Previous Section Index Home Page

5 Jul 2005 : Column 276W—continued

Government Bonds

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average interest rate yield on 10-year Government bonds in the UK was in each year for each of the last 10 years. [9990]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table sets out the average yield on 10-year nominal UK Government bonds (gilts") for each calendar year between 1994 and 2004.

Average yield on
10-year maturity gilts

It is misleading to consider debt-servicing costs based on 10-year nominal gilts only, because this would not take account of the range of maturities and yields at which Governments issue bonds.

Government Debt

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to reduce the level of long-term interest rates paid by the Government on their debt with a maturity of 10 years or more. [9892]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government's primary policy objective for managing Government debt is to minimise over the long-term the costs of meeting the Government's financing needs, taking into account risk, while ensuring that debt management policy is consistent with the aims of monetary policy. The Government's debt management policy is set out more fully in the Debt and Reserves Management Report 2005–06. The principles underpinning this policy are set out in the Code for Fiscal Stability.

Income Tax

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what level of standard rate of income tax he estimates would be required, assuming no other changes to behaviour, to recoup the revenue lost from (a) abolition of the lower rate of income tax and (b) plus raising the threshold to (i) £10,000 and (ii)£15,000. [9815]

Dawn Primarolo: The information for 2005–06 is given in the following table.
5 Jul 2005 : Column 277W

Basic rate and higher rate required
for approximate tax neutrality
Personal allowance (£)Basic rateHigher rate

(12)This is the current higher tax rate.
(13)This costing assumes a flat (basic and higher) tax rate.

Estimates are based on the 2002–03 Survey of Personal Incomes projected forward in line with Budget 2005 assumptions.

The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.

These estimates have been obtained after increasing all personal allowances (i.e. the personal allowances and personal allowances for individuals aged 65 and above) to either £10,000 or £15,000.

These estimates assume abolishing the 10 per cent, starting rate of income tax only. This means no changes to basic rates in savings income and on dividends.

The costing also assumes the basic rate band has been extended to include the starting rate band.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make representations to (a) the Association of British Insurers and (b) the wider insurance industry to ensure that (i) all domestic and commercial properties remain eligible for insurance policies and (ii) the excess on insurance is not put at a level that is out of the reach of householders and businesses. [9909]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government have regular discussions with the Association of British Insurers and the insurance industry on these issues. However, the availability and pricing of insurance is a matter for insurance companies themselves.

Nervous System Diseases

Mr. Flello: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the incidence of (a) brain tumours, (b) other cancers, (c) Parkinson's disease and (d) other diseases of the nervous system per 1,000 of the population was in (i) England and (ii) the ST3 postcode area in the last period for which figures are available. [9954]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Robert Flello, dated 5 July 2005:

5 Jul 2005 : Column 278W

Powered Wheelchairs (Insurance)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to allow electric powered wheelchair dealers to sell insurance policies. [9436]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 4 July 2005]: Dealers of electric powered wheelchairs are currently free to sell insurance policies, subject to the requirement that they be authorised to do so by the Financial Services Authority.

Public Borrowing

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he predicts the golden rule measure of net borrowing will be over the (a) current and (b) next economic cycle. [9850]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The latest assessment of progress against the golden rule is set out in the financial statement and Budget report 2005 (HC 372).

Road Pricing

Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will make a statement on his policy on lorry road user charging; [5183]

(2) if he will make a statement on the progress of the lorry road user charging scheme; and what the timetable is for the implementation of the scheme. [5256]

John Healey: Our work on the LRUC has strengthened the Government's view that distance-based charging for using the UK's roads is technically achievable. In particular, our proof of solution" work with prospective suppliers has enabled us to see the technology in action, and is confirming our expectations of its ability to deliver a distance-based charge.

Now that we are taking forward work on a national system of road pricing, so it is right for us to take forward the plans for distance based lorry charging as part of the wider work on national road pricing—to work for a single comprehensive, cost-effective system.

So although the current procurement for lorry road user charging will not continue, we will continue to work with industry and ensure that we carry the full
5 Jul 2005 : Column 279W
experience gained from the project into the wider work to develop a national road pricing system for cars and lorries.

And we will continue to work with the haulage industry to ensure that its needs are represented as we develop a national road pricing system.

Next Section Index Home Page