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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 14 February 2002, Official Report, column 518W, how many letters her Department received in November 2001; and of these how many are still awaiting a reply. [40022]

Ms Hewitt: My Department received 1,720 letters in November 2001 of which 21 replies are still outstanding.

Computer Ownership

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what information she has collated on figures for the ratio of computer ownership per household in (a) the USA, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Japan and (e) the UK; [33433]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell to Mr. David Drew, dated 11 March 2002:

Engineering Industry

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what response she has made to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council document measuring the mathematics problem, with specific reference to levels of skills in basic mathematics and preparation for mathematics based degree courses. [39702]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 4 March 2002]: I have been asked to reply.

The Secretary of State has not been formally presented with this report. However, Ministers are currently considering the issues set out in the report.

11 Mar 2002 : Column 679W


Television Licence Fee

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when regulations will be laid to bring into effect the television licence fee increases due to come into force on 1 April. [42701]

Tessa Jowell: On 23 November 2001, Official Report, column 531W, the Government announced that, from 1 April 2002, the fee for a colour television licence would rise to £112 and the black and white licence fee to £37.50. I have today laid before the House the regulations necessary to bring these new fees into force.

Gaming and Lotteries (Fees)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to amend the fees for gaming and lotteries. [42700]

Mr. Caborn: I have today laid before the House two Orders under the Gaming Act 1968 and one under each of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, and the Gaming (Bingo) Act 1985.

The Gaming Board and the Government review gaming fees and the fees for society and local authority lotteries every year. The amended fees in the four Orders are based upon estimates by the Gaming Board of the cost of each service and demand for it during the financial year 2002–03.

We have set the fees at these levels in order to ensure that they recoup the estimated costs of ensuring the proper regulation of the commercial gaming industry and society lotteries during the year. The four Orders will bring revised fees into effect from 1 April 2002. The following table sets out the current and the new levels of all the fees.


FeeLevel of fee in 2001–02Level of fee in 2002–03
Employee's certificate(6) 145160
Gaming machine supplier licence(7)
Casino licences
Consent application6,8108,000
Consent transfer3,4055,000
Bingo licences
Consent application3,2607,500
Consent transfer2,6305,000
National Bingo Game
Gaming Board fee per lottery raising:
£200,000 or more404435
£50,000 to £199,999263290
£20,000 to £49,99986100
£10,000 to £19,99986100
Less than £10,00082100
Registration fee(8) 3,8404,600
Registration renewal fee142180
Lottery manager5,47014,220
Inspection of lottery returns510
Registered club fees
Part II registration:
Part III registration:

(6) Section 19, Gaming Act 1968

(7) s.27, Gaming Act 1968

(8) For society and local authority lotteries

11 Mar 2002 : Column 680W

Gambling Controls

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the independent review of the gambling controls in Great Britain on (a) jobs, (b) businesses and (c) Government revenue. [41497]

Mr. Caborn: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to him on 6 March 2002, Official Report, column 345W.


Rail Journeys (Staff)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy that rail journeys undertaken by staff in his Office should ordinarily be on standard class tickets. [40444]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 6 March 2002, Official Report, column 421W.

Accommodation Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister what the cost was of hotel accommodation for his Office's staff working away from home in each of the last four years. [40943]

The Prime Minister: Information on the total travel and accommodation costs is included in the detailed list of Cabinet Ministers' visits overseas and information on expenditure by all Ministers on travel overseas. Lists of overseas visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing more than £500 during the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2001 were placed in the Library of the House and published in the Official Report on 17 June 1999, columns 196–97W; on 28 July 2000, column 969W; and on 20 July 2001, column 467W. The list for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year.

11 Mar 2002 : Column 681W

Information on the cost of other hotel accommodation is not held centrally.

Golden Jubilee

Bob Russell: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received for the award of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal from those who are to be excluded; and if he will make a statement. [41455]

The Prime Minister: I have received representations on this matter.

The medal will be issued to members of the armed forces and Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the '999' emergency services who completed a minimum of five years' reckonable service on 6 February 2002—the 50th anniversary of the Queens Accession.


Mr. Lidington: To ask the Prime Minister when the Performance and Innovation Unit will (a) complete and (b) publish its report on waste policy. [41827]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings and Rye (Mr. Foster) on 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 337W.

Steel Industry

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions took place on the subject of the proposed steel works in Romania between Mr. Jonathan Powell and HM Ambassador to Romania prior to the ambassador's advice to the Government to write a letter in support of Mr. Mittal's bid. [41865]

The Prime Minister: None.


Bob Spink: To ask the Prime Minister if he will visit Gibraltar to gauge the opinions of the people of Gibraltar on the question of British sovereignty. [42384]

The Prime Minister: The Government stand by the commitment set out in the preamble to the 1969 Gibraltar Constitution that we will not enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar will pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes. Any proposals emerging from the Brussels process would be implemented only in the event of an affirmative vote by the people of Gibraltar in a referendum.

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