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Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are being taken to improve and protect the world market share of exports of merchandise of the United Kingdom, with particular reference to exports to the Eurozone. [101971]

I have been asked to reply.The Government promote open trade globally through a range of policies including its support for the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations and the European Single Market. Through Trade Partners UK, the Government aim to enhance the competitiveness of companies in the UK through overseas sales and investment.

As council tax does not exist in Northern Ireland, the figures shown relate to Great Britain only. The net council tax figures are gross council tax less benefits and discounts.
Council tax benefit is available to low income households to help them meet their local tax liability. The Family Expenditure Survey collects data on the amount of council tax benefit received b households who take up their entitlement. Where a household reports taking up their council tax benefit entitlement, this has been deducted from the council tax liability to produce the net figures.

TPUK is currently providing support to more than 1,500 companies under its flagship "TPUK▀×your passport to export success" initiative to develop new and novice exporters.