Previous Section Index Home Page

Knowledge Economy

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 19 June 2000, Official Report, column 106W, on the knowledge economy, if he will list representations that he has received during the course of the review; and if he will make a statement. [129279]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The representations received during the course of the review from external organisations and individuals were provided in confidence.

Aggregates Tax

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultations he has had with Scottish industry concerning the implementation of the aggregates tax in 2002; and if he will make a statement. [129042]

Mr. Timms: The Government have developed the aggregates levy in an open and consultative way. HM Customs and Excise issued a consultation document in June 1998, which invited views from industry and other parties with a potential interest on the practical issues that would arise from a levy on aggregates. Draft legislation for the levy was then published for consultation on 30 April 1999.

During this process, the Government have received a number of representations from Scottish business, and these have been taken account of in the design of the levy.

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed aggregates tax on Scottish industry; and if he will make statement. [129040]

Mr. Timms: The aggregates levy will bring about environmental benefits by making the price of aggregates better reflect their true environmental costs. This will provide an incentive for all business to use more recycled aggregates and to use all aggregates more efficiently.

All of the revenues raised will be recycled back through a cut in employer NICs and a new "Sustainability Fund" aimed at delivering local environmental benefits. It is not possible to say precisely what the effect will be on Scottish industry, since this will depend, among other things, on the degree to which firms switch to recycled materials.

Quarrying (Scotland)

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the implementation of the new Quarrying Sustainability Fund in Scotland. [129041]

Mr. Timms: The Government will be consulting all interested parties shortly on how the new Sustainability Fund can best be used to deliver local environmental improvements.

No decisions have yet been made on the form or size of the Fund.

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 255W


Terrorist Violence

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each week since 1 January the number of (a) punishment beatings, (b) punishment shootings and (c) murders in Northern

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 256W

Ireland, indicating the number in each category attributable to (i) Republican terrorist organisations and (ii) Loyalist terrorist organisations. [128616]

Mr. Ingram: The table shows the number of casualties resulting from paramilitary-style attacks for the period 1 January to 28 June 2000. The figures may be subject to amendment.

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 255W

Security situation statistics--1 January 2000-28 June 2000

Casualties as a result of paramilitary style shootings Casualties as a result of paramilitary style assaults Security situation related murders
YearBy LoyalistBy RepublicanBy LoyalistBy RepublicanBy LoyalistBy Republican
1-8 January 20001--2------
9-15 January 2000----3--1--
16-22 January 20002----------
23-29 January 2000----21----
30 January-5 February 20001--41----
6-12 February 20001----------
13-19 February 2000----212--
20-26 February 20001----1----
27 February-4 March 20004--1------
5-11 March 20001211----
12-18 March 20004311----
19-25 March 20001--21----
26 March-1 April 20002231----
2-8 April 2000--313----
9-15 April 2000--4--------
16-22 April 2000--1--1----
23-29 April 20005--23----
30 April-6 May 2000442------
7-13 May 20004--25----
14-20 May 20001--22----
21-27 May 200011--11--
28 May-3 June 2000--12--1--
4-10 June 2000------1----
11-17 June 20003--41----
18-23 June 200021--2----
25-28 June 2000111------

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 255W

PFI Contracts

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the PFI contracts entered into by his Department prior to 30 May, indicating (a) their dates of commencement, (b) their value, (c) if they have been subject to refinancing and (d) if his Department has a claw-back entitlement to share in savings arising from refinancing. [129061]

Mr. Mandelson: The Northern Ireland Office has never entered into any PFI contracts.


GM Crops

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the Government first consulted English Nature about the contamination by GMOs of rape seed. [123834]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 25 May 2000]: The Government have not formally consulted English Nature about the planting of oil seed rape containing 1 per cent. GM material. However, English Nature is aware of the facts and has been in contact with my officials since

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 256W

18 May. English Nature has stated publicly in a press notice of 22 May 2000 that there is no immediate risk to wildlife from the contaminated rapeseed.

English Nature is also an assessor on the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) and was party to the ACRE meeting on 25 May where members discussed this matter in full and further endorsed their recent advice.

Crop Contamination

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish advice given to him by English Nature on the GM contamination of Advanta Seeds UK's Hyola spring oilseed rape. [124325]

Mr. Meacher: English Nature has not given formal advice on this matter. English Nature published a press notice of 22 May 2000, stating that there is no immediate risk to wildlife from the contaminated rapeseed. A copy has been placed in the House Library.


Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 257W

the Government have to introduce independent and comprehensive testing of incinerator emissions and ash. [126471]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 20 June 2000]: Incinerator emissions are already tightly regulated. Under the provisions of Part I the Environmental Protection Act 1990, regulators (for England and Wales, either the Environment Agency for larger plant and all hazardous waste incinerators, or local authorities for other plant) must include in an incineration plant's permit conditions to deliver BAT/BATNEEC (Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost). Guidance is published on what constitutes BATNEEC. The regulators have powers to require independent emissions testing where they consider it warranted.

Data on levels of dioxins in ash sent for disposal are not routinely held by the Agency or my Department. The operators of incineration plant are required by section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to provide sufficient information to those managing waste ash to ensure that it is disposed of appropriately, for example chemical and physical information. They are also required to ensure that ashes which contain hazardous substances above certain thresholds are disposed of in accordance with the Special Waste Regulations 1996 (as amended). Environment Agency powers enable it to monitor the operation of these controls. We have no plans at present to introduce further requirements for testing ash sent for disposal.

The Environment Agency requires that site-specific authorisation be sought for the use of ash in unbound construction applications and for ashes which have not been 'characterised' on the basis of various chemical properties. Where used in a construction application the processed ashes will normally be required to meet relevant technical specifications. We understand that the industry is working towards a quality control procedure to ensure that the ash consistently meets the 'fit for purpose' criteria required by these technical specifications. DETR, the Environment Agency and industry representative organisations are also developing a policy protocol for the use of Incineration Bottom Ash (IBA) in construction applications. A draft is currently under review. It will also require the 'characterisation' of ash for various chemical properties which, according to best practice, would be carried out in accordance with a robust quality control procedure.

The proposed waste incineration Directive (Common Position (EC) No 7/2000), which the Government have welcomed and which is now in the last stages of negotiations, will apply to virtually all types of incineration and co-incineration plant. It sets stringent standards for emissions to air and water, places controls on solid residues, and includes monitoring requirements for air and water emissions. Article 9 of the proposal also says:

6 Jul 2000 : Column: 258W

Next Section Index Home Page