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Dawn Primarolo: Introducing the National Childcare Strategy shows that the Government recognise the importance of good quality affordable child care. We have encouraged and supported private child care provision.
Ruth Kelly: Since the FSA assumed its statutory powers on 1 December last year, it has been the single authority with responsibility for the regulation of the UK financial services industry, with rule-making powers. By 2004, the FSA will also assume responsibility for the regulation of mortgages and general insurance. The FSA has proposed changes to the polarisation rules that should enhance the benefits of competition and improve access to financial advice for many consumers and is working to ensure that information and disclosure to consumers of endowment mortgages and other financial products is improved.
John Healey: We will do so precisely in the way we did when reforming the betting and pools tax regimes, by working with the bingo companies to produce a new system of taxation which boosts growth, secures duty revenues, and benefits bingo players.
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flows into the United Kingdom deriving from membership of the European Union; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government are committed to increasing the supply of risk capital for businesses throughout the UK. Backed by up to £80 million of Government support, regional venture capital funds will provide up to £270 million of investment in small businesses with growth potential across England. The devolved Administrations have similar public/private equity schemes. The Government have also invested £20 million in a £40 million community development venture fund focused on the most deprived wards in England.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what bilateral discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding new taxes and regulations imposed on small businesses. 
implementing the recommendations of the Carter Review of Payroll Services;
cutting the small companies' rate of corporation tax from 23 per cent. to just 19 per cent. and reducing the 10 per cent. starting rate to zero;
introducing a 10p starting rate of income tax; and
introducing measures to ease the impact of VAT on small business.
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John Healey: The Chancellor argued strongly for the further progress on debt that was made at the G7 meeting in Halifax, Canada, this weekend. The decision to complete the financing of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) trust fund will allow a further $1 billion (£677 million) of debt to be written off from the poorest countries' balance sheets.
Under its 100 per cent. policy, the UK is already providing total debt relief to all eligible countries under the HIPC initiative and continues to use every opportunity to press other countries to do likewise.
John Healey: UK manufacturing productivity growth has averaged 2.6 per cent. a year since 1997. The Government are aiming to deliver conditions for improved productivity performance over the long term, and to that end have introduced a range of policies to promote competition, and raise investment, innovation and skills.
35. Brian Cotter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the impact of the recent slow down in the eurozone economy on manufacturing industry in the south-west of England. 
Ruth Kelly: The Chancellor and other Treasury Ministers regularly meet with manufacturing representatives from all regions and countries of the UK, including the south-west. These discussions cover a wide range of issues and the Government value the insights gained.
John Healey: Customs' resources, including its modern cutter fleet, are deployed flexibly around the UK coast on an intelligence-led basis to address smuggling threats. 16 people were sentenced to over 200 years in jail recently for trying to bring cocaine into the UK in yachts.
Mr. Wareing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many customs officers are under suspension; in which regions of the country they are employed; what reasons led to their suspension; and if he will make a statement. 
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John Healey [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The total number of Customs and Excise officers suspended as at 16 June 2002 is 12. Seven are employed in the north of England, three in London, and two in the south of England. All involve allegations of potential gross misconduct, which if proved may result in dismissal.
It is Customs and Excise policy that suspension is normally only imposed in the most serious cases, when it is necessary and in the public interest. Suspension is always without prejudice, and does not anticipate any decision about the allegations made.
23. Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the Department for Education and Skills on his plans to give financial support to 16 to 18-year-olds in further education. 
John Healey: All of the revenue from the climate change levy is recycled back to business through NICs cuts and support for energy efficiency. While the levy package is broadly revenue neutral to business as a whole, the effects on any specific sector will depend on a number of factors, including:
Employment levels in those sectors and the benefits received from the levy funded national insurance contribution cuts.
What use firms in that sector make of electricity generated from levy-exempt renewable sources of energy and combined heat and power.
John Healey: As part of the normal process of contact with business, the Chancellor and the Treasury ministerial team have met a variety of business organisations and individual companies, and have heard a variety of representations on climate change levy, and on other matters.
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