Excise Duties: Fuels

Mr Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on other forms of HM Revenue and Customs revenue of the planned three pence fuel duty rise; [112701]

(2) whether his Department has made an estimate of future revenue from fuel duty if the planned fuel duty rise of three pence is not implemented; [112702]

(3) what estimate his Department has made of revenue from fuel duty following the planned fuel duty rise of three pence. [112705]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), routinely considers the fiscal implications of tax policy options as part of the annual Budget process. Fuel price effects on inflation, the economy and employment, and therefore effects on other forms of HM Revenue and Customs revenues, are assessed by the Office of Budget Responsibility as part of its economic and fiscal forecasts. The OBR reported in September 2010 that changing fuel duty by 1 pence per litre has a total effect on the public finances of around £500 million.

26 Jun 2012 : Column 246W

Based on the “direct effects of illustrative tax changes” table published on HM Revenue and Customs’ website, the effect on fuel duty receipts of a 3.02 ppl change in fuel duty is approximately £1.35 billion per year.

The estimate of future revenues including the effect of the planned rise in fuel duty rise of 3.02 ppl has been published as part of the Office of Budget Responsibility's “Economic and Fiscal Outlook” in March 2012, in table 4.7:

Fuel duty receipts
 £ billion

2012-13

27.3

2013-14

28.1

2014-15

28.9

2015-16

30.1

2016-17

31.3

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many procurement card holders in his Department were (a) paid off-payroll, (b) employed on a part-time basis and (c) employed as a non-permanent employee in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. [113347]

Miss Chloe Smith: Only permanent members of staff may be issued with Government procurement cards (GPCs). Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2012, 16 part-time permanent members of staff were issued with GPCs. No cardholders have been paid ‘off payroll’.

Individual Savings Accounts: Children

Mr Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the number of Junior Individual Savings accounts opened in each parliamentary constituency since October 2010. [113413]

Mr Hoban: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will publish Junior ISA statistics in July 2012. These will set out total subscriptions to Junior ISAs in respect of the first five months of the scheme, falling in the 2011-12 tax year. Account level information sufficient to determine the regional take-up of Junior ISAs is not expected to be available before 2013.

Tax Avoidance

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what investigations have been undertaken by (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs into the accounting activities to support tax avoidance being carried out by (i) Peak Performance Accountants and (ii) Blue Cube financial planning consultants; and what his policy is on investigating allegations of tax avoidance schemes exposed by media investigations. [113252]

Mr Gauke: HMRC investigates and challenges all forms of tax avoidance, irrespective of how it was notified to HMRC. Allegations of tax avoidance are taken seriously, and any information provided is considered in determining the appropriate response.

26 Jun 2012 : Column 247W

Taxation: Multinational Companies

Mr Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take in the next 12 months to ensure that the proposed relaxation of Controlled Foreign Companies rules does not encourage companies to increase their use of overseas tax havens; if he will assess the likely effect of these proposed changes on developing countries; if he will discuss this matter with the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement. [113239]

Mr Gauke: The Government are introducing a modernised Controlled Foreign Company regime that strikes the right balance between making the corporate tax system more competitive and providing adequate protection of the UK tax base. The regime will apply to companies which artificially divert UK profits to low tax jurisdictions to avoid UK tax.

The Government are not undertaking an assessment of the effect on developing countries of the proposed changes to the CFC rules as these rules are designed to protect the UK tax base.

Such an assessment would need to focus primarily on the nature of tax regimes in developing countries and the interactions of multinational companies with those tax systems, making it an assessment not of our tax rules, but of the tax rules of those other countries. The Government does not think that such an assessment would be feasible.

The Government work with the International Monetary Fund and other international organisations such as the World Bank and OECD to provide technical assistance and capacity building support to developing countries across a range of issues including tax avoidance and compliance.

The changes to the Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) rules will be evaluated and assessed alongside other measures included in the Government's package of corporate tax reforms.

Transport

Aviation: Accidents

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatal air accidents there were in the UK in the last 10 years; and what comparative assessment she has made of the number of such accidents in the UK and in other EU member states. [113669]

Mrs Villiers: The number of fatal air accidents in the UK over the last 10 years are:

 Number

2012

(1)6

2011

13

2010

8

2009

22

2008

12

2007

24

2006

18

2005

22

2004

22

26 Jun 2012 : Column 248W

2003

22

2002

17

(1 )Up to 21 June 2012

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) publishes an annual safety review. This includes statistics on European and worldwide civil aviation safety which are grouped according to type of operation, for instance commercial air transport, and aircraft category, such as aeroplanes, helicopters and gliders. The annual safety review can be found at

http://easa.europa.eu/communications/docs/annual-safety-review/2010/EASA-Annual-Safety-Review-2010.pdf

Bus Services: Finance

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which bus companies her Department subsidises in the West Midlands; and what funding it provided to each such company in each of the last two years. [113703]

Norman Baker: I am assuming the question refers to Bus Service Operators Grant.

