Previous Section Index Home Page

Industrial and Provident Societies

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the increase in the Financial Services Authority fees for industrial and provident societies. [66902]

Ruth Kelly: The setting of fees is the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority in relation to the duties it performs under the relevant industrial and provident society Acts. The new level of fees has not yet been finalised and through consultation the FSA has listened carefully to the concerns that have been raised by some in the movement. That is why they have decided to review their proposals and have recently presented further options to societies and their representative bodies.

Hearing Aids

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he plans to make deaf employees exempt from paying tax on their hearing aids; and if he will make a statement. [66702]

10 Jul 2002 : Column 1032W

Dawn Primarolo: The Government are continuing to remove barriers to work and ensure that disabled people do not face discrimination in the workplace. Regulations came into force on 9 July 2002, which will ensure that benefits for disabled employees which may be used both in and out of the workplace, such as a hearing aid, will not be liable to a tax charge.

Tax Credits

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit applications have been identified as appropriate for further investigation; how many have been investigated; how many of these investigations have proved fraudulent or non-compliant activity; how many penalties have been levied as a result; how many unsuccessful prosecutions have occurred; how many successful prosecutions have occurred; and how many custodial sentences have been passed in each of the last three years for the (a) WFTC and (b) DPTC. [58767]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is given in the table.

Cases identified for investigation(25)(a) 14,162(a) 28,898(a) 23,123
(b) 251(b) 808(b) 824
Cases investigated(26)(a) 4,022(a) 30,543(a) 21,816
(b) 110(b) 644(b) 801
Cases found to be non compliant(27)250(27)5,213(27)8,108
Penalties imposed(a) 3(a) 235(a) 512
(b) 0(b) 2(b)12
Unsuccessful prosecutions(28)(a) 0(a) 0(a) 0
(b) 0(b) 0(b) 0
Successful prosecutions(28)(a) 0(a) 2(a) 29
(b) 0(b) 0(b) 0
Custodial sentences imposed(a) 0(a) 0(a) 7
(b) 0(b) 0(b) 0

(24) Six months

(25) Awards selected for inquiry with applicants in the period

(26) Inquiries completed in the period

(27) Separate figures are not available for WFTC and DPTC

(28) Prosecutions completed in each period

Air Passenger Duty

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many air journeys to and from (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Scottish airports were subject to the (i) standard and (ii) higher rate of air passenger duty in each of the last five years. [67845]

John Healey: Air passenger duty is applicable only to journeys by chargeable passengers on chargeable aircraft departing from a UK airport. Journeys to the UK from outside the UK may be subject to duties and taxes in the country of departure.

Until 31 March 2001 there were two rates of duty, a lower rate for destinations within the European Economic Area (EEA) and a higher rate applicable to all other destinations. From 1 April 2001 four rates of duty have been in force, standard rates of duty for both EEA and non EEA destinations and reduced rates of duty for both EEA and non EEA destinations. An exemption from duty for flights from airports in the Scottish Highlands and

10 Jul 2002 : Column 1033W

Islands was introduced on 1 April 2001. The numbers of journeys made (in thousands) by chargeable passengers from the UK for the previous five financial years are given in the table.


Financial yearHigher rate (non EEA destinations) Lower rate (EEA destinations)
1997–98 19,359 39,328
1998–99 20,583 42,986
1999–2000 21,304 45,363
2000–01 23,069 49,197
(30)Non EEA(31)Non EEA(30)EEA(31)EEA

(29) Provisional

(30) Destinations (standard rates)

(31) Destinations (lower rate)

(b) No separate breakdown exists for chargeable journeys from Scottish airports.

Pharmaceuticals (Tax Incentives)

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will respond to the letters from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan of 12 April and 5 June regarding tax incentives for pharmaceutical corporations that donate medicines overseas. [67647]

John Healey: I have done so.

Customs and Excise

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at customs declaration desks at ports and airports of entry to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [67780]

John Healey: Customs regularly review the allocation of their resources and deploy their staff based on the volume of work and an assessment of the risk related to the variety of international movements of freight and persons. Customs are also deploying their resources in a flexible and mobile way to optimise their ability to respond to the ever-changing patterns of international activity.

Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter being issued to working families tax credit recipients in advance of the renewal of their six-monthly awards regarding method of payment. [67860]

Dawn Primarolo: A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

National Insurance

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 291W, on National Insurance (Reduced Rates), on what basis the amount of the reduction in national insurance contributions available to married women paying the reduced rate is calculated. [68244]

Dawn Primarolo: There is nothing I can usefully add to what I said in my answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 291W.

10 Jul 2002 : Column 1034W

Inland Revenue

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what obligation there is on (a) employers and (b) individual employees to inform the Inland Revenue of a change of employee's address; and if he will make a statement. [68989]

Dawn Primarolo: None.

Condemnation Hearings

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if a defendant at a condemnation hearing is allowed to view evidence prior to the hearing being brought by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in support of the case. [68122]

John Healey: In condemnation proceedings, it is Customs practice to disclose voluntarily the witness statements upon which they seek to rely, prior to the hearing. These statements are provided as a matter of courtesy once they are available.

Finance Bill

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials from his Department were in attendance in Parliament to Ministers during the proceedings on the Finance Bill on Wednesday 3 July. [68666]

Dawn Primarolo: As is customary, there were a number of officials from the Treasury in attendance, together with officials from the revenue departments appropriate to the issues tabled for the proceedings.


Waiting Lists

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the cases of waiting list manipulation his Department recorded in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) 1 January 2002 to date. [61444]

Mr. Hutton: The National Audit Office report 'Inappropriate Adjustments to NHS Waiting Lists' (HC452 Session 2001–02, 19 December 2001) is available in the Library. The table lists the trusts involved in inappropriate adjustments and the timescales involved.

TrustTimescale involved
St. Bartholomews and The London1996 to November 2000
Guy's and St. Thomas'Four years
Plymouth Hospitals1998–1999
Salford RoyalSeptember 1998 to July 2001
South Warwickshire GeneralMay to September 2000
Stoke MandevilleAugust 2000 to January 2001
Surrey and Sussex HealthcareAbout one year
University CollegeMay 1999

Since publication of the report a further case at Bath has come to light which was highlighted by a press release (2002/0211) on 3 May 2002.

The Government takes waiting list manipulation very seriously. The Department has asked the Audit Commission to initiate a system of spot-checks on waiting list statistics hospital-by-hospital. These spot-checks began this month.

10 Jul 2002 : Column 1035W

We will also from this year move to publish on the internet and elsewhere regularly-updated information on waiting for all major treatments at all providers.In future, any manager found to have deliberately distorted waiting figures will face dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct. This will be supported by a new code of conduct for National Health Service managers. Anyone who breaches that code of conduct will not be re-employed as a manager—anywhere in the NHS.

Next Section Index Home Page