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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the volume of beer purchased at French ports by customers on day visits from the United Kingdom; and what is his estimate of the effect of such sales on the domestic beer industry.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: Customs estimates that before allowing for additional consumption, the total value of personal beer imports from the EU by legitimate cross-border shoppers is equivalent to less than 1 per cent. of the United Kingdom market.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the net rate of return on exports of manufactures, as defined in the Central Statistical Office "First Release" (94) 205, for each quarter from 1975.
Mr. Nelson: Estimates for net rate of return on exports of manufactures are unavailable. The net rate of return for manufacturing companies defined in the CSO "First Release" is derived from the gross operating surplus and net capital stock employed by such companies. The CSO does not collect information on whether the operating surplus and capital stock employed relate to manufacturing for domestic markets or for export. Many businesses would be unable to provide a meaningful split, particularly of capital stock employed.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds he is forecasting a continuing decline in the United Kingdom share of world trade in manufactures in his "Financial Statement and Budget Report".
Mr. Nelson: The United Kingdom is forecast to increase its share of export markets in 1994 and 1995. However, United Kingdom export markets are forecast to grow a little slower than world trade because trade in Europe-- our main export market--is projected to rise more slowly than trade between Asian economies.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the Treasury calculates the profitability of exports of (a) manufactures and (b) services; and how these calculations compare with the estimate of profitability of domestic manufacturers.
Mr. Nelson: Export profit margins for manufactures are calculated from the ratio of manufacturing export prices to estimated manufacturing costs. Estimates of export profit margins for services are not available. It is estimated that manufacturers' export profit margins have risen faster recently than their margins on production for the domestic market.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence he has to show that the increase in non-oil imports in 1994 compared to 1993 mentioned in paragraph 3.5 of the "Financial Statement and Budget Report", is due to import substitution rather than a falling off in United Kingdom demand for goods of the same description; and if he will publish the forecast change in import penetration in each of the principle import-competing and export industries in 1994 compared with 1993 and 1992.
Mr. Nelson: Import price competitiveness for manufactured goods, which accounts for around 80 per cent. of trade in non-oil goods, is estimated to be more than 6.5 per cent. better than in the first three quarters of 1992. Historical experience suggests that improvements in price competitiveness lead, over a period of time, to lower import penetration than would otherwise have occurred. The Treasury does not publish forecasts of import penetration for individual industries.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the economic conditions which in the Government's assessment has to be fulfilled before a rate of exchange can be described as competitive.
Mr. Nelson: A nation's competitiveness depends on much more than its exchange rate. Our ability to sell goods and services into world markets and achieve a sustained rise in living standards depend fundamentally on improving productivity and controlling costs. Policies directed at permanently low inflation and competitive markets provide the best environment in which to achieve this.
Mr. Nelson: The Government's monetary policy is clearly set out at paragraph's 2.03 to 2.08 of the "Financial Statement and Budget Report 1995 96". Minutes of the discussion at the Chancellor's monthly monetary meetings with the Governor of the Bank of England are also published. Movements in the exchange rate are considered as part of general assessments of monetary conditions in setting monetary policy. The Government recognise the value of a stable exchange rate but do not set target rates.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 30 November, Official Report, column 760 , what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the publicity to make the public aware of access arrangements.
Sir George Young: The level of publicity to be given to the agreed public access arrangements required in return for conditional exemption is negotiated on a case-by-case basis by the heritage advisory agencies which have the appropriate experience and expertise. Owners of conditionally exempt land are required to
Column 589submit annual reports to the responsible heritage body covering the undertakings they have given, including the publicity given to the public access arrangements. In addition, the heritage advisory agencies make on-site visits to conditionally exempt land. The Inland Revenue also separately reviews all such cases at five- yearly intervals. There is no evidence that publicity given to public access arrangements is deficient.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the number of countryside sites where public access has been granted by the landowner in return for exemption from inheritance tax in (a) 1992 93, (b) 1993 94 and (c) 1994 95 to date.
Sir George Young: I refer to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 30 November, Official Report, column 760. As I explained, figures for designations of land alone on a year-by-year basis are not available at acceptable cost.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 30 November, Official Report, column 760 , if he will list the counties where public access has been granted by landowners in return for exemption from inheritance tax.
Sir George Young: A list for conditionally exempt land alone is not available at acceptable cost. The counties in England where public access has been granted by owners of land and buildings in return for conditional exception from inheritance tax or capital transfer tax are as follows:
Herefordshire and Worcestershire
Isle of Wight
Miss Lestor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much debt owed by developing countries has been cancelled by the Paris Club since the introduction of the Trinidad terms in 1990; (2) how much debt owed by severely indebted low-income countries has been cancelled by the Paris Club since the introduction of the Trinidad terms in 1990.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (a) |All Developing Countries (b) |Severely Indebted Low Income |Countries SILICs (as of end 1993)
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances tax relief is available for expenditure in connection with public duties of the taxpayer or of his or her spouse; what limit applies to the amount; and for which individuals exceptional arrangements are made.
Sir George Young: There are various tax deductions and reliefs available to individuals in connection with public duties, as for other employees and officeholders. More information is in the Inland Revenue "Guide to Benefits and Expenses"--booklet 480--copies of which are available in the House Library.
