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Export Credit Guarantees Department

Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will proceed with the second stage of the independent review of the implementation of the recommendations made by KPMG in December 1999 on the adequacy of the (a) risk management system and (b) processes of the Export Credit Guarantees Department. [20818]

Mr. Boateng: My predecessor announced to the House on 30 November 2000 that KPMG would carry out a post- implementation review of ECGD's progress in addressing the recommendations made by KPMG in December 1999. The first stage of that review was completed last January, and was reported to the House on 31 January. I am pleased to announce that the second stage has now commenced. The review is expected to take between four and six weeks, and I will place a copy of KPMG's report in the Library of the House.

Public Service Pensions

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to increase public service pensions from April 2002. [20816]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Legislation governing public service pensions requires public service pensions to be increased annually by the same percentage as state earnings-related pensions (additional pensions). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced on 28 November 2001, Official Report, column 894W that benefits such as additional pensions will be increased by 1.7 per cent., in line with the annual increase in the Retail Prices Index up to September 2001. Public service pensions will therefore be increased by 1.7 per cent. from 8 April 2002, except those which have been in payment for less than a year, which will receive a pro-rata increase.

Tax Credits

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which tax credits he defines as public expenditure. [19838]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Treasury's calculation of net taxes and social security contributions treats all tax credits as reductions in tax collected since the working families and business tax credits appear as reductions in their tax bills.

The Treasury's calculation of public sector receipts, drawn from ONS's national accounts treats some tax credits as public expenditure—mostly WFTC and DPTC.

Council Tax Payers

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many council tax payers there were in each year since 1997; and what his estimate is of this figure for the 2001–02 financial year. [19646]

Dr. Whitehead: I have been asked to reply.

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 61W

We do not collect information on the number of council tax payers in England. Figures for the number of properties in England subject to a council tax charge for each financial year from 1996–97 are given in the table.

Total number of dwellings subject to a council tax charge from November 1995

Number of chargeable dwellings as at:In respect of financial year:TotalPercentage increase over previous year
1 November 19951996–9719,755,865
1 November 19961997–9819,933,6030.9
3 November 19971998–9920,055,3110.6
3 November 19981999–200020,233,4350.9
3 November 19992000–0120,374,1280.7
1 November 20002001–0220,585,7441.0
1 November 2001(16)2002–0320,717,2850.6

(16) Estimate

Mortality Ratios

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the standard mortality ratios for each (a) parliamentary constituency in Scotland and the north-eastern Government office region of England and

3 Dec 2001 : Column: 62W

(b) electoral ward in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne for all causes, for (i) respiratory disease, (ii) coronary disease, (iii) stroke and (iv) cancer. [19487]

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. Jim Cousins, dated 30 November 2001:

Standardised mortality ratios(17) for selected causes, for wards in Newcastle upon Tyne metropolitan county district Years of registration of death 1991–93

All Causes Respiratory disease(18) Coronary heart disease(18) Stroke(18) Cancers(18)
South Gosforth106.0104.257.987.0111.6102.399.0113.395.0117.9
West City171.4151.4190.6151.0165.4126.5178.6140.7185.8130.6

(17) Standardised to the population of England and Wales

(18) International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes:

Respiratory disease—460–519

Coronary heart disease—410–414



3 Dec 2001 : Column: 63W

Economic Activity and Employment Rates

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) the economy activity rate and (b) the employment rate of those aged over 21 years and up to pensionable age in each region and nation of the UK for each year since 1996, broken down by age and sex. [19488]

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. Jim Cousins, dated 30 November 2001:

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