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Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working people have benefited from the Working Families Tax Credit in the Vale of Clwyd. [144470]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Chaytor) on 1 November 2000, Official Report, column 515W.

Inland Revenue

Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Inland Revenue Service Commissioners Annual Report 1999-2000 will be presented to the House and published. [143894]

Dawn Primarolo: It is expected that the Inland Revenue Commissioners Annual Report 1999-2000 will be presented to Parliament and published later this month.

Income Tax

Mr. Todd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer on 18 December 2000, Official Report, column 86W, for what reason he is unable to provide the calculation of income tax requested, based on an average person in the circumstances described. [143893]

Dawn Primarolo: A calculation was not given because the amount of tax and national insurance that an individual will pay will depend on their individual circumstances. However, illustrative tables of the effects

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of Budget 2000 on typical taxpayers can be found on the internet on the Inland Revenue's website on http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk. By April 2001, personal tax and benefit changes in this and previous Budgets will mean that households will be on average £500 a year better off as a result of measures introduced in this Parliament.

Vehicle Excise Duty (Motorcycles)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will reduce vehicle excise duty to zero for motorcycles under 50 cc. [144094]

Mr. Timms: Any change to excise duties would be announced in the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Barnett Formula

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the extra funding for further education announced in the Government's spending review will be included in the base measure for the Barnett formula. [144066]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Barnett formula was applied to the increases in funding for the Department for Education and Employment, including the extra funding for further education announced in the Government's spending review.

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the proposed national health performance fund will be included in the base measure for the Barnett formula. [144067]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The national health performance fund is being funded out of the Department of Health 2000 spending review settlement, to which the Barnett formula was applied in determining the 2000 spending review settlement for Wales.

EU Structural Funds (Wales)

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if interest raised on all objective one funds allocated to Wales will be transferred to the budget of the National Assembly for Wales; and if he will make a statement. [144090]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The 2000 spending review settlement for Wales included extra resources to ensure that the National Assembly for Wales is able to draw down its full objective one funding. The funding arrangements for the devolved Administrations are set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published by the Treasury in July 2000.

Aggregates (Scotland)

Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the availability of aggregate material for recycling in (a) the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and (b) Argyll and Bute constituency; and if he will make a statement. [144184]

Mr. Timms: The Scottish Executive have recently commissioned research on the extent to which recycled minerals are being used as an alternative to primary

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aggregate in Scotland. This research will be published shortly, although data on individual regions of Scotland will not be available.

EU Budget

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of decisions taken at the Nice summit on the level of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the EU budget. [144118]

Miss Melanie Johnson: There is unlikely to be any significant impact on the UK's net contribution and this continues to be governed by the financial perspective agreed in Berlin, which has created a ceiling for payments.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the budget of the EU for each year up to and including 2003-04. [144119]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government's latest estimate of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the EC Budget for the period 2000-01 to 2003-04 can be found at footnote 1 to Table B17 of the pre-Budget Report (Cm 4917) published in November.

Solvency Requirements

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times in each of the last five years the statutory insurance regulators have warned insurance providers that they are in breach of solvency requirements. [144182]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Information obtained in the course of carrying out regulatory functions is subject to statutory restrictions on disclosure of information.

Excess Winter Deaths

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the contribution of influenza and related conditions to the (a) 1998-99 and (b) 1999-2000 excess winter deaths for each region in England and for Wales. [141560]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 13 December 2000]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers given to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 8 November 2000, Official Report, columns 269-71W and to my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 22 November 2000, Official Report, columns 248-49W.

Minimum Wage

Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the financial impact, in terms of in-work benefits and tax credits, of the minimum wage being set at £5.00 an hour in October 2001. [144113]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (Mr. Edwards) on 28 November 2000, Official Report, columns 589-90W.

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Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the number of people in April 1999 entitled to higher pay as a result of the national minimum wage, using the revised ONS methodology; [144111]

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

Letter from John Kidgell to Mr. Kelvin Hopkins, dated 8 January 2001:


The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the national minimum wage (NMW) and people aged 18 to 21 earning between specific hourly rates of pay (144111, 144114, 144112). I am replying in his absence.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimates of the number of jobs being paid below NMW rates (£3.00 per hour aged 18-21 and £3.60 per hour aged 22 or over) for Spring (March-May) 1998, 1999 and 2000. These are based on an improved methodology which uses data from both the New Earnings Survey (NES) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Using this methodology, ONS estimate that there were 1.5 million jobs in the UK paid at less than NMW rates in spring 1998.
This estimate does not measure the number of jobs entitled to higher pay as a result of the NMW since it makes no allowance for wage inflation. For example, some people's hourly earnings might have increased to above the NMW rates between Spring 1998 and Spring 1999 without the implementation of the NMW. In addition, it is not possible from either the LFS or the NES to identify whether an individual is eligible for NMW rates. For example, it is not possible to identify people such as apprentices, those undergoing accredited training or those with accommodation supplied who are exempt from the NMW or are entitled to lower rates.
Information on the number of 18 to 21 year olds earning between specific pay bands using the revised methodology is not currently available. However, this information for Spring 1998, Spring 1999 and Spring 2000 will be posted on the National Statistics website from 11 January 2001.
No information is available on the number of people who would earn less than £3.60 an hour in the absence of the NMW.


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