Mr. Pendry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the revenue likely to be generated by the imposition of VAT on non-essential public transport during the financial year beginning 1 April 1994.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his proposals to extend value added tax on public transport apply to (a) boat trips on (i) inland waterways, (ii) estuaries and (iii) coastal waters, (b) private railways, (c) coach tours and (d) road trains.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 12 December 1994]: The proposed restrictions to the VAT zero-rating for public passenger transport will not affect boat trips--including the Isle of Wight ferry--which are currently zero-rated and which take place on the open sea, inland waterways or other waters to which the general public have access. Coach tours will also be unaffected. Similarly, the VAT position of the other examples cited in the question will remain unchanged except where they are covered by admission charges to places such as theme or safari parks or working museums. In these cases, where admission charges are apportioned at present, they will become wholly liable to VAT at the standard rate.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: I have no plans to disturb the current VAT zero -rating for public passenger transport, including steam railways, where the service is confined to that of public transport in its widely accepted sense. I can confirm that the proposed restrictions to the zero-rating under the VAT (Transport) Order 1994 will not normally affect steam railways, and therefore most operators will be able to continue to apply the zero rate. The exception is when payment for admission to places such as theme or safari parks or working museums includes a steam engine ride. In these cases, where admission charges are
Column 592apportioned at present, they will become wholly liable to VAT at the standard rate.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the yield in 1992 93 and 1993 94 and the latest estimate of yield for 1994 95 from (a) petrol duty, (b) derv duty, (c) vehicle excise duty, (d) VAT on petrol and derv rate, (e) VAT on vehicle sales and (f) car tax.
Figures in £ |Petrol duty |Derv duty |VED |<1>VAT on petrol and|<2>VAT on vehicle |Car tax billions |derv |sales ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 |8.2 |3.0 |3.3 |1.6 |2.9 |0.6 1993-94 |8.8 |3.7 |3.6 |1.7 |3.3 |0.0 <1> Derived from Central Statistical Office estimates of consumers' expenditure. <2> Non-reclaimable VAT. The total revenue in 1994-95 expected from all hydrocarbons including minor oils is £14.6 billion from VED £3.8 billion.
Data on interest rates and inflation are available in the CSO publications "Financial Statistics" table 7.10 and "Economic Trends" table 3.1. Data on expected future inflation rates are published in the Treasury's monthly review of independent forecasters, and the Bank of England's inflation report.
As at close 1 and 7 December 1994 three-month and 10-year nominal interest rates were:
|3 month|10 year ----------------------------------- 1 December |6.19 |8.58 7 December |6.38 |8.74
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the effect of the per cent. increase in lending rates on the cost of the PSBR for the rest of the current financial year; and what is his estimate of the PSBR for the next financial year.
Mr. Nelson: The effect of the per cent. increase in lending rates on the cost of financing the public sector borrowing requirement for the current financial year will depend upon the level and structure of interest rates, the rate of inflation and the type of debt issued.
My latest estimate of the PSBR for 1995 96 is £21.5 billion.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the cost in interest of substituting borrowing for the deficiency caused by not raising VAT on heating from 8 per cent. to 17 per cent.
Column 592for (a) the rest of the present year and (b) the whole of next year.
Mr. Nelson: The cost of servicing any particular amount of borrowing will depend upon the level and structure of interest rates, the rate of inflation and the type of debt issued. My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor announced to the House on 8 December measures to ensure that not raising VAT on fuel and power to 17 per cent. will have no significant impact on borrowing either this year or next year.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the amount by which imports and exports of manufactures were under or over-recorded in 1993 compared with the old system of recording in the case of trade with the EEC; and what is his estimate currently.
Mr. Nelson: Revised adjustments for under-recording of United Kingdom imports and exports to and from other European Union countries were given in the August 1994 edition of "Economic Trends", which announced the outcome of a review of the Intrastat system carried out by the Central Statistical Office and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. The effect on the statistics for trade in manufacturers was as follows:
United Kingdom trade with other European Union countries Manufacturers (SITC Rev, 3 section 5 to 8) (1993, million on a balance of payments basis)| |United Kingdom|United Kingdom|Balance |imports |exports --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pre review |55,533 |52,098 |-3,435 Post review |55,748 |51,878 |-3,870 Revision |+215 |-220 |-435
The review also established that there were faults in the old system of recording which caused, for example, total imports from other European Union countries to be overstated by an estimated £2, 175 million in 1992. Estimates of the effect of the changed recording system at the level of manufactured goods are not available.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory [holding answer 8 December 1994]: The reduction in the number of Her Majesty's Customs officers based at each of the Welsh ports and airports has not yet been decided. Changes at particular ports and airports will be determined by the head of the executive unit in Wales. Factors to be taken into account will be the assessment of risk in locations together with his ability to make maximum use of flexible anti-smuggling teams.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many litres of alcohol Customs and Excise officers have intercepted; and what value of drugs and alcohol have been seized by Customs and Excise officers in Devon and Cornwall in each of the last three years.
Year |Litres of alcohol|Value of drugs |Value of alcohol |£ |£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1992 |54 |10,772,849 |685 1993 |16,658 |14,487,868 |24,855 1994 (up to 30 November) |7,059 |28,199,289 |17,836
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the assumptions he made as to the increase in gross domestic product when forecasting the PSBR for 1995 96, 1996 97 and 1997 98.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those services that have been market-tested by his Department and won by the private sector, indicating the organisation that won the tender and its value.
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 12 December 1994]: In Her Majesty's Treasury, no services have been awarded to a private sector supplier as a result of market testing which involved an in-house team. However, following a strategic decision to contract out most internal audit work, contracts were awarded, following competition, to Price Waterhouse and Touche Ross.
Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were at 1993 prices (a) for 1978 and (b) for the last available year (i) total consumer spending, (ii) the value added tax take and (iii) column (ii) as a percentage of (i).
Mr. Nelson [holding answer 12 December 1994]: Estimates of consumers' expenditure and value added tax are not readily available at 1993 prices. Information at current prices is available as indicated below on the CSO database which may be accessed via the House of Commons Library.
Consumers' expenditure--series AIIK
Total value added tax--series GTAS