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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the risk of terrorists (a) intercepting and (b) stealing plutonium in transit by sea from Sellafield to (i) Japan, (ii) European Union member states and (iii) Switzerland. [96988]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 10 February 2002]: The Department of Trade and Industry's Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) is responsible for regulating civil nuclear security in the UK including security of transport of nuclear material. The security standards, procedures and specific arrangements reflect published guidance issued by the IAEA. Security precautions for the transportation of nuclear material are kept under regular review. However, it is not Government policy to disclose details of security measures taken in connection with the transportation of nuclear material.

In respect of transports of MOX, OCNS has confirmed that the extensive security arrangements in place both for transports of MOX carried out between the UK and countries in Europe and those undertaken by UK operators between Europe and Japan are amply robust to deal with any potential threats. This matter

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has been reviewed in the context of the terrorist attacks that took place in September 2001 and the circumstances arising since then.

Roof Contracting Industry (Insurance Cover)

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions officials from her Department have had with representatives of the roof contracting industry regarding the availability of insurance cover; and if she will make a statement. [96897]

Mr. Wilson: A number of meetings have taken place at official level with representatives of the roofing contractors industry and other construction industry sectors about the availability of insurance cover.

A study is being undertaken by the Construction Sector Unit to establish the extent and nature of the difficulties contractors face in obtaining a range of different types of insurance; to obtain a clearer understanding of the reasons for the problems; and how the industry could better represent its approach to risk assessment, management and control to the insurance industry. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors has participated in this study.

The Government is also keen to have the views of all affected industries, including building, construction and roofing, on the review of the Employer's Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) scheme.All written contributions should be sent to: ELCI Review Team, Department of Work and Pensions, The Adelphi, Level 2, 1- 11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT or by e-mail to

Small Businesses

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her Answer of 8th January, Official Report, column 248W, on small retail businesses, how many enterprises there are in the UK of all sizes. [97574]

Mr. Wilson: In the UK at the start of 2001 there were an estimated 3,746,370 businesses in the private sector and public corporations.

Wind Farms

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) off-shore and (b) land-based wind farm projects are under construction; and what the expected completion dates are. [97069]

Mr. Wilson: The Government does not require developers to inform us of when a project will commence construction or when construction is completed. The Government therefore has no details of how many wind farms are under construction or when they will be completed.



Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many accompanying administrative documents AADs for duty-suspended excise goods were in

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circulation in each year from 1998 to 2002; how many were outstanding in each year from 1998 to 2002; and how many undischarged AADs there are against which assessments have been raised. [97341]

John Healey: The information on the number of accompanying administrative documents is not available. The information on assessments issued against outstanding AADs is not held centrally by Customs and could only be collected at disproportionate cost.

Corporation Tax

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the effect of a 2 per cent. reduction in the rate of corporation tax would be on tax revenue. [97248]

Dawn Primarolo: Table 5 of the "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs November 2002" shows the direct effects of percentage point changes in each of the starting rate, the small companies' rate and the main rate of corporation tax.

Customs and Excise

Mr. Laws : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who owns the Customs and Excise headquarters at Custom House, Lower Thames Street, London; how many staff work there and what work they are engaged in; what his estimate is of the market value of the building; and if he will make a statement. [91726]

John Healey: For details of ownership of Custom House, London I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby on 7 November 2002, Official Report, column 746–50W.

In June 2000 Customs & Excise's valuers estimated the Market Value of Custom House, London at £26.75 million. 850 law enforcement staff work in the building. No details can be given of the work they are engaged in; Exemption 4 (Law enforcement and legal proceedings) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information applies.

Adam Price : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many members of Customs and Excise's National Investigation Service are suspended pending criminal investigations. [95239]

John Healey: On 1 April 2001 HM Customs and Excise implemented a fundamental restructuring along functional lines creating two core businesses: Business Services and Taxes and Law Enforcement. The National Investigation Service is now part of the Law Enforcement structure. At 12 February 2003 six Officers from the investigation arm of Law Enforcement are suspended pending criminal investigations. All involve allegations of potential gross misconduct, which if proved may result in dismissal.

Duty Diversion Fraud

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated total loss in excise duty due to diversion fraud including frauds not actually investigated is for each year from 1993 to 2002. [97397]

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John Healey: Figures are not available in this format for all years. Diversion fraud in the main concerns alcohol products. Estimates of total losses for outward diversion fraud for alcohol in the years 1994–1995 to 1999–2000 were published in the report by John Roques, "The collection of excise duties in HM Customs and Excise", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Estimates for total revenue evaded from all alcohol fraud (including diversion frauds) in the years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 are provided in the HM Customs and Excise document "Measuring indirect tax losses" published with the pre Budget report November 2002, a copy of which is also available in the Library of the House.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the minutes of the meetings of ECOFIN and its associated committees which (a) he and (b) officials from his Department have attended since 1997. [96838]

Ruth Kelly: Minutes of ECOFIN meetings are published on the website of the Council of the European Union:

Press notices are accessible at:

The Treasury Ministers report by written answer on the issues discussed at the ECOFIN meetings and on the position taken by the United Kingdom.

The minutes of ECOFIN's associated committees, (the Economic and Financial Committee and the Economic Policy Committee) attended by senior Treasury officials, are not published.

FTSE 100

Mr. Stephen O'Brien : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the impact of the fall in the value of the FTSE 100 index on (a) total tax revenues, (b) income tax revenue and (c) corporation tax revenue. [96837]

Ruth Kelly: Consistent with the Code for fiscal stability, an update of projections for the public finances taking into account the effects of changes in share prices will be published in the forthcoming Budget.

Greener Fuels

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the incentives he has applied to encourage the use of greener fuels are intended to be permanent. [96833]

John Healey: In Budget 2001, the Government reduced the duty rate on road fuel gases to 9p per kilogramme and made a commitment to freeze duty on road fuel gases in real terms until at least 2004.

All other duty rates are reviewed by the Chancellor on a Budget-by-Budget basis, taking into account all relevant economic, social and environmental factors. Fuel duties, as with all other excise duties, are considered as part of the Budget process.

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