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Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government conducted an economic assessment of the impact of the 10 per cent. North Sea tax on (a) current and (b) future (i) employment and (ii) exploration related to North Sea activities prior to the measure being announced in the Budget. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government has been reviewing the North Sea taxation regime since 1998. The changes announced in the Budget were subject to detailed analysis to ensure that they delivered the Government's objectives of securing a fair share of North Sea revenues, encouraging long-term investment, and establishing a stable tax regime in the North Sea for the long term.
Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason VAT is levied on independent motor accident repair businesses for the labour element of the service; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Boateng: A fundamental principle of VAT is that businesses charge VAT when they supply goods and services in the UK. When a business makes a supply, VAT is due on the price it charges and that price takes account of its costs, including labour costs.
Ruth Kelly: As set out in paragraph 2.65 of the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report, the Budget 2002 projections are consistent with the Government's prudent interpretation of the stability and growth pact which takes account of the economic cycle, sustainability and the important role of public investment (as specified in Article 104 of the EU treaty).
Mr. Lepper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many appeals have been listed in respect of entries in the 2000 Rating List; how many of these appeals have been dealt with fully; and what the cost has been of considering these appeals. 
Dawn Primarolo: As at 31 March 2002, the Valuation Office Agency had received 918,970 appeals against the 2000 Rating Lists. 323,609 of those appeals have been settled at a cost to the agency of approximately £90 million.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if the 50 per cent. tax credit on research and development into vaccines and medicines for the prevention of malaria, TB and some strains of AIDS in poorer countries will apply to (a) current and (b) future research and development; 
(3) if his Department will outline new criteria to entitle companies to claim the research and development tax credit with vaccines and medicines for the prevention treatment of malaria, TB and some strains of AIDS in poorer countries announced in the Budget. 
Mr. Boateng: Finance Bill 2002 will introduce a new tax credit to encourage research and development into vaccines and medicines for the prevention of TB, malaria and for the prevention of the onset or treatment of AIDS for those strains of HIV most commonly found
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in the developing world. (Research and development expenditure on vaccines for the prevention of HIV infection will also be eligible for this relief.) Companies will be entitled to deduct an additional 50 per cent. of qualifying current expenditure incurred on or after a date specified by an order to be made by the Treasury.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the figures in Table 4.4 of the Budget Red Book include the effects of (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit; and how many people would be in each marginal deduction rate if their benefits were included. 
Sue Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total cost to the Treasury will be (a) at the outset of its introduction and (b) projected in the next three years from the exemption from the Climate Change Levy of electricity from electricity from coal mine methane sold via licensed electricity suppliers; 
(3) what the total cost to the Treasury will be (a) at the outset of its introduction and (b) projected in the next three years of the freeze in the rate of the Climate Change Levy announced in the Budget; whether this freeze is in real terms; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: The costs of the freeze in rates of the Climate Change Levy, the exemption of electricity from combined heat and power plants, and the exemption of electricity from coal mine methane sold via licensed electricity suppliers are set out on pages 155 and 167 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report (FSBR) 2002.
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made in Table C13 of the Financial Statement and Budget report 2002, for life assurance premium relief; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the net public capital expenditure has been in (a) cash, (b) real and (c) GDP terms in each year since 199899; and what the latest estimate is for the 200102 out-turn. 
|Current prices (£ billion)||200001 prices (£ billion)||Percentage of GDP|
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce (a) direct and (b) rapid remedies for victims of anti-competitive practices; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Improving the opportunities for victims of anti-competitive practices to gain redress is a key theme of the Enterprise Bill (introduced to the House of Commons on 26 March 2002).
The Bill will enable those harmed by anti-competitive practices to follow a decision establishing a breach of competition law with a claim for damages before a specialist competition bodythe Competition Appeal Tribunal. The tribunal offers the advantages of being a quicker and more streamlined route for consumers and businesses to obtain redress from companies that have broken the law. In addition, representative bodies will be able to bring claims for damages in front of the tribunal on behalf of groups of named consumers, thus helping consumers obtain redress where a large number of parties have each suffered a relatively small level of harm.
The Government are also providing a faster and fairer route to an independent review of a decision under the Competition Act by allowing third parties to appeal direct to the Competition Appeal Tribunals instead of first having to ask the Director General or one of the sector regulators to withdraw or alter his decision.
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