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1 Dec 2004 : Column 124W—continued


Circle initiative

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) is planning to take in support of the Circle Initiative and business improvement districts. [200603]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister supports the promotion of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) through our participation on the advisory board of the Circle Initiative, and by providing financial support to the Association of Town Centre Management's National BIDs pilot project, which is developing 22 BID partnerships across England and Wales. These pilots will provide good practice information for the public and private sector on how to set up BIDs.
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Local Authority Funding

Mr. Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much Pendle council has received in Government grant in real terms since 1996–97; and what the percentage change since 1996–97 has been in the annual grant. [200993]

Mr. Raynsford: The amount of Government grant made available to Pendle borough council in the period 1996–97 to 2004–05 in real terms is shown in the table.

The figures are derived from data as reported by the local authority, adjusted using the GDP deflator, and consists of outturn data for 1996–97 to 2002–03 and budget data for 2003–04 and 2004–05. The amounts are shown in £000s and have not been adjusted for changes affecting local authorities such as changes in function or financing.
Government grants to Pendle borough council in real terms


The grants included are special and specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance, Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) reduction grant, revenue support grant and redistributed non-domestic rates.

The unadjusted percentage increase in annual grant for Pendle since 1996–97 in real terms is 16.5 per cent.

Local Government Pension Scheme

Mr. O'Brien: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the timing of the introduction of changes to the retirement ages for members of the Local Government Pension Scheme. [200497]

Phil Hope: Amendments to the Local Government Pension Scheme to remove provisions that allow some scheme members to retire with unreduced pension benefits before age 65 will come into effect on 1 April 2005.


Civil Service Jobs

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants have (a) been relocated and (b) been agreed for relocation in the last 12 months; and to which areas of the United Kingdom. [200521]

Mr. Boateng: Progress on delivery of the relocation programme will be announced in the pre-Budget report on 2 December.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the civil service job cuts recommended by the Gershon Review were outside Greater London. [200522]

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Mr. Boateng: There will be an overall gross reduction in posts of 84,150 by 2008 and Departments will pursue these reductions in line with business need. Progress will be reported in the Pre-Budget Report on 2 December.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many jobs recommended for relocation by the Lyons Review were also recommended to be cut by the Gershon Review. [200523]

Mr. Boateng: Planned work force reductions in London and the South East are excluded from the 20,000 posts identified for relocation.

European Constitution

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of his Department, with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. [200184]

Mr. Timms: Following the Prime Minister's commitment to Parliament on 4 May 2004, Official Report, column 1456W, the Government will shortly be publishing a comparative analysis of the EU Constitution with existing EU Treaty provisions. This document will address points (a) , (b) and (c) . In addition, with regard to points (b) and (e) , I refer the hon. Member to the Foreign Secretary's reply on 5 July 2004, Official Report, columns 592W-93W, to the Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis) setting out moves from unanimity to QMV in the EU Constitution, and to the statement given by the Foreign Secretary on 9 September 2004, Official Report, columns 133–36W on the Charter of Fundamental Rights. With regard to points (d) and (f) , the EU Constitution will not in itself determine the quantity of EU legislation, or any costs associated with its implementation. The introduction of a rigorous subsidiarity mechanism involving national parliaments should provide a check on new legislation and help focus it better when it is necessary.

Higher Rate Taxpayers

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many higher rate taxpayers there have been in each county in England in each year since 2000; and what percentage of the total they represent in each case. [200969]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to table 3.11 "Income and tax, by region and country" on the Inland Revenue website

Inland Revenue Staff

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff were employed at the Inland Revenue in (a) April 1997 and (b) April 2004; what the reasons were for the change in staff numbers; and if he will make a statement. [200249]

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Dawn Primarolo: The numbers of staff employed in civil service Departments and agencies, including the Inland Revenue, are available on the Cabinet Office's "Civil Service Statistics" website at

The effects of changes in departmental responsibilities on departmental staff numbers are also available on the website.

Invoice Payments

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average length of time was between the date of invoices issued to his Department from a supplier and payment by the Department of the invoice in the last 12 months for which figures are available; what percentage of these invoices were paid within 30 days of the date of issue of the invoice; what percentage of these invoices remained unpaid after 90 days; and if he will make a statement on the Department's policy on the payment of invoices issued to it. [200628]

Mr. Timms: Information relating to the Treasury's payment performance was published in the Treasury's resource accounts for 2003–04 (Paragraph 51 on page 10, HC920), a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Additional information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Pensioners (Income Tax)

Tom Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the number of pensioners living in (a) the London borough of Wandsworth and (b) Greater London who pay income tax on their income. [200945]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to table 3.12 "Income and tax for individuals aged 65 and above, by region and country" on the Inland Revenue website

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