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Mr. Hanson: The Secretary of State had regular meetings with the First Secretary in the run-up to the 2000 Spending Review. The settlement we have secured for Wales includes amounts consequential on allocations to the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions for local government. It will of course be for the National Assembly to decide how the consequential amounts will be allocated in Wales, and it is currently consulting on its joint review of the standard spending assessment formula for distribution of grant to local authorities in Wales.
Mr. Hanson: My right hon. Friend discusses a range of rural issues in his weekly meeting with the First Secretary and I discuss rural development matters in my regular liaison meetings with Assembly Cabinet members. The National Assembly for Wales has what we believe is a unique duty, set out in section 121 of the Government
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16. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary on the impact of the level of the pound on farmers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular weekly meetings with the First Secretary and we discuss a wide range of topics. I understand that the majority of the agrimonetary compensation out of the total £10.6 million promised to Welsh dairy, beef and sheep farmers at the No. 10 Agriculture Summit on 30 March will be paid between August and December this year. We also are hopeful that the Agenda 2000 CAP reforms and the Rural Development Plan will enable Welsh farmers to achieve a sustainable agricultural industry.
Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary on a regular weekly basis and we discuss a wide range of issues. I am hopeful that the Rural Development Plan for Wales, coupled with support from Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the European Structural Funds and the industry's own resilience and coherent approach to rural development, will result in an improved level of farm incomes not only in south Wales but the whole country.
Mr. Paul Murphy: The excellent spending review settlement for Wales announced last week included an additional £421 million to cover in full the increase in EU Structural Funds receipts in Wales, outside of the Barnett formula. This settlement unlocks funding within the Block to meet the match funding requirement.
Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary on a regular weekly basis and we discuss a wide range of issues. I understand that the National Assembly has committed nearly £3 million to the organic farming scheme in its first year of operation. The scheme pays grants to farmers to help them through the period of conversion to organic farming. I also welcome the launch of the Centre for Organic Excellence in Aberystwyth on
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During the course of this Parliament, an extra £6.5 billion over and above inflation, will be spent on pensioners. Of this, half is going to help the poorest third of pensioners primarily through increases to the Minimum Income Guarantee and Winter Fuel payments.
The National Assembly are keen to reduce waiting lists as much and as soon as possible. Together with providing additional funding for this purpose, they have set strict targets to be met by Health Authorities.
Mr. Paul Murphy: The First Secretary and I meet on a regular basis and discuss a number of issues including manufacturing in Wales. Overall, manufacturing output in Wales for the four quarters to the first quarter of 2000 was 2.9 per cent. higher than this corresponding period a year earlier.
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Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was invested in individual savings accounts in their first year of operation (a) in total and (b) net of transfers from other savings instruments; how much was invested in (i) TESSAs and (ii) PEPs in their first year of operation; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Individual Savings Accounts attracted a total of over £28 billion in their first year 1999-2000, which is around a third more than the sum put into PEPs and TESSAs in their last year of operation of 1998-99. This excludes proceeds from matured TESSAs subscribed to cash components of ISAs or TESSA only ISAs. The proportion of funds which is attributable to new savings is not available.
Only £480 million was subscribed to PEPs in their first year (1987) compared to over £16 billion subscribed to the stocks and shares components of ISAs in their first year. The amount invested in TESSAs in their first year (1991) was around £7.3 billion, whereas the cash component of ISAs attracted some £12.3 billion in their first year.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the oral statement of the Economic Secretary on 5 July 2000, Official Report, Standing Committee D, column 15, with whom the status of the commitment to ensure that census forms will read, "What is your religion? This question is voluntary, has been checked"; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Census Act 1920, for the purpose of enabling any Order in Council directing a census to be taken to be carried into effect, the Chancellor of the Exchequer may make regulations with respect to the forms to be used in the taking of a census.
If the Census (Amendment) Bill, as currently drafted were to become law, then subsequent to the necessary Amendment Order being made providing for particulars in respect of religion to be added to those already approved by Parliament for inclusion in the 2001 Census, I will make, on behalf of the Chancellor, regulations setting out the form and wording of the particular question on religion to be included on the 2001 Census forms. This would include the statement that the question is voluntary.
Legal advisers for the Office for National Statistics have confirmed that the authority to include such a statement on the census form would fall within the provision of Section 3(1) of the Act, once the Act has been amended to provide for such particulars to be included without penalty for not doing so.
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