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12 Mar 2003 : Column 292W—continued


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the recent vote in the Turkish Parliament regarding the deployment of military troops to that country; and if he will make a statement. [101776]

Mr. MacShane: The Government are following developments in Turkey closely, including the recent Iraq-related vote in Parliament. Turkey's contribution to the search for peace and security in the region includes its own strong respect for democratic processes.


Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of Iraq's known weapons of mass destruction were destroyed or otherwise disabled by UNSCOM inspectors up to December 1998. [101989]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As a result of Iraqi concealment and deceit, UNSCOM was never able to verify the full extent of Iraq's holdings of weapons of mass destruction, so it is not possible to give an accurate estimate of what proportion of them had been destroyed.

It is clear, however, from the final report of UNSCOM's Executive Chairman Richard Butler that there were substantial numbers of chemical and biological weapons, large quantities of the materials for the manufacture of such weapons and a number of missiles with a range beyond the 150 km limit prescribed by the United Nations still unaccounted for when UNSCOM left Iraq in December 1998.


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those persons the Baroness Amos met during her recent visit

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to Africa; what discussions she had on the role of Zimbabwe within the African Union during that visit; and if he will make a statement. [101777]

Mr. Rammell: During her recent visit (25 to 28 February 2003) to Africa, my noble Friend Baroness Amos met President Conte of Guinea, President Dos Santos of Angola and President Biya of Cameroon.

She discussed the political, economic and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe with Angola's President Dos Santos, the current Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list assets frozen under EU sanctions against Zimbabwe, broken down by (a) name of account holder, (b) amount and (c) date on which they were frozen; what impact freezing these assets has had upon the political situation in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. [101778]

Mr. Rammell: The assets freeze has targeted Mugabe and senior Zimbabwean officials. Assets worth £513,367.70 have been frozen in the UK and Dependent Territories under the EU's Common Position. These are held in 25 personal accounts. We are withholding details of the individual account holders under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, as unwarranted disclosure would constitute, or could facilitate, an unwarranted invasion of privacy. We do not have figures for assets frozen by other EU states under the Common Position.

The assets freeze has sent a strong message to the Mugabe regime, underlining the EU's concern at the internal political situation.


Child Care

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the regional variation in cost of child care; and if she will make a statement. [99050]

Maria Eagle: The Government appreciate that the cost of child care can be high, especially for parents with babies or young children needing full day care and that there are regional differences in the cost.

Working parents, subject to the level of their income, may receive support through the child care tax credit element of the Working Families Tax Credit or the Disabled Person's Tax Credit (Working Tax Credit from April 2003). Tax credit is rightly targeted at lower and middle income families who may use a range of types of child care.

The cost of child care reported in the Department for Education and Skills 2001–02 audit shows an England average of £101.01 a week for full day care and £132.49 for London—the region with the highest child care costs. The child care tax credit provides for up to 70 per cent. of costs of eligible child care. It can pay up to £94.50 a week for one child (where the child care cost is £135), and up to £140 a week for two or more children (where the cost is £200). No Government have provided

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the kind of direct support for the costs of child care that is delivered by the child care tax credit. £1 million a day is now spent on supporting parents with child care costs.

In addition, support is also available through various grants and access funds for parents undertaking further and higher education, for participants on the New Deals and those receiving Jobseeker's Allowance. Lone Parents participating in the New Deal for Lone Parents programme, can receive assistance with the costs of registered child care while attending job interviews, approved training and meetings with their Personal Advisors.

The DfES and the Inland Revenue will continue to monitor the cost of child care to ensure good quality affordable and accessible child care is available for all those who need it.

Education (Coalfield Areas)

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what targets he has set for raising educational aspirations among young people in the coalfields. [101576]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No targets are set to measure educational aspiration. However, this Department has strategies that are aimed at helping to raise educational attainment in coalfield and other areas. In "14–19: opportunity and excellence" (published 21 January 2003), we outlined our plans to transform the learning experience between 14 and 19 so that young people have a greater choice and flexibility to follow coherent learning pathways that reflect their individual strengths and aspirations. We believe that increased choice and flexibility, and improved coherence and quality of programmes, will help to raise young people's aspirations and those of their parents and wider communities. To support delivery and give focus to our proposals for 14–19 reform, we have set ourselves targets to increase young people's participation and attainment in education. These are:

Connexions Service

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which pupils have access to the independent advice provided by the Connexions service; and if he will make a statement. [99630]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: All young people aged 13–19 have access to impartial information, advice and guidance offered by the Connexions service. Access is via maintained schools, city academies, colleges, high street centres and Connexions Direct, the telephone and web-based service currently being trialled in several areas of England.

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Young people also have access to the Youth Services, who can provide informal personal and social education for young people. They can help them prepare for adult life by:

Grant Funding

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his statement of 7 February 2003, Official Report, column 29WS, which London boroughs qualify for grant funding to meet the cost of the 2003 teachers' pay settlement; and how much money that grant is in each case. [100900]

Mr. Miliband: The table contains the information requested. The Secretary of State has announced that a grant of over £11 million will be available for 2003–04 to those authorities where the DfES recognises that there are affordability issues created by the recommendations of the School Teachers' Review body for London. The grant is being given to those authorities in London who have the lowest increase in Education Formula Spending Share per pupil or receive the floor increase for Revenue Support Grant in 2003–04.

£ million

AuthoritiesTotal grant
Barking and Dagenham1.031
Hammersmith and Fulham0.739
Kensington and Chelsea0.491
Richmond upon Thames0.261
Waltham Forest0.534

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