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Ruth Kelly: The UK submits an Excessive Deficit return (Article 104 of the Treaty) to the European Commission every September and March. Copies can be found in the Library of the House. The returns are based on figures published in the previous Budget or Pre-Budget Report, and on figures included in the "Government deficit and debt under the Maastrict Treaty" First Releases issued by the Office for National Statistics in August and February.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what accounting procedures exist to log the amount of funds given to solicitors from private practice who are instructed to act for the Treasury. 
Ruth Kelly: Direct transactions between the Treasury and solicitors in private practice are recorded in the Department's accounting system against the appropriate account code, together with details of the relevant supplier and the responsible unit within the Department. Other transactions are similarly treated. To distinguish transactions with solicitors in private practice would require a review of every transaction, which would entail disproportionate cost.
Ruth Kelly: Between May 1997 and 16 July 2002, the nominal annual rate of return for the FTSE All Share was one per cent. equivalent to a total nominal return of 5.6 per cent. over the period. The annual real rate of return over the same period was 1.1 per cent. equivalent to a total real return of minus 5.8 per cent. over the same period.
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Buckinghamshire have been found to have committed offences by the FSA; and what action was taken in each case. 
Ruth Kelly: The FSA assumed its powers and responsibilities as single statutory regulator under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 on 1 December 2001. Where appropriate, it has disciplined under the Act those responsible for conducting financial business in breach of the rules and it has publicised the measures taken. These measures do not include any companies or individuals in Buckinghamshire.
Ruth Kelly: When the Inland Revenue review of pension taxation was commissioned early last year, it was expected to take a couple of years. Work is proceeding well and, when Ministers have considered the proposals, there will be a public consultation exercise in the autumn.
Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the annual tax relief in each of the last five years received by individuals in (a) final salary, (b) defined contribution, (c) group personal and (d) personal pension schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: A breakdown of tax relief into the categories asked for is not available. However, estimates of the annual cost of tax relief attributable to individual and employer contributions to occupational and personal pension schemes are contained in table T7.9 of Inland Revenue Statistics. The latest version is on the Inland Revenue's website http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/ stats/pensions/pt091.htm
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice his Department has given to the Ministry of Defence about the eligibility of retired disabled officers in receipt of a pension granted on account of medical unfitness attributable to military service to (a) have their pensions exempted from income tax and (b) be awarded a refund of tax wrongly deducted from their pension; and what advice it gave on whether such entitlement should be backdated to the date of discharge. 
Mr. Boateng: The Inland Revenue has provided advice over a number of years to the Ministry of Defence on matters relating to the taxation of pensions granted to disabled officers. The Inland Revenue has advised that the tax legislation exempts from income tax:
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Where tax has been wrongly deducted from an exempt pension, the Inland Revenue has advised that the tax should be refunded and backdated to the date on which an attributable pension was first granted.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 286W, on the community development venture capital fund, if he will list those private sector initiatives in which his Department has invested in the last three years, indicating (a) the amount and (b) the purpose. 
The UK High Technology Fund has been developed to encourage institutional investment in predominately early stage high technology venture capital funds, and to increase the finance available for investment in technology based businesses. Government cornerstone investment of £20 million enabled a fund of £126.1 million to be raised.
Regional Venture Capital Funds (RVCFs) are being established to ensure that small businesses in each of the English regions have access to equity based finance in amounts below £500,000, and to demonstrate to institutional investors that robust returns can be made in this sector. £155 million of small scale risk capital is now available from the five funds that have become operational during 2002. £46.75 million of this is Government cornerstone investment.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what actions his Office is taking to address the problem of (a) paramilitary flags, (b) paramilitary murals and (c) kerbstone painting; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what assessment he has made of the future job security of those employed in the voluntary and community sector after EU funding ceases in 2006; 
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the commitments he has given on the future treatment of prisoners on the run when they voluntarily return to the United Kingdom. 
Jane Kennedy: The agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland on police co-operation was signed in Belfast on 29 April 2002 and was laid before Parliament on 22 July (Cm 5579). It will come into operation when the necessary parliamentary procedures have been completed in both jurisdictions; this may not be until the autumn. In the meantime, both Governments and the two police services will continue to progress work on the various measures required to give it effect.
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