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Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what targets she has set for improving energy efficiency in her Department; and what steps she is taking to achieve these targets. 
James Purnell: The Department, along with other Government Departments, is committed to achieve thetargets under the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate Part E Energy. The targets include energy efficient measures and energy clauses in estate management contracts.
In order to achieve these targets the Department has developed an energy strategy. This involves identifying potential savings through effective procurement; monitoring and targeting our consumption by analysing data, carrying out energy surveys of usage; capital investment in energy saving measures such as time controls and an awareness campaign amongst staff led by the Department's team of environmental champions.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received from (a) church halls, (b) village halls and (c) users of other community buildings about the Licensing Act 2003. 
James Purnell: The Department has received many representations about the 2003 Act from managers and users of church and village halls and other community buildings. In addition, as members of my High Level Group on Licensing, Action for Communities in Rural England raise issues of concern to village and other halls direct with me on a regular basis. These views are being fed into both our review of the statutory guidance and the Independence Review of Licensing Fees.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she received from the hospitality sector in Tamworth on theLicensing Act 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
James Purnell: The Department has no record of representations from the hospitality industry in Tamworth about the Licensing Act 2003. Last year Ministers in the Department received representations about the Act from two addresses in Tamworth. One of these was from my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth, enclosing correspondence from a constituent in the attractions sector, to which I replied on 15 July 2005.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many businesses in
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Marshgate will need to be relocated for the 2012 Olympics; and how many have reached a settlement with the London Development Agency. 
Of these, one (the largest employer located in Marshgate Lane) has signed a legal contract; 11 have confirmed alternative relocation sites and a further 52 have appointed advisors in order to commence negotiations.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact of (a) one and (b) more than one mobile telephone masts on local television reception. 
James Purnell [holding answer 16 January 2006]: Any kind of physical feature, be it man-made or natural has the potential to affect TV reception. However, Ofcom believe that in most cases the small towers or masts used by mobile phone companies cause negligible effects upon TV reception.
James Purnell: Rural tourism is a vital element of the English and British tourism offer. At national level, my Department funds the work of VisitBritain and the England Marketing Advisory Board in promoting rural tourism to both the domestic and international markets. VisitBritain spent £1 million in directly promoting rural areas across England in 200405.
The regional development agencies have been responsible for supporting tourism at regional level since 2003. Advantage West Midlands includes tourism initiatives which take account of the region's rural areas in its Economic Strategy, and will be investing £900,000 in the promotion of local tourism across the county over the period from 2003 to 2006. Local authorities in Staffordshire also invest significantly in supporting rural tourism in the county.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the real terms level of child benefit for (a) the first child and (b) other children was in each year since 197677; and if he will make a statement. 
The following table shows the weekly child benefit rates for since its introduction in 197778. The figures show the rate for the first child and subsequent children separately, and alongside these figures are the weekly rates in real terms at 200506 prices.
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In addition to receiving child benefit, families in 200102 and 200203 were eligible for children's tax credit. From 200304 onwards families are able to claim child tax credit. Therefore the minimum that a family in receipt of the maximum child tax credit award would receive per week would be £59.90 for a family with one child, and £103.80 for a family with two children.
|Child benefit weekly rate||Child benefit weekly rate at 200506 prices|
|Year(4)||1st child||2nd and subsequent children||1st child||2nd and subsequent children|
|199192 (April to September)||8.25||7.25||11.74||10.32|
|199192 (October to March)||9.25||7.50||13.17||10.68|
(3) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on child poverty in the UK of (a) increasing child benefit by £5 for each child and (b) raising the child element of child tax credit by £500 per year; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what estimate he has made of (a) total cost and (b) the effect on the proportion of children living in relative low income households of (i) increasing the rate of child benefit for all children to the rate for the first child and (ii) paying child benefit at the rate of £17.50 for all children aged up to 12 years and £12.00 for other eligible children; 
Between the mid 1970s and mid 1990s, relative child poverty more than doubled. This Government have committed to halve child poverty by 201011 and to eradicate it by 2020.
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Macro-economic stability, active labour market policies such as the new deal, policies to make work pay such as the national minimum wage and the working tax credit, and financial support for families, have all contributed to reducing child poverty since 199899. On an after-housing-cost basis, this approach has lifted 600,000 children out of relative poverty (60 per cent. of less of contemporary median income), and 1.8 million children out of absolute poverty (60 per cent. or less of median income in 199697, uprated by prices), between 199899 and 200304. Since 200001, 300,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty and 800,000 children have been lifted out of absolute poverty.
Financial support for families has been based on the principle of progressive universalism, with support for all families and additional support for those who need it most. Child benefit provides universal support, and the Government have increased the rate of child benefit for the first child by more than 25 per cent. in real terms since 1997. The child tax credit (CTC) was introduced in April 2003, and targets additional financial support based on the needs and circumstances of the whole household. As a result of the Government's reforms to the tax and benefit system since 1997, by October 2007, in real terms, families with children will be, on average, £1,550 a year better off, while those in the poorest fifth of the income distribution will be, on average, £3,350 per year better off.
The Government have set out its spending plans to 200708, including a commitment to increase the child element of CTC in line with earnings. While it is possible to model the immediate effect of further changes, there are uncertainties in projecting the numbers of children in relative low income poverty. A further increase of £5 per week in the rate of child benefit would initially lift around 350,000 children out of poverty, at a cost of around £3.4 billion. A further increase of £500 per week in the child element of CTC would initially lift around 750,000 children out of poverty, at a cost of around £3.5 billion. Increasing the rate of child benefit for all children to the rate for the first child would lift around 250,000 children out of poverty, at a cost of around £1.7 billion.
The Family Resources Survey does not enable the Government to make an estimate of the cost or effect of reducing the rate of child benefit when a child reaches the age of 12. The Government have not made an estimate of the cost of eradicating child poverty by 200708, which would depend on the definition used, and would be subject to large uncertainties around future income growth, changes in the income distribution, and individual changes in behaviour in response to policy changes.
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