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PRIME MINISTER

Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 5 May. [82891]

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I will have further such meetings later today.

Departmental Staff (Ethnic Origin)

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Prime Minister if he will provide a breakdown, in numerical and percentage terms, of the ethnic origin at 1 March of (a) his private office, (b) Government special advisers, (c) the No. 10 Policy Unit and (d) No. 10 Downing Street staff in total. [78505]

The Prime Minister [pursuant to his reply, 14 April 1999, c. 238-39]: There is an error in the figures in the table setting out the ethnic origin of all Downing Street staff. The figures should have read:

TotalEthnic minorityEthnic minority (per cent.)
14674.8

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Rugby League World Cup

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) financial and (b) other assistance his Department is providing to the Rugby League World Cup. [83077]

Mr. Banks [holding answer 4 May 1999]: Firstly, I congratulate the Rugby Football League (RFL) on their successful bid for this major international sporting event and look forward to a world-beating competition next year.

5 May 1999 : Column: 394

The RFL have been in close contact with UK Sport both before and after bidding for this event and are currently drawing up a business plan which will enable UK Sport to make a full assessment of their financial requirements. I offered my support as venue sponsor for staging the draw for this prestigious event, which took place on 26 April, and I would welcome the opportunity to become involved in profile raising events, in co-ordination with the RFL's strategy for promoting the World Cup.

Television Licence Fee

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the panel on the television licence fee is due to report. [83292]

Janet Anderson [holding answer 4 May 1999]: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 12 January 1999, Official Report, columns 131-32, the BBC funding review panel will report to him by the end of July this year. There will then be a period of public consultation.

TREASURY

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each of the years 1997-98 to 2001-02 all cross-departmental budgets, the spending accounted for by each and a breakdown of how that spending is allocated between the departmental totals in Table A1 of the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review. [68391]

Mr. Milburn: The table sets out the information requested. Cross-departmental budgets are defined for this purpose as those budgets expenditure from which is accounted for by more than one department.

In addition, there are several other programmes which are subject to joint financial management and planning arrangements between two or more departments, but which are accounted for on one department's vote. The Single Regeneration Budget falls into this category, as do the Sure Start programme and the single asylum budget established in the Comprehensive Spending Review. The CSR also established joint strategic planning arrangements for the criminal justice system and on drugs, and similar arrangements are being developed for DETR and MAFF's countryside and rural development programmes.

5 May 1999 : Column: 393

Year/budgetSpending (£ million) Allocation between totals in Table A1
1997-98
Welfare to Work143own line in table
1998-99
Welfare to Work717own line in table
1999-2000
Welfare to Work1,492own line in table
Invest to Save Budget53own line in table;
allocations to departments set out in table 1.8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 1999-2000 (Cm 4201)
Capital Modernisation Fund250own line in table;
allocations to date to departments set out in table 1.9 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 1999-2000 (Cm 4201)
2000-01
Welfare to Work1,317own line in table
Invest to Save Budget 79own line in table;
allocations to date to departments set out in table 1.8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 1999-2000 (Cm 4201)
Capital Modernisation Fund1,000own line in table;
allocations to date to departments set out in table 1.9 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 1999-2000 (Cm 4201)
2001-02
Welfare to Work1,278own line in table
Invest to Save Budget 98own line in table;
allocation between departments not yet determined
Capital Modernisation Fund1,250own line in table;
allocation between departments not yet determined

5 May 1999 : Column: 395

5 May 1999 : Column: 395

Task Forces

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) reviews, (b) task forces and (c) advisory groups have been established by his Department since 1 May

5 May 1999 : Column: 396

1997; what costs they have incurred to date; and what reports they have published. [71510]

Ms Hewitt: The reviews, task forces and advisory groups established by the Chancellor's departments since 1 May 1997, and reports published to date are as follows:

