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Ruth Kelly: The Government have said that they will complete an assessment of the five economic tests within two years of the start of this Parliament. The assessment will be comprehensive and rigorous. All relevant economic issues will be dealt with as part of the assessment.
Mr. Andrew Smith: The minimum income guarantee benefits around 1.8 million of the poorest households. In April, we reformed the capital rules to reward those who have saved and we abolished the age-related lower rates so that everyone on the MIG is entitled to the highest rate of support. We are committed to raising the MIG in line with earnings throughout this Parliament to ensure that pensioners can share in rising prosperity.
To provide greater support not only for the very poorest but also for those on low and modest incomes, we have decided to proceed with the introduction of the Pension Credit from 2003 at a cost of £2 billion in the first full year. The Pension Credit will tackle the unfairness and complexities of the current system. It will bring pensioners up to a guaranteed minimum income and it will reward those who have saved for retirement to ensure that it pays to have saved even quite modest amounts.
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Mr. Boateng: As announced in last week's pre-Budget report, subject to legal and other constraints, the Government will consider the environmental case for providing more favourable treatment for CHP within the climate change levy, taking account of the role which CHP might play in meeting the UK's climate change targets.
32. Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will include the achievement of a competitive and sustainable final exchange rate of the pound against the euro in his assessment of the economic tests for UK membership of the euro. 
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor), of 19 July 2001, Official Report, column 381W, what exchange rate between the pound and the euro will be stable and competitive in the medium term. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the extent to which the pound sterling was overvalued against the euro on 27 November; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Figures for the number of firms that have taken advantage of the research and development tax credit for small and medium enterprises introduced in the last Budget will not be available until 2002, when firms incurring research and development expenditure have sent in their tax returns for the first year of operation of the scheme.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the proportion of the market share of UK consumed cigarettes accounted for by smuggled product for the latest year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
The Customs and Excise paper, "Tackling Indirect Tax Fraud", also published on 27 November 2001 and a copy of which is also in the Library of the House, sets out the results of the first year of the Government's Tackling Tobacco Smuggling strategy. These results show that the Government's strategy is on target to achieve its aim of putting cigarette smuggling into decline within three years.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 14344W, under what exemptions of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information he did not provide the information requested. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The answer was in accordance with Exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which was introduced in April 1994, and the Resolution of the House of March 1997. These specifically provide for the exclusion of internal consultation and discussion, and confidential communications between Government Departments.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the change in the working age inactivity rate over the past 12 months; what reasons underlie this change; and if he will make a statement. 
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Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of capital gains tax receipts in 200102 to 200203 are published in the November 2001 pre-Budget report. Estimates for earlier years are available from the Inland Revenue website.
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