§ Hugh Bayley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many(a) men and(b) women were in work in (i) City of York parliamentary constituency, (ii) City of York Council area and (iii) Yorkshire and the Humber in (A) May 1997 and (B) each May since then. 
§ Mr. Timms
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Hugh Bayley, dated 16 September 2004:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many(a) men and(b) women were in work in (i) City of York Parliamentary Constituency, (ii) City of York Council area and (iii) Yorkshire and the Humber in (A) May 1997 and (B) each year since. I am replying in his absence. (188954)
The attached table gives the estimates of people in employment by gender in the City of York Parliamentary Constituency, York Unitary Authority and Yorkshire & Humberside region for the twelve months ending February each year from 1997 to 2004.
As with any statistical sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are subject to sampling variability. In particular, for smaller areas such as York Parliamentary Consistency, changes in the estimates from year to year may arise from sampling fluctuations and the pattern of change over a run of years should be considered rather than changes in individual years.
(2) if he will apply a zero VAT rate on allergy relief products; and if he will make a statement. 
§ John Healey
Allergy relief products prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a registered pharmacist have been VAT zero-rated since VAT was introduced in 1973.1657WS
Allergy relief products administered to patients in the course of medical care or treatment in a clinic or hospital have always been exempt from VAT.
A number of specific zero rates are available for goods designed specially for use by chronically sick or disabled people. Many allergy sufferers are not chronically sick or disabled; however, these reliefs may apply to allergy relief products in certain limited circumstances.
Since the introduction VAT, in the UK, allergy relief products supplied in all other circumstances are liable to VAT at the standard rate which, since 1 April 1991, has been 17.5 per cent. Prior to that, the standard rate of VAT was as follows: from 1 April 1973–10 per cent.; from 29 July 1974–8 per cent.; from 18 June 1979–15 per cent.
Long-standing formal agreements with our European partners allow us to keep our existing VAT zero rates, but do not allow us to extend them or introduce any new ones. It is therefore not possible to extend the scope of our zero rates to allergy relief products which do not currently benefit from zero-rating.