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Sun Screen Products

Dr. Fox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much tax was raised through VAT levied on sun screen products in the last year. [53013]

Mr. Boateng: The information requested is not available.

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reduce VAT on sun creams that meet agreed standards. [53443]

Mr. Boateng: The Government have no plans to reduce the VAT on sun cream products.

North Sea Tax

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government conducted an economic assessment of the impact of the 10 per cent. North Sea tax on (a) current and (b) future (i) employment and (ii) exploration related to North Sea activities prior to the measure being announced in the Budget. [53215]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government has been reviewing the North Sea taxation regime since 1998. The changes announced in the Budget were subject to detailed analysis to ensure that they delivered the Government's objectives of securing a fair share of North Sea revenues, encouraging long-term investment, and establishing a stable tax regime in the North Sea for the long term.

Motor Vehicle Repairs

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much VAT was raised in each year since 1997 on body shop motor vehicle repairs. [53061]

Mr. Boateng: No such information is available.

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason VAT is levied on independent motor accident repair businesses for the labour element of the service; and if he will make a statement. [53062]

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Mr. Boateng: A fundamental principle of VAT is that businesses charge VAT when they supply goods and services in the UK. When a business makes a supply, VAT is due on the price it charges and that price takes account of its costs, including labour costs.

Stability and Growth Pact

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the compatibility of the plans set out in Budget 2002 with the stability and growth pact. [53590]

Ruth Kelly: As set out in paragraph 2.65 of the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report, the Budget 2002 projections are consistent with the Government's prudent interpretation of the stability and growth pact which takes account of the economic cycle, sustainability and the important role of public investment (as specified in Article 104 of the EU treaty).

Rating Appeals

Mr. Lepper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many appeals have been listed in respect of entries in the 2000 Rating List; how many of these appeals have been dealt with fully; and what the cost has been of considering these appeals. [53499]

Dawn Primarolo: As at 31 March 2002, the Valuation Office Agency had received 918,970 appeals against the 2000 Rating Lists. 323,609 of those appeals have been settled at a cost to the agency of approximately £90 million.

Contaminated Land Tax Credit

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated value is of the contaminated land tax credit in 2002–03. [53408]

Mr. Boateng: The estimated cost in 2002–03 of tax relief for cleaning contaminated land is £85 million, as given in tables A11 and A12 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report, March 2001.

Research and Development

Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if the 50 per cent. tax credit on research and development into vaccines and medicines for the prevention of malaria, TB and some strains of AIDS in poorer countries will apply to (a) current and (b) future research and development; [53340]

Mr. Boateng: Finance Bill 2002 will introduce a new tax credit to encourage research and development into vaccines and medicines for the prevention of TB, malaria and for the prevention of the onset or treatment of AIDS for those strains of HIV most commonly found

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in the developing world. (Research and development expenditure on vaccines for the prevention of HIV infection will also be eligible for this relief.) Companies will be entitled to deduct an additional 50 per cent. of qualifying current expenditure incurred on or after a date specified by an order to be made by the Treasury.

Red Book

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the figures in Table 4.4 of the Budget Red Book include the effects of (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit; and how many people would be in each marginal deduction rate if their benefits were included. [53529]

Dawn Primarolo: The effects of housing benefit and council tax benefit are included in Table 4.4 of the Budget 2002 report.

Climate Change Levy

Sue Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total cost to the Treasury will be (a) at the outset of its introduction and (b) projected in the next three years from the exemption from the Climate Change Levy of electricity from electricity from coal mine methane sold via licensed electricity suppliers; [53726]

Mr. Boateng: The costs of the freeze in rates of the Climate Change Levy, the exemption of electricity from combined heat and power plants, and the exemption of electricity from coal mine methane sold via licensed electricity suppliers are set out on pages 155 and 167 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report (FSBR) 2002.

The freeze in rates is in nominal terms and therefore represents a real terms cut.

New Deal

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials in his Department were working on the New Deal in (a) 1998 and (b) 2001. [53410]

Ruth Kelly: Several Treasury officials worked on the Government's new deal initiative alongside their other duties.

As to the numbers of new deal staff employed by the Treasury, I refer the hon. Member to an earlier reply dated 25 March 2002, Official Report, columns 748–49W.

Life Assurance Premium Relief

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the size is of the accounting adjustment

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made in Table C13 of the Financial Statement and Budget report 2002, for life assurance premium relief; and if he will make a statement. [53407]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The tax credits line in Table C13 includes £100 million in respect of life assurance premium relief for 2000–01 and slightly lower amounts in each succeeding year.

Public Capital Expenditure

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the net public capital expenditure has been in (a) cash, (b) real and (c) GDP terms in each year since 1998–99; and what the latest estimate is for the 2001–02 out-turn. [53482]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The figures requested are given in the table.

Public sector net investment

Current prices (£ billion)2000–01 prices (£ billion)Percentage of GDP
1998–995.96.10.7
1999–20004.74.80.5
2000–015.75.70.6
2001–02(23)12.011.71.2

(23) Provisional


TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Anti-Competitive Practices

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce (a) direct and (b) rapid remedies for victims of anti-competitive practices; and if she will make a statement. [52229]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Improving the opportunities for victims of anti-competitive practices to gain redress is a key theme of the Enterprise Bill (introduced to the House of Commons on 26 March 2002).

The Bill will enable those harmed by anti-competitive practices to follow a decision establishing a breach of competition law with a claim for damages before a specialist competition body—the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal offers the advantages of being a quicker and more streamlined route for consumers and businesses to obtain redress from companies that have broken the law. In addition, representative bodies will be able to bring claims for damages in front of the tribunal on behalf of groups of named consumers, thus helping consumers obtain redress where a large number of parties have each suffered a relatively small level of harm.

The Government are also providing a faster and fairer route to an independent review of a decision under the Competition Act by allowing third parties to appeal direct to the Competition Appeal Tribunals instead of first having to ask the Director General or one of the sector regulators to withdraw or alter his decision.


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