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Mr. Alexander: I met with my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, Central (Mr. Doran) on 19 November and with my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, North and Leith on 21 November. From these meetings, and those which the Scottish Executive Minister held at the same time, we were clear about the difficulties facing Atlantic's business customers in particular.
I then had discussions with the Director General of Telecommunications on 20 November expressing my resolve that everything possible should be done to smooth the transfer of customers from Atlantic to other operators. I then met the Chief Executive of BT, Sir Peter Bonfield, and the Group Commercial Director, Colin Green, on 22 November where I sought BT's assistance to ensure that they would expedite the connection of ex-Atlantic customers. BT assured me it would do all it could to help facilitate a quick transfer of customers.
As a result of further intensive discussions, we therefore announced on 24 November, along with the Scottish Executive Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, a £0.5 million joint rescue package, extending the operation of fixed wireless telephone services to allow customers to switch to an alternative telecoms supplier. The extended operation will end on 2 January 2002 at the latest.
Mr. Wilson: Following the consultation process last year, I am persuaded that a number of miners dismissed in connection with the 198485 strike, and not subsequently re-employed by British Coal, were harshly treated.
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I have concluded that the most appropriate way forward would be to enhance the pensions of these miners in recognition of the years of further service they lost as a result of British Coal's decision not to re-employ them. The costs of this will be met from the residual assets of British Coal. I would emphasise that those whose offences involved serious acts of violence or intimidation or actions which jeopardised the safety of others will not qualify for this enhancement of pension.
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 6 December 2001]: In 200001 the Government received £425.3 million from the mining pension fund surpluses. This included £114.4 million that was held over from the previous year.
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date the Treasury (a) provided new information to the Office for National Statistics on the structure of RenewCo; and (b) subsequently requested confirmation of the classification of RenewCo. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice the Treasury has received from the office for national statistics on the treatment of Government loans to Railtrack while in administration in the national accounts. 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the effect on risk premium which will have to be budgeted for in future partnerships with the private sector, following the events surrounding Railtrack going into administration. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: We do not anticipate that there will be any long-term impact on the risk premium for PPPs as a result of Railtrack administration. In its report of 23 October, credit rating agency Standard and Poors said:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the level of public sector net investment was as a share of GDP in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000, (c) 200001 and (d) 200102; what estimates were made by his Department in the Budgets of (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999 and (iv) 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
|Pre-Budget report 2001||0.7||0.5||0.7||1.3|
PSNI figures are regularly revised by the Office for National Statistics, and can be affected by revisions to depreciation, as well as actual public sector capital spend. In particular, the Office for National Statistics made very significant revisions in the summer of 1998, which makes the figures before and after Budget 1998 difficult to compare.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the level of public sector investment as a share of gross domestic product in each year from 197879 to 200203; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Andrew Smith: The level of public sector net investment, as a proportion of GDP, between 197879 and 200001 is set out in table B23 of the pre-Budget report. Projections for this year, and future years, are set out in table B6 of the same report.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the growth of current expenditure in the total departmental expenditure limit, in real terms, for the period 199899 to 200304; and if he will make a statement. 
(3) what his current target date is for the introduction of (a) the Savings Gateway and (b) the Child Trust Fund. 
Ruth Kelly: Consultation on proposals for the Savings Gateway and Child Trust Fund, including publishing the follow-up consultation document "Delivering Saving and Assets", has been conducted at negligible cost and within Departmental Expenditure Limits.
The costs of the Savings Gateway pilot schemes and further consultation on the Savings Gateway and Child Trust Fund will also be contained within existing spending plans. Detailed proposals of the pilot schemes remain to be decided, but based on the proposed size and scope of the pilot projects it is anticipated that the costs of operating them might be up to about £1.5 million. Proposals for both the Savings Gateway and the Child Trust Fund will continue to be developed through the process of consultation, as well as being considered as part of Spending Review 2002. It will be important to get the design of these new proposals right and no fixed deadline has been set for the introduction of either initiative.
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