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Euro Preparations Committee

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those members of the House who have been nominated to date for membership of the new Euro Preparations Committee; and if he will make a statement. [62281]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 7 December 1998]: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to the Treasury spokesmen of each Parliamentary Party on 10 November inviting nominations for representatives for the new Cross-Party Advisory Group on preparations for the euro.

To date, the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr. Davis) and the hon. Members for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) and for North Tayside (Mr. Swinney) have been nominated for membership.

Given the importance of preparations for the euro, I hope that every Parliamentary Party will wish to be represented on the Group.

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Company Cars

Mr. Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to reform company car taxation so as to remove the incentive to increase business mileage. [62423]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 8 December 1998]: The Chancellor announced in the March Budget that he would be considering, in relation to income tax charged on company cars, the case for replacing the existing business mileage discounts with discounts for driving fewer private miles. People were invited (Budget 98 Press Release Inland Revenue 6) to send comments to the Inland Revenue. As stated in the Pre-Budget Report (paragraphs 5.52 to 5.54), in the light of the views expressed, we are continuing to review how the company car tax regime might be altered to send better environmental signals.

Community Finance Initiatives

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans his Department has (a) to encourage the growth of community finance initiatives to promote regeneration in poorer areas and (b) to ask banks to disclose information on their servicing of poorer areas. [62284]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 9 December 1998]: As part of the Government's Social Exclusion agenda, I have established two Policy Action Teams looking at 1) Business and 2) Access to Financial Services in

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poorer neighbourhoods, which are due to report in July 1999. As part of its remit, the team looking at Business will consider a wide range of methods to improve the availability of finance for small and start-up businesses in deprived areas. The Access to Financial Services team will also consider the service banks provide to customers in poorer areas and consider with the Banks possible measures for improvement.

Tax Receipts

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the taxes in respect of which he receives monthly estimates of receipts from the Inland Revenue. [61762]

Dawn Primarolo: Monthly receipts of taxes collected by the Inland Revenue are published in the monthly "Public Sector Finances First Release". Forecasts of receipts are published in the "Financial Statement and Budget Report" and in the "Pre-Budget Report".

VAT (Tourism)

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress HM Customs and Excise has made on its assessment of the recent British Tourist Authority report on the implication of a reduced VAT rate on hotel accommodation and other tourism-related services. [61757]

Dawn Primarolo: Customs have just completed their analysis of this detailed report and will shortly report to me with their findings.