Library of the House. Latest figures for the third quarter 1994 show the current account in surplus, with net investment income at record levels and the UK a net creditor. The key to maintaining this good performance is for the Government to deliver permanently low inflation and companies to keep costs under control, thereby ensuring that British industry remains competitive.
roll-on/roll-off charge levied on tonnage in excess of 1,000 tonnes for any vessel whose liability is assessed by an international tonnage convention 1969 certificate. The surcharge will remain for any vessel unable for any reason to offer such a certificate. I have concluded that all other rates should remain unchanged.
I commend the general lighthouse authorities on their continuing achievement of efficiency savings.
Mr. Norris: The strategy to raise fuel duty by a minimum of 5 per cent. per annum is an important part of the Government's climate change programme to reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.
The forecast for the growth rate of traffic up to 2000 with these increases is much the same as in the Department's current national road traffic forecasts. This reflects the fact that the real price of fuel assumed in those forecasts is similar to that now expected, as the duty increase is offset to a large degree by a lower forecast for real oil prices.
The responsiveness of road use to fuel prices is believed to be low. As well as adjusting the mileage that they drive, road users have the choice of buying smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and manufacturers have an incentive to supply them.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what will be the effect of the postponement of the North London line modernisation project on the introduction, or operation, of passenger and freight trains from France for destinations north of London.
Railtrack is currently carrying out a study to determine which of several route options through north London will be adopted for channel tunnel services north of London.
Mr. Watts: Under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is the duty of district councils and London borough councils to inspect their areas from time to time to detect any statutory nuisances, including emissions from railway engines but excluding steam locomotives.
Mr. Watts: It is a condition of the train operator's licence to produce an environmental policy, taking account of guidance from the rail regulator which I understand is in preparation. British Rail takes active steps to control exhaust emissions in sensitive locations. In some terminal stations and depots, provision of shore-based electrical supplies has greatly reduced the need for engines to idle. For new trains, better fuel consumption control has been incorporated in design specifications, together with automatic engine shut-off after a predetermined period.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the local authorities in the United Kingdom which include people with epilepsy who cannot drive for medical reasons within their concessionary fare schemes.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration his Department has given to measures to decrease the current level of use of private motor vehicles in cities and conurbations; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: Local authorities are already able to introduce a wide range of measures to reduce urban congestion which they can tailor to the particular circumstances of their areas: for example, traffic management schemes, bus priority lanes, park-and-ride schemes and parking controls, all of which are the subject of departmental advice notes.
Two years ago, we introduced the "package approach" under which local authorities, individually or collectively, can obtain funding for strategic transport plans which encompass all forms of transport. Local authorities are now invited to bid for Government funds on the basis of multi-modal transport packages which take a strategic overview of transport needs and look beyond road-based options. Planning policy guidance note No. 13, published jointly by the Departments of the Environment and of Transport, offers advice on the role which transport and land use planning policies can jointly play in reducing the need to travel.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in full the results of the UK Atomic Energy Authority investigation into the radioactive fallout at Dounreay on 11 February; what assessment he has made of the effect of weather conditions on the level of risk; how far away any safety official was when exposed to radioactivity above the safe working level; whether any
Column 108person sent to the contamination area wore respirators instead of sealed protective clothing; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 27 February 1995]: The incident is being investigated urgently. In line with normal practice, I understand that a report on the incident will be published in the Health and Safety Executive's quarterly statement of nuclear incidents at nuclear installations.
The waste disposal authorisations granted to the Atomic Energy Authority under the Radioactive Substances Acts include limits designed to protect the public no matter what the weather conditions prevailing at the time of a discharge. Inspectors from HM industrial pollution inspectorate have carried out their initial inquiries into the circumstances leading to the incident and I understand that they are satisfied that it did not cause any of the permitted atmospheric emission limits to be exceeded.
Investigation of workers' exposure issues lies with HM nuclear installations inspectorate. Its investigation will include such issues as whether the radiation exposure of individuals exceeded relevant limits and whether appropriate personnel protection was provided.
Sponsorship of the UKAEA is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.
Mr. Kynoch: On 11 February 1995, at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Dounreay site, a process plant was shut down and evacuated because of abnormal concentration of radioactivity in working areas within the plant. A formal investigation has been carried out by the UKAEA. The incident is being investigated by the nuclear inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive and HM industrial pollution inspectorate.
Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the cost to (a) his Department and (b) Scottish Nuclear of all aspects of the proposal to construct a dry store for waste nuclear fuel at Torness; and if he will give separately the figures for (i) the cost of designing the proposed installation and (ii) the public inquiry into the proposal.
Mr. Kynoch: The cost to the Scottish Office of arranging and conducting the public inquiry into the application by Scottish Nuclear Ltd. to construct a dry store at Torness was approximately £28,700. The cost to the company of the dry store project, including participation in the public inquiry, is a commercial matter for Scottish Nuclear.
Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1986 is applied in practice in Scotland; what further scope he has to take further action under the section; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: Section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 allows the Secretary of State to establish a scheme to give, with Treasury consent, financial assistance to one or more local authorities which
Column 109have incurred expenditure in respect of immediate action to safeguard life or property, or to prevent suffering or severe inconvenience, arising from an emergency or disaster which involves destruction of or danger to life or property.
The main application of section 155 in Scotland has been the Bellwin scheme, under which grant is payable at the rate of 85 per cent. on current expenditure above a set threshold incurred by local authorities in responding to natural emergencies.
Sir Hector Monro: Negotiations took place between the Nature Conservancy Council and the estate about renewal of the nature reserve agreement which expired in 1986, but renewal could not be agreed. Details of negotiations are a private matter between the two parties involved.
Mr. Galbraith: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list for each management arrangement in relation to national nature reserves, the person with whom the arrangement is made, the period of the arrangement and the cost.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the cost to his Department's budget and to local authorities' self-financed expenditure in 1995 96 of implementing in full the recommendations of (a) the School Teachers' Review Body, (b) the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration and (c) the Review Body on Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine, assuming no changes in staff numbers.
Lord James Douglas Hamilton [holding answer 3 March 1995]: The School Teachers' Review Body is responsible only for teachers in England and Wales. Statutory responsibility for determination of pay and conditions of service for teachers in Scotland lies with the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee. The Government have accepted the recommendations of the Review Bodies on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration and on Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine. The 1995 96 settlement for the NHS in Scotland provides for a cash increase of £143.2 million, or 3.6 per cent. increase. The cost of pay increases will be dependent on the outcome of negotiations at local level.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many external audits carried out upon hospitals by the Royal College of Surgeons or a similar body in (a) Renfrewshire, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole in each of the past 10 years have led to disciplinary measures being taken by him; and if he will make a statement;
Column 110(2) how many external audits have been carried out under the auspices of the Royal College of Surgeons or some similar body, upon hospitals in (a) Renfrewshire, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland in the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 March 1995]: The Secretary of State is not aware of any external clinical audits carried out under the auspices of the Royal College of Surgeons or a similar body in hospitals in Renfrewshire, Strathclyde or Scotland in the past 10 years. Clinical audit is an education process and there is quite a separate and distinct machinery for disciplinary procedures which are a matter for employing authorities. The Medical Royal Colleges carry out accreditation inspections of hospitals but these are solely for the purpose of approving training posts.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his letter of 27 February to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, (a) what proposals he has to make changes in the system of written work in relation to physical education examinations in schools and (b) what factors led him to reject the explanation put forward in relation to the two pupils accused of cheating from a school named in correspondence with the hon. Member for Linlithgow.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 March 1995]: The Scottish Examination Board keeps all its assessment arrangements under review and has decided that revised procedures will be in place for written work in standard grade physical education assignments for 1996 onwards.
Responsibility for decisions in relation to assessment for awards under the Scottish Certificate of Education rests with the Scottish Examination Board, which carried out a thorough review of the case in question.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the cumulative cost of all legal aid to date to the families in the Ayrshire child abuse case; what is his estimate of the likely total cost; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 6 March 1995]: Six legal aid certificates have been granted in respect of this case. Payments to date amount to £538,000. The total costs may be subject to scrutiny by the Auditor of Court and cannot yet be accurately assessed. The Scottish Legal Aid Board has, however, estimated that they may fall in the range £1.5 million to £2 million.
The proposed amount reflects an increased requirement for grant compared with the 1994 95 level and takes into account the effect of the proposed closure of the company's Kyle of Lochalsh-Kyleakin service when the Skye bridge opens later in 1995. the costs associated with
Column 111the introduction, also later in 1995, of a major new vessel on the Ullapool to Stornoway service and the costs of compliance with additional safety requirements on vessels.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made with the review announced in the White Paper, "Scotland in Union", of the scope for transferring from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Scottish and Welsh Offices responsibility for measures which encourage industrial innovation and technology transfer in Scotland and Wales.
