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Ruth Kelly: In late April the Government announced a consultation on two new proposals to encourage saving and the build up of assets, the Child Trust Fund and the Saving Gateway. The Child Trust Fund would benefit each of the 700,000 or more children born every year. In addition to an endowment paid in by the Government,
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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.
Ruth Kelly: The Government support credit unions' ethos of self-help and thrift, and believe that by offering savings and affordable loans, particularly to the less well-off, they can make a valuable contribution in the area of increasing access to financial services. That is why the Government have been involved with a number of initiatives to help the sector grow, but ultimately every credit union's future rests in the hands of the members and the dedicated volunteers who run them.
Ruth Kelly: In order to achieve the Government's goal of employment opportunity for all we will be extending the principles behind the New Deal for Young People to a much wider group who face problems in finding work.
By building upon the success of the New Deal for Young People, which has placed almost 300,000 18 to 24-year-olds into work, we now aim to tackle unemployment among three of the most disadvantaged groups: the long-term unemployed, through the improved New Deal 25 plus; lone parents, through the enhanced programme of choices available through the New Deal for Lone Parents; and disabled people through the nationally extended New Deal for Disabled People.
Ruth Kelly: Through the New Deal for Young People we have helped nearly 300,000 young unemployed people find jobs, and in addition over 70,000 long-term unemployed people have been helped to move from welfare into work through the New Deal for Long-Term Unemployed.
Independent evaluation of the New Deal for Young People has shown that over 200,000 young people left unemployment earlier than they would have done without the programme, with 60,000 entering into employment.
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Mr. Boateng: The Government have set a target for 70 per cent. of lone parents to be in work by the end of the decade. Improving the employment prospects of lone parents is a key priority, and the employment rate of lone parents has risen from 44 per cent in 1997 to over 50 per cent. in late 2000.
The New Deal for Lone Parents is being expanded to offer more choices for lone parents considering full or part-time work or training. The Working Families Tax Credit has greatly improved work incentives for lone parents, especially the credit for child care. The National Child Care Strategy aims to provide high quality affordable child care places for 1.6 million children by 2004, to enable parents to move into work.
24. Mr. Skinner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Governor of the Bank of England regarding the level of interest rates; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: Taxation on fuel is reviewed on a Budget-by-Budget basis. In making his judgment, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer takes into account all relevant economic and social objectives as well as the UK's environmental commitments.
However, we have already announced that Budget 2002 will introduce a lower rate of excise duty for biodiesel, at 20 pence per litre below the prevailing rate for ultra-low sulphur diesel. In addition, we will provide duty reductions or exemptions for pilot projects covering the more environmentally friendly fuels, methanol, bioethanol and biogas and hydrogen.
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29. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Bank of England will extend banking facilities to companies and organisations other than Huntingdon Life Sciences in circumstances where facilities from commercial banks are not forthcoming. 
Ruth Kelly: The Bank of England offers banking facilities to the Government and the financial sector. It does not offer facilities to private sector customers outside the financial sector. Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding Huntingdon Life Sciences, it was decided that the Department of Trade and Industry would provide banking facilities to HLS through DTI accounts held at the bank. HLS is not a customer of the bank.
Ruth Kelly: Prospects for the US economy and the potential implications for the UK economy are discussed in the Economy chapter of the 2001 "Financial Statement and Budget Report", paragraph B44 and Box B3.
Mr. Boateng: The Government have shown that they are keen to stimulate the development of viable alternative fuels that offer environmental benefits over current conventional fuels and they launched their Green Fuel Challenge in November last year. In the March Budget, we reduced the duty on road fuel gases by the equivalent of a further 3 pence per litre and announced that duty on these gases will not be increased in real terms until 2004 at the earliest. We also announced that duty on biodiesel would be cut in Budget 2002, to 20 pence per litre below the then ULSD duty rate. We also legislated in the last Finance Bill to provide for duty reductions or exemptions for pilot projects covering more environmentally friendly fuels.
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market to ULSP, in the same way that earlier duty incentives had achieved conversion of the UK diesel market to ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD).
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