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Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his plans to consult with patients and others on the conclusions of the Wanless Review of Long-Term Health Trends. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: Derek Wanless will continue to consult organisations with an interest in health and social care about his interim report, both in the UK and abroad. He will also listen to the views of individuals, patient groups, the NHS and social care practitioners throughout the UK, before submitting his final report to the Chancellor.
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government will continue to seek any resources additional to departmental budgets from Parliament in the usual way, which includes the announcement to Parliament of additions to departmental expenditure limits via parliamentary answers. These are given effect in supplementary estimates.
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contributions as a share of gross domestic product for each year from 19992000 to 200506; how these estimates have changed over the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the size is of the safety margin built into future borrowing forecasts, referred to in paragraph B3, page 164, of the pre-Budget report, for each of the next three financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
In addition, the robustness of projections is tested against an alternative more cautious scenario, in which the level of trend output is assumed to be lower than in the central case, as illustrated in chart 2.5 on page 29 of the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions for the level of unemployment in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004 were used in drawing up the economic and budgetary forecasts made in the pre-Budget report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The assumption for unemployment used in the public finance forecasts presented in the pre- Budget report is based on the average of outside forecasters' forecasts for unemployment, in line with NAO audited conventions. Assumed annual average unemployment figures are shown in the table. The Government, in line with the practice of previous Administrations, does not publish forecasts for unemployment.
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|UK seasonally adjusted claimant unemployed|
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will announce his decision on the future of the distraint work of the Inland Revenue; and if he will publish his assessment of the financial evaluation of the options. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of (a) whole economy productivity growth and (b) manufacturing productivity growth for each year from 197576 to 200102; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: Estimates of output per job across the whole economy, and for the manufacturing sector since 197879, are published by the Office for National Statistics, and are accessible through the Library of the House.
Recent trends in UK productivity growth are discussed in Annex A of the 2001 "pre-Budget report" (Cm 5318). Further information is contained in "The Economy: Supplementary Charts and Tables", published alongside this report.
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Dawn Primarolo: The Government have made their commitment to increasing resources over the next three years for the NHS, funded from general taxation and linked to reform. Decisions on taxation and spending will be taken in the Budget and Spending Review, respectively, next year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his pre-Budget Statement of 27 November 2001, Official Report, column 829, whether it is the policy of his Department to increase expenditure on the national health service to the average level of health spending in European Union countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of debt interest payments by central Government in (a) 200102 and (b) 200203; what effect there has been on these forecasts as a consequence of the new forecasts for interest rate levels as set out in the November 2001 pre-Budget report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The latest forecast for Central Government Gross Debt Interest payments, and the change since the Budget, for 200102 and 200203 can be found in the pre-Budget report in tables B13 and B14, pages 182 and 184, respectively. The changes in the forecast for 200102 and 200203 are due to lower assumed interest rates and the impact the lower rates have on the forecast for RPI affecting the accrued up-lift on index linked gilts.
Interest rate assumptions used in public finance forecasts are audited by the National Audit Office. For the PBR the interest rate assumptions were based on market expectations as of 19 November 2001.
Mr. Andrew Smith: We make projections of council tax receipts as part of our wider projections of the public finances. Table B11 of the pre-Budget report shows projections for council tax receipts in Great Britain for 200102 and 200203.
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