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Manufacturing (North-west)

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent measures he has introduced to secure manufacturing jobs in the north-west of England. [145215]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Manufacturers in the north-west of England, as elsewhere in the UK, are benefiting from the platform of economic stability that the Government's new frameworks for monetary and fiscal policy have delivered. Low inflation and sound public finances provide the right conditions for manufacturing companies to develop their full potential and offer secure employment.

This hard-won stability provides an opportunity for all businesses in the north-west to raise their productivity performance--the key to long-term prosperity and job creation. The Government have already put in place a series of policies to strengthen productivity, including reductions in corporation tax from 33 to 30 per cent., reform of capital gains tax, and a new R&D tax credit.

The recent pre-Budget Report proposed a package of measures that from April 2001 will help small and medium sized firms manage their entry into the VAT system, reduce their administrative burden and improve their cashflow. It also announced an enhanced role and funding for the North West Development Agency, which will enable it to target resources more effectively at local priorities.

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Regional Competition

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fiscal measures he plans to enable English regions to be economically competitive within the (a) UK and (b) EU. [145213]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government keep all fiscal measures under review and any plans will be announced in the usual way.

The competitiveness of regions is a key factor in fiscal economic policy and there are already a number of measures in place, including those announced in SR2000--such as the new Regional Innovation Fund, which forms part of the Regional Development Agencies' much increased budgets. These measures are designed to ensure that the English regions are both competitive within the UK and the EU. Coupled with the Government's sound management of the economy, they have already made the UK the leading country for overseas investment in the EU.

European Structural Funds

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent measures he has instituted to guarantee matching funding on an annual basis, to ensure the draw-down in the English regions of European structural funds. [145216]

Mr. Andrew Smith: In the Spending Review the Government announced that they would ensure funding for the European share of Objective 1, 2 and 3 within departmental allocations. The resources for match funding are provided for within the total departmental spending settlements.

Capital Gains Tax

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of deferred capital gains tax under (a) the enterprise investment scheme and (b) venture capital trusts in each of the last three years; what estimate he has made for the current financial year; and if he will make a statement. [144705]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 11 January 2001]: Separate estimates for the CGT element under both schemes are not available. Tentative estimates of the full cost of relief for both these schemes are published in Inland Revenue Statistics.

Disabled Persons's Tax Credit

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking (a) to improve access to the Disabled Person's Tax Credit and (b) to speed up consideration of cases. [144717]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 11 January 2001]: When the Disabled Person's Tax Credit (DPTC) was introduced in October 1999 the qualifying benefit rules were amended to give people moving off various out-of-work incapacity benefits more time in which to find a job and apply for DPTC. From October 2000, a new route to DPTC, called the DPTC Fast-Track, was introduced to help people who became sick and disabled while in work, to stay in work. In August 2000, over

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25,000 disabled workers were benefiting from DPTC-- 37 per cent. more than were receiving Disability Working Allowance in July 1999. The Inland Revenue are continually monitoring progress against the turnaround targets for DPTC claims (set out in the IR's Annual Plan 2000-01) and these targets are reviewed annually as part of the Department's Public Service and Service Delivery Agreements with Treasury Ministers.

Tax Statistics

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the Exchequer yield from a 50 per cent. tax rate starting at (a) £50,000, (b) £100,000 and (c) £50,000 per annum with an additional rate of 60 per cent. starting at £100,000, and the number of taxpayers that would be affected in each case. [145248]

Dawn Primarolo: The full-year effects and numbers affected in 2001-02 of making the changes are set out in the table.

Change in 2001-02Yield (£ billion)Taxpayers affected (thousand)
50 per cent. for income tax for taxable income over £50,0005.7950
50 per cent. for income tax for taxable income over £100,0003.2250
50 per cent. rate for income tax for taxable income over £50,000 and 60 per cent. rate for income tax for taxable income over £100,0008.7950

Estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes and are consistent with the November 2000 pre-Budget Report.

Tax Evasion

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have been prosecuted for tax evasion in each year between 1994 and 2000. [145211]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of prosecutions for tax offences for both Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise offences is available from their departmental reports. These can be obtained from the House of Commons Library.

Criminals (Assets)

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value is of the confiscation of the assets of criminals effected by the Customs and Excise, in each year between 1994-95 and 1999-2000. [145212]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is contained in the relevant Customs and Excise Commissioner's Board Reports, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

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Customs and Excise

Mr. Swinney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when HM Customs and Excise entered into a confidentiality agreement with a third party for the purpose of evaluating evidence from that third party which may be offered in respect of current litigation; and if he will make a statement. [145133]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Customs and Excise are not aware of any current civil litigation cases in which such a confidentiality agreement has been entered into.


Ms Squire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what appraisal has been made of the efficiency and effectiveness of the self-assessment tax process by (a) his Department and (b) the National Audit office. [145388]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue conducted a public consultation exercise during 1998 and the results were published on the Inland Revenue internet site in December 1998.

The Inland Revenue commissioned Ernst and Young to undertake a Post Implementation Review of the Self Assessment programme and they did so last March.

The Inland Revenue are always seeking ways to improve their processes and proactively respond to suggestions made by their customers and their own staff. They hold regular meetings with the main representative bodies and publish a quarterly bulletin called "Working Together".

The National Audit Office have reported on Income Tax Self Assessment in the Comptroller and Auditor General's reports on the Inland Revenue's appropriation accounts as follows:

The National Audit Office are in the process of finalising a report on Self Assessment with the Inland Revenue. It will be published in due course.

Tax Credits (Scotland)

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the annual expenditure by Her Majesty's Government on (a) the Working Families Tax Credit and (b) the childcare tax credit has been in Scotland since 1997; [145669]

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Dawn Primarolo: Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC) replaced Family Credit in October 1999. The data needed to estimate the answers to the first three questions are available as follows.

The WFTC Quarterly Enquiries from November 1999 contain estimates of the numbers of families in the United Kingdom and Scotland in receipt of awards, and the average weekly values of these awards. Copies have been placed in the Library. Estimates of national expenditure on WFTC and the Disabled Person's Tax Credit appear at Table B20 of the November 2000 pre-Budget Report.

It is estimated that at August 2000 12,900 families in Scotland were in receipt of WFTC awards which included a childcare tax credit, and that the average extra award to these families due to the childcare tax credit was £30.41 per week.

No estimate is available of the number of families in Scotland eligible for WFTC.

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