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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 1 February 2005


Alexandra House

Mr. Key: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for the Inland Revenue office at Alexandra House, Salisbury, when the lease on the building is terminated; and if he will make a statement. [213110]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue are minor occupier to the Department for Constitutional Affairs. As major occupiers the Department for Constitutional Affairs have served notice to the Inland Revenue to vacate the property at the end of March 2006—this is in line with the terms of their legal agreement.

All possible options for relocation are being explored—as yet no decisions have been made.

Child-rearing Costs

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate the Government have made of the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 at 2003–04 prices. [211700]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government have not estimated the cost of raising a child. Since 1997 the Government have radically reformed the way they provide support to families with children, driven by two principal objectives:

From April 2005, this new system of financial support for families will deliver, through child benefit and child tax credit, a range of support from £17.00 to around £60a week, compared to a range of £11.05 and £28 a week in 1997.

Corporation Tax (Greater London)

Tom Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses in the Greater London area have benefited from lower rates of corporation tax. [213385]

Dawn Primarolo: Nationally nearly 600,000 companies have a corporation tax liability each year. All will benefit from the cuts in the main, small and starting companies' rates of corporation tax that have been introduced in recent years. However, it is not possible to identify precisely those businesses that trade in specific areas such as Greater London.


Simon Hughes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Paymaster General will respond to
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the letter from the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey, dated 1 December 2004 on City Academies and VAT; and what the reasons are for the delay. [213171]

Dawn Primarolo: I have done so.

Disadvantaged Area Relief

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the reasons for the rise in the cost of disadvantaged area relief from 2003–04 to 2004–05; and if he will make a statement. [213181]

Mr. Timms: The published cost of Disadvantaged Areas Relief (DAR) is an estimate of the amount of relief claimed by taxpayers. It includes the likely effect of substitution of DAR for other Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reliefs (such as Group Relief) and the claiming of DAR for transactions undertaken in earlier years.

Football Supporters Trusts

Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made by the Inland Revenue in its discussions with Supporters Direct to provide guidance and dedicated support for Football Supporters' Trusts to set up charities or community amateur sports clubs to run their community activities, and to help them take advantage of the range of tax reliefs available to such bodies; and if he will make a statement. [213293]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue has developed a draft package of guidance and support for Football Supporters Trusts. They have approached Supporters Direct and discussed this package and other issues with them, following up action points as well as agreeing to facilitate contact between Supporters Direct and the Charity Commission. The Revenue will continue to work closely with Supporters Direct to deliver the right support, in the right way, for Football Supporters' Trusts.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individual dwellings there are in Southend-on-Sea; and if he will make a statement. [213195]

Dawn Primarolo: As at 27 January 2005, there were 76,147 domestic dwellings in the Southend-on-Sea Billing Authority that have a council tax band placed upon them.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of public funding required to finance private public partnership schemes (a) in each of the past seven years and (b) which are repayable in each of the next 15 years. [211713]

Mr. Boateng: Estimated payments under PFI contracts in each of the past seven years and the next 15 years is publicly available information. This data can be found in previous Budget publications (available online at www.hm- treasury.gov.uk) and in my written minsterial statement of 2 December 2004, Official Report, column 43–4WS.
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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will commission a study into the viability of an excess profits levy on the profits made by banks, financiers and contractors on private finance initiative and public private partnership contracts. [211567]

Mr. Boateng: The Government are committed to achieving value for money from its PFI programme and keeps all aspects of the programme under review to ensure that this objective is being met. The Government have made clear that PFI should only be used where it is the appropriate to do so and where a full value for money analysis shows that it offers the best value for money in comparison with alternative procurement routes. This value for money analysis and robust competition in the bidding process, both of which were highlighted as key factors in the decision to use PFI in the value for money guidance issued by the Treasury last summer, ensure that the public sector pays a fair price for the services it receives from PFI projects and for the risks which the private sector bears.
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There are no plans to commission a study into the viability of a special or additional levy on PFI and PPP contracts.

Public Sector Pensions

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the report by the Government Actuary's Department on the long-term cost of public sector pensions referred to on page 43, Box 4.2 of the long-term public finance report of December 2004. [212010]

Mr. Timms: This report will be placed in the Library by 22 February, together with a commentary which will explain the assumptions and techniques employed in compiling the report.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequerhow much has been spent by his Department in each year since 1997 on taskforces and similar bodies. [204713]

Mr. Timms: The costs are set out in the table.

Private Finance Taskforce (also referred to as the
Treasury Taskforce)
Partnerships UK: revenue costs1,0008,0919201,3653,399
Partnerships UK: capital costs20,050
Financial Action Taskforce244303425
Equitable Life Inquiry721,139277
Diana Memorial Committee33

The Partnerships UK capital costs are the costs of the Treasury's holdings of £4.45 million of ordinary shares and £15.6 million of 6 per cent. loan stock.

The table excludes costs of the taskforces on Credit Unions, Modern Apprenticeships and Social Investment, which are not separately recorded.

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