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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what actions were funded in 2004 through European Communities' Medium Term Financial Assistance funds within the special reserve for borrowing and lending Activities. 
Mr. Timms: In 2004, one action was carried out through the European Communities' Medium Term Financial Assistance funds: a loan disbursement of €10.0 million (£7.0 million 1 ) to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Details of the borrowing and lending activities conducted by the European Communities are published every six months in reports from the Commission on guarantees covered by the general budget. The reports are deposited in the Library of the House.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the quantity of illegal drugs (a) produced in Africa and (b) exported from Africa to Europe or the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The detailed estimates requested are not held by this department and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The broad position is that drug production in Africa is limited to cannabis cultivation. There is no evidence of any significant production of heroin or cocaine.
Seizure patterns and intelligence indicate the increasing use of west Africa as a transit point for cocaine and heroin to Europe and the UK.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what policies the Government are pursuing to increase household incomes in areas with the lowest household incomes. 
Mr. Timms: Through the child and working tax credits and the pension credit the Government have significantly improved financial support for working age and pensioner households on low incomes. As a result of tax and benefit reforms since 1997, by April 2005:
families with children in the poorest fifth of the population will be, on average, £3,000 a year better off; and
The Government have also invested over £1.6 billion since 1997 in neighbourhood renewal programmes for the most deprived areas of the country, and has introduced employment programmes providing additional support for jobseekers in the poorest areas.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers in the Nottingham, North constituency have benefited from the lower 10 per cent. starting rate of income tax. 
Dawn Primarolo: All income taxpayers benefit from the 10 per cent. starting rate. Estimates of the number of taxpayers in each constituency within the UK will be published as National Statistics on the Inland Revenue website in February 2005.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the ministerial engagements (a) out of London and (b) in London that he has cancelled since 1 January 2004. 
Mr. Gordon Brown: Details of cancelled engagements are not retained centrally.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have benefited from the national minimum wage in the Nottingham, North constituency. 
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. Graham Allen, dated 25 January 2005:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many people have benefited from the national minimum wage in Nottingham North Parliamentary Constituency. I am replying in his absence. (211011)
Estimates for the number of jobs paid below the minimum wage for Parliamentary Constituencies are not available. However, the Office for National Statistics calculates estimates of the number of jobs paid less than national minimum wage rates for the United Kingdom and Government Office Regions. A guide to measuring low pay and associated articles and data can be found on the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=5837&Pos=l&ColRank=l&Rank=272
Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the Savings Gateway pilot. 
Mr. Timms: The last of the initial pilot Saving Gateway accounts matured in November last year and the evaluation team at the Personal Finance Research Centre at Bristol University are in the final phases of collecting the data and interpreting the evidence for their final report to HM Treasury.
The interim evaluation, published on the HM Treasury website in October 2003, finds that matching can provide an important new dimension to Government support for saving. We will build upon this evidence-base in the new larger £15 million pilot which was announced in the 2004 pre-Budget report.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints have been made about the tax credits system in each financial year since its inception, (a) via hon. Members and (b) direct from constituents;
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how many cases have been referred by hon. Members to the Inland Revenue for investigation; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 17 January 2005]: At the end of March 2004 6 million families were benefiting from tax credits and the Inland Revenue had received 32,000 written complaints in relation to tax credits. It is not possible to split this figure by those received via hon. Members and those received direct from constituents.
All complaints made to hon. Members are referred to the Inland Revenue for investigation.
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1)what the total expenditure on (a) working tax credit and (b) child tax credit was in each year that these schemes have been in operation; 
(2) what proportion of the budget for (a) working tax credit and (b) child tax credit has been spent on administration in each year that each scheme has been in operation. 
Dawn Primarolo: Child and working tax credits were introduced in April 2003.
For the year ended 31 March 2004, the total expenditure on these tax credits, and the costs of managing and paying them, appear on pages 1034 of the Inland Revenue Annual Report and Accounts for that year.
This can be found on the Inland Revenue website, at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/pdfs/report2004.pdf.
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people were overpaid (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit during 200304; 
(2) how many families received (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit recovery notices during 200304. 
Dawn Primarolo: For the number of tax credits overpayments, 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 94648W.
Overpayments of tax credits are established after the end of the tax year, when final income and circumstances for the previous year are known and the award can be finalised. Where an award of tax credits has ceased and there remains an overpayment to be recovered, the Inland Revenue issues claimants with a 'Notice to Pay'. A small number of these notices were issued to recover tax credits in 200304, where awards were terminated on the grounds of no entitlement. To the end of March 2004, around 3,000 had been issued.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the average amount of compensation for errors paid by the Inland Revenue to claimants of tax credits was between April 2003 and December 2004; 
(2) how many of the compensation payments made for errors to tax credits claimants between April 2003 and December 2004, were for (a) £0-£25, (b) £25-£50,
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(c) £50-£100, (d) £100-£150, (e) £150-£200, (f) £250-£300, (g) £300-£350, (h) £350-£400, (i) £400-£450 and (j) £450-£500. 
Dawn Primarolo: The circumstances in which the Inland Revenue will make compensation payments to its customers are explained In the Department's Code of Practice 1 Putting things right when we make mistakes" which is available at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk. The Department will pay compensation for reasonable costs incurred as a direct result of their mistakes or delays and to recognise worry and distress caused by those mistakes or delays.
For the average amount of compensation authorised by the Inland Revenue to claimants of tax credits in 200304 I refer my right hon. Friend to paragraph 2.15 in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General attached to the Inland Revenue Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2004.
The average amount of compensation paid in the period 1 April to 31 December 2004 was £63.
The detailed information sought by the right hon. Gentleman relating to compensation payments for errors between April 2003 and December 2004 is available only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Mr. Fitzgerald and Ms Johnson of Rock Ferry, constituents of the right hon. Member for Birkenhead, will receive their tax credits. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue wrote to my right hon. Friend's constituents on 24 January 2005.
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