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Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government's fiscal policy is guided by two fiscal rules first set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report in July 1997 (HC85). This fiscal policy is underpinned by the Code for Fiscal Stability laid before Parliament under section 155 of the Finance Act 1998.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the non-economic factors which will be taken into account in determining the timing of a decision to replace the pound with the euro. 
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Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of post offices since May 1997 on his objective of reducing financial exclusion. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Bringing those who are currently unbanked into the mainstream banking system will make a major contribution to reducing financial exclusion. The Government--through its £500 million investment in automation of the Post Office network, and its support for Universal Banking Services at post offices--is enabling the Post Office to make banking services more accessible to the financially excluded.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government's package of corporation tax reforms included not only the withdrawal of payable tax credits on dividends but also cuts in corporation tax rates. These and other measures will help to improve investment performance. The effect of these changes on the size of UK pension funds will vary depending upon many factors, such as: the type of scheme; the take-up of private pensions; the level of future contributions and the investment policy adopted by fund managers.
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Dawn Primarolo: The introduction of the WFTC was the first step in a continuing programme of integration of tax and benefits, to make work pay better and improve support for families with children. In Budget 2000, the Chancellor announced the introduction, from 2003, of two new tax credits which will build on and extend the principles of the WFTC.
Mr. Allan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (1) for (a) Great Britain, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) each region (as defined in the Labour Market Trends Survey) the economic activity rate for (i) men, (ii) women and (iii) men and women, for age groups (A) 16 to 17, (B) 18 to 24, (C) 25 to 34, (D) 35 to 49, (E) 50 to 59, (F) 60+ and (G) all aged 16 and over, for each of the years available from 1979 to 2000; 
(3) for (a) Great Britain, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) each region (as defined in the Labour Market Trends Survey) the ILO unemployment rate for (i) men, (ii) women and (iii) men and women, for age groups (A) 16 to 17, (B) 18 to 24, (C) 25 to 34, (D) 35 to 49, (E) 50 to 59, (F) 60+ and (G) all aged 16 and over, for each of the years from 1979 for which figures are available; 
(4) for (a) Great Britain, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) each local area (as defined in the Labour Market Trends Survey) the claimant count, for (i) men, (ii) women and (iii) men and women, for age groups (A) 16 to 17, (B) 18 to 24, (C) 25 to 34, (D) 35 to 49, (E) 50 to 59, (F) 60+ and (G) all aged 16 and over, for each of the years available from 1979 to 2000. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent questions regarding a variety of labour market statistics for men and women in different regions in Great Britain. I am replying in his absence. (136747/136748/136749/146750)
Information on the number of employee jobs by region and industry for recent dates is published quarterly in table B.16 of Labour Market Trends. A back series of employee jobs, along with the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits (the 'claimant count') by age and region are available through the Nomis database at the House of Commons Library. Information on computerised claims, by age, for regions and for a range of local area geographies is available monthly from June 1985.
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Estimates of economic activity and International Labour Organisation (ILO) unemployment by age and region are available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), National Statistics' major source of labour market data on individuals. The information requested is also available through the House of Commons Library.
The ONS preferred measure of unemployment is the ILO unemployment rate, derived from the LFS. It is defined on an internationally recognised basis. It counts as unemployed people who are a) without a paid job b) available to start work within the next two weeks and c) have either looked for work in the last four weeks or are waiting to start a job already obtained. This measure has been used in the LFS since 1984. LFS estimates of economic activity, defined as people in employment or ILO unemployed, are also available from 1984 onwards on a consistent basis.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) currently uses Government Office Regions (GORs) as the primary categorisation for regions. LFS estimates based on GORs are only available from 1992 onwards. LFS estimates based on the Standard Statistical Region categorisation are available from 1979, but only from 1984 onwards on the consistent ILO definitions of economic activity and unemployment.
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