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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many companies have received payments from the £2.3 billion scheme for the automotive industry; and how many such companies have received monies for low-carbon technology investments. 
Ian Lucas [holding answer 19 June 2009]: No loans or loan guarantees have yet been given under the Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP). We have now had requests for further information from over 80 companies, seeking a wide range of funding from a few million to several hundred million pounds, resulting in 19 formal expressions of interest which are being pursued at the pace set by the companies. The details of these projects are commercially sensitive and subject to agreement.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make provision for the vehicle scrappage scheme to be open to persons who have taken on the registration of a vehicle over 10 years old which was initially registered in the name of their deceased spouse. 
Ian Lucas [holding answer 19 June 2009]: We have given careful consideration to the issue of whether it would be possible to make an exception to this rule in the case of consumers who have taken over the registration of a vehicle which was previously registered to a spouse who has died, but have concluded that this will not be possible.
The rules of the scheme are that the registered keeper of the old and new vehicle must be the same person, and that the old vehicle must have been registered to the keeper continuously for 12 months before the order date of the new vehicle. This rule was put in place for two main reasons. First, the rule seeks to prevent the sorts of abuses that have taken place in other EU countries, for example where individuals bought a very old car for a token sum simply in order to take advantage
of scrappage scheme. Secondly, given the need to provide urgent support to the industry it was imperative to launch the scheme quickly and to ensure the scheme was simple and that bureaucracy and costs for all parties were minimised.
It is a regrettable fact that we have had instances of less scrupulous individuals seeking to identify loopholes in the scheme in order to abuse it. It is clear that if we make an exception to the rules of this nature, unscrupulous individuals will seek to exploit what they will see as a loophole. It is also clear that to make an exception of this nature will very significantly add to the administrative burden and complexity of the scheme and require non-experts (dealers) to check facts and documentation which they are not equipped to verify, which in turn would raise further concerns about the capacity for abuse of the scheme. For example, dealers would need to verify whether the person who was the keeper of the car in question has in fact died and whether the car in question has in fact been left to the person proposing to scrap it (as opposed to another relative, friend, charity etc.). This in turn would raise issues in the case of those who had died intestate and of whether or not probate had been obtained, again adding to the complexity of the scheme and the capacity for abuse.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department has disbursed under the Automotive Assistance Scheme since the scheme's inception. 
Ian Lucas [holding answer 22 June 2009]: No loans or loan guarantees have yet been given under the Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP). We have now had requests for further information from over 80 companies, seeking a wide range of funding from a few million to several hundred million pounds, resulting in 19 formal expressions of interest which are being pursued at the pace set by the companies. The details of these projects are commercially sensitive and subject to agreement.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many full-time equivalent members of staff in (a) his Department and (b) its associated public bodies are working on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; how many of them are working on (i) project management, (ii) legacy planning, (iii) project oversight and (iv) financial oversight; and what plans he has for future staffing levels in each case. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs, on 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 280W.
|Number of full time equivalent staff within BIS, UKTI and RDAs working on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games|
|O f which :|
|Name of organisation||Total number of current staff||(i) working on project management||(ii) working on legacy planning||(iii) working on project oversight||(iv) working on financial oversight||Planned future staffing levels|
|(1) EEDA is the only region outside London with two Olympic venues which require a level of project management and coordination, as well as having the highest level of businesses registered on CompeteFor outside London. Three posts are working for Nations and Regions East on behalf of all the local authorities in the East of England, as well as Sport England EEDA.|
(2) The LDA has a dedicated Olympic Legacy Directorate whose staffing will change as the recently formed Olympic Legacy company establishes itself. Within the 75 FTEs there are project managers and accountants providing financial oversight but they are all ultimately working to deliver a sustainable legacy for London following the Games.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average fee grant received by part-time students for courses with an intensity of (a) between 50 to 59 per cent., (b) between 60 to 74 per cent. and (c) 75 per cent. or more was in the latest year for which figures are available. 
|Average part-time fee grant by intensity band academic year 2007-08 England|
|Intensity band||Average part-time fee grant (£)( 1)|
|(1) Average rounded to nearest £10.|
Student Loans Company and Open University applications data
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been spent in (a) (i) fee grant payments, (ii) course grant payments and (iii) teaching and learning payments for part-time students to institutions from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and (b) other forms of support for part-time students in the latest year for which figures are available. 
|HEFCE part-time funding, 2007/08 academic year( 1)|
|(1) The HEFCE figures in the table are based on final allocations announced for 2007/08. They do not take account of grant adjustments arising from institutions recruitment in that year. Figures do not include non-recurrent elements of grant, such as capital funding.|
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department in taking to encourage small independent businesses located in urban high streets. 
Mr. McFadden: The tougher economic conditions have made us more determined to help SMEs. We have met with business organisations and businesses across the country to discuss the problems they are facing and to ensure that their views are reflected in Government action. The Government's package of supportReal Helpfocuses on those top prioritiescash flow, access to finance, higher bank charges and costs and training.
In April the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport jointly published Looking After Our Town Centres, which sets out the range of powers, guidance and approaches that can help local authorities and their partners promote the vitality and viability of town centres, and explains additional steps that the Government are taking to enable further positive action to be taken, particularly through the temporary use of empty shops. The guide can be downloaded from:
Small independent shops (and other businesses) occupying a sole property with a rateable value below £15,000 may benefit from small business rate relief. For the businesses occupying the smallest properties, this can mean a saving of up to 50 per cent. of their business rates.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people with (a) maintenance loans, (b) tuition fee loans and (c) both maintenance and tuition fee loans have outstanding debts to the Student Loans Company. 
|Borrowers by loan type, including loans not yet due for repayment, March 2009|
|Income contingent loan type||Number of borrowers (number)( 1)|
|(1) Figures cover English domiciled borrowers who studied or are studying in the UK and EU students studied/studying in England. EU students are not eligible for maintenance loans. Figures rounded to nearest 100.|
Student Loans Company
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