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Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many families are eligible for the working families tax credit; [142480]

Dawn Primarolo: For the number of families eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 16 November 2000, Official Report, column 757W. For the number of families where WFTC is paid to (a) a woman and (b) a man, and for the number receiving it via the payroll, I refer to my letters to the hon. Member of 22 September and 19 October, respectively. Copies of these letters are already available in the Library.

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Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people who are eligible for Working Families Tax Credit have been paid compensation for delays or errors in payment. [142462]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 12 December 2000]: 95. In such circumstances, the Inland Revenue's Code of Practice allows for these ex-gratia redress payments to be made.

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on carbon dioxide emissions of the introduction of the climate change levy on the United Kingdom horticulture industry; [142621]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 14 December 2000]: In relation to the climate change levy, the Government recognised the position of the UK horticulture sector with the special package of measures announced in Budget 2000.

Eight other EU member states have introduced or are developing some form of energy tax. The climate change levy has been designed to safeguard the competitiveness of UK firms, and, for the horticulture sector, the position in the Netherlands is of particular importance. The Dutch energy tax has recently been extended to include the horticulture sector.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the amount of energy used by sectors of British industry eligible for the lower tax rate of climate change levy expressed as a proportion of total industry use; and what is his most recent estimate of the proportion which will be subject to the lower rate. [142955]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 December 2000]: The Government expect that around 60 per cent. of energy use in the manufacturing sector and 35 per cent. of all business energy use will qualify for an 80 per cent. discount on the climate change levy.

Widowers

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with TaxAid about the implications for recently widowed men of the out-of-court settlement with Mr. Christopher Crossland. [143509]

Dawn Primarolo: TaxAid have not approached Treasury Ministers on this issue but have asked for a meeting with Inland Revenue officials which has taken place. The friendly settlement reached with Mr. Christopher Crossland has no implications for other recently widowed men.

EU Budget

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average net payment to the EU was in each of the last 11 years. [143672]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government's latest estimated outturn for the United Kingdom's net contribution to the EC Budget in 1999-2000 can be found at footnote 1 to Table B17 of the pre-Budget report (Cm 4917) published in November. Details of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the EC Budget for the period 1988-89 to 1998-99 can be found in departmental reports of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Departments from 1994 to 2000.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the net contributions to the EU in 2001. [143673]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Government estimates of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the EC Budget for future years are given on a financial year basis. The Government's latest forecast for 2000-01 and 2001-02 can be found at footnote 1 to Table B17 of the pre-Budget report (Cm 4917) published in November.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will make a statement on the content and purpose of table B20 of the pre-Budget report; [143676]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The accounting adjustments set out in table B20 in the pre-Budget report (PBR) reconcile the public spending aggregates used by the Treasury for planning and control purposes with Total Managed Expenditure (TME) and the National Accounts aggregate for total public sector expenditure based on internationally agreed definitions. The purpose of this table is to ensure that this adjustment is clear and transparent.

The line for EC contributions in Table B20 shows those adjustments needed to Net payments to EC institutions to reconcile to TME.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on (a) the Maastricht Deficit referred to in table C of the Budget 2000 publication HC 346 and (b) how he calculated the windfall tax receipts and associated spending. [143674]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Table B6 in the November 2000 pre-Budget report shows that the Treaty reference level of 3 per cent. of GDP for the general government deficit is achieved comfortably throughout the projection period 2000-01 to 2005-06.

Tables 4.1a and 4.1b of the pre-Budget report give estimates of the allocation of windfall tax receipts from 1997-98 to 2000-01, and how the windfall tax is expected to be used to finance the Employment Opportunities Fund from 2001-02 to 2003-04.

Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what announcements he has made to date concerning the date on which the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 will become fully operational; and when he expects the Act to become fully operational. [143853]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 received Royal Assent last June. There has been good progress on implementation since then. The Treasury has issued 13 pieces of draft secondary legislation.

Consultation on six draft orders published in October by the Treasury has now closed. We are grateful for the comments we have received and will be studying them closely.

The target I set last July of N2 in about one year remains. It is still too early to be precise on when the Act will come into force. As soon as I can give a firm date I will do so, and plan to do so during the spring. I will provide a reasonable time for industry preparations between announcing a firm date and N2.

Healthcare Plans

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the administrative charges to be levied by the Financial Services Ombudsman for the handling of complaints; and what steps he is taking to ensure that charges will not be substantially greater than the sums likely to be dealt with in relation to complaints about low cost healthcare cash plans offered by not-for- profit organisations. [143678]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published a joint consultation paper on funding the Ombudsman in November 2000.

Both the FSA and FOS are mindful of the particular circumstances of small firms, and the need for charges to be proportionate to the nature and size of complaints. That is why the consultation proposes special arrangements for small firms, under which, once a minimum levy has been paid, case fees would not apply.

VAT (War Memorials)

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on charging VAT on war memorials, with special reference to the Korean war memorial in West Lothian. [142816]

Dawn Primarolo: The construction of war memorials is standard rated as has been the case since the introduction of VAT in 1973.

Tobacco

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to publicise the risk to consumers who purchase tobacco over the internet of the goods which they have purchased being seized by Her Majesty's Customs; and if he will make a statement. [143190]

Dawn Primarolo: In September, the Government launched a campaign designed to increase public awareness of tobacco smuggling. As part of this campaign, information has been placed on most of the major internet search engines to target anybody searching for cigarettes. This includes links through to a Customs and Excise web page which fully explains the legal implications of purchasing tobacco over the internet.

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