Previous Section Index Home Page

3 Dec 2002 : Column 680W—continued

Motor Vehicle Seizures

Barbara Follett: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) of 25 November 2002, Official Report, column 64W, when information relating to vehicle seizures by Customs and Excise in 2001–02 will be published. [85431]

John Healey: Information relating to vehicle seizures by Customs and Excise for 2001–02 will be published in Customs' Annual Report, which had been expected to be published at the end of November and will be laid before Parliament shortly.

National Insurance Contributions

Mark Tami: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates is the annual cost to the Exchequer of (a) under-payment of NICs by those regarded as self-employed and (b) the avoidance of self-employment tax status. [84581]

Dawn Primarolo: The amount lost to the exchequer as a result of a failure by individuals correctly to declare their business profits can only be estimated. Lord Grabiner in his report XThe Informal Economy" concluded that it was impractical to arrive at a precise figure but assumed that 'billions of pounds' of income was a realistic figure.

No specific figures are available as to the amounts lost in respect of either tax or national insurance contributions. However, the Inland Revenue annual report for the year ended 31 March 2001 showed that compliance activity by the Inland Revenue had identified additional tax and National Insurance liability of just under £4.5 billion.


Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many self-assessment tax returns were (a) issued, (b) received, (c) waiting to be processed and (d) processed in each month since 1st July 2001; and if he will make a statement. [84162]

Dawn Primarolo: The statistical data requested is detailed in the table.

3 Dec 2002 : Column 681W

DateSA ITRs issuedSA ITRs receivedSA ITRs processedSA ITRs waiting to be processed
Tax year 2000–01
1 July 20018,940,5131,323,115864,497458,618
29 July 20018,990,2921,943,9011,350,597593,304
2 September 20018,989,0432,798,1531,966,795831,358
30 September 20019,152,2554,241,9522,677,1451,564,807
4 November 20018,842,5604,682,7673,421,6581,261,109
2 December 20019,360,0995,383,8464,436,261947,585
30 December 20019,299,6235,745,5724,839,285906,287
3 February 20029,552,4338,362,3615,848,3192,514,042
3 March 20029,610,7878,732,1396,892,0841,840,055
31 March 20029,644,3138,805,9498,009,457796,492
Tax year 2001–02
5 May 20028,984,089287,22374,244212,979
2 June 20029,081,002751,541323,265428,276
7 July 20029,167,8071,397,759709,556688,203
4 August 2002 9,232,6372,020,4831,135,313885,170
1 September 20029,300,8252,717,7671,591,5651,126,202
6 October 20029,394,7244,475,8902,438,4052,037,485
3 November 20029,463,0024,948,9893,300,3921,648,597
24 November 20029,511,6705,280,1974,008,7681,271,429

Sustainability Strategy

Sue Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the sustainability strategy is for his Department; and how it has changed since the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. [83442]

John Healey: HM Treasury, Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue contribute to the delivery of the objectives in the Government's Sustainable Development Strategy through a variety of mechanisms, including regular reporting on sustainable development issues and the incorporation of sustainable development into key processes such as Spending Review 2002.

The outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Government's initial views on delivering them will be set out in the forthcoming Annual Report on Sustainable Development.

Trust Posts

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date the Office for National Statistics decided to classify certain major trust posts as public bodies requiring their financial transactions to be included in the PSBR; and what reasons were given for the decision. [85123]

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

Letter from John Pullinger to Mr. Chope, dated 3 December 2002:

3 Dec 2002 : Column 682W

Young People (Business Start-ups)

Siobhain McDonagh: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what incentives he is introducing to encourage young people in deprived areas to start businesses. [85185]

John Healey: We have allocated 60million by 2005–06 to ensure that all pupils in England have five days of enterprise experience before they leave school. This gives effect to the recommendations of the Davies Review of Enterprise and the Economy in Education.

The Department for Education and Skills will be running pilots to test possible approaches in 2003–04 and 2004–05 at a cost of 5 million and £10 million respectively. This initiative will provide young people in all areas of England, including deprived areas, with experience of enterprise, and encourage them to consider starting their own businesses in the future. Young people wishing to start their own businesses in deprived areas will also benefit from our measures to support enterprise and tackle market failures in these areas more generally. These measures include designating 2,000 Enterprise Areas in the most deprived areas in the UK, where policies to support businesses are now being concentrated. Businesses in these areas already benefit from an exemption from stamp duty on property transfers between 60,000 and 150,000. We have announced that we will remove stamp duty on all commercial transactions in those areas, introduce a more flexible planning regime and a tax credit to encourage community investment, and offer greater support from the Small Business Service and the Inland Revenue.


Congestion Charging

Mr. Chope : To ask the Solicitor General what the policy is of her Department in relation to the reimbursement of Central London road user charges incurred by its employees. [81849]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 19 November 2002]: In relation to the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, employees travel by public transport. Should the use of a private car be essential for work, rather than personal, reasons, the Department would bear the cost of the charge. It is not expected that any such occasion should arise.

The policy of the Treasury Solicitor's Department is to encourage its employees not to use private vehicles on official business and to encourage them to use public transport. The Department will, however, pay road tolls, including the central London road user charge, where use of a private vehicle is essential or where the journey remains cost effective in comparison to the use of public transport.

The Crown Prosecution Service has not yet published a policy in relation to the reimbursement of the central London road user charges.

3 Dec 2002 : Column 683W

The Serious Fraud Office does not intend to amend its terms and conditions to include reimbursement of central London road user charges incurred by its employees for travelling to work.

In respect of HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, it is Departmental travel policy that employees should not use cars to commute to and from work in London. Where the use of a car in London is essential for work, not personal, reasons, charges will be reimbursed.


Public Procurement Directive

Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what scope EU contracting authorities will have under the proposed new EU public procurement directive to make choices between bids at the award stage, based on environmental criteria; and if she will make a statement. [83930]

Miss Melanie Johnson: At the award stage, the proposed new directive makes it clear that contracting authorities are able to use environmental criteria where these are justified by the subject of the contract and provide a benefit to the contracting authority. Such criteria can include whole life cost factors, such as energy usage, disposal costs, and recyclability, as well as those related to qualitative aspects of the product. However, it will often be more appropriate and sensible to take environmental issues into account earlier on in the procurement process, in defining the subject of the contract and the specification. There is much scope to do this, provided that such specifications do not discriminate against suppliers across the Community, and that buyers respect the rules in the directives on technical specifications. Contracting authorities can, for example, specify green production processes (eg timber from sustainable sources, recycled paper, green electricity etc) and can refer to relevant eco-label criteria. Contracting authorities can also define one or more variants to the standard specification to allow, for example, bids to be submitted which offer a higher environmental performance.

Next Section Index Home Page