Treasury Committee Press Notice No. 5

Session 2004-05 18 January 2005

Forthcoming meetings of the Treasury Committee and Sub-committee

The Treasury Committee and Sub-committee will hold the following meetings, at which oral evidence will be taken from witnesses indicated. (See below for further details on each inquiry)

SUB-COMMITTEE:

WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY: EXCISE DUTY FRAUD
At 5.45 pm: Mr. John Healey MP, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

MAIN COMMITTEE:

TUESDAY 8 FEBRUARY: IMPACT OF CHINA ON THE WORLD & UK ECONOMY
At 9.30 am:
Dr. Gerard Lyons, Chief Economist, Standard Chartered Bank                                   
Dr. Linda Yueh, London School of Economics/Pembroke         College, Oxford University

Mr. Peter Nightingale, Chief Executive , China-Britain Business Council

THURSDAY 10 FEBRUARY: CASH MACHINE CHARGES
At 9.30 am:
Post Office (witnesses to be confirmed)

At approx. 10.30 am:
Mr. Stephen Timms MP, Financial Secretary, HM Treasury

Inquiry details:

EXCISE DUTY FRAUD

This inquiry was announced on 14 October 2004 (see press notice no. 49 of session 2003-04). The Committee is looking at Customs and Excise's strategies for tackling tobacco smuggling, alcohol fraud, and fraud in the oils sector. In particular, the inquiry will examine for each of these areas:

•the level of fraud and how this has been estimated;

•the steps taken and proposed to reduce the level of fraud; and

•the impact these have had on the level of fraud and on compliance costs.

Oral evidence has already been taken from HM Customs & Excise on 17 November 2004, the British Beer and Pub Association and the Scotch Whisky Association on 8 December 2004, and from British American Tobacco, Gallaher, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris International on 12 January 2005.

IMPACT OF CHINA ON THE WORLD AND UK ECONOMY

This inquiry was announced on 9 December 2004 (see press notice no. 3). The Committee will be looking at:

•trends in the Chinese economy and policies governing the economy, including exchange rate policy;

•the impact of developments in the Chinese economy on the world economy, including demand for resources;

•the position of China in international economic fora;

•UK-China trade relations and China as an export market for the UK, and comparative productivity issues.

This is the first oral evidence session for this inquiry.

CASH MACHINE CHARGES

This inquiry was announced on 5 November 2004 (see press notice no. 53 of session 2003-04). The Committee is looking at:

•The principle of charging and the  trend towards charging: the principle of charging for access to funds through cash machines; and the increasing prevalence of machines at which a charge is levied (a recent report by the Nationwide Building Society has indicated that the number has increased by 40% in the six months to September);

•Transparency: the clarity of presentation of these charges to the consumer (a) at the time of use of a machine and (b) in the period before there is a change in charging policy at a particular machine;

•Financial exclusion and location: concerns over the impact that the spread of charging may have on financial exclusion and low-income households, examining whether there is evidence of very limited access to free machines (whether on high streets, in Post Offices, or other sites) in certain areas.

Oral evidence has already been taken from LINK, and Which?, National Consumer Council, and Citizens Advice on 21 December 2004, and a further meeting will be held on 1 February 2005 with HBOS, RBS, Moneybox plc, TRM, Bank Machine Ltd and Cardpoint plc.

The Treasury Committee is a Select Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Treasury, the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise and associated public bodies. All Members of the Committee are Members of the Sub-committee.

Rt. Hon. John McFall (Chairman), L, Dumbarton
Mr Nigel Beard, L, Bexleyheath and Crayford
Mr Jim Cousins, L, Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Angela Eagle, L, Wallasey
Rt. Hon. David Heathcoat-Amory, C, Wells
Mr Michael Fallon, C, Sevenoaks, (Sub-committee Chairman)
Norman Lamb, Lib Dem, North Norfolk
Mr George Mudie, L, Leeds East
John Mann, L, Bassetlaw
Mr James Plaskitt, L, Warwick and Leamington
Mr Robert Walter, C, North Dorset