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20 Jan 2003 : Column 51W—continued

Widows/Widowers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) men and (b) women were widowed in each month in (i) 2001 and (ii) 2002. [91616]

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

20 Jan 2003 : Column 52W

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Oliver Heald, dated 20 January 2003:



Number of new widows and widowers by month, England and Wales, 2001(12)

WidowsWidowers
January12,8356,430
February11,0565,465
March12,3756,018
April11,2495,797
May11,4715,506
June10,6805,162
July10,8935,411
August10,6475,128
September 10,7165,212
October11,0765,393
November11,0145,604
December12,4145,917

(12) Data are for deaths occurring in the year


2001 Census

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the total cost of the UK 2001 Census of Population, broken down to show (a) gross cost and (b) net cost after census-related income; and if he will make a statement. [91704]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. David Laws, dated 20 January 2003:






20 Jan 2003 : Column 53W

All-employee Share Plan/Enterprise Management

Incentives

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of companies that have taken advantage of (a) the all-employee share plan and (b) the enterprise management incentives as set out in the 2000 Budget. [91025]

Dawn Primarolo: 442 Share Incentive Plans have received Inland Revenue approval up to 15 January 2003 with a further 197 plans in the process of approval.

3,297 companies have granted share options under Enterprise Management Incentives up to 15 January 2003.

More detailed statistics relating to 2000–01 only are contained in tables 6.5 and 6.6 of Inland Revenue Statistics. These are available on the Inland Revenue website at: http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/stats/emp_share_schemes/menu.htm.

Business Inquiries (Inland Revenue)

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) full and (b) aspect business inquiries were taken up and settled by the Inland Revenue in each of the last two financial years; and if he will make a statement. [91390]

Dawn Primarolo: Details of the numbers of 'full' and 'aspect' business inquiries taken up each year are set out in the Inland Revenue Annual Reports, copies of which are in the House of Commons Library.

Capital Gains Tax

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of the exemption from capital gains tax of gains arising on the disposal of the only or main residence as stated in table 7 of the November 2002 "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs" if gains could be rolled over onto the purchase of another residential property; and if he will make a statement. [91744]

Dawn Primarolo: Reliable estimates of the cost of abolishing the exemption of gains arising on the disposal of the only or main residence, and instead allowing gains to be rolled over onto the purchase of another residential property, are available only at disproportionate cost.

Early Retirement

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of early retirement for the public sector in each of the last five years. [92073]

Mr. Boateng: Early retirements are the responsibility of individual public sector employers. The costs of making the early retirement are charged directly to employers' budgets and information about total costs is not held centrally. However, the costs of ill health pensions are borne by each pension scheme, and such centrally-collected information as there is was included

20 Jan 2003 : Column 54W

in the report of the "Review of Ill Health Retirement in the Public Sector", published by the Treasury in July 2000.

Euro

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the background papers associated with the forthcoming recommendation on the five economic tests; and if he will make a statement. [91866]

Ruth Kelly : A number of supporting studies will be published encompassing the preliminary and technical work that will inform the assessment of the five economic tests. When the assessment is complete, the detailed supporting studies will be published alongside, all to be subject to intensive public scrutiny and debate. Further detail on the supporting studies was set out in the "Paper for the Treasury Committee on the Treasury's Approach to the Preliminary and Technical Work" published on 6 September.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2003, Official Report, column 414W, on the euro, when his Department last updated its survey of April 1999 on the proportion of small and medium-sized companies prepared for membership of the euro; and if he will make a statement. [92053]

Ruth Kelly: Since April 1999, HM Treasury has published two surveys on the level of preparations among UK businesses for dealing with the euro as a foreign currency. These were published in April 2000 and November 2001. The results of these surveys are available on the Treasury's euro website (www.euro.gov.uk).

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to publish the supporting studies undertaken as part of the preliminary technical work on euro convergence, prior to the formal assessment of the five economic tests for the euro; and if he will make a statement. [92562]

Ruth Kelly: As set out in the Paper for the Treasury Committee on the Treasury's Approach to the Preliminary and Technical Work, published on 6 September 2002, "When the assessment is complete, the detailed supporting studies will be published alongside, all to be subject to intensive public scrutiny and debate".

HIPC Initiative

John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the external debt is of (a) the Gambia, (b) Ethiopia, (c) Cameroon, (d) Chad, (e) Zambia, (f) Senegal, (g) Rwanda, (h) Niger, (i) Nicaragua, (j) Mali, (k) Malawi, (l) Madagascar, (m) Honduras, (n) Guyana, (o) Guinea-Bissau, (p) Guinea (q) Ghana, (r) Sao Tome and Principe and (s) Benin; and what the debt level was when each country reached its Decision Point under the HIPC initiative. [91174]

John Healey: Most of these countries reached Decision Point in the HIPC initiative in 2000, with the exception of Ethiopia and Chad (which reached Decision Point in 2001), and Ghana (which reached

20 Jan 2003 : Column 55W

Decision Point in 2002). Under the HIPC initiative a country receives interim debt relief on payments due when it reaches Decision Point, and subsequently the debt is irrevocably cancelled at Completion Point.

To reach Decision Point and demonstrate their commitment to poverty reduction, a country must prepare an Interim-Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), to get to Completion Point they need to develop a full PRSP, and usually make progress in, implementing it for one year.

The UK always goes beyond HIPC terms and offers 100 per cent. debt relief, including 100 per cent. interim debt relief from Decision Point. The HIPC initiative has helped increase social expenditures in countries receiving HIPC debt relief by US$1.7 billion in 2001–02, equivalent to 1.2 per cent. of Gross Domestic Product. On average, health and education spending account for 65 per cent. of the resources freed by HIPC debt relief.

The most recent readily available data for external debt is for 2000 and is set out in the table:

CountryDate reached DPExternal debt (US$, millions) 2000
The GambiaDecember 2000471
EthiopiaNovember 20015,481
CameroonOctober 20009,241
ChadMay 20011,116
ZambiaDecember 20005,730
SenegalJanuary 20003,372
RwandaDecember 20001,271
NigerDecember 20001,638
NicaraguaDecember 20007,019
MaliSeptember 20002,956
MalawiDecember 20002,716
MadagascarDecember 2000298
HondurasJuly 2000707
GuyanaNovember 2000128
Guinea-BissauDecember 200061
GuineaDecember 2000177
GhanaFebruary 2002483
Sao Tome and PrincipeDecember 200030
BeninJuly 2000192

Source:

World Bank, Global Development Finance, 2002



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