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Nottingham East Midlands Airport

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value was of (a) imports flown into and (b) exports flown out of Nottingham East Midlands airport in each of the last five years. [77447]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on trade with other EU member states by port/airport is not collected. The table gives the data for the last five years of the declared value of the non-EU imports and exports through East Midlands airport.

Non-EU Imports and exports via East Midlands airport
£ million
Value of imports Value of exports













2005 (provisional)



Source: HM Revenue and Customs—Overseas Trade Statistics.

Parliamentary Ombudsman

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those occasions when the recommendations of a report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman have been (a) rejected and (b) partly rejected by his Department since 1997. [76265]

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John Healey: HM Treasury is not aware of any occasion since 1997 in which it has rejected or partially rejected recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman in relation to HM Treasury's activities. However, HM Treasury does not hold definitive statistics of this nature. HM Treasury cannot provide this information without first identifying and then reviewing all HM Treasury files relating to every Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation since 1997. This exercise would incur disproportionate cost.

Small Breweries Relief

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend the criteria governing the eligibility of breweries for Small Breweries’ Relief to encompass independent breweries producing between 60,000 and 100,000 hectolitres of beer per annum. [76691]

John Healey: Since SBR was introduced in June 2002 more than 100 new breweries have opened, creating over 1,000 new jobs and injecting energy and innovation into a traditional industry.

The Government are committed to ensuring that SBR is targeted to benefit those who need it most. Although all reliefs are kept under review, the Government believe that SBR is currently striking the right balance, and meeting its objectives.

Tax Credits

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit payments were not made to claimants because the award fell below the payment threshold in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05 and (c) 2005-06; and what the total value of these non-payments were for each year. [76206]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is not available except at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the total cost of the £25,000 tax credits overpayments income disregard; and if he will make a statement. [76420]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 13 December 2005, Official Report, column 1836W.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in the Inland Revenue and HM Revenue and Customs have worked on tax credits in each quarter since April 2002; and how many worked (a) in contact centres, (b) on policy, (c) in the debt management service, (d) in inquiry centres, (e) in the tax credits offices, (f) in the programme office, (g) on compliance, (h) on the IT live service and (i) on IT development; and if he will make a statement. [76473]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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Unclaimed Assets

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made in establishing (a) the extent of unclaimed assets in the UK and (b) their availability for charitable or other purposes. [77331]

Ed Balls: The Government reported in the Budget that the banking industry has set in train work to develop a scheme to enable unclaimed assets to be reinvested in society. The Government are clear that that such a scheme needs to be consistent with retaining the rights of owners to reclaim assets at any time and, with this in mind, are assessing the legal and accounting issues involved. The industry's steering group is considering issues of definition, reuniting and operation and distribution. This work is ongoing.


Night Flights

11. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints the Department and the Civil Aviation Authority received about night flights in 2005. [76584]

Gillian Merron: The Department receives a number of complaints and other representations about night flights policy. We received around 6,000 responses to our recent consultation document on night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.

Complaints about specific night flights are properly a matter for individual airports, which are best equipped to investigate complaints.

Departmental Expenditure

13. Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what change in spending on transport his Department plans to make between 2005-06 and 2007-08. [76586]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Public spending by the Department of Transport is planned to increase from around £11.4 billion in 2005-06 to around £12 billion in 2007-08.

Concessionary Fare Scheme

14. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the total cost of implementing the Government's concessionary fare scheme. [76588]

Gillian Merron: The Government are providing an extra £350 million for 2006-07 and a further £367.5 million for 2007-08 to fund free off-peak local bus travel for people aged 60 and over and disabled people. The Chancellor announced in the Budget that
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the free local bus travel entitlement would be extended further to national bus travel from April 2008, for which Treasury earmarked up to an additional £250 million per year.

Road Accidents

15. Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he plans to take to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities among young drivers. [76589]

Dr. Ladyman: We are very concerned about young driver fatalities, especially, that a minority appears to have a seriously unsafe attitude to the risks. We have strengthened the driving test; have commissioned research on improving pre-driver education and how to develop safe attitudes to driving among young people; and are developing a package of measures to tackle unlicensed driving.

16. Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress has been made in reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured in road accidents. [76590]

Dr. Ladyman: Our provisional statistics for 2005 indicate that there were 32,150 people killed or seriously injured in accidents reported to the police in Great Britain, 33 per cent. below the 1994-98 baseline average.

