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The Department supports and welcomes the creation of a Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) which would provide much needed
2 Dec 2004 : Column 200W
advice to suppliers and purchasers of timber. However, as a result of budget constraints, we are unable to provide funds towards its establishment although we expect to pay for its services when it has been created.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to how many written questions tabled in the last parliamentary session his Department had been unable to provide a substantive answer before the end of the session. 
At all times Ministers make every effort to answer questions substantively before Prorogation. However this is not always possible. One question did not receive a substantive response before the House prorogued on Thursday 18 November. It is open to the hon. Member to re-table the question this session.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will authorise payment of a grant to the charity Band Aid equivalent to the sum to be paid in VAT by the end of the 200405 tax year from the sales of their new song. 
We are currently working on detailed plans on where staff reductions will arise but it is still too early to say what effect the changes will have on any particular location.
2 Dec 2004 : Column 201W
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he has introduced to improve the financial position of (a) parents and (b) pensioners in the Lewisham, Deptford constituency; and how many recipients there were of such measures in (i) 2001 and (ii) 2004. 
in 200405 families with children are, on average, £1,350 per year better off and families in the poorest fifth of the population are, on average, £3,000 per year better off. These improvements have been delivered in particular through increased child benefit and the introduction of tax credits. In 2001, 11,280 families in Lewisham Deptford benefited from the increases in child benefit, 1,729 working families also benefited from working families tax credit or disabled person's tax credit and 3,700 non-working families benefited from the child allowances in income support and jobseeker's allowance. In 2004, 10,915 families benefited from child benefit, of these 6,000 also benefited from more than the family element of child tax credit and 1,800 benefited from the family element of child tax credit.
the average pensioner household was £11 per week better off in 200102 and is £26 per week better off in 200405. A key part of this has been financial support offered to the poorest pensioners by pension credit, introduced in October 2003. 3,200 pensioners in Lewisham Deptford are currently benefiting from pension credit with an average award of £57.30 a week.
Dawn Primarolo: Child benefit and child tax credit are awarded to the person with main responsibility for a child. Parents may choose which of them will receive the payments, but if no agreement is reached the Board of the Inland Revenue is responsible for determining entitlement, based on the facts of each case. There is no provision to allow the splitting of payments.
The Government have an ambitious long-term goal to eradicate child poverty by 2020, and have a PSA target to halve it by 2010. To meet this challenging target it is necessary to focus financial support in a way which enables the parent with main responsibility for the child to provide for the child's needs. Child poverty groups support this approach. Splitting tax credits and benefits could have far reaching risks and consequences. The Government will continue to listen to parents and representative groups about the best way to support families with children.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the refurbishment projects that (a) are in progress and (b) will start in the next six months; what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure timber from legal and sustainable sources; whether guidance will be issued to contractors on each of these projects to ensure that the timber used on site during refurbishment also comes from legal and sustainable sources. 
The Inland Revenue, HM Customs and Excise and Valuation Office Agency outsourced works including refurbishments to a private company, Mapeley, in April 2001 under a 20-year contract. The Department's only current and planned refurbishment works are part of the Mapeley STEPS contract and are given as follows.
|Number of projects|
|Electrical and Mechanical||5|
|H and S works/security and statutory compliance||14|
|General building works||82|
|Internal re-decoration/floorings blinds||5|
|Planned to commence during next six months|
|Electrical and Mechanical||8|
|H and S works/security and statutory compliance||14|
|General building works||54|
|Internal re-decoration/floorings blinds||35|
The STEPS contract requires Mapeley and all contractors used by them, to comply with various environmental requirements, specifically that they must ensure all procurement follows environmental procurement guidelines (PUG 177/97). Further to this they must ensure all wood is from an independently verified sustainable source and must support the Government's vision of sustainable development. Contractors are required by contract to use timber on site during refurbishment from legal and sustainable sources. Lifecycle plans for other departmental PFI contracts are currently being compiled, all such contracts are bound by the same government guidance.
2 Dec 2004 : Column 203W
Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place a copy of the results of his exercise to establish the extent of fraud and error in provisional new tax credit awards for 200304 in the Library. 
Dawn Primarolo: Claimants have until 31 January to report 200304 incomes and finalise their 200304 awards. The extent of any non-compliance in 200304 tax credits awards can only be estimated when all such awards have been finalised.
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