Previous Section Index Home Page


Taxation

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the impact on the NHS of the removal of tax relief on medical insurance premiums for those aged over 60 years. [3750]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 16 July 2001]: None. There is no reliable information available to the Government about renewals by the over-60s of their private medical insurance policies for any period since the tax relief was abolished in 1997.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the total tax take was accounted for by (a) income tax, (b) VAT and (c) other taxes for (i) 1996, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998, (iv) 1999 and (v) 2000. [5623]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 561W

Mr. Andrew Smith: This information is set out in the relevant Financial Statement and Budget Reports.

Euro

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is his policy to state the exchange rate at which the pound will be fixed to the euro in advance of any referendum on the euro; and if he will make a statement. [4850]

Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 22 June 2000, Official Report, column 539W.

Data Protection Act

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place all information on the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell to which the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell is entitled under section 7(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 in the Library. [4848]

Ruth Kelly: The hon. Member's question amounts to a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998. I will write to him on that basis.

Parliamentary Written Answers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of parliamentary written answers in his Department were redrafted by special advisers before they were sent to a Minister in each of the last four years; and if he will make a statement. [4859]

Ruth Kelly: Information relating to the number of occasions on which special advisers have contributed to the drafting of the 11,500 written parliamentary answers given by Treasury Ministers since May 1997 is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Single People (Living Standards)

Rachel Squire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he intends to take to improve the living standards of single, low paid, employed persons with no dependants. [4450]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 17 July 2001]: The Chancellor has already announced that the Government will, from 2003, introduce a new employment tax credit, extending the principle of in-work support to those without children. This employment tax credit will make work pay and help tackle in-work poverty for a wider range of households. It will complement a new integrated child credit, which will bring all income-related child payments into a single tax credit, providing a more transparent and streamlined system of support for families with children.

EU Structural Funds

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what public funds are budgeted to be available

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 562W

for each calendar year for which budgets have been set and which would be eligible to provide the public match funding for Objective 1 projects in each of the four Objective 1 regions, indicating (a) which funds have budgets identified to be spent in Objective 1 regions, (b) which are budgeted on a wider than Objective 1 region basis but lower than national basis and (c) which are set at a national level. [5300]

Mr. Boateng: The overall EU allocation to the UK's four Objective 1 regions for the 2000–06 period is £3.2 billion. Resources for match funding were provided for within the total departmental spending settlements following SR2000. These resources can be obtained from a number of sources at national, regional and local levels—e.g. central Government Departments, Regional Development Agencies, local government.

Financial profiles for UK Objective 1 regions for the period 2000–06 can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/europe/ structural.

Inflation Measures

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to introduce changes to the measure of inflation used by the Bank of England to achieve the Government's target of a 2.5 per cent. rate of inflation; and if he will make a statement. [4986]

Ruth Kelly: The Government's target measure of inflation is the retail prices index, excluding mortgage interest payments (or RPIX) target rate of 2.5 per cent. was reaffirmed by the Chancellor in the March 2001 Budget.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the use of the harmonised index of consumer prices as a measure of inflation in the United Kingdom. [4984]

Ruth Kelly: The harmonised index of consumer prices, or HICP, is designed for the purposes of comparing inflation rates between the UK and other EU countries.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent consultations he has had with the Governor of the Bank of England with regard to the harmonised index of consumer prices. [4985]

Ruth Kelly: The Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England meet regularly to discuss a wide range of economic issues, including inflation indicators.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent consultations his officials have had with officials of the Bank of England with regard to the use of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices as a measure of inflation. [4987]

Ruth Kelly: Officials of HM Treasury meet with their counterparts at the Bank of England to discuss various economic issues as and when the need arises.

Absence

David Maclean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in each of the last 10 years (a) how many days were lost per employee due to sickness and (b) how many officials took early retirement from his Department. [5326]

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 563W

Ruth Kelly: Figures published by the Cabinet Office on sickness absence are available since 1994. For the Treasury, the figures for working days absence per staff year were:

YearWorking days per staff year
19947.0
19958.4
19965.1
19974.9
19985.3
19995.5

The latest publication is "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service 1999" published in February 2001.

For early retirement, the figures for the Treasury are in the table.

YearNumber of officials taking early retirement
199111
199214
199312
199434
199534
199630
19975
199810
19996
200010

Working Families Tax Credit

Caroline Flint: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the annual cost would be of extending the Working Families Tax Credit to couples without children; [4914]

Dawn Primarolo: The cost of extending the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) to couples with no dependent children, assuming the same structure of support, is estimated at about £½ billion per year in the steady state. This estimate is based on household survey data, and takes no account of behavioural changes generated by such an extension.

The net earnings plus WFTC of such a couple with an employee working 35 hours per week at £4.10 per hour would then be £180 per week. The cost of increasing this to £200 or £225 per week would depend on the combination of changes made to the tax credits in WFTC as well as the impact of these changes.

Departmental Events

David Maclean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) national and (b) international awareness events his Department has participated in since June 1997 in the form of (i) sponsorship, (ii) departmental

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 564W

attendance, (iii) similar departmental activities and (iv) a message of support. [5047]

Ruth Kelly: This information is not held centrally, and could be assembled only at disproportionate cost.

Public Expenditure Analysis

Mr. Beith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors contribute to the difference between expenditure on agriculture in the North East and in London in the published analysis of general Government expenditure by region in 1999–2000; and if he will make a statement. [4580]

Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 18 July 2001]: The analysis of public expenditure by region published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (Cm 5110) attempts to allocate spending over regions to reflect the relative benefits incurred by the respective populations. The commentary in that document (paragraph 8.2) notes the limitations of this approach, in particular the definitional problems associated with allocating spending on the basis of who benefits. Where there is no clear basis for deciding which region benefits from a particular spending programme, or where accounting information for allocating spending by region is not available, allocation is based on other available indicators. Spending on agriculture has therefore been allocated over regions on a per capita basis.


Next Section Index Home Page