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Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the timetable for EMU. [9525]

Mr. Kenneth Clarke: The EC Treaty sets out the timetable for EMU. As I have said before--to the House of Lords Select Committee on 28 March 1996--it is too soon to say whether EMU will start on 1 January 1999, but member states will continue to prepare on that basis.

Take-home Pay

Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about changes in real take-home pay since April 1992. [9540]

Mr. Jack: Next year, real take-home pay for a family on average earnings should be £1,100 a year higher than in 1991-92.

Treasury Building

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the project to redevelop the Treasury building. [11768]

Mr. Jack: The Treasury has now taken another step forward in this project by agreeing commercial heads of terms with Exchequer Partnership plc. This completes a significant milestone in the negotiation process, and enables both parties to proceed with the project in principle, subject to final contract. That contract, known as the development framework agreement, is now being drafted.

The Treasury is likely to occupy around a third of the redeveloped building. The intention is that all essential building works will be completed in advance of occupation, and that the Treasury will pay as and when its accommodation needs are delivered to specified standards. The accommodation will all be towards the western end of the building which will enable the Treasury to occupy purpose-built, modern accommodation within the existing facade. It is for Exchequer Partnership plc to decide how best to utilise the non-Treasury space in the redeveloped building.

It is presently looking at various options including flats at the western end, and a hotel and/or additional offices at the eastern end. Other issues will necessitate satisfying the authorities on a wide variety of matters, including planning permission and listed building consent, and will be subject to security considerations. Further details will be available at DFA stage.

The present timetable, subject to planning permission and therefore necessarily tentative, remains for the Treasury temporarily to vacate the building towards the end of 1998, and to re-occupy part of it in the middle of 2001.

16 Jan 1997 : Column: 383

EU Contributions

Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors underlie the discrepancies between his Department's assessment of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Union for 1994 and that of the European Court of Auditors. [10226]

Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 13 January 1997]: The main reasons for the differences between the Government's estimate of the United Kingdom's net contribution in 1994 and the figures of the European Court of Auditors are as follows:

Mr. Radice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the net payments made by each EU member state to the European Union budget in 1995. [10516]

Mr. Oppenheim: I refer to the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Sir J. Stanley) on 11 December, Official Report, column 203.

EU VAT Committee

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate the composition of the VAT committee of the European Community; what representatives it has from the United Kingdom; what are (a) its terms of reference and (b) the matters currently under consideration; and who has access to its minutes. [10808]

Mr. Oppenheim: Article 29 of the sixth VAT directive provides for an advisory committee on value added tax. Its members are representatives of the member states and the Commission, which also chairs the committee. The United Kingdom is represented by officials of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. The committee has no formal terms of reference. In practice, it examines matters concerning the application of EC VAT provisions referred for consideration by the chairman or at the request of a member state. Matters under consideration are generally technical questions on the correct application or interpretation of the sixth VAT directive. Minutes of the committee's proceedings are available only to the members of the committee.

Value Added Tax

Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenues to the Exchequer arising from recent changes in the application of VAT regulations. [9517]

Mr. Oppenheim: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) earlier today.

16 Jan 1997 : Column: 384

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to circulate to all interested statutory and non-statutory bodies the proposals of the European Commission contained in its document COM 96/328 relating to plans for completion of full harmonisation of VAT, together with its proposals for implementation of a system of centralised Community-wide collection; and if he will request observations on these proposals from the organisations concerned. [10879]

Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 15 January 1997]: In August 1996, HM Customs and Excise issued an information paper covering a copy of the Commission's outline programme for a "common system" of VAT--COM 328/96--and invited observations on the Commission's ideas. The Commission's programme contains no legislative proposals. The information paper was issued to all members of Customs' Joint VAT Consultative Committee and Joint Customs Consultative Committee. These twin committees comprise a wide range of interests including representatives of large and small businesses, trade associations, lawyers and tax advisers. Customs is also engaged in a continuing dialogue with business and other interested parties about the Commission's ideas to ensure that the widest range of opinion is canvassed.


Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Alan Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants there are currently of (a) attendance allowance and (b) disability living allowance; and how many in each case also receive (i) income support, (ii) housing benefit and (iii) council tax benefit. [6733]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: The information is in the table.

Recipients of attendance allowance and disability living allowance who are beneficiaries of income support, housing benefit, council tax benefit: May 1995

Recipients: August 1996Income support(12)Housing benefit(13)Council tax benefit
Attendance allowance(11)1,194,000418,000306,000445,000
Disability living allowance(11)1,768,000506,000390,000499,000


(11)5 per cent. sample for August 1996.

(12)Income Support Statistics Quarterly Enquiry: 5 per cent. sample as at May 1995.

(13)Housing Benefit Management Information System: 1 per cent. as at May 1995.

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Beneficiaries are those adults and children who receive disability living allowance who are also a claimant, partner or child dependant in receipt of the means tested benefits shown.

3. There are overlaps between recipients of disability living allowance who receive either one or both components.

4. Not all housing benefit/council tax benefit dependants can be identified. Figures do not include second adult rebate cases.

5. There is considerable overlap between benefits shown.


Analytical services division.

16 Jan 1997 : Column: 385

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many deaf-blind people have applied for the disability living allowance; [9476]

Mr. Mitchell: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows.

Awards of disability living allowance to people whose main disabling condition is deafness and blindness(14)

Components awardedNumber
Higher rate care and higher rate mobility46
Higher rate care and lower rate mobility2
Higher rate care only9
Middle rate care and higher rate mobility73
Middle rate care and lower rate mobility11
Middle rate care only19
Lower rate care and higher rate mobility75
Lower rate care and lower rate mobility23
Lower rate care only9
Higher rate mobility47
Lower rate mobility24
All awards338


(14) People with deafness and blindness, but for whom another condition was the main disabling condition, are not included.

Figures are for the period from 6 April 1992 up to 30 November 1996.


Analytical Services Division: 100 per cent. data.

Mr. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people with Usher syndrome have applied for the care component of the disability living allowance; and how many have been refused. [9479]

Mr. Mitchell: The information requested is not available.

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