To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many telephone information lines are available on the Census helpline; 
(2) how many calls have been taken by the Census helpline; 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Miss Anne McIntosh, dated 30 April 2001:
As Registrar General for England and Wales, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking about callers to the Census Helpline (158957,158958).
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In the three weeks since the beginning of the Census 2001 campaign, up to 25 April, the Helpline has received more than 1 million calls, with 240,000 calls received on 23 April alone. This level of response in such a short period of time is unprecedented for a government campaign. In comparison, in 1991 some 125,000 calls were received by the Helpline before Census day and a further 85,000 calls after it.
The Office for National Statistics is working with Cable and Wireless, who operate the Helpline, to meet demand. The number of telephone lines on the Main Helpline was increased to 1,000 lines on 26 April. The system has also been amended to try and answer the most common queries with recorded information.
In addition a new dedicated Helpline with 500 lines is operating for 27 April for those people who have not yet received their Census form. The additional Helpline number, which is being advertised in the media, is 0845 301 3000.
A copy of a recently issued Press Release on the Census Helpline is attached.
Helping the public with the census--Press Release 24 April 2001
240,000 calls received by helpline in one day.
The Office for National Statistics is appealing to the media and community groups for assistance in answering the nation's questions about the census. With five days to go to Census Day on Sunday 29 April 2001, the census helpline is receiving an incredible number of enquiries so that some people are unable to get through to the recorded information or speak to an operator.
In the three weeks since the beginning of the census 2001 campaign, the helpline has received more than 650,000 calls with 240,000 calls received yesterday. This level of response in such a short period of time is unprecedented for a government campaign. In 1991, 125,000 calls were received by the helpline before census day and a further 85,000 calls after it.
Graham Jones, Director of the Census said, "We are appealing to the media to help us answer the most common enquiries to take some of the pressure off the helpline. The same questions keep coming up. The public are responding quite remarkably in their quest to get the census form right".
"We have been working with community groups to provide them with material to help people to complete their form or they can pass on enquiries to local census staff."
The most frequent enquiry is from people who have yet to receive their form and are seeking advice about what they should do. Other common queries are from students (who want to know where to complete the form), retired people (who want advice on the section of the form that refers to employment) and people with second homes. (Common questions and answers attached).
The Office for National Statistics is working with Cable and Wireless who operate the helpline to meet the demand. The number of telephone lines is being increased by 450 to over 800 lines and the number of helpline operators is also being increased and will reach 100 today (Tuesday) and 190 later this week. The system has been amended to try and answer as many common queries as possible with recorded information.
If people need assistance and they cannot contact the helpline they can speak to the enumerator who calls at their home or visit the Census website at www.statistics.gov.uk. In addition, information packs have been sent to organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux, Age Concern, ethnic or religious organisations to help them deal with enquiries from the public. Three thousand national and regional organisations have been contacted about the census and many more have been contacted by local census managers seeking support for the census.
Graham Jones said, "We want to reassure people. Census forms are still being delivered. Census forms do not have to be back on 29 April. You can complete and return the form after that date. The helpline will stay open after census day throughout May."
Tony Chorley, Census Account Manager, at Cable and Wireless the company that runs the census helpline said, "This level of response is unprecedented for a government campaign. The helpline is now taking an huge volume of calls daily, a significant
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proportion of which are quite complex and taking some time to resolve. We are increasing the number of helpline operators and significantly extending the system to meet demand."
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Don't worry. Forms are still being delivered--they will be delivered throughout this week.
What if I am away on census day?
You should complete your form as soon as you can and post it back to us in the pre-paid envelope supplied with your form. (This year the census wants to record you at your usual place of residence).
Can I sign the form on behalf of someone else?
Yes, if you've helped someone complete the form or completed the form on their behalf you can sign the form.
Retired people asking whether we really need to know about the former occupations
If you are under 75 then you should complete the questions about education and employment (questions 16-35)/ If you are over 75 it is not compulsory to complete these questions (although you can do if you wish).
Where should students complete the form--at college or at home?
Students should complete the form at their term time address. They should be included in Table 1 and answer questions 1-6 only on the form for their home address.
Fill in the full form at your usual address. The form for your second home will arrive at that property. If you are there, or on your next visit, you should only complete questions H1-H5 in the section entitled "Household Accommodation" on page 3 and sign the declaration on the front of the form. No further questions need to be answered. Please return the form in the pre-paid envelope. Or, if someone is staying in your property (but it is not their usual residence) then they should complete Table 2 and questions H1-H5 on the section entitled "Household Accommodation" on page 3, sign the declaration on page 1 and return the form in the pre-paid envelope.
Climate Change Levy
Mr. Peter Ainsworth:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what forecast he has made of annual Exchequer revenues deriving from climate change levy to be paid by the hotel and restaurant industry. 
It is not possible to say what the precise effect of the levy will be on any one particular industry. The impact of the levy and the associated reduction in NICs will depend on a number of factors, including: the future energy consumption by firms; the level of employment in those firms; what use they make of electricity generated from 'new' renewable sources of energy; and the extent to which they take advantage of the proposed introduction of a system of enhanced capital allowances for energy saving investments. The hotel and restaurant industry stands to benefit from the exemption of electricity generated from 'good quality' combined heat and power plants.
Sir Brian Mawhinney:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 21 March on behalf of his constituent, Mr. Chilton; 
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(2) when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 6 March on behalf of his constituent, Mr. D. Pears. 
Mr. Andrew Smith:
I have already replied to the right hon. Member's letters.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the publicity campaign run by his Department in 2000 aimed at women who held a valid election to pay National Insurance contributions at the reduced rate. 
An Inland Revenue Press Release published on 29 September 2000 provided details of the letter which was issued throughout October 2000 to around 250,000 women who had previously elected to pay reduced rate National Insurance contributions. The letter informed them of changes to the structure of employee National Insurance contributions introduced from April 2000 and advised them to consider their elections in light of these changes but taking into account their own particular circumstances. A dedicated helpline was set up to provide further information and assistance and some 63,000 telephone inquiries were received.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have been made to Inland Revenue guidelines on the implementation of IR35 since 1 April. 
The wording of the guidance manual provided to Inland Revenue employees regarding the interpretation and application of the law on employment status is being reviewed; the underlying case law has not been changed.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revision has been made since 1 April to his Department's estimate of the revenue which will be raised by IR35. 
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what cost has been incurred to date in the implementation of IR35; and what the projected cost is for the 2001-02 financial year. 
So far, the main additional activity undertaken by the Inland Revenue associated with the introduction of the 'ir35' legislation has been the provision of advice to taxpayers and their advisers. This service has been provided by existing staff as part of their normal duties.