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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1168W—continued


Mr. Gill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have under the age of 25 years suffered from cancer in (a) England, (b) the East Midlands and (c) Leicester South in each year since 1997. [224284]

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. Parmjit Singh Gill, dated 4 April 2005:

Number of newly diagnosed cases of all cancers(41) in people aged under 25 years in England, the East Midlands, and Leicester, 1997–2001
Number of cases

EnglandEast Midlands (GOR)Leicester unitary authority

(41)All cancers defined as all malignant cancers excluding non-melanoma skin cancer International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes COO-C97 excluding C44.
Office for National Statistics

Church Buildings (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Trimble: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will expand the VAT exemption scheme in Northern Ireland to cover all church buildings. [224068]

John Healey: The Listed Places of Worship Grant scheme was introduced while we negotiate with our European partners to secure a reduced rate of VAT for the repair and maintenance of listed places of worship. The Government recognise the importance of these buildings within their communities and that the need to use specialist craftsmen and costly materials means that their upkeep can be a heavy burden, particularly on small congregations. The same considerations do not apply to all places of worship.

Civil Service

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Departments and agencies he expects will be affected by the proposed reduction in civil service numbers; what account his Department has taken of local unemployment levels in preparation of these plans; and whether he expects that the proposed changes will affect civil servants employed in Southend-on-Sea. [223766]

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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, Table2.2.

It is for each Department to develop their own efficiency plans, including those for workforce reductions, taking into account their business needs. Departments are currently working through detailed implementation planning including location and local numbers, in consultation with all stakeholders including unions and staff. Departments will come forward with details of their plans as these are finalised.

Jobcentre Plus is due to close a Social Security Office in Southend-on-Sea on 1 April 2007. It is anticipated that staff will move to the Basildon Benefit Processing Centre.

In response to planned workforce changes, the Government have established the Efficiency and Relocation Support Programme to provide information and support to those affected.

Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the Departments and agencies in which the 12,500 reduction in civil service posts outlined in the Budget have been achieved. [223773]

Mr. Boateng: The following Departments have announced reductions in their workforce:

Currency Speculation Tax

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Government's policy is on an international currency speculation tax. [224033]

Dawn Primarolo: Currency transaction taxation is a long-established idea that has recently re-emerged in international discussions on how to raise development financing. The Government are prepared to consider all proposals for raising international finance for development, but there would be significant technical problems with a tax of this sort and it is not being actively considered at the present time. We believe the International Finance Facility remains the most developed proposal for providing additional resources in the region of the required $50 billion estimated for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Customs and Excise

Mr. Luff: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1)what his estimate is of the cost of funding additional travel to work by staff of the Droitwich Spa Customs and Excise following the closure of the office; [223768]
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(2) with which Government Departments with offices in Worcestershire he has discussed the transfer of staff consequent on the closure of the Customs and Excise office in Droitwich Spa; [223770]

(3) whether staff transferred from the Customs and Excise office in Droitwich Spa will be offered permanent contracts in the Department to which they are transferred; [223771]

(4) what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of the Droitwich Spa Customs and Excise office on (a) part-time and (b) flexible working staff. [223774]

Dawn Primarolo: Customs are looking at the feasibility of moving staff to their offices in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and possibly Coventry. No final decision has been taken as to where staff will be relocated and it is not possible to quantify any additional travelling costs.

Inland Revenue, DEFRA and the Crown Prosecution Service have been made aware of the position of Customs staff at Droitwich.

There is a mix of permanent and fixed term contract staff at Droitwich. The fixed term staff were originally employed on work that was not due to be retained at Droitwich on a permanent basis. The closure of Droitwich has not altered this position.

It is expected that permanent staff who choose to move to other Departments will do so on a permanent basis.

All staff based at Droitwich are being consulted on an individual basis about the practicalities of them following their work. An initial assessment has been completed and local managers are in the process of exploring options with each member of staff.Customs' Regional Head would be pleased to meet the hon. Member to explain where matters stand once the picture is clearer.

Departmental Budget

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the planned (a) capital and (b) resource budget for his Department is for 2011–12. [223432]

Mr. Timms: Resource and capital departmental expenditure limit (DEL) budgets up to 2007–08 are set out by department in annex C of Budget 2005. DEL budgets beyond 2007–08 will, as normal, be determined in future spending reviews.

Enhanced Capital Allowances

Mr. Watts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies have received enhanced capital allowances in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was. [224015]

Dawn Primarolo: The total number of companies that ticked a box on their Corporation Tax returns to show a claim to enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) on their annual investment in designated environmentally beneficial technologies, including cars with low carbon dioxide emissions is detailed as follows.
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Companies claiming ECAs on their corporation tax return form(42)


(42)These numbers do not include claims to capital allowances made or amended after a company has sent in its corporation tax return for (CT600).
(43)Information for 2003–04 is not yet complete.

The actual costs to the Exchequer of ECAs are not available. However, an estimate of the expected cost of the scheme is set out in Table 3.1 on page 210 of the Budget report 2005.

Mr. Watts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the application process for enhanced capital allowances. [224016]

Dawn Primarolo: There are no special rules for businesses claiming enhanced capital allowances for investments in environmentally beneficial technologies (ECAs). Businesses claim these allowances in their corporation or income tax returns, in the same way as they would claim other capital allowances. The Inland Revenue keep all processes connected with tax reliefs under regular review, and are not aware that businesses have any particular difficulty in claiming ECAs.

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