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Watford and St. Vernon Hospital

Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has received for the closure of the Watford and St. Vernon hospital. [42645]

Mr. Milburn: None.

TREASURY

Individual Savings Account

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to issue the regulations for the operation of ISAs. [40244]

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: The Inland Revenue are today publishing draft tax regulations for consultation. Copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses. Responses are sought by 26 June and we intend to lay final regulations before the House of Commons in July.

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Euro

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for how long national mints of states participating in EMU will continue to print and mint distinctive national versions of the single currency; and what effect non-repatriation of banknotes to country of origin will have on this. [41477]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 12 May 1998]: No time limit has been placed on the national mints of member states participating in the single currency minting distinctive national versions of the euro coin.

Those countries joining the single currency on 1 January 1999 have opted not to have distinctive national features on their euro notes. Thus non-repatriation of euro banknotes will not be an issue.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 7 April 1998, Official Report, column 150, what quantity of the metal known as Nordic Gold will be required for the single currency coinage; and from what source it will be acquired. [41579]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 12 May 1998]: Mint Directors of the EU member states have estimated that the approximate quantity of Nordic Gold required to mint the euro coins would be 140,000 tonnes for all 15 EU member states. Nordic Gold is derived principally from Copper which is readily available.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 18 February 1998, Official Report, column 689, to the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Gill), what volume of bulk redistribution of euro banknotes he estimates will occur in the euro zone; and what factors will lead to such redistribution. [41510]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 12 May 1998]: The Chancellor has made no estimation of the volume of bulk redistribution of euro banknotes that might occur between countries in the euro zone. The European Central Bank, together with the national central banks of those countries joining the single currency will be responsible for monitoring the situation.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish the internal guidelines in use by his Department on 7 May 1997 on the manner of responding to written Parliamentary questions; [41954]

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson [holding answer 14 May 1998]: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer which the Prime Minister gave him on 19 May 1998, Official Report, column 314.

"European Community Finances"

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his Department's paper, "European Community Finances", if he will calculate the United Kingdom's net payments to European Community institutions in 1998-99, on the same basis as the figures

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given for European Communities' expenditure in Table B18, page 128 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report, March 1998. [41979]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 18 May 1998]: The figure for 1998-99 given in Table B18 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report, March 1998, represents the latest estimate of trended net payments to EC Institutions for that year. There are no plans to recalculate and publish this figure on a trend basis. The Government are, however, currently assessing more detailed cash flow figures for 1998-99. These will be published as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Public Bodies

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what is the average salary of (a) male and (b) female members of boards of non-departmental public bodies responsible to his Department; [42850]

Mrs. Liddell: The majority of board members of non-departmental public bodies give their time and services voluntarily and receive no payment other than normal travel and subsistence expenses. Where members do receive remuneration, this can vary between an annual salary, an honorarium or an attendance fee (which itself

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can be a daily rate or a half-daily rate, or calculated on a per-meeting or per-case basis). Individuals' remuneration therefore is not directly comparable. Full details of all payments to board members of non-departmental bodies, by gender, are given in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies". Copies of "Public Bodies 1997" are available in the Libraries of the House.

Public Appointments

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department's action plan for increasing the number of women holding public appointments will be published; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [42852]

Mrs. Liddell: The Treasury's action plan will be published shortly. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Vehicle Excise Duty

Mr. McWalter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will reduce rates of vehicle excise duty on powered two-wheel vehicles; and if he will set a zero rate for vehicles with engines under 50 cc. [42329]

Dawn Primarolo: The Chancellor will make his proposals for vehicle excise duty rates in the next Budget in the light of the consultation on vehicle excise duty that he announced in his last Budget.

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