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Lord Davies of Oldham: Ownership of the Olympic Park site transferred to the London Development Agency (LDA) on 2 July, in line with the Olympic timetable. The LDA will hand the Olympic site to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) at the end of July.
The LDA and ODA will produce a legacy masterplan framework (LMF) which will set out the vision for the legacy of the Olympic Park and its relationship with the surrounding communities. The five host boroughs and local communities will be fully involved in the development of the LMF and its vision for the future of the area.
The first meeting of the Olympic Park Regeneration Steering Group, chaired by the Mayor of London and on which the Minister for the Olympics and the Minister for Housing sit, alongside the mayors and leaders of the host boroughs, took place on 19 July. This group provides guidance and direction to the development of the LMF.
Whether they will abolish the frozen pensions regulations for United Kingdom citizens who have retired to the Falkland Islands and Dependencies; and what would be (a) the economic, and (b) the political implications of abolishing the regulations. [HL4935]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): We have no plans to change the arrangements to uprate state pension for recipients residing in the Falkland Islands and Dependencies. It would not be appropriate to single them out and be faced with the possibility of a legal challenge for adopting different uprating policies in countries where the pension is currently frozen.
The sample of data relating to pensioners in the Falkland Islands and Dependencies is too small to make an accurate assessment of the cost of unfreezing their entitlement. However, the current estimate is that it would cost around £440 million in 2007-08 to bring all frozen-rate pensions up to the current rate, and this would be an ongoing cost increasing year on year.
When they last received representations from the Government of Canada concerning the frozen pensions regulations for United Kingdom citizens who have retired to Canada; and what was the response to those representations. [HL5002]
What was the outcome of the three meetings held recently with Australian Ministers and officials at which the issue of not uprating the United Kingdom state pension paid to persons living in Australia was raised. [HL5003]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 18 July (WA40), whether, while stations in the East Midlands franchise area remain without ticket vending machines, they will take action to ensure that revenue protection staff on trains adopt a conciliatory attitude to passengers travelling without tickets. [HL5054]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Revenue protection is a matter for the franchisee. The Department for Transport would expect the revenue protection staff to be fully trained in the appropriate people management competences, as well as maximising revenue collection. The national rail conditions of carriage requirement to hold a ticket makes it plain that before passengers travel they must have a ticket or other authority to travel which is valid for the train they intend to use.
Whether, as part of their new investment strategy for the railways set out in the White Paper of 24 July, they intend to replace the single track line between Salisbury and Yeovil with a modern double track system throughout its length. [HL5083]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The new South Western franchise includes a commitment by South West Trains to operate hourly services from London Waterloo to Exeter subject to the necessary infrastructure being in place to allow such a service to operate. Network Rail has committed to provide this infrastructure, which requires the provision of additional loops, but not the full doubling of the route from Salisbury to Exeter.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Thames Gateway A13/A130 Sadlers Farm Junction scheme being promoted by Essex County Council was granted programme entry in July 2006 with an agreed departmental funding contribution of £63.6 million. The scheme will be to provide an underpass linking the A13 west to the A130 north, to convert the existing junction into a conventional roundabout with signalised entry and to widen other roads linking into the junction. This is expected to reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic network.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The National Road Maintenance Condition Survey for 2005 showed that the 10-year plan interim target to halt carriageway deterioration by 2004 had been achieved. We have encouraged local authorities to produce asset management plans for local roads. As more of these become available
26 July 2007 : Column WA124
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The UK Roads Board, which brings together representatives of national and local government engaged in highways maintenance, has published Well-Maintained Highways, a code of practice for highways maintenance which the Department for Transport endorses. The code, which can be found at www.ukroadsliaisonqroup.orq, provides guidance on best practice for waste management and recycling.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which receives funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, encourages local authorities to specify recycled aggregates in their highway contracts. WRAPs recycled roads campaign and related procurement guidance have helped to more than double, between 2005 and 2006, the number of local authorities directly specifying recycled aggregates in their highway maintenance contracts. Twenty-one per cent of local authorities now have such a policy in place.
In the most recent year for which figures are available, what would be the gain to the Exchequer of reducing the generosity of capital gains tax taper relief for business assets so that the proportion of gains chargeable was 75 per cent after one year and 50 per cent after two years or more; and [HL4872]
In the most recent year for which figures are available, what would be the gain to the Exchequer of increasing the length of the capital gains tax taper for business assets from two years to 10 years, as was the case for assets disposed of during 19992000; and [HL4873]
In the most recent year for which figures are available, what would be the gain to the Exchequer of increasing the length of the capital gains tax taper for business assets from two years to four years, as was the case for assets disposed of during 2000-01; and [HL4874]
In the most recent year for which figures are available, what would be the gain to the Exchequer of reforming capital gains tax taper relief for business assets so that the proportion of gains chargeable was (a) 90 per cent after one year; (b) 80 per cent after two years; (c) 70 per cent after three years; (d) 60 per cent after four years; and (e) 50 per cent after five years or more. [HL4875]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The estimated yields are calculated on the same receipts basis as the estimates of cost taper relief given in Table A3.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2007. They do not take into account any behavioural changes which would occur if taper rates were amended. We assume that those behavioural changes would reduce the yields outlined below.
The estimated gain to the Exchequer of reducing the capital gains tax taper relief for business assets so that the proportion of gains chargeable was 75 per cent after one year and 50 per cent after two years is as follows:
|Year||Estimated Yield (£m)|
|Year||Estimated Yield (£m)|
|Year||Estimated Yield (£m)|
The estimated gain to the Exchequer of reforming capital gains tax taper relief for business assets so that the proportion of gains chargeable was (a) 90 per cent
26 July 2007 : Column WA126
|Year||Estimated Yield (£m)|
Further to the reply by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Kennedy, on 12 July (HC Deb, col. 1605), how long was the period to which she was referring when she said that non-domiciled taxpayers paid £3 billion in tax. [HL4981]
Whether European Union law places any constraint upon the unilateral adoption of higher road safety, vehicle construction and use requirements or driver licensing requirements within the United Kingdom. [HL5115]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Where there are no relevant EC measures that are intended to address health and safety concerns, member states are generally free to retain their domestic requirements to address those concerns. To the extent that EU measures only prescribe minimum standards, member states are free to apply higher standards in their domestic legislation. Member states are not free to apply higher standards where there are harmonising measures at EU level unless those measures provide specific exceptions. However, in all circumstances, higher standards must be proportionate and must not be disguised restrictions on trade.
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