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Since April 2005 when HMRC was formed, the department is unaware of any settlements or payments resulting from a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1989.

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Unauthorised disclosures would not be reported as acts of malfeasance, and therefore HMRC has no information of the type requested.

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: For reasons of taxpayer confidentiality, HMRC does not comment on matters relating to individual taxpayers.

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: For reasons of taxpayer confidentiality, HMRC does not comment on matters relating to individual taxpayers.



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Where allegations of malfeasance are made, they are passed to HMRC's internal governance unit to action as appropriate taking account of all of the relevant circumstances.

Transport: Appraisal

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The carbon impact of an intervention appraised under the new approach to appraisal is directly proportional to the change in the fuel consumed. For highways, fuel consumption is related to speed. The relationship with speed is not linear. Fuel consumed per kilometre is high at low speeds, initially falls as speeds increase, but then increases again.

Thus, an intervention may improve speeds (and, therefore, provide time savings) but result in either an increase or a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon. Which outcome occurs will depend on where speeds with and without the intervention lie on the fuel consumption curve.

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: This is a complex project and the researchers are still examining the evidence. However, the work is drawing to a close and the report should be published in full shortly.

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport is working to ensure that the graduated fixed penalty and deposit scheme provisions are brought into force as soon as practicable—it is likely to be by spring 2009. Implementation of the schemes is a key priority for the department, but involves significant operational detail and a number of statutory instruments have yet to be made.



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Transport: Rural Areas

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): The RDAs' remit does not include the specific provision of transport infrastructure. The RDA role in relation to transport is focused on influencing and aligning the investment decisions of others rather than direct delivery or funding.

Where a transport project has a clear economic benefit which is linked to the delivery of a regional economic strategy (RES) objective, a RDA may contribute to that project in a way that reflects the economic benefits associated with the RES or delivery vehicle.

Therefore, to identify spending over the past five years on specific projects involving transport services or infrastructure in rural areas would exceed the cost-benefit threshold.

Transport: Traffic Enforcement Cameras

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport (DfT) does not monitor the placement of mobile speed cameras as this is entirely a decision for local partnerships. DfT Circular 01/2007, “Use of Speed and Red-light Cameras for Traffic Enforcement: Guidance on Deployment, Visibility and Signing” makes it clear that the objective of camera deployment is to reduce deaths and injuries on roads by reducing the level and severity of speeding. The guidance highlights the effectiveness of cameras when deployed at locations with a history of accidents. A copy of the guidance is in the Library of the House and is also available on the department's website at www.dft.gov.uk. The department's guidance does not restrict or fetter the police's discretion to enforce anywhere, at any time.

Ulster-Scots

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Rooker: The Government introduced the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006, Section 15 of which amends the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to put the Executive Committee under a duty to adopt a strategy setting out how it proposes to enhance and develop the Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture.

Following the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007, this is now a matter for the devolved Administration.

Waste Management: Brofiscin Quarry

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): I am informed by the Environment Agency that it had previously instructed Brabners Chaffe Street LLP, a firm of external solicitors, to act on its behalf in respect of matters of defamation and reputation.

In connection with correspondence on those issues, the Environment Agency's legal department sent documentation to Brabners Chaffe Street LLP for return to Mr Douglas Gowan.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: I am informed by the Environment Agency Wales that in the context of its investigations pursuant to Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environment Agency is unaware of any admissions of shared liability at Brofiscin Quarry.

(a) The Environment Agency has fully complied with all the subject access requests for information made by Mr Gowan pursuant to the Data Protection Act 1998. Mr Gowan has received all of the personal data to which he is entitled under the Act.(b) I am informed by Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council that it is the responsibility of the Environment Agency Wales to deal with liability matters concerning Brofiscin Quarry. Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council is not the enforcing authority for proving liability issues at Brofiscin Quarry.

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Waste Management: Plastic Packaging

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Both sets of packaging legislation in the UK, the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 and the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended), aim to minimise the amount of packaging used in the first place, and therefore reduce all types of packaging waste. The regulations also encourage reuse of packaging and increase the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.

The Packaging Essential Requirements Regulations transpose into UK law the provisions of the EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) relating to the requirements which must be satisfied in order to be placed on the market. These regulations place a number of requirements on all packaging placed on the market in the UK, including a requirement that packaging shall be designed, produced and commercialised in such a way as to permit its reuse or recovery, including recycling, and to minimise its impact on the environment when packaging waste or residues from packaging waste management operations are disposed of.

The requirements guarantee the free circulation of compliant packaging on the single market. For the UK to go beyond these requirements risks contravening the directive's single market goals, as any additional measure could be regarded as a barrier to trade.

Although the Government cannot force producers to use specific materials in their packaging or products, we do encourage them to minimise packaging, use recyclable materials and take steps to ensure that these are recycled as far as possible at disposal. Almost all packaging is in fact recyclable, but whether material is actually recycled is ultimately determined by the local collection and reprocessing facilities available.

The Government are also making it easier for local authorities to plan for, and put in place, the waste infrastructure that is needed on the ground in order to reprocess more recyclable materials.

Water Supply: Nitrates

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): An impact assessment will accompany each draft river basin management plan and both will be subject to a six month consultation, scheduled to commence in late December 2008.

Women: Personal Violence

Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government condemn all intimidation of, and violence against, women and are committed to supporting the development of women's rights across the globe, including in Iraq. The Iraqi Government have consistently made clear their commitment to ensuring women's rights are fully respected. The Iraqi constitution includes provisions to protect women's rights. The Iraqi Ministries of Human Rights and Women are working to ensuring women's rights are fully respected.


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