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25 Jan 2005 : Column 213W—continued

Right to Buy

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with (a) housing associations, (b) the Housing Corporation and (c) banks about the effects of a right to buy for housing association tenants on the (a) financial projections and (b) business plans of registered social landlords and their funders. [210625]

Keith Hill: There have been no such discussions about the extension of the right-to-buy for housing association tenants.

Telecommunications Masts

Tom Cox: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many objections have been made to his Department by residents living within the Greater London area to the siting of mobile telephone masts within their borough; and if he will make a statement. [211053]

Keith Hill: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Digital Switchover

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government intend to launch a public awareness campaign in advance of digital switchover; and if she will make a statement. [209606]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 19 January 2005]: The responsibility for communicating the switchover process and ensuring that everyone gets all the right information well in advance will primarily be one for Switchco", broadcasters and the supply chain. The Government will continue to take responsibility for communicating its switchover policy, and we have been running, since November, a campaign to help raise awareness of digital switchover through the mainstream media, which will continue until March.

National Lottery

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government funded the recent Henley Centre publication Has the National Lottery helped the UK. [211066]

Estelle Morris: The Government did not fund the recent Henley Centre publication. The research was commissioned and published by the Camelot group.

The report concludes that the National Lottery has produced significant social and economic benefits within the UK.

TV Licensing Enforcement Unit

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what mechanisms are in place to ensure that the TV Licensing Enforcement Unit does not pursue pensioners over the age of seventy-five years who are entitled to a free TV licence. [209652]

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Mr. Caborn: People aged 75 or over are entitled to a free television licence but are not exempt from the television licensing requirements. However, the BBC has indicated that TV Licensing carries out extensive public awareness campaigns to inform over-75s of their entitlement, that inquiry letters sent to unlicensed addresses include information on the concession and that inquiry officers carrying out home visits are specifically trained to assist over-75s in applying for free licences.


Freedom of Information

John Mann: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what categories of information are available under Freedom of Information legislation that have not been provided in written parliamentary answers on behalf of the Public Accounts Commission in the last three years. [207833]

Mr. Alan Williams: The Public Accounts Commission already pursues a policy of maximum transparency and openness in its proceedings. It has achieved this both by meeting in public and by publishing a wide range of material about its activities, including regular reports to the House. I am not aware of any examples in the last three years of information which has been refused in response to a parliamentary question but which would be provided under the Freedom of Information Act.


Child Benefit (Hartlepool)

Iain Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of additional 16 to 19-year-olds in Hartlepool that will be entitled to childbenefit if the Child Benefit Bill receives Royal Assent. [210646]

Dawn Primarolo: If the Child Benefit Bill receives Royal Assent it will enable the Government to extend child benefit to the families of unwaged trainees on Government Supported Training and the families of 19-year-olds in full-time education or training finishing a course.

In relation to the number of families who may gain from the extension of child benefit for unwaged trainees, there were approximately 4,750 young people aged 16–19 on unwaged Government Supported Training courses in Tees Valley Local Learning and Skills Council in 2003–04.

There is insufficient data to estimate the number of families who would gain from the extension of child benefit to over 19-year-olds finishing their courses.

Criminal Offences

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department in the (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04 session, broken down by Act. [206874]

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Mr. Timms: The following provisions created criminal offences in primary legislation sponsored by HM Treasury in the 2002–03 and 2003–04 sessions:

Finance Act 2003

Child Trust Funds Act 2004

Finance Act 2004

National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments Act 2004

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the running costs of the Department were in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) electricity, (b) water, (c) gas, (d) telephones, (e) mobile telephones and (f) televisions; [206681]

(2) how much has been spent by his Department on lighting in each year since 1997. [205866]

Mr. Timms: In respect of water costs for all years and electricity costs for the years up to 2002–03, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers given by the then Financial Secretary (Ruth Kelly) to the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) on 14 July 2004, Official Report, column 1134W. For the Treasury, the costs of electricity, gas, telephones (including mobile telephones) and television licences for 2002–03 and 2003–04 are given in the following table. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost of lighting from total electricity costs. Information in respect of the earlier years, and the cost of mobile telephones disaggregated from total telephone costs, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Telephones, including mobile telephones1,5921,416
Television licences0.20.2

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