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Enterprise Management Incentives

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the forecast cost in the next financial year of administering enterprise management incentives. [20466]

Mr. Andrew Smith: A Regulatory Impact Assessment was published in November 1999. It is available in the House of Commons Library.

The cost to the Inland Revenue of administering EMI is about £450,000 annually.

European Monetary Institute

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultations the Government have undertaken with the European Monetary Institute as provided for by the Treaty on European Union. [24814]

Ruth Kelly: The European Monetary Institute was replaced by the European central bank at the start of stage three of EMU. The Chancellor meets regularly with

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central bank Governors and ministerial colleagues from other countries, including representatives from the euro area.

Single Currency

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses resident in the Buckingham constituency have contacted the Treasury requesting information on the single currency. [24867]

Ruth Kelly: Information is not readily available on the basis requested.

However, the Treasury euro information line has received over 450 requests from businesses in Buckinghamshire for information and advice on working with the euro now. In addition, there have been over 250,000 visits to the Treasury euro website since it was relaunched by the Chancellor on 29 March 2001. At a local level, the South East Euro Awareness Forum (SEEAF) also provides information and advice and has been involved in over 35 seminars for businesses in the south east of England.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals in the Buckingham constituency have invested in (a) cash ISAs, (b) mini-ISAs and (c) maxi- ISAs in each year since their introduction. [24847]

Ruth Kelly: Estimates at a sub-national level of subscriptions to ISAs are not currently available.

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Customs and Excise

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the targets applied by Customs and Excise in the last five financial years for the length of time after registration for all traders to be visited. [24546]

Mr. Boateng: Customs does not set targets on the length of time after registration for businesses to be visited. Visits are conducted on the basis of a detailed risk analysis applied to all registered businesses.

Currently all newly registered businesses are offered a programme of learning for VAT, including videos, seminars, meetings and visits. Customs are enhancing support and plan to make telephone contact with all newly registered businesses, around 190,000 a year, to offer support for them to meet their legal obligations.

In addition businesses may contact the National Advice Service, launched in April 2001, to resolve queries.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what quantities and value of contraband of (a) tobacco, (b) drugs, (c) alcohol and (d) other goods was seized by Customs and Excise in each of the last four years; what quantity and value of contraband alcohol was disposed of, and at what cost; and what are equivalent figures for the latest previous years for which statistics are available; [24805]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Details of goods seized—including, where appropriate—their value, can be found in Customs Annual Reports, available from the House of Commons Library. Full seizure figures for 2000–01 will be published in the Annual Report for that year in due course. Details of tobacco seizures for 2000–01 were published in Customs' "Tackling Indirect Tax Fraud" paper on 27 November, also available from the House Library.

The disposal of alcohol and tobacco is covered by a single contract which also includes storage and transportation, and it is not possible to distinguish between the costs that relate to each commodity.

Seized goods are in general disposed of as follows:

DrugsBurned at secure Government establishments
FirearmsHanded over the police firearms squads
Alcohol productsRecycled into agricultural feed or low grade spirit fuel, or poured away
Tobacco productsShredded and compressed into pellets for furnace fuel
Live animalsHanded over to RSPCA quarantine facilities
Endangered speciesHanded over to zoos or returned to their country of origin


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the percentage of total income received by

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(a) the top one per cent, (b) the top five per cent, (c) the top 10 per cent, (d) the bottom 70 per cent and (e) the bottom 10 per cent of tax payers in 2000–01. [24818]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The information is in the table:

Group of taxpayersPercentage of total taxable income received(83)
(a) The top 1 per cent.12
(b) The top 5 per cent.24
(c) The top 10 per cent.34
(d) The bottom seventy per cent.41
(e) The bottom ten per cent.3

(83) Non taxable income such as that from ISAs is not included as this information is not available on an individual basis.

These estimates are based on the 1999–2000 Survey of Personal Incomes and are consistent with the November 2001 pre-Budget report.

Share Incentive Plan

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money was spent by the Government on research into the name of the Share Incentive Plan. [14434]

Ruth Kelly: In 1999 we commissioned a programme of research to develop a name for the All Employee Share Ownership Plan which companies and their employees would find meaningful and easy to use. This was in line with the general practice in communicating new incentives, and was in response to the views of the business community that they found the name "All Employee Share Ownership Plan" confusing and difficult to communicate.

The research involved employers and employees from a wide range of businesses. Employees expressed an overwhelming preference for Share Incentive Plan. The total cost of the research was £110,000.

Tax Self-assessment

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest estimate of the overall impact on business of the introduction of tax self-assessment, disaggregated into (a) estimated extra costs and (b) estimated savings. [24820]

Mr. Andrew Smith: These figures are not available. There is no reliable measure of the costs to business prior to self-assessment. Consequently, there is no pre-self- assessment baseline of costs against which any additional costs or savings as a result of self-assessment could sensibly be measured.

Alcohol Duty

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of the operation of the procedures for assessing and collecting duty from cross-channel travellers who return with purchases of alcohol; and what advice is given to businesses on the procedures to be followed. [24810]

Mr. Boateng: Cross-channel travellers who purchase duty-paid alcohol in another member state may bring that alcohol back to the UK without payment of UK duty if it is for their own personal use.

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For businesses or individuals wishing to import alcohol for commercial purposes, there are three ways in which they may do so, and Customs and Excise public notices give advice on the procedures to be followed.

Ministerial Offices

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were, (a) the running costs of his Ministers' private offices, separately identifying expenditure on staff and (b) the running costs of his Department in each of the last four years in real terms. [24826]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested is as follows:

£ million

(a) Ministers' private office
Running costs at 2000–01 pricesTotalof which staff(b) HM Treasury

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