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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The scope of the inquiry into supermarkets is a matter for the Competition Commission. The Commission is due to deliver its report to the Secretary of State on 31 July. The department has an administrative target to publish monopoly reports within 10 weeks of receipt of the report. Publication may take place sooner or later depending on a number of factors.
|Top Income Tax Rate||Top Income Tax Threshold (£'s)1||Top Income Tax Threshold (Euros)1|
1 Using currency exchange rates as at 3 August 2000.
2 Belgium: Government levies a crisis surcharge of 3%, plus municipalities levy a local income tax by way of a surcharge on national tax. Average rate around 7%.
3 Denmark: In addition, municipal income tax is levied at flat rates ranging from 27% to 35%. Average 32.4%. There is a proviso that maximum combined rate of municipal and national tax (but excluding church tax) cannot exceed 58%.
4 Finland: In addition, municipal income tax is levied at flat rates ranging from 15% to 19.75%. Average rate is 17.55%.
5 Sweden: In addition, local income tax is levied. Rates determined by municipality. Average rate is 30.76%.
The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The 1999 Annual Report sets out details of seven Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) issued for the export of goods to Sudan. Three of these SIELs covered the export of goods listed in Part III of Schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order, 1994, commonly known as the Military List. All three Military List SIELs covered the export of military cargo vehicles for humanitarian aid purposes. HC162W details one SIEL; the other two SIELs were notified by letter to the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on 11 August 1999. A copy of the letter was placed in the Library of the House.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Trade Partners UK has five Export Promoters supporting exports of environmental technology and services in specific markets, as well as the recently appointed EP dedicated to Energy and Environment. Trade Partners UK also works closely with JEMU, the Joint (DTI/DETR) Environmental Markets Unit, dedicated to promoting the UK environment sector in overseas markets.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: This Government recognise the problems that delays in the processing of export licence applications can cause. We aim to give applicants a decision as quickly as is consistent with the need for careful assessment.
In the case of medical equipment there may be lengthy lists of medicines that need to be checked. If these medicines take the form of vaccines they may also be covered by the Import and Export (ImpEx) mechanism established under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1051. This mechanism requires certain goods, as specified in an agreed list, to be subject to special controls, including the monitoring of their end use in Iraq, because they are capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction programmes.
Despite this, it is possible that misinformation about the EU might make small businesses wary of seizing the opportunities presented by their access to the world's largest single market. That is why my department has on hand a comprehensive range of support services, available through the Small Business Service, Trade Partners UK and the Action Single Market team, to help businesses find their feet in Europe. My department is also actively targeting, through constructive engagement with colleagues in other member states, the weaknesses which do remain in the Single Market so that British businesses can compete on equal terms with their European colleagues.
To underpin the importance of creating a friendly environment for small firms within the EU, this Government played a leading role in securing agreement at the Feira European Council on a Small Firms Charter. The charter commits the EU to a range of actions to allow enterprise and small firms to flourish within the EU.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Names of companies operating in overseas markets are not normally divulged as sensitive information of this kind is a matter of commercial confidentiality. In the case of Sudan, as we do not actively promote trade in that market, there have been no departmentally led events through which we might build such a picture. This means that our knowledge of companies operating in that market is, in any case, very patchy.
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