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Vintage and Veteran Vehicles

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will make a statement on taxation levels for vehicles over 25 years old; [103153]

Mr. Timms: Any tax changes will be announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the context of his Budget statement. In general, vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1973 are exempt from vehicle excise duty. Full

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details of this scheme can be found in the DVLA publication "Exemption from vehicle excise duty for historic vehicles".

Environmental Tax Revenue

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reinvest environmental tax revenues. [103187]

Mr. Timms: The Government will consider, on a case by case basis, the use to which the revenues from additional environmental taxes should be put.

The Pre Budget Report announced that, in future, the revenues from any further real terms increases in fuel duties will be spent on improving public transport and modernising the road network.

The revenues from the Climate Change Levy will be used to pay for 0.3 percentage point cut in employers' National Insurance and £150 million of support for energy efficiency measures in 2001-02.

The revenues from the Landfill Tax, introduced by the previous Government, were also used to reduce employers' National Insurance. The Government make 20 per cent. of the yield from the landfill tax available as credits to support environmental projects under the Environmental Bodies Credit Scheme.

Land Settlement Tenants

Mrs. Organ: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will meet the Chairman of the Inland Revenue and hon. Members representing former land settlement tenants to seek to establish a resolution of the tax issues relating to the compensation agreed with the Ministry of Agriculture in 1991. [103186]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on 13 December 1999, Official Report, column 79W.


Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the French Government's decision to reduce VAT on energy-saving materials. [103474]

Mr. Timms: The French reduced rate is for the renovation and repair of private dwellings and has been introduced under the new Annex K of the Sixth VAT Directive. The French have not introduced a reduced rate for DIY energy saving materials, since the reduced rate in Annex K may be applied only to labour intensive services.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reduce VAT on energy-saving materials. [103473]

Mr. Timms: This Government have already reduced to 5 per cent. the VAT rate applicable to grant-funded installation of energy saving materials in the homes of the less well off. EC VAT law does not allow the UK to apply a reduced VAT rate to sales of energy saving materials for DIY installation.

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E-commerce Taxation

Mr. Colman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his policy in respect of (a) direct and (b) indirect taxation in relation to the tax treatment of e-commerce and its impact on any renegotiated double tax agreement. [103632]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government's policy on the direct and indirect tax treatment of e-commerce is set out in the paper "Electronic Commerce: the UK's taxation agenda" which it published on 26 November.

The outcome of the ongoing work on the tax implications of e-commerce will be taken into account as appropriate in future double taxation agreements.

Double Taxation

Mr. Colman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what economic evaluation his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned of the overall balance of advantage of existing double tax agreements. [103631]

Dawn Primarolo: It is widely recognised in the United Kingdom and other leading industrialised countries that double taxation agreements encourage international trade and investment by relieving double taxation and providing certainty of tax treatment. Investment and income flows are taken into account in negotiating double taxation agreements. The business community is invited regularly to give its views on the priorities for negotiating new agreements and renegotiating existing agreements. The many representations made by business during our annual review of our network of agreements show the considerable value of these agreements to the United Kingdom, and in particular to UK business.

Mortgages and Pensions Website

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in establishing a web-site to provide advice on mortgages and pensions to the general public. [103745]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Financial Services Authority published a consultation document on 4 October setting out proposals for a comparative information scheme. This is available on their website. Included in this are individual personal pensions and mortgage endowment policies. In time, other products may be included. The Treasury has no separate plans to provide such information.

EU Budget

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will break down into the constituent items the figures included as the United Kingdom gross contribution to EU institutions in 1998 stated in Table (a) 9.2 and (b) 9.7 of the 1999 Pink Book. [103385]

Miss Melanie Johnson: A breakdown of Table 9.2 into its Balance of Payments current account is given in Tables 9.4 to 9.7 of the Pink Book. A detailed breakdown of Table 9.7 into its constituent items is given in Table 5.1 of the Pink Book. However, as I advised the hon. Member in my reply of 13 December 1999, Official Report, columns 77-78W, details of UK gross

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contributions to EU Institutions, including a breakdown by type of transaction, are presented in Tables 3.11, 5.1 and 6.1 of the Pink Book. A summary of all UK official Government transactions with EU Institutions is also given in Table 11.2 of the Blue Book.

Public Investment Programmes (PSBR)

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the value is of the projected investment over the next five years by all those public enterprises and publicly owned companies whose investment programmes are not subject to PSBR restraint; [103907]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Public Sector Net Cash Requirement (PSNCR--formerly the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement) is a measure of the public sector's need to borrow cash from other sectors of the economy. The transactions of all public sector bodies, including enterprises and companies in the public sector, contribute to the PSNCR.

The PSNCR is not itself a control. Different budgetary controls are applied to different public enterprises according to their circumstances.

The investment plans of public corporations from 1993-94 to 2001-02 are set out in table 7.3 of "Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 1999-2000" (Cm 4201).

Resource Accounting

Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to proceed with the introduction of resource budgeting. [104121]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The next spending review, in 2000, will be conducted on a resource basis. This will fulfil the Government's commitment in the Code for Fiscal Stability to adopt, as soon as reasonably practicable, a resource accounting and budgeting approach for planning and accounting for the costs of resources consumed by government.

The decision to proceed with resource budgeting follows a successful "dry run" of the new procedures carried out by all Departments during the course of 1999. This confirmed that the procedures were workable. However, it also highlighted a transitional issue in relation to Departments' ability to forecast the large new non-cash elements of resource budgets (depreciation, capital charges and provisions) for three years ahead.

To allow time for a track record in forecasting, monitoring and controlling these items to be established, resource budgeting will therefore be introduced in two stages. In the first stage, in the plans drawn up in the 2000 spending review, the big non-cash elements of resource budgets will be part of Annually Managed Expenditure rather than Departmental Expenditure Limits. The intention is that, in the light of experience, these items will be moved into Departmental Expenditure Limits following the 2002 spending review.

Details of the new arrangements are being placed in the Libraries of the House.

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