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Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidelines for working in co-operation with local farming interests her Department follows; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: There are no specific guidelines for working with local farming interests, however under the Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy we have set up regional steering groups to oversee delivery of regional farming and food action plans. These groups consist of regional and local farming and food sector representatives, alongside other stakeholders from the health and environment sectors. The groups were brought together by Government offices and regional development agencies to decide initially upon the priorities within these plans, and then subsequently to oversee delivery.
Jim Knight: The Forestry Commission has always worked closely with farmers and other landowners as it carries out its functions and duties under the Forestry Act 1991 and other legislation. These include the provision of advice and incentives for woodland management and creation as well as regulation of tree felling. DEFRA's Rural Strategy published in 2004 is leading to delivery reforms, including the creation of Natural England with which the Forestry Commission will be aligned. This will help to deliver services to farmers and the rural community in a more streamlined customer-focused way.
The English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS), introduced earlier this year is simplifying arrangements for farmers who seek financial support for creating new woodlands by bringing together in a single scheme contribution to cost grants and income forgone payments.
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The introduction of woodland options under the Environmental Stewardship scheme has provided new opportunities for farmers. In order to help farmers understand the woodland support options available to them, the Commission and DEFRA have produced guidance for farmers, entitled Funding for Farm Woodlands in England. The Commission has also been working closely with the Rural Development Service through joint Environmental Stewardship staff training events.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the quantity of carbon dioxide emissions which would be saved in a year if the National Code for Sustainable Buildings was extended to all new housing developments in England. 
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the impact on the environment of turning high grade agricultural land into low grade park and scrub land. 
Jim Knight: Land use inevitably evolves in response to a range of factors and has the potential for both positive and negative environmental impacts. The nature and speed of ongoing change may vary following the introduction this year of the decoupled CAP single payment scheme. Besides existing surveys and monitoring, we are spending over £1 million over the next three years on a new Agricultural Change and Environmental Observatory programme, to monitor and where possible anticipate such changes. The Observatory programme is being developed by DEFRA and key stakeholders including English Nature, the Countryside Agency and the Environment Agency.
Building on work to improve the administration of tax credits, which I reported at the hearing of the Treasury Sub-Committee on 26 October, the Chancellor announced in his pre-Budget report a package of further
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improvements that reflect our experience of the first years of operating the tax credits system. These measures will provide greater certainty for claimants, while maintaining flexibility to respond to falls in income and changes in families' circumstances.
John Healey: Pre-Budget report 2005 (Cm 6701), published on 5 December 2005, provided a comprehensive account of recent economic developments and fully set out the Government's assessment of growth prospects for the UK economy.
John Healey: Both biodiesel and bioethanol attract a favourable duty differential of 20 pence per litre less than that for the main road fuels. We have guaranteed that this differential will continue until at least 200708.
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's policy is that every child should have the opportunity to fulfil its potential. That is why we have set a target to eradicate child poverty by 2020, and intermediate targets to reduce it by a quarter and a half.
We are broadly on track to meet our first target, and the latest figures show that we have already lifted more than half a million children out of relative low-income poverty since 199899, from 3.1 to 2.6 million by 200304.
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17. Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the public expenditure implications are of the proposals in the Pensions Commission's second report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The most reasonable starting point for estimating the costs of the Pensions Commission's proposals is that implied by existing Government commitments and known demographic trends. Using this starting point, the Commission's own published estimates show that their core state pension package begins to add cost in 2010, reaching a total of £14 billion by 2020 in real terms.
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