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Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is her estimate of the amount of financial assistance required from the international community to stabilise the economy of Montenegro. [101462]

Clare Short: We have not made such estimates. The response of the international community to Montenegro's needs will be made in the light of the policies pursued by the Montenegrin Government and on the basis of discussion with them. We are closely following developments.


Lynebank Hospital

Ms Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date his Department announced (a) the closure of Lynebank Hospital and (b) the sell-off of the site; and if he will make a statement. [99244]

Dr. Reid [holding answer 23 November 1999]: I understand that no ministerial announcement has been made. The health service in Scotland is now a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.



Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 8 December. [101416]

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I will have further such meetings later today.

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 583W


Savings Target

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his targets are in respect of the level of the savings ratio in the United Kingdom. [101830]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government are aiming to spread the saving habit more widely and provide the right economic conditions to promote long-term saving.


Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the reduction of pesticides use is an aim of his proposal for a pesticides tax; and if he will make a statement. [101817]

Mr. Timms: I refer the right hon. Member to paragraphs 6.106 to 6.108 inclusive of the Pre-Budget Report (Cm 4479), published on 9 November.

Individual Savings Accounts

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new regular savers have been attracted by the ISA scheme. [101815]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Mr. Loughton) on 11 November 1999, Official Report, column 764W.

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of savers who hold both a maxi-ISA and a mini-ISA. [101827]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 27 October 1999, Official Report, column 898W.

Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate in respect of South Lancashire Council area (a) the numbers of income support and jobseeker's allowance claimants going onto the working families tax credits scheme because of the greater financial incentives involved and (b) the number of people in work who will now be entitled to working families tax credits as a result of more generous conditions of entitlement. [101487]

Dawn Primarolo: Reliable estimates for the numbers in receipt of the Working Families Tax Credit in South Lanarkshire are not yet available.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the increase in the number employed in Shrewsbury and Atcham since 1 May 1997; and if he will make a statement. [101714]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 584W

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Paul Marsden, dated 7 December 1999:

    The most robust estimates at local authority level relate to jobs rather than numbers employed. These figures are available on an annual basis at September each year. In September 1997, the Annual Employment Survey (AES) shows that there were 39,000 employee jobs in the Shrewsbury and Atcham local authority district. This compares with 38,300 for September 1996. Information for September 1998 from the AES will be available in the next few months.

    Direct estimates of the numbers of people who are in employment and living in Shrewsbury and Atcham can be derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Figures from this source cover employees, self-employed, unpaid family workers, and those on government employment training programmes, but are subject to larger sampling errors at local authority district level. For 1997-98, our best estimate on this basis is 47,000 which is the same as 1996-97.

European Court of Justice

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects a decision from the European Court of Justice on the VAT treatment of road tolls and road pricing; who initiated the proceedings in the court; and for what reasons. [101704]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 7 December 1999]: The Advocate General will deliver his written opinion to the European Court of Justice on 27 January 2000. If the Court follows its normal timetable the decision should be given three to six months later. Proceedings were initiated against the United Kingdom and five other member states by the European Commission. The dispute is over the interpretation of VAT legislation.


Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue raised by VAT in the (a) 1996-97 and (b) 1997-98 tax years; and what assessment he has made of the effect of simplifying the application of VAT between different retail sectors. [101905]

Dawn Primarolo: Revenue raised by VAT in 1996-97 was, £46,657 million. In 1997-98 it was, £50,865 million.

There are no simplifications for which an assessment by retail sector has been performed.


New Deal (Heywood and Middleton)

Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many lone parents aged (a) under 18, (b) 18-34, (c)34-50, and (d) over 50 years have joined the New Deal since 1998 (i) nationally and (ii) in the constituency of Heywood and Middleton. [100294]

Ms Jowell: The following table shows, by age, the number of lone parents attending an initial New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) interview in the period since the full national roll-out of the NDLP programme, that is from 26 October 1998 to the end of August 1999.

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 585W

Age of lone parent Great BritainHeywood and Middleton
Under 185801

Departmental Estate

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what his estimate is of the value of land and property (a) in Scotland, (b) in the United Kingdom, (c) overseas and (d) in total held by (i) Ofsted, (ii) the Equal Opportunities Commission, (iii) the Funding Agency for Schools, (iv) the FEFC, (v) HEFCE, (vi) Investors in People UK Ltd, (vii) the National Council for Education Technology Ltd, (viii) Remploy Ltd, (ix) the Student Loans Company, (x) the Teacher Training Agency, (xi) the Construction Industry Training Board, (xii) the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and (xiii) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; and what is the value of other assets held by each of these bodies. [99842]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 26 November 1999]: The information relating to the value of land, property and other asses is drawn from the latest set of accounts for each of the following organisations.


Land and propertyOther assets
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom560,2820
(c) Overseas00
Equal Opportunities Commission
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom0460,000
(c) Overseas00
Funding Agency for Schools
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom01,151,000
(c) Overseas00
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom1,276,00028,500,000
(c) Overseas00
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom050,610,000
(c) Overseas00
Investors in People UK Ltd.
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom0957,000
(c) Overseas00
National Council for Education Technology (NCET) Ltd.
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom204,0001,832,000
(c) Overseas00
(a) Scotland1,714,0001,061,000
(b) United Kingdom24,388,00022,341,000
(c) Overseas00
Students Loan Company
(a) Scotland1,015,0002,213,000
(b) United Kingdom00
(c) Overseas00
Teacher Training Agency
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom240,0003,188,000
(c) Overseas00
Construction Industry Training Board
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom4,681,00028,517,000
(c) Overseas00
Engineering Construction Industry Training Board
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom555,0007,509,000
(c) Overseas00
Total555,000(23) 7,509,000
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
(a) Scotland00
(b) United Kingdom2,440,0005,577,000
(c) Overseas00

(23) Excludes £7,763,000 investments

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 586W

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