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Ian Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums were reported to Her Majesty's Treasury for self-financed expenditure generated by (a) Scotland, (b) England and (c) Wales in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Des Browne: The data collected by Treasury on local authority spending are reported in Chapter 6 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (Cm 6521). Table 6.1 includes data on Local Authority Self Financed Expenditure.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Estimates of the average (mean) stamp duty bill paid for a residential property purchase in England and the UK in each financial year since 199798 can be found in the following table:
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the backlog of work in the tax credit overpayment team is; how many staff are part of that team; and how many additional members have been added to the team in the last 12 months. 
Dawn Primarolo: In June 2004, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) set up a team to deal with disputed tax credit overpayments. At that time, there was the equivalent of around 105 full time staff working on the team. At 30 April 2005, this figure had increased to around 495.
At 30 April 2005 there were about 125,000 disputed overpayment cases awaiting a decision. HMRC have recently streamlined their procedures for dealing with disputed overpayments to enable them to deal with these cases more quickly.
Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (a) the value of overpaid tax credits since April 2003, (b) the amount written off due to official error and (c) the amount to be recovered; and what the timescale for recovery is. 
Dawn Primarolo: Overpayments to a value of £51 million have been written off since tax credits were introduced. Of this around £37 million was written off following the identification of a software error that affected some 455,000 households in April and May 2003. The background to this is explained in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 200304, which can be found in the board's annual report at: www.hmrc.gov.uk/pdfs/report2004.pdf.
The remaining £14 million had been written off by the Tax Credit Office at 20 May 2005, following consideration of claims for official error in accordance with the Department's Code of Practice 26 What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit?" which is available on its website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/leaflets/cop26.pdf.
Statistics on overpayments in 200304, including information on their total value, appear in Child and Working Tax Credit Annual statistics 200304 payments" and can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm.
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Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list for each month since April 2003 the (a) number of tax credit awards made, (b) number of claims issued, broken down by parliamentary constituency, for overpayment recovery, (c) value of the credits issued, (d) amount of overpayments to be recovered, (e) number of letters received from hon. Members making representations on overpayments and (f) number of letters received from claimants subject to overpayment proceedings. 
Dawn Primarolo: For (a) , quarterly estimates of the number of in-work families with tax credit awards (broken down by families with and without children) since July 2003 appear in Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics." These can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm. The estimates are based on a sample of cases, and are subject to sampling uncertainty.
For (c), the total expenditure on tax credits in 200304, I refer the right hon. Member to page 103 of the Inland Revenue annual report and accounts for that year. This can be found on HM Revenue and Customs website, at: www.hmrc.gov.uk/pdfs/report2004.pdf. Figures for 200405 will similarly be published later this year. Statistics for (d) appear in Child and working tax credit annual statistics 200304 payments" and can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website at: www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm.
Information for (e) and (f) is not held in the format requested. By end March 2005 about 214,000 households had requested that some or all of their overpayment be written off under HM Revenue and Customs' Code of Practice 26, What happens if we have paid you too much tax credits? These were received as follows:
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Dawn Primarolo: In the year 200405 the Inland Revenue had public service agreement targets for handling claims, changes of circumstances and renewals. The targets were to decide 55 per cent. of these within five working days and 95 per cent. within 30 working days, and to process with at least 90 per cent. accuracy. The Department will publish final results in its annual report, which will be available on its website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from economic forecasting organisations concerning prospects for the UK economy over the next five years. 
John Healey: The Treasury regularly surveys the economic forecasts produced by close to 40 independent economic forecasters. The results are published in Forecasts for the UK Economy: A comparison of independent forecasts", which is available from www.hm-treasury.gov.uk.
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