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20 Nov 2002 : Column 188W—continued

Higher-rate Taxpayers

Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what statistics are compiled by the Inland Revenue on the geographical distribution of higher rate taxpayers; and if they can be broken down by (a) local authority area and (b) post code. [80991]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates for higher rate taxpayers are based on the Inland Revenue's Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI). The basic geographical unit on the SPI is post code and this is converted to various higher level geographical locations.

We would not be able to provide reliable estimates of higher rate taxpayers by post code as the sample size would be too small.

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Income Tax

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research has been conducted (a) by his Department and (b) for his Department in the last five years concerning changes to income tax. [81700]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the Inland Revenue website—

Maundy Money

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the annual cost is of manufacturing Maundy Money; and who bears that cost. [81583]

Ruth Kelly: The cost of manufacturing Maundy Money is commercially sensitive and it would not be appropriate to disclose it, as provided for under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The Royal Household pays face value for the coins that Her Majesty distributes. There is a shortfall between this and the cost of production, which is largely made up by a limited number of discretionary sales of Maundy Money sets.

Ministerial Cars

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the application of the rules relating to company car taxation in respect of cars used by Ministers, and which are provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. [81139]

Dawn Primarolo: The tax treatment of travel and subsistence for the Speaker, Ministers and Opposition office-holders is covered by the specific provisions in section 200AA of the Taxes Acts.

Mortgage Administration Services

Mr. Curry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether all suppliers of mortgage administration services in the UK are subject to VAT; whether joint venture companies between UK mortgage lenders and US service providers have been granted exemptions from VAT; and if he will make a statement; [80484]

John Healey: Mortgage administration services are VAT exempt when supplied by the mortgage provider but are liable to VAT when provided by a third party. Supplies between two companies in a joint venture will be disregarded for VAT purposes if the companies are part of the same VAT group. Customs and Excise are currently taking action to prevent artificial structures involving joint ventures being used to bring third party companies within VAT groups. Little information is available on the VAT treatment of outsourced mortgage administration services in other member states, although the French advise that they would also charge VAT on outsourced loan administration services.

National Insurance

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of

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unpaid national insurance contributions in fiscal years (a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000 and (c) 2000–01; and if he will make a statement. [80650]

Dawn Primarolo: National Insurance Contributions (N ICs) identified as due, but not paid and subsequently written off amounted to #218 million in 1998–99; #188 million in 1999–2000; and #180 million in 2000–01. This represents 0.4 per cent., 0.3 per cent. and 0.3 per cent. of the total NICs receipts for those years, respectively.

NICs may be written off where pursuit is unlikely to be successful, for example because a company is insolvent; or where it is regarded as neither practical nor cost effective to pursue the debt, for example because the debtor has gone abroad.

Office for National Statistics

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the recommendations that ONS made on each project on which the public sector classification committee has been asked to comment since 1 January; and if he will make a statement. [80117]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from L. Cook to Mr. Matthew Taylor, dated 20 November 2002:

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PFI Contracts

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) actual and (b) anticipated annual payments by Government for each year from 1997 to 2020 are in respect of PFI contracts already entered into. [81117]

Ruth Kelly: (a) Actual PFI expenditure can be found in notes to the individual resource accounts of Departments.

(b) Detailed figures setting out estimates of future payments to be made under PFI contracts are published in the Financial Statement and Budget Report each year. Table C19 of Budget 2002 includes the latest projections of estimated payments for services provided under the Private Finance Initiative for the years 2002–03 to 2027–28.

In line with past practice, these figures will be updated shortly.

Social Capital

Sue Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures of social capital his Department uses to guide policy decisions; and if he will make a statement. [80410]

Ruth Kelly: Policy decisions are guided by a number of measures. The Treasury uses measures on individual facets of social capital as and when appropriate in policy making. Social capital is recognised to be a multi-dimensional concept and I understand there is an on-going research project by ONS aiming to develop an analytical framework that can be used to organise the available statistical information on social capital.

Working Families Tax Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place a copy of the report on the take-up of the working families tax credit within London in the Library. [81952]

Dawn Primarolo: No such report exists.

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