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15 Jan 2002 : Column 237W
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has made to the European Commission on the issue of reducing VAT on repairs to historic churches; and if he will make a statement. 
The Chancellor announced in Budget 2001 the introduction of a UK-wide grant scheme to help congregations with the VAT cost of the repair and maintenance of listed buildings that are used as places of worship. The effect of the grant is to reduce the VAT cost on eligible repairs from 17.5 to 5 per cent.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions the Standing Committee set up by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority has met; and if he will publish the minutes of the meetings. 
Ruth Kelly: The committee meets roughly monthly. Much of its work is confidential, and discussions are often subject to statutory protections of information under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
15 Jan 2002 : Column 238W
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the reasons underlying the growth in the level of manual adjustments made by HM Customs and Excise to their modelled forecasts for receipts over the years from 199596 to the present. 
Mr. Boateng: Officials in HM Customs and Excise make manual adjustments to forecasts produced by economic models in consultation with officials from HM Treasury. The purpose of these adjustments is to provide more accurate forecasts of revenue receipts. This is conventional practice and such adjustments are made so as to capture events or trends that are not explicitly modelled, eg one-off events, such as the millennium celebrations; changes to the scope of the tax; changing tastes or new products.
The models for alcohol and petrol and diesel were re-estimated by Professor Marcus Chambers in 1999 (published as Government Economic Service Working Paper, Number 138). For most items the manual adjustments have been considerably reduced as a result.
Ruth Kelly: The Cabinet Office already commissions and publishes an independent annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". This report includes details of the causes of absenteeism. The report for the year 2000 will be published shortly.
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 January 2002]: The Inland Revenue does not routinely index the amount of state pension when it issues tax codes to pensioners before the start of the tax year. It bases the tax code on information provided to it by the Department for Work and Pensions (the Department of Social Security before June 2001) for individuals receiving the state pension, which takes into account the increase in the state pension that comes into effect in the new tax year. If for any reason the information is not provided by DWP, the estimated amount of state pension already included in the tax code is increased by reference to the appropriate percentage increase in state pensions as announced in the pre-Budget report.
15 Jan 2002 : Column 239W
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer further to his answer of 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 32W, on Capital Gains Tax, what estimates for the Capital Gains Tax yield in (a) 200203 and (b) 200304 are used to derive the estimates for tax revenues contained in the pre-Budget report of November 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The available estimates of Capital Gains Tax receipts in years to 200203 are given in Table B11 of the November 2001 pre-Budget report and receipts mostly relate to accruals of the previous tax year. Estimates for later years are highly dependent on assumed growth in asset values.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, further to his answer of 18 December 2001, Official Report, column 197W, on the Economic Stability Document, how many copies of the volume "Reforming Britain's Economic and Financial Policy" (a) have been printed and (b) are planned to be printed over the next six months; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: "Reforming Britain's Economic and Financial Policy" has been published commercially by Palgrave, the academic publishing division of Macmillan. The number of copies printed is a commercial decision for the publisher.
Mr. Andrew Smith: The climate change levy is designed to encourage energy efficiency across the business and public sectors and to increase the use of sustainable forms of energy. The Government have no plans to exempt the nuclear power industry from the levy.
Dawn Primarolo: Prescription and other national health service patient charges are outside the scope of VAT. NHS charges are not directly chargeable to income or corporation tax but NHS practitioners will be taxable on their income and profits in the normal way. It is not possible to separate tax revenue on NHS charges from tax revenue on other income.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals are making charitable donations; what the total amount given to charity is; and what the cost is to the Exchequer of tax relief thereon. 
Ruth Kelly: Information on the full extent of charitable giving is not available from administrative sources. A study by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) estimated that about 30 million adults in Great Britain gave to charities in the year 2000. A survey by NCVO/NOP suggested that this was worth nearly £6 billion excluding legacies. There are also significant amounts of giving by companies. The cost to the Exchequer of donations under Deeds of Covenant, Gift Aid and Payroll Giving is estimated at £525 million for 200001.
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