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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 6 December 2001, Official Report, column 521W, on labour productivity, if he will make a statement on the recent reforms which will promote labour supply and improve the economy's long-term growth potential. 
Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to paragraph 4.73 of the November 2001 pre-Budget report (Cm 5318). Further detail is available in "The Modernisation of Britain's Tax and Benefit System No. 6", published in March 2000.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints he has received from (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public about the loss of working families tax credit for people on sickness leave from their employment; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue does not hold the figures requested for complaints on this specific issue from either hon. Members or members of the public. Periods of sick leave during a working families tax credit (WFTC) award do not have any effect on the amount of tax credits payable, and do not count as being at work for the purpose of a new or renewal WFTC application.
5 Feb 2002 : Column 845W
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 32324W, on the working families tax credit, what the total value was of the 478 penalties imposed for false WFTC applications between October 1999 and September 2001. 
Dawn Primarolo: Further work on the number of penalties attributable to working families tax credit investigations has shown that there were 507 for the period between October 1999 and September 2001. The total value of these penalties was £512,223.78.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working families have (a) claimed and (b) been awarded the working families tax credit in Shrewsbury and Atcham; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: No estimates are available for (a). For (b), I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Hepburn) on 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 293W.
|Public sector (percentage increase)||Private sector (percentage increase)||Difference (percentage)|
|Public sector (percentage increase)||Value of increase (£ billion)|
The percentage increases in public sector pay are from the Average Earnings Index, headline rate, for the 12 months ending November each year. The indication of the cost is derived by applying the percentages to the paybill for the public sector, which is the sum of the paybill for central and local government and of the paybill for public corporations.
5 Feb 2002 : Column 846W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) working families with children and (b) childless people in work had incomes below the tax threshold at the latest date for which information is available. 
Dawn Primarolo: For 200001, the number of working families with children where there was no working adult with earned income above the personal tax threshold to be 700,000. The number of childless adults in work with income below the personal tax threshold is estimated to be 2,400,000.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much money has been spent on external consultants in the tendering process of the Private Finance Initiative in each of the last four years (a) in real terms and (b) in cash terms, disaggregated by (i) legal fees, (ii) publicity costs, (iii) accountancy fees and (iv) management consultancy fees; 
Mr. Andrew Smith: This information is not collected centrally. Information on PFI expenditure is published regularly in a form agreed by the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office, most recently in the financial statement and Budget report 2001.
Ruth Kelly: The joint Department for Work and pensions and Inland Revenue consultation document "Modernising Annuities" is published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and in the Library. The Government will consider the responses carefully before deciding how to proceed.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to receive the Inland Revenue report on benchmarking the level of fraud in the working families tax credit; what his timetable is for responding to it; and if he plans to make public an assessment of the level of fraud following receipt of the report. 
5 Feb 2002 : Column 847W
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue are currently analysing the data from their compliance benchmarking exercise. We shall be considering the results, and questions of publication, within the next few months.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2001, Official Report, column 197W, how many instances of potentially fraudulent or improper claims to tax credits have been communicated to the Inland Revenue via (a) the Benefits Anti Fraud Hotline and (b) the Childcare Tax Credit Hotline; and in each case how many of these reports have resulted in (i) the recovery of over payments, (ii) the imposition of penalties and (iii) prosecutions. 
Dawn Primarolo: The table shows the number of allegations about potentially improper applications for working families tax credit (WFTC) and disabled person's tax credit (DPTC), communicated to the Inland Revenue through the Benefits Anti-Fraud Hotline and the Childminder's Hotline.
|Allegations communicated to IR via Benefits Anti-Fraud hotline(11)||16,676|
|Allegations communicated to IR via Childminder's hotline(12)||1,672|
(11) 1 October 1999 to 31 December 2001
(12) April 2000 to 31 December 2001
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Hamilton, South (Mr. Tynan) of 24 January 2002, Official Report, column 980W, on child poverty, if he will set out the assumptions behind the statement that there are 1.2 million fewer children in poverty than there were in 1997. 
Dawn Primarolo: As a result of personal tax and benefit measures announced in the last Parliament there are now 1.2 million fewer children living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of the median (after housing costs) than there otherwise would have been.
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