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Small Businesses

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent meetings he has had with UK Government Departments to represent the interests of small businesses in Wales. [12469]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet my colleagues in UK Government Departments regularly to discuss a range of issues, including small businesses in Wales.

Violent Crime

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary about tackling violent crime in Wales. [12480]

Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend meets regularly with the Home Secretary to discuss a range of issues affecting Wales.

The Government are committed to increasing the reporting and recording of violent crime. Violent crime represents a relatively small proportion of crime, but it is recognised that it includes those crimes that cause people most concern.

We have put in place a comprehensive package of measures to combat violent crime which is set out in "Fighting Violent Crime Together", published earlier this year.

TREASURY

Departmental Spending (Deprived Areas)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the expenditure by his Department in each of the years (a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98, (c) 1998–99, (d) 1999–2000, (e) 2000–01, (f) 2001–02 and (g) 2002–03 (estimated) was allocated with reference to the index of multiple deprivation; which expenditure programmes are allocated with respect to this index and other measures of relative geographic deprivation; and if he will make a statement. [8935]

14 Nov 2001 : Column: 766W

Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 25 October 2001]: HM Treasury has had a modest programme budget, none of which is allocated with reference to the indices of multiple deprivation.

Impounded Vehicles

Mr. Heath: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance is given to Customs and Excise officials on the (a) impounding and (b) disposal of impounded vehicles used to breach personal allowances for tobacco and alcohol; and if he will make a statement. [14076]

Mr. Boateng: The Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, section 141(1)(a), allows Customs to seize vehicles that have been used for the transport of anything liable to seizure. As part of the tackling tobacco strategy, and following recommendations from Martin Taylor, the independent tobacco evaluator, Customs strengthened their approach to anyone using vehicles to smuggle goods including alcohol and tobacco.

Seized vehicles are stored until condemnation proceedings are completed giving Customs the legal right to dispose of them as they see fit. Customs will dispose of the vehicles in a cost-effective manner most beneficial to the UK Exchequer.

Mr. Heath: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sites are used to store vehicles impounded by Customs and Excise officials on the grounds that they were being used to breach personal allowances for the importation of tobacco and alcohol; and if he will make a statement. [14075]

Mr. Boateng: A number of sites are used around the UK. These are made available as part of the contract arrangements Customs has in place to provide storage facilities for both vehicles and goods. For security reasons the specific details of these sites cannot be disclosed.

Staff Shortages

Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 23 October 2001, Official Report, column 202W, how many instances have been brought to his attention by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise where appeals and reviews have been cancelled owing to staff shortages. [14276]

Mr. Boateng: Customs endeavour to complete all reviews within the statutory period of 45 days. Where for any reason they cannot do so, such as at particularly busy periods, section 15(2) of the Finance Act 1994 states that if Customs do not carry out the review within the 45 days from when the review was required they shall be assumed to have confirmed the decision. Where Customs cannot complete a review within the statutory period, the appellant still has the right to go to a tribunal.

Automotive Fuel

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much tax was raised in each year since 1997 from the retail sale of automotive fuel. [14011]

Mr. Boateng: The information is not available.

14 Nov 2001 : Column: 767W

Motor Vehicles (Tax Income)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much tax was raised in each year since 1997 from (a) the sale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles and related parts and accessories, (b) the sale of motor vehicle parts and accessories, (c) the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and (d) the sale of motor vehicles. [14012]

Mr. Boateng: The estimated amount of VAT raised from the maintenance and repair, including parts and accessories, of motor vehicles and motorcycles since 1997 is:

Year£ billion
19971.7
19981.9
19992.0
20002.0

It is not possible to estimate the Government's income from VAT on the sale of motor vehicles and motorcycles except at disproportionate cost.

Public Sector Pay

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the growth of public sector pay in 2001 on the level of public expenditure. [14212]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Public sector pay costs have been accommodated within the agreed public spending totals, in accordance with normal prices.

Civil Service Pay Negotiations

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact on (a) public expenditure and (b) recruitment and retention within the civil service of the devolution to individual Government Departments and agencies of responsibility for pay negotiations. [14213]

Mr. Andrew Smith: On public expenditure, the position continues to be that Departments are expected to meet pay costs from within their public spending allocations. The flexibilities under the delegations allow Departments to structure their pay arrangements to meet their own particular circumstances and requirements, including dealing more effectively with recruitment and retention issues.

Afghanistan

Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact on public expenditure on non-military priorities of the commitment to military expenditure in the conflict in Afghanistan. [14257]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Chancellor has made it clear that the Government will meet the costs of measures related to our response to international terrorism, while continuing to deliver our spending plans within the fiscal rules.

14 Nov 2001 : Column: 768W

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Watts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Treasury is taking to monitor the impact of the climate change levy on (a) manufacturing industry and (b) the service sector; and if he will publish the results. [14333]

Mr. Boateng: The climate change levy package is broadly revenue neutral for services and manufacturing but the impact on any specific sector will depend on a number of factors, including:





As with all taxation, we will monitor revenue and sectoral impacts. Revenue receipts are published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report.

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to exclude the nuclear power industry from the climate change levy. [14138]

Mr. Boateng: The climate change levy is designed to encourage energy efficiency across the business and public sectors and to increase the use of sustainable forms of energy. The Government have no plans to exclude the nuclear power industry from the levy.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of the climate change levy is paid by engineering; and if he will estimate the percentage of economic output produced by engineering; [14431]

Mr. Boateng: The climate change levy is designed to be broadly revenue neutral across both the manufacturing and service sectors. The impact of the levy on any particular sector will be determined by a number of factors, including





On the most recently available figures, engineering represents an estimated 6 per cent. of gross domestic product.


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