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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1164W—continued


Contaminated Land

Llew Smith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when his department's business regulation team will publish the Remediation Licensing Task Force proposals for permitting on-site processing of contaminated soils. [224465]

Mr. Miliband: Cabinet Office officials have been involved in the work of the Remediation Licensing Task Force. However, the Environment Agency is the regulator responsible for enforcing the new system. The Agency published a press release, along with a supporting
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regulatory guidance note setting out the changes, on 29 March 2005. The announcement was welcomed by the Environmental Industries Commission.

Waste Policy

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the review to assess the merits of focusing all central Government's waste policy in one Department undertaken by his Department following the Strategy Unit's Report, Waste not want not, has been completed; and what date he has planned for the publication of its conclusions. [224301]

Mr. Miliband: The Cabinet Office expect to finalise this review shortly and to publish its conclusions during the summer.


Annunciator System

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission (1) if he will bring forward changes to the current practices of television annunciator use on the parliamentary estate so that sets do not turn on automatically in non-public spaces; [222398]

(2) what steps are taken to ensure that television sets on the parliamentary estate are not automatically activated on non-sitting days. [222509]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: There are different types of annunciator and television sets on the parliamentary estate, all of which are presently pre-set to turn on each working day in public and non public spaces whether or not the House is sitting. It would be possible to set them to be off on non-sitting days. But the majority are older style annunciators which cannot be switched on by means of remote handset and are sited out of easy reach. They could therefore be switched on individually only at disproportionate cost.

Misuse of House of Commons Facilities

Mr. Steen: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission when he expects the Serjeant at Arms to report on the alleged misuse of House prepaid envelopes by the hon. Member for Teignbridge (Richard Younger-Ross). [223948]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: This is not a matter for the Commission. Any complaints that the rules on the use of House stationery and post-paid envelopes have been breached are considered by the Serjeant at Arms on behalf of Mr. Speaker.

Printer Cartridges

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will estimate how many printer cartridges used by offices on the parliamentary estate were (a) recycled and (b) added to the general waste stream in the last year for which figures are available. [222399]

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Sir Archy Kirkwood: In the current financial year, the Serjeant at Arms Department has sent 1,066 printer cartridges for recycling. Members are encouraged to hand cartridges to Office Keepers for recycling but many prefer to send them to other organisations or charities to be recycled. In addition, 120 photocopier toner cartridges have been recycled. Since Members place orders to purchase cartridges for their parliamentary and constituency offices directly with suppliers, the total number purchased is unknown.


Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what targets have been set to reduce the amount of waste material produced on the parliamentary estate; and if he will make a statement on the outcomes measured against those targets. [222327]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: It is the House's policy to minimise waste, but no quantified targets have been set.


Alcohol/Tobacco (Tax Revenues)

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total tax revenues earned from alcohol and tobacco were in the UK in each year since 1975, broken down by (a) duty paid and (b) tax raised from alcohol and tobacco. [223703]

John Healey: Tobacco and alcohol duty revenue figures are published by HM Customs and Excise in the Tobacco and Alcohol Factsheets, copies of which are available in the Library of the House and from Customs' website:

The above website provides 10 years' information on tobacco and alcohol duty revenues. HM Customs and Excise do not collect data on VAT from individual goods or services, but the above website provides broad estimates of VAT on alcohol and tobacco in recent years. The back series of duty revenues are shown in the Office for National Statistics publication Financial Statistics", table 2.1D, which is available at the ONS website:

Annual Growth Rate

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the (a) UK and (b) EU economies are taking to meet the objective of 3 per cent. annual growth to bridge the economic gap with the United States. [224142]

Mr. Timms: The European Council concluded at its spring meeting this year that

The Government are committed to promoting economic reform at home and in Europe. And they continue to work closely with other member states and the Commission to advance structural reform.
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The Government's annual report sets out the measures and reforms they believe are required to deliver the Lisbon objective. The 2005 report, Growth and Opportunity: prioritising economic reform in Europe", 1 was published in February this year. Further analysis was set out in the 2005 Budget companion document, Long-term global economic challenges and opportunities for Europe". 2

Burmese Community

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the size of the Burmese community in the UK. [223679]

Mr. Timms: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Alistair Carmichael dated 4 April 2005:

Cabinet Office Budget

Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to increase the Cabinet Office budget to enable the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser to enhance the advice he can provide on security issues, as recommended in paragraph 27 of Cm 6492, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction; Implementation of its Conclusions. [224464]

Mr. Miliband: I have been asked to reply.

The need to ensure access to relevant scientific expertise as part of the rigorous analysis of intelligence material has been recognised. As indicated in Cm6492, the increase in size of the Cabinet Office Assessments Staff will include at least one individual with a scientific background. All members of the Assessments Staff are tasked with ensuring that the relevant expert advice is sought as part of the assessment and analysis process. There are already significant scientific resources available to government on a wide range of subjects. SirDavid King is being consulted on how best use of those resources in supporting analysis of security issues can be made.
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