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3 Dec 2002 : Column 680Wcontinued
Barbara Follett: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) of 25 November 2002, Official Report, column 64W, when information relating to vehicle seizures by Customs and Excise in 200102 will be published. 
John Healey: Information relating to vehicle seizures by Customs and Excise for 200102 will be published in Customs' Annual Report, which had been expected to be published at the end of November and will be laid before Parliament shortly.
Mark Tami: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates is the annual cost to the Exchequer of (a) under-payment of NICs by those regarded as self-employed and (b) the avoidance of self-employment tax status. 
Dawn Primarolo: The amount lost to the exchequer as a result of a failure by individuals correctly to declare their business profits can only be estimated. Lord Grabiner in his report XThe Informal Economy" concluded that it was impractical to arrive at a precise figure but assumed that 'billions of pounds' of income was a realistic figure.
No specific figures are available as to the amounts lost in respect of either tax or national insurance contributions. However, the Inland Revenue annual report for the year ended 31 March 2001 showed that compliance activity by the Inland Revenue had identified additional tax and National Insurance liability of just under £4.5 billion.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many self-assessment tax returns were (a) issued, (b) received, (c) waiting to be processed and (d) processed in each month since 1st July 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
3 Dec 2002 : Column 681W
|Date||SA ITRs issued||SA ITRs received||SA ITRs processed||SA ITRs waiting to be processed|
|Tax year 200001|
|1 July 2001||8,940,513||1,323,115||864,497||458,618|
|29 July 2001||8,990,292||1,943,901||1,350,597||593,304|
|2 September 2001||8,989,043||2,798,153||1,966,795||831,358|
|30 September 2001||9,152,255||4,241,952||2,677,145||1,564,807|
|4 November 2001||8,842,560||4,682,767||3,421,658||1,261,109|
|2 December 2001||9,360,099||5,383,846||4,436,261||947,585|
|30 December 2001||9,299,623||5,745,572||4,839,285||906,287|
|3 February 2002||9,552,433||8,362,361||5,848,319||2,514,042|
|3 March 2002||9,610,787||8,732,139||6,892,084||1,840,055|
|31 March 2002||9,644,313||8,805,949||8,009,457||796,492|
|Tax year 200102|
|5 May 2002||8,984,089||287,223||74,244||212,979|
|2 June 2002||9,081,002||751,541||323,265||428,276|
|7 July 2002||9,167,807||1,397,759||709,556||688,203|
|4 August 2002||9,232,637||2,020,483||1,135,313||885,170|
|1 September 2002||9,300,825||2,717,767||1,591,565||1,126,202|
|6 October 2002||9,394,724||4,475,890||2,438,405||2,037,485|
|3 November 2002||9,463,002||4,948,989||3,300,392||1,648,597|
|24 November 2002||9,511,670||5,280,197||4,008,768||1,271,429|
John Healey: HM Treasury, Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue contribute to the delivery of the objectives in the Government's Sustainable Development Strategy through a variety of mechanisms, including regular reporting on sustainable development issues and the incorporation of sustainable development into key processes such as Spending Review 2002.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date the Office for National Statistics decided to classify certain major trust posts as public bodies requiring their financial transactions to be included in the PSBR; and what reasons were given for the decision. 
3 Dec 2002 : Column 682W
John Healey: We have allocated 60million by 200506 to ensure that all pupils in England have five days of enterprise experience before they leave school. This gives effect to the recommendations of the Davies Review of Enterprise and the Economy in Education.
The Department for Education and Skills will be running pilots to test possible approaches in 200304 and 200405 at a cost of 5 million and £10 million respectively. This initiative will provide young people in all areas of England, including deprived areas, with experience of enterprise, and encourage them to consider starting their own businesses in the future. Young people wishing to start their own businesses in deprived areas will also benefit from our measures to support enterprise and tackle market failures in these areas more generally. These measures include designating 2,000 Enterprise Areas in the most deprived areas in the UK, where policies to support businesses are now being concentrated. Businesses in these areas already benefit from an exemption from stamp duty on property transfers between 60,000 and 150,000. We have announced that we will remove stamp duty on all commercial transactions in those areas, introduce a more flexible planning regime and a tax credit to encourage community investment, and offer greater support from the Small Business Service and the Inland Revenue.
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 19 November 2002]: In relation to the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, employees travel by public transport. Should the use of a private car be essential for work, rather than personal, reasons, the Department would bear the cost of the charge. It is not expected that any such occasion should arise.
The policy of the Treasury Solicitor's Department is to encourage its employees not to use private vehicles on official business and to encourage them to use public transport. The Department will, however, pay road tolls, including the central London road user charge, where use of a private vehicle is essential or where the journey remains cost effective in comparison to the use of public transport.
3 Dec 2002 : Column 683W
In respect of HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, it is Departmental travel policy that employees should not use cars to commute to and from work in London. Where the use of a car in London is essential for work, not personal, reasons, charges will be reimbursed.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what scope EU contracting authorities will have under the proposed new EU public procurement directive to make choices between bids at the award stage, based on environmental criteria; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: At the award stage, the proposed new directive makes it clear that contracting authorities are able to use environmental criteria where these are justified by the subject of the contract and provide a benefit to the contracting authority. Such criteria can include whole life cost factors, such as energy usage, disposal costs, and recyclability, as well as those related to qualitative aspects of the product. However, it will often be more appropriate and sensible to take environmental issues into account earlier on in the procurement process, in defining the subject of the contract and the specification. There is much scope to do this, provided that such specifications do not discriminate against suppliers across the Community, and that buyers respect the rules in the directives on technical specifications. Contracting authorities can, for example, specify green production processes (eg timber from sustainable sources, recycled paper, green electricity etc) and can refer to relevant eco-label criteria. Contracting authorities can also define one or more variants to the standard specification to allow, for example, bids to be submitted which offer a higher environmental performance.
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