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Tax Simplification

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his plans for tax simplification. [24817]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government are committed to making tax law clearer and easier to use for taxpayers and their advisers. Through the work of the Tax Law Rewrite project they plan to rewrite direct tax legislation with a better structure and in simpler language. This will be achieved through a series of Bills and the first Bill covering the capital allowances code has already been enacted. The next Bill will rewrite the provisions for the taxation of employment income and pension income and taxable social security income to produce clearer and more accessible legislation.

8 Jan 2002 : Column: 818W

The Government keep the whole tax system under review, acting where possible to change tax rules to remove complexity in line with its objective of a modern and fair tax system.

National Lottery

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the main expected effects on the public accounts from 2001–02 to 2004–05 of the National Lottery, including the effects on (a) Government expenditure, (b) Government revenue and (c) Government borrowing. [24812]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Forecasts of expenditure by the National Lottery distributing bodies are given in table B13 of the 2001 pre-Budget report. Forecasts of receipts to the National Lottery distribution fund are included within the "Other taxes and royalties line" in table B11 of the pre-Budget report but are not separately identified. If, as anticipated, outstanding balances held by the Distribution Fund fall, this will produce a small increase in public sector net borrowing.

Cigarette Sales (Children)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the tax revenues raised in each of the last five years from the illegal sale of cigarettes to children. [25168]

Mr. Andrew Smith: No such estimate has been made.

Tax Relief (Removal Expenses)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of employees (1) for whom tax relief for removal expenses and benefits was claimed in each year since 1997; [24552]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Tax relief for the first £8,000 of reimbursed relocation expenses provided by employers is tentatively estimated to cost around £300 million each year. Around 125,000 employees benefit from it. A breakdown of employees who start a new job and those who move to a different location with the same employer is not available.

Available information suggests that in total around 10,000 employees pay income tax on the excess over £8,000 of qualifying relocation expense payments, or have the income tax paid by their employer amounting to some £30 million.