|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Ms Rosie Winterton: Work is currently in hand to promote the use of ADR across Government, following the Government's pledge that all Departments and agencies will use ADR in suitable cases wherever the other party accepts it. Guidelines on the use of ADR, including the provision of appropriate clauses in standard procurement contracts, are currently being drawn up by the Office of Government Commerce, in collaboration with this Department. Last month my Department also organised a conference for Government lawyers on the use of ADR. In December the Lord Chancellor will launch a mediation scheme based at Birmingham civil justice centre.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Children Act 1989 replaced the notion of access with that of contact. The Children Act Sub-Committee of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Board on Family Law published a consultation paper on the facilitation of contact and the enforcement of contact orders on 22 March 2001. The committee is currently considering the responses and hopes to submit a report on the outcome of consultation to the Government in early 2002. The Government will consider the committee's report carefully and respond in due course.
4 Dec 2001 : Column 199W
Mr. Wills: The political balance of the Durham Bench is as follows: Conservative voters 11.4 per cent, Labour voters 38.6 per cent., Liberal Democrat voters 4.5 per cent., uncommitted or voters for other parties 43.2 per cent. and not known 2.3 per cent.
Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he had made of the trend in the competitiveness gap between the best-performing and worst-performing United Kingdom regions since May 1997; and what estimate he had made of how this trend will change over the course of the Parliament; 
(2) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding the regional competitiveness trends since May 1997 contained in the latest edition of the United Kingdom Competitiveness Index. 
Mr. Boateng: The Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry jointly published our assessment of the causes and effects of the significant and persistent differences in economic performance between and within UK regions on 27 November 2001, in the document "Productivity in the UK: 3The Regional Dimension". The document also sets out the policies and institutions the Government have put in place to tackle these imbalances.
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government have conducted a regional impact assessment of public expenditure with respect to any Government Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The joint HMT/DTI document "Productivity in the UK: 3The Regional Dimension", published on 27 November 2001, set out our long-term regional economic ambition to reduce the gap in performance between regions.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date his Department told (a) London Underground and (b) the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions that some more expensive elements of the London Underground PPP scheme should be scheduled for the later years of the scheme. 
4 Dec 2001 : Column 200W
Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 3 December 2001]: Treasury, DTLR and London Underground officials are in regular contact about various aspects of the PPP. London Underground are responsible for negotiating the PPP contracts.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the information and guidance available to the (a) parishes with listed churches and (b) Customs and Excise VAT Department on the recovery mechanisms for VAT paid on repairs to listed places of worship since April. 
Mr. Boateng: The Chancellor announced in Budget 2001 that he was to introduce a UK-wide grant scheme to help congregations with the VAT cost of the repair and maintenance of listed buildings which are used as places of worship. The effect of the grant is to reduce the VAT cost on eligible repairs from 17.5 to 5 per cent.
This grant scheme, known as the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, is being launched today by the Minister for the Arts. Documentation relating to the new scheme is now available, and may be obtained through the scheme's telephone hotline (0845 601 5945calls charged at local rate), website (www.lpwscheme.org.uk) or by writing to:
Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost is of each (a) tax allowance and (b) benefit given to pensioners in the current financial year; and what assessment he has made of the cost of each retirement allowance and benefit for future years (i) at current prices and (ii) in total as a percentage of gross domestic product. 
|Basic state pension (including non-contributory)||37.3||39.1||40.6|
|Minimum income guarantee/pension credit(14)||4.7||4.5||5.4|
|Winter fuel payments(14)||1.7||1.7||1.8|
|Free TV licences||0.3||0.4||0.4|
|Total pensioner benefits as percentage of GDP||5.0||5.0||5.0|
(13) To nearest £100 million
(14) MIG/PC and winter fuel payments are available to some non-pensioners, ie men aged 6064.
4 Dec 2001 : Column 201W
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much excise duty was raised from the sale of (a) petroleum and (b) diesel at petrol stations in the local government ward of Crossmaglen in the financial year 200001. 
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much excise duty was raised from the sale of (a) diesel and (b) heating oil in (i) Northern Ireland and (ii) the rest of the United Kingdom for the last financial year for which records are available. 
Estimates of the volumes of oils delivered in Northern Ireland and in the rest of the Unite Kingdom are published by the Department of Trade and Industry in the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics Table 3.9.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes the FSA should take to prevent company executives failing to inform (a) their own auditors and (b) the FSA of major solvency decisions. 
Under FSMA, firms are required to report regularly to the FSA on their financial condition and their compliance with regulatory requirements including the requirement to maintain a solvency margin and to maintain adequate assets.
In addition, firms are required to deal with the regulator in an open and co-operative way and to tell the FSA anything of which the FSA would reasonably expect notice. Breach of these requirements may give rise to sanctions, including fines.
The chief executive (and other senior executives) of a firm must be an Approved Person under FSMA. Approved individuals may be liable to sanctions, including fines, if they are guilty of misconduct under FSMA which includes being knowingly concerned in a rule breach. Further protection against improper failure to disclose is available by virtue of the whistleblowing provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
4 Dec 2001 : Column 202W
Ruth Kelly: There is a wide variety of communications, on both a regular and ad hoc basis, between the FSA and its Irish counterpart. The precise form and frequency of that communication is a matter for the FSA.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions the FSA has had with its Irish counterparts about Irish European Reinsurance Company's (a) activities and (b) reinsurance of Independent Insurance; 
(3) what action the FSA took when it was informed of Irish European Reinsurance Company's involvement in reinsuring Independent Insurance. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|