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Inheritance Tax

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reform inheritance tax. [23762]

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 197W

Dawn Primarolo: The Government keep all taxes under review and any changes will be made as part of the normal Budget process.

Health Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the expected cost to public funds is of raising United Kingdom expenditure on health to the EU average by 2005–06. [23597]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 5 December 2001, Official Report, column 329W, in response to his previous question on health expenditure.

Economic Stability Document

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the cost of printing, publishing and distributing the HM Treasury publication, "Reforming Britain's Economic and Financial Policy: Towards Greater Economic Stability"; how many copies of this publication are to be produced; what sales proceeds are anticipated; what the net estimated cost is; and if he will make a statement. [23245]

Ruth Kelly: "Reforming Britain's Economic and Financial Policy" has been published commercially by Palgrave, the academic publishing division of Macmillan. Publication was on the basis that there would be no net cost to the Treasury.

Tax Credits

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the cost of each tax credit for each of the years 2001–02 to 2005–06; and if he will make a statement. [23248]

Dawn Primarolo: The projected costs of all tax credits, and the elements attributable to the R&D tax credit and the tax credit for clearing contaminated land, are shown in Table B11 of the pre-Budget report. Figures for working families' tax credit and disabled person's tax credit are shown in Table B15.

The projected costs of the children's tax credit are shown in Tables A.11 and A2.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget report issued in March 2001.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) two parent families and (b) lone parents (i) claimed and (ii) were eligible for child care tax credit in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [24031]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the number of families receiving the child care tax credit within working families' tax credit (WFTC) are shown in the WFTC Quarterly Enquiries, copies of which are in the Library.

No estimate is available of the number eligible for the child care tax credit.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households ceased to claim WFTC during 2000–01 due to an increase in income. [23990]

Dawn Primarolo: The reasons for families not renewing working families' tax credit awards are not known.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 198W

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many recipients of (a) the WFTC and (b) DPTC worked (i) 30 hours and over and (ii) 16 hours and over in (A) 1999–2000 and (B) 2000–01. [23994]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the number of hours per week worked by the main earners in families receiving working families' tax credit are shown in Table 6.2 of the WFTC Quarterly Enquiries, copies of which are in the Library.

The total number of recipients of the disabled person's tax credit are shown in the DPTC Quarterly Enquiries, copies of which are in the Library. All recipients worked for at least 16 hours per week. The proportion working for at least 30 hours per week was 42 per cent. in 1999–2000 (including disability working allowance awards still current) and 46 per cent. in 2000–01.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost will be of replacing the national income from savings and investment with actual income earned in the calculation of tax credits. [24002]

Dawn Primarolo: Entitlement to the new tax credits proposed by the Tax Credits Bill will be governed by income measured over a tax year, rather than, as with existing tax credits, by the income of a much shorter period. The new tax credits will also be more flexible and responsive to change. There is therefore no direct comparison between the way in which the existing and the new credits treat income derived from capital. The detailed definition of the income to be taken into account for the purposes of the new tax credits will be set out in regulations under clause 7(8) of the Bill which will be laid before Parliament in due course.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment of the cost of child care he has used to determine the rate of the child care tax credit. [23996]

Dawn Primarolo: The current limits for eligible child care costs in the child care tax credit accord with available evidence on the costs of child care across the United Kingdom.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost will be of extending the child tax credit to those who cannot claim the children's tax credit. [23992]

Dawn Primarolo: The costs associated with the child tax credit will depend on the rates of and thresholds for that credit. These are a matter for the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of (a) WFTC , (b) DPTC and (c) child tax credits on (i) wage rates and (ii) incentives for those in work to move to higher paid jobs. [23991]

Dawn Primarolo: Working families tax credit, disabled person's tax credit and the child tax credit are designed to make work pay and thereby help to provide employment opportunity for all. Independent estimates suggest that these and other measures such as the national minimum wage, the 10p rate of income tax and reforms to national insurance contributions will improve work incentives. The Government have put in place a comprehensive programme of monitoring and evaluation of these tax credits.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 199W

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the child care tax credit on child care costs. [23995]

Dawn Primarolo: A comprehensive evaluation of the impact of the working families tax credit and the disabled person's tax credit—which will include an assessment of the impact of the child care tax credit element of both credits—is in progress. The programme of work spans several years and comprises qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the cost of new (a) IT and (b) telephone systems to deliver the proposed new tax credits. [24003]

Dawn Primarolo: The administrative costs associated with the child tax credit and the working tax credit will reflect the number of people receiving those credits. The number of people receiving the credits will depend on the rates of and thresholds for the tax credits, which are a matter for the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions the regulatory impact assessment on the Tax Credits Bill made about the number of claimants of (a) the working tax credit and (b) the child tax credit. [23999]

Dawn Primarolo: The Regulatory Impact Assessment assumes, for illustrative purposes only, that the current systems of support for children and workers are replicated.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of administering (a) the child tax credit and (b) the working tax credit. [24004]

Dawn Primarolo: The cost of administering the child tax credit and the working tax credit will depend on decisions about the rates of and thresholds for those credits. These are a matter for the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the fiscal impact of the Tax Credits Bill in accordance with section 23(b) of the Code for Fiscal Stability. [23993]

Dawn Primarolo: As stated in the pre-Budget report (paragraphs 2.43 and 2.44), the interim forecast does not take account of proposals where final decisions have yet to be taken on rates. This is consistent with the requirements of the Code for Fiscal Stability. The rates of and tapers for the child tax credit and the working tax credit are a matter for the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors he will take into consideration when determining (a) the taper and (b) rates of the different elements of the working tax credit and child tax credit as set out in clauses 9 and 11 of the Tax Credits Bill. [23997]

Dawn Primarolo: The Chancellor will take all relevant factors into account in reaching a view about the rates of and thresholds for the child tax credit and the working tax credit, as part of the wider Budget process.

18 Dec 2001 : Column: 200W

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he made of the number of reassessments a claimant of (a) working tax credit and (b) child tax credit would make in a year, in calculating the impact on businesses of the Tax Credits Bill. [24005]

Dawn Primarolo: The child tax credit will be paid direct to the main carer by the Inland Revenue and any adjustments to the amounts paid will not affect businesses. The extent to which payments of tax credits will be adjusted in the course of a year will be determined by the circumstances of claimants in individual cases and by the rates of and thresholds for the tax credits. Those rates and thresholds are a matter for the Chancellor's Budget statement.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the impact of the Tax Credits Bill on the targeting of support for families with children. [24001]

Dawn Primarolo: The contribution that the proposed measures in the Tax Credits Bill will make to support families with children is considered in chapter 5 of the pre-Budget report.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the impact on the number of claimants of (a) increasing and (b) decreasing by 10 per cent. the top rate for (i) WFTC, (ii) DPTC and (iii) child tax credit. [23989]

Dawn Primarolo: There is no top rate for the working families tax credit or the disabled person's tax credit.

It is estimated from household survey data that increasing or decreasing the level of the child tax credit by 10 per cent. would result in a change of something less than 30,000 in the number of eligible families.

The sample size is too small to yield a more precise estimate.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the level of discrimination suffered as a consequence of employees claiming DPTC. [24000]

Dawn Primarolo: The notification and forms sent to employers use the generic term "tax credits" and do not contain any references to DPTC. Employers are therefore unable to distinguish between payments of DPTC or WFTC. Employers who discriminate against employees, are acting illegally.


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