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10 Feb 2003 : Column 616W—continued

Tax Revenue

Mr. Laws : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much extra tax revenue was secured by the large business division of the Inland Revenue from its non-compliance operations in (a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000, (c) 2000–01, (d) 2001–02 and (e) 2002–03 to date; and if he will make a statement. [95825]

Dawn Primarolo: The total additional liability arising from work tackling non-compliance in the Large Business Office is set out each year in the Inland Revenue Annual Report, copies of which are in the House of Commons Library. Audited and accurate figures for 2002–03 are not yet available.

Tax-exempt Savings

Mr. Pike: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received regarding the future of tax exempt saving products; and if he will make a statement. [96196]

Ruth Kelly: The Sandler review of the market for medium and long-term retail savings, which was published last July, recommended two changes to the regime for taxing life insurance products. These changes are the abolition of the qualifying policy regime and the replacement of the so-called 5 per cent. tax-deferral rule which applies to withdrawals.

As we announced in the pre-Budget report, the Government are considering these proposals as part of the Budget process and are consulting the industry about their implications. They have has received representations from the insurance industry and friendly society movement. The Association of Friendly Societies and the Association of British Insurers have been in frequent contact with Treasury and Inland Revenue officials. Their discussions include considering how the Sandler recommendation to abolish the qualifying policy regime for new life insurance policies would affect the future of tax exempt saving products.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to allow tax exempt savings products a special exemption to the proposed abolition of qualifying policies; and if he will make a statement. [96197]

Ruth Kelly: The Sandier review of the market for medium and long-term retail savings, which was published last July, recommended two changes to the regime for taxing life insurance products. These changes are the abolition of the qualifying policy regime and the replacement of the so-called 5 per cent. tax-deferral rule which applies to withdrawals.

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As we announced in the Pre-Budget Report, the Government is considering these proposals as part of the Budget process and is consulting the industry about their implications, including in relation to tax exempt savings products. We are continuing that consideration and consultation.

Working Families Tax Credit

Caroline Flint: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it will be possible for parents to claim for child care costs under the new working families tax credit. [95937]

Dawn Primarolo: Parents will be able to claim for eligible child care costs under the new Working Tax Credit which will be introduced in April this year.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families were (a) in receipt of and (b) eligible for working families tax credit in each local authority in Wales in the most recent year for which figures are available. [94788]

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Dawn Primarolo: For the numbers in receipt of working families tax credit (WFTC), I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Tyne Bridge (Mr. Clelland) on 13 January 2003, Official Report, column 412W. Estimates of the take-up rates of WFTC in 2000–01 in the UK are available on the Inland Revenue website. Such estimates, and estimates of the numbers eligible for WFTC, are not available below the UK level.

World Oil Prices

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment his Department has made of the effects of a conflict with Iraq on world oil prices; [96421]

Ruth Kelly: Tensions in the Middle East and the export disruption from strike action in Venezuela are both currently increasing uncertainty in the oil market, thus acting to raise oil prices above the level that would be suggested by the underlying supply and demand situation.