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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the impact which the proposed EC Prospectus Directive will have on (a) the listing cost of small and medium size companies and (b) the availability of capital to growing businesses in the UK; 
(3) what measures he will take to reduce the impact of the EC Prospectus Directive on the Alternative Investment Market. 
Ruth Kelly: An effective single passport for issuers was identified as a priority for completion of the single European market in financial services at the Lisbon Council in spring 2000. The UK Government are committed to ensuring that the Prospectus Directive meets this goal; and that it meets the aim of reducing the cost of raising capital for EU companies, including SMEs and growing businesses.
The Directive, as currently drafted, could lead to an increase in the disclosure costs of small and medium size companies (SMEs), and the cost of accessing capital by SMEs. However, negotiations are at an early stage, and there are a number of issues that are as yet unclear, such as its relationship with other existing directives, and the way that its provisions will be used.
HM Treasury has actively sought the views of interested parties, and is engaging with industry practitioners (including representatives of the Alternative Investment Market) through round-table consultation meetings. HM Treasury officials and Ministers are in close touch with the European Commission, the Belgian presidency, the European Parliament, and other member states of this and other directives which affect the financial services industry.
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Trade and Industry regarding the European Commission's proposals for a single consolidated company tax base announced in Brussels on 23 October. 
Dawn Primarolo: Tax harmonisation, including proposals for a consolidated company tax base, is not the way forward for Europe. The Government will not support any action at European level that will threaten jobs or the competitive position of British business.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the need for further EU-level reforms of company taxation to achieve the economic goals established at the Lisbon European Council of March 2000. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's view is that company tax issues need to be considered in the context of the economic goals established at the Lisbon European Council and the business agenda agreed at the Stockholm European Council, which means reducing unfair state aids, acting against unfair tax competition, promoting R and D and innovation, a better, simpler regulatory environment and boosting skills.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the European Commission's proposals for the introduction of a consolidated company tax base across the EU would be introduced by qualified majority voting. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's view is that fair tax competition not tax harmonisation is the way forward for Europe. The Government are committed to ensuring that the UK remains an attractive location for business, with strong international links and high levels of both inward and outward investment.
Dawn Primarolo: There are a number of approaches that can be used to calculate effective company tax burdens. Information is contained in a variety of sources, including the OECD's publication "Revenue Statistics 19652000" and the Commission's Communication "Towards an internal market without tax obstacles: a strategy for providing companies with a consolidated corporate tax base for their EU-wide activities" (COM(2001)582), both of which are available in the Library of the House.
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Ruth Kelly [holding answer 30 October 2001]: Inward investment into the UK is a component of the balance of payments financial account, and only part of it contributes to UK gross domestic fixed capital formation. The Government do not produce forecasts for the components of the balance of payments financial account.
Mr. Boateng: The climate change levy will raise an estimated £1 billion a year, all of which will be recycled back to business through cuts in the employers' rate of national insurance contributions and support for energy efficiency. While the levy is broadly revenue neutral across manufacturing and service sectors, its exact effect on any specific sector or industry will depend on a number of factors including: the future energy consumption of firms in the sector and employment levels in those firms; the number of energy intensive firms in that sector that are eligible to receive a discount on the main rates of the levy by signing up to an energy efficiency agreement; and what use firms in that sector make of electricity generated from levy exempt 'new' renewable sources of energy and combined heat and power.
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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revision he has made to his public expenditure provision for Railtrack in 200001, following the decision to put the company into administration. 
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the planned £30 billion public investment in the railway industry in the 10-Year-Plan is in the budget for the next three years; and how much of that amount is earmarked for Railtrack. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason it was necessary to include the provisions of section 1(i)(c) of schedule A1 of the Registered Designs Regulations 2001. 
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