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Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the First Ministers and others from the devolved Administrations in relation to UK entry into the euro-zone and their role in a referendum on that question. 
Ruth Kelly: If the Government recommend UK entry into economic and monetary union, it will be put to a vote in Parliament and then to a referendum of the British people. A Government decision to recommend UK entry into economic and monetary union is a reserved matter, and therefore a matter for the UK Government.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials in his Department are involved in the preliminary technical work on the five economic tests relating to membership of the euro; which official is in charge of this work; when he expects this work to be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
The review will be led by my noble Friend Baroness Ashton, and will involve the Department for Education and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury, and the Women and Equality Unit, together with the Performance and Innovation Unit.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the number of split-capital investment trusts which have breached their banking covenants in the UK in the last three months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) increases and (b) decreases in departmental budgets have occurred since May 1999 on the basis of departmental performance in relation to public service agreements; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Andrew Smith: Information about performance against the targets set in public service agreements is a significant factor when considering departmental budgets. Information on budget allocations and departmental performance is published annually in Departmental Reports.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his estimate is of the public sector net cash requirement in the financial year 200102 to date; how this compares with the PSNCR at the same stage of the 200001 financial year; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The information requested can be obtained from the joint HM Treasury/Office for National Statistics (ONS) public sector finances "First Release", which was published on 18 October. Copies are available in the Library and on the ONS website www.statistics.gov.uk.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will introduce proposals to use the tax system to control very large salary increases for corporate directors and managers; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Andrew Smith: Salary levels are a matter for the organisation concerned and its shareholders, not for the tax system. In general terms the business tax system does not seek to distinguish between one sort of expenditure and another but tests for tax relief by reference to whether or not the expenditure was incurred for business purposes.
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Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reduce the administrative fee levied on financial services firms by the Financial Services Authority for Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman investigations into advice given by such firms. 
Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers there were in the years ending 31 March (a) 1999 and (b) 2000, including as one any group of taxpayers who are for tax assessment purposes a single taxpayer from whom recoveries in terms of tax, duty, interest and penalties of £214 million (1999) and £1,091 million (2000) were made by International Division; what was the total largest recovery from such taxpayers in each of those years; and if the recoveries included penalties. 
Ruth Kelly: The Inland Revenue has a duty to maintain taxpayer confidentiality, and it is not therefore possible to disclose precisely how much International Division recovered from any single taxpayer.
|Year to 31 March|
|Current tax yield range||1999||2000|
|Less than £1 million||103||78|
|£1 million to £10 million||11||18|
|£10 million to £50 million||6||7|
|£50 million to £100 million||0||0|
|Over £100 million||0||2|
No penalties were included in the tax yield.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has had for compensation following the collapse of the Independent Insurance Company; and if he will make a statement. 
I understand that the provisional liquidators are continuing to go through the process of identifying all policyholders and agreeing claims where appropriate. Many of those claims will be covered by the Policyholders Protection Board (PPB). This means: valid claims under compulsory insurance, including third party motor insurance, are payable in full; and valid claims made by private policyholders (essentially individuals and partnerships, but not small companies) under non- compulsory insurance, including other liability claims,
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claims for own damage under comprehensive motor policies, buildings and home contents policies etc., are payable to 90 per cent.
Claims by businesses, except for claims under compulsory insurance policies, will generally rank with other creditors of the company to be paid in due course by the provisional liquidator to the extent that funds are available.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the uptake has been, broken down by region of the advance payable tax credit for clearing and developing brownfield sites; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Treasury (a) told the Bank of England about the co-ordinated interest rate cuts following the events of September 11 and (b) discussed British response with the Bank. 
Ruth Kelly [holding answer 23 October 2001]: As permitted by the Bank of England Act 1998 the Governor of the Bank, as chair of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), convened a special MPC meeting on 18 September. As with all MPC meetings the Treasury representative was invited to attend.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Treasury has recently varied the instructions to the Bank of England to allow reductions in interest rates to stimulate economic activity. 
Ruth Kelly [holding answer 23 October 2001]: The Government set, and take responsibility for, the objectives of monetary policy as laid out in the remit given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Governor of the Bank of England, under the Bank of England Act 1998. The inflation target and the remit are renewed annually (last time being in March 2001), as required by the Act. The Government have issued no instructions other than the remit.
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