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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publicise the proportion of the purchase price of (a) a pint of beer, (b) a bottle of wine, (c) a bottle of whiskey, (d) a packet of 20 cigarettes and (e) a litre of unleaded petrol that is represented by tax and excise duty. 
Dawn Primarolo: The latest available figures are contained in the article "The effects of tax and benefits on household income, 1998-99" in the April 2000 edition of Economic Trends. It should be noted that the detailed results in this article are freestanding, since the underlying statistics do not support direct comparison with articles from earlier years.
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue does not identify these elements separately in their statistics. Figures are published in the Board of Inland Revenue's Annual Report, copies of which are in the Library of the House, and updates will be published in the next edition.
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Dawn Primarolo: The impact of changes in excise duties on the Retail Prices Index are published by the Office for National Statistics each year on the Internet. The latest of these can be found at http://www.statistics.gov.uk.
Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much road fuel has been seized by Customs and Excise in Northern Ireland because it was being illegally imported into the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what additional resources Customs and Excise in Northern Ireland have received to deal with increases in the illegal importation of road fuel from the Republic of Ireland. 
Mr. Timms: From within their existing resources Customs and Excise have increased by a factor of four the resource devoted to tackling oils fraud in Northern Ireland, complemented by additional mainland resource for specific exercises.
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Mr. Timms: An assessment of the impact from petrol duty on retail prices is made when producing the twice-yearly economic forecast. An updated inflation forecast will be published in the pre-Budget Report, on 8 November.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure the deadlines normally applicable for VAT and other tax returns by businesses are relaxed for businesses seriously affected by the recent flooding in Lewes. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Both Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue will deal sympathetically with any business in serious difficulty as a result of an unforeseeable event such as severe flooding. Deadlines applicable to the submission of VAT and other tax returns are prescribed in law but there is no liability to a penalty where the business has a reasonable excuse for failing to meet its obligations.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidelines are issued by the Inland Revenue regarding the tax treatment of married couples where a business partnership exists between husband and wife; if, in these circumstances, an investigation into the tax affairs of either husband or wife automatically triggers an investigation into the financial circumstances of the spouse; and if he will make a statement. 
The Inland Revenue may open an inquiry into the partnership return and any or all of the partners' personal returns. The official guidance is that before they issue a notice of an inquiry into the partnership return, staff should review the returns of all relevant partners. Where staff decide that they need to check whether the partnership return is fundamentally incorrect, they will normally need to inquire into all of the individual partners' returns as well. This is to ensure that all risks of error or evasion in the partnership are looked at properly.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the annual cost to the Exchequer would be of disregarding the working mother's allowance in respect of the working families' tax credit. 
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Mr. Timms: The Government are today publishing "Using the Tax System to Encourage Cleaner Fuels: The Experience of Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel". Copies are available in the Library of the House and in the Vote Office.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have been made to the English comparator that forms the basis of the Barnett formula in each year since 1997; what consequential changes in allocations to (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales were made as a result; and what the cumulative effect of all such changes was in the current financial year. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: With regard to changes which have been made to the English comparator since 1997, the departmental comparability factors in the Barnett formula which were used in the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review were set out in Annexe C of the Statement of Funding Policy published in March 1999. The factors which were used in the 2000 Spending Review were set out in Annexe C of the updated Statement of Funding Policy in July 2000.
The changes in allocations to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales depend on changes in UK Government Departments' departmental expenditure limits, the relevant departmental comparability factor and the appropriate population share. Increases in the Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales budgets were announced in the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review and 2000 Spending Review.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Federation of Small Businesses and (b) the Forum of Private Business about Government policy towards the euro. 
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regulatory processes and we are already committed to using it in appropriate circumstances. For example, Part I of the Electronic Communications Act 2000--which received Royal Assent on 25 May this year--is subject to a 'sunset clause'.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will assess the impact of the United States Regulatory Flexibility Act 1980 and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 1996. 
In addition, a delegation of the Small Business Council visited the US in October and is currently assessing the impact of that legislation. It will make recommendations on the merits of this type of approach to David Irwin in due course.
Mr. Alan Johnson: As part of the review of maternity pay and parental leave, I visited the US in July to learn about existing and proposed provision in the US and best practice in US companies. This included discussions with the Department of Labor on the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Department of Labor is currently undertaking an assessment on the Act's impact in the US, but data are not yet available.
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