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6 Mar 2003 : Column 1208W—continued

Aquaculture

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will use his power of direction under the

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Crown Estate Act 1961 to reduce the rents paid by aquaculture industries for use of the seabed in the event of negotiations with EU partners in Brussels on 20 February 2003 failing to secure a continued protection against salmon dumping. [98507]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 24 February 2003]: I have been asked to reply.

Neither my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor I have any plans to exercise the power in question.

Aviation Industry (Pollution)

Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with shareholders about the most effective economic instruments for (a) limiting and (b) reducing the aviation industry's contribution to (i) climate change, (ii) local air quality and (iii) noise pollution. [101514]

John Healey: The Chancellor announced in the 2002 Pre-Budget Report that the Government would discuss with stakeholders the most effective economic instruments for ensuring the aviation industry is encouraged to take account of, and where appropriate reduce, its contribution to global warming, local air and noise pollution. These discussions will be taking place shortly. The Government is also publishing a background document to facilitate the discussions. The Government will set out its views in the Air Transport White Paper which it intends to publish later this year.

Budget

Mr. Howard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will announce the date of the Budget [101080]

Mr. Gordon Brown: I announced yesterday that I plan to deliver the Budget Statement on Wednesday 9 April.

Computer Misuse

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 11 February 2003, Official Report, column 653W, on computer misuse, what assessment he has made of the level of computer misuse within the Inland Revenue. [101140]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) of 27 January 2003, Official Report, columns 605–06W.

Economic Output

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to increase output per head of population in the UK economy. [101055]

John Healey: The Government are committed to raising the rate of UK productivity growth over the economic cycle, improving competitiveness and narrowing the productivity gap with the US, France and Germany. The Government's approach to raising productivity is set out in "Productivity in the UK: The Evidence and the Government's Approach", which was published alongside the 2000 pre-Budget report.

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The Government report on steps to increase productivity in every Budget and pre-Budget report. Recent key steps include the Enterprise Act 2002, the introduction of R&D tax credits, the reduction of corporation tax rates, implementation of major reforms to capital gains tax, increased investment to raise standards in education, and a comprehensive review of capital markets through the Myners, Sandler and Higgs reviews.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the output per head of population in the UK economy was in each year since 1975. [101056]

John Healey: Output per head of population in each year since 1975 can be found in National Statistics publication: "Economic Trends Annual Supplement, 2002 edition, table 1.5", a copy of which is in the Library.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the output per head of population in the economy of each of the G7 countries was in each year since 1997. [101057]

John Healey: Output per head of population for the G7 can be found in the monthly OECD publication: "Main Economic Indicators" (p277), a copy of which is in the Library.

Government Contingent Liabilities

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Government's contingent liabilities. [101276]

Mr. Boateng: There are transparent arrangements in place for the reporting of contingent liabilities. These are in accordance with the principles underpinning the Government's fiscal framework, Contingent liabilities are already reported to Parliament, in line with the requirements of Government Accounting 2000 (Chapter 26), when they arise. They are also disclosed in Departments' resource accounts (under the requirements of FRS12) and have been drawn together in the annual Supplementary Statements to the Consolidated Fund and National Loans Fund Accounts.

Landfill Tax Credit Scheme

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment HM Treasury has made regarding reform of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme; what research he has commissioned into the effectiveness of the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [101054]

John Healey: The Government reviewed the role of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme following consultation with stakeholders last summer. In addition, the Public Accounts Committee, the Environment, Transport and Regions Select Committee, and the National Audit Office have all published reports on the scheme. These have all concluded that evaluation of the scheme is difficult or impossible given the way in which it has been set up with no central collection of information on its outcomes. The select committee reports have criticised the effectiveness of the scheme and these comments were taken into account in the Government's decision to reform the scheme.

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The Government have been discussing with stakeholders the best ways of addressing the most serious criticisms in the operation of the successor tax credit scheme. Any plans for reform of the successor scheme will be set out on a Budget timetable.

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been contributed to environmental projects as a result of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. [101132]

John Healey: Contributions by landfill operators to environmental projects through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme are published by ENTRUST in its Annual Reports, copies of which are being placed in the Library of the House.

National Asset Register

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is his policy that all buildings should be valued in the National Asset Register on the basis of (a) their existing use and (b) the maximum market value for alternative use; and if he will make a statement. [92564]

Mr. Boateng: Assets in the National Asset Register are valued in accordance with the Resource Accounting Manual, which follows UK accounting standards for the valuation of assets. The Accounting Standards Board's Financial Reporting Standard 15 sets out how different types of asset should be valued.

National Insurance (Married Women)

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the yield of increasing the rate of national insurance contributions payable by married women by 1 per cent. of the reduced rate. [101418]

Dawn Primarolo: The estimated full-year yield from increasing the primary Class 1 contribution rate for reduced rate married women optants by one percentage point in 2003–04 is £5million. This estimate has been provided by the Government Actuary Department and is consistent with the November 2002 Pre-Budget Report.

Public Sector Net Investment Statistics

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what methodology is used to calculate monthly public sector net investment statistics; and if he will make a statement. [101758]

Ruth Kelly: The methodology used is set out in note four of the Background Notes to the monthly National Statistics First Release on the Public sector finances, issued jointly by the Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury.

Spending Review

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a sustainable development appraisal of the Spending Review 2002. [101505]

Mr. Boateng: Chapter 4 of the SR2002 White Paper set out how the Government had used the

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Spending Review process to promote their sustainable development objectives.

On 24 February the Government published their annual report on sustainable development, setting out progress against 15 headline indicators. The report illustrates how the whole range of Government policies have contributed to delivering our sustainable development objectives. The report itself and relevant press releases can be found on www.sustainable-development.gov.uk.

Tax Credits

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what external evaluation has been made of the advertising for (a) the Working Families' Tax Credit and (b) the Children's Tax Credit; and if he will place the conclusions in the Library. [96601]

Dawn Primarolo: Like all Inland Revenue advertising, the campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the Working Families' Tax Credit and the Children's Tax Credit were all monitored to assess their effectiveness. The monitoring was carried out by independent external agencies managed by COI Communications on behalf of the Inland Revenue. Such monitoring generally takes place at key stages in the development of a campaign. The findings are used to inform the design of subsequent campaigns—or stages of the same campaign—and are not prepared for publication.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the impact of the advertising campaign for the new tax credits will be externally evaluated. [96602]

Dawn Primarolo: All Inland Revenue advertising campaigns are monitored at key stages in their development to assess their effectiveness in raising awareness and understanding among their target audiences. Such monitoring is carried out by an independent external agency managed by COI Communications on behalf of the Inland Revenue. The findings are used to inform the design of subsequent campaigns. The publicity campaigns to promote awareness of the Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit will be subject to a similar cycle of monitoring.


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