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7 Sept 2004 : Column 1191W—continued


Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the cost to public funds of absenteeism within the public sector; and if he will make a statement. [186339]

Mr. Boateng: The Treasury does not collect data on absence in the public sector but there are other published sources. Figures for the civil service, including estimates of cost, are published annually by the Cabinet Office in "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development published a survey in July titled "Employee absence 2004—A survey of management policy and practice" which included estimates of average sickness absence across the public sector.

Barnett Formula

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, pursuant to his reply of 20 July 2004, Official Report, column 187W, what the (a) increase in the public expenditure programmes used as the comparator spend for the purposes of the Barnett formula for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between 2000–01 and 2003–04, (b) actual increases in the Barnett formula allocations to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland between 2000–01 and 2003–04 and (c) increase in public spending between 2000–01 and 2003–04 in the North East for programmes used as comparator programmes for Barnett formula assessments were. [186864]

John Healey: The operation of the Barnett formula is set out in the Statement of Funding Policy. The formula is applied to increases in the spending of the comparable Government Departments. The increases in spending of Government Departments were announced in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 Spending Review White Papers. The increases in spending for the devolved Administrations were also announced in these White Papers. Information on identifiable public spending in the North East is published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2004 (Cm 6201). The Barnett formula is not applied to English regional spending.

British Film Production

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost of tax relief on the production of British films was in each of the last five years broken down by scheme. [187141]

Dawn Primarolo: The UK has a number of film tax reliefs that are designed to assist the production of British qualifying films, as certified by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The estimated tax cost of Section 48 film tax relief is £440 million for the period 1997–98 to 2001–02 and the estimated costs for 2002–03 and 2003–04 are £300 million and £140 million respectively. The tax cost of the other film tax reliefs is estimated to be an additional £70 million a year.

Child Poverty

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what resources the Government have
7 Sept 2004 : Column 1192W
provided to reduce child poverty in (a) St. Helens and (b) the UK, broken down by region, since 1997. [186812]

Dawn Primarolo: St. Helens, like the rest of the UK, has benefited from a range of measures since 1997 to reduce unemployment and make work pay, and to raise the incomes of the poorest families with children. Since 1997, the Government have committed substantial resources to tackle child poverty, both through universal and targeted public services and through financial support. For example, by 2004–05, total spending on financial support for children through tax credits, child benefit and other benefits will have increased by £10.4 billion in real terms from its 1997 level, a rise of 72 per cent. In addition, the Government have increased spending on the Sure Start Unit, and has invested over £2.9 billion on child care, early years and Sure Start local programmes from 1998–99 to 2003–04.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans the Government have to reduce child poverty; and if he will make a statement. [186839]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government are making steady progress towards the PSA target to reduce by a quarter the number of children in low-income households by 2004–05, as a contribution to the longer-term goals of halving child poverty by 2010 and eradicating it by 2020. By 2002–03 there were around half a million fewer children in relative low-income households compared to 1998–99. The 2004 Spending Review announced a new child poverty PSA target, shared by the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury, to halve the number of children in relative low-income households between 1998–99 and 2010–11, on the way to eradicating child poverty by 2020. The Government will also set an additional target in the 2006 Spending Review to halve by 2010–11 the number of children suffering a combination of material deprivation and low income. The child poverty review, published alongside the 2004 Spending Review, sets out a range of key measures to reduce child poverty and improve poor children's life chances, thus breaking cycles of deprivation.


Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children (a) under two, (b) under five and (c) aged five to 16 years there were in (i) South-West Surrey constituency, (ii) Waverley borough council, (iii) Surrey county and (iv) England in (A) 1997 and (B) the latest available year; and what the estimate is for (1) 2007 and (2) 2012. [187288]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mrs. Virginia Bottomley, dated 7 September 2004:

7 Sept 2004 : Column 1193W

Estimated and projection populations—Age groups and areas as shown, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012

Year (82)
AreaAge group1997 (83)2002 (83)2007 (84)2012 (84)
EnglandAll ages48,635.949,561.850,503.351,527.1
SurreyAll ages1,039.71,059.91,090.31,106.4
Waverley borough council areaAll ages115.0116.0115.4116.4

(82) Important Note—Population figures for the years shown are presently on different bases and cannot be compared precisely. This is because of work to improve population statistics following the 2001 Census, which is being incorporated progressively into statistical outputs. By November 2004, all the data will be available on a consistent basis.
(83) Mid-year estimates
(84) Mid-year projections
Office for National Statistics, Government Actuary's Department

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