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Tax Credits (Fraud)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2002, Official Report, column 515W, how many of the 28 persons prosecuted for working families tax credit fraud were women; and how many of the eight persons receiving a custodial sentence were women. [35257]

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Dawn Primarolo: Twenty two of the 28 people prosecuted for WFTC fraud are women. Seven people have received a custodial sentence, of whom five are women. Proportionally, these figures for women are lower in both cases than the proportion of tax credit claimants who are women.

PPP Consultants

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total external spending by his Department was on public-private partnership consultants in each of the last four years; how many full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were per year; what the implied average cost of each PPP consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by the Department over this period; and if he will make a statement. [43195]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 702W.


Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the public bodies which have used (a) G-CAT and (b) C-CAT in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. [45444]

Mr. Andrew Smith: In the period of the last two years usage of the G-CAT and S-CAT has been as follows:

A list of the organisations using each scheme is being placed in the Library of the House.

Inland Revenue

Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Minister has responsibility for dealing with complaints about the observation of the rules laid down by the Civil Service Code and Civil Service Management Code by the staff of the Board of the Inland Revenue. [46492]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 12 March, Official Report, column 964W.

Valuation Office Agency

Barbara Follett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what targets for the Valuation Office Agency will be set for the year 2002–03. [46857]

Dawn Primarolo: I have set the following key performance indicators for the Valuation Office Agency:

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Further details are contained in the Valuation Office Agency's Forward Plan, copies of which will be placed in the Library of the House on publication.

National Savings and Investments

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action is being taken to reduce delays in repayments by National Savings and Investments. [45813]

Ruth Kelly: National Savings and Investments have experienced a higher volume of work across the board, which has caused Savings Certificates repayments to be slightly outside the timescale they aim to achieve. No other products are affected. They are taking this very seriously and have allocated additional staff to processing these payments to bring the back within normal timescales.

Seafarers (Income Tax)

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the case for extending seafarer income tax concessions. [46356]

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

Share Incentive Schemes

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March on (i) national newspaper, (ii) regional newspaper and (iii) local newspaper advertisements to promote the use of share incentive schemes. [46366]

Dawn Primarolo: The press advertising campaign for the Share Incentive Plan (SIP) started on 2 March 2002 and is due to run until 4 April 2002. Hence no money was spent on press advertising in January and February.

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The breakdown for the March/April expenditure is as follows:

Cost #VAT #Total #
National Press783,668.33137,141.98920,810.31
Regional Press10,765.151,883.9012,649.05
Specialist Press29,494.275,161.5034,655.77
National Press Production18,667.45952.2521,933.94
Specialist Press Production5,441.453,266.766,393.71

EU Budget

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which countries will be (a) gross and (b) net contributors to the European Union budget in 2002; how much they will each contribute in net terms; what the gross amount contributed to the European Union budget by each member state will be; and if he will make a statement. [46135]

Ruth Kelly: The Government's latest estimate of the United Kingdom's net contribution to the European Union budget in the financial year 2002–03 can be found in footnote two, table B13 (page 182) of the Pre-Budget Report (Cm5318). The Government does not forecast the contribution to the EU budget of other Member States. However, estimates of gross contributions by all Member States to the 2002 EU budget can be found at Table 7 (page 134) of the Official Journal (L29) of the European Communities (ISSN 0378-6978).

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries

Ms Drown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the pledged UK contribution to the HIPC Trust Fund has been paid. [45187]

Clare Short: I have been asked to reply. The UK's pledge to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative Trust Fund is US$221 million; in addition, our share of the EC contribution is a further US$85 million. So far, we have paid half of our contribution (US$110 million) into the Trust Fund to help the Regional Development Banks meet their share of HIPC costs. The UK contribution is paid on an as-needed basis, on request by the International Development Association (IDA), which is administering the Fund. As more countries complete the HIPC process in the coming year, we would expect to see further disbursement of our funds.

Customs (Newhaven)

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) on how many occasions since 1 January 2001 brigading teams have been sent to Newhaven; how many person-shifts were undertaken there by officers based elsewhere; and if he will make a statement; [45878]

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Mr. Boateng [holding answers 25 March 2002]: It is not Customs law enforcement policy to disclose information on operational deployments of staff or the level or nature of checks at specific locations. However, the deployment, activities and working patterns of Customs staff at Newhaven and other locations are kept under constant review to ensure the most effective and efficient targeting of resources. Since January 2001, Customs officers operating at Newhaven have seized smuggled tobacco products with a total revenue value of around #215,500. Full details of Customs' seizures are published on a routine basis in their Departmental annual reports.

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