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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the impact which the proposed EC Prospectus Directive will have on (a) the listing cost of small and medium size companies and (b) the availability of capital to growing businesses in the UK; 
(3) what measures he will take to reduce the impact of the EC Prospectus Directive on the Alternative Investment Market. 
Ruth Kelly: An effective single passport for issuers was identified as a priority for completion of the single European market in financial services at the Lisbon Council in spring 2000. The UK Government are committed to ensuring that the Prospectus Directive meets this goal; and that it meets the aim of reducing the cost of raising capital for EU companies, including SMEs and growing businesses.
The Directive, as currently drafted, could lead to an increase in the disclosure costs of small and medium size companies (SMEs), and the cost of accessing capital by SMEs. However, negotiations are at an early stage, and there are a number of issues that are as yet unclear, such as its relationship with other existing directives, and the way that its provisions will be used.
HM Treasury has actively sought the views of interested parties, and is engaging with industry practitioners (including representatives of the Alternative Investment Market) through round-table consultation meetings. HM Treasury officials and Ministers are in close touch with the European Commission, the Belgian presidency, the European Parliament, and other member states of this and other directives which affect the financial services industry.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for
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Trade and Industry regarding the European Commission's proposals for a single consolidated company tax base announced in Brussels on 23 October. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's position is that tax harmonisation, including proposals for a consolidated company tax base, is not the way forward for Europe.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he supports the European Commission's plans for a consolidated EU company tax base announced in Brussels on 23 October. 
Dawn Primarolo: Tax harmonisation, including proposals for a consolidated company tax base, is not the way forward for Europe. The Government will not support any action at European level that will threaten jobs or the competitive position of British business.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the need for further EU-level reforms of company taxation to achieve the economic goals established at the Lisbon European Council of March 2000. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's view is that company tax issues need to be considered in the context of the economic goals established at the Lisbon European Council and the business agenda agreed at the Stockholm European Council, which means reducing unfair state aids, acting against unfair tax competition, promoting R and D and innovation, a better, simpler regulatory environment and boosting skills.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the European Commission's proposals for the introduction of a consolidated company tax base across the EU would be introduced by qualified majority voting. 
Dawn Primarolo: Decisions in this area are subject to unanimity. Tax harmonisation, including proposals for a consolidated company tax base, is not the way forward for Europe.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects of the variation in effective company tax rates across the EU. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's view is that fair tax competition not tax harmonisation is the way forward for Europe. The Government are committed to ensuring that the UK remains an attractive location for business, with strong international links and high levels of both inward and outward investment.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a breakdown of the effective company tax burden in each EU state. 
Dawn Primarolo: There are a number of approaches that can be used to calculate effective company tax burdens. Information is contained in a variety of sources, including the OECD's publication "Revenue Statistics 19652000" and the Commission's Communication "Towards an internal market without tax obstacles: a strategy for providing companies with a consolidated corporate tax base for their EU-wide activities" (COM(2001)582), both of which are available in the Library of the House.
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Mr. Key: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what forecasts he has made on the level of investment into the UK over the next three years. 
Ruth Kelly [holding answer 30 October 2001]: Inward investment into the UK is a component of the balance of payments financial account, and only part of it contributes to UK gross domestic fixed capital formation. The Government do not produce forecasts for the components of the balance of payments financial account.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has held with European finance ministers regarding proposals for changes to EU-wide double taxation. 
Dawn Primarolo: Double taxation treaties are a matter for member states not for the EU.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement regarding shareholding for employees in former nationalised industries. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: Shareholdings held by employees of former nationalised industries are a matter for each individual company.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how much the climate change levy will cost British industry in the first year of its operation. 
Mr. Boateng: The climate change levy will raise an estimated £1 billion a year, all of which will be recycled back to business through cuts in the employers' rate of national insurance contributions and support for energy efficiency. While the levy is broadly revenue neutral across manufacturing and service sectors, its exact effect on any specific sector or industry will depend on a number of factors including: the future energy consumption of firms in the sector and employment levels in those firms; the number of energy intensive firms in that sector that are eligible to receive a discount on the main rates of the levy by signing up to an energy efficiency agreement; and what use firms in that sector make of electricity generated from levy exempt 'new' renewable sources of energy and combined heat and power.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision is made for Railtrack in the 200001 Government budget. 
Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply.
No provision was made for any direct payments from the UK Government to Railtrack in the financial year 200001.
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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revision he has made to his public expenditure provision for Railtrack in 200001, following the decision to put the company into administration. 
Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply.
The Government have made no revisions to their public expenditure provisions for Railtrack for the financial year 200001.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the planned £30 billion public investment in the railway industry in the 10-Year-Plan is in the budget for the next three years; and how much of that amount is earmarked for Railtrack. 
Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply.
The 10-Year-Plan for Transport set out £14.7 billion of public investment expenditure for rail over the next 10 years, with the remainder of the public support total constituting revenue support.
Of the public investment total, around £3.6 billion was for the first three years. The majority of this amount was earmarked for renewals network grants to Railtrack.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason it was necessary to include the provisions of section 1(i)(c) of schedule A1 of the Registered Designs Regulations 2001. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: I have been asked to reply.
I refer my hon. Friend to the question answered, on 1 November 2001, Official Report column 778W.
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