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Sudan: Darfur

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We helped to convene two meetings in New York in January between the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and a number of countries to discuss helicopter provision for the African Union/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), after which the DPKO is following up with potential contributing countries. We remain in close contact with the DPKO and partners to discuss how we can continue to support efforts to find helicopters, as well as other support to UNAMID.

Taxation: Non-Domiciles

Lord Burnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The measures announced at PBR change established personal tax rules. Regulatory impact assessments are intended for measures which have a regulatory impact upon business.

The Government announced a review of the residence and domicile personal tax rules in Budget 2002. The Chancellor announced the closure of this review as part of the recent Pre-Budget Report. HM Treasury is currently consulting on how the measures announced in the Pre-Budget Report will be implemented. This consultation runs until 28 February.

Treasury Ministers have recently sought to clarify that there will be no retrospection in the treatment of trusts and the tax changes will not apply to gains accrued or realised prior to the changes coming into effect. The inheritance tax rules were outside the scope of the residence and domicile review.

Transport: Overseas Lorries

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport (DfT) has carried out a study of options for compiling a database of foreign haulage operators and their vehicles to assist in the targeting of enforcement activity, including a “vignette” scheme whereby lorries would pay a charge for use of the roads for a given period of time. DfT published a progress report alongside the 2007 Pre-Budget Report. The study has raised a number of legal, technical and practical issues and DfT is considering the way forward.

Transport: Somerset

Lord Cameron of Dillington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government are currently considering the independent panel’s report, along with all the representations previously submitted on the draft regional spatial strategy. At this stage no conclusions have been reached on any of the panel’s recommendations.

We are aiming to publish the Government’s proposed changes to the draft regional spatial strategy in late spring. There will then be a 12-week period of public consultation on the proposed changes. Following consideration of comments and views arising from that consultation, we expect to publish the final regional spatial strategy by the end of 2008.

The final regional spatial strategy will set out the regional priorities for transport investment needed to deliver growth and to meet wider objectives. We will take into account the final regional spatial strategy in determining the Government’s priorities for transport and other investment in infrastructure.

Young Offenders: Courses

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There are currently 154 young offenders at HMYOI Aylesbury on the waiting list for the enhanced thinking skills course, 117 awaiting places on a reconciliation workshop (which encompasses victim empathy and restorative justice), two waiting for the

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next family man relationship skills course and 31 awaiting a place on the assertiveness course.

It is not possible to accurately identify average waiting times. However, it is anticipated that indeterminate-sentence prisoners will be able to access

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the above programmes within 12 months, four months, six months and 20 weeks respectively. For prisoners serving other sentences, access to the programmes will take place within 12 to 18 months, 12 months, six months and 20 weeks respectively.

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