Previous Section Index Home Page

11 Oct 2006 : Column 790W—continued

Leader of the House

Deputy Prime Minister

Michael Gove: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to his answer of 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 572W, on the Deputy Prime Minister, what the value of the Exchequer contribution to the Deputy Prime Minister's pension in respect of his service as an hon. Member was in each year since 1997. [90492]

Mr. Straw: The pensions of Members of Parliament are met from the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF). The value of the Exchequer's contribution to the Fund in respect of the service as a Member of my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister is the same as for any other Member in any respective year, based on a percentage of Members' salaries as decided by the House.

The level of the Exchequer's contributions may be found in the annual accounts of the House and the reports of the triennial revaluations, which are available in the Library of the House.

Northern Ireland

Security

8. Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland. [92592]

Paul Goggins: The 12th report of the Independent Monitoring Commission has demonstrated that Northern Ireland in 2006 is a different and vastly improved place to the Northern Ireland of 2003. These improvements to the security situation present local politicians with a real opportunity to make progress in restoring the devolved institutions.


11 Oct 2006 : Column 791W

Parades

9. Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the parades that have taken place in Northern Ireland in 2006. [92593]

Paul Goggins: This parades season was overwhelmingly peaceful with no troops deployed on the streets of Belfast for the first time in 35 years. This was the result of the dedication and hard work of everyone involved and lays a firm foundation for a future of peaceful summers in Northern Ireland.

Independent Monitoring Commission

10. Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he next expects to receive a report from the Independent Monitoring Commission. [92594]

Mr. Hain: I have just received a report which demonstrates conclusively that the IRA has delivered its commitment in July 2005 to end its war and re-direct its activity to democratic and peaceful ends.

National Stadium

11. Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress on developing a national stadium for Northern Ireland. [92595]

Mr. Hanson: A multi-sports stadium for Northern Ireland is being actively considered. Its viability has been established and a location identified. The three sports invited to participate have agreed in principle to the proposal. Consideration is currently being given to design and affordability issues.

Peace Process

12. Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on recent developments in the peace process. [92596]

Mr. Hain: The summit at St. Andrews, which will commence later today, will bring together the two Governments and the Northern Ireland parties in a bid to resolve outstanding issues and secure the restoration of the institutions before the November deadline. The summit follows the publication of the Twelfth Report of the IMC, which provided the clearest indication yet that the IRA has eschewed terrorism and other forms of crime, and provides an opportunity for real progress to be made.

Northern Ireland Assembly

13. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly. [92597]

Mr. Hanson: Substantial progress has been made in recent months including a report of the Independent
11 Oct 2006 : Column 792W
Monitoring Commission which opens the way to a settlement at the summit at St. Andrews that will start later today.

Political Sanctions

14. Mr. Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 250, what steps he plans to take against parties in the Northern Ireland Executive which do not support the police. [92598]

Mr. Hanson: None, as the policy for political parties is a matter for them. I personally believe that all the parties should comply with the rule of law and support the police, especially those holding ministerial office in a restored Northern Ireland Executive who should also abide by the terms of the pledge of office, which commits them to non-violence and exclusively peaceful and democratic means.

House Price Taxation

15. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the impact on residents of introducing house price taxation under a discrete capital value basis in Northern Ireland from April 2007; and if he will make a statement. [92599]

Mr. Hanson: Extensive analysis has been undertaken and published on the effects of the revaluation on a capital value basis. In addition, ratepayers have received valuation notifications which show the impact the changes would have had on individual bills this year.

Fireworks

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many serious injuries were caused due to fireworks in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [93173]

Paul Goggins: Information on the number of serious injuries that were caused due to fireworks in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years is not available. However, information on the number of people injured as a result of fireworks over the Halloween period, in Northern Ireland, for the years 2001 to 2005 is available and is detailed in the following table.

Number of patients reporting with firework injuries

2005

86

2004

55

2003

45

2002

38

2001

136

Source:
Annual Departmental Return, FWK1

Parliamentary Questions

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the answer of 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1414W, on
11 Oct 2006 : Column 793W
parliamentary questions, which questions tabled by the hon. Member for Upper Bann were answered on the basis of drafts prepared by the British Irish Inter-Governmental Secretariat. [91735]

Mr. Hain: At the time of my previous answer 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1414W, three parliamentary questions tabled by the hon. Gentleman had been referred to Northern Ireland Office staff in the British Irish Inter-Governmental Secretariat for draft reply.

