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Mr. Timms: By last November, nearly 270,000 young people had moved from welfare to work through New Deal, already well ahead of the manifesto target of 250,000 in the lifetime of this Parliament. Recent independent evaluation has found that long term youth unemployment is about 40 per cent. lower than it would have been without New Deal.
Dawn Primarolo: The introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit, along with other changes to the tax and benefit system made during this Parliament, will lift more than a million children out of poverty.
16. Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the monitoring of the performance of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions by the Treasury. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The performance of the DETR is of course the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister. It is regularly monitored against PSA targets and an assessment is published in the Departmental Annual Report.
Dawn Primarolo: An estimate of the number of families in South Swindon who could benefit from the Children's Tax Credit is not available, but an estimated 475,000 families in the South West area could do so.
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Dawn Primarolo: An estimate of the number of families in Chorley who will be eligible to claim the Children's Tax Credit (CTC) is unavailable, but an estimate of the number of families in the north-west who will be eligible to claim CTC is 625,000.
Dawn Primarolo: Improving the employment prospects of lone parents is a key priority for the Government. The lone parent employment rate has risen from 44 per cent. in 1997 to over 50 per cent. now--the highest rate for 20 years. Many more lone parents say that they would like to work and so the Government has set a new objective: that 70 per cent. of lone parents are in employment by the end of the decade. Policies such as the New Deal for lone parents, the Working Families Tax Credit and the National Childcare Strategy are already helping the Government to achieve this aim.
19. Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what real terms increases he plans in investment in public services relating to health and education in each of the next three years. 
22. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the number of retailers planning to accept the euro in advance of any decision to make it legal tender in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: It is entirely a commercial decision for UK businesses to determine whether or not they wish to accept euro, or any foreign currency. The fourth Report on Euro Preparations provides updated information on help available to UK businesses preparing for the introduction of euro cash in the euro area on 1 January 2002.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government have said they will only recommend joining a successful single currency if it is in our national economic interest to do so, and if the economic case for the UK joining is clear and unambiguous.
23. Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in (a) Wales and (b) Bridgend receive Working Families Tax Credit; and how much has been paid to date from public funds. 
Dawn Primarolo: For the number of families in Wales and Bridgend receiving the Working Families Tax Credit, I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) on 22 January 2001, Official Report, column 425W.
Estimates of national expenditure on the WFTC and the Disabled Person's Tax Credit (DPTC) are contained in Table B20 on page 190 of the pre-Budget report, published in November 2000. It is estimated that almost 6 per cent. of total WFTC and DPTC expenditure is paid to recipients in Wales. There are too few cases in the 5 per cent. sample used for analyses of the WFTC to yield a reliable separate estimate for Bridgend.
Mr. Timms: The Government have set up the Phoenix Fund, under the Small Business Service, to encourage and stimulate enterprise and business creation in disadvantaged areas. The Government are also taking forward the recommendations of the Social Investment Task Force, for example the proposal for a community investment tax credit. The Government are also supporting the Inner City 100, which celebrates the fastest-growing companies in the most disadvantaged areas of 15 inner cities.
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Over 1.1 million families are now receiving the Working Families Tax Credit, nearly 300,000 more than its predecessor, Family Credit, at its peak. Families receiving the WFTC are receiving on average £30 a week more than under Family Credit. A lone parent on Income Support with two children under 11 will be over £25 a week better-off in real terms than in 1997, and a couple nearly £30 a week better-off. In addition, there are now over 300,000 fewer children living in workless households compared to 1997.
Child poverty is a complex problem that requires a multi-dimensional approach. The Government's second annual report on poverty and social exclusions, "Opportunity for All" published in September last year, sets out a further range of child poverty indicators and progress to date. These indicators include the number of children living in low-income households, living in workless households and living in housing below the set standard of adequacy, as well as indicators on education and on health inequalities.
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