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16 Jan 2003 : Column 769W—continued

Global Partners Agreement

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further steps the Russian Federation has agreed to take to advance the implementation of the Global Partners Agreement, known as ten plus ten plus ten; what further action it is required to take; and if he will make a statement. [91205]

Mr. MacShane: Russia is a committed member of the G8 'Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction'. In December 2002 the Russian Government decided to set up a new interagency committee, which will be chaired by the Russian Prime Minister. On 10 January this year Russia pledged $2 billion over the next 10 years to the Partnership. This includes $204 million on high-priority projects in 2003, focusing on the destruction of chemical weapons and work on decommissioned nuclear submarines.

However, for most of the work to begin Russia has to agree to a legal framework that is satisfactory to donor countries. At present there are problems with liability and taxation provisions and these must be solved before many large projects can go ahead. This delay also affects the UK, which has made strenuous efforts to overcome these final obstacles. Conclusion of an agreement is a prerequisite to the start of much of the project-work. We hope that an agreement can be reached very shortly, as the UK is at an advanced stage of readiness and once the legal framework is in place, projects can quickly begin.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to Parliament last July the UK's commitment to the Global Partnership of up to $750 million over 10 years (1 July 2002, Official Report, column 21). The UK Government believe the importance of the Partnership is clear, and puts a high priority on its contribution, as part of the UK's wider non-proliferation, security and foreign policy strategies.

Iraq

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Government's voting record for each measure, and amendments thereto, on the agenda of the first committee of (a) the UN General Assembly and (b) the UN Security Council in 2002. [90181]

Mr. Rammell: Voting records of First Committee resolutions of the UN General Assembly since 1997 may be accessed via the internet at http://disarmament.un.org/vote.nsf. Those for UN Security Council resolutions since 1983 may be found at http://unbisnet.un.org.

16 Jan 2003 : Column 770W

North Korea

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the situation in North Korea. [90290]

Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a press statement on North Korea's intention to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty on 10 January. The text of the statement is as follows:


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in North Korea concerning its (a) nuclear power and (b) nuclear arms programmes. [90698]

Mr. Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any direct contact with the DPRK Foreign Minister on the matter of North Korea's nuclear programmes. However, our Ambassador to Pyongyang raised this issue during meetings with the DPRK Foreign Minister, Vice Foreign Minister, and titular Head of State Kim Yong-nam, at the end of December. FCO officials have also been in regular contact with the DPRK Chargé d'affaires in London on this issue since his arrival at the beginning of November. Most recently, FCO officials summoned the Chargé d' Affairs on 10 January to protest against recent actions by the DPRK. We shall continue to use official channels in London and Pyongyang to raise our concerns with North Korea about its nuclear programmes and intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Statutory Instruments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many statutory instruments have been issued by his Department in each calendar year since 1979. [89835]

Mr. Straw: Departmental records show that for each calendar year since 1979 the number of statutory instruments for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the lead Department is as follows:

YearNumber
197957
198041
198160
198235
198333
198429
198544
198634
198748
198836
198935
199039
199126
199244
199335
199430
199528
199634
199777
199830
199928
200037
200138
200229

16 Jan 2003 : Column 771W

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Congestion Charge

Mr. Gray: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what budget he has set aside for the likely cost of the London congestion charge. [91099]

Mr. Leslie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) on 20 November 2002, Official Report, column 125W.

Council Tax

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what changes in council tax in each local

16 Jan 2003 : Column 772W

authority would be required and possible, assuming spending next year were at FSS level and no change were made to its non-grant income. [90685]

Mr. Raynsford: Council tax is a local tax. Decisions on council tax are for local authorities to take, after consulting with their local electorate and taxpayers. It is not this Government's policy to preannounce spending totals or council tax increases for local authorities.

FSS is not, and should not be used as, a measure of assumed local spending. The spending review identifies how much is available in total grant for local authorities. The FSS distributes the available amount to authorities in a way that reflects local pressures in comparison to other areas. There is an allowance per head with top-ups for local pressures such as deprivation, labour costs and sparsity.

Housing (Rural Areas)

Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much revenue was collected in real terms for each council tax band in (a) England and (b) local authorities defined as rural, by region, in each year since 1992. [90839]

Mr. Leslie: The following table shows the amount of council tax receipts, net of council tax benefit, collected each year in (a) England and (b) local authorities, by region, since 1993, shown in 2001–02 prices. Authorities are defined as 'rural' on the basis of the Countryside Agency's classification of English Local Authorities.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister collects information on the amount of council tax, net of council tax benefit, collected by each local authority in cash terms. This information is aggregated and can not be reliably broken down by council tax band.

