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To facilitate the award of contracts for future allocations of business in support of the Welfare Reform Agenda;
To deliver current and future IS/IT services and operations;
To develop and manage the migration of existing and new business systems onto a shared systems infrastructure, in line with the Department's IS/IT Strategy.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department has finalised contractual amendments which set performance and delivery conditions for a contract extension to 31 August 2005. The agreement to extend the contract is subject to confirmation before 31 May 2002.
Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of (a) the workforce and (b) the finance sector is employed in organisations that have carried out equal pay reviews. 
Many employers have stated publicly that they have carried out, or are planning to carry out a pay review while others prefer to keep this information confidential. The Government therefore do not hold information on what proportion of the workforce or the finance sector are employed in organisations that have carried out equal pay reviews.
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Mr. Andrew Smith: Public-private partnerships remain a key element of the Government's modernisation programme. We will continue to apply the PPP approach to a wide range of public sector activities where appropriate, drawing on business skills and experience of private sector partners to develop and implement policy and deliver better quality public services.
19. Mr. Pollard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the role of the United Kingdom in pressing for co-ordinated international action to tackle world poverty. 
Mr. Boateng: The UK is working with governments throughout the world, both in donor and developing countries, to ensure that co-ordinated action is taken. To this end we co-ordinate our efforts through the G7/8 process, through institutions such as the IMF, World bank, WTO, and UN system, and directly with developing countries themselves. The Chancellor has recently spoken in New York and at Yale university on the need to ensure that globalisation brings prosperity to all, and contributes to poverty reduction.
34. Mr. Khabra: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with Finance Ministers from other countries to press for co-ordinated international action to tackle world poverty. 
Mr. Boateng: The Chancellor regularly uses international meetings of Finance Ministers to push for co-ordinated action to tackle world poverty, including efforts to achieve the 2015 goals. Discussions of Finance Ministers in Ottawa covered the need for increased development assistance in order to reach these goals, and efforts to maintain debt sustainability in HIPC countries given the current global downturn.
22. Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from business men in the United Kingdom on manufacturing productivity; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Boateng: The Government are committed to creating and maintaining the right climate for business to flourish, invest and grow. Since 1997, the Government's central economic objective has been to achieve high and stable levels of growth and employment. This means pursuing macro-economic and enterprise policies which promote business activity, and which improve the productivity of firms in the UK. Because of the choices we have made we are now enjoying the longest period of sustained low inflation since the 1960s, we have the lowest long term interest rates for nearly 40 years, and the lowest unemployment since the 1970s. The fiscal policy framework which we have put in place has restored the public finances to a healthy and sustainable position.
Of course, no country can insulate itself from global economic events. But the UK is now much better placed than in the past to weather the global downturn. The Government will continue to steer a course of economic stability, with low inflation and sound public finances, coupled with microeconomic reforms to create the right conditions for investment and growth in the future.
21. Simon Hughes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of public sector net investment as a proportion of national income over the period of the first comprehensive spending review. 
|Percentage of GDP(24)|
(24) The figures for 19992000 and 200001 are outturn figures, consistent with table B23 in the pre-Budget report. The figure for 200102 is the latest projection, consistent with table B6 in the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Boateng: We remain fully committed to the UN 0.7 per cent. oda/GNP target. We have set out our plans for the next three years to 200304 and as these show, development assistance as a proportion of GNP will rise to 0.33 per cent. in 200304, up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997.
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