Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Jan 2005 : Column 985W—continued

Local Government Finance

Mr. Pike: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which 50 local authorities in England have the highest percentage of properties in Council Tax Band A. [209413]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is contained in the table.
NamePercentage within Band A
South Tyneside68
Wear Valley65
Stoke on Trent63
Blyth Valley62
Newcastle upon Tyne60
Barrow in Furness60
Chester le Street55
North Tyneside54
North East Lincolnshire53
Berwick upon Tweed50
North Lincolnshire50

19 Jan 2005 : Column 986W

Lorry Road User Charge (Northern Ireland)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the implications are of cross-border roads in Northern Ireland in relation to implementing the proposed lorry road-user charge. [209260]

John Healey: The Government are committed to introducing a distance-based lorry road-user charge, with offsetting tax cuts for those who buy their fuel in the UK. We have been developing proposals in consultation with the haulage industry and, as announced in the pre-Budget report (Cm 6408), we have today issued a discussion paper, which considers various details of how the charge might operate in practice. The discussion paper is available in the Library of the House.

Land borders always provide challenges for distance-based road charging systems, both in determining UK distances travelled to which any charge should be applied, and in ensuring that vehicles crossing the boundary are complying with the charging requirements.

The UK land boundary in Northern Ireland presents particular challenges, with over 300 open crossing points between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. A number of cross-border routes also include roads which pass into and out of the UK a number of times, in some cases without visibly identifiable crossing points.

HM Customs and Excise, who are developing LRUC on behalf of the Government, are including these requirements in their specification for a modern, automated system for the UK.

National Debt

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level of national debt in (a) 2009–10 and (b) what it was in 1997–98. [209424]

Mr. Boateng: Outturn figures for public sector net debt are available on the Office for National Statistics website:

Table 1.1A: Public Sector Finances (series RUTO) shows figures for public sector net debt as a percentage of GDP.

The latest available projections for public sector net debt for 2009–10 are published by HM Treasury in Table B9: Current and Capital Budgets on page 204 of the Pre-Budget Report 2004.

National Insurance Contributions

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many deficiency notices he (a) has issued and (b) expects to issue in order to ensure that all individuals are notified of gaps in their national insurance contribution (NIC) record since 1997–98; what data he
19 Jan 2005 : Column 987W
collects on the (i) age, (ii) marital status and (iii) gender of recipients; how many people have so far responded by making voluntary NIC payments to fill gaps in their record; how many notices have been issued to (A) women aged 63 years or above and (B) men aged 68 years or above; and if he will make a statement. [208423]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 17 January 2005]: In September 2004, the Inland Revenue completed the exercise to issue Deficiency Notices to people of working age for the six-year period from 1996–97 to 2001–02. A total of 10.02 million notices were issued.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency (NISSA) are writing to about 483,000 people who reached state pension age on or before 24 October 2004 and who have deficiencies on their national insurance account for 1996–97 to 2001–02. About 93,000 of these Deficiency Notices have been issued.

For the Inland Revenue exercise, data on the number of recipients of Deficiency Notices by age and gender is as follows:

Age band/genderNumber of recipients of Deficiency Notices
Women under 403.19
Women 40 to 491.62
Women over 491.00
Men under 402.32
Men 40 to 490.94
Men over 490.94

Data on age and gender of recipients for the DWP and NISSA exercises and on the marital status of recipients in all exercises is not available.

To date, about 220,000 payments have been received. This will be greater than the number of individuals making payment since they can make more than one payment. An estimate of the number of individuals making payments is not available.

We have now resumed annual exercises to write to people with deficiencies on their national insurance record; the issue of Deficiency Notices for the period 2002–03 has largely been completed.

Pre-Budget Report

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost to public funds will be for the increased spending announced in the pre-Budget report. [209415]

Mr. Timms: The costs of all measures announced in the 2004 pre-Budget report which involve an addition to total Government expenditure can be found in table 1.2 of the 2004 pre-Budget report, which is available in the Library of the House.

Prostate Cancer

Tom Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many men have died from prostate cancer in the United Kingdom in each of the last three years. [209406]

19 Jan 2005 : Column 988W

Mr. Timms: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 19 January 2005:

Number of deaths from prostate cancer(18), United Kingdom, 2001–2003(19)

No. of deaths

(18) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code C61.
(19) Data for England and Wales are for deaths occurring in the calendar year. Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are for deaths registered in the calendar year.

Research and Development

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with representatives of small and medium sized businesses regarding tax credits for research and development. [209414]

John Healey: Treasury Ministers regularly receive representations from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their representatives on a range of tax issues, including the Research and Development (R and D) tax credit for SMEs. Where possible, Ministers and officials meet with representative bodies to discuss these representations.

Since the introduction of the R and D tax credit in 2000, the Government have continued to consult with small and medium sized enterprises and their representatives. Recent improvements to the credit have resulted from consultation with and suggestions from SMEs and their representative groups. The Government will continue to consult with SMEs on future improvements to the tax credit to ensure its effectiveness.

Next Section Index Home Page