10 Feb 2003 : Column 602Wcontinued
Dawn Primarolo: To receive their entitlement to tax credits, people need to make a claim. Couples must claim the new Child Tax Credit jointly. The Inland Revenue has written to claimants of the existing Children's Tax Credit, inviting claims for the new tax credits. A reminder was sent in the autumn to people who had not responded to the invitation, and a further reminder is being issued in February. Employees receiving Children's Tax Credit through their PAYE codes have received a special insert with their 200304 coding notices, reminding them that Children's Tax Credit is replaced in April by Child Tax Credit and encouraging those who have not yet claimed the new tax credits to do so without delay. There is also a prominent reference to the new tax credits in the uprating letter going to all seven million Child Benefit recipients in the run-up to April.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 28 January, Official Report, column 746W, on the Child Trust Fund, if his Department has decided upon the set of conditions referred to; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government are consulting stakeholders on the detailed design and implementation of the Child Trust Fund (CTF). As part of the consultation on the product specifications for the 'stakeholder' products recommended by the Sandler review, the Government are seeking views on whether explicitly to link the CTF to the other products in the Sandler suite.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees of the Inland Revenue have been (a) subject to disciplinary action for computer misuse and (b) prosecuted for computer misuse in 2002. 
10 Feb 2003 : Column 603W
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions officials from his Department have had with (a) representatives of the European Union, including the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and (b) representatives of the British pensions industry concerning reform of the cross-border pensions directive. 
Ruth Kelly: Treasury officials have been in regular contact with UK MEPs on the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to discuss developments on the Supplementary Pensions Directive ("Directive on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision") and to brief them on their likely impact on UK occupational pensions. Treasury officials have also been in contact with associations that represent the interests of the British pension industry to update them on the Directive's progress through the European Parliament.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the principal components of the changes in the budget of (a) HM Customs and Excise and (b) the Inland Revenue between 200203 and 200304; what internal administrative unit each change is attributed to; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Aggregate budget figures for 200203 to 200506 were published in the 2002 Spending Review White paper (Cm 5570) on page 126. More up to date and detailed information will appear in the Departmental Spring Reports 2003 due to be published by the revenue departments by the end of April.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions officials from his Department have had with officials from the European Commission on the British economy's convergence with the eurozone; and if he will make a statement. 
10 Feb 2003 : Column 604W
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to his answer of 30 January 2003, Official Report, column 991W, on the euro, if he will make a statement on the preparedness of business for euro entry; 
Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the extent to which the British economy satisfies the five economic tests for entry to the euro; and if he will make a statement. 
Following the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the Financial Services Authority has assumed responsibility for the regulation of friendly societies. The Act also introduced an independent ombudsman scheme and single financial services compensation scheme. These measures should increase confidence in those considering membership of friendly societies.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings between officials from his Department and representatives of the business and financial sectors are planned for the next two months to discuss the value of the FTSE 100 share index. 
Ruth Kelly: Treasury Ministers and officials meet representatives of the business and financial sector on a regular basis and will continue to do so. A wide range of topics are discussed, including current economic and financial developments.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the level of tax revenue in the UK this financial year if the rate of GDP grows by (a) 2 per cent., (b) 2.5 per cent. and (c) 3 per cent.; 
10 Feb 2003 : Column 605W
(3) what estimates his Department has made of (a) total income tax revenue and (b) total corporation tax revenue for this year if the rate of growth in GDP growth is (i) 1.8 per cent., (ii) 2 per cent., (iii) 2.2 per cent., (iv) 2.4 per cent., (v) 2.6 per cent., (vi) 2.8 per cent., (vii) 3 per cent., (viii) 3.2 per cent., (ix) 3.4 per cent., and (x) 3.6 per cent.; 
(4) what estimate his Department has made of the level of UK tax revenue for (a) this year and (b) next year if growth rates were 2.2 per cent. this year and 2.4 per cent. next year; 
(5) what estimates he has made of total UK tax revenues for (a) this year and (b) next year if growth meets the Treasury's (i) lower and (ii) upper boundaries for growth in this year and the next. 
Ruth Kelly: Latest available projections of tax revenues for 200203 and 200304 are available in the 2002 pre-Budget report. They are based on a deliberately prudent and cautious assumption that trend output growth is ¼ percentage point lower than the Government's neutral view. This corresponds to GDP growth of 2 per cent. in 200203 and 2¾ per cent. in 200304, the lower boundaries of HM Treasury's economic forecasts for these financial years. Tax forecasts based on alternative forecasts of GDP growth are not available.