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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of his policy on making a grant available for the repair of churches in lieu of reducing VAT; and what representations he has received on this subject. 
Mr. Boateng: The Chancellor's long-term objective is to reduce the VAT rate levied on repairs to listed places of worship from 17.5 per cent. to 5 per cent. This is not permitted under current European Community legislation, but the European Commission has indicated that it will look at the UK's proposal to amend the VAT rules when these are reviewed in 2003. In the interim, the Chancellor has decided to introduce a grant scheme which will award the differential between the 17.5 per cent. and 5 per cent. rate to qualifying buildings. This scheme has been widely welcomed by owners of listed places of worship. It represents significant additional funds for this groupinitial estimates are up to £30 million per year.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the performance of the environmental bodies in meeting his indicative guidelines for spending on sustainable waste management projects in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Boateng: It is too early to make any meaningful assessment. In May this year the Government set the waste industry a challenging target of 65 per cent. of landfill tax credits to be allocated to sustainable waste management projects. The Government will review progress in forthcoming budget reports.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 23 October 2001, Official Report, column 204W, on bank disclosures, what (a) barriers to and (b) opportunities for growth in the individual banks' lending activities in disadvantaged communities he has identified; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the World Economic Forum calculation of the change in the ranking of the United Kingdom in the league table of competitiveness from 1998 to 2000. 
Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) on 30 October 2001, Official Report, column 640W, regarding the World Economic Forum's growth competitiveness index.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the Institute of Management Development calculation of the change in the ranking of the United Kingdom in the league table of competitiveness from 1997 to 2001. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government support the Commission's objectives of developing the single market in financial services and promoting the integrity of the single market. The proposal for the directive creates for the first time an EU-wide regime to counter market manipulation and updates the existing insider dealing provisions to enable them to benefit from the enhanced co-operation measures.
The Government will examine the proposal carefully to ensure that there is no diminution in the level of protection from market manipulation currently enjoyed by UK markets, that the level of regulation proposed is proportionate and consistent with the goal of advancing the single market in financial services, and that any consequent changes to the UK's new market abuse regime are kept to a minimum.
Since the United Kingdom has a rigorous market abuse regime under part VIII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 due to come into force shortly, United Kingdom firms should already have in place measures to counter abusive behaviour.
However, the directive as currently drafted would require some modifications to the existing regulatory regime. The inflexible regulatory approach taken in the current draft of the directive could give rise to additional compliance costs as firms incur legal costs on advice to avoid behaviour that could give rise to enforcement actions.
The Government's goal in negotiations is to minimise the need for modification of the current regulatory regime to ensure the directive effectively tackles market abuse and does not impose additional, unnecessary costs.
Ruth Kelly: The Government keep all taxes under review and decisions are made as part of the normal Budget process. In April 2000 the Government introduced a number of measures to help charities and to improve incentives for charitable giving. The Getting Britain Giving package of measures included improvements to the Gift Aid and Payroll Giving schemes and a new
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income tax relief for giving shares to charities. The Government are supporting the Giving Campaign, an independent charities-led initiative, to encourage a culture of giving and increase awareness of planned tax efficient giving.
Ruth Kelly: The Government published proposals in March 2001 for a new community investment tax credit to increase the availability of capital to small enterprises, including start-ups, in disadvantaged communities. Details of the proposal can be found in the Treasury consultation document "Enterprising Communities: A Tax Incentive for Community Investment".
Mr. Andrew Smith: The OGC has been set a target to deliver £1 billion value for money gains across central Government by 200203. This will be achieved by Departments applying the tools, methods and techniques promoted by OGC.
Mr. Boateng: Changes up to 1 January 2001 are published in table C6 of the tables and statistics accompanying the Customs and Excise annual report for 2000, available on the Customs and Excise website.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to prohibit the practice of mortgage lenders charging their customers a fee should they move their mortgage to an alternative mortgage lender. 
Ruth Kelly: There are legitimate reasons for lenders to charge fees, not least the administration costs that are involved in transferring deeds to other lenders, together with the essential correspondence that needs to be entered into between borrower and (both) lenders as well as between lenders. Moreover, there is clear disclosure of these fees upfront in line with the benchmarks set out in CAT standard mortgages. I do not therefore propose to prohibit this practice.
Rachel Squire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has of the tax revenue received in each of the last three financial years from the sale of (a) cigars and (b) cigarettes. 
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Mr. Boateng: Duty receipts from sales of tobacco products are published in chapter C of the Government's annual Financial Statement and Budget Report. Duty receipts from sales of individual types of tobacco products are set out on a regular basis in the HM Customs and Excise "Tobacco Factsheet", available from the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the mean annual revenue in terms of (a) tobacco tax and (b) VAT on combined cost of tobacco products and the duty thereon imposed, from each smoker in the UK in (i) 199697 and (ii) 200001; and if he will estimate the mean annual combined tobacco tax and VAT revenue to be raised from each smoker in the UK in 200102. 
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