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20 Nov 2002 : Column 185W—continued

Travel to Airports

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of journeys made to (a) Gatwick, (b) Heathrow, (c) Stansted and (d) Luton airports were made by (i) train, (ii) bus and (iii) other road vehicles in the latest year for which figures are available. [80846]

Mr. Jamieson: In 2001, the percentage of journeys made by train to Gatwick was 21.2 per cent. (9 per cent. bus/coach and 69.8 per cent. other road vehicles ). For Heathrow, the corresponding proportions were 21.5 per cent. train ( ie rail and tube), 13.1 per cent. bus/coach, and 65.4 per cent. other road vehicles. At Stansted, the proportions were : 27.3 per cent. train, 7.6 per cent. bus/coach, and 65.1 per cent. other road vehicles. The proportions recorded at Luton are 26.1 per cent. bus/coach and 73.9 per cent. other road vehicles.


Employment (Leeds)

Mr. Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the number of people in (a) Leeds and (b) Leeds, West constituency who are in (i) temporary and (ii) part-time employment. [81488]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to John Battle, dated 20 November 2002:

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Minimum Wage

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the number of people who no longer receive one or more of income support, housing benefit or council tax benefit as a result of the introduction of the minimum wage. [80607]

John Healey: The information requested is not available.

Banking Information

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if discussions with the Swiss Government regarding the exchange of banking information are on-going; and if he will make a statement; [80741]

Dawn Primarolo: In accordance with the mandate agreed by ECOFIN Council on 16 October 2001, the presidency and Commission are continuing negotiations with the Swiss Government on the application of measures equivalent to the system that would apply under the draft Savings Directive to member states. The Chancellor and other EU Finance Ministers discuss progress at meetings of the ECOFIN Council. Any decision on what steps to take if a successful conclusion to the negotiations were not to be reached, would be made at that time.

Climate Change Levy

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy not to exempt the nuclear industry from the climate change levy. [80866]

John Healey: It has been the Government's policy since the climate change levy was announced not to exempt nuclear energy.

Compliance Costs

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to complete the studies into the compliance costs of excise duty and international trade, referred to in his answer of 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 600W; and if he will make a statement. [80639]

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John Healey: These studies are still in progress. Ministers will consider the results at the completion of each study.

Customs and Excise

Mr. Moore: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Extra Statutory Concession 3.5 in notice 48 (1999 edition) applies to advice given by Customs and Excise officials (a) in writing and (b) by telephone. [81659]

John Healey: The current (March 2002) edition of Notice 48 cancelled and replaced the December 1999 edition. Extra Statutory Concession 3.5 remains the same and provides that

The concession therefore applies in these terms not only to incorrect rulings in writing but also to incorrect oral rulings. Oral rulings include those given by telephone.

Departmental Accounts

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for each year since 1997 and by Department, the total amount of fines levied against Government Departments for the incomplete return of departmental accounts. [81116]

Mr. Boateng: The accounts of Departments are presented to Parliament under the provisions of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000, and prior to that, the Exchequer and Audit Department Acts 1866 and 1921. The legislation makes no provision for fines for incomplete returns.

Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme

Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been claimed under the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme since April 2001; and if he will make a statement. [81777]

Dawn Primarolo: I regret that the information is not yet available.

EU Aviation Fuel Tax

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of (a) the practicality and (b) the potential revenue stream arising from the introduction of taxation on aviation fuel used in domestic flights; [80840]

John Healey: The Government are aware of practical issues surrounding the taxation of aviation fuel used in domestic flights, including the encouragement of 'tankering' fuel from abroad. Revenue streams would depend on a variety of factors including the level of duty and degree of tankering. We will publish shortly an Air Transport White Paper that will examine the potential

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for using economic instruments to encourage the aviation industry to take more account of its external costs.

The European Council of Finance Ministers has asked the European Commission to pursue with the International Civil Aviation Organisation the possibility of taxing aviation turbine fuel.


Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if British entry to the euro is conditional upon reform of the Stability and Growth Pact. [80416]

Ruth Kelly: The determining factor underpinning any Government decision on UK membership of EMU is the national economic interest and whether the economic case for joining is clear and unambiguous. The Five Economic Tests will define whether a clear and unambiguous case can be made.

Financial Services Authority

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the role of the Financial Services Authority in the collapse of the split capital investment trusts; if he will set up an independent inquiry into this issue; and if he will make a statement. [81792]

Ruth Kelly: The FSA is obliged under the terms of the Financial Services and Markets Act (2001) to produce an annual report assessing performance against its statutory objectives of maintaining confidence in the financial system, promoting public understanding of the financial system, securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers and reducing the potential for financial firms to be used for financial crime. It is through this mechanism that the FSA is primarily held accountable to Ministers and Parliament.


Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the grants funded by his Department for which individual members of the public and organisations may apply; and if he will make a statement as to (a) the total of such funding in the last financial year, (b) the total number of awards and (c) their administrative costs. [82194]

Ruth Kelly: HM Treasury makes no such grants.

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