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23 Mar 2005 : Column 825W—continued

Civil Service

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in which departments and agencies he expects to be able to make further reductions in civil service posts. [223772]

Mr. Boateng: The planned levels of reductions in total and in detail were set out in the Spending Review 2004 White Paper, and are summarised in Chapter 2, Table 2.2.

Inland Revenue

Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2005, Official Report, column 1406W, on Inland Revenue, on what date Inland Revenue commenced a review of its existing informers, and its practices relating to them, to ensure that it would be compliant with the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [223192]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue responded to an approach by the Home Office in 1999 prior to the passage of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and informed them of the Department's continuing need to use information provider by informants and, in particular, that type of informant later classified as a Covert Human Intelligence Source by the Provisions of RIPA. The Inland Revenue asked staff in its Special Compliance Office to consider whether any of the informers then in use fell within the definition of a Covert Human Intelligence Source on 9 August 2001.

Tax Evasion

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what methods his Department uses to tackle tax evasion. [223071]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue employs a twin-track approach to ensuring tax compliance by helping taxpayers to meet their obligations and dealing effectively with deliberate non-compliance. Central to that approach, the Revenue has a continuous and sophisticated programme of risk assessment directed at tackling tax evasion.

New Homes (VAT)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to review the zero rate of VAT on new homes. [223355]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government keep all taxes under constant review.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from the European Commission regarding the zero rate of VAT on new homes in the United Kingdom. [223356]

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Dawn Primarolo: I am not aware that any Treasury Minister has received any recent representations from the European Commission concerning the zero rate of VAT for new housing.

Office of Government Commerce

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many suppliers are included on the list of pre-qualified suppliers maintained by the Office of Government Commerce's buying solutions; and how many are located in Wales. [223333]

Mr. Boateng: OGC does not maintain a listing of 'pre-qualified suppliers.' Delivery of the products and services is via Framework Agreements and Managed Services contracts. The OGC supply base is 570, of which eight have registered offices in Wales.

In order to provide the appropriate service coverage to central Government and the wider public sector within Wales, the supply base may utilise regional offices or sub-contractors based within Wales. The Management Information submitted by each supplier does not include details of which office or sub-contractor is responsible for carrying out work in each region.

PFI Contracts

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value to date is of secondary market equity sales in private finance initiative contracts. [222886]

Mr. Boateng: The Government do not hold information on sales of equity stakes in PFI deals as these are transactions between two private sector entities. PFI contracts require that the identity of any new owner arising from such a transaction must be notified to the procuring authority of the PFI project. The Government undertake PFI for reasons of value for money, and the value of secondary private sector equity sales does not change the value for money case or the unitary charge paid for an individual project.

Socio-economic Classifications

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of each National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification was unmarried but lived with a partner in the last period for which figures are available; and what proportion of these couples had a child. [223122]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Andrew Tyrie, dated 23 March 2005:

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Proportion of cohabiting couple families(3) in each NS-SEC(4) and the proportion of these couples that had a child(5),United Kingdom, spring 2004

Higher managerial and professional occupationsLower managerial and professional occupationsIntermediate occupationsSmall employers and own account workersLower supervisory and technical occupations
Cohabiting couples132151214
Split of cohabiting couples by
whether or not children are resident:
with no children7167665250
with dependent children2730314346
with non-dependent children only2'3354


Semi-routine occupationsRoutine occupationsNever worked, long term unemployed full-time students and not stated or classifiableTotal
Cohabiting couples101312100
Split of cohabiting couples by whether or not children are
with no children48446458
with dependent children49523238
with non-dependent children only4444

(3) A cohabiting couple family is a cohabiting couple on their own, or with their never-married children who have no children of their own. A small number of those cohabiting will actually be legally married but separated from their marriage partner.
(4) NS-SEC is an occupationally based classification but has rules to provide coverage of the whole adult population. The family reference person has been used to assign the NS-SEC of the family. It does not follow that everyone in the family will be of the same NS-SEC as the family reference person.
(5) A family with children can contain dependent or non-dependent children. Dependent children are defined as children under 16 years of age, or those aged 16 to 18 who are never-married and in full-time education.
Due to rounding, percentages may not total to exactly 100.
Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics.

Tax Credits

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 21 February 2005, Official Report, column 76W, on tax credits, how many complaints were received by the MP tax credits complaints team (a) by post and (b) by telephone in (i) January and (ii) February. [223595]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available.

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