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Pensioner Incomes

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate how many pensioners would

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benefit financially and what the average benefit would be from reducing the tariff income from capital from the present rate to £1 per week for every £500 over £6,000 for people aged over 60 years. [121274]

Mr. Bayley: The information is in the table.

The estimated number of pensioners benefiting and the average gain as a result of a reduction to the tariff income of £1 a week for every £500 over £6,000

Total gainers (000)Average gain (£1s per week)
Income Support (IS)604.55
Housing Benefit (HB)803.70
Council Tax Benefit (CTB)1601.25

Notes:

1. Cases have been rounded to the nearest 5,000 for each benefit, and prices to the nearest 5 pence.

2. This costing is carried out following the extension of the capital limits to £6,000 and £12,000 for Income Support, and £6,000 and £16,000 for Housing Benefit, and has been adjusted to caseload forecasts for 2001-02.

3. It is not possible to provide a total number of gainers overall, as there is considerable overlap. Gainers on HB and/or CTB may float on to IS, while gainers on HB may also gain CTB.


Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the cost of reducing the tariff income from capital from the present rate to £1 per week for every £500 over £6,000 for people aged over 60 years. [121275]

Mr. Bayley: The information is in the table.

The estimated cost of reducing the tariff income to £1 a week for every £500 over £6,000 in 2001-02
£ million

BenefitTotal cost
Income Support15
Housing Benefit15
Council Tax Benefit10
Total40

Notes:

1. This question has been answered using the Policy Simulation Model (PSM) for Income Related benefits, based on 1997-98 Family Resources Survey data.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £5 million and uprated to 2000-01 prices and benefit levels.


TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Tritium

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much Tritium has been produced at the Chapelcross nuclear facility in each month since April 1995; and what percentage of the Tritium produced by this facility has been traded to Governments and agencies outside the United Kingdom. [120750]

Mr. Hoon: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Welsh) on 3 April 2000, Official Report, column 303W, and my hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 3 May 2000, Official Report, columns 118-19W.

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Export Licences

Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reason the 1998 Annual report on Strategic Exports does not include information about physical exports of strategic goods from the UK to the Channel Islands. [120204]

Dr. Howells: Details of the value of UK exports and of the number of weapons including small arms was taken from information collected by HM Customs and Excise for trade statistics purposes. For these, the Channel Islands are regarded as part of the UK and thus movements between the UK and the Channel Islands are not recorded.

However, the 1997 and 1998 Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls listed by country of destination the numbers of export licences issued and refused in each equipment category and gave details of the military equipment for which licences had been granted. They also set out the value of defence exports to each country. Entries were included for the Channel Islands.

Energy Production

Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of Scottish energy production is from (a) nuclear power, (b) coal, (c) oil and (d) renewable sources. [120747]

Mrs. Liddell: The most recently available figures for the indigenous production of primary fuels in Scotland are for 1998. Data are, however, not available without disproportionate cost for oil (or gas) production from Scotland or Scottish waters, so it is not possible to calculate the shares of nuclear power, coal or renewables.

Million tonnes of oil equivalent
Scotland
Nuclear4.8
Coal5.2
Oil(13), (14)--
Renewables(9)0.7-0.9

(7) Not available

(8) The Department's annual report "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom", copies of which are available in the Library of the House, contains details of the location and production of oil and gas from all fields on the UK Continental Shelf.

(9) Renewable energy production statistics are collected on a UK wide basis only. The figure for Scotland is an estimate mainly based on generating capacities at 31 December 1998.

Source:

British Energy, The Coal Authority, DTI estimates.


Competitiveness Development Fund

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the allocation from the Competitiveness Development Fund to the West Midlands Region; and if he will list schemes supported by the fund in the North Staffordshire sub-region. [120396]

Mr. Caborn: The DTI's Competitiveness Development Fund (CDF) is available to Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to spend on priorities they identify for increasing competitiveness in their regions. The CDF allocation to Advantage West Midlands (the

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RDA for the West Midlands Region) for this Financial Year (2000-01) is £440,000, which represents an increase in funding of over 75 per cent. compared to the previous financial year.

Advantage West Midlands used its CDF allocation of £250,000 for the last financial year (1999-2000) to support a wide range of projects that were designed to have a region-wide effect: none were specifically limited to North Staffordshire. These projects included work on promoting enterprise and innovation, encouraging best practice and developing supply chains.

Sellafield

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from (a) Members of Parliament, (b) representatives from other parliaments and assemblies and (c) Ministers from other Governments, in respect of the dangers posed by the operation of Sellafield, in each month since January 1999; and what response he has made. [120712]

Mrs. Liddell: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has received a number of representations by correspondence, Parliamentary Question or in person in relation to the safety of operations at Sellafield. Each has been carefully considered and appropriate responses, addressing the issues raised, have been provided. The table lists the representations made since January 1999. In the case of Parliamentary Questions, the responses were of course published in Hansard.

(a) Members of Parliament(c) Ministers from other Governments
January 199900
February 199920
March 199900
April 199900
May 199901
June 199900
July 199910
August 199910
September 199910
October 199910
November 199920
December 199900
January 200010
February 200022
March 200051
April 200000

Note:

There have been no representations from public representatives from the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly (b).


Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessments have been undertaken by (a) his Department and (b) the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate/Health and Safety Executive of the (i) accident risk and (ii) accident consequences of the operation of Sellafield since May 1997. [120713]

Mrs. Liddell: It is for the licensee of a nuclear site--BNFL in the case of Sellafield--to assess both the accident risk and potential accident consequences of its operations as part of a comprehensive safety case for each operation. This information must be updated with changing circumstances. As required under the terms of

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the Sellafield site licence conditions these safety cases are presented to the Site Nuclear Safety Committee, which includes independent members.

The role of HSE is to analyse these safety cases in detail to verify that they are sound. Regular on-site inspections by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) seek to confirm that the limits and conditions contained in the safety cases are complied with in the plant at all times. HSE/NII publishes information about its assessments of particular plant from time to time; a recent example is its report "The storage of liquid high level waste at BNFL, Sellafield", which deals with the B215 complex which includes the highly active liquor tanks.

The Department of Trade and Industry has no role in this independent regulatory process.


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