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vital statistics

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Traffic jams and laterunning trains cost British business £1.9 billion a year, according to a Barclaycard survey. It revealed that people spend on average 5.7 hours a month sitting in tailbacks or waiting for delayed trains.

Some 24 per cent of Britons would vote against joining the euro, according to a MORI poll. However, more than twothirds expect to be using the currency in the UK by 2005.

British businesses will face a £3 billion bill this year due to government red tape.

The 'Burdens Barometer' report from the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that implementing new government business policies has cost £15 billion since 1997.

Mothers with young children were the fastest growing sector of the UK workforce in the past two years, according to DTI research. The number of employed mothers climbed by 10.5 per cent last year.

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