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Information Campaigns

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in financial year 2001–02; if he will list the campaigns that spent over £250,000; and if he will make a statement. [70213]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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Press Office

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) full-time equivalents were employed by his press office and (b) secondees were placed in his press office in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [70538]

Ruth Kelly: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) on 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 328W.

As to secondees, records are not maintained.

Double Taxation Convention

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the draft Order in Council and schedule containing the new Double Taxation Convention between the United Kingdom and the United States of America will be submitted to the House for ratification; and if he will make a statement. [72630]

Dawn Primarolo: The text of the Convention together with an amending Protocol has been published today as a schedule to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House. The Protocol amending the Double Taxation Convention was signed on behalf of the two governments on 19 July 2002. The text is available on the Inland Revenue's website.

Community Budget

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will be publishing the statement on the 2002 Community Budget. [72631]

Ruth Kelly: I have today laid before Parliament the Statement on the 2002 Community Budget, entitled "European Community Finances". This White Paper is the 22nd in the series. As in the past, it covers annual budgetary matters and includes details of recent developments in European Community financial management and in countering fraud against the Community Budget. It also describes the Community Budget for 2002 as adopted by the European Parliament, and details the United Kingdom's gross and net contributions to the Community Budget for calendar years 1996 to 2002 and financial years 1996–97 to 2001–02.

I have placed copies of the White Paper in both Libraries of the House.

Care Homes

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the decision of the London VAT tribunal in the Kingscrest case on the implementation of free nursing care and the affordability of fee levels; [71678]

John Healey: In March the High Court judgment in the Kingscrest Associates Ltd. and Montecello Ltd. case threatened to limit the VAT exemption for residential care. We immediately acted to put this exemption beyond question through the Value Added Tax (Health and Welfare) Order (Statutory Instrument 762/2002).

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The decision of the VAT and Duties Tribunal in this case, and the later High Court judgment, do not impact upon any provision of nursing care.

Game Bird Farms

Mr. Breed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many game farms were registered for game bird rearing in the UK; and how many initiatives there were to identify the valuation relating to game bird farms in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [71942]

Dawn Primarolo: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for the valuation of business property for rating purposes. One of the difficulties for valuation officers (VOs) in identifying game farms is the fact that most of them are in remote rural areas and operate on land which was, quite properly, exempt from rating as agricultural land.

Game farms are not exempt from rating, but VOs have difficulty in keeping their records up to date to show when land that was exempt is no longer in agricultural use and should be assessed as a game farm. Billing authorities are responsible for notifying the VOA when such changes take place, but this does not always happen.

In May 2000 the Game Farmers Association provided information to the VOA that there were about 400 game farms in the United Kingdom. This includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, for which the VOA has no responsibility.

The VOA also received representations from a number of bodies including Wales Opponents of Pheasant Shooting and Animal Aid, requesting confirmation that specified game farms are assessed for rating.

In addition, the VOA has been requested by the Game Farmers Association to ensure that their membership and others in the industry are all treated fairly in relation to rating.

The VOA has responded to these approaches by checking its records to identify which of these game farms are already assessed and which require to be assessed for rating purposes. A total of 40 additional game farms were included in rating lists as a result of this initiative.

The VOA does not hold details of the number of game farms registered for game bird rearing.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many properties which were identified as operating as a game farm had not been assessed for non-domestic rates; and what proportion of those properties were (a) allowed to remain open and (b) closed down, in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [71943]

Dawn Primarolo: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in England and Wales has assessed a total of 85 game farms for rating purposes.

It is not known how many game farms not in assessment that should properly be assessed.

The VOA takes action to assess game farms as soon as they are brought to their attention.

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The VOA has no statistical information as to the proportion of game farms that have remained open or have closed down in each of the last 10 years.

Airport Construction

Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) received on the economic consequences of building new (i) airports and (ii) runways. [70868]

Mr. Boateng: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport is giving him today at column 733w.

Public Service Monitoring

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, on public service monitoring, which targets are considered value for money targets for each Government Department; and if he will make a statement. [70753]

Mr. Boateng: The value for money targets are clearly identified in "Public Service Agreements 2001–04" (Cm 4808).

Financial Advisers (VAT)

Ian Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimates he has made of the amount of VAT (a) due on commission payments to independent financial advisers and (b) on commission payments to independent financial advisers collected in the latest year for which figures are available; [71310]

John Healey: Customs and Excise has set out the VAT treatment of the services provided by independent financial advisers in the VAT public notice 701/49, "Finance and securities", published in March 2002. They will be issuing more detailed information specifically for such advisers shortly. Where VAT is due on an adviser's services, it will be at a rate of 17.5 per cent. There are no estimates available for VAT collected on such charges.

Public Service Agreements

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the 2000 Spending Review PSAs as referred to in paragraph 1.15 of Public Service Agreements 2003–06, Cm 5571, before 24 July; and if he will make a statement. [71302]

Mr. Gordon Brown: As indicated in public service agreements 2003–06, the Treasury has today published details on its website of how all the headline 2000 spending review PSA targets translate into the new PSAs. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Street Crime

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 11 March 2002,

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Official Report, column 634, on street crime, what resources are available to the Metropolitan Police, what information he has received regarding those of the New York Police Department; and if he will make a statement. [44397]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 22 July 2002]: The net budget requirement for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 2001/2 was £1,980 million which has risen to £2,038 million in 2002–3. At the end of September, 2001, there were 25,374 police officers in the MPS, a rise of 679 from September 2000. At the same time, there were 10,240 civilian staff (93 more than the previous year) and 669 traffic wardens (60 fewer than the previous year).

In February I met Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City and Mr. Bill Bratten, the former Commissioner of the New York Police Department to discuss issues of policing, including police resources. I understand that estimates show that in 2000 there were 29,123 police officers and 11,582 civilian staff in London (which comprises the MPS, City of London Police and British Transport Police) compared with 38,779 police officers and 16,629 civilians in New York City.

The Government is pursuing a major initiative to tackle street crime in the ten forces with the highest levels, which includes the MPS. We have drawn together resources, expertise, and initiatives, from Government, the police and other relevant agencies, to help free our streets from robbery and drug driven violence.

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