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Joint Ministerial Group on Poverty

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the membership is of the Joint Ministerial Group on Poverty; and when (a) the group has met and (b) its next meeting will be. [43491]

Mr. Gordon Brown: The Joint Ministerial Committee on Poverty has met on 9 December 1999 and 26 May 2000, and will meet in July. At its last meeting the committee had the following membership:

Others are invited to attend as necessary.

Parliamentary Questions

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria he uses in determining what information relating to the companies from which Ministers have received hospitality he provides in answer to written parliamentary questions. [46446]

Ruth Kelly: All parliamentary questions are considered on their merits by Treasury Ministers in accordance with the provisions of the Ministerial Code. Whether or not Ministers or officials have given or received hospitality from companies or individuals does not influence in any way the answers which are given to parliamentary questions.


Mr. Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the change in the number of people employed in the (a) public sector and (b) private sector since January 2000. [55013]

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

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Philip Hammond dated 14 May 2002:

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Number of people employed in public and private industry—average (spring to winter), 2000 and 2001, United Kingdom (not seasonally adjusted)

March 2000 to February 2001 (Thousand)6,42221,596
March 2001 to February 2002 (Thousand)6,47921,767
Percentage change on year percentage0.90.8


Labour Force Survey

Criminal Offences

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many criminal offences have been (a) created and (b) abolished by his Department since 1997. [55429]

Ruth Kelly: Comprehensive information is not held in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The principal item of legislation for which the Treasury has been responsible since 1997 is the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This created in the order of 35 criminal offences. However, in consequence of that Act much previous legislation was repealed, including the Insurance Companies Act 1982, the Financial Services Act 1986 and the Banking Act 1987, involving the abolition of at least 80 criminal offences.

In addition the Bank of England Act 1998 created four criminal offences.

Tax Revenue

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much it would cost each year in lost tax revenue (a) to remove the cap on contributions to company pension schemes and (b) to increase the gap by the rise in the index of average earnings since it was introduced. [55457]

Ruth Kelly: Due to the uncertainty of the behavioural effects resulting from such a change on both past and future contributions, estimates are not available.


Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the cost to HM Treasury of reducing the liability for VAT to 5 per cent. for small museums; and if he will make a statement; [55585]

Mr. Boateng: The impact of VAT on museums and other bodies depends upon their individual circumstances. No detailed assessment has been made either of the impact of VAT on small museums or of the cost of introducing a reduced VAT rate for them. The Government have no plans to introduce such a reduced rate.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what support has been given to LPG

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conversion in terms of (a) the cost of conversion, (b) fuel tax and (c) vehicle excise duty (i) prior to and (ii) in the Budget; and if he will make a statement. [55851]

Mr. Boateng: In 2001–02 the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions paid nearly £5 million in grants through the Powershift programme to help to meet the costs of converting vehicles to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Duty on LPG was cut in Budget 2001 from 15p to 9p per kilogramme and a commitment was made not to increase duty in real terms until 2004 at the earliest. Budget 2002 froze duty on LPG in cash terms. The graduated VED scheme for cars first registered after 1 March 2001 offers a reduction of up to £10 a year for cars using LPG.

Pool Betting Duty

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates to be the net effect to the Treasury of the abolition of the pool betting duty and replacement with the tax on pools companies' gross profits in each of the next four years. [56183]

Mr. Boateng: An estimate of the cost of reforming pools betting duty for each of the three years to 2004–05 was published in Table B4 of the pre-Budget report November 2001.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated level of losses to fraud and corruption was in (a) his Department's Vote 1 budget and (b) his Department's Vote 2 budget for (i) 1999–2000 and (ii) 2000–01. [54707]

Dawn Primarolo: There were no losses to fraud or corruption from the Treasury's resources in the period mentioned.

National Insurance Contributions

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people he estimates will pay national insurance contributions in each of the next four years. [55262]

Dawn Primarolo: Available estimates of the number of people estimated to be liable to pay national insurance contributions on an average weekly basis are given in the table.

Estimated number of UK contributors, 2000–01 to 2003–04

Class 121.621.421.521.8

These estimates were provided by the Government Actuary's Department.

Tax Credits

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what publicity he plans to give to the increase in the child component of the working families

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tax credit in June; and how many extra families will become entitled to the working families' tax credit as a result of the increase. [55792]

Dawn Primarolo: The basic tax credit within working families' tax credit (WFTC) will be increased by £2.50 for awards starting from 4 June 2002. This is in addition to the increase to WFTC made in April. Publicity of WFTC continues via posters and leaflets in post offices and doctors' surgeries across the country, and via Bounty Packs issued to new mothers.


Public Expenditure

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, (1) pursuant to the Scotland Office Press Release SS0067, issued on 17 April, which elements of the additional spending allocated to Scotland (a) result from the application of the Barnett Formula and (b) are external to the formula; [52691]

Mrs. Liddell: All of the additional spending allocated to the Scottish Executive as a result of the health measures announced in the Budget were determined by application of the Barnett formula. The annual additions to the Scottish Executive Budget resulting from the Chancellor's Budget announcement on 17 April 2002 are reproduced as follows:

£ million

Additional amount

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