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Valuation Office Agency

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals have worked on secondment to the Valuation Office Agency since 1 January 1999; how long each individual worked on

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secondment; from which organisation each individual was seconded; what the names of each were; and what the responsibilities were of each individual while they worked at the Valuation Office Agency. [43469]

Ruth Kelly: The information is as follows:

StartEndOrganisationDivision appointed toDuties
25 April 200024 June 2000Hong Kong Rating and Valuation DepartmentRatingInspections and rating of non-domestic properties. Performed all duties of a valuer.
17 April 200117 August 2001UKAEALand Service TeamInspections, measurement and valuation of properties. Highway and health authority cases.

I do not have the permission of the secondees to release their personal details.

Child Poverty

Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he will introduce to reduce child poverty in the next four years. [43921]

Dawn Primarolo: This Government are committed to abolishing child poverty within a generation and halving it by 2010. As part of this commitment, we recently published a strategy document entitled 'Tackling child poverty: giving every child the best possible start in life' which will inform the Budget and Spending Review 2002. As a result of tax and benefit changes announced in the last Parliament, there are now 1.2 million fewer children in poverty than there would otherwise have been.

During this Parliament, the Government will continue to make progress towards its goals with the introduction of two new tax credits—the child tax credit and the working tax credit. The Government are also making substantial new investments in services for children. Over the four years to 2004, average real-terms annual growth in spending on education and training in England will be over 5½ per cent. In addition, extra funds have been made available for SureStart, Neighbourhood Renewal and the Children's Fund.

Tax Allowances (Pensioners)

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what charges there have been in (a) cash and (b) real terms in the age-related tax allowances for pensioners between 1998–99 and 2002–03. [44029]

Dawn Primarolo: Age-related personal allowances have been increased between 1998–99 and 2002–03 by £690 and £770 in cash terms, and by £150 and £210 more than statutory indexation over this period for those aged 65–74 and 75+ respectively.


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many National Insurance records are incomplete as a result of the problems with the NIRS2 computer; and how many records that were incomplete have been completed. [44092]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is not readily available and could only be supplied at disproportionate cost.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax incentives are in place to encourage individuals to invest for their retirement directly. [40249]

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Dawn Primarolo: Contributions which individuals make to tax approved pension schemes, and the build up of those contributions, attract tax reliefs. Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) may also be used to help provide for retirement and offer tax-free income and capital gains on the investments held in them.


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the companies from which his Department has obtained timber and wood products and the total spent with each firm over the last five years. [43405]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury's main supplier of timber and wood products in Kinnarps (UK) Ltd who provide office furniture. The total spend for the past five years is as follows:


This represents the major procurement of timber and wood products by the Department. There may have been other items purchased containing timber or wood but the information is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Lord of Appeal in Ordinary

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the Consolidated Fund of employing a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary was in 2001. [41844]

Mr. Wills: I have been asked to reply.

The full cost to the Consolidated Fund of employing a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 2001 was £219,757. The full consolidated fund costs are as outlined:

In addition notional pension contributions are assessed at 28 per cent. of salary which equates to £44,251.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which public service agreement targets scheduled to be met in 2002 will not be achieved by the due date. [44815]

Ruth Kelly: Information about progress on PSA targets will be published in the Treasury's 2002 departmental report.

Public Services Productivity

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 13 March 2002, ref. 42949, on public services productivity, which units within the Treasury are working on the paper; and if he will make a statement. [44396]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I have nothing further to add to the reply given to the hon. Gentleman on 13 March 2002.

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Women's Organisations

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which women's organisations have been consulted over proposed legislation by her Department during the (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02 parliamentary sessions; and if their responses have been published. [42917]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 14 March 2002]: As is normal in the run-up to the Budget, the Government have received a number of representations from a variety of organisations. The Government's consultations generate a large number of representations. We are grateful to the many organisations that have taken the trouble to let us know their views. These ideas feed into the reforms that the Government have made to the tax system since 1997.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials from the Bank of England are on secondment to the Treasury; what work they are engaged in; and if he will make a statement. [40114]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 6 March 2002]: The Treasury has for decades had regular exchanges of staff with the Bank of England. Currently there are three Bank of England officials working in the Treasury. They are engaged in:

Communications Costs

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the annual budget for communications activities, including press, public relations, marketing and internal communications, was for his Department for each financial year from 1997–98 to 2001–02. [39911]

Ruth Kelly: Figures for the annual budgets for the communications team at the Treasury are presented in the table.


Financial yearTotal communication budget

In addition, in 2001–02 there was a one-off spend on updating the Treasury's website. The cost of this one-off project is given in my answer to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 321W.

Staff (Special Leave)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many members of staff of his Department are members of the Territorial Forces; and if he has a strategy for his Department to encourage members of staff to become members of the Territorial forces; [44065]

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Ruth Kelly: Information on whether staff are members of the Territorial Forces or are justices of the peace is not held centrally. Staff are eligible for special leave with pay for attendance at annual training camps for Reserve Forces training. Where additional training is required unpaid special leave may be authorised. Staff who are justices of the peace are allowed paid special leave to undertake their duties.

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