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Economic Indicators

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the quarterly level of (a) interest rates, (b) M3 and MO, (c) economic growth and (d) nominal exchange rate against (i) the Deutschmark, (ii) the Dollar and (iii) the real exchange rate for each quarter since 1987 together with the figures for inflation and growth in the quarter one year later. [3284]

Mrs. Liddell: The data are available from the following published sources:


Single Currency

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the minimum time required by the Royal Mint to mint sufficient coins for the United Kingdom to be ready to introduce a European single currency. [3538]

Mrs. Liddell: The European Council in Madrid in December 1995 agreed that the introduction of euro banknotes and coins in any individual country should take place up to three years after it adopts the single currency, and up to almost four years after the decision on whether it meets the necessary conditions to participate. The Royal Mint has estimated that sufficient coins could be produced within this timescale.

Mr. Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from British industry on the desirability of the United Kingdom entering a European single currency. [3326]

Mrs. Liddell: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from British industry, on a wide range of subjects.

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Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of progress toward meeting the criteria for the single currency on the ability of the Treasury to be millennium compliant; and if he will make a statement. [3139]

Mrs. Liddell: The Treasury has work in progress to identify and test its computer system to ensure that they will operate correctly at the turn of the century. This work is currently within the model timetable set down by CCTA.

The Government will seek to provide an economic environment built on the solid foundations of prudent economic management, sound finance and active employment measures to enhance job opportunities and employability. These policies are consistent with the Maastricht criteria of low inflation and sound public finances. Pursuing these policies has no impact on the ability of Treasury's computer systems to operate correctly at the turn of the century.

Regulation

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received regarding his proposed changes to City financial regulation from (a) legal organisations and (b) accountancy organisations; and if he will make a statement. [3684]

Mrs. Liddell: The Government are open to representations from everyone with an interest in financial regulation. Decisions have yet to be taken on the details of the arrangements that will be made under the enhanced Securities and Investments Board in relation to the bodies the hon. Gentleman refers to.

Gilt Market

Mr. Maples: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what facilities he has established in the Treasury for managing those Government operations in the gilt market which are being transferred from the Bank of England; [3250]

Mrs. Liddell: Details of the transfer of debt management functions to the Treasury are currently being worked out with the Bank. Once identified, these proposals will be offered for consultation.

Securities and Investment Board

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of establishing the enlarged Securities and Investment Board. [3421]

Mrs. Liddell: In his letter to Sir Andrew Large of 20 May, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor invited the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) to project manage the process of transition to the new arrangements set out

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in his statement of the same date. The cost of this work is a matter for SIB, and will be disclosed in their annual report in the usual way.

Demand Management

Mr. Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on managing demand in the economy.[3328]

Mrs. Liddell: Monetary and fiscal policies will be set to deliver lasting macroeconomic stability. This is a precondition for high and stable levels of growth and employment.

Public Finances

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 3 June, Official Report, column 147, if he will define numerically what constitutes sound public finances for the financial years (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99 and (c) 1999-2000. [3334]

Mr. Darling: The Government's fiscal policy will be spelt out in the Budget, along with forecasts and projections for government borrowing.

"European Community Finances"

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to publish the 1997 edition of "European Community Finances". [3336]

Mrs. Liddell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 10 June, Official Report, column 394.

National Debt

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the consequences of his recent announcement that Her Majesty's Treasury will be responsible for the management of the national debt will be for the Registrar's Department at the Bank of England. [3536]

Mrs. Liddell: Details of the transfer of debt management functions to the Treasury are currently being worked out with the Bank. Once identified, these proposals will be offered for consultation.

Public Sector Borrowing Requirement

Mr. Norman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his targets for the PSBR as a percentage of gross domestic product. [3706]

Mr. Darling: Forecasts and projections for the PSBR will be set out in the Budget and accompanying statement on 2 July, which will also spell out the Government's fiscal policy.

Inflation and Growth

Mr. Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions he has given the Governor of the Bank of England about the balance between his inflation target and prospects for growth. [3323]

Mrs. Liddell: The Chancellor wrote to the Governor of the Bank of England setting out the remit for the Bank's

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Monetary Policy Committee on June 12. A copy of the remit can be obtained from the House of Commons Library. The Chancellor set out his approach to monetary policy in more detail in his Mansion House speech on June 12.

Ministerial Advice

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he or any of his ministerial team are receiving advice from persons working in the Treasury or with access to any official papers, but who are not being paid for their services from public funds. [3361]

Mrs. Liddell: Yes. Ministers may receive advice from a variety of people who are not being paid for their services from public funds.

Building Society Assets

Mr. Todd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if we will review controls on the distribution of building society assets in circumstances of conversion or merger to protect (a) women who are normally second names in joint accounts and (b) those with learning difficulties who must have an authorised signatory who may be a signatory on behalf of several account holders but may claim only one payment on their behalf. [3740]

Mrs. Liddell: I have no plans to do so. Both areas were addressed by Private Members' Acts in the last Parliament: (a) by the Building Societies (Joint Account Holders) Act 1995 and (b) by the Building Societies (Distributions) Act 1997.

Economic Model

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish details of each of the mathematical, economic and other quantitative assumptions which are being used by his Department in running its economic model of the economy. [3363]

Mrs. Liddell: The Treasury model and associated documentation is available through the Library of the House.


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