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Duplicate Benefit Payments

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 31 October 2000,

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Official Report, column 347W, how much of the £10.5 million lost in duplicate payments of Income Support on 17 and 18 January has been recovered to date. [138342]

Mr. Rooker: The administration of benefits is a matter for Alexis Cleveland, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. She will write to my right hon. Friend.

Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. Frank Field, dated 14 November 2000:

The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to respond to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how much of the £10.5 million lost in duplicate payments of Income Support on 17th and 18th January has been received to date.
To date, £7.6m has been recovered.
I hope this is helpful.

Disability Living Allowance (Appeals)

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what maximum time is permitted for the chairman of a Disability Living Allowance appeal tribunal to produce a full written decision of the tribunal chairman's findings. [138035]

Angela Eagle: This is a matter for the President of the Appeals Service.

There is no statutory time limit by which a chairman of a Disability Living Allowance appeal tribunal should produce a full written statement. However, the President is keen to ensure that the public has a clear understanding of the level of performance they can expect. That is why he has set a standard of 10 days for the tribunal Chair to produce a full statement of reasons. This is in addition to standards set by the Appeals Service agency of two days to refer the statement to the Chairman, and three days to type and issue the statement to the appellant. This results in an overall standard of fifteen days.

We recognise that anecdotal evidence has shown that these standards are not always met. And unfortunately, the management information systems (MIS) in place do not yet give robust information to enable us to establish the proportion of cases in which these standards are being met. MIS are currently being put in place to enable these standards to be monitored.

Children's Tax Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many families will be subject to a marginal rate of income tax of more than 40 per cent. during the period that the Children's Tax Credit is withdrawn from them. [138307]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

The highest rate of income tax is 40 per cent.

National Insurance Fund

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the additional income would be of the National Insurance Fund in 2000-01 and 2001-02 if (a) the reductions in employers' contributions in 1997 and subsequent years to compensate for the (i) landfill tax, (ii) climate change levy and (iii) aggregates levy, were cancelled and (b) the Treasury supplement were reintroduced at the rate specified in section 1(5) of the Social Security Act 1975. [136049]

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Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

For part (a) of the question, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 17 April 2000, Official Report, column 375W.

For part (b) of the question, section 1(5) of the Social Security Act 1975 specified a supplement of 18 per cent. of the gross contribution income.


Sniffing Tunnels

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her letter of 31 August, what contact has taken place with Ion Track Instruments on drug and explosive sniffing tunnels; and what has been done to monitor the progress of the development and evaluation of these devices. [136807]

Marjorie Mowlam: Officials in HM Customs and Excise have maintained contact with Ion Tack Instruments, but there have been no significant developments with this portal detection system since my hon. Friend received the letter of 31 August from the Minister of State, Cabinet Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney). I understand that further tests in the United States will take place early in the new year, in which UK Government officials will maintain an interest in the progress and outcomes.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the non-departmental public bodies responsible to her which have duties relating to Scotland, indicating their budget and staffing in Scotland, the number of Scottish board members and their emoluments. [137627]

Mr. Stringer: The following non-departmental public bodies, sponsored by my Department, have a GB or UK-wide remit:

The remaining information is not held centrally in the form requested; but general information on expenditure, staffing board members and levels of remuneration is published annually in the Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies". Copies of "Public Bodies 1999" have been placed in the Libraries of the House; and "Public Bodies 2000" is due to be published next month.

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Information on board membership and remuneration is also available from the Cabinet Office Public Appointments Directory website (


Mr. Hunter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which relocation companies hold contracts with her Office for the relocation of civil servants; when the contracts were last renewed; where the contracts were advertised; and what the length and value of each contract is. [137195]

Mr. Stringer: There are no relocation companies who hold contracts with the Cabinet Office, COI or the Government Car and Despatch Agency for the relocation of civil servants.


Lord Falconer

Mr. Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what factors he took into account in appointing Lord Falconer to each of the Cabinet committees of which he is a member. [137546]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 14 November 2000]: As under successive Administrations, appointments to Cabinet Committees are entirely a matter for the Prime Minister.



Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total cost to public funds arising from the implementation of IR35 and the handling of queries and appeals from businesses affected by it. [138442]

Dawn Primarolo: So far, the main additional activity undertaken by the Inland Revenue associated with the introduction of the 'IR35' legislation has been the provision of advice to taxpayers and their advisers. This service has been provided by existing staff as part of their normal duties.

Contingency Reserve

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received requesting the contingency reserve to be used to defray additional costs incurred as a result of recent extreme weather conditions. [138214]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The Reserve is meeting the costs of the additional £51 million recently set aside by the Government for flood defence activity in England on top of the resources allocated to flood defence in the 2000 Spending Review. Devolved Administrations will also receive increases, calculated according to the Barnett formula. These are likewise being met from the Reserve.

Money Laundering

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2000, Official

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Report, column 613W, on money laundering, which identification measures for clients involved in distance transactions it is his policy to introduce. [138033]

Miss Melanie Johnson: All persons and institutions subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 1993 must identify their customer at the start of an ongoing business relationship, when carrying out a one-off transaction of more than 15,000 euro, or where there is a suspicion that a transaction is related to money laundering. These obligations apply for face to face and distance transactions.

Pensioners (Taxation)

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of (a)(i) an untapered and (ii) a tapered age-related allowance of £15,000 a year for pensioners of over 75 years and (b) excluding all pensioners of over 80-years-old from income tax. [136274]

Dawn Primarolo: The estimated full year costs for 2001-02 are in the table.

Costs (£ million)
Increase the 75+ personal allowance to £15,000 and not tapering1,400
Increase the 75+ personal allowance to £15,000 and tapering from the aged income limit1,100
Excluding people aged 80 and over from income tax1,100

These estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes and are consistent with the November 2000 Pre-Budget Report.

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