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14 Nov 2008 : Column WA147



14 Nov 2008 : Column WA147

Written Answers

Friday 14 November 2008

Airports: Stansted

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport's forecasts of UK air passenger demand and CO2 emissions were last updated and published in November 2007 in UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts. This is available at www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/environmentalissues/ ukairdemandandco2forecasts/airpassdemandfullreport.pdf.

Demand forecasts for Stansted are presented alongside forecasts for other airports on pages 111 and 112 of the report.

We expect to provide an update to this report, taking account of revised economic projections, when we announce policy decisions on the future development of Heathrow Airport later this year.

Aviation: Air Contamination

Lord Tyler asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Cranfield University is actively engaged on the cabin air sampling programme, and about 40 per cent of the planned flights have now been tested by a scientist on-board. The timetable is constrained by the five participating airlines and by resources, as the samples are being taken by named individuals who have received special briefing by Cranfield to ensure a consistent methodology and secure chain of custody for delivering the samples to the laboratories for analysis. It is likely that this phase of the research will last until the spring. The findings will then be peer-reviewed before being published as a whole. I hope that this will prove possible as soon as practicable.

Badgers

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The survey in the mid-1980s (published in 1990) was carried out by the Nature Conservancy Council. The survey in the mid-1990s (published in 1997) was carried out by the People's Trust for Endangered Species.

My department's estimate is based on these surveys which put the badger population in Great Britain at around 250,000 to 350,000, though there are considerable uncertainties attached to this estimate.

Neither Defra nor Natural England is planning any surveys of the badger population in England before 2010.

Benefits: Employment and Support Allowance

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Claimants to employment and support allowance who are awarded benefit enter a 13-week assessment phase during which the work capability assessment, which determines continued entitlement to benefit, is conducted. We have set the assessment phase at 13 weeks because that is the estimated time taken to complete the assessment process for almost all claimants.

The 13-week period applies to most claimants for reasons of equity. It would be unfair to move some customers onto the higher main phase rate of benefit earlier than others because of circumstances beyond their control. There are exceptions for people who are terminally ill or for people who have previously claimed and returned to the benefit under the linking rules.

During the assessment phase, the benefit is paid at the same level as jobseeker's allowance, which helps reduce perverse incentives to claim employment and support allowance rather than jobseeker's allowance.



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Under employment and support allowance, claimants receive an increased rate of benefit at the 14th week, much sooner than under the incapacity benefits system, where higher rates are typically payable after a year of incapacity.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We are unable to provide the precise breakdown requested because in some cases we do not have the address of some of the owners of the cats that were confirmed with bovine TB; we only have the address of the private veterinary practice that submitted the samples where TB was suspected, as they are required to do under TB legislation. Most of the private veterinary practices that submitted the samples were from towns.

British Waterways

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): British Waterways has paid £40,425 for public relations consultants in England and Wales this financial year.

Co-operation Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Government have no role in the appointment of the chairman of Co-operation Ireland.

Crime: Fuel Smuggling

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:



14 Nov 2008 : Column WA150

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Estimates of the revenue lost through fuel smuggling, or indeed any illegal consumption of diesel and petrol in Northern Ireland, are not available because it is not yet possible to split revenue losses between those resulting from the illicit market and those from legitimate cross-border shopping. However, information relating to the revenue not collected due to non-UK-duty-paid consumption of fuel in Northern Ireland was made available to the House of Lords Library at the time of the October 2007 Pre-Budget Report, in the document entitled Measuring Indirect Tax Losses2007.

The most recent published figures for both the petrol and diesel revenue not collected in Northern Ireland are also shown in the following tables.

Northern Ireland: Diesel: Revenue Not Collected and Market Shares: Non-UK-Duty-Paid Market1 2
2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-06

NUKDP Market Share:

58%

53%

51%

42%

43%

Associated Revenue Losses (£ million):

210

210

220

190

210

Northern Ireland: Petrol: Revenue Not Collected and Market Shares: Non-UK-Duty-Paid Market1 2
2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-06

NUKDP Market Share:

18%

18%

18%

13%

14%

Associated Revenue Losses (£ million):

60

60

60

50

50

1 Figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million or 1 %.

2 Estimates include duty and VAT.

Estimates for 2006-07 are not currently available. They are expected to be published at the time of the 2008 Pre-Budget Report.

Defra: Staff

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The number of inspectors employed by Defra, and in inspectorates currently within the core department, is shown in the table below.



14 Nov 2008 : Column WA151

YearDrinking Water InspectorsPlant Health and Seeds InspectorsTotal

2001

18

N/A

2002

20

N/A

2003

19

93

112

2004

23

92

115

2005

21

95

116

2006

24

110

134

2007

24

110

134

2008

25

86

111

Information on the number of inspectors working in Defra's executive agencies over this period could be provided only by incurring disproportionate cost.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: For core Defra (Defra excluding its agencies) there were two schemes run in 2007-08 which were split up into a number of tranches. Within these schemes, the first £30,000 payment was tax free and after that normal tax rates applied. In total 627 people left under voluntary early retirement (VER)/voluntary early severance (VES), at an estimated total cost of £51 million. This was split as follows:

Number of LeaversTotal Cost

VER

250

£28 million

VES

377

£23 million

This was split between grades as follows:



14 Nov 2008 : Column WA152

GradeNumber

AA

37

AO

127

EO

145

HEO

132

SEO

57

Grade 7

62

Grade 6

16

CONTR

3

TYPIST

2

PS

10

Band C

1

Band D

1

SGB 2

12

SO

1

SPS

3

SSO

1

HSO

1

SGB1

4

FCPB 2

1

PHSI 1

1

Grand Total

627


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