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Vernon Coaker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the percentage of GNP is committed to overseas aid in (a) 200102 and (b) 200203; what plans he has to increase the percentage of GNP committed to overseas aid; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: The final figures for 2002 are currently not available from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The latest DAC figures available show the UK net overseas development assistance average for 2000 was 0.32 per cent. of GNP.
The Government remain fully committed to the UN 0.7 per cent oda/GNP target. They have made clear their pledge that the ratio of aid to GNP will reach 0.33 per cent. in 200304. This would place the UK above the G7 country average of 0.19 per cent. and the OECD average of 0.22 per cent.
In his speech in November in New York and in his pre-Budget report speech, the Chancellor emphasised his commitment to ensuring further substantial increases in development assistance and its share in national income. The impending spending review will set spending plans for 200304 to 200506 and is an opportunity to consider plans for development spending beyond 200304, alongside other priorities and pressures.
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Mr. Boateng: The oda/GNI ratio is an input target whose elements are set by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Development assistance as a percentage of GNP will rise to 0.33 per cent. in 2003/04, up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997.
The figures for the proportion of gross national income devoted to overseas development assistance for each financial year since 1979 are available in the DFID Report, Statistics on International Development 1996/72000/01, page 143, Figure 16.1 Net oda/GNI ratios for the UK.
Mr. Boateng: The Government remain fully committed to the UN 0.7 per cent. oda/GNP target. They have made clear their pledge that the ratio of aid to GNP will reach 0.33 per cent in 200304. This would place the UK above the G7 country average of 0.19 per cent. and the OECD average of 0.22 per cent.
In his speech in November in New York, and in his pre-Budget report speech, the Chancellor emphasised his commitment to ensuring further substantial increases in development assistance and its share in national income. The impending spending review will set spending plans for 200304 to 20056 and is an opportunity to consider plans for development spending beyond 200304, alongside other priorities and pressures.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the additional contributions that (a) a 30- year-old man, (b) a 40-year-old man and (c) a 50-year-old man would have to make to a money-purchase pension scheme as a result of changes to the tax treatment of pension funds introduced since 1997. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the number of months' pension contributions would now be required to achieve an equivalent funded pension to a year's pension contributions in 1997; 
Ruth Kelly: The Government's package of corporation tax reforms included measures to boost corporate investment by removing tax distortions. The withdrawal of payable tax credits on dividends was just one part of
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these measures. Pension funds will share in the long-term benefits from these changes to corporation tax. The overall effects of these changes on pension funds and future pensions will depend on a variety of factors, including: the type of scheme paying the pension; the take-up of private pensions; the level of future pension contributions; pension schemes' asset allocation and investment policies; and investment returns generally.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings he has had with Sir Ronald Cohen since 1 May 1997; what subjects were discussed at those meetings; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the proposed EU Prospectus Directive, with specific reference to the impact of this directive on the regulatory burden and costs of listing on non-recognised investment exchanges. 
The admission of securities to trading on AIM and OFEX does not currently trigger requirements in terms of the Listing Particulars Directive (which would be repealed by the Prospectus Directive). The Prospectus Directive, as drafted, would stipulate that the admission of trading of securities to trading on a regulated market would trigger a requirement for a prospectus. AIM is currently a regulated market but OFEX is not.
Three aspects of the prospectus Directive, as drafted, could give rise to additional costs for companies that seek or obtain admission to trading on AIM: the precise content requirements of both the registration document and the full prospectus; the approval process for prospectuses; and the provision for mandatory shelf registration.
We take very seriously the possibility that the Prospectus Directive might increase the regulatory burden for UK companies. But it is not possible at this stage of the negotiation to calculate the cost implications for companies whose securities are admitted to trading on AIM and OFEX.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 27 February 2002, ref 37683, if he will list the units which report to each Minister for the organogram to which he refers; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his policy on the required European Union conditions for the public sector borrowing requirement in advance of a decision of UK entry into the monetary union. 
The abolition of advance corporation tax was part of a package of reforms that included the abolition of payable tax credits on dividends and cuts in corporation tax rates. These changes were designed to boost corporate investment by removing tax distortions and to improve the climate for quality long-term investment. The figures of cost and yield for these reforms were given in the FSBR for the July 1997 and March 1998 Budgets.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what was the original target date, and what the latest target date is, for the completion of HM Customs and Excise's programme to train officers in the recognition of x-ray images; 
(3) for what reason the Customs and Excise programme to train officers in the interpretation of x-ray images has taken longer than planned. 
However, in certain locations managers decided to extend the scope of the operation or increase the number of staff involved with image interpretation. These changes created an additional training requirement which is being met. The operational efficiency of the scanner fleet has not been adversely affected.
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