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Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will update his estimate of proceeds from the sale of fixed assets contained in table C15 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2001; what estimate he has made of the outstanding stock of assets in the public sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: Updated information about proceeds of asset sales is contained in table 3.8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 200102. The estimated outturn for asset sales in 200001 is £4,552 million.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the euro:sterling exchange rate on exports to the European Union since 1997; and what his policy is on the exchange rate. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions his Department will make on the level and evolution of the exchange rate for the purposes of the (a) preliminary technical work on the assessment of the five economic tests on the euro and (b) assessment of the economic tests. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government have said that the Treasury will complete an assessment of the Five Tests within the start of this Parliament. Before any assessment is started, we must, of course, continue to do the necessary preliminary work for our analysistechnical work that is necessary to allow us to undertake the assessment within two years.
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opportunity and security for all", published in July 2000 as Command Paper 4807. The 2002 Spending Review, which will conclude in the summer of 2002, will roll forward existing spending plans and set budgets and outcome targets for Departments up to 200506.
Dawn Primarolo: The number of landlords who benefit from the Rent a Room scheme is not known because many of those landlords do not have to complete a self-assessment tax return. For the purposes of estimating the costs of the scheme, published in Table 1.5 of Inland Revenue Statistics, the Revenue tentatively estimates that around 150,000 landlords may benefit.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individual taxpayers who file self-assessment tax returns have registered for the Inland Revenue service for filing tax returns on the internet in each month since the service became available; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Since the registration service became available on 3 April 2000, 146,397 individual taxpayers who file self-assessment tax returns have registered for the Inland Revenue service for filing tax returns over the internet. The number of registrations in each month were:
|July 2001 to 16 July 2001||2,618||146,397|
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of (a) the fixed cost and (b) the marginal cost of providing self- assessment tax returns on the internet; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The estimated cost of implementing the internet service for self-assessment for years one and two is just under £10 million. The ongoing support cost, including maintenance, help desk support and ongoing improvements to the system is around £3 million per annum.
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Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the policy is of HM Customs and Excise in relation to targeted investigations of major cannabis trafficking into the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton can expect a reply to his letter dated 12 June to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury with regard to Mrs. Denise Southworth. 
Ruth Kelly: The National Statistics annual report for 200001, which provides a comprehensive report on the opening year of National Statistics, is being published today. The report has been laid before Parliament and copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses.
National Statistics was launched on 7 June 2000, with the overall aim of providing an up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful description of the UK economy and society. It provides a focus for the work of the Government Statistical Services (GSS), the major provider of official statistics in the UK, with a renewed emphasis on quality, independence and coherence of outputs, to deliver a trusted statistical service for users.
Ruth Kelly: I have today arranged for copies of National Savings' revised Framework Document to be published and for copies to be placed in the Library. A copy has also been placed on the agency's website.
It is part of the usual arrangements for Next Steps Agencies to review their operations and revise their Framework Document every three to five years. Following the completion of a review of National Savings, which was announced in July 2000, changes have been made to the agency's objectives and governance arrangements. The revised Framework document reflects these changes and sets out the relationship between National Savings, the Treasury and the Minister responsible for the delivery of its service.
Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the outcome was of the ECOFIN Council held in Brussels on 10 July; what the Government's voting record was at the Council; and if he will make a statement. 
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I made a strong appeal for the EU to be outward-looking and reformist: the priority must be to step up the momentum of structural economic reform in product, capital and labour markets rather than, for example, tax harmonisation or a new eurotax. I called for progress in areas such as R&D spending, community patent, and launching a new trade round. I also called on the EU to maximise the impact of its development programmes, and emphasised the importance of the Global Health Fund.
The Council discussed taking forward the mandates from the Gothenburg European Council. The Chair of the Economic Policy Committee set out how the EPC and other committees would take on relevant aspects of the work regarding pension reform and sustainable development.
The Commission presented its Communication on future tax policy. No conclusions were drawn, but I stated that ECOFIN's priorities should be completing the Tax Package involving exchange of information on savings income and reaching an appropriate long-term solution to VAT on e-commerce; and made it clear that fair tax competition should be encouraged.
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