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Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 8 May 2000]: Pages 140 and 141 of the March 2000 Financial Statement and Budget Report give the details of national insurance contributions rates. A copy is in the Library of the House.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the reduction in tax paid per year in cash terms, and as a percentage of total gross annual income, for each income decile group, resulting from increasing the 10p tax band on earnings by £100; and if he will make a statement. 
|Decile (8)||Total reduction in income tax (£ million)||Reduction in tax as a percentage of total gross annual income|
(7) Based on the survey of personal incomes and consistent with the March 2000 Budget.
(8) The estimates exclude an offsetting effect from the Working Families Tax Credit because this is allowed at family level and not at individual level.
10 May 2000 : Column: 427W
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what compliance costs in relation to the climate change levy face each sector of the agricultural industry; and what assistance is being offered to each sector. 
Ms Quin: Any compliance costs associated with the administration of the climate change levy will fall mainly on the energy suppliers who will have to amend their billing systems in order to accommodate the levy. More information is contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment of the climate change levy prepared by Customs and Excise and it will be updated as appropriate to reflect any significant changes.
To ensure that the levy will be revenue neutral for the private sector as a whole, revenue collected by the levy will be recycled in full to all sectors of the UK economy through a 0.3 percentage point reduction in employers' NICs and through the provision of an additional £150 million to support energy efficiency measures, including the introduction of 100 per cent. first year capital allowances for energy saving instruments. In addition electricity generated from 'new' forms of renewable energy and in 'good quality' combined heat and power plants will be exempt from the levy. This will be of help to agricultural users of energy produced from these sources.
To assist energy intensive sectors defined as being those sites and installations covered by the EU Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control directive (IPPC), an 80 per cent. discount of the levy rates is being offered to those sectors that can come forward with proposals to make energy savings meeting the Government's criteria. In agriculture these sectors include pigs, poultry and sows.
In addition the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in Budget 2000 that the Government intend to introduce a package of measures to help improve energy efficiency in the horticultural sector while protecting its competitiveness. Subject to State Aids clearance from the European Commission, this will include:
10 May 2000 : Column: 428W
Mr. Temple-Morris: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the Forestry Commission Employees Pension Fund is funded; and how much public money was made available to it in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Morley: The Forestry Commission Pension Scheme operates in the same way as the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Prior to devolution, benefits were paid from the net grant in aid for forestry voted by Parliament. Net payments in each of the last three years, after allowing for receipts from employee contributions and transfers to and from other schemes were:
Once the devolution settlement is fully in place, the employers contributions which until now have been assessed only for internal Forestry Commission accounting purposes, will be paid from money provided by Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. In 1998-99 this amounted to £6.4 million. The balance will continue to be paid from money provided by Parliament.
Mr. Woolas: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to speed up the issuing of licences for the prescription of strychnine hydrochloride for mole eradication. 
Ms Quin: Strychnine hydrochloride is a dangerous substance and strict controls are in place to regulate its circulation and use. Applications for permits to use it to kill moles are considered by MAFF's Regional Service Centres (RSCs), which issue the permit or refuse the application within 15 working days of receipt of the completed application. The established standard is quoted in the public statement of RSC customer service standards--"Commitment to Service".
During the 1999-2000 financial year, 98 per cent. of permits were issued within 15 working days despite an increase in applications of 14 per cent. from the previous year. We will continue to work and achieve the same standard in all cases.
10 May 2000 : Column: 429W
8. Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps she is taking to ensure that the modernising of Government programmes pays particular attention to the accessibility of Government Departments to the public using information technology. 
Personal information obtained from Government, like National Insurance records
Personal information supplied to Government, for example when changing address
Payment to Government
Payment from Government.
Marjorie Mowlam: The Lancashire Drug Action Team is contributing to the Government's anti-drugs strategy by implementing a wide range of measures to address problems of drug misuse at local level. These include:
improving drugs education in schools
working with Crime Prevention Partnerships and extending early intervention schemes for young people in the community--including six Arrest Referral schemes
improving information systems, and
addressing problems over waiting lists for treatment.
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