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Gender Pay Gap

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average gap between men's and women's pay is in Bolton. [57170]

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

Letter from Len Cook to Brian Iddon, dated 20 May 2002:

Taxation (Northern Ireland)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the estimated amounts of tax revenue attributed to Northern Ireland in each of the last 20 years, broken down by each principal category of (a) income tax, (b) corporation tax, (c) value added tax, (d) national insurance, (e) excise duties, (f) inheritance tax and (g) other. [57153]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what conventions and methods are used for calculating the Northern Ireland attributed share of UK taxes. [57152]

Mr. Andrew Smith: With the advent of devolution in Northern Ireland in December 1999, Northern Ireland's attributed share of United Kingdom taxes is no longer calculated for the purposes of determining Exchequer funding to the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund. Instead, the Northern Ireland Executive receives block grants in accordance with Section 58 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Finance Bill

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if statutory instruments under clause 19 of the Finance Bill will be subject to the affirmative procedure. [57339]

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Mr. Boateng: Clause 19 provides that Schedule 5 to the Bill shall have effect. Under the provisions of Schedule 5, affirmative resolutions will be required where regulations are to be made:

Rural Policy

Mr. Breed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason no information relating to the banking regulations was passed to the Countryside Agency for its Rural Proofing report; and if he will make a statement. [57460]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury was happy to work with the Countryside Agency to produce its Rural Proofing report, and provided relevant information on how the Treasury had considered the rural dimension on new policies, where that did not pre-empt policy in the process of development. The Treasury takes Rural Proofing very seriously and has appointed a full-time secondee from the Countryside Agency to rural proof the 2002 Spending Review. That commitment is well demonstrated in the area of banking, where the "Universal Bank", a project on which the Treasury has been closely involved, is planned to make bank accounts accessible to all at post office counters by April 2003. This will be of particular benefit to those living in rural areas, where post offices are far more numerous thank bank branches: 93.5 per cent. of households in rural England live within 2 km of a post office.


John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what weight of the drug yaba was seized by Government officials last year in the UK; [57688]

Mr. Boateng: HM Customs and Excise is responsible for combating illegal importations of controlled drugs. Customs undertake enforcement action at the UK frontier by seizing all prohibited drugs found. They also prosecute offenders through the courts.

Yaba is a street term of methyl-amphetamine, a Class B synthetic drug. 34 kilos of methyl-amphetamine were seized by UK police and Customs during the calendar year 2001.

Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has asked his officials to conduct assessments on the five economic tests for membership of the euro. [57852]

Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 330W.

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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the economic models through which the five economic tests will be assessed. [57885]

Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 7 February 2002, Official Report, column 1144W.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those (a) advisers and (b) departments within the Treasury, that will be responsible for analysing the five economic tests on the Euro; what outside experts will be consulted; and if he will make a statement. [57857]

Ruth Kelly: The assessment has not yet started, but the necessary preliminary analysis—technical work that is necessary to allow us to undertake the assessment within two years as promised—is under way. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Mr. Taylor) on 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 755W.

European Council Decisions

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the reasons underlying Council Regulation 134/2002, on minimum reserves of the European central bank. [57909]

Ruth Kelly: Council Regulation (EC) 134/2002 amends Council Regulation (EC) 2351/98, on the application of minimum reserves by the European central bank, by increasing the period available to the ECB Governing Council to review decisions by the ECB executive board to impose sanctions for non-compliance with minimum reserve requirements.

Neither Regulation 134/2002, nor Regulation 2351/98, applies to the United Kingdom.

National Insurance

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) amount and (b) proportion of the estimated total revenue to be raised in 2003–04 from the increases in national insurance contributions on (i) employees and (ii) the self-employed announced in the Budget he estimates will be raised from individuals who have salaries below the upper earnings/profit limit. [56470]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 May 2002]: The NIC changes announced in the Budget are shown in table A.1 of the April 2002 Financial Statement and Budget Report (page 154), a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

The proportions of the additional NIC revenue split between those with incomes below and above the upper thresholds are estimated in the following table.


Class 1 primaryClass 4
From individuals with earnings/profits below the UEL/UPL5640
From individuals with earnings/profits above the UEL/UPL4460

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Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2002, Official Report, column 880W, on taxation, what the annual income to the Inland Revenue from forward contracts was for each year since 1988; and whether those who have benefited from forward contract arrangements which have ended are paying taxation in the normal way. [55478]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The number of cases in which agreements of this sort have applied is small. In some instances the identities of the taxpayers involved are or might in the future become public, for example in the course of court proceedings. In these circumstances, it would not be right to give details of the amounts involved, because of taxpayers' entitlement to confidentiality about levels of income and tax.

When agreements end, tax is paid in the normal way.

Corporation Tax

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to extend the reduction in corporation tax, extended to incorporated companies in the last Budget, to unincorporated businesses. [57232]

Dawn Primarolo: We have no plans to extend the reduction in corporation tax to unincorporated businesses. In appropriate cases the Government have introduced specific incentives which apply to all businesses. But the profits of unincorporated businesses are liable to income tax, as part of the income of their proprietor, rather than to corporation tax, and in general unincorporated businesses and companies are not directly comparable. Companies are distinct legal entities, separate from their owners, and are subject to the obligations laid down in the Companies Act. It is right that there is a system of taxation specific to them.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer following implementation of the Budget, what corporation tax will be payable by (a) an incorporated and (b) an unincorporated company with turnover of £99,000 and with taxable profits of £40,000. [57233]

Dawn Primarolo: The corporation tax payable by a company with profits of £40,000 for an accounting period ending 31 March 2003 would be £7,125 (assuming it is entitled to marginal relief from the small companies' rate but no further reliefs such as double taxation relief). Unincorporated businesses are not taxed separately from their proprietors and it is not possible to give a figure for the income tax payable as that will depend on the allowances and reliefs to which the proprietor is entitled and the extent of any other income.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) individuals and (b) enterprises have negotiated forward payment contracts with the Inland Revenue for income and corporation tax in each year since 1996. [53476]

Dawn Primarolo: Since 1988 the Inland Revenue have entered into arrangements of this sort in a small number of cases. Typically, these arrangements were made on the basis that they were sensible practical solutions that gave

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a broadly accurate measure of the tax due where there would otherwise be particular difficulties in establishing an exact figure.

In the years since 1996, seven such agreements were made in cases concerning individuals, one in each of the years 1996 and 1999, three in 1997 and two in 2000. In three of these cases the agreements were renewal agreements where the original was entered into prior to 1996. All such agreements have concerned individuals, though some have included corporate aspects as a secondary matter.

These numbers differ from those in my answer of 1 May 2002, Official Report, column 880W because that question and the response to it concerned forward contracts involving fixed regular payments only.

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