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Benefits in Kind

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of individuals in his (a) Department, (b) related agencies and (c) related non- departmental public bodies whose annual remuneration including benefits in kind exceeded (i) £100,000 and (ii) £200,000 in each of the last four years. [26323]

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Dawn Primarolo: (a) The number of individuals in the Chancellor's Departments whose annual remuneration exceeded £100,000 in each of the last four years is as follows:

(b) The number of individuals in Related Agencies whose annual remuneration exceeded £100,000 in each of the last four years is as follows:

There were no individuals in either Departments or Agencies in any of the four years whose remuneration exceeded £200,000.

(c) I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him on 29 January 2002, Official Report, column 253W.

Treasury Website

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the items of material which have been removed from the Treasury website in each of the last four years. [36799]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 25 February 2002]: The Treasury's website currently contains more than 3,000 pages. Pages are frequently updated with certain sections of the site, such as the economic data and careers areas, being changed on a weekly basis.

The website was relaunched in November 2001 to provide the Treasury with a more robust, better organised and searchable platform for its website. At that time, the opportunity was taken to remove a number of older documents, including files relating to the previous administration. Material removed at that time included expenditure reviews, press releases from 1994 to 1996 and older budget and spending review information. However, as a consequence of the relaunch, the site is significantly more robust and, with its search engine and simple navigational structure, documents are now easier to access and read.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost to his Department was of the use of external consultants in each of the last four years. [35022]

Ruth Kelly: The costs to HM Treasury for external consultants were as follows:


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Special Advisers

Mr. Collins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions since 1 May 1997 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; and if he will list the total cost, including (i) travel, (ii) accommodation and (iii) subsistence allowance, for each occasion. [37981]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 27 February 2002]: Between 1 April 2000 and 31 March 2001, special advisers in the Treasury travelled abroad on 31 occasions, at an average cost of £1,431 per trip. All travel by special advisers is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code, and the Civil Service Management Code.

Smaller Quoted Companies

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps have been taken by the Inland Revenue to define the smaller quoted companies for tax purposes. [40251]

Dawn Primarolo: There are no areas of tax legislation that refer to small or smaller quoted companies, so no definition is needed.

Small Landlords

Margaret Moran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the net cost to the Treasury of bringing small landlords within the same tax regime as other small businesses. [41669]

Dawn Primarolo: All landlords, irrespective of size, and others with assets giving rise to rental income or other receipts from land and buildings (taxable under Schedule A) are taxed in the same way on that income. There is no separate definition of "small".

If the hon. Member has in mind treating all assets giving rise to Schedule A income as qualifying for reliefs available to trading assets, the full-year cost is tentatively estimated to be £400 million.

Inheritance Tax

Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) buildings and (b) works of art are covered under the conditional exemption scheme for inheritance tax; how many visitors there have been to each in each of the last 10 years, including an estimate for the current year; and if he will make a statement. [42561]

Dawn Primarolo: There are currently 288 cases of conditionally exempt land and/or buildings. Available figures for 65 conditionally exempt properties where visitors are admitted by ticket show an average of about 24,000 visitors per property per year.

86,000 chattels (including works of art) are currently conditionally exempt. Visitor numbers to conditionally exempt chattels are not available.

Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much inheritance tax has been deferred under the conditional exemption scheme in each year since 1984. [42560]

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Dawn Primarolo: The estimated cost to the Exchequer of conditional exemption from inheritance tax (and its predecessor, capital transfer tax) is as follows:

Amount of relief (£ million)
1994–95 60

Parental Leave Directive

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a) financial costs and (b) benefits to his Department of the parental leave directive. [42484]

Ruth Kelly: Treasury staff are eligible for unpaid parental leave under the parental leave directive. Central records are not kept on the amounts of unpaid parental leave taken. The Treasury also has a number of other family friendly policies in place, for example alternative working practices, paid special leave, career breaks, to help staff strike a balance between home life and work.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's policy is towards age discrimination. [42571]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury has taken steps to integrate age into its equal opportunity policies and the Department has a commitment that there should be no unfair discrimination on the basis of age. Action on diversity has and will continue to tackle any negative attitudes towards older staff particularly through the training and development of managers and through the monitoring of recruitment, selection and appraisal statistics.


Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements his Department has made to celebrate (a) St. Patrick's Day, (b) St. George's Day, (c) St. Andrew's Day and (d) Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee; and how his Department celebrated St. David's Day. [42296]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 11 March 2002]: There are certain days of the year known as "named days" when the Union flag must be flown from Government buildings. The days include St. David's Day (in Wales), St. George's Day (in England), St. Andrew's Day (in Scotland) but not St. Patrick's Day.

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The Union flag will be flown on the Treasury building on Coronation Day (2 June) as this is a named day. Whether the Treasury will further celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee will depend on the outcome of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's current consideration of the Union flag flying protocol procedure for the Jubilee.

I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport gave to the hon. Member for Suffolk South (Mr. Yeo) on 11 February 2002 Official Report, columns 58–59W. In the Treasury, all staff will be given an additional public holiday on 4 June 2002 to celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee.

Minimum Wage (Paisley, North)

Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers within Paisley, North have been found to be breaching the minimum wage legislation. [43916]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available. For Scotland, over 1,600 investigations have been completed since the introduction of the national minimum wage in April 1999 with non-compliance being discovered in 27 per cent. of cases. During this period wages arrears of £550,000 have been identified.

Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers within Paisley North, having advertised with the Employment Service, have subsequently been found to have breached the minimum wage legislation. [43918]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is not available.

The Employment Service (ES) will not accept for display any vacancy that does not meet the requirements of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act 1998. ES has in place a robust and ongoing monitoring system to ensure it meets its commitment to display only NMW compliant vacancies. However, with over two million vacancies handled every year there is always a risk that a "rogue vacancy" will slip through the net. Where ES is made aware of this, services to the employer may be suspended while the complaint is investigated. All complainants in these circumstances are advised to contact the Inland Revenue, as the NMW enforcement agency, to allow further investigation.

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