Traffic Management

17. Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve traffic management to ease road congestion. [76591]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government have a number of initiatives to tackle road congestion, through a combination of investment, improved management, new technology and better information. Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 local authorities have greater duties to manage traffic on their road network, including co-ordinating street works. Newly created traffic officers are helping to keep traffic moving, and ease congestion and ensure safety primarily on English motorways.

Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation

18. Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to introduce a renewable transport fuels obligation. [76592]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government announced in November 2005 that a renewable transport fuels obligation (RTFO) will be introduced from 1 April 2008. Further details of the obligation were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the March 2006 Budget, including the level of obligation for the years leading up to 2010.

We are currently discussing aspects of the detailed design of the RTFO scheme with stakeholders and we
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envisage consulting on the draft secondary legislation around the end of the year. We are also developing robust carbon and environmental assurance schemes to deliver the best biofuels from day one of the obligation. This work is being taken forward by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP).

Roads (Wales)

19. Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his colleagues in the National Assembly for Wales about road systems in and out of Wales. [76593]

Dr. Ladyman: Officials from the Department for Transport have met with officials from the Welsh Assembly Government on several occasions to discuss cross-border schemes. I have also recently offered to meet with Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks in the Welsh Assembly Government to discuss these issues.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from road transport. [76594]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government are introducing a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation in April 2008, the effect of which will be that by 2010 5 per cent. of all transport fuels sold in the UK will come from renewable sources—a 20-fold increase on biofuels market share on 2005. The RTFO will deliver real environmental benefits and is projected to save around 1 million tonnes of carbon by 2010 (the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road).

To encourage company car drivers to drive more environmentally friendly cars with lower carbon dioxide emissions, the Chancellor announced in Budget 2006 that the lower threshold for company car tax rates will be reduced by 5g/km from 140g/km to 135g/km from 2008-09. It also provides for introduction of a new 10 per cent. band for cars with CO2 emissions of 120g/km or below, also from 2008-09.

Vehicle excise duty for cars is based on carbon dioxide emissions which give a clear signal to motorists to choose less polluting vehicles. New energy efficiency vehicle labels—matching the graduated VED structure—were introduced into car showrooms last year, raising consumer awareness of the potential fuel savings available from using more efficient vehicles. At Budget, the Chancellor announced further reforms to VED, including a new higher band for the most polluting new cars, and a zero rate of VED for cars with less than 100g per kilometre of CO2 emissions to assist the development of the low carbon car market.

On 7 June I announced that we will refocus the two-year budget of £40 million earmarked for environmental grants and advice. The full budget will remain allocated for green transport initiatives, the detail of which will be developed as part of the Powering Future Vehicles Strategy review this year.

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The European Voluntary Agreement on new car fuel efficiency provides an incentive for vehicle manufacturers. Government are working with relevant stakeholders to consider a replacement for the voluntary agreement, which expires in 2008-09.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in lowering the average emissions per vehicle. [76545]

Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the former Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend for Edinburgh, South-West (Mr. Darling) to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 2 May 2006, Official Report, column 829.


Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) total staff costs and (b) total staffing complement of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's diversity unit are; and if he will make a statement. [76303]

Dr. Ladyman: The total costs of the nine staff in the diversity unit in the 2005-06 financial year were £273,329.

Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will increase staffing levels at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to ensure that more roadside checks can be made on untaxed vehicles. [76173]

Dr. Ladyman: Increasing DVLA staffing levels to enable more roadside checks on untaxed vehicles to be made is not the most effective way of tackling this problem.

DVLA supplies the police with details of untaxed vehicles for use with their ANPR Units. They are thus able to identify these on the public road without the need for DVLA officials to be present. Additional resource has been made available to considerably increase DVLA's level of wheel clamping activity against untaxed vehicles. The DVLA works closely with the police and clamping units are available to support them at roadside checks. Offending vehicles, the keepers of which are frequently involved in other criminal activity, are impounded in this partnership approach to the problem.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost was of adding an extra lane to an existing motorway in each of the last 10 years. [75815]

Dr. Ladyman: The following table lists the average cost in real terms of adding an extra lane to existing motorways, provided by publicly funded major schemes for the last 10 years.

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Lane km added to HA motorway network Cost per km in real terms (£ million)































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