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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what each gift given by his Department in the 2005-06 financial year was; on what date each was given; what the estimated cost was of each gift; what the reason was for giving each gift; and who the recipient was of each. 
Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions his Department has conducted a leak inquiry since May 1997; what the subjects of those leak inquiries were; and who authorised each inquiry. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year. 
John Healey: Data for the years requested are available on the civil service website. The latest available data are as at April 2005 and these, together with previous years' data, can be found at the following website addresses:
http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management/statistics/publications/xls/report_2005/table_p.xls for data as at April 2005,
http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management/statistics/publications/xls/disability_apr04_4nov04.xls for data as at April 2004, and
http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management/statistics/archive/index.asp for previous reporting periods.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many different sets of statistics are produced by the Government Statistical Service each year; and how many of these are designated as national statistics. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many different sets of statistics are produced by the Government Statistical Service (GSS) each year; and how many of these are designated as National Statistics. (101657)
The current list of statistics produced by the Government Statistical Service, including those designated as National Statistics, can be found on the National Statistics website at:
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which statistics have been withdrawn from the National Statistics Series over the last five years; what the reason was in each case; and what process is followed to determine whether a statistic should be withdrawn from the National Statistics Series. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking which statistics have been withdrawn from the National Statistics Series over the last five years; what the reason was in each case; and what process is followed to determine whether a statistic should be withdrawn from the National Statistics Series.
The initial scope of National Statistics was set out in an insert which accompanied the publication of the Framework for National Statistics in 2000.
A list of changes to the scope of National Statistics (additions and withdrawals) in each of the last five years can be found in the relevant National Statistics annual report available on the National Statistics website at:
The reason for withdrawing a National Statistic usually falls into one of three main categories:
complete cessationa decision to cease producing an output altogether will typically be driven by priority or resource considerations, although in many instances one output may simply be replaced by an alternative or better output.
temporary cessationa decision to temporarily withdraw an output from the public domain will typically be driven by quality concerns or known errors.
change of designationa decision to remove the National Statistics designation from an output even though it remains in the public domain will typically be driven by concerns about fitness for purpose or quality.
As set out in the Framework for National Statistics (section 4.1.7) Departmental Ministers, including the Minister for ONS,... decide the scope of National Statistics and departmental statistical programmes and resources.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax incentives there are for companies and small businesses to offer driver training in vehicles covered by (a) B, (b) B1, (c) C, (d) C1, (e) D and (f) D1 vehicle classifications. 
John Healey: The Government offers incentives through the tax system to encourage training. Training expenditure is fully tax deductible for businesses and individuals are not taxed for the in-kind benefit of receiving work related training.
The Government offers other schemes to specifically support HGV driver training such as the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving Scheme (SAFED) that has been developed under the Road Haulage Modernisation Fund.
Sir Gerald Kaufman:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were in work in (a) Great Britain, (b) England and Wales, (c) the north west,
(d) the city of Manchester and (e) Manchester, Gorton constituency on (i) 2 May 1997 and (ii) the most recent date for which figures are available; and what the percentage change was in each figure over that period. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about employment. (106386)
The Office for National Statistics compiles employment statistics for local areas from the annual local area Labour Force Survey and the Annual Population Survey following International Labour Organisation definitions. Table 1, attached, shows numbers of employed persons in Great Britain, England and Wales, the North West, the City of Manchester and Manchester Gorton constituency, for the 12 months ending February 1997 and for the 12 months ending March 2006. Table 1 also shows the percentage increase in numbers employed in these areas between the two periods.
|Table 1: Number of persons aged 16 and over, in employment, resident in each area, and percentage change over time|
|12 months ending|
|Area||February 1997||March 2006||Percentage change|
Estimates are subject to sampling variability. Changes over time should be treated with particular caution.
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the inflation rate is; and what it was on 2 May 1997. (106392)
There are two main measures of consumer inflation published by the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) which forms the basis for the Governments inflation target and the Retail Prices Index (RPI) whose many uses include indexation of state benefits and pensions.
