Previous Section Index Home Page

26 Jun 2008 : Column 465W—continued

Post Offices: Closures

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what advice he has received on the extent to which state aid to the Post Office is permissible under EU law. [214156]

Mr. Thomas: The UK Government already compensate Post Office Ltd for the provision of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI). The legal base for this is the Community Framework for State Aid in the form of public service compensation. The compensation enables Post Office Ltd to maintain a network beyond its optimum commercial size and provide the services required of it by the Government.

Any further public funding of individual post offices would need to be assessed on a case by case basis for its compatibility with the state aid rules.

Treasury

Banks

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to publish the draft Banking Reform Bill; and if he will make a statement. [213513]


26 Jun 2008 : Column 466W

Kitty Ussher: We will be publishing a further consultation on our banking reform proposals shortly, and intend additionally to publish some draft clauses on a consultative basis before the House rises for the summer recess. The Government intend to bring forward the legislation this autumn.

Banks: Iran

Mr. Hague: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are planned to be taken through the Financial Action Task Force to ensure that certain Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support proliferation activities and terrorism. [212044]

Kitty Ussher: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed concern that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s lack of a comprehensive regime for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) represents a significant vulnerability within the international financial system. In addition to its role in setting and monitoring standards for AML/CFT in general, the FATF has warned the financial sector of the risks posed by Iran and advised jurisdictions on implementation of the financial provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran’s nuclear activities.

The FATF issued statements on Iran in October 2007 and February 2008. These statements warn businesses in the financial sector about the heightened risks of money laundering or terrorist financing arising from the deficiencies in Iran’s AML/CFT regime, and recommend that they apply increased scrutiny and due diligence to transactions associated with Iran. The FATF has also met Iranian authorities to discuss measures to improve Iran’s AML/CFT regime. The FATF is keeping the risk posed by Iran under review and discussed progress at its meetings in London this month. In response to these FATF statements, HM Treasury has issued advisory notices to UK businesses on the heightened risk of money laundering or terrorist financing from Iran.

At its June 2008 meeting in London, the FATF reaffirmed its public statement of 28 February 2008 regarding the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism risks posed by Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and S√£o Tomé and Principe, and the northern part of Cyprus. It welcomed the actions taken by its members to advise their financial institutions of these risks, and noted it was concerned about the lack of progress by, in particular, Uzbekistan and Iran. The FATF will continue to assess the situation and take further actions in October, as necessary, to protect the international financial system.

The FATF has also produced guidance on implementation of the financial provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran’s nuclear activities. The FATF published Guidance in July 2007 on “Implementing Financial Provisions Of UN Security Council Resolutions To Counter Proliferation Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction”, including guidance on implementing targeted asset freezes as required by UNSCR 1747. In October 2007 the FATF published “Guidance Regarding The Implementation Of Activity-Based Financial Prohibitions Of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737”; advising jurisdictions on preventive
26 Jun 2008 : Column 467W
measures to guard against the use of the financial system to support Iran’s nuclear programmes.

A new mandate for the FATF has been agreed under the UK presidency which recognises its increased role in combating proliferation finance. The FATF will shortly publish a typology study on proliferation finance, detailing the extent of the threat and the methodologies used by proliferators.

Goldman Sachs

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department paid in consultants' fees and other payments to Goldman Sachs in each year since 1997. [199525]

Angela Eagle: A new accounting system was introduced in 2002-03 and data on transactions prior to that date could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

No record of any payments could be found for the period 2002-03 to 2006-07.

Goldman Sachs was jointly engaged by HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority to provide financial advice on Northern Rock in September 2007. The Treasury plans to publish information at a later date about the cost of the advice it received in relation to Northern Rock, including financial advice. As the Chancellor informed the chairs of the Treasury Committee and Public Accounts Committee on 11 October 2007, Northern Rock has indemnified the Treasury in respect of certain costs and expenses, including adviser costs.

Ordnance Survey: Databases

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what datasets and property attributes the Valuation Office Agency supplies to Ordnance Survey for the Ordnance Survey MasterMap Address Layer 2 product. [213541]

Jane Kennedy: The Valuation Office Agency supplies Ordnance Survey with the published council tax address lists and non-domestic rating lists for England and Wales.

