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Advisory Groups

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 6 February 2002, Official Report, column 960W, if he will place in the Library a list of the membership of the (a) Business Advisory Group on Economic and Monetary Union, (b) Royal Mint Shareholder Panel, and (c) Standing Committee on Euro Preparations; and if he will make a statement. [36008]

Ruth Kelly: The members of the Royal Mint Stakeholder Panel are John Dean, Hugh Beevor and Stephen Dawson. It also includes Treasury officials with responsibility for oversight of public enterprises and the coinage. The organisations represented on both the Chancellor's Standing Committee on Euro Preparations and the Business Advisory Group on Euro Preparations were listed in the Fifth Report on Euro Preparations, published in November 2001. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Princess of Wales Memorial Committee

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money from the proceeds of the £5 coin has been paid to projects recommended by the Princess of Wales Memorial Committee; how many organisations have received allocations; and how many will do so in 2002. [36113]

Ruth Kelly: The sale of commemorative and collector coins in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales raised

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£7,404,000 by 12 February 2002. This will be used to offset voted expenditure on projects put forward by the Diana Memorial Committee.

I gave details of these projects in my answer of 7 November 2001, Official Report, column 260W. As I said then, the total cost of the park projects to date is £6,000,000. Half of this has been spent, the balance associated with the building of the fountain in Hyde Park, will be used by summer 2003. The Diana Nursing Teams cost £2,000,000 in each of the last two financial years. They are forecast to cost the same this year and again in 2002–03.

EDS Contract

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his letter to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell of 29 January, what the value is of the full 10 year contract with EDS in 2002 prices (a) excluding and (b) including IT assets; and if he will make a statement. [35460]

Dawn Primarolo: The value of the contract in 2002 prices is £2.4 billion excluding capital and £2.8 million including capital. In the past, we have reported the value of the contract in 1994 prices so for completeness this compares with £2.0 billion excluding capital and £2.3 billion including capital. The difference is actual and forecast inflation.

Union Duties

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in his Department, agencies and non- departmental public bodies receive paid leave to undertake union duties; how many days they are allocated; and what has been the cost to public funds in each of the last four years. [36210]

Ruth Kelly: The arrangements for granting paid leave for union duties are the subject of formal agreements between Departments and the recognised trade unions within each Department. The agreements vary to reflect the needs of each Department. As the day-to-day management of each agreement is in the hands of managers throughout the UK detailed figures of the type sought are not readily available in every Department and the cost of collecting them would be disproportionate.

Managers are aware of the need to guard against excessive or unnecessary absences and paid union activity is restricted to the minimum necessary to ensure effective industrial relations and minimise strife.

Departmental Website

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost of his Department's website was in real terms in each of the last four years; and how many hits it received in each of those years. [36142]

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Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 321W.

National Insurance Contributions

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is his policy to rule out removing the ceiling on employees' national insurance contributions. [36406]

Dawn Primarolo: As with all elements of taxation, the Chancellor reviews the levels and threshold for national insurance contributions annually and will continue to keep the upper earnings level and other earnings limits and thresholds under review.

Tax (Students)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Inland Revenue last updated their advice and information to full-time students who have earnings or other income; and in what form this advice is available. [37036]

Dawn Primarolo: The current Inland Revenue leaflet "IR60—Income Tax and Students" was published in June 1997. The contents of this leaflet are currently being reviewed and a revised version is expected to be issued in April.

1911 Census

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what basis the 1911 Census returns remain confidential; and if he will make a statement. [36599]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Chris Mullin dated 14 February 2002:

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Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many appeals were brought under the provisions referred to in (a) subsection (2)(e) (Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Social Security Act 1998 (c. 14) (social security decisions and appeals: Great Britain)) and (b) (2)(f) (Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (social security decisions and appeals: Northern Ireland)) of Clause 46 of the Tax Credits Bill in each year since 1997; and how many of these appeals were successful. [35183]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of first tier appeals made against child benefit and guardian's allowance decisions and the number of those appeals that were found in favour of the appellant since 1997 are:

Number of appealsSuccessful appeals
Great Britain
Northern Ireland


All figures are subject to change as more up to date data becomes available.

Figures after June 2001 are provisional.

Figures are rounded to the nearest five.


Select Committee Witnesses (Gender)

Margaret Moran: To ask the President of the Council if he will collate statistics on the gender breakdown of witnesses to each select committee since 1997. [36367]

Mr. Robin Cook: The choice of witnesses is a matter for individual Select Committees. The Minutes of Proceedings issued each Session for each Committee give details of witnesses, although the sex of a particular individual may not always be clear from their name and title. On these grounds, the cost of collating such figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Working Practices

Dr. Cable: To ask the President of the Council when he expects the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons to report on the reform of the daily working practices of the House. [36713]

Mr. Robin Cook: The Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons has just published its report on the Select Committee System.

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The Committee now plans to address some of the other issues contained in the Memorandum I presented to the Committee before Christmas. I hope the Committee will be able to report on these issues as soon as is practical.

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