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Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the contributions that have been made to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by the (a) UK and (b) US since it was formed. 
Dawn Primarolo: I am pleased to announce that the Valuation Office Agency have today published council tax lists on the internet. Council taxpayers will be able to access council tax bandings and make appeals online. This follows the Valuation Office Agency's successful online provision of the non-domestic rating lists in 2000 and is an other important step in the process of improving public access to information by electronic means.
Mr. Boateng: In order to bring details of all UK financial transactions with the EC into a single publication, information which has previously been included in the departmental report of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Department will now be published in the Government's annual White Paper "European Community Finances". This change will take effect from the White Paper to be published in the summer. However, in advance of that, updated versions of tables 14a and 14b from the 2001 departmental report are set out in the tables.
|Public sector receipts||-4,567||-4,472||-3,950||-3,676||-4,099||-3,293|
|Net contributions to EC budget(17)||2,293||2,567||4,111||3,325||4,318||1,493|
|Contributions to reserves and capital of the EIB||15||0||0||0||0||0|
|Grants received from European coal and steel community||-27||-6||(18)||(18)||(18)||-1|
|Payments to EC budget attributed to the aid programme(19)||-464||-408||-520||-519||-621||-717|
|Net payments to EC institutions (excluding overseas aid)(17)||1,817||2,153||3,590||2,807||3,697||776|
(16) Gross payment figures include Traditional Own Resources payments at 90 per cent. (75 per cent. in March 2002). The remaining 10 per cent. (25 per cent. in March 2002) is retained by the UK to cover the costs of administering collection on behalf of the European Community.
(17) Due to rounding, totals may not exactly correspond to the sum of individual items.
(18) Signifies receipts of less than £0.5 million.
(19) For domestic/public expenditure planning purposes, part of the UK's contribution to the Community budget is attributed to the overseas aid programme. The aid programme also includes payments to the European Development Fund, not included here.
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|Trended net contributions to European Community budget||2,975||3,225|
|Contributions to reserves and capital of the EIB||0||0|
|Grants received from European coal and steel community||0||0|
|Payments to EC budget attributed to the aid programme(21)||-813||-861|
|Net payments to EC institutions (excluding overseas aid)||2,162||2,364|
(20) An exchange rate of £1 = 1.59 euro has been assumed.
(21) For domestic/public expenditure planning purposes, part of the UK's contribution to the Community budget is attributed to the overseas aid programme. The aid programme also includes payments to the European Development Fund, not included here.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent by his Department on paying pensions to retired employees of his Department in 200102; if he will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if he will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if he will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 20 May 2002]: Pensions of retired civil servants are paid centrally by the Cabinet Office from an unfunded scheme, the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. For information on the PCSPS I refer to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, on 23 May 2002, Official Report, column 561W.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many full-time equivalent staff of HM Customs and Excise were based in each county of the United Kingdom (a) in 1997 and (b) in 2001. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 20 May 2002, Official Report, column 90W, on customs officers, to what he attributes the rise in the proportion of complaints against HM Customs and Excise being upheld since 199798. 
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Mr. Boateng: Since 1996, Customs and Excise have increased their efforts to publicise their complaints system. The increase in the proportion of complaints upheld between 199798 and 19992000 followed accompanying measures taken internally to raise staff awareness of the value of complaints in improving customer service, and to improve training and guidance on handling them objectively.
The increase in the proportion of complaints upheld in 200001 reflects technical problems during the transition from regional advice centres to National Advice Service contract centres, resulting in some businesses facing delays in getting through to an adviser. Following the resolution of these problems, there has been a significant reduction in the number of recorded complaints.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the activities pursued by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise that have had a particular impact on the Isle of Wight since 7 June 2001. 
Mr. Boateng [holding answer 22 May 2002]: The full range of Customs and Excise controls and assurance activities, across the VAT, excise, customs and anti- smuggling regimes, apply equally to the Isle of Wight as to other parts of the UK.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 17 May 2002, Official Report, column 806W, on national insurance contributions, if he will calculate for married women paying NICs at the reduced rate, (a) the value of the total employee contributions which would be paid by such women if they were subject to full rate class I contributions instead, (b) the actual value of employee class 1 contributions payable by such women and (c) the value of entitlement to contributory benefits attained by such women, on the same basis as these calculations are made for the self-employed. 
|Amount: £ million|
|The amount of primary class 1 contributions reduced rate women would pay if liable to full class 1 rate||(22)75|
|Amount of primary contributions paid at the reduced class 1 rate||(22)25|
(22) Includes £8 million allocated to the national health service.
Married women who opt to pay the reduced rate do not receive contributory benefits in their own right, but can receive some benefits based on their husbands' contributions. Contributory benefits are financed on a pay-as-you-go basis, so it is not appropriate to quote a value for the total benefits foregone by married women paying at the reduced rate. This comparison is possible for the self-employed because the main element of the difference between the benefits they receive and those to which employees are entitled is SERPS (now state second pension) and the value of this is represented by the contracted-out rebate. No equivalent valuation, consistent
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with the nature of the national insurance fund, is possible for the rights to basic retirement pension forgone by married women optants.
Dawn Primarolo: The Government Actuary's Department estimate that around £38.5 billion will be received in 200203 in employer's national insurance contributions (including class 1A and 1B), this estimate is consistent with the April 2002 Budget.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the total amount paid by Scotland's (a) health trusts and (b) local authorities in employers' national insurance contributions in (1) 200102, (2) 200203 and (3) 200304, assuming current levels of employment. 
Dawn Primarolo: It is estimated that the changes to employer NICs announced in the Budget will add around 0.7 per cent. to pay costs on average next year. The changes will help to fund improvement to public services and a real terms increase in spending on health over the next five years of over 40 per cent.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons the number of records on the National Insurance Recording System is lower than the number of national insurance numbers in existence. 
Dawn Primarolo: There are approximately 83 million national insurance numbers held on the Departmental Central Index (DCI), against approximately 70 million records held on the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS).
DCI holds Child Reference Numbers of children under age 16 as well as national insurance numbers allocated to customers who are over retirement pension age. These records are not notified to NIRS, as there is no contribution activity.
David Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much he expects to raise from national insurance contributions from employers for the years 2001 to 2004 in (a) Scotland, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) England and (d) Wales. 
Reliable estimates for Scotland and Wales are not available.
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Dawn Primarolo: Men and women pay national insurance contributions, on the same basis, on earnings from age 16 to pension age. Legislation has been introduced to fully equalise the pension age for men and women at age 65 from 2020.
David Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much he expects to raise from national insurance contributions from employees for the years 2001 to 2004 in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales. 
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