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Europe Community (UK Contribution)

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will express the United Kingdom's gross

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contribution to the EC in 1995-96 as a proportion of the revenue from the standard rate of income tax for the same period. [18084]

Mr. Oppenheim: In financial year 1995-96 the UK's total gross contribution to the European Community budget after abatement was £7,635 million. This was equivalent to 17.5 per cent. of revenue from the basic rate of income tax in that year of £43,600 million. However, the UK's contribution to the European Community is, of course, funded by total general Government receipts. In 1995-96 our gross contribution to the Community was equivalent to 2.8 per cent. of the total of £269,200 million.


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the reliability of the governor of the Bank of England's forecasts of the rate of inflation. [18398]

Mrs. Angela Knight: The Bank published in its February 1996 inflation report an assessment of its forecasting record since it began publishing the inflation report in February 1993.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account he took of the potential impact of increases in costs outside the UK's control in setting his inflation target. [18397]

Mrs. Knight: The Chancellor took full account of this, and other factors, in setting the inflation target of 2½ per cent. or less. As he said in his 1995 Mansion house speech, events outside our control, such as sharp movements in commodity prices, could temporarily take us away from the objective. But setting interest rates consistently at the level judged necessary to achieve the inflation target should ensure that inflation will remain in the range 1 to 4 per cent. Since the Government started setting an explicit target for inflation, underlying inflation has averaged 2.6 per cent.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he has taken to monitor the accuracy and reliability of his method of calculating inflation. [18399]

Mrs. Knight: The Government's target for inflation is set in terms of underlying inflation--the retail prices index excluding mortgage interest payments. The RPI, which is compiled from a total of 120,000 prices collected each month from 146 locations throughout the UK is determined by recommendations of the Retail Prices Index Advisory Committee. The Office for National Statistics, which compiles and publishes the RPI, has in place a number of checks to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the index including auditing of monthly price collection, and regular updating of its coverage.

Pneumonia Deaths

Ms Jowell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the number of recorded deaths from pneumonia in each region for the month of January in each year since 1990 to date. [18284]

Mrs. Angela Knight [holding answer 3 February 1997]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the chief executive of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

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Letter from Tim Holt to Ms Tessa Jowell, dated 5 March 1997:

(a) Deaths due to pneumonia, January occurrences, 1990-95

Regional Health Authority1990199119921993(7)19941995
East Anglian160156149250308299
North West Thames241217248385364357
North East Thames289268319437471563
South East Thames338334354526484606
South West Thames216280275401394442
South Western266239249366391408
West Midlands347354375567566566
North Western339294317489468509

(6) International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision.

(7) New procedures for coding cause of death from 1993 mean that figures for pneumonia from 1993 onwards are not comparable with those in earlier years. The increase due to the new coding practice is about 50 per cent. More details can be found in ONS Series DH2, no.21, Mortality statistics: cause, 1993 (revised) and 1994 (published in 1996), copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.

(b) Deaths due to pneumonia, January occurrences, 1996-97 (provisional)

Regional Office19961997
Northern and Yorkshire9651,234
Anglia and Oxford8461,097
North Thames1,0971,784
South Thames1,3142,035
South and West1,0441,773
West Midlands744990
North West1,1371,436

Crude Oil Prices

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each of the last five years for which figures are available the (a) average (b) highest and (c) lowest prices of crude oil during each year. [18512]

Mrs. Angela Knight [holding answer 4 March 1997]: The information requested is available in the "International Financial Statistics" publication of the International Monetary Fund. Oil prices can be found in

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the "Commodity Prices" tables, which is on page 84 of the February edition of the monthly report, with annual data also available in the yearbook.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the (a) number and (b) value of PFI contracts which have been agreed in the last financial year for which figures are available; what were the total annual payments to be made in respect of those contracts; and what will be the total value of the payments made over the life of the contracts. [18582]

Mr. Jack [holding answer 4 March 1997]: The information is not available in the form requested. However, annual PFI data showing historic and forecast capital investment is published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report, tables 5.4 and 5.5. This was supplemented by my answer to the hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Timms) on 10 December 1996, Official Report, columns 125-26. Table 5.6 shows aggregated estimates of revenue commitments for signed projects, up to the year 2024-25. A list of major agreed projects as of 26 November 1996, and their capital value, was placed in the House of Commons Library in response to a further parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Newham, North-East on 17 December 1996, Official Report, columns 510-11. This will be updated on a quarterly basis, with the next list due to be placed in the library at the end of March. The total number of PFI deals is not held centrally.

Local Authority Borrowing

Mr. Matthew Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes are proposed to the quotas for lending to local authorities by the Public Works Loan Board. [19201]

Mr. Kenneth Clarke: The Public Works Loan Commissioners have issued a circular today notifying local authorities that there will be no change in the formula for calculating quotas for 1997-98.

Copies of the circular have been placed in the Libraries of the House.


Anglo-French Peacekeeping Missions

Mr. Temple-Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions, since Britain joined the European Community, British and French forces have been on active service jointly in a conflict or peacekeeping role; and in which countries these actions took place. [18434]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor: Since 1973, UK and French armed forces have served jointly in one conflict--the Gulf war--and in the following peacekeeping operations: UNAVEM III, UN Angola verification mission; MINURSO, UN mission for the referendum in Western Sahara; UNAMIC, UN advanced mission in Cambodia; UNTAC, UN transitional authority in Cambodia; UNPROFOR, UN protection force in former Yugoslavia; UNCRO, UN confidence restoration mission in Croatia;

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UNPREDEP, UN preventive deployment force, Macedonia; UNTAES, UN transitional administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, Croatia; UNMOP, UN mission of observers in Prevlaka, Croatia; UNOMIG, UN Observers mission in Georgia; and UNIKOM, UN Iraq/Kuwait observation mission.

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