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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his target for the proportion of purchases of residential properties in disadvantaged areas with stamp duty exemption for each income quintile. 
Mr. Boateng: No such target has been set. The areas qualifying for this stamp duty exemption were identified on the basis of each country's most recent Index of Deprivation. The effect of the exemption will be monitored and evaluated.
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Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements have been made for dealing with disciplinary cases that a regulator had started before the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 came into force on 1 December. 
Ruth Kelly: The right hon. Sir Roy Beldam has been appointed President of the Interim Tribunal which has been set up under Article 86 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Transitional Provisions) (Partly Completed Procedures) Order 2001 (S.I. No. 2001/3592) to hear outstanding disciplinary cases that were started before commencement of the main provisions ("N2") of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Sir Roy, who became a judge in 1981, was Chairman of the Law Commission (198589), Lord Justice of Appeal (19892000) and was, up until N2, Deputy Chairman of the Securities and Futures Authority Panel of Tribunal Chairmen.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the provisional underspend for 200001 by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions was money allocated to improving transport infrastructure. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the incidence of smuggling from Andorra to the UK and the consequent loss to the Exchequer in each of the last five years. 
Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what action is being taken by Customs and Excise to stop goods produced in illegal settlements in the west bank and Gaza being imported into the UK under preference by being labelled "Made in Israel"; 
(3) what action is being taken by Customs and Excise to investigate allegations that goods produced in illegal settlements in the west bank and Gaza are being imported into Britain under preference and labelled "Made in Israel"; 
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(4) what action is being taken by his Department to inform importers of goods produced in illegal settlements in the west bank and Gaza that they cannot use preference irrespective of whether they are labelled "Made in Israel". 
This will include providing advice to importers via the Joint Customs Consultative Committee, the Customs website, the computerised entry processing system noticeboard, and articles in trade magazines.
Customs will also be taking steps to identify and monitor imports from these areas, will initiate post- clearance verification inquiries with the competent authorities and take appropriate action dependent on their responses.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the compliance of the aggregates levy with article 1 of the first protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights; 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 3 December 2001]: The UK Government are currently pursuing with the European Commission the state aid case for phasing in of the levy in Northern Ireland; the aggregates levy otherwise complies with the provisions of articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions has he had with (a) the Quarry Products Association, (b) the British Aggregates Association and (c) other representative bodies on the subject of the proposed aggregates tax. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: The Quarry Products Association and British Aggregates Association are among the industry representatives who form part of the aggregates levy consultation group established by HM Customs and Excise. This group has met regularly since the introduction of the aggregates levy was announced.
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: All imports will be subject to the aggregates levy. Exports of aggregate from the UK will not be subject to the levy. This will protect the international competitiveness of the UK's quarrying industry.
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Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: An increase in the price of aggregates will provide an incentive to use aggregates efficiently and encourage wider use of recycled aggregates, regardless of whether they are being used in public or private sector projects.
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: The rural economy will benefit from the levy funded 0.1 percentage point reduction in employers' national insurance contributions and the new £35 million Sustainability Fund which will deliver local environmental benefits to areas subject to the environmental costs of aggregates extraction.
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: The Government have looked closely at the impact of the levy on the producers of processed aggregate products (such as precast concrete) in Northern Ireland and recognise that they are at greater risk of increased international competition than their mainland counterparts, because of the land boundary with the Republic of Ireland.
As announced in the pre-Budget report, the Government are proposing to address this by phasing the levy in over five years in Northern Ireland, beginning with a complete exemption in 200203. This will provide further time for affected businesses to adapt. This is subject to EU state aid approval.
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: Details of all the exemptions from the aggregates levy are contained within the Finance Act 2001. A list of prescribed industrial and agricultural processes which will be relieved under section 30 will be published shortly as part of the aggregates levy general regulations.
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: Independent research has verified that there are significant environmental costs associated with quarrying that are not already covered by regulation, including noise, dust, visual intrusion, loss of amenity and damage to
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biodiversity. The levy will bring about environmental benefits by making the price of aggregates better reflect their true social and environmental costs, and encouraging the use of alternative materials which would otherwise have to be landfilled, thus reducing the amount of extraction.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what environmental impact assessment he has undertaken of the effects of the introduction of the new aggregates tax; and if this includes the cost of the disposal of unsaleable secondary aggregates. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 5 December 2001]: Independent research has shown that there are significant environmental costs associated with quarrying which are not already covered by regulation, including noise, dust, visual intrusion, loss of amenity and damage to biodiversity. The levy will make the price of aggregates better reflect these social and environmental costs and encourage efficient use of aggregates, as well as the increased use of recycled aggregates and other alternatives to virgin aggregate, thus reducing the amount of extraction.
In the pre-Budget report the Government announced that in consultation with the aggregates industry, they are examining proposals to deliver additional environmental benefits through the aggregates levy by encouraging the use of aggregates waste.
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