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Mr. Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the contribution made to GDP by voluntary workers in the last financial year for which figures are available. [136068]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 13 November 2000:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question on the contribution made to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by voluntary workers. (136068)

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The contribution of voluntary workers to GDP is included in the National Accounts where the output of the organisations they work for is estimated as part of market activity. For example, the output of a charity shop, which may be staffed by unpaid volunteers, will be included in the output of retailers, and any profit the shop generates will appear in the income estimate of GDP. However, it is not possible to identify separately where this output that contributes to GDP has been produced by voluntary workers.
The System of National Accounts (SNA) makes provision for information on unpaid work to be compiled in a satellite account. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is currently developing a Household Satellite Account, which will include, amongst other things, an estimate of the volume and value of voluntary work. It is expected that this will be published at the end of 2001.

Bank Lending

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to Cm 4917, what powers he has to compel banks to disclose their individual lending activities to businesses in under-invested areas. [138243]

Miss Melanie Johnson: None.


Mr. Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many investors have opened ISA accounts who did not previously hold a PEP or TESSA; [138245]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I regret that information based on analysis of administrative data held by the Inland Revenue is not yet available.

Euratom Safeguards Agency

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was (a) the total annual budget and (b) Her Majesty's Government's annual contribution to the Euratom Safeguards Agency in each of the last five years; and what are the estimated figures for each of the next five years. [137693]

Miss Melanie Johnson: This information is contained in the Adopted EC budget for 2000, copies of which have been deposited in the House of Commons Library.

The UK makes its contributions to the EC Budget as a whole and not to specific sections.

Single Currency

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2000, Official Report, column 537W, what constitutional factors were considered in relation to possible British membership of the single European currency, prior to the 27 October 1997 statement concerning British membership of EMU. [138008]

Miss Melanie Johnson: As the October 1997 statement stated, if the economic benefits are clear and unambiguous, there is no constitutional bar to British membership of EMU.

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Mr. Bradshaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which responsibilities for assessing if membership of the single European currency would be in Britain's economic interest lie with (a) his Department and (b) the Bank of England. [135859]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Treasury will make another assessment of the five economic tests early in the next Parliament.

Internet (Price Transparency)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what studies his Department has undertaken on the competition effects of increased price transparency due to use of the internet; and if he will make a statement. [137330]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government believe that the internet and e-commerce are generally beneficial to competition. They increase the range of suppliers for many products and services. Price transparency is just one aspect. HM Treasury has not conducted studies on the competition effects of increased price transparency.

Petrol Costs (Ministerial Cars)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was in each of the past three years for petrol for his Department's fleet of ministerial cars; and how many vehicles there are in that fleet. [134966]

Miss Melanie Johnson: All Treasury ministerial cars are provided under a lease contract with the Government Car and Despatch Agency.


Cancer Services

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review on (a) cancer research, (b) cancer screening and (c) palliative care of cancer patients. [133844]

Yvette Cooper: The National Health Service Plan announced that a substantial increase in funding has been secured for the NHS. As a result cancer services will receive an additional £280 million in 2001-02, £407 million in 2002-03 and £570 million by 2003-04. This will be used to support the implementation of the NHS Cancer Plan, published on 27 September 2000. The plan sets out action to improve the speed, quality and equity of cancer services, and builds on the far-reaching changes for health services set out in the NHS Plan. Specifically resources have been identified for:

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Further details are available in the NHS Cancer Plan, copies of which have been placed in the Library.


Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to encourage breastfeeding of babies. [134563]

Yvette Cooper: We are fully committed to the promotion of breastfeeding, which is uniformly accepted as the best form of nutrition for infants. We also firmly believe that it is important that women and their partners are able to make a fully informed choice on how to feed their babies based on accurate and consistent information. This means that women should have access to information about all infant feeding practices through the relevant health care professional to be confident about the choices they make.

The Infant Feeding Initiative was launched in May 1999 as part of our commitment to improve health inequalities. We have appointed two part-time National Infant Feeding Advisers to act as a focus for developing and implementing strategies for promoting breastfeeding. In particular, their expertise is being utilised to increase the incidence of breastfeeding among groups where breastfeeding rates are lowest, for example, those on low income, and to ensure that all mothers have the information and support they need to make informed infant feeding choices.

We have established the National Network of Breastfeeding Co-ordinators to promote breastfeeding at a local level and to share ideas nationally with a view to increasing both the number of mothers breastfeeding and the length of time they continue to breastfeed. Each year the four United Kingdom Health Departments support National Breastfeeding Awareness Week to increase public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, which took place this year from 14-20 May.

We also provide financial support to the four main voluntary organisations in this area, the National Childbirth Trust, La Leche League, Breastfeeding Network and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. Close links are also kept with UNICEF's Baby Friendly Initiative (UKBFI) which includes a departmental observer sitting on the Steering Committee of the UKBFI. We offer support for research into breastfeeding through the Quinquennial Surveys of Infant Feeding Practice; a new survey will be undertaken this year. Also, as part of the Department's research initiative on health inequalities, we are supporting a study aimed at identifying the barriers to breastfeeding in low income groups. The Department also receives and publishes expert advice on breastfeeding through its advisory committees.

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