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Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department will publish further guidance to local authorities on brownfield sites contaminated as indicated in Improvements to Contaminated Land Guidance: Outcome of the Way Forward Exercise on Soil Guidelines Values. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The DEFRA statement Improvements to contaminated land guidance: outcome of the Way Forward exercise on soil guideline values was issued on 22 July 2008. It listed 14 measures being taken by DEFRA, the Environment Agency and others to improve guidance in this area.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated (a) average agricultural tariff and (b) average intervention price was under the Common Agricultural Policy in each of the last five years, broken down by commodity; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Since the EU's tariff schedule includes both ad valorem (percentage of price) components and specific (€ per tonne) components, tariffs are compared using estimates of the ad valorem equivalent (AVE). Calculation of the AVE requires an estimate of the import price. Typically unit import values (the value of imports divided by the volume) are used as the estimate of the price in the conversion process.
There is a further complication in deriving average tariff estimates. Each commodity has several (and sometimes many) tariff lines, often with very different tariff rates. These lines can be averaged in different ways, for example a simple average could be used, or
lines weighted according to import volumes. Many imports also take place within the context of tariff rate quotas where the applied rate of duty is lower than the bound rate. Further, each commodity has several (and sometimes many) tariff lines, often with very different tariff rates. These lines can be averaged in different ways, for example a simple average could be used, or lines weighted according to import volumes.
Each method has particular disadvantages. For example, weighting by import volume assigns low weight to tariff lines where the tariff is high enough to eliminate imports. This tends to reduce the estimated tariff rate. Historically DEFRA's approach has been to present the tariff for a 'representative' tariff line which accounts for the bulk of imports, or, when there is no clearly dominant individual line, to present a simple average of several important tariff lines.
The EU's bound Most Favoured Nation (MFN) agricultural tariffs have remained unchanged over the period 2003 to 2007, and table 1 presents AVE's for the major commodities as calculated by DEFRA. These estimates give a broad indication of the level of protection, but the tariff applied to a particular consignment on a tariff line may differ, as explained above.
|Table 1: Estimated EU bound tariff equivalents for major commodities|
|Representative tariff line except * (average from selected bundle of important tariff lines). Source: 'A Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy' (2005), DEFRA and HMT.|
For comparison we also present EU tariffs estimated using an alternative methodology, where average tariffs have been calculated using weights based on imports in a reference group of countries. This approach is better than using only EU imports as weights (which introduces significant downward bias as mentioned above), but may still understate the true level of protection. These estimates are presented in Table 2, and are available only at an aggregate level.
|Table 2: Estimates for average EU bound tariff equivalents|
| Source: 'Implications for the European Union of the May 2008 Draft Agricultural Modalities' (2008), International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD).|
|Table 3: Intervention prices by commodity for marketing years 2003-04 to 2007-08|
| Note: Marketing year is July to June for durum wheat, common wheat, barley, rye, maize/sorghum and white sugar; and April to March for butter and skimmed-milk powder. Source: Annual publications of 'Agriculture in the European Union: Statistical and economic information', EC.|
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the location is of each office occupied by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies which has been (i) newly occupied and (ii) refurbished in the last 24 months; and what the floor area in square metres is of each. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) participates in the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF), through which it offsets all air and rail travel undertaken by the Departments Ministers and officials.
To date, DEFRA has made provision through GCOF to cancel credits to the amount of 6055.91 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), at a cost of £60,014.07. This covers the years 2005-06 and 2006-07. Figures for 2007-08 are currently being compiled and should be available in the near future.
All offset credits purchased by the GCOF are internationally compliant certified emission reductions (CERs), sourced from small scale abatement projects in developing countries, and approved under the Clean Development Mechanism.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of staff in his Department in the last 12 months; and at what total cost. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Bonuses are used to reward excellent performance during the year and are based on a judgment of how well an individual has performed relative to their peers. Performance related pay schemes encourage high attainment because bonuses have to be earned each year. They help drive high performance in departments and agencies and support better public service delivery.
Non-consolidated cash payments, otherwise known as bonuses, reward in-year performances in relation to agreed objectives, or short term personal contribution to wider organisational objectives. Bonuses are paid in addition to base pay increases and do not count towards pension.
Bonuses are allocated by Departments from a 'pot' expressed as a percentage of the SCS salary bill, which is agreed centrally each year following the SSRB recommendations. The intention is that bonus decisions should be differentiated in order to recognise the most significant deliverers of in-year performance.
The High Performance Bonus Awards scheme introduced in April 2005 provide staff in DEFRA And those agencies covered by the core-Department's reward arrangements, with recognition and reward for delivery of an outstanding outcome or performance that significantly exceeds normal expectations. The process should provide staff at all grades with an opportunity to earn a bonus, and ensure that achievements in operational, policy and corporate services areas are recognised as being of equal esteem.
In-year high performance bonuses paid to individuals or teams in recognition of one-off achievements during the year; and
Annual high performance bonuses which in 2007 and 2008 were paid to the top 10 per cent. of performers for delivery of an outstanding outcome or performance sustained throughout the whole year.
For the period October 2007 to September 2008, 2791 performance bonuses totalling £5,629,125 were awarded to staff in DEFRA and those agencies covered by DEFRA terms and conditions (core-DEFRA (including staff who transferred to DECC in October 2008), Animal Health, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Marine and Fisheries Agency and Government Decontamination Service and until 1 April 2008 Pesticides Safety Directorate). This period included two years of annual performance bonuses, with bonuses for the 2006-07 performance cycle paid in November 2007 and bonuses for the 2007-08 performance cycle paid in August 2008.
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