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Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings officials in his Department have had with representatives of the public relations company Portland PR; what contracts Portland PR has with his Department and agencies for which he has responsibility; and what the nature of the contract is in each case. 
Gillian Merron: The Department does not maintain a central list of such meetings. Civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and business delivery. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Code and Guidance for civil servants on contacts with lobbyists and people outside Government.
this is the best way of meeting the Departments staffing needs;
recruitment and promotion arrangements will not be adversely affected;
they continue to meet the normal requirements of health, efficiency and conduct.
Any approvals will be for a specified period and subject to review. If staff are allowed to continue, they must retire if it is decided to give them notice of retirement. No employee may continue in service beyond the age of 70.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the public expenditure per head of population for public transport was in each of the English regions in each of the last 10 years calculated on the same basis as HM Treasurys public expenditure statistical analysis for all transport expenditure. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 8 May 2006]: The information requested on public expenditure for public transport is not collected centrally in the form requested. Information on the Departments identifiable expenditure by region per head for years from 2000-01 is published in the Departments Annual Report 2005 (Cm 6527), Table A8; and separate figures for local public transport and railways for 2003-04 in Table A9; but these do not include payments to local authorities or local authorities own expenditure. Information on total transport identifiable expenditure per head, which includes local authority expenditure, is given in Table 8.11 of PESA 2005 for years from 1999-2000. Figures for earlier years are given in earlier PESA publications and DfT Annual Reports, although these are not strictly comparable due to changes in data coverage and classification changes.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the train franchise contracts that have (a) protection, (b) partial protection and (c) no protection against loss of revenue from new open access operators over the course of the franchise; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the potential impact on their lines of the shortfall in premium payments to the Exchequer from train operating companies subject to open access operators; and if he will make a statement. 
The SRA did give certain protection to theTransPennine Express franchisee in 2003 in the event that SRA changed its policy of opposing an open access application which was under discussion at that time.
When proposals for new open access services are submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), the Department for Transport will routinely make an assessment of the financial impact that those services will have on the railway as a whole. These assessments are used to inform the Government response to any consultation that the ORR undertakes in relation to the proposals.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the Government have altered their growth target for heavy rail; what implications the alteration has for future rail expansion and improvement plans; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Government set out their strategy for the railway in the Future of Rail White Paper published in July 2004. This new strategy is designed to control costs, improve reliability and deliver sufficient capacity to meet forecast demand.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) he and (b) his officials discussed with Central Trains the cancellation of train services in the West Midlands on 18 December 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: As part of the franchise management, regular discussions take place between Department for Transport officials and Central Trains, which has included the cancellation of train services in the West Midlands on 18 December 2005.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions search and rescue helicopters based at Sumburgh and Stornoway have been used for air ambulance evacuations in each of the last five years; and what charges have been made to the Scottish ambulance service for the service. 
Dr. Ladyman: The following tables show for each of the last five financial years the number of occasions, the total hours and total amount invoiced when the air ambulance has been used. The amounts shown are where the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has invoiced the Scottish ambulance service.
|Financial year||Number of flight||Total hours||Total cost (£)|
|Financial year||Number of flight||Total hours||Total cost (£)|
In 2004 (the latest year in which figures are available), there were 186 personal injury road accidents in Great Britain reported to the police involving death of one or more children aged five to 16.
Dr. Cable: To ask The Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) the revenue implications and (b) the additional number of people who would pay tax if the capital gains tax threshold were reduced to (i) £1,000, (ii) £2,500 and (iii) £5,000; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The total estimated yield on an accruals basis from abolishing Capital Gains Tax Annual Exempt Amount (AEA) for individuals and trusts in 2005-06 is published in Table A3.1 in the Budget Report 2006. This excludes any behavioural response to the tax change.
Estimate of the total yield on an accruals basis, and additional number of resultant taxpayers, from reducing the Capital Gains Tax AEA for individuals to (i) £1,000, (ii) £2,500 and (iii) £5,000 in 2006-07 are set out in the following table.
|Estimate of the total yield on an accruals basis, and additional number of resultant taxpayers, from reducing the Capital Gains Tax AEA for individuals in 2006-07|
|AEA = £1,000||AEA = £2,500||AEA = £5,000|
The figures are consistent with the assumptions made in Budget 2006 on future asset prices, and take into account the likely taxpayer behavioural responses to the tax change. The Annual Exempt Amount for Trusts is assumed to be half that of individuals.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury's statement in the debate on future EU finances and own reserves on 8 May 2006, Official Report, column 135W, if he will list the net UK contribution from all sources to the EU for each year of the current financial perspective and the projected contribution for each year of the next financial perspective. 
Ed Balls: I refer the hon. Member to footnote 3 of the amended table C11 (Total managed expenditure 2004-05 to 2007-08) in the 2006 Financial Statement and Budget Report for net contributions to the EU Budget 2004-05 (outturn), 2005-06 and 2006-07 (estimated projections).
For estimated net contributions to the EU budget over the next financial perspective I refer the hon. Member to the reply to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) on 31 January 2006, Official Report, column 399W.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the effect on public expenditure in the West Midlands region of immigration from EU accession countries since May 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Cable: To ask The Chancellor of the Exchequer what the revenue implications would be of (a) a 1p cut and (b) a 1p rise in the lower rate on (i) savings income and (ii) (A) the basic rate and (B) the higher rate of income tax for each year from 2006-07 to 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The latest information on expected yields from changing the lower rate on savings income, the basic rate and higher rates of income tax by 1p is available in Table 1.6 Direct effects of illustrative tax changes which is available on HM Revenue and Customs website;
Dr. Cable: To ask The Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of raising the inheritance tax threshold in line with house price inflation for each year to 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
|Effect of raising the inheritance tax according to house price inflation assumptions on forecast revenue|
|Impact on forecast revenue (£ million)|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications for each year to 2010-11 of raising the inheritance tax threshold to £500,000; and if he will make a statement. 
|Reduction in revenue (£ billion)|
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