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Supreme Court

Lord Selsdon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): As announced by my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 14 June 2007, the estimated set-up costs for the UK Supreme Court are £36.7 million for capital construction, which will be met over a 30-year period through rental payments of £2.1 million per annum, increasing at a rate of 2.5 per cent per annum, plus £20.2 million of other set-up costs (including provision of library, visitor and dining facilities). The only change to this estimate is an additional £2 million for repair work (as announced on 3 July 2008) and new security measures (where we will update the House with costs once we have the final figure). The UK Supreme Court will open at the beginning of the legal year in October 2009.

Supreme Court: Justices

Lord Selsdon asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government believe that the exclusion of those appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 who become Justices of the Supreme Court will have minimal impact on the House, as the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary play little active part in the work of the House while they sit full-time in the Appellate Committee. Retired members of the Supreme Court who are Members of the House will be able to resume sitting and voting in the House.

Taxation: VAT

Lord Cope of Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Under current EU agreements, there is no scope for applying a reduced rate of VAT to repairs on buildings and the Government have therefore made no specific estimate of the potential costs or employment impacts of this. However, the Government keep all taxes under review and as part of this process broader estimates have been made of the wider application of reduced rates in the housing sector. Such estimates take into account a number of factors including: total relevant expenditure sourced from BERR's construction statistics annual; the estimated amount of spending already reduced rated; the price elasticity of demand; the expected rate of pass-on of the VAT rate cut; and the current size of the informal economy and its

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potential for reduction. The Government have noted the experiences of other member states in their experimental application of limited reduced rates to certain labour-intensive services, which the European Commission first evaluated in 2003 in Commission Staff Working Paper COM(2003)309.

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): We have no plans to conduct a campaign as there is a risk that existing vehicle cab and door construction may not be designed to cope with the weight and wind loading created by fitting additional mirrors. This could lead to premature failure and liability claims.

However, we understand that some of the existing mirrors on the passenger side of these earlier large goods vehicles may already comply with the field of view requirements for the new legislation.

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