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Dawn Primarolo: In late April the Government announced a consultation on two new proposals to encourage saving and the build up of assets, the Saving Gateway and the Child Trust Fund. The Child Trust Fund would benefit each of the 700,000 or more children born every year. The scheme would allow parents, grandparents, friends and children themselves to make additional contributions, so providing families with a safe and secure account to save towards their children's future. The Child Trust Fund would provide all young people beginning their adult life with the advantage that owning financial assets brings.
The cost of the scheme would depend on the level of the endowment and other aspects of its design, details on which the Government are consulting. But cost- effectiveness will be a key consideration as the Government develop this proposal in the light of consultation.
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Dawn Primarolo: In the year 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001, Customs seized 2.655 metric tonnes of meat. This figure does not include meat detected when Customs are working with the lead enforcement authorities for meat imports, MAFF or local authority officials, where the meat is seized by the lead authorities. Customs have no central record of those seizures.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 23 April 2001, Official Report, column 190W, on the legal status of the euro after 1 January 2002, if the euro will have the same legal status in the United Kingdom as other foreign currencies that it will replace. 
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland, (c) Glasgow and (d) Glasgow, Pollok have claimed child tax credit up to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue have invited PAYE taxpayers to claim the Children's Tax Credit (CTC). To date they have received over 3.5 million claim forms, which represents more than 85 per cent. of the potential 4 million families who are eligible for CTC and pay tax under PAYE in the UK. Self employed taxpayers will claim when they submit their 2001-02 tax returns. I regret that the other information that my hon. Friend has asked for is not available.
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and (b) women, in (i) Glasgow, Pollok, (ii) the City of Glasgow, (iii) Scotland and (iv) the UK on (1) 1 May and (2) 1 May 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Estimates of life expectancy are not available for specific days. The table gives life expectancy at birth for the period 1995-97 and for the calendar year 1997 and the calendar year 1999, the latest year for which the data required to calculate a life table are available. Sub-national life expectancy is not calculated at the level of parliamentary constituencies.
|Area||Based on data in year(s)||Males||Females|
|City of Glasgow||(13)1995-97||68.4||75.4|
(12) Not available
(13) Source: Griffiths C. and Fitzpatrick J. Geographic inequalities in Life Expectancy in the United Kingdom. 'Health Statistics Quarterly' no. 9. The Stationery Office 2001.
(14) Source: The Government Actuary's Department
Mr. Connarty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the outcome was of the ECOFIN Council held in Brussels on 7 May; what the Government's voting record was at the Council; and if he will make a statement. 
The Commission presented its recommendation for the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs) for 2001. This consists of a section of guidelines addressed to the Community as a whole, and a series of guidelines addressed to individual member states. I made it clear that the Commission had exceeded its remit in proposing a UK-specific guideline that the expected ratio of UK public sector current expenditure to GDP should not exceed 37.3 per cent. Decisions on the level of public spending are for member states, and the Government's fiscal rules ensure sound and sustainable public finances while enabling increased investment in priority public services. The guidelines will now be discussed by officials from the member states and the Commission before ECOFIN presents them to the European Council in Gothenburg and their final adoption by ECOFIN.
A joint Council-Commission delegation will travel to Russia next week to discuss economic co-operation. The presidency reported on its plans to discuss how the EU could best contribute to improving the financial and
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investment climate in Russia. No decisions would be taken, and the presidency will report back to ECOFIN on the dialogue.
The presidency gave an update on the exchanges of correspondence between the Commission and the European Parliament on the modalities of the Lamfalussy proposals for improving the regulation of the securities market.
The Economic Policy Committee chairman set out the committee's work programme for the coming year. This includes UK-inspired work on how economic incentives contribute to promoting R&D. The Committee will report back on this to ECOFIN in the autumn.
The Commission presented its communication on the elimination of tax obstacles to the cross-border provision of occupational pensions, which advocates exchange of information and sharing best practice as solutions to double or non-taxation of cross-border pensions. Ministers agreed that the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the member states and a technical working group should undertake a more detailed study of the communication.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on compensation for asbestosis sufferers and their families following the insolvency of the insurance company Chester Street. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: Following the insolvency of Chester Street on 9 January this year, concerns were raised over the position of employees whose private sector employer insured with Chester Street and no longer exists or is insolvent, and whose injury was sustained during employment in the private sector before 1972 (1975 in Northern Ireland). There were fears that these individuals would not receive the compensation for which their employers would have been liable.
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These arrangements apply only when the employer no longer exists or is insolvent. Where the employer still exists, or its liabilities have been carried forward to another company, that company or firm are liable to pay the compensation award.
The PPB will ensure that claims are topped up to 100 per cent. so far as they relate to compulsory insurance policies (i.e. relate to the period from 1972 (1975 in Northern Ireland)). Both private sector employers and, where that employer no longer exists, the employees, are eligible for that payment.
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