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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 11 June 2003

TRANSPORT

Cliffe Airport

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from and discussions he has had with financiers and industry on the plans for a new airport at Cliffe. [118106]

Mr. Jamieson: Ministers have not held any discussions with financiers or industry about the financing of the Cliffe airport option. Chapter 15 of The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom (South East) consultation document discusses how any major new airport capacity, including Cliffe, could be funded and invites views.

Since publication of the consultation document in July last year, many thousands of responses to the consultation have been received from a wide range of interested parties, and we expect many more before the consultation ends on 30 June.

All responses will be considered and analysed carefully before final decisions are taken. These will be set out in an air transport White Paper, which we plan to publish towards the end of the year.

Airline Security (Kenya)

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice he gave to British Airways in May 2003 about the safety of flying to Kenya; when he expects the company to be able to resume its flights to Kenya; and if he will make a statement. [118288]

Mr. Jamieson: On 15 May 2003, the Department advised all UK airlines that the threat level to UK civil aviation interests in Kenya was such that all UK airline operations to and from the country must be suspended. The position is being kept under active review and there is close liaison with the Kenyan authorities. It is not yet possible to say when conditions will allow flights to resume.

Pensioners (Free Travel)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that all pensioners have equal access to free travel across the UK. [117860]

Mr. Jamieson: My answer of 23 January 2003, Official Report, columns 508–09W, states that we have no plans to ensure that pensioners have equal access to free travel across the UK. In England it is for local authorities to decide whether to offer free travel in their area and a number have done that.

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Railway Expenditure

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his plans for spending on rail improvements, including the Rail Passenger Partnership, in 2003–04 and beyond by the Strategic Rail Authority. [118105]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) revised Strategic Plan, published on 30 January 2003, contains a full analysis of the budgetary position, investment priorities for the short and medium-terms, as well as the SRA's long-term objectives for the rail network.

The SRA's Rail Passenger Partnership (RPP) programme has been temporarily suspended because of current budgetary constraints. The Authority does not intend to terminate the RPP scheme, but for the present the focus will be on seeing through existing commitments and approvals. For the duration of the 2003–04 financial year, they will continue to allocate funds (£20 million) already set aside for RPP grants.

Copies of the Strategic Plan are available from the House Library.

Transport Investment

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the level of Government investment on transport each year since 1997, and his proposals for future years under the 10-Year-Plan; what was planned to spend each year; and how much was spent in each year. [118103]

Mr. Jamieson: Capital spending by the Department for Transport (and its predecessors' spending on transport) for each year since 1998–99 is set out in Table A3 of the Department's Annual Report for 2003 (Cm 5907). Comparable figures for earlier years are not available owing to the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting.

Table A3 also sets out capital spending plans for 2003–04 to 2005–06. Spending plans for later years under the 10-Year-Plan are set out in Table A1.1 of "Delivering Better Transport: Progress Report", published by the Department in December 2002.

Unlicensed Vehicles

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many unlicensed vehicles there have been on roads in Britain in 2002. [117851]

Mr. Jamieson: The most recent survey of Vehicle Excise Duty evasion, covering 2002 and published in March 2003, estimated that some 1.75 million vehicles were unlicensed in Great Britain, against approximately 30 million licensed vehicles.

TREASURY

Basic Bank Accounts

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the

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effectiveness with which banks are marketing their commercial basic bank accounts. [118329]

Mr. Boateng: None. The marketing of basic bank accounts is a commercial matter for the banks concerned.

Juvenile Mortality

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the most common causes of death of young people in the UK were in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [118182]

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

Letter from Len Cook to Dr. Kumar, dated 11 June 2003:



Percentage of total deaths by age and sex for main causes of death(1),
United Kingdom, 2001(2)

Males Females
15–1920–2425 and over15–1920–2425 and over
External causes of death6162440412
of which
Accidents4034226212
Suicide162318160
Neoplasms9829141424
of which
Leukaemia221331
Nervous system9421293
Mental disorders4102654
Circulatory system44416740
Respiratory system22125413
Infectious diseases121431
Digestive system124135
Other causes87513158
Total deaths (thousands)1.11.5281.20.40.6312.2

(1) The causes of death were selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes. The codes used were as follows:External causes of death—V01-Y89;Accidents- V01-X59;Suicides—X60-X84 & Y10-Y34 (excluding Y33.9 where the Coroner's verdict was pending for England and Wales);Neoplasms—C00-D48;Leukaemia—C91-C95;Nervous system—G00-G99;Mental disorders—F00-F99;Circulatory system -100–199;Respiratory system—J00-J99;Infectious diseases –A00-B99;Digestive system—K00-K93.

(2) Figures are for the number of deaths occurring in each calendar year in England and Wales and the number of deaths registrated in each calendar year for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

(3) Office for National Statistics (2000). Social Focus on Young People. Table 2.2, pg 22. London: TSO.


Advocacy Services

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures the Treasury has taken to fund advocacy services for those in deprived situations. [118296]

Dawn Primarolo: The results of the Spending Review announced in July 2002 provided funds to departments as set out in "Opportunity and Security for All: Investing in an Enterprising, Fairer Britain" (Cm 5570). It is a matter for relevant departments how they allocate these funds to advocacy services for those in deprived areas.

Capital Modernisation Fund

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his Answer of 22 May 2003, Official Report, column 882W, on the Capital Modernisation Fund, what payments were made to the contractor; and what outputs were received from the contractor in the period before the contract was terminated. [118270]

John Healey: The contractor made a presentation of their findings in February 2002 when it was agreed that the project was not viable at that time. £5,000 + VAT was paid being the agreed proportion of the expenses the contractor had incurred.

VAT (Car Parking Facilities)

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when facilities leased or let for parking a vehicle became subject to differential VAT treatment according to whether they are leased or let alongside other property; what the justification for the differential was; what plans he has to review this differential; what discussions he has had with EU counterparts to review this differential; and

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when he next intends to discuss with EU counterparts an extension of the scope of VAT exemption to remove this differential. [118242]

John Healey: EC VAT legislation dictates that the leasing and letting of residential property by private landlords is exempt from VAT. However, the letting of parking facilities is specifically excluded from this exemption and is consequently taxed at the standard rate of VAT. In 1989, the European Court of Justice examined the VAT treatment of parking facilities supplied together with residential property by the same landlord to the same tenant. They ruled that this was a single supply of services, and that the whole supply should be exempt from VAT. All member states were therefore required to comply with this ruling and exempt the supply of parking facilities in these specific circumstances. Under the long-standing formal agreements which govern the EC VAT regime, no member state is permitted unilaterally to extend this exemption to the separate supply of parking facilities.


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