§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received concerning the impact on UK shipping of different taxation regimes in EU countries; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what representations he has received concerning low recruitment of cadets for the Merchant Navy; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
I have been asked to reply.
We have received 54 letters from MPs on behalf of their constituents, and 7 from members of the public about the Chamber of Shipping's leaflet entitled "British Shipping Delivering for Britain" which includes references to the taxation regimes in some EU countries and the level of recruitment of new cadets for the Merchant Navy.
The Government are committed to increasing seafarer training and have introduced a new seafarer training support scheme—SMarT—which consolidates and expands on the previous training support schemes. We have allocated 30 per cent. more to SMarT than the total grant payments under the previous scheme in 1997–98 when 465 cadets were recruited. Under SMarT we have already agreed funding for 643 new cadets this year.