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Barnett Formula

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a list of the programmes for financial years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 where spending increases in England and Wales have resulted in an allocation under the Barnett formula of additional money to the Scottish block, indicating for each programme listed and in total, the amount allocated under the formula to Scotland in cash and percentage terms, and the equivalent increase in cash and percentage terms for each matching programme in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [3916]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Information on the departmental expenditure limits for 1999–2000 and 2000–01 for Scotland was published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses in April 2001. Increases in the block grant to the Scottish Executive were published in the Scotland Office estimates for 1999–2000 and 2000–01 (and prior to devolution in Scottish Office Estimates). Details about the Barnett formula were published in the Statement of Funding Policy, which was updated in July 2000.

European Community Budget

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will publish the Statement on the 2001 Community Budget. [4779]

Ruth Kelly: I have today laid before Parliament the Statement on the 2001 Community Budget, entitled "European Community Finances". This White Paper is the twenty-first in the series. As in the past, it covers annual budgetary matters and includes details of recent developments in European Community financial management and in countering fraud against the Community Budget. It also describes the Community Budget for 2001 as adopted by the European Parliament, and the United Kingdom's gross and net contributions to the Community Budget between 1996 and 2001.

I have placed copies of the White Paper in the Libraries of the House.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to incorporate into UK law the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions into UK law; and if he will make a statement. [3814]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Harry Cohen) on 9 July 2001, Official Report, column 407W.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions in the last year his Department has considered bribes paid by UK companies overseas to be (a) a reasonable business cost and (b) a

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business entertainment, hospitality or gift; what the value of such bribes allowed as a business expense was; what estimate he has made of the total cost of such bribes in this period; and if he will make a statement. [3819]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available.

Public Service Delivery

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of public services demonstrating an improvement in productivity in each year since March 1999. [3811]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government are on course to meet targeted efficiency improvements covering well over half of public spending (excluding transfers).

IT Procurement

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations his Department has received from (a) local authorities and (b) Government Departments on the legal status of GCAT and S-CAT; and if he will place copies of such representations in the Library; [3817]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Legal advisers are consulted as necessary on the operation of the schemes. Such legal advice is both confidential to the parties and commercially sensitive. OGC has not received any formal representation from Government Departments or local authorities on the legal status of GCat and S-CAT.

Capital Gains Tax

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the expected cost is for the next five fiscal years of the changes to the capital gains tax system since 1997; what studies the Treasury has (a) undertaken, (b) reviewed and (c) commissioned on the efficacy of the changes to the capital gains tax system since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [4402]

Dawn Primarolo: The available information on the expected cost/yield of capital gains measures introduced since 1997 is published in each "Financial Statement and Budget Report". Further information on the difference in yield between the planned regime and that which would have applied if no changes had been made since 1997 could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

The Government consulted widely on the effectiveness of the reformed capital gains tax system in the light of developing market conditions before making the improvements to taper relief that were implemented in the Finance Acts 2000 and 2001.

In the June 2001 "Enterprise for All" announcement, the Government said that they would consider whether, during the lifetime of this Parliament, changes to the regime for non-business assets are necessary in order to improve incentives for investment and help businesses attract finance. And they will also consult on whether

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there are worthwhile and good value for money options to simplify capital gains tax within the existing policy framework.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when area—specific information from the census will become available. [3442]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Gordon Prentice, dated 16 July 2001:


Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to investigate the role of the Personal Investments Authority in the acquisition of the financial adviser Advizas by Towry Law. [3166]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 11 July 2001]: Under the Financial Services Act 1986, the Personal Investment Authority regulates retail investment firms and the lead regulator, the Financial Services Authority, is responsible for ensuring that the Personal Investment Authority carries out its responsibilities under the Act. Therefore it is a matter for the Financial Services Authority.

Endowment Policies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish a list of endowment mortgage providers, indicating (a) how many shortfalls are associated with each company and (b) the value of orphan assets held by each company; [3720]

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Ruth Kelly: The FSA does not collect performance information direct from firms, but the Association of British Insurers collects data from its members on the proportion and numbers of letters in each of the red, amber and green, categories and passes this on to the FSA. However, the FSA is subject to constraints under Section 179 of the Financial Services Act 1986 on publication of firm data, even if it owns it.

In any case, the performance of individual company endowment policies is not an indication of mis-selling. Consumers should focus on what they are being told by their endowment provider and the information sent by, and available from, the FSA, and take a view and appropriate action if they believe the policy has been mis-sold. If compensation is due to consumers, the size of orphan assets is irrelevant.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ask the Financial Services Authority to ensure that the cost of compensation paid to those who were mis-sold endowment mortgage policies is borne by the companies' shareholders. [3719]

Ruth Kelly: The Government's view is that, in principle, the costs of compensating victims of any endowment mis-selling should be shared and borne in the same proportion as profits arising from mis-selling would have been.

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