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Pay (Hemsworth)

Mr. Trickett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his estimate is of the number of people in (a) Hemsworth constituency and (b) Wakefield district earning less than £4.10 per hour; [153007]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell to Mr. Jon Trickett, dated 9 March 2001:


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Departmental Policies (Hemsworth)

Mr. Trickett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly to the locations as possible, the effects of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997 on (a) Hemsworth constituency and (b) Wakefield district. [153008]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Hemsworth, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, is benefiting from the long-term action we have taken to build economic stability and secure high and stable levels of growth and employment. Since the general election, claimant unemployment in the constituency has fallen by 969, or 36 per cent., youth unemployment is down by 68 per cent., and long-term unemployment has fallen by 68 per cent.

Macroeconomic stability is being complemented at the microeconomic level by the Government's policies to ease the transition from welfare into work and to make work pay. To the end of December 2000, the New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds had helped 1,127 young people in Hemsworth constituency gain valuable skills and experience--569 (50 per cent.) of whom had moved into employment. The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), introduced in October 1999, is helping to make work pay for low and middle income families. In August 2000, 2,500 families in Hemsworth constituency and 8,300 in Wakefield local authority district were benefiting from WFTC.

The Government are also committed to policies which enable pensioners to share in the country's rising prosperity. All pensioners, including 15,600 in Hemsworth, will receive an above-inflation increase in the basic state pension from April 2001. Single pensioners will receive an extra £5 a week, and couples will receive an extra £8 a week. All pensioners aged 75 or over have also been entitled to a free TV licence since November 2000--including around 9,600 in Hemsworth.

Hoteliers (Disability Discrimination Act)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will use the tax system to help small hoteliers meet the financial costs of complying with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [152886]

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Dawn Primarolo: Spending by business to meet the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 may qualify for tax relief under the general rules for writing off machinery and plant expenses against taxable income, the 40 per cent. first year allowance and the 4 per cent. tax relief for hotel building costs.

Departmental Policies (Houghton and Washington, East)

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on Houghton and Washington, East of his Department's actions since 2 May 1997. [152996]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Houghton and Washington, East, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, is benefiting from the long-term action we have taken to build economic stability and secure high and stable levels of growth and employment. Since the general election, claimant unemployment in the constituency has fallen by 530, or 18 per cent., youth unemployment is down by 73 per cent., and long-term unemployment has fallen by 52 per cent.

Macroeconomic stability is being complemented at the microeconomic level by the Government's policies to ease the transition from welfare into work and to make work pay. To the end of December 2000, the New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds had helped 1,473 young people in Houghton and Washington, East constituency gain valuable skills and experience--744 (51 per cent.) of whom had moved into employment. The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), introduced in October 1999, is helping to make work pay for low and middle income families. In August 2000, 2,500 families in the constituency were benefiting from WFTC.

The Government are also committed to policies which enable pensioners to share in the country's rising prosperity. All pensioners, including 14,800 in Houghton and Washington, East, will receive an above-inflation increase in the basic state pension from April 2001. Single pensioners will receive an extra £5 a week, and couples will receive an extra £8 a week. All pensioners aged 75 or over have also been entitled to a free TV licence since November 2000--including around 9,500 in Houghton and Washington, East.

Low Income Tax Reform

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Low Income Tax Reform Group about individuals who have share capital but pay no income tax. [152828]

Dawn Primarolo: I am not aware of any such discussions on this particular subject, but the Inland Revenue regularly meet the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group to discuss matters of interest.

Tax Credits

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact of tax credits on people who pay no income tax. [152827]

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Dawn Primarolo: The Government are committed to making work pay and eliminating child poverty. Those who pay no income tax are those on the lowest incomes and the Working Families Tax Credit ensures that families with children get a decent minimum working income. A single earner family on the National Minimum Wage working 35 hours a week and eligible for WFTC pays no income tax. We have already ensured that families of this sort have a guaranteed weekly income of £214 from April, rising to £225 in October.

Comprehensive Spending Review

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions about population are used, for each of the four countries of the United Kingdom, in the formula referred to in paragraph 21.2 of the 2000 Comprehensive Spending Review. [153011]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The population estimates for the four countries of the United Kingdom used in the 2000 Spending Review were set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published in July 2000.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will calculate spending in Scotland in 2001-02 to 2003-04, if the Barnett formula had been applied without the qualifications mentioned in paragraph 21.2 of the 2000 Comprehensive Spending Review. [153009]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Scotland spending allocations set out in the 2000 Spending Review were determined by the Barnett formula in the normal way. Details of the Barnett formula were set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published in July 2000.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the relevant English spending referred to in paragraph 21.2 of the 2000 Comprehensive Spending Review is planned to be in 2001-02 to 2003-04. [153021]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The comparability percentages used in the Barnett formula in the 2000 Spending Review were calculated on the basis of 2000-01 provision of Government Departments. The details of the calculation of the comparability percentages are set out in Annexe C of the Statement of Funding Policy.

European Union Budget

Mr. Gill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which member states were (a) net beneficiaries from and (b) net contributors to the EU budget for the calendar year 1999; and what were the corresponding amounts paid and received including, where applicable, the effect of the Fountainebleau rebate, expressed per capita for the population of each country. [152897]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Details of the net position of each member state for 1999, including on a per capita basis, will be published in the Chancellor's departmental report. Details of the gross contribution of each member state, including their contribution to the United Kingdom's Fountainebleau rebate, and each member state's receipts, can be found at Table 1.2 and Diagram VI respectively of the European Court of Auditors Annual Report concerning the financial year 1999.

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