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9 Dec 2002 : Column 92Wcontinued
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to devolve the management of skills budgets to regions other than the North-east, North-west, South-east and East. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have asked regional development agencies and local learning and skills councils in the North-east, North-west, South-east and East of England to draw up proposals for pilots to test how they
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can pool and co-ordinate adult skills budgets in their regions to improve the delivery of training and skills provision to both employers and individuals. The pilots will start in April 2003 and will run for two years. They will be carefully monitored and evaluated. PDAs and LLSCs in other regions are also looking at ways of working together more closely outside the formal pilot arrangements and I greatly welcome this.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements have been made to reassess recipients of family tax credit whose entitlement is due to be reassessed before the introduction of the new tax credits system in April 2003. 
Dawn Primarolo: Transitional arrangements are currently in place so that any Working Families' Tax Credit award made on or after 4 June this year will run until April 2003. However families who have a new child can surrender their existing award and make a new claim.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procedures exist for those in receipt of working families tax credit to seek a review on material change of circumstances prior to the introduction of the new system in April 2003. 
Dawn Primarolo: Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) is a fixed award. Once made, awards generally remain in payment at the same rate during the period of entitlement, regardless of changes in family circumstances. However, families receiving WFTC are able to surrender an existing award and make a new claim as soon as they have a new child.
Details of the projections of stamp duty receipts are given in paragraphs B52 and B53 of the pre-Budget report. They are based on the assumption that house price inflation moderates towards its long run relationship with earnings, as explained in paragraph B54 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2002.
Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to paragraph B56 of the pre-Budget report November 2002 (Cm 5664), how much the strategy on VAT fraud and avoidance is expected to yield in 200203; and on what basis the figure for additional receipts by 200506 is calculated. 
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John Healey [holding answer 5 December 2002]: Projected VAT receipts in 200203 are calculated primarily on the basis of receipts to date. The forecast of VAT revenues from 200304 onwards is governed by an NAO-audited assumption, which has now been adjusted to take account of the VAT strategy. The NAO's XAudit of Assumptions for the 2002 Pre-Budget Report" sets out the additional revenue yield included in the forecast and the basis on which this has been calculated.
Dr. Cable : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Customs and Excise spent on its programme to detect the use of vehicle fuel on which fuel taxes have not been paid in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by region. 
Mr. Alexander: In respect of 200203, the Office of the e-envoy was given a current expenditure budget of #17.429 million. The Office of the e-envoy was also allocated #30 million capital expenditure from the Capital Modernisation Fund (CMF). As at 2 December 2002 the Office of the e-Envoy employed a total of 145 staff. This figure is rounded to full time equivalents.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent steps he has instituted to help Her Majesty's Government's Ministers improve their performance; and if he will make a statement. 
managing the strategic policy and communication aspects;
of the job as a member of a departmental team;
working with and through Parliament.
discussion with colleagues and sharing best practice;
awareness of current developments in government.
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Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total cost is of medical training per student in the United Kingdom; how many medical schools there are in the United Kingdom; how many medical schools have mandatory courses of six years training; how many medical schools have optional six-year training courses; and how many students in the United Kingdom are in receipt of full means-tested funds in each medical school. 
Margaret Hodge: The cost per medical school student will vary according to the type and length of their course. Higher education institutions in the United Kingdom receive public funding from the relevant higher education funding body of between #5,700 and #6,700 per student in each of their non-clinical years, and around #13,000 for each of the clinical years. These include the standard contribution to tuition fees, whether or not these are paid by the student. The national health service also provides some #540 million per year to the hospitals for the clinical training of medical students through its Multi-Professional Education and Training levy.
There are 47 medical courses offered at 30 higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. Of these, 11 are courses lasting six years. The remaining 36 include those for graduate entry and shorter accelerated routes into medicine, as well as courses of five years. Data on the number of students in receipt of full means-tested support in each medical school is not available.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many medical students are in receipt of maximum non-means tested loans, broken down by medical schools; and how many medical students are in receipt of (a) grants and (b) loans, broken down by university. 
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he will publish the remaining results of the first asset management plans; for what reason publication has been delayed; and if he will publish results of future asset management plans within six months of their completion. 
Mr. Miliband: We will publish the remaining results of the first asset management plans by the end of February 2003. The work necessary to appraise, analyse and collate the information has impacted on the original publication programme.
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Good Practice Guidance on Autistic Spectrum Disorders, published by the Departments of Education and Skills and of Health, is designed to raise awareness of the disorders and act as a self-audit tool for schools, local education authorities and other providers to help them assess the effectiveness of their autism provision. The Guidance is non-statutory.
Schools and local education authorities have duties to identify, assess and make suitable provision for children with special educational needs, including those with autism. Ofsted regularly inspects the provision made by schools and local education authorities, including that made for children with special educational needs. Where weaknesses are identified in the provision made for children with autism, the Guidance is available to schools and local education authorities to provide pointers to improvement.
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