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20 Jun 2005 : Column 690W—continued

Under-age Drivers

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what circumstances those who are not old enough to possess a driving licence may have imposed on them penalty points for driving offences. [5337]

Dr. Ladyman: Subject to the discretion of the court any person, of whatever age, who commits an endorseable offence may be subject to the imposition of penalty points.

An underage driver commits the offence of driving otherwise than in accordance with a driving licence contrary to Section 87(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended.

When a person is convicted of a driving offence by a court in Great Britain the court sends the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) notification of the endorsement. If the driver does not already hold a driving licence a record will be set up for them at the
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DVLA. If the driver is eligible to apply for a licence, and does so while the endorsement is still valid, then the endorsement would appear on the driving licence.

Uninsured Vehicles

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of motorists aged over 70 years who drove uninsured vehicles in each of the last five years. [6346]

Dr. Ladyman: Estimates from the insurance industry are that about 5 per cent. (approximately 1.25 million) motorists drive while uninsured. There are no separate figures for the number of uninsured drivers aged over 70.


Access to Water

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will publish the progress report on the action taken by his Department (a) to progress access to water in seven key partner countries in Africa and (b) to boost capacity for the water sector in four other countries; and if he will make a statement. [4504]

Hilary Benn: A progress report against the DFID Water Action Plan is expected to be published by the end of July 2005. This will include a full report of progress with commitments made on World Water Day, including those relating to improving access to water in seven key partner countries in Africa and boosting capacity for the water sector in four other countries.

Acts of Parliament (Internet Access)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to make all Acts of Parliament published before 1988 for which his Department is responsible available online. [3721]

Mr. Thomas: The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) within the Cabinet Office is the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, and responsible for the publication of Acts of Parliament. HMSO has considered the publication of Acts prior to 1988, which is the earliest date when these were available electronically, but has decided not to do so as many have been heavily amended and to publish them in their original form would be misleading for many users. The Government are, however, taking forward development of a Statute Law Database which will contain the fully revised and updated text of all legislation from 1275. It is expected that this will be made available to the general public during 2006.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by (a) the UK and (b) all other countries in support of humanitarian aid to (i) Afghanistan and (ii) Iraq since 2001–02. [3638]

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Hilary Benn: The latest OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) statistics for total humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan and Iraq are as follows (figures for emergency humanitarian assistance are in brackets):
£ million

All donors

Online Database, 9 June 2005

Non-members of the DAC have also provided support to both countries but do not report it in a comparable way. The Iraqi Government are in the process of setting up a database to track donor assistance but figures are not yet available.

DAC statistics for 2004 will be available in September. The estimated outturn for DFID spending for 2004–05 is £72.8 million for Afghanistan and £61 million for Iraq, as reported in the DFID 2005 Departmental Report.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government are taking to reduce trade barriers in Africa. [2940]

Hilary Benn: The Government continues to seek a successful World Trade Organisation ministerial in Hong Kong in December 2005. Multilateral liberalisation that reduces tariff barriers among all countries will lead to the greatest gains for poor developing countries, including within Africa.

Reducing trade barriers in Africa requires national governments to place a strong emphasis on trade as a source of growth. DFID supports the inter-agency Integrated Framework (IF). This helps countries to develop trade policies and the capacity to implement them as a part of wider poverty reduction plans. Countries where DFID will continue to play a leading role in the IF include Lesotho, Zambia, Rwanda, and Malawi.

DFID supports several trade policy capacity building projects, including in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, and Nigeria. These assist Governments to develop trade policy, link this to poverty reduction and identify and negotiate their strategic interests in international trade negotiations. Any reduction in trade barriers within Africa must build on African countries' own regional integration efforts and development objectives and promote the development of supply side capacity to take advantage of market access opportunities. DFID also provides £11 million for a regional trade facilitation programme in Southern Africa, which supports enhanced trade within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) 1 and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) 2 .
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DFID is also working with the European Commission to ensure that its trade policies reduce barriers to trade in Africa, for example through influencing the current review of the EU's rules of origin to ensure they make it easier for African countries to use competitively priced inputs in their exports to the EU.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he expects a donor conference to be held for Angola; and if he will make a statement. [5756]

Hilary Benn: Timing on a donors' conference has not as yet been confirmed. In order to ensure that the Government of Angola take the necessary steps towards a successful conference, Donors have made clear to the Government of Angola, their view that the Government should have in place both an agreed programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and an effective poverty reduction strategy. There have been a number of discussions between the Government of Angola and the IMF on the framework for a staff monitored programme, focusing largely on issues of financial transparency and public accountability. I understand that an Angolan mission will be visiting Washington soon for further discussions on this, which we hope will achieve agreement. On the issue of the poverty reduction strategy, DFID has offered support to the Government to improve the present draft, working with civil society and other donors.

Civil Service

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what value for money procurement savings were identified and what reduction in civil service posts occurred in his Department in 2004–05. [4549]

Mr. Thomas: Value for money gains in central civil Government procurement for 2004–05 will be published in the 2005 Treasury Autumn Performance Report. The procurement saving for DFID is being calculated and will be incorporated within that report.

In the period to April 2005 DFID staff numbers increased in response to development priorities including the setting up of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit and events in the Sudan, the work of the Commission for Africa and preparation to ensure positive development outcomes from Britain's G8 and EU presidencies. In line with the Government's target of a reduction of civil service and administrative posts by 2008, DFID is firmly committed to reducing its home civil service staff numbers by 10 per cent., from 1,780 in April 2004 to 1,610 by 2008. Plans have been prepared detailing how these reductions will be effected across the organisation.
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