Previous Section Index Home Page

6 Jun 2005 : Column 293W—continued

Identity Cards

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role he expects the civil registration service to play in the issuing of identity cards. [1607]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Dr. Brian Iddon, dated 6 June 2005:

Indebted Poor Countries

John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the UK will pay debt service to the International Monetary Fund on behalf of the world's poorest countries; and if he will make a statement; [1723]

(2) how he will prioritise cancellation of Iraq's debt and that of other heavily indebted poor countries; and if he will make a statement; [1724]

(3) what representations he has made to other G8 and Paris Club Nations to pay 10 per cent. of the debt service owed by highly indebted poor countries to the World Bank and African Development Bank; [2139]

(4) what representations he has made to the (a) International Monetary Fund, (b) World Bank and (c) regional development banks to cancel debt owed to them by the world's poorest countries and to revalue gold reserves to finance cancellation; and if he will make a statement. [2140]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK continues to be absolutely committed to the rapid and full implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative to ensure that it delivers maximum debt relief for the world's poorest countries.

Many bilateral donors have joined the UK in providing 100 per cent. relief. However, multilateral institutions only provide relief at around half this level. The Chancellor and Secretary of State for International Development announced in September 2004 that the
6 Jun 2005 : Column 294W
UK would pay our share (10 per cent.) of 100 per cent. debt service relief on all World Bank and African Development Bank loans for all post-Completion Point HIPCs. This relief will also be extended to all low-income countries with sufficiently robust public expenditure management to ensure it helps towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Chancellor discussed this proposal at the G7 Finance Ministers in London in February, and in Washington in April, where the G7 agreed that further debt relief is needed, and to the principle of up to 100 per cent. multilateral debt relief. We are working with G7 countries, the IMF and World Bank to put this principle into action. Canada and the Netherlands have announced that they will join the UK in providing their share of multilateral debt relief. We continue to urge other countries to join us in providing additional multilateral debt relief.

Iraq is not eligible for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries' Initiative. The UK is in the process of reaching a bilateral agreement with Iraq to implement the terms of the debt relief package agreed between Paris Club creditors and representatives of Iraq on 21 November 2004; Paris Club creditors, including the UK, agreed to provide a total amount of debt reduction to Iraq of 80 per cent. in three phases.

For IMF debt, we believe the IMF's gold reserves are an under-utilised resource that could be used to finance further debt relief by the IMF. IMF analysis of debt relief and gold sales show that sales of the magnitude which would be required to finance the UK's proposal for debt relief could if properly phased be accommodated by gold markets without significant difficulty, and fall well within the bounds set by official sellers of gold in recent years.

Inheritance Tax Relief

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the relationship between the granting of inheritance tax relief on land and public access to that land. [1745]

Dawn Primarolo: Exemption from inheritance tax for heritage-quality land and buildings is conditional on the owner undertaking, among other matters, to provide reasonable public access. More details of the scheme, and of the properties and land to which the public have access, can be found at

Other inheritance tax reliefs, for example that for agricultural property, are not dependent on public access.

Inland Revenue

Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the (a) industrial, (b) commercial and (c) regional headings under which the Inland Revenue analyses and lists tax receipts. [1171]

Dawn Primarolo: Published analysis of the former Inland Revenue taxes are:

(a) Industrial and commercial

Income tax—Pay as you earn (PAYE) by standard industry codes.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 295W

Corporation tax by summary trade classification codes grouped into industrial sectors.

(b) Regional

Income tax by country, government office region, borough and district or unitary authority.

Stamp taxes-transactions on residential property by standard statistical region.

Child and Working tax credits by country, government office region, local authority and constituency.

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints have been made (a) directly and (b) through hon. Members in the last 12 months on how the Inland Revenue office in Preston deals with tax credit queries. [104]

Dawn Primarolo: It is not possible to say how many complaints have been made on how the Inland Revenue office in Preston deals with tax credit queries.

Life Expectancy

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of (a) male and (b) female life expectancy for people aged 65 years in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030, (iv) 2040, (v) 2050 and (vi) 2060. [2108]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The table gives projected period expectations of life at age 65 for men and women in the United Kingdom for the calendar years 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050 and 2060. 2003 is the latest year for which the data required to calculate actual period expectations of life are available. The figures are calculated using projected mortality rates taken from the latest, 2003-based, population projections for the United Kingdom.

The period expectation of life figures shown are based on the mortality rates projected by age and gender for the years stated and are the number of years people would be expected to live from age 65 if they experienced those mortality rates throughout their remaining lifetimes.
Period expectation of life for men and women at age 65 in the year shown

Based on projected data for year:MenWomen

Lorry User Charging Levy

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure that the Lorry User Charging Levy is not introduced into Northern Ireland in 2008. [1360]

John Healey: The Government are committed to ensuring that all lorries using UK roads contribute on a fair and equal basis towards the cost that they impose. The Government are therefore progressing their plans
6 Jun 2005 : Column 296W
for a Lorry Road-User Charge (LRUC), which is due to be phased in from 2007–08, accompanied by offsetting tax cuts.

National Debt

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the national debt is. [2220]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Figures for public sector net debt in current prices are available on the Office for National Statistics website:

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

National Insurance Database

John Hemming: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many live entries there are on the national insurance database; and what proportion of the entries he estimates are false. [1847]

Dawn Primarolo: The total number of National Insurance (NI) accounts on the National Insurance Recording system (NIRS2) is 73 million. Each year we process one billion transactions and changes to NI records.

We have no information on the proportion of the entries as being false.

HMRC has a number of well established processes in place to validate and review the accuracy of National Insurance records. Where incorrect use of a National Insurance Number, such as fraud, is identified, corrective action is taken.

Next Section Index Home Page