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Tax Certificates

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to ensure that all applications to the Inland Revenue for C1S6 and C1S5 certificates are processed before 1 August; and if he will make a statement. [90787]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 July 1999]: The Inland Revenue is doing all it can to ensure that certificate applications are processed quickly. It takes about four weeks to process a certificate application (against one week for registration cards) because of the compliance checks. Where a subcontractor applies for a certificate late there may now not be enough time to make sure that it is processed before 1 August. Where the Inland Revenue consider that there is not enough time to process the certificate application they will arrange for a registration card, or temporary tax payment card to be issued so that the subcontractor can be paid.

River Severn (Deaths)

Mr. Lock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many members of the public have died in (a) accidents and (b) suicides in the River Severn in the Wyre Forest District Council area in the past 10 years; and what was the cause of death in each case. [91581]

Ms Hewitt: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. David Lock, dated 21 July 1999:



    Between 1993 and 1998, there were seven deaths in the Kidderminster Registration District, which is broadly coterminous with the area administered by Wyre Forest District Council, where the River Severn was mentioned on the coroner's certificate of death. In addition, there were three deaths which occurred in a river not specified by the coroner. Corresponding data for years prior to 1993 are not available.


    The verdicts and underlying causes of the ten deaths are given in the table.

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 557

Number of deaths in Kidderminster registration district, where the River Severn or an unspecified river is mentioned, 1993-98

VerdictCauseRiver SevernRiver not specified
SuicideDrowning10
OpenDrowning31
Cause not ascertainable10
AccidentFall into water11
Fall into water in course of epileptic fit01
Drowning10
Total73


21 Jul 1999 : Column: 559

NIRS2

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a copy of the terms of the contract under which Andersen Consulting are currently developing the NIRS2 computer system. [91652]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 16 July 1999]: The terms of the contract with Andersen Consulting are commercially confidential and are exempt from disclosure under paragraph 13 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Construction Industry Scheme

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many firms are on the waiting list to register for the construction industry scheme; and what is the average time taken from application to registration. [91655]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 20 July 1999]: There is no waiting list for subcontractors who wish to apply for registration cards or certificates for the construction industry scheme. A subcontractor must complete an application form and take it to a tax office for an identity check. This can be done almost immediately. On average it takes one week to process an application form for a registration card.

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advertisements the Inland Revenue has placed to inform businesses of the need to register under the new construction industry scheme; and what has been the cost of the advertisements. [91656]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 20 July 1999]: The Inland Revenue has paid for five phases of national advertising to inform business, contractors and

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 560

subcontractors about the construction industry scheme at a total cost of £2,450,000. The key messages have progressively moved from general awareness raising, through a call to action to 'apply now' and has featured in the main tabloids, construction press and commercial radio. On top of this there has been local and regional advertising of the local office opening times.

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of businesses that should have registered under the construction industry scheme by 1 August; and what projection he has made of the number which will have done so by that date. [91658]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 20 July 1999]: The Inland Revenue estimates that approximately 635,000 businesses are due to complete application forms for the construction industry scheme. They expect 90 per cent. to have done so by 1 August.

Birth Statistics

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish for each year from 1990 the numbers of (a) maternities and (b) sets of twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets and septuplets born in England and Wales. [92262]

Ms Hewitt: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Tim Holt to Mr. Dafydd Wigley, dated 21 July 1999:



    The requested data are shown in the following table:

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 559

Maternities in England and Wales by multiplicity 1990-1998

Year199019911992199319941995199619971998
Singletons692,885685,477675,329659,962650,826633,366634,979626,814620,846
Twins7,9348,1608,3148,3028,4518,7498,6158,8998,776
Triplets201208202234260282259295297
Quadruplets101081287877
Quintuplets--21------------
Sextuplets------1----------
Septuplets------------1----
Total maternities701,030693,857683,854668,511659,545642,404643,862636,015629,926

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 559

Social Security Acts

Ms Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received the report from the Government Actuary on the operation of the Social Security Acts for the five years from April 1990. [92525]

Dawn Primarolo: I have today laid before the House a report that the Government Actuary has made on the operation of the Social Security Acts between 6 April 1990 and 5 April 1995 in accordance with Section 166 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

It provides a detailed look forward into the next century of the possible future costs of benefits paid out of the National Insurance Fund and the contributions likely to be needed to pay for them.

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 560

Following the Social Security (Transfer of Functions etc.) Act 1999 this report is made to both the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Social Security--but the responsibility for laying the report rests with Treasury Ministers.

Mortgages

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the regulation of mortgages. [92362]

Ms Hewitt: The Treasury has issued a discussion document to form the basis of a review to determine whether there is a case for the statutory regulation of advice on and marketing of mortgages. Copies of the document have been placed in the Vote Office and Libraries of the House.

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 561

Invest to Save

Ms Moran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to extend the first round of Invest to Save pilot projects. [90884]

Mr. Milburn: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, West (Mr. Thomas) on 19 May 1999, Official Report, column 366.

The second bidding round of the Invest to Save Budget is presently under way. Expressions of interest have been submitted to the Treasury and bidders will be advised in due course whether they will be invited to submit proposals for the final bidding stage. I expect to announce winners at the end of the year.


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