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8 Dec 2004 : Column 534W—continued

Inheritance Tax

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total amount of relief from inheritance tax granted in respect of agricultural land in North Yorkshire was in each of the past five years; [203356]

(2) in how many cases relief from inheritance tax was granted in North Yorkshire in each of the past five years; [203357]

(3) if he will make a statement on the eligibility criteria for the granting of relief from inheritance tax. [203358]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on the number and value of assets relieved of inheritance tax in the UK is published in Table 12.2 of Inland Revenue Statistics 2004 at: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/stats/inheritance_tax/tablel2–2.xls/. A regional breakdown is not available.

The eligibility criteria for inheritance tax reliefs depend on the particular relief. Agricultural property relief is available for land (including qualifying farmhouses and cottages) which has been owned by the transferor, and occupied for farming, for at least seven years, or two years for owner occupiers. Inland Revenue booklet IHT17 gives more information and is available at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/leaflets/iht.htm.

International Finance Facility

Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) G7 and (b) G21 countries need to support the International Finance Facility for it to be launched. [202669]

Mr. Timms: The number of donor countries needed depends on the size of the commitment individual countries are willing to make. Clearly, a critical mass of donors is needed to achieve the gains of scale and predictability.

MRSA

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how often the MRSA virus was listed as a cause of death on a death certificate in the most recent period for which figures are available. [201518]


 
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Mr. Timms [holding answer 2 December 2004]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Derek Wyatt, dated 8 December 2004:

PISA Survey

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) for what reason the Office for National Statistics did not supply sufficient data to the OECD for their 2003 PISA survey; and if he will make a statement; [203174]

(2) which official in his Department was responsible for collating data for the OECD PISA survey 2003. [203176]

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

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Nick Gibb, dated 8 December 2004:


 
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Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has been informed of breaches of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers in his Department since its implementation; [201347]

(2) how many appeals were made by civil servants to the Civil Service Commissioners regarding special advisers in his Department between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004; and when each appeal was lodged; [201371]

(3) how many complaints were made by departmental civil servants regarding the conduct of special advisers between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004. [203479]

Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him today by the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Tax Collection

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost of collection of (a) national insurance, (b) income tax, (c) capital gains tax and (d) inheritance tax has been in each year since 1997. [203213]

Dawn Primarolo: The cost of collection is reported each year in the Inland Revenue's Annual Report. It is calculated by apportioning administrative expenditure between the main taxes and duties.

Tax Credits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the tax credits computer system can (a) import data from and (b) export data to the income tax computer system. [201576]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act. It holds information for the purposes specified to the Data Protection Commissioner, and may use this information for any of them.

The Inland Revenue receives and uses information about tax credit claimants and tax payers from others, and may give information to others but only as the law permits to:

The Inland Revenue may check information they receive about claimants and taxpayers with what is already in their records. This can include information provided by customers as well as others such as other Government Departments and agencies and overseas tax authorities.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress is being made in removing the administration of tax credits for employers; and when he expects to implement this change. [203167]


 
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Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue is consulting representatives of employers and other interested parties to ensure that the transition from employer payment of working tax credit to direct payment by the Inland Revenue proceeds smoothly for both employers and claimants. Once that consultation is complete, I shall announce the timetable for phasing out the payment of working tax credit by employers.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what total expenditure on the working tax credit was in 2003–04, broken down between (a) the working tax credit itself and (b) the childcare tax credit; [203240]

(2) what total expenditure on the child tax credit was in 2003–04, broken down between (a) the family element, (b) the child element and (c) other elements; [203242]

(3) how much expenditure on (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit in 2003–04 was (i) offset for the purposes of public expenditure calculations payments of income tax and (ii) counted as public expenditure. [203268]

Dawn Primarolo: Expenditure on the child and working tax credits in the financial year 2003–04 appears in Note 3 to the Trust Statement in the Inland Revenue Annual Report and Accounts for that year.

On (i), expenditure on WTC includes £490 million paid to the main carer of the children for childcare as part of WTC. The total level of childcare support provided through the childcare element in 2003–04 is estimated to be over £700 million. This includes cases where this element increased the amount of child tax credit (CTC) paid.

On (ii), It is not possible to provide a split of total expenditure on CTC between the component elements. The amount of award payable is reduced for families whose incomes are above the threshold, and this reduction is applied to the total value of all elements taken together.

On (iii), reliable separate splits between CTC and WTC of the negative tax and payments of entitlement components of tax credits expenditure are not available.

John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people living in the City of Edinburgh local authority area have had payment of their tax credits stopped because they failed to provide the Inland Revenue with updated information by the 30 September deadline. [203378]

Dawn Primarolo: This number is not known, and a reliable estimate could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average length of time taken to answer calls made to the customer telephone number of the Tax Credit Office customer relations team in Preston is. [203379]

Dawn Primarolo: Tax credit customers phoning with a query or problem about their tax credits should ring the main Tax Credits Helpline on 0845 300 3900 (Great
 
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Britain) or 0845 603 2000 (Northern Ireland). These helplines are open seven days a week from 08:00 to 20:00.

The Tax Credit Office's customer relations team deals with formal customer complaints and has a phone number that its customers can ring if they have a query. There are five lines, which are staffed throughout normal office hours and handle around 100 calls a day. The Tax Credit Office does not have information about the average length of time taken to answer calls to the customer relations team's phone number.

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many months' backlog there is for appeals concerning overpayment of (a) working family and (b) child tax credit; [203146]

(2) how many appeals concerning overpayment of working family tax credits have been successful this year. [203147]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 8 December 2004]: The information requested is not available.

John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the analysis of the household survey data for 2003–04 to provide an estimate of families eligible for but not claiming child tax credit will be concluded. [200233]

Dawn Primarolo: Subject to ensuring the data and methodology are sufficiently robust, we expect the analysis to be completed towards the end of 2005–06.


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