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Unleaded Fuel

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): At a meeting of the EU Environment Council in June 1997, the UK and its partners agreed to a ban on the sale of leaded petrol from 1 January 2000, apart from a small percentage (0.5 per cent. maximum) for use by classic and historic vehicles. In the meantime, and supported by the duty differential between leaded and unleaded petrol, sales of leaded petrol will continue to decline from the present level of 27 per cent. of total petrol sales as older vehicles are scrapped. After 1 January 2000, unleaded petrols with the addition of non toxic lead-replacement additives are expected to be offered for use by older vehicles that may require protection against engine wear. The British Standards Institution is currently consulting on a common specification for such fuels.

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Small Cetaceans

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the decline in numbers of smaller cetaceans during the last decade; and what action they propose to take to arrest that decline.

Baroness Hayman: During 1994 the UK worked with several other states in a comprehensive survey of regional waters to assess the abundance of small cetaceans. The survey was the first of its kind and comparative data have yet to be obtained.

All cetaceans are subject to statutory protection in UK waters, and the UK is signatory to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS). Nationally, and regionally, we are taking a precautionary approach in seeking to assess and address natural and anthropogenic activities on cetaceans.

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Non-domestic Rates: Distributable Amount Calculation

Lord Evans of Parkside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will set out the basis of the calculations of the distributable amount of non-domestic rates for 1998-99.

Baroness Hayman: The distributable amount of non-domestic rates in England for 1998-99 will be £12,524 million. This is based on a non-domestic rate multiplier of 0.474 and includes an allowance of £360 million for an Exchequer payment to the non-domestic rates pool to compensate for the shortfall which would otherwise occur as a result of the regulations under Section 58 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to phase in the effects of the 1995 revaluation on rate bills.

The calculation for 1998-99, and the prior-year figures on which this is based, are set out in the table below:

2 Dec 1997 : Column WA187

National non-domestic rates--Calculation of distributable amount
£ million

1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99
final outturnprovisional outturnprovisional outturnestimated in-year contribution
1. Income from local lists
Multiplier (p)43.244.945.847.4
Gross rate yield12,78113,36913,51813,843
(i) Reliefs
(a) Net transitional relief-731-546-497-616
(b) Empty properties-1,054-1,014-1,098-1,137
(c) Charitable-445-482-535-535
(d) Discretionary-26-77-181-50
Net yield after reliefs10,52411,25111,20711,504
(ii) Collection costs/reductions to contributions
(a) Costs of collection-75-76-79-79
(b) Losses on collection-144-148-154-160
(c) City of London offset-7-7-7-7
Total contribution in respect of year10,29911,02010,96811,259
(iii) Adjustments
Repayments/interest payments-1,005-363-350-426
Total adjustments-1,005-363-350-426
Net local yield9,29410,65710,61810,833
2. Income from central list
Net central list yield1,1921,2211,2001,211
3. Income from crown contributions in aid
Net crown yield481487485445
Total NDR yield10,96712,36512,30312,489
4. Exchequer contributions
Total exchequer contributions505429400360
Total NNDR pool payments (1+2+3+4)11,47212,79412,70312,849
5. Adjustments
Surplus brought forward-1,177-1,059-1,002-326
Combined total10,29511,73411,70112,524
Distributable amount11,35412,73612,02712,524
Surplus carried forward-1,059-1,002-326--


The amounts shown are those recorded in the post end-year (NNDR3) returns. For 1997-98 the amounts shown are the estimated outturn for the year based mainly upon authorities' provisional contributions to the non-domestic rating pool.

1. Item 1: The gross calculated rate yield represents the total value of non-domestic hereditaments on local rating lists times the multiplier.

2. Item 1(i)(a): The transitional decrease adjustment includes the estimated amount of rates that will not be recouped from local list ratepayers under the transitional arrangements made by regulations under section 58 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

3. Item 1(i)(b): The empty property relief adjustments include voids and partially occupied hereditaments. The 1998-99 figure includes an allowance for the increase in the gross rates yield.

4. Item 1(i)(c): Charitable rate relief. The 1998-99 figure includes mandatory relief for village shops under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997. As for empty property relief.

5. Item 1(i)(d): Discretionary relief granted to charities, non-profit making organisations and for other reasons including, for 1998-99, discretionary relief for village shops and other rural businesses granted under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997. As for charitable rate relief.

6. Item 1(ii)(a)&(b): The allowances for the costs and losses incurred by local authorities in collecting non-domestic rates from ratepayers.

7. Item 1(ii)(c): City offset--The amount which the City of London will not be required to pay into the non-domestic rating pool. It is the amount which will be retained by the authority to meet its own expenditure.

8. Item 1(iii): Net adjustment in respect of appeals and other amendments to the rating list affecting liability for previous years rates settled in that year.

9. Item 2: The rateable value of non-domestic hereditaments on the central rating list times the multiplier, less the net effect of transitional arrangements, and adjusted for appeals and other changes in respect of previous years.

10. Item 3: The 1998-99 figure for crown properties includes an allowance for the effect of transition.

11. Item 4: The contribution from central government to offset the amount of the Secretary of State's estimate of income foregone as a result of transitional arrangements established by regulations under Section 58 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.

2 Dec 1997 : Column WA189

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