The Prime Minister: The review has been completed. It concluded that responsibility for the Smart and Spur schemes, which provide grants for the development of new products and processes and for design services in Scotland and Wales, should be transferred. In addition, it has now been agreed that responsibility for new measures to support innovation locally will be transferred to the Secretary of State for Scotland as soon as the administrative arrangements have been completed.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the Civil Service Commissioners to advertise for open competition at the previous rate of remuneration the post of any permanent secretary who wishes to take advantage of the recent pay award.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 1 March, Official Report , columns 580-581 , if he will make a statement as to the grounds on which the charges incurred by individual airlines under the Immigration (Carriers'
Column 112Liability) Act 1987 are treated as commercially confidential.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Administration of the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act involves the Home Office in sensitive discussions with individual carriers. These are conducted on a commercial in confidence basis. To disclose the nature of the discussions, including the level of charges, would represent a breach of that confidentiality, and could jeopardise both the carriers' commercial operations, and our own debt recovery programme.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what police records still exist in relation to the security of the Pan Am Clipper, Maid of the Seas, at Heathrow airport on 21 December 1988.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 6 March 1995]: The inquiries conducted by officers of the Metropolitan police concerning the security of the aircraft Maid of the Seas, at Heathrow airport on 21 December 1988 in relation to the Lockerbie case, and the records of those inquiries, form part of the case against the two Libyans who have been accused of this crime. It has been made clear that, as in any other case, it is not appropriate for the investigating or prosecuting authorities to give details of the evidence while criminal proceedings are pending.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the section 11 (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful bids showing in the case of the approved figure as a percentage of the bid in each case.
Mr. Nicholas Baker [holding answer 28 February 1995]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave him on 22 February 1995 Official Report , columns 228-32 , in which I set out the level of grant sought by each applicant under the recent section 11 bidding round, and to the reply which my right hon. and learned Friend gave to the hon. Member for Edmonton (Dr. Twinn) on 28 February 1995, Official Report , columns 541-45 , in which he listed the grant budget allocation for 1995-96 for each successful applicant. Table (a) shows, in respect of each successful applicant, the level of budget allocation for 1995-96 expressed as a percentage of grant sought for that year, all on the basis of November 1994 prices which applicants were asked to use in preparing their bids, and subject in some instances to arithmetical adjustments to correct an applicant's original calculations. Table (b) lists those applicants whose bids were unsuccessful.
(a) Successful applicants |Grant |awarded as |percentage of Local authorities |grant sought etc --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |96.1 Barking and Dagenham |96.2 Barnet |74.4 Berkshire |51.3 Bexley |40.0 Birmingham |8.9 Bolton |34.8 Bradford |96.0 Brent |19.9 Bromley |63.5 Buckinghamshire |76.8 Cambridgeshire |13.5 Camden |94.4 Cardiff |33.3 Cleveland |51.4 Coventry |51.6 Croydon |100.0 Derbyshire |39.8 Devon |42.8 Dorset |50.0 Dudley |94.7 Ealing |93.7 East Sussex |74.6 Enfield |74.7 Essex |21.1 Gateshead |94.5 Gloucestershire |80.7 Greenwich |80.2 Gwent |100.0 Hackney |27.4 Hammersmith and Fulham |91.0 Haringey |79.4 Harrow |100.0 Havering |100.0 Hereford and Worcester |100.0 Hertfordshire |100.0 Hillingdon |59.0 Hounslow |66.5 Humberside |13.3 Hyndburn |27.9 Islington |83.6 Kent |100.0 Kirklees |87.9 Lambeth |96.2 Lancashire |47.2 Leeds |13.3 Leicester |57.6 Leicestershire |70.0 Lewisham |69.3 Lincolnshire |100.0 Liverpool |77.1 London Boroughs Grants Committee |100.0 Manchester |100.0 Merton |91.5 Middlesbrough |12.2 Milton Keynes |46.3 Newham |48.2 Norfolk |55.4 Northamptonshire |38.7 Nottingham |70.6 Nottinghamshire |57.9 Oldham |43.6 Oxford |66.6 Peterborough |50.0 Redbridge |67.0 Redditch |100.0 Rochdale |27.8 Rotherham |80.6 Salford |75.8 Sheffield |23.4 Shropshire |71.3 Somerset |83.3 South Tyneside |58.3 South Yorkshire FCDA |100.0 Southampton |18.3 Southwark |74.8 St. Albans |100.0 St. Helens |75.8 Staffordshire |59.1 Suffolk |27.4 Sutton |56.2 Tameside |7.1 Tower Hamlets |10.0 Wakefield |90.2 Walsall |81.1 Waltham Forest |7.9 Warwickshire |87.3 West Glamorgan |100.0 West Midlands FCDA |100.0 West Yorkshire FCDA |100.0 Westminster |65.4 Wigan |71.3 Wolverhampton |88.6 Grant-maintained schools and city technology colleges Ash Green |73.7 