|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to implement the policies under the consultation draft of the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy in order to satisfy the requirements of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000, with particular reference to section 2 (1) of that Act. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The draft UK Fuel Poverty Strategy will be reviewed in the light of responses to the current consultation, and the final version published in summer 2001. The policies set out in the draft strategy have either been, or are in the process of being, implemented. A Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, consisting of representatives of a range of organisations with experience in this area, will be set up to advise Ministers on practical implementation issues. We intend to monitor progress carefully and remain ready to review and revise policies in the light of practical experience.
27 Apr 2001 : Column: 426W
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Government's policy on recycling is set out in Waste Strategy 2000, published last May. We have now set statutory performance standards for each local authority under the best value regime which will triple the recycling of household waste to 25 per cent. in 2005-06 and announced in last year's spending review significant extra funding for local authorities to help meet those targets. In Waste Strategy 2000, the Government also set a target of reducing the amount of industrial and commercial waste sent to landfill by 2005, to 85 per cent. of that landfilled in 1998.
We continue to implement EC legislation and voluntary agreements on producer responsibility on a range of materials including packaging. The landfill tax will continue to rise and the aggregates levy will come into force in April 2002, both of which provide incentives to find alternative uses for materials.
In November, the Government established the new Waste and Resources Action Programme with a budget of £40 million over three years to tackle the market obstacles to recycling. Most recently, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport consulted on proposals for the next round of lottery funding (the New Opportunities Fund), including a programme to expand community sector waste reuse, recycling and composting.
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his Department's role in considering Railtrack's decisions to cancel its contributions towards the building of a passenger lift at Kirkham and Wesham station. 
Mr. Hill: Such decisions are matters for Railtrack. However, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) will consider better access to the network, particularly for those with disabilities, when assessing bids for replacement franchises.
27 Apr 2001 : Column: 427W
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what powers are available to local authorities to use their planning powers to specify the tenure of housing in a new development; what plans he has to review those powers; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The Government's policy on planning for affordable housing is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 3: "Housing" and Circular 6/98, "Planning and Affordable Housing". This states that planning policy should not be expressed in favour of any particular form of tenure and that the term "affordable housing" encompasses both low-cost market and subsidised social housing. Based on their own assessments of need in their area, and development plan policies which state their intention to seek an element of affordable housing in suitable developments, local planning authorities may negotiate with developers for the types of affordable housing that will best meet local housing needs. We have no plans at present to revise the guidance.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will place in the Library copies of the sections of each version of the War Pensions Manual produced since 1993 by the War Pensions Agency which relate to former service personnel claiming disablement as a result of experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down. 
Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claims have been made to the Vaccine Damage Payment scheme in each of the last five years; and how much compensation has been paid by the scheme since June 2000. 
Mr. Bayley: The Vaccine Damage Payment (VDP) scheme, which has been in place since 1979, provides a one-off payment to people severely disabled as a result of vaccination against certain diseases. The scheme is not intended as compensation but is designed to ease the burdens of those suffering from vaccine damage and their families.
The number of claims to the scheme in each of the last five years is in the table. On 27 June 2000 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced an increase in the VDP for new cases from £40,000 to £100,000 as well as other enhancements to the scheme. This included top-up payments to all existing cases so that they are put on an equal footing in real terms with new claimants. 825 such payments have been made totalling £55.7 million. Since June 2000, one new award has been approved and is awaiting payment of £100,000.
27 Apr 2001 : Column: 428W
|Year||Number of claims made|
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out his Department's policy in relation to the application of a cap on rebates to appropriate personal pensions from 2002 onwards. 
Mr. Rooker: Age-related rebates to appropriate personal pensions are capped for two reasons. First, the cap restricts the cost to public funds. Secondly, the cap also discourages those approaching pensionable age from making what could be inappropriate pension arrangements, given the short amount of time they would have to benefit from investment growth in a money purchase scheme.
We have increased the cap which will apply to age-related rebates in respect of earnings from April 2002, so that all those who are currently unaffected by the cap (that is those who will be up to age 50 in April 2002) will remain unaffected by it.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (1) pursuant to his answer of 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 29W, on CCTA, what the total income and expenditure of the CCTA in the last five financial years for which information is available was; 
27 Apr 2001 : Column: 429W
(3) pursuant to his answer of 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 29W, on CCTA, on what dates reviews were completed of whether G-Cat and S-Cat are compliant with EC tendering rules; which organisation conducted these reviews; and if he will place copies of the reviews in the Library; 
(4) pursuant to his answer of 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 29W, on CCTA, what compulsion is on a G-Cat or S-Cat purchaser to put information on their contracts in the public domain; 
(5) pursuant to his answer of 19 March 2001, Official Report, column 29W, on CCTA, what the total value of orders placed through G-Cat and S-Cat in each of the past five years was. 
1. The GCat and S-CAT schemes were established in April 1996 and October 1997 respectively.
2. Unfortunately, the figures for GCat prior to 1998 are not available through the current computer systems and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
The total value of orders placed, in each of the past five years, through the catalogue services are shown below:
27 Apr 2001 : Column: 430W
1. There are no figures available prior to CCTA becoming an agency in April 1996.
2. These figures are published in CCTA's Annual Report and Accounts for 1998-99 and 1999-2000 House of Commons references numbers 370(98/99) and 740(99/00).
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|