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28 Feb 2006 : Column 677W—continued

Train Service Usage Data

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is made of passengers travelling on (a) Rover tickets, (b) Britrail passes and (c) other concessions and non-specific tickets when compiling train service usage data. [54457]

Derek Twigg: Rail usage data is published in "National Rail Trends" by the Office of Rail Regulation including Rover tickets, Britrail passes and other concessionary tickets. Copies of the publication are available in the Libraries of the House.

Railway Stations (Smoking)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many train stations in (a) England and (b) the Tees Valley do not have a no smoking policy on uncovered areas of the station; [53526]

(2) what guidelines the Department has set for smoking policies in (a) uncovered sections of train stations and (b) bus stops. [53527]

Derek Twigg: The Department for Transport does not hold information about smoking policies at individual stations. Under the Railways Act 1993 as amended, train operating companies may regulate smoking in railway carriages and at their stations. It is a matter for the train operators to decide whether, and where, to permit smoking. The Department for Transport has not provided any guidelines on smoking policies at railway stations or at bus stops.

Workplace Parking

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 1082W, on workplace parking, which Minister is responsible for joint work between his Department and the Treasury on the feasibility of a new tax or levy on workplace parking. [51900]

Dr. Ladyman: There is no joint work currently under way between the Department for Transport and the Treasury on the feasibility of a new tax or levy on workplace parking.


Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to base an increased percentage of car taxes on carbon dioxide emissions by 2010; what research he has evaluated on the merits of this policy; and if he will make a statement. [52440]

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John Healey: The carbon emission based graduated vehicle excise duty (VED) system applies to all cars registered on or after 1 March 2001. Carbon emission data for all vehicles registered before then is not available. The Chancellor keeps all taxation policy under review, and considers relevant economic, social and environmental factors in deciding future policy. Any changes will be announced in the context of the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Children's Trust Funds

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the take-up of children's trust funds is in the Peterborough constituency; how many of these are low-income families; and what proportion of the total take-up this represents. [54353]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Child trust fund information at constituency level would be available only at disproportionate cost. UK-wide information on the number of child trust fund vouchers issued and the number of accounts opened are published on the HMRC website at

Information about accounts opened by low-income families, once available, will be published alongside other annual CTF statistics. The first set of annual CTF statistics will be published later this year.

Consumer Protection

Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Department has undertaken of the performance of the Financial Services Authority in meeting its statutory requirement to protect consumers. [54335]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has statutory responsibility to promote public understanding of the financial system and to secure the right degree of protection for consumers. The FSA's annual report, which is laid before Parliament, explains how this statutory remit has been met.

Air Passenger Duty

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been generated by domestic air tax on flights between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. [54231]

Dawn Primarolo: Revenue figures for air passenger duty are collected for the UK as a whole and are not broken down by devolved region. Historical APD revenue can be found in Air Passenger Duty Bulletin published by HM Revenue and Customs and available on UK Trade Info Website:

Financial Advice

Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Department has made of the impact on consumer protection of the availability of independent advice on financial products. [54328]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government have established a system of consumer protection that regulates financial services through the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Financial Ombudsman Service, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The FSA regulates the provision of financial advice for most types of investments, mortgages and general or protection insurance. It also provides impartial information to consumers through its website, helpline and publications.

Historical Wrecks

Robert Key: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial benefit the Government will receive from profits made on the salvage contract for HMS Sussex. [53453]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government prefers not to speculate on the value likely to be realised, as much will depend on the quantity, quality, rarity and other aspects of any coins and goods recovered that are subsequently sold.

Details of the Government's share of any profits have been disclosed on the Ministry of Defence's Disposal Services Agency's website, A copy of the Partnering Agreement Memorandum, setting out the main provisions of the Licence Agreement, and a copy of a Synopsis of the Archaeological Requirements contained within the Licence Agreement were placed in the Library of the House on 25 November 2002.

HM Revenue and Customs

Mr. Gale: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1288W, on HM Revenue and Customs (chairman), what effect the six measures agreed with the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs have had on the efficiency of the tax credit system; and what steps he is taking to reduce the backlog of disputed tax credit overpayments awaiting a decision. [53694]

Dawn Primarolo: For an update on progress on the six measures and processing of disputed overpayments, I refer the hon. Gentleman to my evidence to the Treasury Sub-Committee of 26 October 2005 and 1 February 2006.

Lisbon Agenda

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the European Commission's annual progress report on the Lisbon Agenda; and if he will make a statement. [54001]

John Healey: European Union Finance Ministers discussed the Commission's annual progress report on 14 February in the context of an orientation debate ahead of the spring European Council. Discussions between Ministers in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council are routinely reported by written ministerial statement.
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National Insurance

Mr. Byers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will abolish the Class 2 National Insurance contributions in respect of those self-employed people living abroad. [51534]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 February 2006]: Payment of Class 2 contributions by workers living abroad is intended to allow workers to be able to qualify for some contributory benefits (such as incapacity benefit and maternity allowance) on their return to the UK in addition to the basic state pension.

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