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10 Apr 2002 : Column 253W
|Calendar year(62)||Number of deaths|
(60) Excludes deaths under 28 days.
(61) International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD9), code 493.
(62) Figures up to 1992 relate to death registrations in each calendar year. From 1993 they relate to deaths occurring each year.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what improvements in risk targeting he has initiated in 200102 in HM Customs and Excise in order more effectively to tackle serious non-compliance in the payment of indirect taxes. 
Mr. Boateng: As part of Customs' recent restructuring, greater emphasis is being placed on risk assessment, both at national and regional levels. During 200102 National Risk Managers have been appointed for VAT, Excise and International trade, supported by Risk Managers in each of the seven Customs geographical regions.
Special teams have also been established to tackle risks in relation to VAT Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud and VAT Avoidance, while 20 joint teams have been set up alongside the Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions specifically to identify and tackle businesses operating in the informal economy.
Following the independent investigation conducted by John Roques into excise diversion fraud, regional and national teams have also been set up to target risk in relation to excise warehouses, complementing the risk-based controls applied to goods entering the country under duty suspense.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research his Department undertook to ascertain the effects of the aggregates tax on the (a) rate proposed in the UK and (b) rates levied in other European Union countries. 
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Mr. Boateng: The independent research which underpins the aggregates levy considered all aspects of the environmental damage caused by aggregate extraction. These environmental costs are reflected in the levy's rate of £1.60 per tonne.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research his Department undertook to ascertain the effects of the aggregates tax on (a) individual quarries in parts of the UK, (b) local government finance and (c) employment in the construction industry. 
Mr. Boateng: The Government has received a large number of representations regarding the aggregates levy, and has held discussions regarding its implementation with a wide range of organisations both within and outside of Government.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the total amount that will be received from Scotland in each of the next five years from the aggregates levy at the proposed rate. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the introduction of the aggregates levy on the implementation of public sector infrastructure projects. 
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the number of subscriptions to (a) digital terrestrial, (b) digital satellite and (c) digital cable television held by his Department for services in any departmental building from which Ministers work, stating for each subscription its (i) cost and (ii) purpose. 
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HM Customs of illegal wildlife items under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species System resulted in successful prosecution in each year since 1997; 
(3) what plans he has to increase the maximum sentence for import of wildlife items under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species System; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) how many successful prosecutions have been brought under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species System in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Boateng: HM Customs and Excise is responsible for enforcement of the restrictions on import and export from or to countries outside the European Union on goods covered by the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species and EU regulations made to implement the Convention. It is not responsible for the enforcement of controls on trade within the UK or European Union. Maximum penalties for illegal import or export are seven years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. There are no plans to increase these penalties.
|Calendar year||Number of seizures||Persons successfully prosecuted|
(63) To date
(64) Not available
Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters he has received from the public since June 2001; what his target time is for reply; what percentage of letters were replied to within that time; and of those exceeding it, what the range is of time spans in which he has replied. 
Mr. Boateng: Between 1 June 2001 and 28 February 2002 13,459 letters were received of which 79 per cent. were replied to within the 15 working day target. A breakdown of time spans for those exceeding target is not known and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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Mr. Boateng: An increasing proportion of parliamentary questions has been answered on time by the Treasury in each session since PSA targets were introduced in 199899, and the Department is on track to meet its targets again in the present session.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the average number of days, in excess of the day the question was put down for answer, that it has taken him to answer questions from (a) Opposition party hon. Members and (b) Government party hon. Members since 1 January; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: 5.2 and 5.5 days respectively. However, 1,205 of the 1,522 written Parliamentary questions (79.1 per cent.) answered by Treasury Ministers between 1 January and 26 March received replies on or before the due date for answering.
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