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Mark Tami: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many primates were imported illegally and seized by customs in each of the last five years. [156552]

John Healey: The table lists seizures of live primates for the calendar years 1998–2002, the last five complete years for which figures are available.

Number seized

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) value and (b) number of all Private Finance Initiative and Public Private Partnership projects for which contracts have been signed is in (i) each of the regions of England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Northern Ireland and (iv) Wales. [156964]

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Mr. Boateng: A full list of PFI projects signed up to July 2003 is available from the PFI statistics section of the HM Treasury website at: private partnerships/ppp pfi stats.cfm.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) public finance initiative and (b) public private partnership projects have been rejected in each of the last three years, broken down by (c) value and (d) project type. [157694]

Mr. Boateng: Information on potential PFI and PPP projects that have been rejected by public bodies is not held centrally. Information on the value and type of PFI and PPP projects rejected by public bodies in each of the last three years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses are sampled to calculate figures for The Profitability of UK Companies; and what proportion of these have a turnover of (a) less than £1 million, (b) £1–20 million, (c) £20–50 million, (d) £50–100 million and (e) more than £100 million. [157219]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Stephen O'Brien, dated 1 March 2004:

The sample selection for the Quarterly Profit Inquiry is based on number of employees and normally consists of between sixteen hundred and seventeen hundred companies. Respondents are not asked to supply data on turnover for the Quarterly Profits Inquiry but information on this can be obtained from the Inter Departmental Business Register.

Rebated Fuel Use Fraud

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated cost was to the Treasury of fraudulent rebated fuel use in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003. [156997]

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John Healey: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 13 January 2004, Official Report, column 635W.

Retirement Age

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost savings to public funds from increasing the normal retirement age to 65 for all recipients of public sector pensions; and if he will make a statement. [156578]

Mr. Boateng: It is too early to provide an estimate of the overall effects of work to review and modernise the benefit structure of public service pension schemes, of which the pension age is one strand.

Small/Medium Sized Businesses

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of those in employment work in small and medium sized businesses. [157502]

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

Letter from Len Cook to Mrs. Joan Humble, dated 1 March 2004:

Stamp Duty

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to public funds would be of abolishing stamp duty on share transactions. [157574]

Ruth Kelly: The 2003 pre-Budget forecast of revenue from duty on transactions in shares, and hence the direct yield cost of abolition, is £3.3 billion for 2004–05. This estimate makes no allowance for the effect on other taxes arising from the wider impact abolition may have on the economy.

Tax Credits

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the letter of 2 December 2003 from the Paymaster General to the hon. Member for Northavon, on tax credits compensation, if he will list the (a) compensation claims submitted and (b) compensation payments made. [147990]

Dawn Primarolo: At 27 February, approximately 7,200 claims for compensation had been upheld. This represents about one twelfth of a per cent. of all claims received for tax credit awards. Approximately 255 claims had been considered and not upheld by that date.

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Whisky Industry

John Thurso: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings he had with representatives of the Scottish whisky industry in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and what plans he has to meet them in the future. [156770]

John Healey: Treasury Ministers meet a wide range of organisations, companies and individuals, including representatives of the Scottish whisky industry, as part of the process of policy development and analysis. As with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code.


Age Discrimination

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to reduce age discrimination in the workplace in the next two years. [156080]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government are committed to tackling age discrimination in employment, extending opportunities for older workers and to introducing age discrimination legislation in 2006. The Government are assessing the responses to the consultation last year on proposals for the age legislation and will consult from this spring on draft age regulations covering employment and vocational training. The legislation will be in place, but not implemented, by the end of 2004, to give employers and individuals about two years to prepare before the legislation comes into force on 1 October 2006. Over the coming year, we will prepare further practical guidance for employers on adopting age positive practices and flexible approaches to retirement.

In the meantime our Age Positive campaign is encouraging employers to adopt non-ageist employment practices now. Through Age Positive, we are promoting the business benefits of an age diverse workforce by encouraging employers to adopt the voluntary Code of Practice: 'Age' Diversity at Work, A Practical Guide For Business, which was first developed in 1998 and updated in 2002. Over 750,000 copies of the Age Positive Code have been issued to employers and individuals and it is available on the Age Positive website, which has 75,000 visits per month.

The Age Positive campaign is widely promoted to employers and individuals through advertising, the website and press features in national, local and specialist publications and at exhibitions and workshops for employers. Age Positive awards help to further publicise the achievements of businesses and individuals who conquer age prejudice.

Age Positive also works closely with organisations such the Federation of Small Businesses, Employers Forum on Age, Institute of Directors, TUC, CBI and Age Concern.

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