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(1) The Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) provides a single uniform breakdown for the production of regional statistics for the European Union. Regional GVA data are produced at three levels of NUTS in the UK. These are:
NUTS 1: Government Office Regions of England and the devolved administrations of Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland.
NUTS2: 37 areassometimes referred to as sub-regions.
NUTS3; 133 areasgenerally groups of unitary authorities or districts, also known as local areas.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, columns 883-84W, on EU external trade: Israel, what action was taken on the requests for information not answered by the Israeli authorities; and whether the consignments in question were permitted to be sold in the UK with the preference applied under the EU-Israel Association Agreement. 
Mr. Timms: Four late replies to requests for information were received from Israel after 10 months had elapsed, leaving only eight cases where the authorities did not provide an answer. In seven of those cases the preference was refused and the full rate of customs duty was demanded.
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department will participate in the European Coalition for Responsible Credit Conference to be held in London on 13 to 14 November; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Government want to see all lenders meeting the highest standards and welcomes all contributions to discussions of these issues, including at events relating to credit issues. Government officials attended the European Coalition for Responsible Credit Conference.
Ian Pearson: As shown in HM Treasury 2007-2008 resource accounts, shares in Northern Rock held by the Treasury Solicitors on behalf of HM Treasury are being carried at historic cost. This is currently shown as nil, since the historic cost to HM Treasury will be dependent on the valuation of the company by the valuer appointed in accordance with the Northern Rock plc Compensation Scheme Order 2008. This valuation is pending.
A Compensation Order to determine the amount of any compensation payable to former shareholders of Bradford and Bingley will be laid before Parliament in due course. That will decide the historic cost to HM Treasury of the shares it holds in Bradford and Bingley.
As the Chancellor announced on 13 October, the Treasury has agreed to invest up to £37 billion to recapitalise the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, HBOS plc, and Lloyds TSB Group plc, by underwriting ordinary and preference shares. No public money has yet been invested in these banks to date.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 21 October 2008, Official Report, column 338W, on income tax: prisoners, whether income tax paid by prisoners working on the Barbed project in Coldingley prison was returned to them. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to oral Statement of 8 October 2008, Official Report, column 278, on the banking system, what steps he is taking to ensure that investors who have placed funds with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) Limited are able to reclaim those investments without loss; and what steps his Department has taken in respect of such funds following the seizure of the assets of this company. 
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice he received from the Financial Services Authority on the position of Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander Limited prior to the decision to bring the Landsbanki Freezing Order 2008 into force. 
Ian Pearson: The FSA intensified its supervision of deposit-taking by Icelandic banks (including through increased contact with firms, more frequent visits and enhanced reporting requirements) from the beginning of 2008. As the economic situation deteriorated during the year and particularly since September, the FSA worked increasingly with the banks concerned. As the Memorandum of Understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA sets out, the FSA informs the Tripartite Standing Committee of its concerns on a regular basis.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on the operations of Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander Limited of the operation of the Landsbanki Freezing Order 2008. 
Ian Pearson: On 8 October, the Treasury made Landsbanki Freezing Order 2008 in order to freeze funds and financial assets relating to Landsbanki. Landsbanki is the only Icelandic bank which has been made the subject of a freezing order.
Ian Pearson [holding answer 23 October 2008]: The FSA intensified its supervision of deposit-taking by Icelandic banks (including through increased contact with the banks themselves and the Icelandic regulator) from the beginning of 2008. As the macroeconomic situation deteriorated during the year and particularly since September the FSA has worked increasingly intensively with the banks concerned.
As the Memorandum of Understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA sets out, the FSA informs the Tripartite Standing Committee of any concerns about individual financial institutions on a regular basis.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government plans to take to encourage banks which are in receipt of money from the public purse to lend money to small businesses. 
Ian Pearson: As part of their investment, the Government have agreed a range of commitments with banks accessing the recapitalisation scheme. The Government expect banks to restore and maintain the availability and active marketing of competitively priced lending to SMEs, at a level at least equivalent to that of 2007, until the end of 2011.
UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, will also oversee the conditions attached to subscribing to the Governments recapitalisation fund, including in relation to SME lending.
On 30 October, the Chancellor announced that Britains small and medium-sized businesses stand to benefit from up to £4 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) over the next four years. The Government have secured commitments from UKs largest SME lenders that they will maximise use of this funding.
|Date of industrial action||Number of employees absent|
Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of statutory maternity pay expressed as (a) reduced tax income from employers, (b) reduced national insurance income from employers and (c) compensation paid to small employers in each year since it was introduced. 
|Department for Work and Pensions expenditure on statutory maternity pay: Great Britain|
|Nominal terms||Real terms (2008-09 prices)|
|Compensation of employers payments; Great Britain (nominal terms)|
1. The nature of employers interaction with the national insurance system leaves all figures open to revision.
2. Compensation of employers information is not available for 1987-88.
3. There was a change in the SMP arrangements in 1994 (see The SMP (Compensation of Employers) and Miscellaneous Amendment Regulations 1994) to restrict additional compensation to small employers only.
4. Historical figures prior to 1999-2000 have been provided by the Government Actuarys Department. Figures thereafter are taken from a sample of records from the National Insurance Recording System 2.
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