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30 Jan 2003 : Column 994W—continued

HM Customs

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether it is the policy of HM Customs to withhold from the media details of seizures, arrests, and subsequent charges. [92997]

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John Healey: Up to 31 March 2002, the period for which information is available, most seizures of firearms were regulatory breaches with little to suggest they were being imported for criminal purposes. Number of illegal firearms seized by Customs and Excise

Number of illegal firearms seized by Customs and Excise

Year ended 31 MarchHand gunsRiflesShotgunsSelf defence spraysStun gunsTotal

The majority of seizures were made in various ports, airports and international parcel postal depots. No centrally held and readily accessible information is available on where the weapons were hidden or whether any detection involved criminal proceedings being instituted.

Figures for illegal firearms seized are not yet available for the period between April and November 2002, but within the overall totals since April 2002 Customs have made four significant seizures of consignments of guns believed to be destined for criminal use. Firearms seized total some 20 hand guns and 35 sub machine guns plus a quantity of ammunition and explosive. The cases are subject to continuing investigation by Police and Customs. Customs do not release information if there is a risk of prejudicing ongoing or future enquiries, as provided for by Exemptions 4 (Law enforcement and legal proceedings) and 7 (Effective management and operations of the public service) of the Code of Practice on Access toGovernment Information.

House Prices

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average price of a house was in real terms in (a) England and (b) local authorities defined as rural, by region, in each year since 1978. [90834]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

Although the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Survey of Mortgage Lenders has been a valuable source of information on house prices back to 1968, data from the survey are reliable only down to regional level. Reliable house price information at local authority level has only been available since 1996 when the Land Registry constructed its database of all property transactions in England and Wales. Consequently the data presented in the following tables cover only the period 1996 to 2002 (Ql to Q3).

Average house prices in rural local authorities by region, 1996–2002—at current prices

East Midlands64,38368,44274,32180,40489,91599,631115,919
North East53,65557,56358,44863,61465,77668,82576,113
North West59,35663,17765,93570,95075,63682,35491,781
South East84,84792,392103,120115,551135,758149,571168,999
South West71,67477,56584,51594,136108,854122,187144,183
West Midlands71,38377,85484,08991,416100,481114,167131,626
Yorkshire and Humber66,01169,16470,88675,97981,35989,006105,069
All England(3)73,92980,66988,42798,513110,724121,916138,296

(2) Q1 to Q3

(3) Urban and Rural

Average house prices in rural local authorities by region, 1996–2002— at constant 1996 prices

East Midlands64,38366,35669,66774,23080,62387,737100,859
North East53,65555,80954,78958,73058,97860,60966,225
North West59,35661,25261,80665,50267,81972,52379,857
South East84,84789,57796,663106,679121,727131,716147,044
South West71,67475,20179,22386,90897,605107,600125,451
West Midlands71,38375,48178,82484,39790,096100,538114,526
Yorkshire and Humber66,01167,05666,44770,14572,95178,38191,419
All England(5)73,92978,21182,89090,94999,281107,362120,329

(4) Q1 to Q3

(5) Urban and Rural


The rural local authorities included in the above figures are those that are classified by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister as "mixed rural" or "deeply rural".


Land Registry

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Income Drawdown Policies

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many investors have taken out income drawdown policies in each year since their inception in 1995; [93877]

Ruth Kelly: Available estimates of the number of new income drawdown plans purchased are contained in the following table .

New Income Drawdown Plans(6)

YearNumber of new policies (thousand)


Association of British Insurers (ABI). Note that figures are only available from 1996.

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No estimates are available of the number who have purchased an annuity before aged 75 after having been in income drawdown.

Income Tax

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenue gain from an income tax rate of (a) 42 per cent., (b) 44 per cent., (c) 45 per cent., (d) 48 per cent., (e) 50 per cent., (f) 52 per cent., (g) 54 per cent. and (h) 55 per cent. on taxable incomes exceeding (i) £60,000 pa, (ii) £70,000 pa, (iii) £80,000 pa, (iv) £90,000 pa, (v) £100,000 pa, (vi) £120,000 pa, (vii) £140,000 pa, (viii) £150,000 pa, (ix) £175,000 pa, (x) £200,000 pa, (xi) £220,000 pa and (xii) £250,000 pa. [93478]

Dawn Primarolo: The full year revenue gain in 2003–04 from making the changes is set out in the table.

£ billion

Taxable income exceedingIncome tax rates (percentage)

The estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes and are consistent with the November 2002 pre-Budget report. These estimates exclude any behavioural response to the tax change.

Income Tax/National Insurance

Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the average lifetime contributions in (a) Income Tax and (b) National Insurance of (i) university graduates and (ii) non-graduates. [94125]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue does not hold information about the qualifications of taxpayers or people paying National Insurance Contributions.

Industrial Action/Illness

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working days have been lost in his Department and its predecessors due to (a) industrial action and (b) illness in each year since 1997. [93166]

Ruth Kelly (holding answer 27 January 2003): No working days have been lost due to industrial action since 1997. On sick absence I refer the hon. Member to

30 Jan 2003 : Column 999W

the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Nigel Evans) on 16 January 2003, Official Report, column 753W.

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