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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 23 June 2004


Irish-registered Vehicles

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer to question 178952, whether it is a requirement in the UK that Irish-registered vehicles display up-to-date Irish road tax; and whether there have been prosecutions in the UK for not displaying Irish road tax on an Irish-registered vehicle. [179995]

Mr. Jamieson: Vehicles that are circulating temporarily between European Union member states must comply with the registration and licensing requirements of the home country. Enforcement of offences is undertaken by the police. Figures for prosecutions against foreign-registered vehicles are not available.

Ports Police

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff from ports police forces were employed at UK seaports and airports in each of the last five years. [177176]

Mr. Jamieson: We do not have a breakdown available for each of the last five years as the port authorities are not required to supply employment figures to the Department. However, information collected specifically for our review of ports police shows that, in 2003, the seven port police forces in England and Wales employed a total of 198 sworn in officers (exclusive of civilian support staff). No ports police were employed at airports.

Road Works (Safety)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to ensure the safety of (a) workers and (b) drivers in areas of extensive road works in the Midlands this year. [179825]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 22 June 2004]: The Highways Agency has established the Safer Temporary Traffic Management Operations Initiative to improve safety for both road workers and road users and to raise safety standards in the industry. This initiative involves the Health and Safety Executive, the Scottish Executive, Northern Ireland Roads Service and industry representatives, and is producing improved safety guidance for road workers and is ensuring that consistent best practice is employed.

The initiative is developing and testing new and innovative technology, equipment and procedures that could offer safety benefits for both road workers and road users. The Highways Agency is working with contractors and HSE to produce training videos for road workers and their employers.
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Safety of workers and drivers is given high priority when any road works are undertaken. The Highways Agency is promoting a "Safer Driving Through Road Works" campaign aimed at increasing driver awareness of the need to drive safely through road works. The campaign has secured a significant amount of television airtime and more than 100,000 car window stickers reinforcing the message have been distributed. The Agency's information leaflets include six key messages for driving safely through road works.

The message was further reinforced in a recent "Traffic Information Leaflet" about roadworks in the Midlands, which has been widely distributed, and through a video shown at various shows including the Motor Show.

Safety Barriers (Motorways)

Mr. Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of safety barriers on the motorway system have been (a) replaced and (b) renovated in each of the last five years. [179662]

Mr. Jamieson: Details of the lengths of safety barriers that have been replaced or renewed over the last five years are not available. The total length of safety barriers on England's motorway network is over 3,600 miles. Based on a sample maintenance area, it is estimated that about 50 miles are currently replaced due to accident damage or renewed through scheduled maintenance programmes each year.


Currency Exchange Programme

Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the UK's involvement is in the currency exchange programme; who is contracted for it; how much they (a) have been paid to date and (b) are contracted to receive; and if he will make a statement. [179800]

Ruth Kelly: Officials from HM Treasury and the Bank of England provided technical expertise to assist with the planning and delivery of the currency exchange programme in Iraq. UK firms were also involved in the printing of the new banknotes and delivery of the programme, the total cost of which was US Dollars 160 million. Detailed information on payments to individual firms has not been released in order to protect contractual confidentiality.

Employment Statistics

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the working age population is economically active; and what the figures have been for the last 30 years for which figures are available. [179726]

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. Laurence Robertson, dated 23 June 2004:

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Economic activity rates(1) of working age population(2), United Kingdom, 1984 to 2004 (three month period ending Mayof each year)

Percentage of working age population(2) economically active

(1) Seasonally adjusted.
(2) Men aged 16–64 and women aged 16–59.
(3) Three months ending April 2004.

Butterfield Review

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the next Butterfield Review to report. [176426]

The Solicitor-General: I have been asked to reply.

I cannot at present give the hon. Member a date on which Mr. Justice Butterfield is expected to deliver his interim Report to the Attorney-General and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, however, I will keep the hon. Member informed.


Helen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of allowing carers of elderly or disabled people to claim working tax credit on the same basis as parents. [179245]

Dawn Primarolo: An estimate of the cost of allowing carers for elderly or disabled people to claim working tax credit on the same basis as parents would depend on the definition of a carer.

The Government are aware that individuals with caring responsibilities may have constraints on their ability to work because of those responsibilities and will keep under review for the longer term whether the tax credit system can be developed to take account of these constraints.
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Child Tax Credit

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families are eligible for child tax credit in Chorley; and how many are in receipt of child tax credit. [180404]

Dawn Primarolo: For the number of recipient families, I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 15 March 2004, Official Report, column 98W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Burton (Mrs. Dean).

No estimate is available of the number of families in Chorley who are eligible for the child tax credit.

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