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Sport: Anti-doping

Lord Pendry asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have shown their full support for the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which resulted in its adoption at the 33rd UNESCO general conference in October 2005.

Conventions adopted by the UNESCO general conference are not submitted for signature by UNESCO state parties. Instead, UNESCO conventions are authenticated by the signatures of the president of the general conference and the UNESCO director-general.

Following receipt of the authenticated text of this convention in January, the convention was published as a command paper with its associated explanatory memorandum on 3 February. The convention is currently before Parliament. We hope to have completed the ratification process in the spring.

The convention will complement the UK's national anti-doping policy by setting it within an international legal framework that clearly sets out our responsibilities in the fight against doping in sport. In particular, the convention will support the activities of the UK's national anti-doping organisation, UK Sport, in helping British sport to become compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. UK Sport's national anti-doping programme cost £2.5 million in 2004–05.

Sport: TV Income

Lord Pendry asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have made no comprehensive assessment of the financial investment in grass-roots sport from television contracts. However, the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) has established and administers a voluntary code, which is independent of government, relating to broadcasting rights and grass-roots sport.

The signatories, which include 10 national governing bodies of sport, have undertaken to invest at least 5 per cent of broadcasting income in the development of their sports in order to ensure that the next generation of competitors has the support and facilities necessary to succeed at the highest level.

Tax Credits

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McKenzie of Luton: The information requested is not available.

Taxation: HMRC Questionnaire

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The Partnership Enhancement Programme is a HMRC initiative that brings together executives from the private and public large business sector to operate as independent research groups on strategic projects.

The survey was sent to the chairmen of more than 500 UK FTSE listed large corporates and to associated business representative bodies. The response rate was 31 per cent.

The anonymous responses are being collated and will be made available in due course. The summary report will contain a statistical analysis of the responses to Question 10.

Taxation: Anti-avoidance Legislation

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord McKenzie of Luton: The 1998 and 1999 consultation documents, the responses (excluding those where confidentiality was requested) and HM Customs and Excise's summary of the responses on VAT have been deposited in the Library. The Inland Revenue did not issue a summary document.

Releasing internal documents relating to the introduction or operation of a general anti-avoidance rule would be inappropriate. Doing so would harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion and also prejudice the collection of tax.

The Government continue to keep under review a range of options to encourage compliance and deter non-compliance, ensuring fairness of the tax system.

Transport: HGV Drivers

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Department for Transport has no plans to introduce more testing of heavy goods vehicles licence holders to enable the early identification of sleep apnoea, as it believes that current procedures are sufficient.

Transport: Lorry Drivers' Hours

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Colleagues in the Department for Transport are in touch with their counterparts in the Irish ministry in Dublin.
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I understand that the Irish Minister for Transport is looking to take further action to address the problem, and we are seeking further information on what form that might take.

Universities: Student Finance

Baroness Greenfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The Aimhigher programme, part funded by my department and part funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, aims to raise the attainment levels of young people and their aspirations towards higher education. UNIAID has recently made a successful application at a national level for Aimhigher funding for a collaborative project which will develop teaching materials based around UNIAID's online student finance programmes. Additionally, local Aimhigher partnerships may be providing funds to other organisations using their own allocations of Aimhigher funds, but details are not held centrally.

This financial year the department has supported the Educational Grants Advisory Service (EGAS) with a grant of £65,000. EGAS offers students, especially disadvantaged students, expert guidance and advice to enable them to secure funding for education and training.
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