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Ed Balls: According to IMF estimates, the overall stock of external debt owed by Iraq at the time of the November 2004 Paris Club debt deal amounted to $119 billion. In November 2004, the Paris Club group of official creditors agreed with Iraq to cancel $31.1 billion (80 per cent.) of their total $38.9 billion claims on Iraq in three stages;
An immediate cancellation of 30 per cent. of the debt stock as at 1 January 2005;
A further 30 per cent. cancellation once a standard IMF programme for Iraq was approved; and
An additional 20 per cent. cancellation upon a successful IMF Board review of Iraqs implementation of three-years of standard IMF programmes.
The 2004 Paris Club Agreement also included a clause, which required Iraq to seek comparable debt relief from all its other non-Paris Club sovereign and commercial creditors. All Paris Club and some non- Paris Club sovereign creditors have delivered the first two tranches of debt cancellation. Commercial creditors have also delivered comparable debt relief. We expect remaining non-Paris Club creditors to follow suit.
The total amount of Iraqi debt cancelled to date (including by Paris Club, non-Paris Club sovereign and commercial creditors) is $42.3 billion. The UK has cancelled £672 million of Iraqs £1,122.8 million debt owed to the UK and will cancel a further £225 million (20 per cent. of UKs original debt stock) in accordance with the terms of the Paris Club agreement.
Dawn Primarolo: The Government's capital allowance regime allows all businesses to offset the cost of investment in plant and machinery, including expenditure on information technology equipment, against their business profits. In the 2005 pre-Budget report, the Chancellor announced that first year capital allowances for small businesses' investment expenditure in plant and machinery would be increased to 50 per cent. for the 2006-07 tax year. More details on the capital allowance system can be found at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/camanual/CA20000.htm
Ed Balls: The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) was approved by member states, including the UK, through ECOFIN in April 2004 using a written procedure. The directives implementing measures were approved by member states, including the UK, at a meeting of the European Securities Committee in June of this year.
The European Commission produced an impact assessment for MiFID in November 2002 when it published its proposal for the directive. The Treasury published an initial impact assessment with its Explanatory Memorandum on the Commissions proposal for a directive in December 2002. A partial impact assessment on the implementation of MiFID in the UK was published with the Treasurys consultation document on MiFID implementation in December 2005.
Ed Balls: Average building society mortgage rates for the last 30 years are provided in the following table, sourced from the Compendium of Housing Finance Statistics produced by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
|Average building society mortgage rate|
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many babies and children died from necrotising enterocolitis in each year between 2000 and 2006. (94277)
The latest year for which figures are available is 2004. The number of neonatal deaths with any mention of necrotising enterocolitis on the death certificate and number of postneonatal deaths with necrotising enterocolitis as underlying cause of death, in England and Wales, from 2000 to 2004 are given in the table below. There were no deaths with necrotising enterocolitis as underlying cause of death in children aged 1 year and over, in this time period.
|Neonatal( 1) and postneonatal( 2) deaths from necrotising enterocolitis( 3) , England and Wales, 2000-04|
|Neonatal death||Postneonatal death|
|(1) Deaths under 28 days of life.|
(2) Deaths at ages 28 days and over but under one year.
(3) Figures for 2000 were extracted using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9(th) revision code 777.5 and from 2001 onwards, ICD 10th revision code P77 was used.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total level of (a) local and (b) central Government funding received through objective I status in Wales was in each of the last six years; and what estimate he has made of the level of private funding attracted to Wales in connection to objective I seed money. 
The UK Government have provided sufficient funding through spending review settlements for the Welsh Assembly Government in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 spending reviews to enable the Welsh Assembly Government to implement the objective 1 programme in full.
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about which local authorities have been identified by the Office for National Statistics as being affected by flawed population statistics. (94071)
The local authority population estimates are calculated from a number of different components. The data sources upon which these components are based vary in terms of their reliability. The Office for National Statistics recognises this and acknowledges that the most difficult to measure component is migration. ONS therefore accepts that LAs with a rapidly changing population structure will be more difficult to measure. Nevertheless, the mid-year population estimates are the best available and are as accurate as possible given the limitations of current sources.
In September 2004 ONS revised the population estimates of 15 local authorities, which were identified as being the hardest to count areas in the 2001 Census. These were: Westminster, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Derby, Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Stockton-on-Tees, Kingston upon Hull, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Wandsworth, Wirral, and Southwark. Details of the LA Studies report can be found here:
There is no conclusive evidence available to suggest that any other LAs have been either under or overestimated. ONS is however continuing to invest resources into researching alternative sources and methodologies and has set up the Improving Migration and Population Statistics Project, details of which can be found here:
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about what purposes mid-year population estimate statistics are used for in addition to local government finance. (94110)
Mid-year population estimates currently have a wide variety of uses within central government, as well as being used by local authorities and health bodies, other public bodies, commercial companies and individuals in the private and academic sector.
As the estimates are made freely available via a number of publication routes, including the internet, it is impossible to list all their uses. However, these uses can be categorised into two broad groups:
Uses where the absolute numbers are of key importance. This may be in terms of allocating financial resources from central government, planning services or grossing up survey results. Some of the main central government uses are concerned with resource allocation and are carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government for England, and by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Uses where the population figures are compared with other figures such as the numbers of births or deaths in the calculation of rates and ratios.
Specific uses include:
Funding allocation between UK countries in the Barnett formula, by the EU to determine structural fund allocations, by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Assembly Government for local authorities and Department of Health for Primary Care Organisations;
As a base for calculation of population estimates by marital status, population estimates by ethnic origin, population estimates for private household estimates, and quarterly population estimates;
As a base for population projections, marital status projections, and in household projections;
In the calculation of rates, including mortality rates, morbidity rates, fertility rates, divorce rates, marriage rates and unemployment rates;
To weight or gross up household surveys like the Survey of English Housing and the Labour Force Survey;
By Government Departments and local authorities for planning and policy monitoring;
By commercial companies for combination with marketing information;
For comparison (on their own or with other data) with other countries by international organisations like the EU, UN, and OECD;
By the EU to determine allocation of votes under qualified majority voting;
And by academics in a wide range of research.
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