The annual rate of inflation for the CPI at October 2006, which is the date of the latest published figure, is 2.4 per cent. and in May 1997 the annual rate of the CPI stood at 1.6 per cent.
The annual rate of inflation for the RPI at October 2006 stood at 3.7 per cent. again the latest published figure. In May 1997 the annual rate of inflation for the RPI was 2.6 per cent.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the reduction in revenue has been since the introduction of the 20 pence preferential Fuel Duty rate on biofuels; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The total quantity of biofuels for which duty has been paid can be found on page two of the HM Revenue and Customs Hydrocarbon Oils Bulletin, a copy of which can be found on the HMRC website at:
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department holds or administers a ring-fenced fund through which increases in fuel duties are spent on the modernisation of roads and public transport. 
John Healey: The Chancellors 1999 pre-Budget report (PBR) announced that decisions on the appropriate level of fuel duties, would be set on a Budget-by-Budget basis, taking account of the Governments economic and social objectives as well as the UKs environmental concerns.
It was also announced that revenues from any real terms increases in fuel duties would, in future, go straight into a ring-fenced fund for improving public transport and modernising the road network. Since then no such increases have been introduced, and fuel duty rates are now 16 per cent. lower in real terms than in 2000.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultation HM Revenue and Customs undertakes with UK manufacturers in advance of it changing a tariff heading on components imported from outside the EU for incorporation in UK manufactured products. 
Dawn Primarolo: Tariff headings may be changed for different reasons: for example, following annual tariff nomenclature changes, publication of an EU regulation aimed at ensuring uniform classification within the EU or as the result of reconsideration of the classification of a particular product. HM Revenue and Customs consult with UK businesses where the impact of the change has been identified as significant and time permits, or business expertise is sought to help determine the correct classification of a product. Consultation is generally through trade associations to obtain the views of a wide spectrum of the trade. An example of this is the consultation undertaken during the major review of the electronic tariff chapters for implementation in January 2007.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment is made by HM Revenue and Customs of the impact of the variation of an import tariff
heading on the UK manufacturing base before such a variation is made; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Goods in international trade are classified under the EC Combined Nomenclature which provides the legal basis for the Communitys Tariff. Tariff headings may be varied for different reasons, for example following annual nomenclature changes or publication of an EU regulation aimed at ensuring uniform classification within the EU. HM Revenue and Customs are legally obliged to implement such changes. They assess the impact of significant changes by analysing import declaration data and consulting the trade. Consultation is generally through trade associations to obtain the views of a wide spectrum of the trade. An example of this is the consultation undertaken during the major review of the electronic tariff chapters for implementation in January 2007.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether electronic components not manufactured in the EU are free of tariffs when imported into the UK for incorporation into a UK manufactured product. 
Dawn Primarolo: Imported electronic components that are parts of information technology products such as computers are free of import duty under international agreement. Other imported electronic components are generally subject to positive tariffs. EC agreements provide for relief from payment of import duties, subject to conditions, where goods are imported for processing such as incorporation into a UK manufactured product for re-export.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that changes in import duty rates are not applied retrospectively when a tariff heading is changed by HM Revenue and Customs; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: When HM Revenue and Customs become aware that import duty paid is less than the amount of duty legally due they must apply the correct rate retrospectively in line with the legal provisions of the Community Customs Code. There are circumstances where the obligation to pay the additional duty may be suspended, for example where a successful application for remission of duty is made. Alternatively, importers may protect themselves from retrospective claims for duty by applying to HM Revenue and Customs for an advance ruling known as Binding Tariff Information (BTI). A BTI covers a specific product and is normally valid for six years. If HM Revenue and Customs change the tariff heading and the BTI is revoked the holder will be protected from a retrospective claim and may still rely on the BTI for up to six months where binding contracts for the purchase or sale of the goods have been concluded.
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