They were as follows:

Order Book: 9 March 2006

Order Book: 8 May 2006

Order Book: 14 July 2006

PSNI Staff (Iraq and Afghanistan)

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Police Service of Northern Ireland employees are working in Iraq and Afghanistan. [92502]

Paul Goggins: There is currently one PSNI officer serving in Iraq and one PSNI officer serving in Afghanistan.

Sexual Violence Strategy

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2006, Official Report, column 2330W, on the Sexual Violence Strategy, what progress has been made with the strategy. [92420]

Paul Goggins: We will shortly issue a consultation document and expect to publish the final strategy in April 2007 as planned.

Prime Minister

Departmental Expenditure

Grant Shapps: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how much was spent by his Office in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (a) in the UK and (b) abroad for (i) staff and (ii) other persons in each year since 2001-02; [91883]


11 Oct 2006 : Column 794W

(2) how much was spent by his Office on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02. [91907]

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hilary Armstrong) today.

Entertainment Costs

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister what has been the total cost from public funds of social functions held in 10 Downing Street since May 1997; how many bottles of wine have been consumed; and how many such functions have taken place. [87600]

Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister which official events have been held in 2006 at 10 Downing street to which (a) hon. Members and (b) officials were invited where the total numbers present exceeded 25. [89706]

The Prime Minister: For information on official and charity receptions I refer the hon. Members to the answer given to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 17 March 2006, Official Report, column 2581W and to the answer given by my noble Friend Lord Bassam of Brighton to the noble Lord Hanningfield on 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 261W. I also refer the hon. Members to the written ministerial statement I made on 2 February 2005, Official Report, columns 57-61WS.

I have placed a list of official and charity receptions held at 10 Downing street between February 2002 and December 2004 in the Library of the House.

For 2005-06, the total cost of official and charity receptions held by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing street and Chequers was £101,178.

Information on official and charity receptions held at 10 Downing street during 2006-07 will be published by means of an annual list as soon as it is ready at the end of the financial year.

These events consist of official dinners and events for foreign leaders and other dignitaries, receptions for business leaders, community and charity representatives and sportsmen and women. In the past few years, an increased programme of events at Downing street has been introduced in order to give access to as many people as possible, including children’s tea parties and regular receptions for a wide cross-section of the community.

Trade and Industry

Nuclear Security

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will instruct the Director for Civil Nuclear Security to evaluate the adequacy of security protection plans for trains carrying irradiated spent nuclear fuel while in sidings awaiting forward movement to Sellafield. [92913]


11 Oct 2006 : Column 795W

Malcolm Wicks: The Government recognise the particular security concerns that the transportation of spent nuclear fuel give rise to. For this reason, the security of nuclear materials and process is independently regulated by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security, and kept under constant scrutiny.

The transportation of spent nuclear fuel is carried out in a secure manner, in accordance with stringent security regulations—the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR). These regulations are administered and enforced by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS).

The security of the transportation of civil nuclear material is regularly reviewed in light of the prevailing threat. OCNS is satisfied that the measures in place to prevent theft or sabotage are adequately robust, and that in the event that a credible threat were detected, appropriate action would be taken.

Overseas Trade

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on UK trade relations with (a) Brazil, (b) Colombia and (c) Bolivia. [89179]

Mr. McCartney: The information is as follows:

Brazil

Brazil is the UK's largest trading partner in Latin America. In 2005 UK exports to Brazil were valued at £840 million, a 6 per cent. increase over 2004. This growth has continued in the first four months of 2006 with a further 12 per cent. increase.

UK Trade and Investment has recognised in its recently published strategy, ‘Prosperity in a Changing World’, the importance of enhancing the UK's trade and economic relationships with emerging markets such as Brazil. This was given practical effect when the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry recently visited Brazil and chaired with his Brazilian counterpart the first meeting of the UK-Brazil Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

The Trade and Industry Committee is currently examining the difficulties and opportunities for UK businesses looking to trade or forge investment links with Brazil. The Committee is expected to report its findings in the first half of 2007.

Colombia

Colombia is the UK's fifth largest market in South America. The UK's share of the Colombian market is currently around 1 per cent., with exports of goods and services in 2005 valued at £192 million. The UK's main exports are specialised industrial machinery, power generating machinery and equipment and beverages.

The UK is one of the largest foreign investors with investments in excess of $10 billion. UK companies are particularly active in oil and gas, mining, pharmaceuticals and insurance.

Bolivia

Bi-lateral trade is small. UK exports in 2005 were worth £11.2 million (goods only). The main export items were general industrial machinery, equipment and machine parts and organic chemicals. Several large
11 Oct 2006 : Column 796W
UK companies operate in Bolivia, particularly in the hydrocarbons sector. UK direct investment in Bolivia is about $800m.


Next Section Index Home Page