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TitleReports
Comprehensive Spending ReviewCSR White Paper 14 July 1998
Review of North Sea Fiscal RegimeThe Chancellor announced on 7 September 1998 in a press release that the Government had been monitoring changes in oil prices and that at the current low level of oil prices it would not be right at this stage to proceed with reform of the regime
Review of Charity TaxationConsultation document published 9 March 1999. Responses invited by 31 August 1999
Review of Alcohol and Tobacco FraudReport published 28 July 1998
Government Taskforce on Tax and BenefitsAnnouncement on 17 March 1998
Review of Landfill TaxFinancial Statement and Budget Report 18 March 1998
Review on the Revenue Effect of a reduced rate of VAT for energy efficient material and alternative options for targeted relief to help those on low incomes to save energy.Report on the effect of a reduced rate of VAT for schemes helping the less well off insulate their homes published November 1998
Review of PFI (Public/Private Partnerships)Sir Malcolm Bates report published 13 June 1997
Review of Research and DevelopmentConsultation document published on Budget Day 1998, comments were also invited in respect of various Inland Revenue Technical notes published on 14 January and 10 March 1999
Review of the calculation of Vehicle Excise Duty for lorriesNot yet reported
Review of Public/Private Partnership options for the Royal MintNot yet reported
Review of Company Car TaxationNew emission's-based approach announced in March 1999 Budget
Review of graduated Vehicle Excise Duty for carsConsultation document published with the Pre-Budget Report November 1998. £100 rate for cars up to 1,100 cc from 1 June 1999 and emissions-based approach from Autumn 2000 announced in March 1999 Budget
Consultation on a potential Aggregates TaxConsultation document published on 15 June 1998
Review of Double Taxation of companiesA discussion paper was published 12 March 1999--ongoing
Enterprise Management IncentivesNew scheme announced in 1999 Budget. Technical note published. Advisory Group will help draw up details to be published in the autumn legislation to follow in Finance Bill 2000
Review of General Anti-Avoidance RuleOn Budget day 9 March 1999, Official Report, columns 173-90, the Chancellor unveiled a substantial package of measures designed to attack avoidance and safeguard future revenue. He said that a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) for corporate direct taxes remained an option for the future if more targeted legislation proved ineffective in dealing with the problem of avoidance, but that the Government would not proceed with a GAAR in this Budget or with a mini-GAAR for VAT on construction services. Consultation documents published on 5 October 1998 (direct taxes) and on 20 January 1999 (VAT)
Second review of Private Finance InitiativeThe Government have received a report and will respond in due course
Task Force on Industrial use of EnergyReport by Lord Marshall 'Economic instruments and the business use of energy' published with the Pre Budget Report on 3 November 1998
Review of Banking services in the UKConsultation document published 25 January 1999
Review of Employee Share OwnershipConsultation document was published on 18 December 1998. New scheme announced in 1999 Budget. Technical note published 10 March 1999. Advisory Group will help draw up details to be published in the autumn, with legislation to follow in Finance Bill 2000
Further review of the Capital Gains of companiesOngoing
New Deal Taskforce'Meeting the Needs of the Disadvantaged' November 1998; 'Business Participation in Welfare-to-Work: Lessons from the United States' January 1999
Efficiency review of the Office for National Statistics Announced by the Economic Secretary on 16 February 1999
Review of average earnings figuresReport on Review of average earning figures was published on 1 March 1999
Review of central government civil procurementNot yet reported
Smaller quoted companies working groupReport 'Smaller Quoted Companies: a report to the Paymaster General', published November 1998
Task force on Banks Assistance to Credit UnionsNot yet reported
Working group of financing high technology companiesReport: Financing of High Technology Business: a report to the Paymaster General. November 1998
Policy Action Team: BusinessNot yet reported
Policy Action Team: Access to financial serviceNot yet reported
Private Finance TaskforceOngoing
Standing Committee on preparations for EMUOngoing
Business Advisory Group on EMUReport 'EMU: Report from the Business Advisory Group' published January 1998
Review of VAT registration limitsMeasures announced in March 1999 Budget and publication of Summary Report on representations received
VAT group treatmentMeasures announced in March 1999 Budget and publication of Summary Report on representations received
Inquiry into lower rate ring-fenced tonnage based tax and enhanced training incentivesInquiry announced in 9 March 1999 Budget

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5 May 1999 : Column: 397

The costs of collecting information on the costs incurred to date by each review, task force and advisory body are disproportionate.

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a list of (1) task forces and (2) policy reviews established by his Department since May 1997 which (a) had external members recruited by way of public advertisement, and details of any person so appointed and (b) engaged in public consultation exercises, and the form that these took. [74458]

Ms Hewitt: The Taskforces and reviews established by the Chancellor's departments since May 1997 which had members recruited by public advertisement or undertook public consultation are listed.







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    3. Review of Charity Taxation


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement


    b. A consultation document was published on 9 March 1999.


    4. Review of Alcohol and Tobacco Fraud


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement


    b. A Joint Working Party was formed, drawn from the main alcohol and tobacco trade associations and interested Departments Representations were invited from anyone who felt they could contribute to the review. Since the Review was published in July 1998 further consultation groups have been formed with the trade to explore the costs to industry of implementing measures recommended by the Review.


    5. Review of the Revenue Effect of a reduced Rate of VAT for Energy Efficient Material and alternative options for targeted relief to help those on low incomes to save energy.


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. Discussions have been held with representatives bodies


    6. Review of research and development


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published on 17 March 1998, comments were also invited in respect of various Inland Revenue technical notes published 14 January and 10 March 1999.

5 May 1999 : Column: 399


    7. Review of the calculation of vehicle excise duty for lorries


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. No public consultation. A number of consultation groups, and an advisory panel including industry representatives and environmentalists.


    8. Review of Public/Private Partnership Options for the Royal Mint


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. The Economic Secretary invited all major stakeholders to contribute to the review.


