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15 Oct 2002 : Column 596Wcontinued
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the total annual cost to PEP investors of the reduction in the dividend tax credit in April 1999 in each subsequent financial year; 
15 Oct 2002 : Column 597W
(3) what estimate he has made of the average annual cost to (a) each PEP plan and (b) each PEP investor of the reduction in the dividend tax credit to PEPs in April 1999 in the financial years (a) 19992000, (b) 200001 and (c) 200102. 
Dawn Primarolo: In respect of PEPs, the reduction in the rate of the dividend tax credit is estimated to have saved around #200m in each of the years 199900 to 200102. Reliable estimates of the number of plans and UK individuals holding plans, and hence of the average cost, are not available from adminstrative data.
John Healey: Customs aim to reduce the market share of smuggled cigarettes to 20 per cent. by 200304. This target was published in the Tackling Tobacco Strategy in March 2000, a copy of which can be found in the Library of the House and in Customs' Public Service Agreement for 2001 to 2004.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the National Audit Office will be invited to review the methodology for calculating VAT missing trader fraud; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The NAO commented on the steps that Customs have taken to measure the stock of fraud in their Audit of HM Customs & Excise under Section 2 of the Exchequer & Audit Departments Act 1921 which was published on 13 February 2002. Discussions about the approach and timing of a specific review of the methodology for calculating VAT missing trader fraud are underway.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many suspect VAT registrations have been refused under the programme to counter VAT missing trader fraud; how many missing trader registrations have been identified and cancelled since August 2001; what the value is of total injunctions secured since August 2001 against missing traders; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the (a) percentage and (b) absolute reduction in VAT missing trader fraud since September 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the financial benefits accruing to the Inland Revenue as a result of the tax status of Mapeley Steps Ltd; 
(3) when (a) he and (b) the Paymaster General were informed of the decision to sell Inland Revenue buildings to Mapeley Steps Limited; and when he was informed of the announcement by the Inland Revenue that the company was based in Britain. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise ''STEPS'' competition was announced in August 1998. The two Departments' contract with the Mapeley consortium was signed on 6 March 2001 after a full procurement exercise.
A joint Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise press release dated 9 March 2001 inadvertently referred to assets being transferred to Mapeley Ltd, a UK registered company, rather than Mapeley STEPS Ltd which is registered in Bermuda. Subsequently, a separate press statement has corrected this. Ministers were not aware of the registration of Mapeley STEPS Ltd at the time of the March 2001 press notice.
The STEPS contract with the Mapeley consortium provided for the payment of #220 million to the Departments together with a further #150 million to be reflected in lower service prices. Details of the rival bids are, as is customary, commercially confidential. However, the competition to establish which bidder offered best value for money included rigorous examination of all factors relevant under the appropriate UK and European rules. By convention, the tax affairs of individual companies are not disclosed to Ministers. No separate assessment has been made of the effect of the tax status of Mapeley STEPS Ltd.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if she will state the (a) number and (b) percentage of days lost to strike action in the (i) private sector and (ii) public sector in each year since 1997. 
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|Public administration education and health industries SIC 75, 80, 85||Rest of Economy|
|No of days lost 000's||% of total days lost||No of days lost 000's||% of total days lost|
Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were estimated to be (a) employed and (b) unemployed in (i) Paisley North, (ii) Renfrewshire and (iii) Scotland in each of the last two years. 
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|In employment||ILO unemployed|
|March to May 2001||2,396||148|
|March to May 2002||2,388||176|
ONS Labour Force Survey
1 Total employed of working age as a percentage of all persons of working age.
2 Men aged 1664 and women aged 1659.
ONS Labour Force Survey Local Area Database
|Scotland 1||Renfrewshire||Paisley North|
1 Data for Scotland are seasonally adjusted.
Jobcentre Plus administrative system.
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