The Department does not hold this information in the form requested. However, the following links provide information on payments made to individual operators (in alphabetical order) up to (i) 31 March 2010 and (ii) 31 March 2011.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110504135837/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/busgrants/bsog/661224

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/bsog-grants-paid-to-20120331/bsog-grants-paid-2011.pdf

Cars: Exhaust Emissions

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cars with tailpipe carbon emissions below 110g/km were sold in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011; and what estimate she has made of the likely number of such cars to be sold in each of the next three years. [113704]

Norman Baker: During 2010, 148,617 new cars with tailpipe CO2 emissions under 110 g/km were registered for the first time in Great Britain. The corresponding number for 2011 was 247,425. Additional cars with tailpipe emissions under 110 g/km would have been registered for the first time during 2010 and 2011 but these vehicles would have been used imports or re-registrations.

Cars with tailpipe emissions under 110 g/km accounted for 7.5 per cent of all the new cars registered for the first time in 2010. This rose to 13 per cent in 2011.

The Department for Transport has not made any specific forecasts of the number of such vehicles that are likely to be registered for the first time in future years, although we are confident the number will grow.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes in staffing levels have been made by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the last 12 months. [113795]

26 Jun 2012 : Column 249W

Mike Penning: The following table shows the changes in staffing levels by month during the last financial year:

MonthFull-time equivalents

2011

 

April

5,558.8

May

5,540.1

June

5,534.2

July

5,524.1

August

5,503.3

September

5,529.5

October

5,544.1

November

5,537.9

December

5,529.4

  

2012

 

January

5,499.7

February

5,483.5

March

5,469.3

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport where the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency call centres are located. [113796]

Mike Penning: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has one call centre which is located in Swansea.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much training Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency call centre agents receive before answering calls; and when that training was last updated. [113798]

Mike Penning: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency call centre agents undertake an initial eight-week training programme following their induction. This consists of two weeks theory, followed by three weeks of fully monitored telephone work in the live environment. This is followed by an additional three weeks training in a dedicated coaching environment. This is in a ratio of three trainees to one coach, where they are formally assessed on a weekly basis to ensure they attain the set standard before joining an operational team.

A major review of the training programme was conducted in 2011 and it is continually updated to incorporate legislative and operational changes.

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many procurement card holders in her Department were (a) paid off-payroll, (b) employed on a part-time basis and (c) employed as a non-permanent employee in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12; [113338]

(2) on which dates her Department has published Government procurement card spending over £500 since May 2010. [113356]

Norman Baker: The PAN Government Policy for GPC permits only permanent and fixed term members of staff to be issued with cards, and the Department

26 Jun 2012 : Column 250W

fully complies with this policy. Consequently, neither paid off-payroll nor non-permanent employees are able to be GPC cardholders.

The details of GPC cardholders who are employed on a part-time basis are not available as these details are not captured.

The Department publishes Government Procurement Card spend over £500 at

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/dft-gpc-spend

in accordance with Cabinet Office (CO) guidelines.

Data is currently available from April 2011, and is updated monthly.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department has considered introducing a central database to record the details of foreign registered vehicles that enter and operate in the UK. [113302]

Mike Penning [holding answer 25 June 2012]: No formal consideration has been given to introducing a central database to record the details of foreign registered vehicles that enter and operate in the UK. This would require consultation across Government. I do, of course, have informal discussions with my officials touching on all aspects of policy, including this.

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effects on hauliers' carbon footprint of closures of authorised testing centres. [113619]

Mike Penning: For the purpose of the response we have taken "authorised testing centres" to mean authorised testing facilities (ATFs) which are privately owned testing stations.

There are no plans to close any Authorised Testing Facilities (ATF) and to date no ATFs have closed.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many tests were cancelled at authorised testing centres in each of the last five years. [113620]

Mike Penning: For the purpose of the response we have taken “authorised testing centres” to mean authorised testing facilities (ATFs) which are privately owned testing stations.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's test booking system records the test results at ATFs but is unable to distinguish the number of cancelled tests, as ATFs book testing slots with VOSA, which may contain multiple tests, rather than individual tests. Management of test bookings is entirely within the control of the individual ATF.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many authorised testing centres closed in each of the last five years; and where they were located. [113624]

26 Jun 2012 : Column 251W

Mike Penning: For the purpose of the response we have taken “authorised testing centres” to mean authorised testing facilities (ATFs) which are privately owned testing stations.

No ATFs have closed since the introduction of these facilities in February 2010.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints were received about the level and quality of service at authorised testing centres in each of the last five years. [113626]

Mike Penning: For the purpose of the response we have taken “authorised testing centres” to mean authorised testing facilities (ATFs) which are privately owned testing stations.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has received one complaint about the level of service at an ATF and this was in 2012.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average waiting time was for tests for each category of vehicle at each authorised testing centre in each of the last five years. [113627]

26 Jun 2012 : Column 252W

Mike Penning: For the purpose of the response we have taken “authorised testing centres” to mean authorised testing facilities (ATFs) which are privately owned testing stations.

VOSA does not record test waiting times at ATFs as management of test bookings is entirely within the control of the individual ATF.

Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) highest, (b) median, (c) median full-time equivalent and (d) lowest full-time equivalent salary was paid by (i) her Department and (ii) its public bodies in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13. [112478]

Norman Baker: The table below shows the highest, median, median full-time equivalent and the lowest full-time equivalent salary paid by the Department for Transport and its public bodies in each of the last 4 financial years.

£
  HighestMedianMedian FTELowest FTE

2009-10

Department for Transport

179,655

36,960

36,960

12,041

 

Public Bodies

350,000

66,560

66,560

15,053

      

2010-11

Department for Transport

179,655

37,840

37,840

12,041

 

Public Bodies

350,000

62,264

62,264

15,204

      

2011-12

Department for Transport

170,000

38,720

38,720

12,291

 

Public Bodies

250,000

51,282

53,098

13,946

      

2012-13

Department for Transport

165,000

38,720

38,720

12,541

 

Public Bodies

250,000

54,166

54,166

13,946

Railways

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information her Department holds on the implementation of National Rail's tree clearance programme in relation to (a) environmental assessments and (b) community consultations; what estimate she has made of the number of trees that have been felled in the last five years; how many such trees were felled during bird breeding seasons; on how many occasions British Transport Police have investigated complaints relating to tree felling; what estimate she has made of the total area of trees to be felled in the next five years; what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the programme; and if she will make a statement. [113712]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport does not hold the information requested. Network Rail is a private sector company limited by guarantee, and tree and vegetation management on the rail network is an operational matter for the company.

It is important for Network Rail to engage with local communities affected by the company's vegetation management policy and this is an issue I have raised with the company.

Information in relation to tree felling complaints investigated by the BTP is not held by the Department for Transport but by the BTP, who can be contacted at:

British Transport Police

25 Camden Road

London

NW1 9LN

e-mail: parliament@btp.pnn.police.uk

Railways: Electrification

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had on electrifying the railway between the East Coast Main Line at Northallerton and Middlesbrough station. [113629]

Mrs Villiers: We have asked Network Rail to carry out an assessment of the cost and business case for electrifying the line between Northallerton and Middlesbrough and the results are expected soon.

26 Jun 2012 : Column 253W

Railways: Safety

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contribution her Department is making to the Rail Safety and Standards Board's re-writing of railway safety rules; what the timetable is for the re-write; how and when the revised rules will come into effect; and if she will make a statement. [113855]

Mrs Villiers: The RSSB (formerly the Rail Standards and Safety Board) is responsible for facilitating the work of the Industry Standards Committees that determine the Railway Group Standards, including the Rule Book. These committees are subject to processes that determine the industry consultations required and the timescale for introduction of any revision.

The role of the Department for Transport (DFT) is limited in this context. DFT officials are observers at the RSSB Standards Committees that manage Railway Group Standards. The Department is also consulted on significant changes as part of the industry wide process.

A schedule of the RSSB's review of the Rule Book is available on their website at

http://www.rssb.co.uk/RGS/Pages/rulebookandnational.aspx

The RSSB should be contacted directly for further information on their standards processes.

School Crossing Patrols

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department issues guidance on the criteria for determining when school crossing patrols could be implemented by local highway authorities; and when the minimum national requirements for a school crossing patrol staffed by volunteers are to be introduced. [113930]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not issue guidance on criteria for determining when school crossing patrols could be implemented by local authorities.

The Road Traffic Regulation of 1984 delegates power to local authorities to make arrangements for patrolling places where children cross roads on their way to or from school, but does not impose a duty on them to do so.

The Department has no plans to introduce a minimum national requirement for a school crossing patrol staffed by volunteers.

Transport: Rural Areas

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department plans to take to improve transport links in rural areas. [113714]

26 Jun 2012 : Column 254W

Norman Baker: The responsibility for local transport links in rural areas lies with the local transport authorities, who are able to use the Integrated Transport capital funding provided by Government to improve transport links in their rural areas.

In March I published ‘Green Light for Buses’ which includes the commitment to support local transport authorities in their ability to procure non-commercial services, including more flexible, innovative options such as community buses.

In December 2011 I announced a second £10m tranche of the Supporting Community Transport Fund for local authorities in rural areas to help kick-start schemes where commercial services are not profitable and local transport authorities have chosen not to fund services under the powers available to them.

Some of the Local Authority Major Transport Schemes being funded by the Government will improve links to, through and between rural areas. In addition, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) attracted successful bids supporting schemes that improve transport links in rural areas.

We also support community rail schemes and many of the 32 lines or services designated under the Community Rail Development Strategy serve rural areas.

The Coalition Government plans to publish a Rural Statement shortly.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's budget was allocated to (a) testing and (b) enforcement in each of the last five years. [113625]

Mike Penning: The total costs allocated to VOSA Testing and Enforcement for the past five years has been:

Testing
 £ million

2007-08

69.9

2008-09

69.8

2009-10

59.1

2010-11

52.1

2011-12

51.9

Enforcement
 £ million

2007-08

32.3

2008-09

44.8

2009-10

49.4

2010-11

42.3

2011-12

39.0