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Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what costs have so far been incurred by (a) the Inland Revenue and (b) Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in preparing for a possible changeover to the euro. 
Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the procedures involved in relation to the working families tax credit when a company becomes insolvent; and what targets the Inland Revenue has for resolving cases which arise in this area within a particular time. 
Dawn Primarolo: When a company that is paying tax credits to one or more of its employees becomes insolvent, the Inland Revenue will pay the tax credits direct to the employee for the remainder of the tax credit award period. The system is designed to ensure that employees of the insolvent company continue to receive their tax credit payments on time.
11 Jul 2000 : Column: 508W
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many stipendiary magistrates, including deputy and acting stipendiary magistrates, sit in the courts of each region of England and Wales. 
Jane Kennedy: The table lists the stipendiary and acting stipendiary magistrates sitting in each commission area in England and Wales. Some acting stipendiary magistrates sit in more than one commission area. All commission areas can request stipendiary cover when the need arises.
|Commission area||Stipendiary magistrate||Acting stipendiaries|
|East & West Sussex||2||6|
(21) vacant at present
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to his answer of 20 June 2000 to the hon. Member for North-West Leicestershire (Mr. Taylor), Official Report, column 168W, if he will estimate the number of trials heard in magistrates courts by (a) lay benches and (b) stipendiary magistrates, including acting and deputy stipendiaries, for each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy: A breakdown of trials heard in magistrates courts (a) by lay benches and (b) by stipendiary magistrates, including acting and deputy stipendiaries, is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what guidance his Department provides as to the nature of the cases which should be heard by (a) lay magistrates and (b) stipendiary magistrates. 
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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many agencies of his Department use touch tone telephone steering systems when dealing with telephone inquiries from the general public. 
Jane Kennedy: Both of the Department's agencies, the Court Service and Public Trust Office, make use of touch tone telephone steering systems for some of their public inquiries. These systems are also used in the Land Registry and Public Record Office, which are Departments responsible to the Lord Chancellor and run on agency lines.
Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many of his Department's telephone lines used by the general public are responded to by touch tone telephone steering systems. 
Jane Kennedy: The Lord Chancellor's Department's Headquarters makes use of touch tone telephone steering on one inquiry line; the Public Trust Office uses it on its Mental Health Customer Service inquiry line; the Public Record Office uses it on its Family Record centre inquiry line. The Court Service and the Land Registry both make some use of touch tone telephone steering systems but the information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department in how many cases legal aid has been granted over the last five years in solicitors' negligence cases to (a) solicitors and (b) complainants. 
Mr. Lock: Under the system in place until 31 March 2000, solicitors were unlikely to obtain legal aid to defend negligence cases as they would not usually be financially eligible. Generally they would also have the benefit of professional indemnity insurance.
11 Jul 2000 : Column: 510W
Mr. Webb: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what has been the policy since 1989 on writing annually to those of his Department's staff who are paying reduced rates of National Insurance contributions, reminding them of the rules governing the payment of reduced rates, as recommended in the Inland Revenue guidance note on reduced rate National Insurance contributions for married women. 
Jane Kennedy: This reply covers the Headquarters of the Lord Chancellor's Department (with Associated Offices), the Court Service and the Public Trust Office. CSL Managed Services, who provide the payroll service for this Department, write each year to staff who have been identified as making reduced rate NI contributions to determine whether these contributions continue to be appropriate.
Mr. Straw: The next publication of crime statistics is due on July 18. As in January, an Annexe to the publication will give crime and detection figures for police Basic Command Units for six types of crime which are of particular public concern. But, for the first time, my Department will be publishing these crime figures in relation to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. The partnership data will be published in 13 groups, or 'families', of partnerships. The families draw together areas with similar policing and crime reduction characteristics to assist comparison between the areas. There are 376 partnerships. The Home Office will today publish a Policing and Reducing Crime Unit Briefing Note to provide a description of how the family groups have been devised, which includes the list of the family groups. I have placed a copy of this briefing note in the Library.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of correctly presented bills were paid by his Department in (a) 1998-99 and (b) 1999-2000 within 30 days of receipt of (i) goods and services, (ii) a valid invoice and (iii) other agreed payment terms. 
Mr. Straw: Owing to disproportionate cost, I am unable to provide information on bills paid by my Department in the format the hon. Member requires. However, I am able to provide information on the percentage of bills paid within 30 days of a valid invoice as given in the table.
11 Jul 2000 : Column: 511W
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