|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will commission an investigation into the circumstances in which the offences of tax evasion for which Patrick Small and Mary Small were convicted in February 2010 were not detected by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor. 
Mr Gauke: The offences for which Mr and Mrs Small were convicted, amounted to Northern Ireland's largest ever tax fraud case, involving the evasion of VAT and income tax on a huge scale. This is demonstrated by the £4.6 million confiscation order made against them by the court.
The convictions secured are the result of a complex and detailed investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which started in 2005. The court's decision on this case demonstrates HMRC's ability to both identify tax fraud and successfully address such offences through the courts. The Government have no plans to commission an investigation into these matters.
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport inherited three cars allocated to its Ministers. One is a Toyota Prius T3 and manufactured in Japan and two are Honda Civic ES Hybrids also manufactured in Japan.
"the number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum, taking into account security and other relevant considerations. Other Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the Government Car Service Pool as needed".
The Cabinet Office has provided clarification on how the code should be interpreted. The expectation is that Ministers not in the Cabinet will use the pool service and that Cabinet Ministers who have an allocated car will wish to consider how that car might be utilised by other Ministers within the Department before calls are made on the Government Car Service Pool.
Mr Philip Hammond: The Department for Transport and its agencies have met with the recognised trade unions informally to agree a regular forum to discuss potential impact on departmental activity of the deficit reduction plans.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish notices of the outcomes of his inquiry into the Langstone Harbour Board dues under Section 31 of the Harbours Act 1964. 
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what cost-benefit analysis his Department has conducted into construction of the 3A phase of Manchester Metrolink extension alone; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport (DfT) awarded final approval to the Manchester Metrolink 3A extensions to Rochdale (via Oldham) and Chorlton in 2008 with an agreed funding contribution of £244 million.
The decision to award funding was taken by Ministers after officials assessed the business case put forward by Greater Manchester Public Transport Executive (GMPTE). The assessment included a full cost-benefit analysis prepared in line with DfT guidance at that time. DfT officials concluded that these two extensions offered benefits of around £2.50 for every £1 of Government expenditure, in addition to positive impacts on air quality, landscape, safety, accessibility and the wider economy.
Metrolink 3A also includes an extension to Droylesden. The Department did not fully assess the impact of this other extension given that GMPTE committed to fund this without any contribution from central Government.
Norman Baker: As announced by HM Treasury on 17 May, the Chief Secretary has asked all Secretaries of State to re-examine all spending approvals granted since 1 January this year. This includes the extensions of the Manchester Metrolink to Ashton-under-Lyne and to East Didsbury. This work is being carried out as quickly as possible following which decisions will be announced.
Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cattle bridges there are on motorways in England; what the life expectancy of such bridges was when they were built; what programme of replacement the Highways Agency has for such bridges; and what estimate he has made of the cost of this programme. 
There are 376 farm accommodation bridges currently on the motorway network managed by the Highways Agency in England. Accommodation bridges are mainly provided for the use of farmers to cross over from one side of the road to the other to access farmland. There are a further 269 accommodation
structures where the farm access passes underneath the motorway. Of this total of 645 structures only 20 are specifically identified on the Agency's inventory database as for the use of cattle, though in practice others will be used for this purpose.
Accommodation bridges are designed for 120 years design life. All highway structures are subject to a programme of regular inspection, and where necessary repairs are undertaken. There is no specific national programme of replacement of accommodation bridges, and consequently no associated costs have been identified.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects construction of high speed rail lines connecting London and Heathrow airport with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to begin; 
Mr Philip Hammond: A proposed construction timetable will be published prior to public consultation on any section of the national network. The Government's view is that, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, enabling works on the first phase of a national network could begin in 2015.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on progress towards establishing a green investment bank; and what his policy is on using such a bank to facilitate the funding of new high speed rail lines. [R] 
Mr Philip Hammond: The Government remain committed to the creation of a green investment bank. To date I have had no such discussions on using such a bank to facilitate the funding of a high speed rail network.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the funding required to construct the planned new high speed rail line will be from the (a) public purse and (b) private sector; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
Mr Philip Hammond: The report published by HS2 Ltd in March 2010 argued that the most cost efficient way of funding the route elements of a high speed rail network would be through the public purse. However, the Government will explore all options for funding the project. In particular, we will explore the possibility that other very substantial elements-such as stations, interchanges and rolling stock-could be funded in part or in whole by the private sector or other third parties. At this early stage, it is not possible to provide breakdowns.
Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she plans to publish her Department's proposals on the introduction of mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions under section 85 of the Climate Change Act 2008; 
Mr Paice: DEFRA is currently undertaking a research project and gathering other evidence on the contribution that corporate reporting makes to the UK meeting its climate change objectives and on the associated benefits and costs of reporting. This will include an assessment of the merits of reporting on 'scope 3' emissions (i.e. indirect emissions). A report of this review will be laid before Parliament by 1 December 2010, as required by section 84 of the Climate Change Act 2008. The timetable for decisions on mandatory reporting is still under consideration.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on flying the Union flag each day from each official building for which her Department is responsible. 
Richard Benyon: The Department adheres to the current published guidance issued by the Department for Culture Media and Sport for flying the Union flag in respect of those premises having a flag pole under departmental management control.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any domestic properties in the gift of the Government have been allocated to the use of Ministers in her Department. 
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her most recent estimate is of the annual cost to her Department of redundancy payments for (a) front line and (b) other staff employed by (i) her Department and (ii) its agencies. 
Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect on the environmental stewardship scheme introduced in 2010 of moving to a risk-based regulatory system for hill farmers. 
Mr Paice: The new Uplands Entry Level Stewardship strand is based on the existing Environmental Stewardship model. It is a voluntary scheme which rewards existing good practice in environmental land management, and encourages improvements across a range of objectives. A full impact assessment of the planned scheme published in 2008 set out impacts on farmers, delivery bodies and the environment, and can be found on the DEFRA website:
Richard Benyon: The Government's top priority is to tackle the fiscal deficit. DEFRA and its network are committed to delivering £162 million savings out of a total of £6.2 billion savings recently announced for 2010-11 by the Government. Organisations within the DEFRA network, including Natural England, will need to contribute to the savings. For Natural England, this contribution will amount to some £7.5 million.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of the contents of the third edition of the UN Global Biodiversity Outlook. 
We are working hard to prepare for the landmark Convention on Biological Diversity conference in Nagoya, Japan, in October which will bring together up to 193 parties to consider a framework for tackling global biodiversity loss beyond 2010. The findings and analyses included in GB03 have informed the development of the post-2010 framework, so that it seeks to respond to the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss.
Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the East Peak Innovation Partnership; and what her policy is on maintaining its present level of funding from her Department. 
Mr Paice: East Peak Innovation Partnership is a Local Action Group (LAG) funded under Axis 4 (the bottom up, community-led Leader approach) of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). LAGs are managed by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).
East Peak Innovation Partnership is managed by Yorkshire Forward. It is the responsibility of Yorkshire Forward to monitor and evaluate its progress and effectiveness. A formal annual review of the Partnership by Yorkshire Forward took place on 19 May 2010.
DEFRA has two independent evaluations under way looking at the effectiveness of the Leader approach in England. This will form part of the formal mid-term evaluation (MTE) of the RDPE required by EU regulation, and also a specific piece of economic research that will provide evidence for future policy options. The MTE will report at the end of 2010 and the research project in late July/early August.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|