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Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 October (WA 108), how the European Union emissions trading scheme allowances for the cement, food, drink and tobacco and offshore sectors in 2007 compared with the emissions produced in those sectors; and, if the allowances were greater than the emissions, whether they were allocated at the expense of other sectors; and whether any balance can be carried forward to 2008. [HL5945]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The table below shows that all the sectors in question have a greater number of allowances than verified emissions for 2007.
|Allocations 2007||Emissions 2007||Difference between A&V||Difference of Verified|
The UK decided to use a two-stage approach to allocate allowances to EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) participants. First, the total number of allowances was allocated to sectors. The sector-level allocations are then further distributed to individual installations within those sectors.
LEP are relatively insulated from international competition and are able to pass the costs of carbon to consumers in the form of higher electricity prices. The sector is therefore able to face a reduction in its allocation without a substantial impact on its competitive position. For this reason, the UK decided that the LEP sector should receive a lower level of free allocation. All others sectors were treated equally in terms of the allocation methodology.
Whether, following the death of Baby P, they will review the level of court fees required of local authorities to take cases before the family proceedings court and the Family Division of the High Court, so as to remove any discouragement created by the fees from presenting cases of potentially endangered children for decision by judges. [HL6474]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Children's services have a statutory obligation to protect the interests of children and it would be unlawful for them to avoid taking court proceedings for financial reasons. There is no evidence to suggest that local authorities would act inappropriately due to financial pressures. However, Lord Laming's review will be examining this issue in particular.
Forty million pounds per annum was transferred to local authorities to cover the costs of the increased court fees. This is expected to exceed the total court fees payable as a result of the increases.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): On 1 October 2008 new post-contractual regulations under the Consumer Credit Act 2006 came into force. Lenders are now required to provide their customers with clearer information on the state of their credit card accounts. Statements must now include the amounts and dates of payments and interest and charges within the period of the statement. Information provided must also detail the consequences of failing to make payments or of only making minimum payments.
In addition, prison rules state that the purpose of the training and treatment of convicted prisoners shall be to encourage and assist them to lead a good and useful life. While individual sentencing decisions are entirely a matter for the courts within the limits provided by Parliament and having regard to any sentencing guidelines, the Government have made clear that they believe prison should be reserved for serious, dangerous and seriously persistent offenders and that other offenders are normally better punished in the community.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 11 November (WA 119), how many of the cases considered by the war crimes team in the UK Border Agency have resulted in (a) refusal of entry into the United Kingdom, (b) deportation or removal to another country, (c) referral for police
26 Nov 2008 : Column WA300
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Between 2004 and October 2008, the war crimes team has been notified by other parts of UK Border Agency of 138 adverse decisions made following a recommendation from the team. This will include decisions to refuse entry, indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation, and exclusions from refugee protection. It is not possible to break this figure down further into separate decision categories without incurring disproportionate costs. Separate records show that 22 cases have been referred to the Metropolitan Police for inquiry.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): That Question was answered on 24 November, Official Report, col. WA234. I apologise for the delay in answering the noble Lords Question, which was due to an internal administrative error.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 4 December 2006 (HL 923), what has been achieved as a result of the €38.1 million provided by the European Union Commission and the second tranche of €120 million, as approved by the PHARE committee; how these funds and related schemes were administered; and by whom. [HL5385]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): These amounts were part of the overall €259 million of aid which the EU is providing to the Turkish Cypriot community, to help bring them closer to Europe and so facilitate a settlement. This money is being used to fund practical projects, developed in partnership with the Turkish Cypriot community, aimed at improving the quality of life of ordinary Turkish Cypriots. As of May 2008, €105 million had been tendered for, €49 million contracted and €12 million spent. While implementation of the regulation has been slower than originally anticipated, the benefits are already being felt. The European Commission is responsible for administering the assistance. A programme team of Commission officials and contract agents was
26 Nov 2008 : Column WA301
Ongoing projects include a successful programme of scholarships for Turkish Cypriot students and teachers to study and teach in EU universities, grant schemes for civil society and targeted support to farmers to upgrade their equipment. Full details are contained in the Commission's most recent annual report on the implementation of the financial aid package. We agree with their conclusion that the current settlement negotiations will create a positive framework for facilitating the implementation and the success of this aid package and look forward to rapid implementation of outstanding projects.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement by the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster regarding the data handling report, 25 June 2008 (Official Report, col. 26 WS).
Data loss is a problem both for the private and public sector and the Government take the loss of personal data very seriously. The number of breaches reported to the Information Commissioner's Office reflects the Government's commitment to transparency on data security incidents, as set out in the Data Handling Report. In addition to greater transparency and scrutiny, the Data Handling Report puts in place clear accountability within departments, specific technical measures, and a process of cultural change to ensure the appropriate handling of personal data.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Tunnicliffe on 30 June (WA 5) concerning the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, when the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigation into loss of the disk concluded; and what action it has taken as a result. [HL6489]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: This is an operational matter for the PSNI. I have asked the Chief Constable to reply to the noble Lord directly, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.
Lord Tunnicliffe: Details of the UK's bilateral assistance and imputed multilateral assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the past five years for which data are available are laid out in the tables below.
|Table 1: UK Total Bilateral Gross Public Expenditure on Development 2003-04 to 2007-08, (£thousands)|
|Table 2: Imputed UK Share of Multilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) 2002-03 to 2006-07, (£ thousands)|
Whether they will press the United Nations Security Council to approve a reinforcement of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo force in eastern Congo before the December mandate discussions; and [HL6424]
What assessment they have made of the likelihood of reinforcements reaching the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the next few weeks; and what considerations led the Prime Minister to state that 3,000 extra troops are required; and [HL6425]
Whether any countries have offered a specific number of troops for the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and, if so, what assessment they have made of the number offered, how well equipped they are, and how soon they could be in place; and [HL6426]
Whether the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sufficient capacity until any reinforcements have been deployed; and whether a European Union force could be deployed until such reinforcements are forthcoming; and [HL6428]
What efforts they are making to encourage other states (a) to contribute troops to the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) if its mandate is revised; and (b) to secure short-term reinforcements of MONUC. [HL6429]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK co-sponsored UN Security Council resolution 1843, which was adopted on 20 November, authorised an increase in the UN mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo's (MONUC) force levels of 2,785 military and 300 police. These additional resources were requested by the UN Secretary-General to reinforce MONUC's presence in North Kivu allowing the mission, inter alia, to bolster its capacity to protect civilians; to maintain zones of separation between rebel groups and to increase the mission's mobility. We are pressing to ensure that deployment is as quick as possible. We are working with the UN and international partners to ensure that these additional resources are found and deployed in theatre as soon as possible. Although the UK is not in a position to contribute troops to MONUC given our existing military commitments, we are considering what staff, logistics or other help we can provide to MONUC and to potential troop contributors. We understand that the UN has received expressions of interest from several countries. It is a matter for the UN and the countries in question to announce publicly if they will contribute troops. Clearly it is vital that any troops are capable, correctly equipped and able to deploy quickly.
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