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A417

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his plans to improve the A417 near Nettleton Bottom and Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire. [153748]

Mr. Hill: The South West Regional Assembly has endorsed proposals by the Highways Agency to improve the A417 trunk road from Cowley to the Air Balloon roundabout. My Department is considering the proposal along with those from other regions. An announcement will be made in due course as to what schemes will be added to the national trunk road programme.

Private Hire Vehicles (London)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many private hire vehicles operate in the Greater London area; and how many have registered with the Public Carriage Office to date. [153717]

Mr. Hill: The number of vehicles in Greater London currently available to the public for private hirings is estimated at some 40,000 to 60,000; their regulation is a matter for Transport for London.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when operator licensing of private hire vehicles in London will come into effect. [153718]

Mr. Hill: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Eltham (Mr. Efford) on 28 November 2000, Official Report, column 554W.

Local Government Act

Mr. White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to make regulations on alternative arrangements for local authorities under section 32 of the Local Government Act 2000. [154264]

Ms Beverley Hughes: I have today laid before Parliament a draft of the Local Authorities (Alternative Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2001.

It is now for the House to consider this draft. To assist the House, I have placed in the Library and the Vote Office copies of a draft of the guidance on alternative

15 Mar 2001 : Column: 685W

arrangements which we propose to issue to English local authorities if the draft Regulations are approved by the House and the Other Place.

Home Improvement Agency

Mr. Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will announce the home improvement agency grant allocations for 2001-02; and what steps he is taking to extend the benefits of agency services into areas where they are not currently available. [154273]

Mr. Raynsford: As announced in Spending Review 2000, an extra £1.8 million is being provided in grant for home improvement agencies from 2001-02, bringing the total grant to £8.5 million a year. Local authorities are being notified of their allocations today.

This money will be provided in each of the next three years, and in 2003-04 it will be ring-fenced within the new Supporting People budget.

As well as providing additional support for authorities with existing agencies, I am pleased to be able to offer grant to 52 authorities for the first time. This will increase the number of agencies supported by my Department from 183 to 235 and will allow substantially more elderly, disabled and vulnerable people across the country to benefit from the services agencies can provide.

The authorities being offered grant for the first time are as follows:





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TREASURY

Tax Policy

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral statement of 7 March 2001, Official Report, columns 295-308, if he will estimate the revenue from a 1p increase in the basic rate of income tax (a) in the first year and (b) in the three subsequent years. [153716]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs which was published in November 2000, a copy of which is held in the Library of the House.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue yield of abolishing taper relief for the five financial years from 2001-02 and reintroducing indexation and retirement relief. [153714]

Dawn Primarolo: Consistent with the assumptions of the March 2001 Budget forecast, the net revenue yield from reintroducing indexation and abolishing taper is estimated to be £450 million for the first year, or £400 million if retirement relief were reinstated also, most of which would be received in the following year. Further information in the form requested on the yield for subsequent years can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue yield in (a) the first year and (b) the subsequent three years from a tax of 50 per cent. on (i) gross and (ii) net incomes exceeding £100,000 a year. [153712]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 13 February 2001, Official Report, column 104W.

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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenue yield of abolishing taper relief and reintroducing indexation and retirement relief. [154021]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14 March 2001, Official Report, column 653W.

Financial Ombudsman Service

Mr. Steen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints have been investigated by the Financial Ombudsman Service concerning (a) independent financial advisers and (b) tied agents in each of the last three years; and what average level of compensation was awarded in each case. [153736]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Financial Ombudsman Service are carrying out a detailed analysis of their records in order to provide this information. It will be placed in the Library of the House shortly.

Working Families Tax Credit (Islington)

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many recipients there have been of Working Families Tax Credit in Islington (a) since its introduction and (b) in the 2000-01 financial year; and what the average amount paid to each recipient was. [153694]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the number of families in Islington in receipt of the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) at May 2000 and August 2000 are shown in the WFTC Quarterly Enquiries for those months, copies of which are in the Library. These estimates are based on 5 per cent. samples of awards, and are subject to sampling error. The publications explain that care should be taken when making comparisons over time at this level of detail.

The average value of WFTC awards paid to families with such awards in London at August 2000 was £80 per week. There are too few cases in the 5 per cent. sample to yield a reliable separate estimate for Islington.

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Capital Gains

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) the percentage, (b) the average amount of capital gains tax paid by people and (c) the level of income in each earned income decile. [146172]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 22 January 2001]: Following is the information requested for 1997-98, the latest available year:

Capital gains tax: individuals 1997-98

Earned income decileLower limit of earned income level (£)Average amount of CGT for CGT payers (£)Proportion of total CGT (percentage)
1-8,58512,15010.6
218,0106.7
33,1806,1205.2
45,1515,5204.7
58,6775,4004.6
613,2976,3405.4
719,7657,1506.1
829,88310,1408.7
947,48616,64014.2
1089,31339,26033.6
All11,680100

Notes:

1. Earned income includes employment and self-employment income and pensions.

2. For 1997-98, 140,000 individual taxpayers had total CGT liabilities of £1,637 million.

3. Components may not sum to total due to rounding.



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