Beechview Middle |50.0 Bishop Challoner RC |100.0 Brentside High |60.6 Brushwood Middle |100.0 Castle Hall |83.3 Castlefield |71.3 Claremont |100.0 Copland Community |100.0 Deacon's |83.3 Desborough |50.0 Djanogly CTC |85.7 Dormers Wells Infants |62.9 Dormers Wells Junior |100.0 Drayton Manor |100.0 Dunraven |63.8 Francis Bacon |100.0 Graveney |82.7 Greenford High |73.9 Greenwood Dale |100.0 Hall Green |100.0 Hamilton Combined |100.0 Hendon |75.8 Holly Hall |66.7 Holy Trinty |83.9 John Kelly Girls |100.0 London Oratory |76.7 Myton |100.0 Northampton Boys |90.9 Northolt High |87.5 Prospect |79.3 Queens Park |94.3 Radcliffe |50.0 Reading Girls |76.9 Sacred Heart RC |100.0 Small Heath |98.9 St. Andrews RC |50.0 St. Marks West Essex |100.0 Stantonbury Campus |100.0 Stopsley High |100.0 Stratford |99.9 Surrey Square |100.0 Wood End Infant |100.0 Wood End Junior |66.7 Wrenn |75.8 Colleges of further education Arnold and Carlton |78.6 Bexley |100.0 Birmingham Consortium |54.2 Cambridge Regional |100.0 Charles Keene |62.4 City and Islington |58.4 Clarendon |54.5 Coventry Technical |37.5 Crawley |100.0 Croydon |100.0 Ealing Tertiary |32.5 Enfield |100.0 Greenhill |43.9 Hackney Community |80.1 Hendon |100.0 Huddersfield Technical |34.0 Kingsway |28.8 Language and Literacy Unit Southwark |49.5 Newham |35.4 Oaklands |44.3 Park Lane |63.1 Sheffield |47.2 South Nottingham |82.4 Southgate |67.5 St. Francis Xavier |50.0 Tameside |100.0 Thomas Danby |15.3 Tile Hill |100.0 Tower Hamlets |38.3 Uxbridge |22.7 West Herts |65.8
(b) Unsuccessful applicants Local Authority ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bedfordshire |Preston Burnley |Reading Bury |Richmond Calderdale |Sandwell Clwyd |Scunthorpe Crew and Nantwich |Sefton Doncaster |South Glamorgan Gloucester |Sunderland Hampshire |Surrey Kensington and Chelsea |Trafford Kingston |Wansworth Luton |West Sussex Newcastle |Wiltshire North Tyneside |Wirral Oxfordshire |Woking Portsmouth Grant-maintained schools, City Technology Colleges Alperton Common |Kingsbury High Anglo European |Merrill Community Avon Valley |Montagu Beechen Cliff |Notre Dame Billericay |Oldfield Blessed Edward Oldcorne RC |Raines Foundation Broomhill Infant |Reay Primary Chadwell Heath |Richard Challoner Dixons CTC |St. Bartholomew's Durand Primary |St. Benedict's Catholic High Gordon' |St. Bernadette RC Hollingwood 1st |St. Martin in Field Holy Cross Convent |St. Thomas the Apostle Holywell |The Gilberd Hopwood Hall |Weavers Kelsey Park |Woodnewton Junior Colleges of Further Education Amersham and Wycombe |Manchester Barnet |N E London Bilborough |Newcastle Bolton |Newham Sixth Form Calderdale |North Herts City College Manchester |Northampton City of Westminster |Oldham Dewsbury |People's Tertiary Education Doncaster |Rotherham Dudley |Runshaw East Berkshire |Southwark Gateshead |Stoke on Trent 6th form Gateway 6th Form |Stourbridge Gloscat |Swindon Henley |Tresham Huntingdonshire Regional |Wakefield Joseph Chamberlain |Walsall Keighley |Wansworth Adult Kensington and Chelsea |Woolwich Leyton 6th form
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to reply to the letter of 19 January from the hon. Member for Ealing, North regarding Government policy towards the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Bill; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many items of correspondence were received from the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Hamilton) by Ministers in his Department on issues relating to the interests of the Al Fayeds; on what dates they were received; and how many were replied to.
Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people were employed in the school curriculum branch of her Department in each year since 1992 93; and what were the total operating costs of the branch in each of those years.
Mr. Boswell: The school curriculum branch of the Department came into existence on 1 April 1994 as part of a wider reorganisation within the Department. For 1994 95 full-time equivalent staff in post are expected to average 81, with estimated running costs of £2.3 million. Because of the reorganisation, it is not possible to give comparable figures for earlier years.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the average cost of Ofsted inspections for (a) secondary, (b) primary and (c) special schools for each group size of school in 1994 95.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has for compensating fishermen who lose their jobs when fishing vessels are decommissioned under his scheme.
Mr. Jack: ADAS, an executive agency of the Ministry and the Welsh Office, is responsible for hygiene inspections on dairy farms in England and Wales. This work is carried out under the terms of a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry's milk and milk products division and the relevant division in the Welsh Office.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will support the Commission's proposal for an early retirement scheme for fishermen at the forthcoming council meeting.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he intends to implement the two-year extension to the deadline for abattoirs to meet EU structural requirements; and if he will make a statement.