Previous Section Index Home Page

3 Dec 2003 : Column 63W—continued

Security Equipment (Tax Relief)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans his Department has for tax relief on investment made by retailers in specified security equipment for stores under 3,000 square feet. [140863]

Dawn Primarolo: Capital spending by businesses, including retailers, on security equipment can qualify for tax relief through the capital allowances system. The generally available rate of writing-down allowances for spending on plant and machinery is 25 per cent. a year on the reducing balance basis. Small and medium-sized enterprises can claim 40 per cent. first-year allowances on their spending.


Charles Hendry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of (a) males and (b) females under the age of 30 died as a result of suicide in each of the last 10 years. [140787]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Charles Hendry, dated 3 December 2003:

The most recent available mortality data are for the calendar year 2002 and cover England and Wales. The attached table contains suicide figures for each year from 1993 to 2002.

Number of total deaths and proportion of deaths from suicide and injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted(6), aged under 30 by sex, England and Wales, 1993 to 2002(7)

All deathsPercentage due tosuicideAge-standardisedsuicide rate(8)
Calendar yearMalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemales

(6) The cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes E950-E959 and E980-E989 excluding E988.8 for the years 1990 to 2000, and, for the year 2001 and 2002, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes X60-X84 and Y10-Y34 excluding Y33.9 where the Coroner's verdict was pending.

(7) Figures are for deaths occurring per calendar year.

(8) Age-standardised rate per 100,000 standardised to the European standard population.


Activity Co-ordination Team

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will list the

3 Dec 2003 : Column 64W

recommendations the Activity Co-ordination Team has made on a methodology to secure better evidence and data on participation; [140494]

Mr. Caborn: The Activity Co-ordination Team (ACT) has been established by government to increase participation in physical activity and sport. ACT is not a funding body but in spring 2004 will provide ministers with a delivery plan setting out recommendations to co-ordinate initiatives and research across government for the three years up until March 1997.

I am arranging for copies of the Terms of Reference for ACT to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Thornborough Henges

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with North Yorkshire County Council on allowing quarrying of sand and gravel in the setting of the henges; what assessment she has made of the effect on the archaeological value and integrity of the surrounding of the henges of such quarrying; and whether further planning applications have been lodged for further quarrying in the setting. [141446]

Keith Hill: I have been asked to reply

The responsibility for minerals planning in North Yorkshire rests with the County Council. It is required to consult widely when preparing its minerals development plan, including taking advice from English Heritage on archaeological matters. Similarly, English Heritage may make representations in respect of planning applications for sand and gravel extraction if it considers these may affect archaeological interests. No planning application for extraction of sand and gravel in the vicinity of Thornborough Henges has been received, to date, by North Yorkshire County Council. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has not made any assessment of the effect of any possible sand and gravel extraction on the archaeological value and integrity of the surrounding of the henges because that is the responsibility of the mineral planning authority.

Olympic Games

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that Ministers representing the United Kingdom abroad are adequately briefed on the London 2012 Olympic bid. [140506]

Tessa Jowell: All Ministers have been briefed on the International Olympic Committee's Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct that applies to Applicant Cities. This advice included details of what Ministers could and could not do in support of the London 2012 bid, particularly in relation to overseas promotion, which cannot be undertaken until after November 2004.

3 Dec 2003 : Column 65W

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have in place arrangements for overseas missions to alert their Public Diplomacy Policy Department to relevant visits by Ministers so that appropriate briefing on the London 2012 bid can be provided.

A working group of officials from Government Departments has been formed, chaired by DCMS, and has met regularly. The terms of reference for the group are to provide advice to the bidding organisation, London 2012, on the relevant Government interests in the bid and to provide advice on Olympic bid matters to Government Ministers.


D-Day Anniversary

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on Royal representation at the D-Day commemoration events in Normandy in 2004. [141207]

Mr. Caplin: Invitations have now been received and are being considered. I will make a further announcement to the House shortly.

HMS Diligence

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to replace repair ship HMS Diligence when she is decommissioned; and if he will make a statement. [140911]

Mr. Ingram: It is planned that the Forward Repair Ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Diligence will remain in service until around the end of the decade. Decisions have yet to be taken on how best to deliver future Forward Repair capability.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total annual cost of the United Kingdom military commitment to Iraq is, assuming current manning and equipment levels. [141184]

Mr. Ingram: For 2002–03, the cost of operations in Iraq totalled £847.211 million, comprising £629.531 million Operating Costs and £217.680 million Capital Costs.

For 2003–04, at the moment, the Ministry of Defence intends to seek a further £1.2 billion at Winter Supplementary Estimates to cover the likely costs of Operation Telic in 2003–04. This will cover primarily the cost of peacekeeping and associated Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs). It does not include the cost of the Recuperation of my Department's operational capability. This is still being assessed. The forecast for 2003–04 may change as a result of stock being returned from Iraq and its value being credited against the overall cost of the operation. An updated forecast of costs for 2003–04 will be published in the Spring Supplementary Estimates.

It is too early to say what costs might be incurred after 2003–04.

3 Dec 2003 : Column 66W

Merchant Ships

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of merchant ships chartered by his Department to support allied efforts in the 2003 Iraq war (a) were over 20-years-old and (b) flew the red ensign. [140675]

Mr. Ingram: Some 37 per cent. of merchant ships chartered in support of the Iraq campaign were over 20-years-old. Some 31 per cent. of ships chartered flew the Red Ensign.

Missile Defence

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there is a memorandum of understanding involving the UK Government in connection with missile defence; to what it commits the UK; and if he will make a statement. [141101]

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 June 2003, Official Report, column 57WS announcing the signature of a Ballistic Missile Defence Memorandum of Understanding with the United States. A copy of the MOU is available in the Library of the House (Reference: DEP 03/2054).

Next Section Index Home Page