|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to introduce legislation to exempt local authorities from the royalty payment levied by the Royal Mail for use of postcodes. 
Barry Gardiner: The Government have no plans to introduce any legislation along the suggested lines. Statutory obligations relating to the management of Royal Mail's Postcode Address File" are defined under Section 116 of the Postal Services Act 2000, which states that the File can be made available to any person who wishes to use it on such terms as are reasonable". This obligation is specifically governed under Condition 20 of Royal Mail's licence issued by Postcomm which states that the company shall furnish a copy of the File to any person who may request it upon payment of a reasonable charge".
The management of the Postcode Address File" is currently the subject of a Postcomm consultation due to end on 3 May 2006. Government would encourage any interested party to use this opportunity to make their views known on the management of the PAF.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his Answer of 23 November 2005, Official Report, column 2049W, on the Royal Family, what costs arising from HRH the Duke of York's visit to the Middle East fell on his Department; and how much of these costs were (a) travel costs, (b) accommodation costs and (c) other costs. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with Royal Mail on performance in delivery of mail in London; and if he will make a statement. 
Between October and early December 2005 94 per cent. of first class mail was delivered the next day, against a target of 93 per cent. Second class post beat its 98.9 per cent. target by 0.4 per cent. over the same three month period.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the reasons were for his decision to increase the maximum fine that is able to be imposed under breaches of telephone preference service rules. 
The increased penalty relates to persistent misuse of electronic communications networks or electronic communications services and is directed particularly at silent calls and does not concern breaches of the telephone preference service rules, which are dealt with by the Information Commissioner's Office. Last summer
23 Mar 2006 : Column 520W
the Office of Communications (Ofcom) requested DTI to consider raising the maximum penalty, which could be levied by Ofcom from £5,000 to £50,000 against those that make nuisance silent calls, in view of mounting public and parliamentary concern. It was felt that the current maximum penalty was not sufficient for the level of consumer harm and worry that silent calls caused and that it was not a real sanction or deterrent. Ofcom proposed that the maximum penalty should be increased to £50,000. I agreed with Ofcom's proposal and launched a consultation on 31 October 2005, which closed on 24 January 2006. In response to the consultation there was overwhelming support for raising the maximum penalty and on 1 March 2006 I announced our intention to increase the maximum penalty to £50,000.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many trading standards investigations were carried out in each London borough in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: DTI does not collect specific information on the number of investigations undertaken by trading standards departments. However as part of the National Performance Framework for trading standards, we do ask that they tell us how many complaints from consumers they have dealt with and how many businesses were either inspected or given advice.
|Number of businesses visited or given advice||Number of Consumer complaints responded to|
|Corporation of London||(32)||(32)|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||194||1,067|
|Kensington and Chelsea||137||1,371|
|Barking and Dagenham||(32)||(32)|
|Brent and Harrow||3,480||4,726|
Hilary Benn: The Chancellor of the Exchequer made a statement to the House on 2 March 2006, in which he stated that the UK will hypothecate part of its Air Passenger Duty to provide a long-term stream of finance to the International Finance Facility and the International Finance Facility for Immunisation.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether development aid funded from air passenger duty will be additional to existing overseas development aid spending commitments. 
Hilary Benn: The Chancellor told the House on 2 March 2006, that the UK will be using part of its existing Air Passenger Duty to fund the International Finance Facility for Immunisation and the International Finance Facility (IFF). The aim of the IFF is to frontload resources within the aid commitments announced by donors at Monterrey, Gleneagles and elsewhere, including the UK plans for public spending on aid announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review 2004.
The payments we make into these facilities would not be additional to existing overseas development aid commitments. However, with the substantial extra funds that the IFF could deliver to poor countries, the UK could reach the equivalent of the 0.7 per cent. Overseas Development Assistance/Gross National Income (ODA-GNI) target as early as 200809, several years earlier than without the IFF.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether international development aid to be funded from hypothecated air passenger duty will be subject to economic policy conditions. 
Hilary Benn: The UK will hypothecate part of its Air Passenger Duty to provide a long-term stream of finance to the International Finance Facility (IFF) and its pilot the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm).
The IFF is an innovative financing instrument which will disburse money through existing development agencies. In the case of the IFFIm, the money generated is used to fund the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). The aim of the IFF is to provide an immediate increase in long-term predictable finance.
Once an IFF-funded programme has been approved, the IFF will not impose any conditionality in addition to that already used by the disbursement agency. However,
23 Mar 2006 : Column 522W
there is a high-level financing condition for the IFF which means that no new programmes will be approved in a country while it is in protracted arrears with the IMF.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|