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10 Feb 2005 : Column 1683W—continued

G7 Finance Ministers' Meeting

Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what matters were discussed and what decisions were taken at the G7 meeting of Finance Ministers on 4 February; and if he will place in the Library copies of papers submitted to the meeting by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) other countries, that affected matters of interest to the United Kingdom. [215863]

Mr. Gordon Brown: The matters discussed at the 4–5 February G7 Finance Ministers meeting are set out in the 'Statement of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors', the 'G7 Finance Ministers Conclusions on Development', and the 'Statement on the Meeting of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors with Chinese Counterparts', all of which can be found at
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Primate Seizure (Customs and Excise)

Mr. Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list the countries from which the primates seized by HM Customs and Excise since 1999 originated; [215867]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of what percentage of live primates entering the UK illegally are seized by HM Customs and Excise. [215868]

Dawn Primarolo: The following table elaborates on the information provided by the Economic Secretary on 8 November 2004, Official Report, column 504W, and lists the seizures of imported primates between 1999 and 2004. It includes details, where known, of the country of dispatch to the UK; this is not necessarily the country of origin.
Number of animalsCommon nameLatin nameCountry of dispatch
19996 liveMona monkeysCercopithecus monaGuyana
19996 liveSpot nosed monkeysCercopithecus SppGuyana
19991 cooked monkeyPatas monkeyErythrocebus patasCameroon
19998 parts of monkeyNot knownNot knownCongo
20001 liveGibbonHylobates Spp(8)
20001 liveLesser white nosed monkeyCercopithecus petauristaGhana
20001 liveGolden cheeked gibbonHylobates gabriellae(8)
2000(9)11 smoked monkeysNot knownNot knownCameroon
20021 dried monkeyNot knownNot knownCameroon
20021 monkey tailNot knownNot knownGambia
20021 baboon skullNot knownNot knownCameroon
2003(9)3 baboon skullsHamadryas baboonPapio hamadryasGambia
2003(9)4 monkey skullsNot knownCercopithecus SppGambia
20031 monkey skullNot knownNot knownMalaysia
20042 baboon headsNot knownNot knownZimbabwe
20041 dried monkeyNot knownNot knownCongo
20043 monkey skullsNot knownNot knownThailand
20041 baboon skullNot knownNot knownUSA

(8) These seizures were made inland under powers contained in Regulation 5 of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997 (S11997/1372).
(9) The importers in these cases were prosecuted under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Customs has also made a number of seizures under its enforcement responsibilities regarding products of animal origin, and some of these may have included meat from primates.

Customs has carried out no formal assessment of the percentage of live primates entering the UK illegally from outside the EU as analyses are already available from Partnership Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) partners. The National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit (NWCIU) produces an overall assessment covering all aspects of UK wildlife related crime; their assessment is that there is little smuggling of live primates from outside the EU direct to the UK.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money has been charged to the Reserve in the last year for which figures are available in respect of UK operations in Iraq. [215155]

Mr. Boateng: In estimates, the Ministry of Defence drew down £1,000 million in 2002- 03 and £1,539 million in 2003–04 for the costs of military operations in Iraq. These costs are met from the Reserve.

Queen's Flight

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) on how many occasions departmental Ministers have used the Queen's flight in each of the past five years; [213447]

(2) how much money his Department has spent on chartering aircraft in each of the past five years. [213691]

Mr. Timms: Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing 500 or more during each financial year. The list published in 1999 covers the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 1999. Where RAF/Private Charter aircraft are used this is shown in the list. The Government have also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2004–05 will be published in due course. Travel by Ministers" makes clear that special flights may be authorised when a scheduled service is not available, or when it is essential to travel by air, but the requirements of official or parliamentary business or security considerations or urgency preclude the journey being made by a scheduled service. Equivalent detail about domestic travel could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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Tax Credits

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters about tax credits have been received from hon. Members by (a) the Inland Revenue and (b) Treasury Ministers in each reporting period from 2002 to 2005; and if he will make a statement. [213964]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 8 February 2005]: Information on the number of letters received from hon. Members by the Inland Revenue and Treasury Ministers about tax credits in 2002–03 and 2003–04 is not available.

Between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2004 the Inland Revenue's tax credit office handled around 6,000 letters from hon. Members, around 900 of which were received by Treasury Ministers. Information on letters from hon. Members received by the rest of the Inland Revenue about tax credits in that period is not available.

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he received in December 2004 about problems relating to the overpayment of tax credits. [213388]

Dawn Primarolo: Treasury Ministers receive representations on a wide variety of issues, including tax credit overpayments. The tax credit office of the Inland Revenue also receives letters and telephone calls concerning tax credit overpayments.

Inland Revenue's policy on tax credits overpayments is set out in COP26 'What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit?', a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

VAT (Colleges)

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will reduce the level at which further education colleges pay VAT to the level paid by schools. [215622]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 February 2005, Official Report, column 762W, to the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington).

Youth Unemployment (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the level of youth unemployment was in Coventry south in 2004. [215072]

Mr. Timms: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Jim Cunningham, dated 10 February 2005:

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