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Vehicle Excise Duty: Special Types Vehicles

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The current annual rate of Vehicle Excise Duty for a "Special Types" vehicle is £5,170.

    (a) No specific registration figures are kept for these vehicles.

    (b) There were 984 vehicles licensed in the "Special Types" taxation class on 30 September 1998.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current interval between surrender of licence and payment of the refund for:

    (a) "Special Types" vehicles; and

    (b) "PLG" vehicles.[HL1043]

Lord Whitty: The time taken for the delivery from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency of a refund for a Special Types vehicles is normally within six weeks, whilst the time taken for the delivery of one for PLG vehicles is normally within three weeks.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they consider the likely effect of any significant delay of the refund of "Special Types" Vehicle Excise duty on:

    (a) the cash flow of the haulage operator; and

    (b) the willingness of an operator to tax a vehicle correctly and legally for an occasional "Special Types" abnormal load.[HL1044]

Lord Whitty: Whilst the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions does not

18 Feb 1999 : Column WA95

collect separate figures on the number of operators who fail correctly to license vehicles to carry abnormal loads, there is no evidence to suggest that the current refund procedures are a factor in decisions about licensing taken by operators.

Calf Processing Aid Scheme

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions they have had on the future of the calf processing aid scheme.[HL1035]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): Farmers' organisations have pressed for continuation of the scheme in view of the uncertain situation facing the beef market. When my right honourable friend (the Minister) announced on 16 November 1998 a package of aid for the livestock sector, he extended the life of the scheme until 31 March 1999. He undertook then to keep the scheme under review. Following consultation within Government he has now concluded that, in view of market circumstances, we should further extend the scheme to 31 July 1999.

In view of the need to give certainty about the final end-date of the scheme there will be no further extension. It will end on 31 July.

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Hormone Growth Promoters

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the hormone growth promoters used by United States and Canadian firms in animal feed exported to the United Kingdom, or fed to animals exported to the United Kingdom, are excreted in any form that can read watercourses; and if so, what is their effect on fish, in rivers or estuaries or in the sea areas into which the latter flow.[HL1030]

Lord Donoughue: We are not aware of any hormone growth promoters which are routinely used in animal feeds In any case, the administration of hormone growth promoters to food producing animals has been banned in the European Community since 1988 and imports of feed containing growth promoting hormones would effectively be covered by that ban. In addition, any third country which permits the use of growth promoting hormones is required to guarantee that no animals, and no meat coming from animals, to which they have been administered will be exported to the Community. Imports must be certified accordingly and Commission inspectors verify compliance with all the requirements. These substances will not be excreted by imported animals and they cannot, therefore, affect watercourses or fish, in rivers, estuaries or in sea areas into which the latter flow.

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