|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
(3) if it is his policy that appointed actuaries in insurance enterprises can serve as chief executives. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 8 January 2001]: All these matters relate to the prudential regulation of insurance companies, for which the Financial Services Authority is the regulator. The Insurance Companies Act 1982 presently governs the prudential regulation of insurance companies. That Act will be repealed and replaced by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 when it comes into effect. Both statutory regimes require insurance companies to be soundly and prudently managed, and to take proper account of the interests of policy holders. The function and role of the appointed actuary are currently determined by the 1982 Act. It is for the FSA to assess whether those appointed to senior positions in authorised firms are fit and proper for their roles.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will abolish the rule that an application for up to six months funding of working families tax credits can be applied for only if the employer submits such application for funding at least nine working days before such employer is due to pay tax credits. 
Dawn Primarolo: Employers can apply for funding at any time after they have been notified to start paying tax credit to one or more of their employees. The Inland Revenue aims to get funding to employers at least three days before the employer is first due to pay tax credits. To ensure the funding arrives in time employers are
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 307W
Dawn Primarolo: Inland Revenue statistics (IRS) tables 3.14 provides information on the numbers of taxpayers, mean income and median income by local authority. This is just a subset of those figures. Estimates for the number and percentage of higher rate taxpayers in each local authority in Scotland for 1996-97 (the latest year for which reliable figures are available) are provided in the table.
|Number of higher rate taxpayers:|
|1996-97||In each unitary authority||As a percentage of all taxpayers|
|Aberdeen City UA||12,000||10.1|
|Argyll and Bute UA||3,300||10.3|
|Dumfries and Galloway UA||2,100||3.4|
|Dundee City UA||3,900||6.5|
|East Ayrshire UA||(3)--||(3)--|
|East Dumbartonshire UA||5,300||7.2|
|East Lothian UA||3,300||7.2|
|East Renfrewshire UA||6,900||15.0|
|Edinburgh, City of UA||24,900||11.3|
|Eilean Siar UA||(3)--||(3)--|
|Glasgow City UA||8,000||3.4|
|North Ayrshire UA||4,500||6.6|
|North Lanarkshire UA||7,200||4.7|
|Orkney Islands UA||(3)--||(3)--|
|Perthshire and Kinross UA||5,600||8.2|
|Scottish Borders UA||4,200||7.8|
|Shetland Islands US||(3)--||(3)--|
|South Ayrshire UA||4,800||8.7|
|South Lanarkshire UA||9,800||6.9|
|West Dumbartonshire UA||(3)--||(3)--|
|West Lothian UA||2,900||3.8|
(3) Sample size is not sufficient for a reliable estimate to be made
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the recommendation of the Third report of the Committee on Welsh Affairs, on social exclusion in Wales, concerning regional variations in tax to encourage investment in less developed areas. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government will be responding to the Committee in the usual way in due course. The Government set out a range of policies to promote fairness and to improve the economic performance of all parts of the UK in the pre-Budget
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 308W
report. Wales also benefited from substantial increases in provision in the 2000 Spending Review, including in relation to Objective 1 funding, which is intended to stimulate economic development in less developed areas.
11. Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food regarding the impact of trade liberalisation on British agriculture. 
Mr. Byers: The sector employs over 220,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £40 billion. Since 1997, over £3 billion of new investment has been announced with over 10,000 new jobs in car manufacturing alone, and since 1997 we have seen record levels of production, sales and exports.
Mr. Byers: The Government's policy on the UK car industry is the same as that for any other manufacturing sector--to assist industry to improve it's competitiveness in today's challenging global market.
Mr. Caborn: The industry-led textile and clothing strategy group report highlighted opportunities for the industry in the north-west in technical textiles, the application of new technology in traditional areas and a diversification into wider activities such as technical tapes and healthcare.
15. Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with non-governmental organisations regarding the content of a draft bill on strategic arms exports. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend met representatives of non-governmental organisations last November to discuss issues relating to the proposed Export Control Bill, including the Government's proposals for new controls on arms trafficking and brokering. Ministers and officials have also held other meetings with NGOs to discuss these issues.
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 309W
Dr. Howells: At the moment only Section 14 of the Act is in force and that is an order-making power. Before we can assess the operation of the Act we will need to bring the rest of its provisions into force. As was stated in the regulatory impact assessment, we will monitor its operation and assess it after three years.
Mr. Byers: The Government have given a commitment that both before and after the migration of benefit payments to automated credit transfer, those benefit and pension recipients who wish to collect their benefits in cash in full across a post office counter will continue to be able to do so. The development of universal banking services will ensure that arrangements for this are put in place.
Mr. Byers: By accepting all 24 recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit's (PIU) report on the future of the post office network, the Government have demonstrated their continuing commitment to maintenance of a nationwide network. We are working closely with the Post Office, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters and other stakeholders to implement the PIU recommendations and have placed a formal requirement on the Post Office to maintain the rural network and prevent avoidable closures.
Mr. Byers: Good progress is being made with the development of universal banking services. Agreement in principle was reached on 20 December 2000 with six banks, Barclays, Lloyds TSB Ltd, RBS/Nat West, HSBC, Abbey National and the Halifax, to contribute towards universal banking services at the Post Office. Discussions continue with other banks and building societies to examine what contributions they can make.
18 Jan 2001 : Column: 310W
Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many post offices there are in each parliamentary constituency; how many receive 40 per cent. or more of their annual income from pensions and benefits business; and if he will make a statement. 
Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) post offices and (b) sub-post offices there were in (i) Yeovil constituency and (ii) south Somerset in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byers: I understand from the Post Office that the historic data requested are not available and that the most recent data available for Yeovil constituency are as set out in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Erdington on 29 November 1999, Official Report, column 22W.
Mr. Alan Johnson: Publicity and advertising of the range of services available are operational matters for the Post Office. I understand that, in addition to in-store advertising of Post Office products and services often supported by local press and radio campaigns and promotional incentives, a new website carrying a comprehensive guide to all products and services available from the Post Office is to be launched later this month. This website will be advertised as part of the credits for the television travel programme "Wish You Were Here", which the Post Office is sponsoring for six months with the particular objective of advertising and promoting the travel insurance, foreign currency and travellers cheques services available either on demand or by order through all post offices.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|