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Census Results

Ms Drown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers he has to sell the results of the census to private companies. [3315]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Ms Julia Drown, dated 12 July 2001:






Endowment Policies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will encourage the Financial Services Authority to inform those with endowment mortgages that are at risk of not growing sufficiently to pay off their mortgages of the methods of seeking help from the Ombudsman and gaining compensation. [3471]

Ruth Kelly: The FSA has been active in informing those with endowment mortgages of the methods of seeking help and, if required, how to make a complaint. The FSA fact-sheet, "Your endowment mortgage—what you need to know"—sent to all affected mortgage endowment holders in January 2000—set out what advice consumers should have been given when they were sold their endowment policy as well as how to complain. In

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addition, the FSA's consumer information has evolved in the light of developments and further fact-sheets have been published as follows:








All these fact-sheets are available free from the FSA Consumer help-line on 0845 606 1234.

Correspondence

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a substantive reply to his letter of 9 May to the Chairman of HM Customs and Excise on behalf of his constituent Mr. Wilson. [3569]

Mr. Boateng: I understand that the Chairman of HM Customs and Excise replied to the right hon. Gentleman on 11 January.

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply (1) to his letter of 26 March on behalf of his constituent Mrs. Hall; [3565]

Mr. Boateng: The Treasury has no record of having received these letters. If the right hon. Gentleman would send copies to me, they will be answered as quickly as possible.

Petrol Duty

Mr. Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much income the Government have received from petrol duty in each of the last three years. [3211]

Mr. Boateng: The amount of income the Government have received from duty on petrol in each of the last three years can be found in the HM Customs and Excise's "Hydrocarbon Oils Factsheet", a copy of which is in the Library.

Euro

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2001, Official Report, column 67W, how long he estimates it will take to complete the preliminary technical work relating to an

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assessment of the five economic tests; if he will list the Treasury officials involved in this work; and if he will make a statement. [3011]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 10 July 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 2 July 2001, Official Report, column 67W. A wide range of officials will be contributing.

Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from small firms about the administrative arrangements for the Working Families Tax Credit. [2046]

Dawn Primarolo: Payment of tax credits by employers plays an important part in reinforcing the link between tax credits and the rewards of work.

The Inland Revenue is in continuous consultation with employers' representatives, and has been since 1998, to ensure any extra administration because of the tax credits is kept to a minimum and, where possible, reduced. The Inland Revenue is continually monitoring and assessing the tax credits scheme and involving employers' representatives at all stages.

Tax Credits

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each tax credit those other (a) benefits and (b) concessions for which the tax credit is a passport. [3624]

Dawn Primarolo: The decision as to which benefits or concessions Working Families Tax Credit recipients are passported is not a matter for the Inland Revenue, but lies with those responsible for the individual benefits or concessions. Working Families Tax Credit, like its predecessor Family Credit, may be used as an indicator of entitlement to certain benefits or concessions by central Government, the devolved executives, local government and voluntary organisations. In this way, families entitled to other help can be identified without them having to make a full application. The major central Government passports for many Working Families Tax Credit recipients are helped with NHS costs such as prescription charges, dental treatment, sight tests and hearing aids and Social Fund payments to help with maternity costs or funeral expenses.

Bank Accounts

Tony Worthington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of households do not have access to a bank account; and how this varies in the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. [3055]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 11 July 2001]: Various surveys indicate that the percentage of adults who do not have either a current account or a savings account is in the range 6 to 10 per cent. A breakdown of these data can be found in the Financial Services Authority's report, "In or Out? Financial Exclusion: a literature and research review", a copy of which is in the Library.

Euro Assets (Purchase Costs)

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason he will not publish the

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numbers and the cost of the euros which have been purchased by the Bank of England in consequence of gold sales. [3233]

Ruth Kelly: The purchase of euros assets with proceeds from the gold sales programme forms only part of the restructuring of the United Kingdom's foreign currency reserves. As the National Audit Office Report on "The Sale of Part of the UK Gold Reserves", published on 12 January 2001, states


However to give an indication of the change in the value of the UK's foreign currency reserves as a result of the gold sales, the National Audit Office Report provides a snapshot figure as at 18 December 2000 of a gain to the reserves of US$34 million (around £23 million).


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