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The Government are working closely with the voluntary sector, the financial services industry and others to develop and implement a national strategy for raising levels of financial capability, under the leadership of the Financial Services Authority. This strategy has identified a number of priority areas, based around key life events, from prospective parents to those who are planning for retirement. The Government already provide incentives to encourage long-term savings by giving generous tax treatment on pensions and is also working with industry to set up a suite of simpler savings products. In June this year the Government announced their proposals for the stakeholder suite of savings and investment products to be launched into the marketplace in April 2005. These are a suite of simple, low-cost, risk-controlled products to meet the short, medium and long-term savings needs for all consumers.
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Measures to support financial inclusion, such as the Savings Gateway, and the establishment of the Child Trust Fund also serve to encourage people to engage with the financial sector and develop the savings habit.
Ruth Kelly: As explained in my statement to the House of 4 November 2003, the review is considering the impact of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 on competition, changes to aspects of the Financial Services Authority's practices, changes to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and changes to the boundary of regulation. I expect to make an announcement about the outcome of these considerations later this year.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the financial services industry of complying with Financial Services Authority regulations since 1997. 
Ruth Kelly: In 2003 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) commissioned Europe Economics to undertake a major survey of the financial costs of regulation and published the results. This survey found that the median increase in annual incremental compliance costs from 1998 to 2002 resulting from changes to FSA regulation was less than 1 per cent. of operating costs.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the Gross Domestic Product per head for each of the last 25 years at current prices. (187117)
Estimates of current price Gross Domestic Product per head for the UK, for the past 25 years, are shown in the attached table. These are the most recent data available, and are taken from the National Accounts 'Blue Book' 2004.
|Year||GDP per head (£)|
As National Statistician,, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question on the rate of change of productivity in the UK economy in each of the last twenty five years. (187129)
The accompanying table shows the rate of change of productivity, as measured by output per worker, for the whole UK economy. The data shown are from 1979 to 2003 inclusive.
|Year||Annual percentage change|
Mr. Gordon Brown: The Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for the current revenue departments, and subject to passage of the appropriate legislation this will remain the case for the proposed new department.
Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research has been undertaken into the impact of changes in house prices on the level of consumer expenditure; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: HM Treasury published evidence on the link between the housing market and consumer behaviour in June 2003 as part of the EMU Five Tests Assessment, in the supporting study 'Housing, Consumption and EMU'.
Ruth Kelly: The Government's strategy for savings and assets is focused on providing individuals with security, opportunity and independence throughout life, and with the information, incentives and income to make savings decisions.
We have delivered this with reforms such as the introduction of Individual Savings Accounts, the application of the 10 per cent. starting rate for income tax to income from savings, and the new Child Trust Fund, as well as creating a stable economy with low interest rates, and radical reform and simplification of financial regulation and pensions. Net household wealth has now risen by over 50 per cent. since 1997.
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much, and what proportion, of inheritance tax revenues in fiscal year 200304 was derived from (a) primary homes, (b) other homes, (c) financial assets, (d) land, (e) art and similar assets, (f) investments overseas, (g) individual savings and trusts, (h) life insurance and (i) other sources, broken down by main categories. 
Dawn Primarolo: IHT receipts were £2.5 billion in 200304. A breakdown of this figure into asset types is not yet available. The available information relates to the asset breakdown for taxable estates passing on death in 200102 which is published in Table 12.6 of Inland Revenue Statistics, available at http://newinternet.inrev.gov.uk/stats/inheritance tax/table126.pdf.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research is being conducted into the size of (a) secured and (b) unsecured loan repayments in different (i) socio-economic and (ii) income groups. 
Ruth Kelly: Annex C of "Tackling Over-indebtednessAction Plan 2004", published on 20 July 2004 by the Department of Trade and Industry, provides a summary of recent research into over-indebtedness. Furthermore, Annex D, of the same document, reinforces the DTI's commitment to developing a monitoring approach, as promised in the Consumer Credit White Paper. "Tackling Over-indebtedness-Action Plan 2004" can be found at http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topics1/pdf1/overdebt0704.pdf.
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