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Law Enforcement Agencies

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities designated with legislation there are within the responsibility of his Department; and what complaints procedure is available for each. [57124]

Ruth Kelly: The Inland Revenue and the Department of Customs and Excise. Each of these Departments has a three-tier complaints procedure governed by a Code of Practice, the third tier being an independent adjudicator. Complainants also have the right to complain, via an MP, to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

Aviation Insurance

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what agreement has been reached for aviation insurance terrorism cover from 1 April. [56634]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The end-date for the Government's Troika aviation insurance scheme, which provides third- party war and terrorism insurance for the UK aviation industry, was extended from 31 March to 31 May.

Inheritance Tax

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total revenue received by the Exchequer was in inheritance tax in each of the past five years; [56406]

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Dawn Primarolo: The figures are as follows:

UK inheritance tax receipts and number of taxpaying estates

Receipts (£ billion)Estates(11)(thousand)

(11) Excludes about 2,000 taxpayers on lifetime transfers

(12) Provisional

The taxpaying estates represent about three to four in 10,000 of the UK population; or between 3 and 4 per cent. of deaths.

Anglo-Italian Meetings

Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions in the last six months (a) he and (b) his officials have met their Italian counterparts; and what subjects were discussed. [56890]

Ruth Kelly: Ministers and civil servants meet with a wide range of organisations and individuals, including their European counterparts, as part of the process of policy development and analysis. I refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 689W stating that as with previous Administrations it is not this Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code and Guidance for Civil Servants: Contracts with Lobbyists.

Social Care

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to commission a study of the trends affecting social care. [53355]

Mr. Andrew Smith: None; trends were examined in the Wanless report and by the Royal Commission on long term care commissioned by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health in 1997 (With Respect to Old Age: A Report by the Royal Commission on Long-Term Care (Cm. 4192-I); Modernising Social Services (Cm. 4169); Long-Term Care: The Government's Response to the Health Committee's Report on Long-Term Care (Cm. 4414)). Further requirements for analysis will be kept under review as part of the normal monitoring of public expenditure.

Departmental Staff (Scotland)

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of (a) civil service, (b) executive agencies and (c) non-departmental public body jobs under the remit of his Department are located in Scotland; and how many of each have been relocated to Scotland since May 1997. [56299]

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Ruth Kelly: The Chancellor's civil service Departments and agencies numbers and percentage of Scottish jobs, and the number of posts relocated to Scotland since 1997 are as follows.

Department/agencyNumber of jobs in ScotlandPercentage of jobs in ScotlandNumber of jobs relocated to Scotland
Debt Management Office000
Government Actuary's Office000
HM Customs and Excise1,2155.260
Inland Revenue6,8769.910
National Savings661
Office for National Statistics000
Royal Mint000
HM Treasury000
Valuation Office (agency)8120

Red Book

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2002, Official Report, columns 882–83W, on the Budget Red Book, if he will provide figures for each column in respect of marginal deduction rates (a) over 30 per cent. (b) over 20 per cent. and (c) over 10 per cent. [56467]

Ruth Kelly: The following table shows estimates of the number of families facing marginal deduction of (a) over 30 per cent. (b) over 20 per cent. and (c) over 10 per cent.

Number of households facing MDRs (cumulative)

Marginal deduction rateBefore Budget 19982002–03 system of tax and benefitsAfter introduction of NTCs
Over 30 per cent.810,0001,200,0001,960,000
Over 20 per cent.820,0001,210,0002,040,000
Over 10 per cent.830,0001,235,0002,050,000

The figures in the table, which cover the number of households in receipt of either income related benefits of the working families tax credit (WFTC) or new tax credits from April 2003, where at least one person works at least 16 hours or more, include the effects of income tax and national insurance contributions, and the withdrawal of housing benefit and council tax benefit.


Ministerial Visits

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for ministerial visits to (a) Syria, (b) Lebanon, (c) United Arab Emirates, (d) Oman and (e) Qatar. [54059]

Mr. Bradshaw: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans at present to visit Syria, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates. I have, however, visited Syria on 23 July 2001, Lebanon on 24 July 2001, Qatar on 16 October 2001 and the United Arab Emirates on 18 March 2002. I have no plans at present to re-visit them, but hope to visit Oman when I can.

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Criminal Offences

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many criminal offences have been (a) created and (b) abolished by his Department since 1997. [55459]

Mr. Straw: A comprehensive and exhaustive list of new and abolished offences could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We can, however, provide the following information about FCO legislation that has been enacted since 1 May 1997. All relevant FCO legislation in this time has been concerned with the implementation of international treaties in United Kingdom law.

The International Criminal Court Act 2001 created new offences of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These replaced earlier offences wholly (for genocide) or partly (for war crimes).

The United Nations Personnel Act 1997 created new offences of attacking UN personnel, premises and vehicles.

The Landmines Act 1998 created new offences of possessing or using landmines.

The Nuclear Explosions (Prohibition and Inspections) Act 1998 created new offences of obstructing on-site investigations and causing a nuclear explosion.

Ministerial Meetings

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the meetings held between (a) himself, (b) the staff at his Department and (c) British diplomatic staff with representatives of (i) the Italian Government and (ii) the Vatican since 22 April, including the participants of each meeting, the subjects discussed and the conclusions agreed upon; and if he will make a statement. [55993]

Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was in touch with Prime Minister Berlusconi on 7 May. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I most recently met Prime Minister Berlusconi at the General Affairs Council in Brussels. We are regularly in touch with the Italian Government bilaterally and in multilateral fora on a range of issues. The Foreign Secretary has not met Vatican representatives recently, but officials are in regular touch.

Middle East

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the failure of the proposed UN fact-finding mission to Jenin on the future avoidance of conflict in the middle east. [56206]

Mr. Bradshaw: We regret the failure of the Israeli Government to co-operate with the UN to allow the deployment of the fact-finding team. The UN General Assembly has nevertheless asked the Secretary-General to present a report on the recent events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities. We look forward to this.

As the Secretary-General has said, there is a long shadow cast by events in Jenin but this should not be allowed to derail other peace efforts. The agreements to

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resolve the crises in Bethlehem and Ramallah are examples of practical international support which have led to progress. The international community is committed to working with the parties to build on these initiatives. The priority remains to implement recent UN Security Council Resolutions, establish a ceasefire and resume negotiations.

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