Previous Section Index Home Page

27 Feb 2004 : Column 597W—continued

Royal Mint

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the (a) net asset value and (b) annual profitability of the Royal Mint; and if he will make a statement. [156764]

Ruth Kelly: The Royal Mint's net asset value (total assets less current liabilities) as at 31 March 2003 was £63,278,000. Its operating profit (before exceptional items) for the year 2002–03 was £1,285,000.

During 2003–04 to date there has been a small growth in the Mint's net asset value. The Mint forecast a modest improvement in profitability for 2003–04. This has been achieved largely through cost reductions, particularly in terms of employment costs.

The 2003–04 Accounts of the Royal Mint Trading Fund together with a Certificate and Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General will be prepared, and laid before Parliament, pursuant to section 4(6) of the Government Trading Funds Act 1973. Until then it would be inappropriate to provide an interim estimate based on unaudited accounts.

Savings Gateway Project

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what interim conclusions he has reached on the Savings Gateway project; and when he will report conclusions to Parliament. [157051]

Ruth Kelly: The Saving Gateway pilot final evaluation is due in early 2005. No substantial conclusions can be drawn until we receive the full research findings, however indicators so far are good. The latest interim evaluation report showed that 1,478 accounts had been opened (the maximum was 1,500), and the participants were mostly drawn from young families with children. By the end of August 2003, the total amount saved was £150,000, and there was little evidence that people had transferred money from existing savings accounts or borrowed to save. This report is available on the HM Treasury website.

27 Feb 2004 : Column 598W

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to re-examine the introduction of a Savings Advice Gateway. [157054]

Ruth Kelly: The Saving Gateway is being piloted in five locations, four of which are being run in conjunction with the Community Finance and Learning Initiative (CFLI), which is led by the DfES. Part of the remit of the community organisations involved in the CFLI is to provide advice and support to the Saving Gateway participants. The impact of the CFLI is being evaluated alongside the Saving Gateway evaluation. Final evaluation for the Saving Gateway is due in early 2005 and the DfES research findings are due to be published shortly.

Taxation (Self-assessment)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what circumstances a person who pays tax under PAYE is also required to fill in a self-assessment form. [156395]

Dawn Primarolo: A person paying tax under PAYE is also required to fill in a self-assessment return if they are:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what definitions of (a) employed and (b) self-employed are used by the Inland Revenue for the purpose of a self-assessment form for income tax. [156396]

Dawn Primarolo: As set out in the self assessment tax return guide, a taxpayer who receives a self assessment return, has to complete the employment pages if he or she is an employee, or office holder, or director, or agency worker or receiving benefits from a former employer. A taxpayer has to complete the self employed pages if he or she carried on a trade, profession or vocation as a self employed person in the UK or abroad.


Mr. Wills: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) males and (b) females aged (i) 21 to 30, (ii) 31 to 40, (iii) 41 to 50 and (iv) 51 to 60 years have been unemployed for (A) less than one month, (B) less than three months, (C) less than six months, (D) six to 12 months and (E) over 12 months; [156088]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Michael Wills, dated 27 February 2004:

27 Feb 2004 : Column 599W

This information is derived from the Labour Force survey (LFS). As with any statistical sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to sampling variability.

Number of unemployed adults by sex, age and duration(12) of unemployment: United Kingdom, September to November 2003(13)

Age group
Total unemployed adults384306222172
Adults unemployed for:
Less than 3 months2011208556
3 months but less than 6 months62573726
6 months but less than 12 months57503628
Over 12 months62796462
Total unemployed men244173124107
Men unemployed for:
Less than 3 months116553428
3 months but less than 6 months38321914
6 months but less than 12 months43322618
Over 12 months46544546
Total unemployed women1391339965
Women unemployed for:
Less than 3 months85655128
3 months but less than 6 months24251812
6 months but less than 12 months14181010
Over 12 months16251916

(12) Duration of unemployment is defined as the length of time for which a person has been seeking work or the length of time since he or she left their most recent job (whichever is the shorter).

(13) These estimates are not seasonally adjusted and have not been adjusted to reflect the 2001 Census results.


ONS Labour Force Survey

Valuation Office Agency

Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the vacancy taken up by Miss Ann Grinstead as a non-executive Director of the Valuation Office Agency was advertised; where the vacancy was advertised ; how many applications were received by the Valuation Office for the vacancy; how many candidates were shortlisted; and who the Chairman and the members of the interview panel charged with selecting the successful applicant were. [156615]

Dawn Primarolo: Miss Grinstead was appointed an external member of the Valuation Office Agency Management Board with effect from 1 April 2002. The post was filled through the Cabinet Office's Public Appointments list which maintained a list of people interested in appointments of this nature rather than through advertisement. The names of 43 people who had notified their interest were considered, four were short listed and approached, and Miss Grinstead was interviewed for suitability by the Chief Executive of the Agency, Mr. Michael Johns, the Agency's Director of Business Resources, Mrs. Wheatcroft, and the Inland Revenue's sponsor of the Agency at that time, Mr. David Park.

27 Feb 2004 : Column 600W



Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the current state of the negotiations on the island of Cyprus' future. [157108]

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress towards a settlement in Cyprus. [157147]

Mr. MacShane: Following the UN Secretary-General's 4 February invitation to the parties, and the procedural agreement subsequently reached in New York on 13 February, substantive talks resumed in Nicosia on 19 February.

These talks, under UN auspices and on the basis of the UN Secretary-General's plan, aim to reach agreement on a settlement that will be put to the two Cypriot communities in separate simultaneous referendums on 21 April.

The settlement would take effect on the day after it had been approved, thus enabling a united Cyprus to join the European Union on 1 May.

Initial reports of progress are encouraging. The timetable is tight, and both sides are arguing for changes to the plan on some substantive points. But we hope that the constructive spirit shown by the parties in New York will enable them to reach agreement to their mutual benefit. The UK will continue to give its full support to the UN Secretary-General and to the parties in order to help realise this historic opportunity.

Next Section Index Home Page