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Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of (a) a 20 per cent. marginal rate band under £500,000 and (b) a £500,000 allowance for inheritance tax for each year to 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2006, Official Report, column 94W, on inheritance tax, (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance that informs Departments that it is normal procedure not to publish preliminary regulatory impact assessments; 
The decision not to publish preliminary regulatory impact assessments took full account of the criteria contained in the Cabinet Office guidance on when such assessments should be conducted, and when they are not required. To determine whether a change falls within the criteria or not, a preliminary assessment is undertaken. Where the preliminary assessment shows the impact falls outside the criteria, it is taken no further.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department (a) is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard and (b) has been externally certified as in compliance with that standard; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates since May 2005 he has held formal discussions about the nuclear deterrent with Ministry of Defence (a) Ministers and (b) officials. 
Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials discuss a wide range of issues with their counterparts in the Ministry of Defence and other Departments on a regular basis as part of the process of policy analysis, development and delivery.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of introducing a personal allowance of £7,185, absorbing the starting rate band on earnings and savings in the basic rate band, cutting the basic rate of income tax to 20 per cent., with tax rates on dividends unchanged, increasing the basic rate limit to £42,815, and keeping all age-related allowances at their current level; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the personal tax allowances were for (a) a single person, (b) a single wage married couple, (c) a two-wage married couple, (d) a single parent and (e) a widowed mother in (i) 1976, (ii) 1979, (iii) 1980, (iv) 1983, (v) 1987, (vi) 1992 (vii) April 1997 and (viii) each year from May 1997. 
|Single person||Single wage married couple( 1)||Two wage married couple( 2)||Single parent( 3)||Widowed mother( 4)|
|(1) Assumes husband is wage earner. (2) Married allowance withdrawn for 2000-01 et seq, unless one of the couple born before 6 April 1935. (3) Additional personal allowance (APA) equivalent of married allowance. Given as a tax reduction from 1994-95. Withdrawn for 2000-01 et seq. (4) Widow's bereavement allowance (WBA) introduced in 1980-81 for year of bereavement. Available for year of death and following year from 1982-83. Equivalent of married allowance. Given as a tax reduction from 1994-95. Withdrawn for deaths after 5 April 2000. (5) Single person's tax allowance and additional relief for a qualifying child. Further relief possibly due if more than one child. (6) Single person's tax allowance, relief for a widow with dependants and additional relief for a qualifying child. Further relief possibly due if more than one child. (7) Single person's tax allowance and relief for a widow with dependants. (8) Married couple's allowance (MCA) given as a tax reduction at 15% and 10% for 1999-2000. (9) WBA and APA. (10) WBA available only if widowed during previous tax year. (11) Children's tax credit given as a tax reduction at 10% and restricted where income exceeded income limit. Also available to single and two wage married couples who had a qualifying child. Replaced from 2003-04 by child tax credit.|
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about unemployment. (81468)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics of unemployment for local areas from the annual local area Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation definitions.
The table, attached, shows estimates of the number of unemployed disabled persons of working age (males aged 16 to 64 and females aged 16 to 59) resident in Lancashire for the 12 months ending February 2001 to February 2004, from the annual local area LFS, and for the 12 months ending March 2005 from the APS. Sample sizes are insufficient to provide estimates for the Ribble Valley Parliamentary Constituency.
These estimates, as with any from sample surveys, are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Changes in the estimates from year to year should be treated with particular caution.
ONS also compiles statistics for local areas of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (ISA). However, the claimant count data are not available by disability.
|Number of disabled( 1) persons unemployed resident in Lancashire.|
|12 months ending||Number|
|(1) Defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and by whether a long-term disability is work-limiting. Notes: 1. Estimates are subject to sampling variability. 2. Changes in the estimates from year to year should be treated with particular caution. Source: Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey|
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps
have been taken as part of alternative livelihood programmes in Afghanistan to address the extent to which opium is used to access services. 
Dr. Howells: Opium is a major source of credit for many households in Afghanistan. It is used to lease land, purchase agricultural inputs and meet the cost of education and health services. Household dependence on opium cultivation for accessing services, and the opium debt which results from using opium as credit, are a growing problem in Afghanistan. Micro-finance can make an important contribution to addressing this problem and helping to promote alternative livelihoods to opium in Afghanistan. In 2005 the Department for International Development provided £5 million to Afghanistan's Micro-Finance and Investment Support Facility (MISFA) to introduce a special funding window to promote and enable the expansion of micro-finance in poppy-growing provinces. This financial support is helping Micro-Finance Institutions develop financial products that better meet the financing needs for alternative livelihoods and the problem of indebtedness. Moreover, the MISFA programme is providing a source of legal credit to the poor and people on low incomes to access services, thus reducing the demand for credit from opium and therefore reducing the risk of Afghan households losing assets or land due to opium indebtedness.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of whether agricultural reconstruction programmes in the Helmand province may have contributed to opium production. 
Dr. Howells: At present some 80 per cent. of the population of Helmand are engaged in farming and a significant number are engaged in opium cultivation. The main contributing factors to opium production in Helmand result from the devastating impact of three decades of war. The conflict led to increasing poverty; a severe decline in investment in essential infrastructure such as roads and the Helmand irrigation system; insecurity and the lack of the rule of law; and the absence of a credible Government providing basic services. As a result, the people of Helmand have become increasingly dependent on illegal opium cultivation for income to meet basic needs.
The Afghan Government are looking to improve the situation for farmers in Helmand, but progress has been hampered by problems delivering Government development programmes there. To help address this problem, the Department for International Development will be spending £30 million over the next three years in Helmand through the Helmand Agriculture and Rural Development Programme. This programme will deliver assistance through the Afghan Government's National Programmes in the province. These aim to extend the Afghan Government's authority and demonstrate that they can be a credible provider of public services, such as the provision of safe drinking water, credit for investment in agricultural business and essential investment in much needed infrastructure, particularly irrigation. These are all essential elements for increasing the number of legal employment opportunities available to households and reducing the dependence on opium cultivation.
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