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4. Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for the use of reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues in all Scottish ports; and if he will make a statement. [130570]

Mr. Wilson: Since January 1998, the Merchant Shipping (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 1997 have required all UK ports to report to the Government on how they plan their waste reception facilities. Through consultation with their regular users, ports are seeking to provide tailor-made reception facilities in a manner which should encourage greater use.

Parliamentary Representation

5. Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the Government's plans for the level of parliamentary representation at Westminster from Scotland. [130571]

Dr. Reid: Section 86 of the Scotland Act removed the statutory minimum of 71 Scottish MPs. It is now a matter for the Boundary Commission for Scotland to propose the future number of constituencies in Scotland.

Paper Industry

6. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to his oral answer of 27 June 2000, Official Report, column 703, what assessment he has made of the impact of the climate change levy on the paper industry in Scotland. [130572]

Mr. Wilson: The Government recognise the need for special consideration to be given to the position of energy-intensive industries, of which the paper industry is one. Consequently, the Government intend to provide an 80 per cent. discount from the levy for those sectors that can agree challenging targets for improving their energy efficiency or reducing carbon emissions.

Climate Change Levy

8. Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding regulations to implement the climate change levy. [130574]

Dr. Reid: The Government are committed to getting the design of the climate change levy right and have been following Lord Marshall's recommendation that industry must have full involvement in the development of the levy through extensive consultation exercises. Hence HM Customs consultation exercises, pan-industry meetings with Ministers, full consideration of representations from companies and trade associations, and input from relevant Government Departments have helped to refine the design of the levy.

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New Deal

9. Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for improving the employment opportunities of the disabled in Scotland through (a) the New Deal and (b) other means. [130575]

Mr. Wilson: The Chancellor announced in the Budget the first stage in developing nationwide services to help disabled people find work, building on the experience of the pilots and innovative schemes in the New Deal for Disabled People. Other recent measures to improve employment opportunities for disabled people include: the establishment of the Disability Rights Commission, the Disabled Person's Tax Credit and the modernisations of Remploy and of the Supported Employment Programme.

11. Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the First Minister on the implementation of the New Deal in Scotland. [130577]

Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend has frequent discussions with Scottish Ministers on a wide range of issues, including the implementation of the New Deal. The New Deal has been an outstanding success. It has placed 25,000 young people into jobs in Scotland since it began two years ago. In April, 1,000 young people found work through the New Deal. And 3,600 people in Scotland have found work under the New Deal 25+.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced last week that because of the success of the New Deal there is an underspend which will enable us to fund it well into the next Parliament.

Work-life Balance Challenge Fund

10. Mr. Chisholm: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications from Scotland have been made to the work-life balance challenge fund. [130576]

Mr. Wilson: To date, there have been five applications from Scotland. There have been a further 45 applications from England.


12. Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on poverty in Scotland. [130578]

Dr. Reid: The Government welcome the recent report by the Scottish Affairs Committee, chaired by my hon. Friend, on Poverty in Scotland, and will publish a full response. We are working in partnership with the Scottish Executive to combat poverty through, for example, the work carried out by the Joint Ministerial Committee.

The Government have taken major steps to eradicate poverty. Measures taken include: the Minimum Income Guarantee, which benefits poorer pensioners; the Working Families Tax Credit, which could benefit around 130,000 families in Scotland; the 36 per cent. increase in Child Benefit for the first child when comparing April 2000 with the amounts in 1997; the National Minimum Wage,

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which benefits around 100,000 employees in Scotland; and the New Deal, through which 25,000 young people in Scotland have found employment.

Ferry Services (Northern Ireland)

13. Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Scottish Executive concerning ferry services between Scotland and Northern Ireland. [130579]

Mr. Wilson: The Scotland Office is in contact with all relevant parties, including devolved Administrations and other Government Departments, concerning ferry services between Scotland and Northern Ireland. I chaired a meeting in Glasgow on 10 July on a strategy for the resumption of ferry services between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. Attendees included the local Member of the Scottish Parliament and representatives of both Scottish and Northern Irish local authorities, the local enterprise company and the Scottish Executive.

Since then I have had informal discussions with Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, who reiterated the support of the Northern Ireland Executive for the Campbeltown-Ballycastle service.

Manufacturing Jobs

14. Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the number of manufacturing jobs transferred to countries of central and eastern Europe from Scotland in each of the last two years. [130580]

Dr. Reid: No information is held centrally to allow such an estimate to be made. Clearly it is regrettable when companies take decisions to relocate manufacturing operations from Scotland, as in the recent case of Philips Lighting Hamilton. The Government are committed to continuing the work of providing a sound and stable economic environment for business and making a long-term investment in skills. As a result, Scotland remains attractive for inward investment. Indeed the latest figures released by Locate In Scotland show that in the year to March 2000 Scotland successfully attracted a total of 91 projects involving planned investment of £650 million and planned creation or safeguarding of over 19,000 jobs.

Textiles Industry

15. Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps the Government have taken to avoid the Scottish textiles industry being adversely affected by the trade dispute between the USA and the European Union. [130582]

Mr. Wilson: The Government have been lobbying the United States hard to push the message that the retaliation faced by the United Kingdom should be reduced in view of our constructive approach to trying to find a solution to the banana dispute. The Government are also playing a major role within the European Community to reach a World Trade Organisation-compatible resolution to this dispute.

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I shall continue to have discussions with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Scottish Executive on how we can best help the cashmere industry should it remain in the retaliation list.

Tourist Industry

17. Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the impact of the current level of fuel prices on the Scottish tourist industry. [130584]

Mr. Wilson: The level of fuel prices is one of many factors which is relevant to the performance of the Scottish tourist industry.

European Union

18. Mrs. McKenna: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the benefits to Scotland of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. [130585]

Dr. Reid: The United Kingdom's membership of the European Union has delivered to Scotland tangible economic benefits through such measures as the Common Agricultural Policy, delivering direct funding in 1999 of £475.9 million, and structural funds worth £1 billion in 1994-96 and £1.1 billion for 2000-06. Membership of the European Union also delivers to Scotland access to the biggest market in the world with some 375 million consumers--63 per cent. of Scottish manufacturing exports in 1998 went to Europe. These tangible benefits are in addition to the benefits Scotland enjoys from the peace and security brought about through the collaboration of member states in the Union. UK membership of the Union also affords Scotland a role and position of influence on the European and global stages that could not be achieved by Scotland acting on its own.

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