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Vaccines, Medicines and Medical Supplies

Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which companies will be expected to receive tax relief on (a) research and development into vaccines and medicines for the prevention and treatment of malaria, TB and those strains of AIDS which predominantly affect people in developing countries and (b) responsible donations of medical supplies and equipment to support developing countries' own health strategies and the needs of their people. [53117]

Dawn Primarolo: Any company that meets the requirements of the legislation to be introduced in the current Finance Bill can benefit from the measures. Details of claims by individual taxpayers are confidential.

Budget Projections

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the reasons are for his projection in Budget 2002, page 217, Table C7, of a reduction of the revenue from tobacco duties in 2002–03 compared with 2001–02. [52949]

Mr. Boateng: Forecasts of tobacco duty revenues are affected by a number of factors, including consumption trends, retail prices, brand popularity and demand elasticities.

Hepatitis C

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have died from hepatitis C in each of the last 10 years. [53289]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 29 April 2002]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

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Letter from John Kidgell to Tim Loughton dated 30 April 2002:

Number of deaths where the underlying cause of death(20) was hepatitis C(21), persons, England and Wales, calendar years 1995 to 2000(22)

Calendar yearNumber of deaths

(20) The underlying cause of death is the disease or condition that initiates the train of morbid events leading directly to death


(21) Selected using a combination of underlying cause codes 070.4–070.5 from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) and the presence of text referring to hepatitis C on the death certificate.

(22) Data relate to deaths occurring per calendar year.

These figures are likely to underestimate the true mortality related to hepatitis C for several reasons. Firstly, because the certifying doctor may not always know about the existence of a hepatitis C infection, contracted many years earlier, that had given rise to another fatal liver disease. Secondly, where several other factors (e.g. alcohol, other blood-borne viruses) contributed to fatal chronic liver disease, the certifying doctor may judge that one of the other factors is more important. And finally, because deaths with an underlying cause of primary liver cancer are not included here, even if certified as being the result of hepatitis C infection. This is because international coding rules in use at the time (ICD-9) do not accept cancers being due to infections, except in the case of HIV/AIDS.

Individual Savings Accounts

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost has been of tax relief on individual savings accounts. [26322]

Ruth Kelly: The estimated costs of tax relief on individual savings accounts for 1999–2000 is contained in table A3.1 of the 'Financial Statement and Budget Report 2001' and for 2000–01 and 2001–02 in table A.3.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2002.

Income Inequality

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the scale of income inequality in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK. [52231]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from John Kidgell to Mr. Ian Davidson, dated 30 April 2002:

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Vehicle Excise Duty

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost to the Treasury will be at (a) the outset of its introduction and (b) projected in the next three years of (i) the reduction in vehicle excise duty for vans meeting the Euro-IV emissions standard from March 2003 and (ii) the freeze of other van VED rates, as announced in the Budget. [52410]

Mr. Boateng: The cost of the reduction in VED for vans meeting euro IV emissions standard from March 2003 is given in table A.1 (page 155) of the FSBR. The cost of the freeze for all vans first registered after 1 March 2001, which are recorded in the light goods vehicle class is negligible. For vans registered before 1 March 2001 specific data are not available.

Excise Duty

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how many months excise duty collection was delayed as stated in paragraph C50 of the Financial Statement and Budget report 2002; what estimate he has made of the interest costs of the delay; and if he will make a statement. [53403]

Mr. Boateng: Collection of excise duty was not delayed but additional receipts associated with the forestalling of road fuel duties will now be received in april 2002 rather than March 2002. No estimate has been made of the interest cost of such a delay.

Basic Skills

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in testing how financial incentives can support employers and individuals in tackling poor basic skills and attainment to Level 2 qualifications. [53093]

Dawn Primarolo: As part of Skills for Life, our national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills, pathfinder areas were established in September 2001 to pilot a range of approaches including financial incentives for learners and fixed rate replacement costs for employers to release low skilled staff for training. In addition, the Employment Service, now Jobcentre Plus, has recently completed piloting alternative approaches to identify and meet the literacy, language and numeracy skills needs of jobseekers. These pilots included the use of financial incentives. Evaluations of all these approaches are currently underway.

In addition to these pilots, Budget 2002 announced details of six new Employer Training Pilots which will test, among other things, how financial incentives can

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support employers and individuals to tackle the problem of poor basic skills and attainment of an initial level 2 qualification. It is intended that the pilots will become operational by September 2002. The pilots will provide information about how different measures might impact on UK skills, and will gather evidence, which will contribute to the Government's consideration of workforce development policy. Further details can be found in 'Developing Workforce Skills: Piloting a New Approach', which was published alongside the Budget and is available in the House Library.

Beer Duties

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the total UK beer production will benefit from the 50 per cent. reduction in beer duties for small breweries. [52984]

Mr. Boateng: Approximately 400 brewers will benefit from the equivalent of 50 per cent. on the first 5,000 hectolitres they produce. The scheme will therefore apply to 90 per cent. of licensed brewers, responsible for around 2 per cent. of the beer produced in the UK last year.

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