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Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will list the occasions over the last 10 years when the Government have decided not to claim after winning a court case against litigants seeking or obtaining judicial review of Government policy decision; whether the Government conceded the principle of not reclaiming such costs in advance of each court case being heard; and what criteria are used in deciding whether to pursue such costs. 
This information is not held centrally. The information is held on individual case files, and could be recovered only by examining every relevant file. This information can, therefore, only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
The Solicitor-General: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Solicitor-General in what proportion of successfully prosecuted cases in Lancashire compensation for victims was (a) requested and (b) secured in the last period for which figures are available. 
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) holds no central record of requests or awards for compensation. The information is held on individual case files, and could be obtained only by examining every relevant file in each CPS office. This information can, therefore, be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Barry Gardiner: There is no scheme of assistance designed specifically for farmers of Aberdeen Angus cattle. However, such farmers may be eligible for financial assistance under one of the DEFRA-run rural funding schemes. Further information is available on the DEFRA website at:
(2) what estimate he has made of the administrative burden in his Department in each year since 1997; and what progress has been made towards the target of a reduction of 25 per cent. in the administrative burden. 
Barry Gardiner: DEFRA participated in the cross-Government administrative burden measurement exercise carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) on behalf of the Cabinet Office. The exercise used an internationally agreed model, recommended to the Government by business, to establish a baseline.
As the first UK Government to take this radical approach to managing the regulatory burden, there is no comparative data before 2005 when the PwC exercise was carried out. However, we will shortly be publishing a revised DEFRA Simplification Plan. Copies will be placed in the Library. The revised Plan will update action taken since the November 2005 Initial Simplification Plan Lifting the Burden. It will also take account of the outcome of the PwC measurement exercise and identify progress towards meeting DEFRA's commitment to reduce the overall administrative burden imposed on stakeholders by 25 per cent.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its work force, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-50s the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. 
(i) Defra maintains an age profile of its work force.
(ii) The Department has reviewed its policies and will continue to review new policies to ensure they meet the requirements of the age legislation. The trade unions have been involved in this process and will continue to be involved.
(iii) and (iv) All employees regardless of age have responsibility for regularly reviewing their training needs with their managers. Attendance at training courses for work purposes is always paid.
All employees can request flexible working either for downshifting to retirement or for any other reason. Line managers have responsibility to ensure all such requests are fully considered and where flexible working is not agreed, to support their decision with robust and objective justification. This is in line with the Delivering a Diverse Civil Service initiative.
[holding answer 2 November 2006]: The following table shows payments made through
CAP schemes and Rural Development Programmes to farmers in the United Kingdom for the period 2001 to 2005 as recorded in the production and income account of the economic account for agriculture. They exclude
payments made through the Over Thirty Month Scheme, compensation for losses due to animal disease and capital transfers. The proportion of EU funding for each scheme is shown in the right hand column.
|Direct payments made through CAP schemes and rural development programmes to farmers in the United Kingdom( 1)|
|2001||2002||2003||2004||2005( 2)||EU funding (percentage)|
|(1) Shows payments after deduction for modulation where appropriate.|
(3) CAP hops and herbage seeds support; hemp and flax aid; oilseed rape and linseed support; protein crop premium; area aid for nuts; energy crops aid.
(4) Includes extensification premium and deseasonalisation premium.
(5) Includes agri-monetary compensation; dairy premium and additional dairy premium.
(6) Tir Mynydd in Wales, Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowance Scheme in Northern Ireland, Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme in Scotland and Hill Farm Allowance in England.
(7) As shown in the table.
(8) Includes Moorland, Habitat and Countryside Access Farming schemes; Entry Level Pilot Scheme.
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