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Jonathan Shaw: Since becoming Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend has visited Essex once in an official capacity. He visited Ingrebourne Hill in Rainham. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations are being made to the European Parliaments Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on the UKs position on proposals to tighten the cut-off criteria for approving essential pesticides. 
Mr. Woolas: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) included an initial assessment of the impact of the criteria proposed by the Commission in briefing provided for UK members of the Committee during its first reading of the proposal. The PSD subsequently prepared a detailed impact assessment of both the Commissions proposals and the amendments sought by the Parliament in its first reading, and will include this in briefing provided for UK members of the Committee during the second reading.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the annual consumption of wheat in the UK in each of the last five years, in tonnes. 
Jonathan Shaw: Information on the annual consumption of wheat for the calendar years 2003 to 2007, in thousand tonnes, as published in Agriculture in the United Kingdom are presented in the following table. It should be noted that the figures for 2007 are provisional only.
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Angela Eagle: The Government are committed to becoming one of the leaders in the EU in sustainable procurement by 2009. Driving improvements in sustainable procurement and operations is one of four corporate priorities for the civil service. A new chief sustainability officer, based in the Office of Government Commerce, supported by a Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement is working with Departments to draw up a delivery plan for sustainable procurement and operations, to be published in the summer.
Kitty Ussher: I have shared with ministerial colleagues the responses to the Treasury consultation on the review of credit union legislation. The responses indicate an overwhelming appetite for reform, and the Government response sets out our intention to legislate subject to parliamentary time.
Kitty Ussher: Support for credit unions continues to be at the heart of the Governments financial inclusion strategy. The Government will invest £80 million over five years (2006-11) in a growth fund for credit unions and other not-for-profit lenders. More than 100 lenders have already been supported, and more than 70,000 affordable loans have been made to financially excluded clients since 2006. More recently we have been looking at ways of updating credit union legislation to remove impediments to their growth and development.
Tackling climate change is the most serious environmental challenge we face, and road transport contributes around a quarter of total UK carbon dioxide emissions. As part of a package of measures to reduce emissions from transport, these VED reforms will send strong signals to motorists to purchase more fuel-efficient new and second-hand cars.
Angela Eagle: Higher oil prices do not result in a significant tax windfall for the Treasury. Higher oil prices generate greater receipts from both North sea corporation tax and petroleum revenue tax, but there are a number of offsetting effects that limit the overall impact on the public finances.
Angela Eagle: Increases in fuel prices, driven by developments in the global oil and wholesale gas markets, inevitably continue to influence all areas of the UK economy, including the Highlands. However, the UK as a whole is better placed to respond to these challenges than in the past, with record high employment and low inflation. The Highlands and Islands in particular are seeing an employment rate significantly above the UK and Scottish average, and have seen claimant count unemployment falling by 67 per cent. since 1997.
Angela Eagle: Since 1997, the economy of the north- west has grown by 4.6 per cent. on average in nominal terms. In Warrington, since 1997 increased economic activity has allowed claimant count unemployment to fall by 40 per cent. and long-term unemployment to fall by 86 per cent. The employment rate in Warrington is now above the national average at 76 per cent.
17. Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the income distribution of the 1.1 million households which will not be fully compensated for the abolition of the 10p rate of income tax by the measures announced on 13 May 2008. 
Jane Kennedy: The announcement on 13 May means that 80 per cent. of the households who stood to lose from the Budget 2007 reforms are compensated in full, and the remaining 1.1 million will see their losses more than halved.
Details of the household incomes of the 1.1 million households who are not fully compensated are set out in the Memorandum to the Treasury Committee for its inquiry into budget measures and low-income households.
18. Mr. Lilley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment his Department has made of the extent to which levels of public debt and borrowing comply with the Governments fiscal rules. 
Yvette Cooper: Budget 2008 shows that the Government are meeting the fiscal rules. The Government assess performance against the fiscal rules alongside a complete update of both the economic and public finance projections, which take place at the time of Budget and pre-Budget reports. In line with The Code for Fiscal Stability, the next update on performance against the rules is at the 2008 pre-Budget report.
Angela Eagle: The Chancellor of the Exchequer has had various discussions with international counterparts in recent months regarding the economic effects of oil prices, including at G7 Finance Ministers meetings in February and April 2008. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such discussions.
20. Mr. Holloway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the accuracy of his Department's forecasts of levels of public-sector debt and public borrowing in the last five years. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has issued guidance to staff in his Department to switch off personal computers when they are not in use; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Guidance has been issued under the Acceptable Use Policy for both HM Treasury and OGC staff to turn off unused computers when they are not in use, for security reasons and to avoid wasting electrical energy. In addition, Treasury staff are reminded to turn off screens via their green screen saver.
Yvette Cooper: Investment per pupil in England has increased from under £2,500 in 1997 to over £6,000 in 2008-9. This has supported a big increase in attainment, with more than 60 per cent. of pupils now getting five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C, compared with 45.1 per cent. in 1997. As the Leitch report showed, increasing skills and education has a long-term impact on economic growth.
It is for the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to determine per-pupil funding levels in their territories, but latest available data reveals that total UK expenditure on education has risen from £37.4 billion in 1997-98 to £76.2 billion in 2007-08.
Kitty Ussher: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is operationally independent of Government. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) requires the Financial Services Authority to consult on rules that it proposes to make, unless it considers that the delay involved in consultation would be prejudicial to consumers. The consultation must include an explanation of the purpose of the proposed rules and a cost-benefit analysis unless there is no increase in costs or the increase in costs will be of minimal significance.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Financial Secretary will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Spelthorne of 1 April and 6 May on behalf of his constituent, Mrs Helen Seeley. 
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