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Cyprus

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report on the confidence-building measures and discussions between the two communities in Cyprus. [90466]

Ms Quin [holding answer 20 July 1999]: In line with the UN Secretary-General's initiative of 30 September 1998, his Special Representative, Dame Ann Hercus, has been conducting a process of on-island contacts with the leaders of the two communities aimed at reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement.

The UN Security Council, in its Resolution 1250 (1999) of 29 June, welcomed these contacts and urged the UN Secretary-General to invite the two leaders to enter without preconditions into comprehensive negotiations starting in the autumn. We have confirmed to the UN Secretary-General that he will have our full support in his efforts to get negotiations underway.

Yemen

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the trial in the Yemen of British citizens. [92241]

Mr. Hoon: I refer my hon. Friend to the Foreign Secretary's statement to the House 11 January 1999, Official Report, column 21. On 22 June the trial in Aden of the eight British nationals was adjourned until 25 July when the Court plans to deliver its judgment. British consular officials, who have attended the trial from the outset, will attend also for the judgment. I can make no further comment on the case at this stage since it remains sub judice.

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Saharawi Refugees

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what actions he is taking to assist the Saharawi refugees to return home. [91903]

Mr. Hoon: We fully support the United Nations in their efforts to repatriate the Saharawi refugees. We regularly urge both sides to cooperate with MINURSO in their efforts to prepare the way, and to keep to the UN Secretary-General's deadlines.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Dairy Farming

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has to promote agri-environment measures for smaller dairy farmers to offset lower commodity prices. [91298]

Mr. Morley: Agri-environment schemes provide payments for farmers to manage their land with the objective of protecting and enhancing the natural beauty and diversity of the countryside. The schemes are not designed to offset the effects of lower commodity prices. Payment rates are calculated on the basis of the income forgone and costs associated with managing the land in accordance with scheme requirements.

The schemes do, however, include measures which provide smaller dairy farmers with the opportunity of managing their land in an environmentally sensitive way.

The schemes are promoted through the issue of scheme literature, project officer advice and targeted publicity.

New Deal (Young People)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many individuals his Department has recruited under the New Deal for Young People. [91894]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office to my hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) on 25 May 1999, Official Report, column 116.

We have recruited five individuals under the New Deal for Young People.

Appointments (Quangos)

Mr. Singh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many appointments to quangos he made between (i) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (ii) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999. [92047]

Mr. Morley: The following appointments have been made by my right hon. Friend the Minister:



Mr. Singh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many members of Britain's (a) ethnic minority communities and (b) Asian community he appointed to quangos between (i) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (ii) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999. [92118]

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Mr. Morley: Two members of Britain's ethnic communities were appointed in each of the periods stated. All of these were members of the Asian community.

Departmental plans on equal opportunities, setting objectives and targets for improving representation of women, people from ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities, were published by the Government on 25 May 1999 and deposited in the Libraries of the House.

WALES

Oncologists

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of clinical and medical oncologists per 100,000 population for each health authority in Wales. [90805]

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: Information on NHS medical and dental staff is collected annually as at 30 September. The latest available information is in the following table. It gives the number of whole time equivalents (Wte) in post in September 1997.

Staff in post at 30 September 1997 (excluding locums) per 1 million population (14)

Consultants All grades
Health authority areaNumberWteNumberWte
Medical Oncology
North Wales1.51.51.51.5
Dyfed Powys----2.10.4
Morgannwg--------
Bro Taf--------
Gwent--------
Wales0.30.30.70.4
Clinical Oncology
North Wales1.50.71.50.7
Dyfed Powys6.30.78.42.8
Morgannwg8.07.414.011.7
Bro Taf14.912.036.730.6
Gwent1.81.01.81.0
Wales5.84.712.610.5

(14) Consultants who work in more than one health authority are counted in each health authority but only once in the total for Wales.


TREASURY

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the reduction in employers' national insurance contributions in compensation for the climate change levy will go to public sector bodies. [89952]

Ms Hewitt: Provisional estimates suggest that, on the basis of the illustrative rates of climate change levy set out in the Customs and Excise consultation document, the climate change levy proposals, combined with the reduction in the main rate of employers' National Insurance Contributions of 0.5 percentage points, might lower costs in the public administration sector by some

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£100 million to £150 million annually. The rates of levy set out in the Customs and Excise consultation document on the climate change levy are purely illustrative and final rates will not be set until Finance Bill 2000.

Estimates were derived from economic data published by the Office for National Statistics.

Jill Dando

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will donate a sum equivalent to the revenue that the Inland Revenue will receive in inheritance tax from Jill Dando's estate to the reward being offered to catch her killer. [90623]

Mrs. Roche: I am unable to comment of the tax affairs of individuals.

Financial Services Act 1986

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many actions have been brought under section 133 of the Financial Services Act 1986; and how many such actions resulted in prosecution. [91072]

Ms Hewitt: We are not aware of any actions brought under this section.

Fuel Duty Rebate

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the level of the fuel duty rebate in (a) 1995-96, (b) 1996-97, (c) 1997-98 and (d) 1998-99; and what the projection is for (i) 1999-2000 and (ii) 2000-01. [91404]

Ms Glenda Jackson: I have been asked to reply.

Expenditure on fuel duty rebate in Great Britain as a whole and the rate of rebate per litre for diesel (the fuel predominantly used by bus operators) in each of the years requested is as follows:

YearExpenditure (£ million)Rate of Rebate (Pence per litre)
1995-9622925.14
1996-9722825.14
1997-9822725.14
1998-9927129.85
1999-2000(15)33335.07

(15) Estimated

Expenditure in future years will depend on the total fuel consumed in operating eligible routes for which bus operators make claims for rebate, and on decisions still to be taken on the proportion of duty to be rebated in each year.


21 Jul 1999 : Column: 558


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