Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: UNMIK has chosen to base the legal code on the law as in Kosovo in 1989, before Milosevic removed Kosovo's autonomy. This was a symbolic gesture but important to get Kosovars to participate in the legal system and to help recruit local judges and prosecutors. This, together with regulations issued by UNMIK, constitute a provisional legal base for Kosovo without prejudicing the eventual future status of Kosovo.

Child Poverty

Lord Higgins asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): I refer the noble Lord to my answer to him on this point on 28 September 2000, vol. 616, cols. 942-943.

Benefit Take-up

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: No estimates of the actual amounts of unclaimed Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance have been made. Indications of the incidence of disability obtained from the 1996-97 Family Resources Survey were used to make broad estimates of take-up rates for those benefits at that time and suggested that perhaps 30-50 per cent of those entitled to the Disability Living

10 Oct 2000 : Column WA32

Allowance care component, 50-70 per cent of those entitled to the mobility component, and 40-60 per cent of those entitled to Attendance Allowance were actually claiming the benefit. Such broad ranges, covering five rates and 11 possible combinations of benefit, cannot be reliably converted to cash terms. In general, it is reasonable to assume that it is normally people likely to receive smaller awards of benefit who do not claim.

Estimates of Income Support take-up, based on 1998-99 survey data and including information for pensioners, are due to be published later this year.

Chinook Helicopter Accident

Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Chinook crash in June 1994 could have been avoided if the Chinook pilots had made a turn of about 15 degrees to port, as shown on the flight plan, immediately after they changed the way point.[HL3950]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Whichever route had been chosen, safety would not have been compromised if the crew had adhered to the appropriate rules for the weather conditions encountered.

Air Passenger Duty: Charter Airlines

Lord Brabazon of Tara asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will consider exempting enhanced economy services aboard charter airlines from the doubling of Air Passenger Duty on extra-European Economic Area flights from 1 April 2001 on the ground that these are not first or club class services.[HL3939]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: From 1 April 2001 reduced rates of Air Passenger Duty will apply to the lowest class of travel on a flight. On the vast majority of charter airline services this will apply to most, if not all, passengers. However, on some charter flights the airlines provide enhanced facilities such as a separate cabin and better quality seats, which are clearly not the lowest class of travel on those flights. In these cases the standard rates of Air Passenger Duty will be appropriate. Airlines have been invited to approach Customs to agree how the changes will affect their flights.

UK Foreign Currency Reserves

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of United Kingdom reserves are currently held in gold, euros, US dollars and other currencies of specie.[HL3931]

10 Oct 2000 : Column WA33

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The currency breakdown of the UK's Foreign Currency Reserves is published quarterly on the Bank of England's website (www.bankofengland.co.uk).

Gold Prices

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What price the 125 tons of gold was sold from the United Kingdom reserves in the auction beginning in June 1999; and what was the price of gold on 28 September 2000.[HL3929]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information sought is contained in the press releases issued by the Bank of England for each auction and is available on their website (www.bankofengland.co.uk). The price of gold at the close of business in London on 28 September 2000 was $275.25 per ounce.

Gold Sales and Euro Purchases

Lord Willoughby de Broke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the value in sterling terms of euros purchased by them subsequent to the gold sales in 1999; and by how much in sterling and percentage terms that holding has appreciated or depreciated since its purchase.[HL3930]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to Lord Blackwell on 9 October 2000 (Official Report, col. 4).

Tax Rates in the EU

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will show in a table the top rate of personal inheritance tax, or other comparable tax at death, in each country of the European Union.[HL3819]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, on 22 of June 2000 (Official Report, col. WA39).

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will show in a table the top rate of capital gains tax charged on disposal of shares in publicly quoted companies in each country of the European Union.[HL3818]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is difficult to make direct comparisons between the rates of tax charged on the disposal of shares in publicly quoted companies across the Euoprean Union. This is because in many countries there is no distinction made between capital gains and other income, for corporate disposal of shares in publicly quoted companies. Instead, in such cases, all income is taxed at the corporate rate.

10 Oct 2000 : Column WA34

The information provided in the table below is found in Corporate Tax Guide 2000, Ernst & Young; Individual Taxes 1999-2000, PriceWaterhouse Coopers; and HM Treasury (1998), Financial Statement and Budget Report 1998, London (figures for taper applicable in 1999). It outlines, for each country of the EU, the means by which the capital gains on the disposal of shares are taxed. The tax rates shown all relate to those in effect as at the end of December 1999, the most recent period for which comparative data are available. Since there is a distinction between taxation of corporate and individual disposal of shares in publicly quoted companies, the table includes a column for each.

CountryCorporateIndividual
AustriaThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (34%).Capital gains realised by a private person are generally exempt.
BelgiumCapital gains on shares are exempt from tax if dividends on the shares qualify for the participation exemption.Capital gains realised by a private person are generally exempt.
DenmarkGains derived from disposals of shares owned for three years or more are exempt from tax unless the seller deals in shares. Shares owned for less than three years are taxed as other income (32%).Gains on sales of shares in quoted companies are exempt subject to certain conditions. Where these conditions are not met, gains are taxable as normal income (40%).
FinlandThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (28%).Capital gains are taxed at the flat rate of 28%.
FranceLong-term capital gains are taxed at the standard rate (33?%) plus surtaxes. Short-term capital gains are included in ordinary income and subject to the standard corporate tax rate (33?%).Capital gains are subject to a 16% tax plus 10% social surcharges.
GermanyCapital gains tax rate is 40% plus 5.5% surcharge.Long-term capital gains are free of tax. Short-term gains are added to taxable income (53%).
GreeceExemption applies where gains are held in a special reserve. Otherwise taxed at corporate tax rate (35% or 40%).Gains on listed shares are not taxable.
ItalyCapital gains on assets that have been held for at least three years may be taxed at the company's option entirely in the year of sale (37%) or spread over a maximum period of five years. Where the substitute tax regime applies, the rate is 27%.Capital gains are taxable at the rate of 12-% or 27% dependent on the level of participation.
LuxembourgThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (30%).Short-term gains are included in taxable income at normal rates (46%). Long-term gains are exempt subject to certain conditions.
NetherlandsThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (35%).Capital gains are generally not included in taxable income.
PortugalThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (34%).The sale of shares is taxed at 10%.
Republic of IrelandThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (24%).Most capital gains are taxed at 20%.
SpainThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (35%).Short-term capital gains are taxed with ordinary income at a general rate of 39.6%. Long-term gains are taxed at 20%.
SwedenThere is no distinction between capital gains and other income. All income is taxed at the corporate tax rates (28%).National income tax on capital income is imposed at a flat rate of 30%.
UKGains are subject to corporation tax at the normal rates (30%).Capital gains are taxed at rates equivalent to the rates of income tax that would apply if gains were treated as the top slice of the individual's "savings" income. The UK system for taxing capital gains incorporates a taper, whereby effective tax rates decline over time. There is a separate taper for business assets and non-business assets*.

*The 1998 Budget introduced a taper for capital gains tax on non-business assets, which replaced the previous capital gains tax indexation allowance. For non-business assets the taper reduces the effective rate of tax on capital gains for a higher rate taxpayer from 40 per cent in the first three years down to 24 per cent after the tenth year.

For business assets there is also a taper, which reduces the effective rate of tax for a higher rate taxpayer from 40 per cent in the first year to 10 per cent after the tenth year. From April 2000 the taper increases, so that the effective tax rate for a higher rate taxpayer falls from 40 per cent in the first year to

10 per cent after the fourth year.


10 Oct 2000 : Column WA36


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page