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6 Mar 2003 : Column 1142W—continued

Financial Reporting Council

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial contribution the Government will be making to the operations of the Financial Reporting Council and its associated bodies. [100830]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Report of the Review of the Regulatory Regime of the Accountancy Profession (published on 29 January) recommended that


J.S. Bass Group

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby's correspondence with her, if she will commission an independent inquiry into the liquidation of J S Bass Group of companies. [100910]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I am not persuaded that there are any grounds to justify the commission of an independent inquiry into the liquidation of John S Bass & Co. Ltd., or other companies in the same group.

Money Laundering

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many accountants have been prosecuted by her Department for failure to report suspicions of money laundering to the National Criminal Intelligence Service. [100524]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I have been asked to reply.

The table gives the number of defendants proceeded against in England and Wales for the offence of failing to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering under section 52 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 during the period 1994 to 2001.

It is not possible separately to identify which of these defendants are accountants in the statistics collected centrally.

The Drug Trafficking Act offence has been replaced by section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which came into force on 24 February 2003. This new offence only applies to persons who suspect money laundering in the course of a business in the regulated sector. Accountants will be brought within the regulated sector by means of new Money Laundering Regulations to be made later this year.

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Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for 'failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering'(1), England and Wales 1994 to 2001(2)

Defendants proceeded againstDefendantsfound guilty
1994
19951
1996
1997
1998
19991
2000(3)1
2001

(1) Offence is under Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Sec 52.

(2) These data are on the principal offence basis.

(3) Staffordshire Police were only able to submit sample data for persons dealt with at magistrates' courts in 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust at a detailed level and have been excluded from this table.


Receiverships (Completion)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many receiverships, administrations and liquidations that commenced (a) more than 20 years ago and (b) more than 10 years ago have not been finalised; for what reasons they have not been finalised; and what steps her Department takes to ensure timely completion. [100828]

Miss Melanie Johnson: As of 31 January 2003 there were 18,585 liquidation cases open, of these 440 cases (2.4 per cent.) were over 36 months old. There is no information available for previous years.

There is no information available for the length of time taken to finalise receiverships or administrations.

Regulatory Bodies

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff were employed by the Insolvency Service in each year since 1997, and how many were inspection staff. [100015]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: The numbers of staff employed in the Insolvency Service are published in the agency's Annual Report and Accounts.

Rugby Football Union

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the Office of Fair Trading on its investigation into restrictive and anticompetitive practices with respect to the Rugby Football Union. [100240]

Miss Melanie Johnson: None.

TRANSPORT

Pollution

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost per kilogram saved of (a) carbon dioxide emissions and (b) other harmful gases arising from (i) the lower duty on LPG, (ii) the lower duty on biodiesel and (iii) the proposed 20p reduction for bioethanol [100626]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 5 March 2003]: There is a large number of factors influencing the cost of abatement of carbon dioxide and local air quality emissions. For example, the CO2 life-cycle benefits of biofuels can be heavily influenced by the feedstocks, farming practices and processing methods used to manufacture the fuel. In addition, it should be noted that LPG is promoted primarily as a means of improving air quality rather than as a carbon-saving measure.

However, illustrative figures have been set out for carbon and the main air quality pollutants, PM10 and NOx based on current fuel duty levels for LPG and the main biofuels, where reliable emissions data exists. These figures do not take account of the other benefits of fuel diversification, such as fuel security issues, agricultural diversification and quieter engines.

Revenue cost of abatement(4)
FuelCarbonPMNOx
LPG (conversion from new Euro III petrol)3.263,000920
LPG (conversion from new Euro III diesel)4.670050
Biodiesel (from recovered vegetable oil)0.26–0.30Some expected benefit. DfT plans to undertake furtheremissions testing work on this fuel.No benefit
Biodiesel (from dedicated crops)0.28–0.50Some expected benefit. DfT plans to undertake furtheremissions testing work on this fuel.No benefit
Bioethanol (from dedicated sugar and starch-rich crops)0.28–0.501,200–1,800No benefit

(4) £ per kg—all figures approximate

Note:

Figures for the air quality benefits of biofuels assume use as a 5 per cent. blend with conventional mineral fuels.


A27

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the incidents of (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries recorded on the A27 between Lewes and Polegate in each of the last 10 years. [100772]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Tim Matthews to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Nigel Waterson, dated 6 March 2003:


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Year199419951996199719981999200020012002
Fatal401230423
Serious54161791171214



All the figures provided are for the length of the A27 from Ashcombe Roundabout (west of Lewes) and the A22 junction at Polegate. Prior to 1994 our records are incomplete and I am unable to provide accident figures covering those years.
If you would like further information about accident issues on the A27 between Lewes and Polegate, the Area Manager, Mark Kumar, at our Dorking office would be pleased to help you. His telephone number is 01306 878115.

Air Accidents

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the relationship between (a) the Warsaw Convention and (b) EC Regulation 2027/97 (Air carrier liability in the event of accidents) in (i) its present form and (ii) as it will be amended by EC Regulation 889/2002. [R] [101149]

Mr. Jamieson: Council Regulation (EC) No. 2027/97 was adopted to provide a greater level of consumer protection than that found in the Warsaw Convention. Although the regulation applies in a different way to the Convention, legal advice presented by the European Commission at the time of adoption of the regulation indicated that the proposed Community legislation was compatible with the Warsaw Convention. Council and Parliament Regulation (EC) No. 889/2002 was adopted to align the provisions of Regulation 2027/97 with those of the Montreal Convention, except that the intention of Regulation 889/2002 is that it will apply to Community air carriers in respect of all carriage undertaken. Again, legal advice presented at the time of adoption of the amending regulation was that the proposed Community measure is compatible with both the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the different methods of securing compliance with the amended notice provisions of EC Regulation 2027/97 (air carrier liability in the event of accidents) which will apply after the Montreal Convention has come into force. [R] [101150]

Mr. Jamieson: In the UK compliance with the information provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No: 2027/97 is secured by the Air Carrier Liability Order 1998. When the date of coming-into-force of Regulation 889/2002 (which is linked to the coming-into-force of the Montreal Convention) is known, the Air Carrier Liability Order will be amended to reflect the amended Community legislation. The sanction of a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale was thought to be more appropriate than withdrawal of the right to fly or an administrative fine.


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