1 Feb 1999 : Column: 413

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 1 February 1999

TREASURY

Employee Transport

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies have been assessed by the Inland Revenue as providing a taxable benefit in kind by virtue of the provision to employees of (a) free work-to-home or home-to-work transport and (b) stage carriage bus services; and what estimate he has made of (i) the total tax receipts and (ii) the total employee mileage in each case for the last five years for which information is available. [67691]

Dawn Primarolo: I regret that the information requested is not collected centrally within Inland Revenue.

Hon. Member for Coventry, North-West

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he took to investigate the business background of the previous Paymaster General, the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Robinson), at the time of his appointment as Paymaster General. [67331]

Mr. Gordon Brown [holding answer 27 January 1999]: All Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. The previous Paymaster General, like all Ministers of the Crown, was required to act in accordance with the principles set out in the Ministerial Code.

Energy Efficient Products (Price Incentives)

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what price incentives the Government support to encourage consumers to purchase energy efficient products. [67966]

Ms Hewitt: On 1 July 1998 a reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent. was introduced for the installation of certain energy saving materials under Government funded grant schemes. The reduced rate is targeted at the less well-off.

So far, over 135,000 people have benefited from Government-funded incentive schemes run by the Energy Saving Trust to encourage consumers to install energy efficiency measures. Current schemes include incentives to install insulation, efficient heating, efficient lighting and appliances and small scale Combined Heat and Power.

The Government's Home Energy Efficiency Scheme provides grants for energy efficiency measures for householders receiving income related benefits, disability allowance, or who are over sixty years old. HEES has helped over 2.5 million households over the last seven years.

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 414

VAT (Sport, Sports Competitions and Physical

Education) Order

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will table a replacement VAT (Sport, Sports Competitions and Physical Education) Order. [67954]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Customs and Excise are seeking comments on the draft VAT (Sport, Sports Competitions and Physical Education) Order 1999 with a view to the Order being laid before the House soon.

Corporation Tax (Football Clubs)

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the annual corporation tax revenue received from football clubs. [67947]

Dawn Primarolo: Tax assessments for accounts to 1996 indicate that the total corporation tax liability of football clubs is between £5 million and £10 million.

VAT

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 14 January 1999, Official Report, column 286, relating to VAT receipts, if he will indicate the amount of the £1.1 billion revenue relating to civil engineering projects. [67972]

Dawn Primarolo: It is not possible to distinguish between VAT revenue relating to buildings and that relating to civil engineering works.

Ms Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will announce the outcome of HM Customs' review of the VAT exemption for charity welfare to include home help services; and if he will make a statement. [69047]

Dawn Primarolo: I am pleased to be able to announce today the conclusion of the consultation. Routine domestic tasks provided by charities on a not for profit basis are VAT exempt welfare services when an assessment has been carried out which shows that there is a risk to recipients' physical or mental health or welfare because they are unable to carry out the tasks safely or adequately, or without significant pain or discomfort. Customs will be publicising the details.

VAT Refunds

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list latest estimates and forecast expenditure in cash terms for VAT refunded to general Government for each of (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99, (iii) 1999-2000, (iv) 2000-01 and (v) 2001-02. [68387]

Mr. Milburn: Estimates and forecasts for VAT refunds, consistent with the Pre-Budget Report, are given in a table headed "Accounting and other adjustments in table B12 of the Pre-Budget Report" in the answer given by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 18 November 1998, Official Report, columns 586-87.

Government Capital Consumption

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list latest estimates and forecast expenditure for

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 417

the value of general Government non-trading capital consumption for each of (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99, (iii) 1999-2000, (iv) 2000-01 and (v) 2001-02. [68386]

Mr. Milburn: Estimates and forecasts of general government non-trading capital consumption, consistent with the Pre-Budget Report, are given in a table headed "Accounting and other adjustments in table B12 of the Pre-Budget Report" in the answer given by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 18 November 1998, Official Report, columns 586-87.

Tax Credits

Ms Lawrence: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the regulations under which working families' tax credit and disabled tax credit will operate. [69048]

Dawn Primarolo: I have today placed in the Libraries of the House drafts of the Tax Credits Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations and of the Tax Credits (Claims and Payments) (Amendment) Regulations which contain the main provisions for the introduction of these new tax credits.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Severely Disabled Children

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what (a) financial and (b) other assistance is available to severely disabled under-fives who have difficulties in walking to allow access to the Motability scheme. [68697]

Mr. Bayley: Access to the Motability Scheme is via receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement. We recognise that Disability Living Allowance does not help with the mobility needs of severely disabled children under five years old, and this is why we have proposed extending the higher rate mobility component (currently worth £35.85 a week) to three and

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 419

four year olds to help combat the disadvantage which they suffer. The change is intended to take effect from April 2001. This help will be neither means-tested nor subject to a contribution condition, and it will be tax-free. It will also allow access to the Motability Scheme under the normal rules.

Overseas Pensioners

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will introduce annual adjustments to pensions for pensioners who now reside overseas; and if he will make a statement. [68520]

Mr. Timms: Of the 840,000 UK State pensions paid to people living abroad, about 380,000 already receive annual upratings. The total annual cost of unfreezing the remaining pensions paid abroad is £275 million. Due to competing demands and constraints on Social Security spending, in the UK there are no plans to do so.

Tribunal Hearings (Travel)

Mr. Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will list the changes made to the mileage rate payable to (a) appellants, (b) companions, (c) witnesses and (d) unpaid representatives in tribunal hearings since 1 January 1979, indicating the date and amount of change in each case; [66482]

Angela Eagle: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available has been placed in the Library.

Capital Limits

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what would be the current value of capital limits if restored to their value at (a) 1988 prices and (b) 1990 prices. [67560]

Angela Eagle: The information is in the table.

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 415

Capital limits
Benefit/Capital limitAs at April 1988At April 1998 prices(1)As at April 1990At April 1998 pricesAs at April 1998
Income Support
Lower Limit3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Upper Limit6,0009,2218,00010,3988,000
Child's Capital3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Housing Benefit
Lower Limit3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Upper Limit(2)6,0009,22116,00020,79616,000
Upper Limit(3)8,00012,249------
Child's Capital3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Family Credit
Lower Limit3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Upper Limit6,0009,2218,00010,3988,000
Child's Capital3,0004,6113,0003,8993,000
Social Fund Regulated
Under 60500768500650500
Over 601,0001,5371,0001,3001,000
Social Fund Discretionary
Under 60500768500650500
Over 601,0001,5371,0001,3001,000

(1) At May 1988 prices for the Housing Benefit Upper Limit of £8,000

(2) Upper Limit at April 1988

(3) Upper Limit at May 1988

Notes:

1. The capital limits have been placed into real terms using the RPI (all items) index, not ROSSI

2. As the question does not relate to uprating, real values have not been rounded


1 Feb 1999 : Column: 417

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 417


Next Section Index Home Page