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Transport of Dangerous Substances: Proposed Directive

Lord Clinton-Davis asked Her Majesty's Government:

Viscount Goschen: The UK voted against the proposed directive because there had been no proper assessment of its benefits and costs, we did not think it

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would necessarily make the movement of dangerous goods safer, and we saw no need for Community action on the matter.

RAF Northolt: Business Aviation

Lord Cochrane of Cults asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to assist business aviation at RAF Northolt.

Viscount Goschen: The Government carried out a consultation exercise last year with business users on the possibility of creating a civil enclave at RAF Northolt to make better use of the existing capacity. Responses indicated that the high capital costs and physical constraints would make this financially unviable. The Government do not intend to pursue this proposal.

However, it is clear that the business aviation industry would welcome increased activity at Northolt through extending shared use of the facilities. The Government will consult further with the industry, and take into account the views of the local communities and other interested parties, to identify detailed working arrangements at Northolt which could improve the service offered to users and to business in the south east more generally.

Habitual Residence Test

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of their answer of 20th March 1995 (WA 59) what costs they expect to fall (a) to the budget of the Department of Social Security and (b) to public funds as a result of the introduction of the habitual residence test, including the costs of ill health of unsuccessful claimants and the costs of taking their children into care.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): It was estimated in November 1994 that, following the introduction of the habitual residence test, the costs to the budget of the Department of Social Security for 1994–95 would be £2.4 million. Given the current much higher than expected level of claims processed, the eventual costs for 1994–95 are likely to be substantially higher than that amount. Estimates of costs to other public funds are not available.

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