    9. Review of Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty for cars


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was issued.


    10. Consultation on a potential Aggregates Tax


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published on 15 June 1998.


    11. Review of Double Taxation of companies


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A discussion paper was published on 12 March 1999


    12. Review of General Anti Avoidance Rule


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published on 5 October 1998


    13. Review of VAT Registration Limits


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published and meeting held with business.


    14. VAT Group Treatment


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published and meetings held with business.


    15. Review of Employee Share Ownership


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was issued on 18 December 1998. Technical notes issued on 10 March 1999.


    16. Taskforce on the Industrial Use of Energy


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. A consultation document was published in June 1998.


    c. A report was published in November 1998.


    17. Review of Banking Services in the UK


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement


    b. A consultation document was published on 25 January 1999


    18. Efficiency Review of the Office for National Statistics


    a. A firm of consultants, KPMG, was appointed after a public competition.


    b. No external public consultation has been undertaken.


    19. Private Finance Taskforce


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. Draft standardisation documents were published for comment in October 1998. A consultation document on accounting PFI transactions was published in January 1999.


    20. Task force on Banks' Assistance to Credit Unions


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


5 May 1999 : Column: 400


    21. Policy Action team: Business


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. Regional discussion fora to listen to people's views have been held in Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Newcastle.


    22. Policy Action Team: Access to Financial Services


    a. No external members recruited by public advertisement.


    b. Regional discussion fora to listen to people's views have been held in Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Newcastle. A range of organisations have also been invited to make their view known.


    23. Enterprise Management Incentives scheme


    a. No external members.


    b. Technical note issued 10 March 1999.


    24. Review of Company Car Taxation


    a. No external members.


    b. Press notices on 9 March 1999 invited views on the reform


    25. Further review of capital gains of companies


    a. No external members


    b. Informal meetings with representative bodies. A Working Group has been set up.


    26. Review of Landfill Tax


    a. No external members


    b. A business brief was issued inviting comments.

Most Taskforces and reviews are short term exercises established to give thorough consideration to important and difficult issues. External members are invited to sit on some reviews and Taskforces to contribute specific experience and expertise. In such cases, public advertising would not be appropriate and would incur disproportionate cost.

Since 1 October 1998, appointments to those Taskforces and reviews which qualify for classification as advisory non-departmental public bodies have come within the remit of the Commissioner for public appointments.

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list all those task forces and policy reviews with external members established by his Department since May 1997 which have set up (a) sub-groups, (b) working parties and (c) other subsidiary committees; [79251]

Ms Hewitt: The information on task forces and policy reviews with external members established by the Chancellor's departments is listed.

5 May 1999 : Column: 399

Date establishedActual report dateExpected report dateTermination date
Comprehensive Spending Review7 May 199714 July 199814 July 1998
Review of Alcohol and Tobacco Duties2 July 199728 July 199828 July 1998
Taskforce on tax and benefits19 May 199717 March 199817 March 1998
Review on the Revenue Effect of a reduced rate of VAT for energy efficient material and alternative options for targeted relief to help those on low incomes to save energy2 July 1997November 1998November 1998
Review of Private Finance Initiative8 May 199713 June 199713 June 1997
Review of management recruitment incentives for high tech small and medium sized enterprises19 March 19989 March 19999 March 1999
Second review of Private Finance Initiative12 November 199822 March 1999The Government have received a report and will respond in due course
Task force on industrial use of energy19 March 19983 November 19983 November 1998
Review of Banking services in the UK3 November 1998December 1999From end 1999
New Deal Taskforce14 July 1997No report-by date. The Taskforce may choose from time to time to publish reports into specific issuesThe Taskforce was appointed for two years initially, with a review in May 1999
Private Finance Taskforce2 July 1997Late Summer 1999
Efficiency review of the Office for National Statistics13 July 199816 February 199916 February 1999
Review of average earnings figures23 October 19981 March 19991 March 1999
Review of central government civil procurementDecember 1998April 1999April 1999
Smaller quoted companies working groupAugust 1998November 1998November 1998
Task force on Banks Assistance to Credit Unions28 July 1998June 1999June 1999
Working group on financing high technology companiesNovember 1997November 1998November 1998
Policy Action Team 3: BusinessNovember 199831 July 199931 July 1999(2)
Policy Action Team: Access to financial serviceOctober 199831 July 199931 July 1999
Inquiry into lower rate ring-fenced tonnage based tax and enhanced training incentives9 March 1999to be announced

(2) Expected date


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5 May 1999 : Column: 401

Additionally, those which have set up (a), subgroups, (b) working parties and (c) other subsidiary committees are as follows:



    Review of Alcohol and Tobacco Duties: a, b


    Task force on tax and benefits: a, b, c


    New Deal Task force: a, b


    Policy Action Team: Access to financial services: a.


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