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7 Dec 2004 : Column 443W—continued

National Insurance Contributions

Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people with a shortfall in earnings for national insurance contributions were not sent a deficiency warning notice in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement. [202268]

Dawn Primarolo: Deficiency notices for the six-year period from 1996–97 to 2001–02 were issued in a single exercise. A total of 10.02 million notices were issued between October 2003 and September 2004. Everyone of working age who should have received a deficiency notice during the six-year interval was sent one during the recent exercise. DWP are undertaking a similar exercise for pensioners. We do not routinely keep statistics about people who have not been sent a deficiency notice and this would be available only at disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland Statistics

Mr. Trimble: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the levels of (a) gross domestic product per
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head expressed as a percentage of the UK average and (b) average weekly earnings are in Northern Ireland. [202865]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. David Trimble, dated 7 December 2004:

Table A

Northern Ireland GVA(4) per head as a percentage of UK GVA per head
RegionGVA per head 2002 (£)Percentage of UK GVA per head
Northern Ireland12,08179.2
United Kingdom less Extra Regio(5)15.259

(4) Information presented here is Gross Value Added (GVA) which is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) less taxes (plus subsidies) on products.
(5) Extra Regio is that part of the UK's economic territory which cannot be allocated to any specific region.
Data Source:
Office for National Statistics: Regional GVA (Published April 2004)

*Average earnings figures for 2004 are presented in table B
Table B

Northern Ireland Average Earnings 2004(6)
Mean weekly earnings in Northern Ireland (£)Median weekly earnings in
Northern Ireland (£)

(6) Average gross weekly earnings for adult full time employees whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence.
(7) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings uses the median as its preferred measure of average earnings, however both median and mean measures are supplied as either may be suited to users' needs.
Data Source:
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2004(8)

Tax Credits (Overpayment)

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many cases of overpayment for child and working tax credit there have been in (a) Bassetlaw and (b) England in 2004. [203145]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Members for Northavon (Mr. Webb) and for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 15 November 2004, Official Report, columns 946–48W.
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Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of families have been overpaid working tax credit due to incorrect assessment by the Inland Revenue in each of the last two years. [202281]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Members for Northavon (Mr. Webb) and for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 15 November 2004, Official Report, columns 946–48W.


Civil/Family Courts

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made in the development of new online services for the civil and family courts, with particular reference to (a) Possessions Claim Online and (b) online forms. [201909]

Mr. Leslie: Possession Claims Online (PCOL) will be a public facing service for the issue of county court claims for repossession of property due to arrears of rent or mortgage. Development of the new service started in October 2004. National Rollout is planned in two phases: the first will commence in early 2006, the second in mid 2006. The timings are subject to the evaluation of proving phases.

PCOL will provide benefits in a substantial area of civil business. These include the extension of the range of court services on line for claimants, defendants and advisers; reducing operational costs; creating two-way electronic channels whereby claimants, defendants, advisers, judiciary and court staff can share claims dates; and providing around the clock remote access for claimants, defendants and advisers.

The Online Forms Pilot Project is planned to go live in early 2005, subject to successful testing, which commences in mid- December. It will deliver a number of interactive civil court forms over the internet and allow the customers in nine geographically spread, pilot courts to complete them online, pay the court fee online, and submit the form online. The forms will have built-in validation and navigation together with online help to assist customers and provide real-time feedback, ensuring "right first time" submission of forms.

The aim of the project is to improve access to justice. It achieves this by enabling customers to carry out transactions electronically, including at locations where they can receive advice and help with form completion (e.g. Citizens' Advice Service), negating the need to attend court offices. Customers using Llangefni county court will be able to use Welsh versions of the forms.


Antisocial Behaviour

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding has been set aside for costs resulting from antisocial behaviour orders in the Province. [201942]

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Mr. Spellar: The Anti-social Behaviour Order (Northern Ireland) 2004 was made on 27 July 2004 and allows the three designated partners ie, the Police, Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a district council to apply for an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) to be made in respect of anyone aged 10 or over where the person has acted in a manner that has caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one of more persons not of the same household as himself; and that such an Order is necessary to protect relevant persons from further antisocial acts by that individual. Implementation guidelines are currently being drawn up by the Criminal Justice Directorate and the designated agencies.

In relation to funding for antisocial behaviour orders, it has been agreed that the costs of applying for an Order would be borne by the agency making the application within the first 12–18 months of the process and until such times as the true resource implications can be established. Evidence has shown that the costs of applying for an Order in England and Wales has reduced considerably as experience of the system has been gained.


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action he has taken to ensure that employees in the Province are protected from (a) asthma triggers at work and (b) causes of occupational asthma. [202026]

Mr. Gardiner: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 requires employers to control exposure of employees and others to hazardous substances to prevent ill health, including occupational asthma. These Regulations are supported by a range of guidance materials and Approved Codes of Practice, one of which relates specifically to occupational asthma. Occupational asthma has been recognised as a significant cause of work-related ill health in the "Working for Health" strategy published in March 2003 and actions under the strategy are continuing to tackle this and other occupational health issues. A copy of this publication can be found in the House of Commons Library.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many individuals developed asthma in the Province because they were exposed to dangerous substances at work in the last year for which figures are available. [202028]

Mr. Gardiner: Accurate information on the number of individuals that have developed asthma due to working conditions is not available for Northern Ireland.However, for information, latest figures from the Winter 2003–04 Labour Force Survey estimated that in the previous year 3,000 1 individuals suffered from breathing or lung problems that were caused or made worse by a job or work done in the past.

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