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Public Appointments

27. Ian Stewart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps the Government take to ensure that people appointed to public bodies are representative of the society that they serve. [145863]

Mr. Alexander: This Government want boards of public bodies to be representative of society as a whole. On 17 December, we published Delivering Diversity in Public Appointments 2003. This outlines the Government's commitment to achieving greater diversity in public appointments. It includes action plans for individual Departments, together with targets to be achieved by 2006.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will list vacancies for posts on public bodies which have been advertised since 2001, indicating in such case the number of (a) posts, (b) applicants, (c) persons interviewed and (d) appointments made. [145277]

Mr. Alexander: This information is not held centrally. Individual departments are responsible for making appointments to their own public bodies.

The Government is committed to ensuring greater access to public appointments. A new public appointments vacancy web-site (www.publicappts-vacs.gov.uk) was launched by my Department on 27 March 2003. This provides information about current and forthcoming vacancies, helping people to find details of the appointments that are of most interest to them.

Public Bodies

Andrew George: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will list all regional (a) advisory non-departmental public bodies, (b) executive non-departmental public bodies and (c) other autonomous public bodies, identifying those which are related to health, broken down by region; if he will indicate those which have been created since 1 May 1997; and if he will list those bodies which have been (i) abolished since 1 May 1997 and (ii) abolished but whose functions have been transferred to other public bodies. [145955]

Mr. Alexander: Information about non-departmental public bodies is contained in "Public Bodies 2003", and previous years' editions, copies of which are available in the House Libraries, and on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/agencies-publicbodies/publicbodies/index.shtm

The information is not broken down to regional level, nor are creation or abolition dates of bodies separately identified. This level of detail could be provided only at disproportionate expense. Public bodies related to health are primarily listed in the entry for the Department of Health, though some public bodies attached to other Departments (e.g. the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) also deal with health-related issues.

TREASURY

Correspondence

David Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter of 11 November from the

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hon. Member for Walsall, North concerning the statement by members of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care. [144854]

Mr. Boateng: I have done so.

Departmental Policies(Regent's Park and Kensington, North)

Ms Buck: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact of his policies on the constituency of Regent's Park and Kensington, North since 1997. [145421]

Mr. Boateng: Over the past five years, the Government have built a platform of economic stability and sound management of public finances, delivering benefits across the UK, including in London and the constituency of Regent's Park and Kensington North.

The UK is now enjoying the longest period of sustained low inflation since the 1960s, with long-term interest rates around their lowest levels since that time. Since spring 1997, employment has increased by almost 1.7 million, and public investment increases, including the biggest ever sustained growth in the history of the NHS, are tackling the legacy of under-investment in public services.

Employment Incentives

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make an assessment of (a) provision for young, single, working adults on low incomes and (b) incentives for those aged under 25 to move off benefits into employment. [144534]

Dawn Primarolo: To help young people move off benefits and into employment, the Government have introduced the New Deal for Young People, increased financial incentives to work through the National Minimum Wage and the reduction in the starting rate of income tax from 20 per cent. to 10 per cent. and improved opportunities to participate in training and education, for example through the Modern Apprenticeships scheme.

Forward Contracts

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many forward contracts have been granted to individuals and corporations (a) domiciled and (b) non-domiciled in the UK. [142719]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue have identified 17 cases where forward contracts have been granted. In two instances the agreements related to individuals or companies domiciled in the UK; the other 15 cases related to individuals or companies non-domiciled in the UK.

The Inland Revenue no longer make these agreements.

Growth

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the increase in forecast growth he estimates results from increases in public spending for each of the next three years. [145162]

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Mr. Boateng: Table A4, on page 182 of pre-Budget report 2003 (Cm 6042), presents information on the contributions to forecast GDP growth from expenditure components, including government spending, between 2003 and 2006.

IR35

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what additional revenue has been secured from investigations under the IR35 regulation (a) in total and (b) for each year since its implementation. [145747]

Dawn Primarolo: Establishing whether or not the intermediaries legislation applies is undertaken as part of the Inland Revenue's Employer Compliance Review programme. As such it is not possible with any accuracy to isolate data relating solely to this legislation.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate has been made of the (a) administration and (b) employment costs arising from pursuing investigations under IR35 regulation. [145748]

Dawn Primarolo: There is no data held on administration and employment costs relating solely to this legislation.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many investigations under the IR35 regulation have (a) been initiated, (b) resulted in additional revenue and (c) been concluded without securing additional revenue. [145749]

Dawn Primarolo: Establishing whether or not the intermediaries legislation applies is undertaken as part of the Inland Revenue's Employer Compliance Review programme. As such it is not possible with any accuracy to isolate data relating solely to this legislation.

Spirits Seizures

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many bottles of (a) whisky and (b) other spirits were seized by Customs and Excise in the last 12 months because duty had not been paid. [145973]

John Healey: The information is not available in the format requested. HM Customs and Excise central records collate the volume of spirit seized but do not distinguish the specific type of spirit.

Details of the volume of spirits seized for this period will be included in HM Customs and Excise Annual Report and Accounts for 2003–04.

Details of spirits seizures in the period 2001–02 are given in Appendix C of the HM Customs and Excise Annual Report 2002–03 (HC 52).

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful prosecutions there have been for evading duty on (a) whisky and (b) other spirits in the last 12 months. [145974]

John Healey: The information is not available in the format requested. HM Customs and Excise central records collate the number of successful and unsuccessful prosecutions which involve spirits duty fraud but do not distinguish the specific type of spirit for which a prosecution is brought.

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TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Tetra Communications System

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received regarding the effect of the Tetra communications system on terrestrial television reception; from which areas representations have been received; and if she will make a statement. [144670]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 18 December 2003]: Ofcom is aware of instances of interference to domestic installations from Airwave radio base stations. Airwave is the new police/public safety radio communications system currently being rolled out across the country. In all the instances so far investigated the consumers own masthead aerial amplifier, used to boost weak signals has had a pass-band wide enough to boost the television signal and, inadvertently, the unwanted radiocommunications signal.

Testing has shown that the Tetra transmitters were operating correctly and within their designated licence parameters. In most cases a suitable filter fitted between the masthead amplifier and the TV aerial will resolve the interference and affected residents have been advised to have such filters fitted to their TV installations. As a goodwill gesture Airwave has arranged for filters to be fitted to the affected television installations in certain circumstances. The problem however is with the TV aerial amplifiers or the aerial system. Consumers should take problems up with their suppliers.


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