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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effects on pensioners of the discontinuation of the sale of television licences in post offices. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The decision to withdraw the purchase of TV licences from post offices was a commercial one made by the BBC which has a duty to TV licence holders to achieve value for money with its licence fee income. Although customers will not be able to pay for their TV licences at post offices after 31 July, they will be able to purchase TV licences by direct debit, online or at over 15,000 Paypoint facilities situated around the country in local newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets, and petrol stations.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the meeting of EU Member States in Brussels on 26 June regarding the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances and Waste Electrical Equipment Directives; and whether a decision was reached as to whether pipe organs would fall within the scope of these Directives. 
I am, therefore, very pleased to confirm that the legal uncertainties have now been resolved and pipe organs are considered to be clearly outside the scope of the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directives.
Mr. McCartney: There has been a substantial fall in UK-Zimbabwe trade in recent years. In 2000, UK and Zimbabwe two-way trade amounted to £143 million. Imports from Zimbabwe were mainly agricultural products with tobacco, making up approximately 31 per cent. of the total imports. Exports were mainly manufactured goods, with office machines and ADP equipment topping the table at £5.3 million.
By 2005, two-way trade had fallen to £66 million. The principal change was in tobacco imports, which fell to £4.8 million from £31 million in 2000 down 85 per cent. Exports also fell, with the leading export, road vehicles, topping the table at £3.5 million. The decline in trade can be attributed to the policies of the Government of Zimbabwe which have brought about the fall of both imports and exports.
HMG have not imposed any economic sanctions or restrictions on doing business in Zimbabwe and two-way trade continues, although as the aforementioned figures show, at a substantially reduced level. It is our view that economic sanctions would harm the people of Zimbabwe at a time of humanitarian crisis, while having very little impact on the ZANU (PF) leadership. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough.
|UK trade with Zimbabwe|
|Division and description||£000|
| Source: DTI Analysis of HM Revenue and Customs data.|
Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the response by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury of 4 July 2006, Official Report, column 729, on the Finance (No. 2) Bill, if he will place in the Library a note setting out the basis for his calculation of the £100 million cost of amendments to the rules on the compulsory purchase of annuities. 
Ed Balls: The Exchequer cost arising from this proposal depends upon behavioural responses. But, assuming that the technical deficiencies with the proposal would be corrected, we stated a conservative overall initial cost of the measure of around £100 million per annum. Our longer term estimate of the overall costs is around £175 to £225 million per annum.
This potential cost consists of two main elements. First, allowing larger lump sums to be taken out and taxed at marginal rate at age 75 would have a tax cost because additional pension savings would be induced.
The up-front tax cost of these additional pension savings is estimated to be in the region of £300 to £500 million per annum. Around three quarters of this would be reclaimed as income tax on the resulting retirement benefits. This gives a broad range for this part of the costing of £75 to £125 million per annum. We used the lower range of this estimate for our conservative initial cost.
Secondly, allowing individuals to leave pensions untouched until death and then bequeath the capital would reduce income tax on pensions in payment. As any additional savings held in pension assets at death would largely displace other liquid assets, held inheritance tax (IHT) would not increase to offset this income tax lost. Even if wealth held at death were to increase as a result of the tabled amendments, the average effective rate of IHT on such assets would still be far below the rate of income tax. Only 6 per cent. of estates have an IHT charge.
The longer term costs of this behaviour are very uncertain but are estimated at £100 million per annum in lost income tax. But this would take time to build up and we have used one quarter of this amount for our conservative initial cost.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2006, Official Report, column 92W, on data protection, what is the longest period of time that has elapsed for HM Revenue and Customs to respond to its satisfaction to a subject access request in the first instance. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 13 July 2006]: The response meeting this description was the case cited in my reply of 26 June. The original letter was an appeal against a separate HMRC decision, although it also contained a subject access request.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the population of (a) the UK, (b) Peterborough constituency and (c) the Peterborough City Council area is aged (i) under 25, (ii) between 25 and 34, (iii) between 35 and 44, (iv) between 45 and 54, (v) between 55 and 64 and (vi) over 65. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your question concerning the percentage of the population of (a) the UK (b) Peterborough Constituency and (c) Peterborough Unitary Authority aged (i) under 25, (ii) between 25 and 34, (iii) between 35 and 44, (iv) between 45 and 54, (v) between 55 and 64 and (vi) over 65. (85992)
The latest available data for the UK and Peterborough Unitary Authority (UA) are the mid-2004 population estimates. The mid-2005 population estimates for the UK and local authorities in England and Wales are due to be published on 24 August 2006.
Mid-year population estimates are not produced for parliamentary constituencies. For this reason, the latest data available for Peterborough Constituency is from the 2001 Census.
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