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Mr. Clelland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will abolish the taxation applied to employer-provided travel concessions. 
Employees who receive free or cheap travel concessions from their employer, for themselves or members of their families, will generally be taxable on the benefit by reference to the cost to the employer. We have no plans to change this.
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Mr. Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to harmonise the VAT imposed on new builds and renovated properties. 
Dawn Primarolo: While agreements with our European partners allow us to keep our zero rates as they currently stand, we cannot extend them or introduce new ones. This means that in order to harmonise the rates of VAT on all building work and renovation, we would first have to give up our current zero rates for construction, including those for the construction of new charity buildings and new housing, and for approved alterations to listed buildings. While we continue to keep the impact of VAT on different types of building work under review, we have no plans to give up our existing construction zero rates.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many young people are not in employment, education or training, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) local authority (i) in total and (ii) as a percentage of each age group, in descending order grouped by region for the last year in which figures are available. 
John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Chris Ruane, dated 11 July 2005:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recentparliamentary question asking how many young people are not in employment, education or training, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) local authority (i) in total and (ii) a percentage of each age group, in descending order grouped by region for the last year in which figures are available. I am replying in his absence. (10384)
I am placing in the House of Commons Library, tables showing the numbers of people aged 16 to 24 not in employment, or in full-time education or government training for each constituency and local authority in Great Britain, during the 12 months ending February 2004. Estimates for similar areas in Northern Ireland are not available.
These estimates, based on annual local area Labour Force Survey, depend on small sample numbers and are therefore subject to relatively large sampling errors. The comparisons between the percentages for different areas (quoted in tables 2 and 4) should be treated with particular caution.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to encourage the supply of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills for young people for business and industry. 
The Department and DfES are working closely together to ensure that the skills which business and industry require are those which are delivered in schools and through the sector skills councils. For example the 1419 White Paper (DfES) recognised the need to do more to increase the
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appreciation among tomorrow's citizens of the contribution that science and technology make towards our way of life; and also to increase the numbers who leave school equipped to pursue careers using skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The DTIs key focus is on the informal side of science education. We are supporting SETNET, the Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths Network, for the next three years with funding in excess of £10 million. SETNET co-ordinates a UK-wide network of some 50SETPOINTS and also the Science and Engineering Ambassadors programme (SEAs) which provides a framework within which people, working in science and technology environments can be trained to go into schools and act as role models to help teachers convey the excitement of careers using STEM skills.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what crèche facilities are provided by his Department; and at what cost to (a) the Department and (b) employees in 200405. 
Alan Johnson: DTI staff in central London have access to a 32 place holiday play scheme in our 1Victoria Street building which is highly rated by both parents and children for its quality. DTI HQ staff in Cardiff have access to a local holiday play-scheme.
London-based DTI staff also have access to six full-time subsidized nursery places for under 5's, currently occupied by five children. DTI plans to end the contract in December 2005 and to introduce a Salary Sacrifice scheme that will benefit more parents, enabling them to make savings on their child care fees. Costs for (a) the department is £63,214 (b) employees the holiday play scheme costs £14.00 per place towards the £31.00 daily fee, and nursery places cost £118 per week.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions officials of his Department have had with the Ministry of Defence about the cut and sew contract. 
Alun Michael: My officials have discussed the cut and sew contract with the Ministry of Defence and understand the contract fully complies with the requirements of EU procurement guidelines, UK Defence Industrial Policy and MOD's Supplier Base Optimisation Programme.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on UK plans to implement the European Charter for Researchers. 
It is for individual institutions to decide whether they wish to subscribe to the European Charter for Researchers, which draws heavily upon UK practice. The UK presidency of the European Union will in addition be hosting an international conference on 8 and 9 September at which the Charter and its practical implementation will be discussed. The Charter
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will also influence on-going work on a possible revision to the Concordat for the Management of Research Staff in UK Universities and Colleges".
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library a copy of the Report by ASE Consulting into privatising the Export Control and Non-Proliferation Directorate; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: I have placed in the Libraries of the House copy of the Report recently released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. A few extracts have been withheld under Section 43 of the Act.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reports have been published by the Measurement Advisory Committee in each year since 2001. 
Malcolm Wicks: Annual reports have been published for 200102, 200203 and 200304. These are all available for download from the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/nms/mac/ The report for 200405 is currently being prepared.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) remuneration and (b) expenses are received by members of the Measurement Advisory Committee. 
Malcolm Wicks: Members of the Measurement Advisory Committee receive reimbursement for travel and subsistence while on Committee business. This is the only remuneration they receive.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the terms of reference of the Measurement Advisory Committee are; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The objective of the Measurement Advisory Committee is to offer the Department of Trade and Industry strategic advice on:
the effectiveness with which the NMS (National Measurement System) supports innovation and competitiveness within UK business and industry; the priorities the Department should assign to programmes of work undertaken to meet the needs of the NMS;
These objectives are achieved by advising on:
the effectiveness of steps to ensure that good value is achieved from investment in NMS programmes and that the right balance is struck between measurement research and the needs of all users;
the effectiveness of steps to secure greater engagement with business and industry and improve dissemination of the results of investment in NMS;
commercial opportunities resulting from the research and development carried out by contractors, in support of the NMS;
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total (a) running costs and (b) expenditure of the Measurement Advisory Committee have been in each year since 2001. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information is as follows.
DTI provides secretariat support for the Committee. The Committee does not have a budget or staff.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the current work programme of the Measurement Advisory Committee is. 
Malcolm Wicks: The work programme of the Measurement Advisory Committee will be established when the recently appointed Chairman, and four new members, first meet the rest of the Committee in October. The focus of the meeting will be on the review of the National Measurement System which is currently being carried out within the Department of Trade and Industry.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the criteria for membership of the Measurement Advisory Committee is; and how its members are selected. 
Malcolm Wicks: The criteria for membership of the Measurement Advisory Committee is an active interest in, and the ability to comment authoritatively on, current and future measurement needs.
Members are recruited through open competition in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidelines.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of the Measurement Advisory Committee; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The current review of the National Measurement System is considering, among other things, appropriate advisory structures for the NMS.
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