Council Tax Receipts for XRural" Authorities from 1993–94 to 2001–02 (in 2001–02 prices)
# million

1993–941994–951995–961996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–02
England8,3139,0959,5519,99410,54511,34411,85012,53113,209
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England388428451473504560598641679
East Midlands275318336349382418439468492
London000000000
North East485055576167717477
North West234262271281294324336354368
South East7207998488929451,0281,0811,1451,203
South West473541553575614677711763804
West Midlands176193197208220272292307329
Yorkshire and the Humber199224233232241260277292310

The real terms are calculated using the HM Treasury GDP deflator.

Andrew George: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many households in (a) England and (b) local authorities defined as rural, by region, were identified as being in each band for council tax purposes in each year since the introduction of the scheme. [90838]

Mr. Leslie: The following table shows the number of chargeable dwellings in (a) England and (b) local authorities defined as rural, by region, by council tax band since 1993. Chargeable dwellings are dwellings eligible for a council tax charge. This information is taken from the Calculation of Council Tax Base for Revenue Support Grant Purposes Return (CTB1) which is based on information available to the authority in November each year. Authorities are defined as 'rural' on the basis of the Countryside Agency's classification of English Local Authorities.

16 Jan 2003 : Column 773W

Number of chargeable dwellings in Xrural" local authorities from 1993 to 2001
Thousand

Band ABand BBand CBand DBand EBand FBand GBand HTotal
1993
England5,0623,7334,2802,8661,78296272911519,529
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1312232351428846303898
East Midlands174148135764727192627
London000000000
North East451615118640106
North West14110596624124172487
South East86201366300215137116171,438
South West151230238174127735151,048
West Midlands648488544024192375
Yorkshire and the Humber1029598594224161437
1994
England5,1283,7924,2982,9001,78193969810719,643
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1352272361438846293907
East Midlands180152135774726182635
London000000000
North East471615118640107
North West14510696634123161493
South East91207371305215134113151,452
South West157237241178127704641,061
West Midlands668688554024172378
Yorkshire and the Humber1049699604222151440
1995
England5,1653,8364,3272,9271,79693868310319,777
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1392302371459046293919
East Midlands183154135784926171643
London000000000
North East471715118630108
North West14610897644223161497
South East94211376308217135112151,467
South West162242245181128694341,073
West Midlands678789554124162381
Yorkshire and the Humber10698100624322141446
1996
England5,2033,8714,3512,9561,81394768810319,934
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1422332391479347293932
East Midlands187159138815228181663
London000000000
North East471715128630108
North West14810898654323161501
South East96214380311218137113151,482
South West164245247183130704341,086
West Midlands688889564224172385
Yorkshire and the Humber1069589584021131422
1997
England5,2303,8964,3802,9881,83796269710520,093
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1432352411499548303944
East Midlands188160139835329181672
London000000000
North East471715128630109
North West14811098664323161506
South East97216383313220139115151,496
South West167247249185132714341,099
West Midlands698890574325172390
Yorkshire and the Humber1069590584121131426
1998
England5,2423,9184,4053,0171,86297670710620,233
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1452362431529750303956
East Midlands190161141855530182681
London000000000
North East471715129640110
North West14911099664424161510
South East99217385315222141116151,509
South West168249251188135724441,111
West Midlands79104103685130192456
Yorkshire and the Humber1079691594122131430
1999
England5,2483,9424,4303,0491,88899371710820,374
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England1462382451549951313967
East Midlands191163142875631192690
London000000000
North East471716129640110
North West15011199674524161514
South East100218386317224143118151,522
South West170251253190137734441,122
West Midlands80105103695331202461
Yorkshire and the Humber1079791604222141434
2000
England5,2963,9724,4623,0861,9181,01272911020,586
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England14924024715710152323981
East Midlands193165144905932192703
London000000000
North East471716129640111
North West151111100684625171520
South East102220389320226145120151,536
South West172253256192140744541,137
West Midlands81105104705431202467
Yorkshire and the Humber1099792614323141440
2001
England5,2953,9914,4873,1171,9471,02874011220,717
Designated rural authorities by region
East of England15024224815910353323990
East Midlands194166145926133202713
London000000000
North East471716139640112
North West152112101694725171525
South East102221391321228146121161,546
South West173255258195142764641,149
West Midlands81106104705432212471
Yorkshire and the Humber1099893624424141445

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Total figures are subject to rounding.


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