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Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what basis loans may be made for a departmental budget to a private company in administration; on how many occasions this has occurred in the last four years; and how such loans would be treated in the national accounts. 
Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The basis on which loans may be made from a departmental budget to a private company in administration is as for any other expenditure. Departments must take account of the guidance in Government Accounting, in particular, Chapter 2, on the powers to incur expenditure.
In national accounts such loans are treated as loans from the government sector to the private sector. There is no impact on the public sector current surplus, public sector net borrowing, or Total Managed Expenditure (TME).
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the real growth rate of net investment, as used to produce the estimates of future public borrowing set out in Table B2, page 165, of the pre-Budget report, November 2001. 
13 Dec 2001 : Column: 1001W
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason he does not assume recent changes in (a) equity prices, (b) oil prices and (c) financial corporation (i) profits and (ii) bonuses to be cyclical for the purposes of his public finance forecasts. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Treasury's methodology for estimating the impact of the economic cycle on the public finances is set out in the publication "Fiscal policy: public finances and the cycle", HM Treasury, March 1999. The impact of equity prices, oil prices and financial corporations on the forecast is described in detail in paragraphs B34-B49 of the pre-Budget report (pages 174178).
Office for National Statistics Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR)
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working days were lost through (a) official and (b) unofficial strike action in the constituency of Buckingham in each year since 1997. 
13 Dec 2001 : Column: 1002W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses there were in the Buckingham constituency with (a) 0 to five, (b) five to 20, (c) 20 to 49 and (d) more than 50 employees in each year since 1997. 
All figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 to avoid disclosure
Office for National Statistics Inter Departmental Business Register
Ian Stewart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements are in place to ensure that the Financial Services Authority is held accountable following the implementation of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 
Ruth Kelly: The Financial Services and Markets Act set out a comprehensive new framework to ensure that the FSA and its board, while independent of Government, would be properly accountable to Ministers, Parliament and the wider public. The Chancellor has today written to Howard Davies, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, setting out how the Government propose to use their powers under the new arrangements to ensure that the accountability process works as effectively as possible.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2001, Official Report, column 55W, on Treasury investment capital appraisal, when he expects the review to conclude;
13 Dec 2001 : Column: 1003W
if he will place the terms of reference in the Library; what representations he has received; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The review is on-going. It needs to cover a range of complex issues and will conclude once the necessary work has been done. Its terms of reference are as per the objectives set out in paragraph 61 of the HM Treasury document"Planning Sustainable SpendingLessons from Previous Policy Experience", published in November 2000.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations his Department has received on his proposals on progressive beer duty; and if the sliding scale of relief will apply to local brewers who produce up to 200,000 hectolitres per annum. 
Mr. Boateng: The Government have announced that they are minded to introduce a reduced rate of duty on the beer produced by small breweries and has had a number of representations. A decision will be announced in Budget 2002.
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