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National Insurance Fund

Hywel Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the surplus in the National Insurance Fund was in each of the last five years. [59813]

Dawn Primarolo: The available figures for Great Britain are provided in the table. These figures were provided by the Government Actuary's Department.

YearSurplus (£ million)(31)

(31) Excess of receipts over payments


Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of self- employed likely to incorporate as a result of the corporation tax changes and changes to national insurance contributions for the self-employed announced in the Budget. [60588]

Dawn Primarolo: Possible behavioural responses to Budget measures, including increased levels of incorporations, informed the careful analysis of the Exchequer effects set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report. It is not normal Government practice to give details of the underlying analysis.

Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the non-revenue benefits for (a) the self-employed and (b) the Treasury which derive from the trend of greater incorporation of self-employed businesses. [60589]

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John Healey: Businesses themselves are best placed to assess the relative benefits of different legal structures, and to decide which is most appropriate for them. Incorporation, self-employment and partnership each offers a range of benefits to small businesses. The choice as to whether to incorporate or not is influenced by multiple factors, many of which are firm-specific, for example the personal circumstances of the owner(s).

Government policy is to raise UK productivity by creating an environment which stimulates enterprise. Our economy will benefit from successful, growing businesses whatever structure those businesses choose to use.

Industrial and Provident Societies

David Maclean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the policy of the Government on changing the fees paid by industrial and provident societies; and if he will make a statement. [60760]

Ruth Kelly: The setting of fees is the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority in relation to the duties it performs under the relevant industrial and provident societies Acts. The Government are aware of concerns that have been expressed about the fee structure being developed by the FSA. However, the new level of fees has not yet been finalised and through consultation the FSA is seeking to ensure that the interests of the sector are fully considered.

Highly Indebted Poor Countries

Mr. Best: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money is held in trust for highly indebted poor countries. [60287]

John Healey: As of the end of 2001, the UK has been holding in trust a total of £1,057,200 for six countries. We continue to use international and bilateral meetings to urge other creditors to follow our lead on this policy.

Projected Revenues

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 May 2002, Official Report, column 933W, on projected revenues, what proportion of the change in forecast capital receipts is due to the maturing of capital gains tax taper relief; and if he will make a statement. [60395]

Dawn Primarolo: Table C7 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report shows capital gains tax receipts are forecast to fall from £2.9 billion in 2001–02 to £1.8 billion in 2002–03. Around 20 per cent. of this forecast reduction in receipts is attributable to the maturing of capital gains tax taper relief.

Stamp Duty

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2002, Official Report, column 886W, on stamp duty, how many properties in financial year 1999–2000 were sold in designated wards where the consideration did not exceed £150,000; and if he will make a statement. [60416]

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John Healey: The stamp duty relief for disadvantaged areas came into force on 30 November 2001. Since that date we have exempted from stamp duty properties in qualifying areas where the consideration or premium for a lease does not exceed £150,000. We estimate the number of properties sold in 1999–20000 for a consideration of less than £150,000 in the subsequently qualifying wards to be in the region of 120,000 (of which about 40,000 are estimated to have a consideration of greater than £60,000).

Ms Shipley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the European Commission investigation into stamp duty relief for deprived areas; what steps are being taken to ensure a speedy resolution of the investigation; what impact the continuation of the investigation has on the implementation of his policy on stamp duty relief for deprived areas; and if he will use other forms of financial support for development in these areas. [59815]

John Healey: The extension of the stamp duty relief for disadvantaged areas for non-residential property above the £150,000 limit is currently subject to a state aid investigation by the Commission. Such investigations are normal for an innovative scheme such as this which does not conform precisely with any existing Commission guidelines. The investigation is necessary to establish whether the measure will adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest and it gives interested parties, including other member states, a chance to comment. We are working closely with the European Commission to progress matters as quickly as possible. Those purchasing property for amounts up to £150,000 in the areas which qualify for the relief are already benefiting from the measure. In addition to the stamp duty relief, the Urban White Paper fiscal measures package provided a cut in VAT to 5 per cent. to encourage renovation and conversion of existing property; 100 per cent. capital allowances for creating flats over shops, 150 per cent. accelerated tax credits to help clean-up contaminated land; and the Government are now implementing the Community Development Venture Fund which will also support enterprise and regeneration in these areas.

Fuel Duty

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research his Department has carried out to ascertain whether fuel duty differential encourages people to buy more environmentally friendly cars. [59707]

John Healey: Fuel duty differentials have proved very successful in encouraging the introduction of cleaner fuels such as ultra-low sulphur petrol and diesel throughout the UK. In addition, favourable duty rates for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) combined with purchase grants through the Government sponsored PowerShift programme have led to a substantial increase in the number of LPG vehicles from less than 6,000 in 1996 to around 65,000 now.

Labour-only Subcontractors

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many labour-only subcontractors are registered in the United Kingdom; and how many were registered in (a) 2000 and (b) 1999. [59651]

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Dawn Primarolo: I regret that it would be possible to provide an answer only at disproportionate cost.

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total revenues were he would have received during 2001–02 as a result of the climate change levy, had all those eligible paid the levy at the full amount. [60479]

John Healey: Projected revenue and revenue outturns from the climate change levy were published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2002 in Table C.7. Projected revenues from individual measures (including exemptions) are in Table A.1 and are discussed on page 167. There is no reliable estimate for the cost of the reduced rate for energy intensive users and horticultural producers.


"Open to Change"

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the "Open to Change" advertisements have cost to run in national and local media; and if he will make a statement. [41340]

Mr. McCartney: The cost of the "Open to Change" campaign is £2.78 million.

"Open to Change" builds on two successful earlier campaigns to promote the DDA and the Disability Rights Commission. This campaign was designed to increase awareness and understanding of the DDA among specifically small and medium sized service providers. In particular, "Open to Change" publicises how these providers will have to make their services accessible to disabled people under the final phase of the Act, which comes into force in 2004.

The campaign encourages service providers to take action, seek advice on how their business could be adapted to meet legal requirements and improve the services they offer to disabled customers. It signposts SMEs to the Disability Rights Commission as a source of advice and support.

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