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Ordnance Survey datasets and mapping products the Valuation Office Agency uses. [213542]

Jane Kennedy: The Valuation Office Agency uses the following Ordnance Survey products and datasets:


26 Jun 2008 : Column 468W

Smuggling: Northern Ireland

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the size of the illicit market for (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel and (d) petrol in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. [213557]

Angela Eagle: The size of the illicit markets for cigarettes and spirits is not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the illicit market for Northern Ireland in diesel and petrol. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are not UK-duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated total revenue loss was as a result of illegal trading in (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel, (d) petrol and (e) counterfeit goods in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. [213558]

Angela Eagle: The total revenue losses as a result of illegal trading in cigarettes and spirits are not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the total revenue loss as a result of illegal trading in diesel and petrol for Northern Ireland. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are non-UK duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

These estimates include all forms of illicit activity and do not separately identify each of the component parts such as counterfeiting, smuggling or fraud.

Justice

Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library representations received in the last 12 months by the East of England Regional Offender Manager in respect of the ClearSprings contract for bail accommodation in Peterborough from (a) Peterborough city council, (b) Cambridgeshire Probation Service and (c) Cambridgeshire Constabulary; and if he will make a statement. [211286]


26 Jun 2008 : Column 469W

Mr. Hanson: The East of England Regional Offender Manager advises that he has received no representation from Peterborough city council, Cambridgeshire Probation Service or Cambridgeshire Constabulary in the last 12 months in relation to the ClearSprings contract for bail accommodation in Peterborough.

Cemeteries

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance issued by his Department to local authorities on health and safety inspections of memorials and the staking of gravestones. [213658]

Bridget Prentice: A joint letter providing guidance on the need for a sensitive and proportionate response to unstable memorials was issued to all burial authorities in March 2007. A copy has been placed in the Library. We are currently considering with the Health and Safety Executive and stakeholders whether any additional guidance in this area would be helpful.

Departmental Buildings

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on (a) new capital investment and (b) refurbishment of property in each of the last 10 years, broken down by project. [212865]

Mr. Wills: The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House. The answer only takes account of those bodies that are within the Ministry's accounting boundary. It therefore excludes NDPBs.

Annexe A sets out the expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Justice (HQ) in refurbishing the Supreme Court Building.

Her Majesty's Court Service did not exist prior to April 2005. Figures are therefore only available for the least three years and are set out in Annexes B and C.

Expenditure by Her Majesty's Prison Service on new capital investment/refurbishment of property in each of the last 10 years by project is set out in Annexes D and E.

The Tribunals Service and Office of the Public Guardian have incurred no expenditure on new capital investment/refurbishment of property during the period they have been in existence.

Aggregated information on how much was spent on new capital investment and refurbishment of property in each of the last 10 years, broken down by project in each of the past 10 years, is not held centrally by NOMS HQ and the National Probation Service.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the value of the property held by (a) his Department and (b) associated public bodies was at the most recent date for which figures are available. [212885]

Mr. Wills: The value of property held by (a) the Ministry is £7,154,531,000 and (b) associated public bodies is £3,089,176,062. These figures are taken from
26 Jun 2008 : Column 470W
the Ministry of Justice's draft 2007-08 Resource Accounts which are, as yet, still subject to National Audit Office approval.

The Departmental value includes MOJ HQ and NOMS HQ. The NOMS HQ value includes the National Probation Service and Her Majesty's Prison Service estate whose property is held under the NOMS estate and is not disclosed within their individual published accounts.

The associated bodies’ value is comprised of the Tribunals Service, the Office of the Public Guardian (nil value) and Her Majesty's Courts Service. NDPBs are bodies outside the accounting boundary of the Ministry and have been excluded from this answer.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how frequently his Department restates the asset values of its building estate. [213416]

Mr. Wills: Land and buildings are included in the Ministry of Justice accounts on the basis of professional valuations which are conducted for each property at least once every five years. Each property is indexed annually in the years when a professional valuation has not been carried out.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments were completed by his Department for a cost in excess of £0.5 million in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08 to which the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method or equivalent was applied; how many such buildings were assessed as (A) pass, (B) good, (C) very good and (D) excellent; and if he will make a statement. [213701]

Mr. Wills: The information is as follows:

HMCS

BREAAM is considered within the Court Building Design Guide and an integral part of process within all major refurbishment's and new builds.

HMCS

BREAAM registered Rating A Rating B Rating C Rating D

2005-6

4

3

1

2006-7

3

1

2

2007-8

(1)

(2)2008

(1)

NOMS

2005-6

3

1

2006-7

10

2

2007-8

29

2008(2)

20

(1) Not known.
(2) To date.

Next Section Index Home Page