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Dawn Primarolo: We will ensure that the pre-owned assets measures have no impact on the full range of bona fide equity-release schemes with arms-length providers, while continuing to bear down on schemes aimed merely at avoidance. The Inland Revenue are in discussion with equity release providers to define what provision is needed to ensure this. We will be making further announcements about the pre-owned asset regulations following the conclusion of the current consultation.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what measures he plans to implement to protect (a) fishermen and fisheries and (b) farmers from rising fuel bills; and if he will make a statement; 
John Healey: Oil prices have been volatile and high during this year. On 1 October, the Chancellor issued a statement identifying four steps to reduce the risk of high oil prices denting confidence and pushing up inflationary pressures. Firstly, OPEC must continue to take necessary action to return prices to levels consistent with global prosperity. Secondly, actions are needed to improve the transparency and efficiency of the oil markets. Thirdly oil producing countries need to promote sustainable investment in their reserves and productive capacity. Fourthly, all countries must promote greater energy efficiency and develop new sources of energy.
Oil price rises affect the whole of the UK economy, and therefore are not limited to specific sectors. The Chancellor takes account of relevant economic, social and environmental factors when deciding taxation policy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from
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Hertfordshire police authority on funding of services; and if he will make a statement on the funding of (a) Hertfordshire and (b) other shire counties. 
Mr. Timms: The 2002 spending review provided for record growth in spending on crime, justice and communities, from £16.5 billion in 200203 to £20.5 billion in 200506. The 2004 spending review has built on this progress by embedding the Government's success in delivery and further increasing spending in these areas by £3.5 billion by 200708, compared to 200405. The Home Secretary is due to announce specific policing allocations for 200506 shortly.
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the levels of Gross Value Added per employee in the (a) manufacturing sector and (b) private services sector were for each year from 1997 to 2003 in Great Britain. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question on the levels of Gross Value Added per employee in the manufacturing sector and in the private services sector for each year from 1997 to 2003 in Great Britain. (196865)
We do not produce private services sector productivity. Total services industries output per job is available on the National Statistics website as part of the release of experimental statistics on services sector productivity. The web address of the latest release of service sector productivity is given below:
The Inland Revenue has a programme of risk assessment directed at tackling income tax evasion. In addition, in Budget 2003 and again in 2004 the Government funded a package of further compliance initiatives. These included work on tackling evasion via offshore trusts and improving the inflow of information to the Inland Revenue. The proposed formation of HM Revenue and Customs, by
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merging Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, will further enhance the effectiveness of the work currently undertaken by those departments.
|All 50 to 70||52.1||59.2||45.2|
|Number of employee jobs|
|1997 to 2002||2,200|
|2001 to 2002||1,700|
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