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Fugitives from Justice

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State forNorthern Ireland how many fugitives from justice meet the criteria for release under the Government's plans. [31993]

Mr. Hain: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr. Donaldson) on 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1643W.

Hip Replacements

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many hip replacement operations were performed in each of the last five years, broken down by health board. [33075]

Mr. Woodward: Information on the number of hip replacement operations carried out in acute hospitals in Northern Ireland in each year from 2000–01 to 2004–05 (the latest year for which data is available) broken down by health board is shown in the following table.
Number of hip replacement operations in each HPSS board of residence


(8) 'Others' include patients whose place of residence is outside Northern Ireland or for whom a board of residence cannot be assigned.
Hospital Inpatient System

Hospitality Budgets

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total hospitality budget is for his Department's Ministers for 2005–06, including alcohol, food, staff in attendance and other related costs. [32088]

Mr. Woodward: The total hospitality budget for the Northern Ireland Ministers, for 2005–06, is £17,000. This figure includes alcohol, food and other related costs. The Minister's staff in attendance budget is not included as it forms part of the total staffing budget and we cannot identify the service specifically for Ministers.

The NIO provides for ministerial hospitality where the function is in the direct interests of the Northern Ireland Office. The level of hospitality must be defined, and a broad outline of cost and numbers attending must be provided on all occasions before authorisation. Expenditure should be kept as low as possible, compatible with the occasion and the standing of the guests.

Inward Investment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his assessment is of the effect on
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foreign direct investment of corporation tax differentials between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. [32120]

Mr. Hanson: In the absence of my hon. Friend, the Member for Basildon (Angela E. Smith), I have been asked to reply.

Care should be exercised in contrasting corporation tax rates with those, for example, in the Republic of Ireland. Comparing the headline rate fails to take account of differences in tax allowances. For example, the C.D. Howe Institute estimate the effective corporate tax rate to be 21.7 per cent. in the United Kingdom, compared to 13.7 per cent. for the Republic of Ireland.

However, in relation to the attraction of foreign direct investment, corporation tax is only one element in the decision-making process. Invest Northern Ireland tailors its marketing efforts towards foreign direct investment projects where Northern Ireland is likely to have the most competitive solution.

If corporation tax is the main deciding factor or driving force behind a project, it becomes considerably more difficult for Northern Ireland to secure such projects.

Mental Health Bill

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on the extension of the draft Mental Health Bill to Northern Ireland; and if he will list the parts of that Bill which he expects to extend to Northern Ireland. [33236]

Mr. Woodward: Officials have been liaising with their colleagues in England on the draft Mental Health Bill on those parts that extend to Northern Ireland. These are section 214, the Transfer and Return of Patients", sections 363 to 366, Notification of Speaker in relation to Member of Parliament" and schedule 12, Member of Parliament Liable to Compulsory Provision: Interpretation".

At present, the mental health legislation extant in Northern Ireland is the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. New legislation will be introduced following the current Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability.

Ministerial Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent in each year from 1 May 1997 on ministerial travel, broken down by (a) provision and running costs of vehicular transport, (b) first class travel by rail, (c) standard class travel by rail, (d) first class travel by air, (e) club or equivalent class travel by air and (f) economy class travel by air. [27682]

Mr. Woodward: All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the ministerial code and travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

In respect of ministerial cars provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA); my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet
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Office (Mr. Jim Murphy) has asked Roy Burke, chief executive of the GCDA, to write to the hon. Member with details of the costs of ministerial vehicles provided to Departments in 2004–05. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.

For information for the financial years 2000–01 to 2003–04 I refer the hon. Member to the letters from the chief executive of the GCDA to the hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow) dated 10 January 2005 and to the then hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Howard Flight) dated 13 September 2003. Copies of these letters are available in the Library.

In respect to domestic ministerial travel, we are unable to provide the information in the format requested by the hon. Member. We cannot identify travel by class for both rail and air nor can we separately identify costs solely for the Ministers. The following table provides the total ministerial team (Ministers and their support staff) rail and air expenditure for the years for which the information is available.

Travel by railTravel by air

(9)Up to October

In respect of overseas travel by Ministers, 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 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. These report information for the financial years 1995–06 to 2004–05. Information for 2005–06 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current financial year.


Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been murdered in each year since 1997 in (a) East Belfast, (b) North Belfast, (c) South Belfast and (d) West Belfast. [31985]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested is provided in the following tables. The statistics for 1997 and 1998 are provided by sub-divisional command rather than district command unit as they are only available in this format.

Police sub-divisionNumber
Musgrave Street3
Donegall Pass2
Grosvenor Road1
North Queen Street2
Antrim Road1
Tennent Street2

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Financial yearEast BelfastNorth BelfastSouth BelfastWest Belfast

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