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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to issue detailed proposals for the vignette for commercial road vehicles in the United Kingdom; and what the daily charge will be. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the lower earnings limit (a) for crediting towards national insurance benefits and (b) for national insurance contribution payments (i) was in April 1997 and (ii) will be in April 2001; and if he will estimate for each local authority in Tyne and Wear the numbers of employees who will be credited with national insurance contributions, but not paying them in April 2001. 
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pre-Budget Report to increase the upper limit on national insurance contributions for employed and self employed. 
Dawn Primarolo: In the March 1999 Budget the Chancellor announced a large reform of National Insurance and figures were given in table 1.3 of the "March 1999 Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report". These estimates were updated in the "March 2000 Financial Statement and Budget Report" appendix A2.
Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of paying the bereavement allowance to all men widowed between 6 April 1994 and 5 April 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 November 2000]: The Inland Revenue does not generally hold information on whether men are widowed and therefore any costing is very approximate. We estimate the cost of extending the widow's bereavement allowance to men retrospectively for the tax years 1994-95 to 1999-2000 would be about £180 million.
The Government recognise that the previous system of tax allowances did not target support fairly on those who needed it most. A new system has now been introduced, which focuses resources on families with children. Most widows and widowers with children under 16 will, from next April, be entitled to the Children's Tax Credit, worth over twice as much as the Widow's Bereavement Allowance. We believe that this will give the right support to those who need it most.
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 November 2000]: There are around 80,000 men widowed each year in the UK of whom some 7,500 are in Scotland. I regret that it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate for the number of men widowed in each Scottish local authority area.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what restrictions apply to contact between his special advisers and journalists between publication of the Budget Report 2000 and the 2001 Budget. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 13 November 2000]: The most recent actual figures relate to mid-1999. They are given in "Population Trends 101", Table 1.5. The Government Actuary's latest projections of the number of people over state pension age, based on the population at mid-1998, are available on the CD ROM accompanying "National population projections: 1998-based" (ONS Series no. 22) or on the GAD website http://www.gad.gov.uk/population/1998/pop98.html.
Mr. Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to Cm 4917, if he will list the most disadvantaged communities which will qualify for tax reliefs under his regeneration proposals. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 13 November 2000]: The Government are working to ensure that the Stamp Duty measure announced in the pre-Budget Report is targeted at the most disadvantaged areas in all parts of the UK.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral statement of 8 November 2000, Official Report, columns 315-27, on the pre-Budget Report, what estimate he has made of the impact of changes in stamp duty to (a) property sales and (b) other economic variables in deprived areas as defined in Table B4 of the document "Building Long Term Prosperity for All"; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: A review of the operation of ISAs began work in April this year, and changes arising from the review were announced in the recent Pre-Budget Report. These include extending cash ISAs to 16 and 17-year-olds, increasing the use of electronic business for ISAs, and the alignment of the PEP rules on investments, transfers and administrative procedures with the more flexible ISA rules. Further details can be found in the Inland Revenue Press Release "Encouraging Britain to Save" issued on 8 November.
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Miss Melanie Johnson: Public sector spending on changeover planning to date is set out in the Treasury's Fourth Report on Euro Preparations, published on 6 November 2000. Copies of the report are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many personal computers have been provided by private sector employers for use at home by their employees, for which a tax allowance has been claimed; and what the value was of the computers provided. 
Mr. Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the relationship between his plans to abolish the withholding tax on the payment of interest between companies and the Council of Ministers' plans for an EU withholding tax. 
Mr. Timms: The Budget proposal to abolish withholding tax on international bonds and simplification represents a helpful simplification of the tax system, as does the proposal in the pre-Budget Report whereby, subject to consultation, the requirement to withhold tax on most intra-UK interest and royalties payments between UK companies within the charge of corporation tax will be abolished from April 2001. They are not directly connected with EU proposals on taxation of savings, on which subject I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer my hon. Friend the Paymaster General gave on 31 October 2000, Official Report, column 410W.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is concerning proposals by the Dutch Government for the harmonisation of pension tax systems, to be included in the IGC on institutional reform at Nice; 
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(3) if he will make a statement on plans by the French Presidency to introduce internal market tax harmonisation measures. 
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