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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has (a) a set retirement age that applies to all or most personnel and (b) a maximum age beyond which applications for employment will not be considered; and what the age is in each case. 
Mr. Hain: Staff working in the Wales Office before June 2003 were on secondment or loan from other Departmentspredominantly from the National Assembly for Wales. Their home departments therefore set the retirement age and any retirement taken would be from the home department rather than from the Wales Office.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether it is his policy that a turnout threshold be included in plans for a referendum on granting tax-raising powers to the Welsh Assembly. 
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she has sought about the emissions level that has been established for the automotive sector under the (a) German, (b) French, (c) Spanish and (d) Italian national allocation plans; what this represents as a proportion of actual emissions in 2002; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We understand that the French, Spanish and Italians are proposing to adopt a narrow interpretation of the scope of the Directive that will exclude, inter alia, installations in the automotive sector from the scheme in those member states. We have already raised this issue with the Commission and will continue to press for them to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
The German allocation plan does not contain information on sectoral or individual installation allocations so it is not possible to provide an assessment of the emissions levels for their automotive sector. We are pressing Germany and other member states to publish the details of the projections used in their allocation plans to improve transparency in the assessment process.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she last met representatives of the automotive sector to discuss the UK implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Morley: Officials from Defra and DTI have met with representatives of the automotive sector on a number of occasions, including a meeting with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in February to discuss the draft National Allocation Plan. Defra officials have attended meetings of the DTI-led Vehicle Industry Policy and European Regulation (VIPER) meetings to discuss the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the Finance Director of (a) the Department, (b) the Office for Water Services and (c) the Forestry Commission is; what accountancy qualifications each Director holds; and on how many occasions there has been a qualified opinion on (i) the resource accounts and (ii) other accounts of each in the last five years. 
Alun Michael: Defra was formed in June 2001. Currently the Finance Director is Andrew Burchell who took up his post in October 2001. He is a career civil servant who does not hold any CCAB recognised qualification.
|Resource account||Vote account|
|200102||Qualified opinion||Not applicable|
|200203||No qualification||Not applicable|
|200304||Audit not yet completed||Not applicable|
Ofwat's Finance Director is Roger Dunshea (joined Ofwat 1998) who does not hold any CCAB recognised qualifications. There have been no qualified opinions on the accounts in the last five years. The 200304 audit has not yet been completed.
Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to (a) maintain UK emissions targets in relation to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme National Allocation Plan and (b) incorporate a proportion of benchmarking into allocations for individual installations under these proposals; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The UK emissions targets in relation to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme National Allocation Plan are set out in the plan that was notified to the Commission in April 2004. We have pointed out that the figures in the plan are subject to further change for a number of reasons, including final updates to the emissions projections.
Generally, the allocation to incumbent installations (those in operation prior to 1 January 2004) is calculated based on historic emissions. The allocation to new entrant installations (those in operation subsequent to a January 2004) will be calculated using a standardised benchmarking methodology.
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the percentage allocation of emission permits under the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme to Northern Ireland's power stations will be at the same level as the Great Britain average. 
The UK National Allocation Plan that was notified to the European Commission in April, stated that the UK had yet to make a final decision on whether the particular characteristics of the electricity
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supply industry in Northern Ireland made it appropriate to split the power station allocation prior to distribution to installations.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the impact of UK implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme on the competitiveness of vehicle manufacturing in the UK. 
Mr. Morley: In the UK National Allocation Plan, sectors that are subject to international competition have been allocated according to projected need. The impact of the scheme on these sectors is expected to be similar to that of existing national policies. In those member states where more effort needs to be made to reach Kyoto targets, the impact of the scheme is expected, over time, to be that much greater.
We are aware of different proposed implementation in the French and Spanish allocation plans, which would result in the vehicle manufacturing industries in those member states not being included in the scheme. We are continuing to press the Commission to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The UK has also been lobbying the Commission to ensure their assessment of allocation plans is robust, consistent and transparent.
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