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John Healey: In respect of HM Customs and Excise I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Wealden (Mr. Hendry) on 14 October 2003, Official Report, column 143W. They brought two prosecutions in 2001.
In respect of prosecutions undertaken by agencies other than Customs, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) on 10 March 2003, Official Report, column 70W.
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John Healey: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Wealden (Mr. Hendry) on 27 October 2003, Official Report, column 40W. The figures published by Defra for total seizures of imported goods by all agencies, at ports of entry and elsewhere in 200102 and 200203 are 2,053 (114,790 kg) and 7,819 (109,211 kg) respectively. Figures for earlier years are not held centrally.
John Healey: HM Customs and Excise inspect imported cargo on a risk-based and intelligence-led basis. Since 11 April 2003 risk assessments have included illegally imported meat products. Checks are carried out in the Customs controlled freight area and can vary from simple visual inspections to full physical examinations.
John Healey: The operational skills required for detecting illegally imported meat and other animal products are the same as for Customs and Excise other anti-smuggling responsibilities. All customs officers involved in such work are trained in anti-smuggling techniques before commencing operational duties.
As part of the implementation of their new responsibilities in respect of illegal imports of meat and products of animal origin, HM Customs and Excise have provided specific training to existing anti-smuggling staff across the United Kingdom. Similar training has been incorporated into formal training programmes for staff who are new to anti-smuggling work or who are receiving structured refresher training.
The training covers the scope of the relevant regulations and the ontrols, the nature of the products subject to prohibition or restriction, dealing with seizures, links to other agencies and where to seek advice.
John Healey: Customs deploy two meat detector dogs and a further four will be deployed early in the new year, as soon as their training is complete. All of these dogs can be deployed at any port or airport across the UK.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers of arrest are available to law enforcement officers operating at UK airports against people suspected of importing meat products illegally. 
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John Healey: HM Customs and Excise inspect imported cargo at airports and ports where there is reason to do so, for example to verify the import declaration or to check for prohibited or restricted goods. Other government departments or local authorities may also inspect specific cargoes in which they have a specific interest, in order to carry out their statutory duties.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much would be raised by increasing the basic rate of income tax by one pence on the residents of (a) Portsmouth Unitary Authority and (b) Southampton Unitary Authority. 
|(a) Portsmouth Unitary Authority||13.0|
|(b) Southampton Unitary Authority||9.1|
Estimates are based upon the 200001 Survey of Personal Incomes. The effects of the illustrative changes can be scaled up or down over a reasonably wide range. The results exclude any behavioural response to the tax change.
John Healey: In April 2000, the Government set a target to raise the amount given through Payroll Giving to £60 million by April 2003 and to increase the proportion of employees who have access to Payroll Giving schemes from an estimated 1 in 5 to 1 in 3. The total given in 199899 was £29 million and by 200203 was £86 million. The number of donors has risen from around 400,000 in 199899 to around 520,000 in
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200203, although survey data from July 2003 indicated that there has been little increase in the proportion of employees with access to schemes.
While the growth in levels of giving has clearly exceeded expectations, and the rise in the number of donors is welcome, the Government remains keen to find ways to encourage greater access to schemes.
In the 2002 Pre-Budget Report we launched the Corporate Challenge. The aim of the Corporate Challenge is to increase business involvement in community activity in three main areas, one of which is corporate support for and promotion of Payroll Giving schemes.
John Healey: In April 2000, the Government introduced a number of measures to encourage charitable giving through Payroll Giving schemes. The maximum amounts that could be given each year under Payroll Giving was abolished; we announced a three-year publicity campaign to promote the scheme to employers and their employees and introduced a ten per cent supplement on all Payroll Giving donations until April 2003. The cost of the supplement is met from public expenditure. The supplement was extended for a further year until April 2004, to allow charity fundraisers to make the most of the boost to this method of giving.
In the 2002 Pre-Budget we launched the Corporate Challenge. The aim of the Corporate Challenge is to increase business involvement in community activity in three main areas, one of which is corporate support for and promotion of Payroll Giving schemes.
We also support The Giving Campaign, an independent, three year national campaign established as a partnership between Government and the voluntary sector, to encourage charitable giving and a culture of giving. The Campaign has, as one of its initiatives, been encouraging employers to develop strategies for giving by employees.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has completed the further work and analysis on the design of a possible pesticides tax or other economic instrument to minimise the adverse effects of pesticide use as referred to in the Pre-Budget Report presented in autumn 2002. 
John Healey: In 2001, the Government introduced the Voluntary Initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of pesticide use. Work on further or complementary measures, which could take the form of economic instruments, is on-going. The case for using any alternative measures will depend on the progress of the Voluntary Initiative.
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