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Ms Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the draft Census Order for England and Wales will be laid before Parliament, if questions on religion, ethnic group and income are to be included in the proposed content of the Census; and if he will make a statement. [104428]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Draft Order in Council providing for a Census to be taken in England and Wales on Sunday 29 April 2001 has today been laid before Parliament. This Order specifies the persons by whom and with respect to whom returns are to be made and the topics on which questions are to be asked.

The Government's proposals for the 2001 census were published in a White Paper (Cm 4253) in March this year. All the topics that were then proposed for England and Wales are included in the draft Order with the exception of religion. A change to the Census Act 1920 is necessary to permit a question on religion to be asked. A Bill to amend the Census Act to this effect was introduced in the House of Lords on 16 December 1999. If this is passed in time it is planned to include a question in the 2001 Census.

A question on ethnic group is proposed in the Draft Census Order. The ethnic group question was one of the main successes of the 1991 Census, and the question for the forthcoming census has since been extensively researched and tested, both to meet users' requirements for additional information about people of mixed origin and sub-groups within the "White" population, particularly the "Irish", and to be as acceptable as possible to respondents. The new response categories are to provide optimum comparability with information from the 1991 Census question while, at the same time, attempting to improve response to the question among the many different ethnic minority communities.

Consultation with users about requirements for information from the census has indicated that there is widespread support for the inclusion of an income question from key Government Departments, local government and others. But the strength of such requirements must be balanced against the possible public disquiet about the acceptability of such a question in a compulsory Census, the doubts about the reliability of the information collected, and the availability of possible alternative sources of the information. The Draft Order for England and Wales therefore does not include an income question.

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A copy of the 2001 Census Form will be included as part of the Census Regulations to be made following the Census Order.

As the Census is a devolved issue, similar arrangements are being made in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Windfall Tax

Mr. Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total value of receipts since May 1997 from the windfall tax on the privatised utilities. [104256]

Mr. Timms: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by the former Financial Secretary my hon. Friend the Minister for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche), to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) on 28 January 1999, Official Report, column 344W.

Red Diesel

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 20 December 1999, Official Report, column 433W, concerning diesel fuel, (103015), what guidance has been issued to road hauliers regarding the use of Norwegian diesel. [104145]

Mr. Timms: No specific guidance has been issued in respect of Norwegian diesel. Notice 75, 'Fuel for diesel vehicles', issued by Customs and Excise gives advice on what fuels can be legally used in a diesel-engined road vehicle. This notice is freely available from Excise and Inland Customs Advice Centres.

Art Sales

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely effect of the introduction of a pre-eminence standard for claims for the conditional exemption of works of art on the number of works being sold. [101854]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 7 December 1999]: None.

Departmental Productivity

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking to increase the productivity and reduce the running costs of his Department. [103857]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Treasury's Public Service Agreement includes the following range of measures for increasing productivity within the Department, and hence saving running costs:

    an information strategy review, examining internal business processes and best working practices, and adoption of recommendations on better inter-departmental co-ordination.

    a reduction in the number and length of unfilled vacancies.

    a new robust system for recording sickness absence.

    moving to electronic publishing of information material previously published on paper.

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The Treasury's gross running costs provision for 1999-2000 to 2001-02 is set out in its Public Service Agreement. The productivity measures listed above will enable the Department to increase the quantity and quality of outputs delivered by its running costs expenditure over this period.

Gold Reserves

Mr. Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the value of the gold held in the national reserves. [104260]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Table 2 of the Quarterly Report on UK Official Holdings of Foreign Currency and Gold for the period July to September 1999, published on 2 December 1999, provides a breakdown of the size and composition of the United Kingdom's reserve holdings, including gold.

Economic Policies

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (1) pursuant to Cm 4181, page 115, No. xiv, what criteria he will use to determine whether high-growth business start-ups are successful; [104348]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: The information on how Departments' performances will be assessed against the targets set out in Cm 4181 was published in "The Government's measures of success Output and Performance Analysis" HM Treasury 31 March 1999. The document is also available on the Treasury's website.

Pensions Mis-selling

Mr. Andy King: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many claims arising from the mis-selling of pensions are outstanding; and what assessment he has made of the timescale for their resolution; [104314]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The regulators split the industry's work on the personal pension mis-selling review into two phases. During phase 1 firms were required to address the most urgent cases, where for example pensioners had died, or retired, or were close to retirement. Phase 2--which began in 1999--addresses less urgent cases, mostly younger people.

The mis-selling of personal pensions took place during the period April 1998-June 1994 and the statistics given in this answer cover the mis-selling over that period. It is not practical to provide figures for the period from January 1990. The people affected by personal pension mis-selling are those who were mis-sold a pension and who were subsequently entitled to redress.

The phase 1 review has led to offers of redress to 410,000 people. About 17,000 phase 1 cases are outstanding. This represents about 2 per cent. of all the cases included in the phase 1 review. These are typically difficult cases or cases which have only recently been identified as proper to phase 1. The Financial Services Authority closely monitors the firms responsible for these outstanding phase 1 cases.

The total population to be examined under phase 2 is in excess of 800,000. About 114,000 cases have already been dealt with, and offers of redress have been made in about 90,000 cases. About 700,000 further cases are likely to be dealt with during the rest of the phase 2 review. Not all of these investors will be entitled to redress. The timetable is for all phase 2 case reviews to be completed by June 2002.

It is too soon to say how many investors overall are likely to be offered redress under the two phases of the review.