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Barnett Formula

Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the factors he will take into consideration when deciding if the Barnett formula will remain the basis upon which changes in public spending totals resulting from the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will be applied to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. [34308]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government's policy on funding the devolved Administrations is set out in the Statement of Funding Policy published by the Treasury in July 2000.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his plans to review the Barnett formula following the findings of Census 2001 about Scotland's population. [34309]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Barnett formula uses the latest published mid-year population estimates. The outcome of the 2001 census will be taken into account when available.

Rural Tax Concessions

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce tax concessions for shops, post offices and pubs in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. [34008]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government keep all taxes under review and any changes will be made as part of the normal Budget process.

11 Feb 2002 : Column 114W

The Government have announced their intention to introduce a number of measures to help small businesses, including: the introduction of a VAT flat-rate scheme for small businesses with a turnover of less than £100,000 and the extension of the 10p starting rate of corporation tax in Budget 2002. And at the pre-Budget report the Government published the Carter review of payroll and are taking forward their consultation on its recommendations for helping small businesses deal with payroll.


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings (a) he and (b) his senior departmental officials have had with Enron and its subsidiaries in the last two years. [32432]

Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the (a) individuals and (b) organisations with whom he has had meetings about the future of the Barnett formula in the last 12 months; and what meetings on this subject he has planned for the next six months. [34310]

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what meetings have taken place between Ministers in his Department and employees of Citigate since 7 June 2001; and if will make a statement; [32811]

Mr. Gordon Brown: Ministers and civil servants have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development and analysis. I refer to the answer given by my right hon Friend the Prime Minister on 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 689W, stating that as with previous Administrations it is not this Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are

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conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code and Guidance for Civil Servants: Contacts with Lobbyists.


Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his plans are for consultation on proposals for the introduction of the new Euromarker. [35971]

Mr. Boateng: The Customs and Excise consultation document "Improving markers in rebated fuels—Introduction of the 'Euromarker'" is published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and in the Library.

Structural Funds

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the EU on the structural funds that will replace the Objective I funding programme in (a) Wales, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Merseyside and (d) Cornwall. [33963]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government have regular discussions with their counterparts in EU member states on a wide range of topics. These include the implementation and effectiveness of the structural funds regime. As it is five years away, it is too early to speculate on the shape that Structural Funds might take outside the current financial perspective.

Employment Rates

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the latest figures for employment rates are for each county in the UK. [34913]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Paul Flynn, dated 11 February 2002:


Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, column 224W, whether the names of the Treasury management units which are involved in the preliminary technical work for evaluating the five economic tests are being withheld under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information; and if he will make a statement. [33074]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 6 February 2002]: No. A wide range of officials from several Treasury management units is contributing.

Special Advisers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent by HM Treasury on special advisers in each year since May 1997. [7790]

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Ruth Kelly: Expenditure on Treasury special advisers in the years since 1997 was as follows.


These figures are on a like for like basis, and therefore do not include the costs of the Council of Economic Advisers, that was established in 1997 with appointments made over the period.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the departmental expenditure limit in 2001–02 will be accounted for by salary costs and pension contributions. [32015]

Ruth Kelly: Direct salary costs and pension contributions will account for 19 per cent. of HM Treasury DEL in 2001–02.

Conference Sponsorship

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he sought advice from the Cabinet Office before approving the sponsorship arrangements for the April 1999 Conference, "Creating Knowledge: Creating Wealth"; and if he will make a statement. [34062]

Ruth Kelly: The conference "Creating Knowledge: Creating Wealth" was one of a series of conferences held following publication of the Treasury guidance "Selling Government Services into Wider Markets" in July 1998. The sponsorship arrangements for these conferences followed a competitive process and were fully in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines in place at the time the arrangements were made.

Mobile Telephones

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list, for 1997–98 and for each subsequent financial year, the amount spent (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) abroad by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) its non-departmental public bodies on (1) providing mobile telephone equipment, including handsets and other associated equipment, (2) telephone calls made using such equipment and (3) telephone calls made using privately owned mobile telephones but subsequently reclaimed by (x) Ministers and (y) staff. [34397]

Ruth Kelly: The information required is not held in the format required and could be assembled only at disproportionate cost.

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