Previous Section Index Home Page

9 Jun 2005 : Column 679W—continued

Canal Barges (Red Diesel)

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely impact of changes in the taxation of red diesel on (a) owners and (b) users of canal barges. [2765]

John Healey: The Chancellor takes account of all relevant economic, social and environmental factors for all sectors, including barge owners and users, in determining duty rates.

Private boat owners in Britain are permitted to use red diesel under a derogation of the European energy products directive, which is due to expire at the end of 2006. Officials from HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs are discussing this issue with boating associations.
 
9 Jun 2005 : Column 680W
 

Child Trust Fund Vouchers

Annette Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many parents and carers who received Child Trust Fund vouchers by 30 April have set up relevant savings accounts with them; [2113]

(2) how many parents and carers have been issued with Child Trust Fund vouchers; and what the total value is of the vouchers issued up to 30 April. [2114]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: On the number of vouchers issued and accounts opened, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 6 June 2005, Official Report, columns 286–87W.

The total value of vouchers issued up to 30 April 2005 was about £452 million.
 
9 Jun 2005 : Column 681W
 

Consultants

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which consultants have been employed by his Department in each of the last three years. [892]

John Healey: A list of the individuals and firms hired on a consultancy basis by the Treasury in 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05 has been placed in the Library of the House.

G8 Summit

Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate his Department has made of the costs of policing the G8 summit in Perthshire; [2336]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the additional costs to policing of the G8 summit across Scotland. [2337]

Mr. Des Browne: Policing arrangements for the G8 summit are a devolved responsibility of the Scottish Executive and its police authorities.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the costs will be to his Department of policing the G8 summit. [2338]

Mr. Des Browne: The Government have agreed to provide £20 million towards the policing costs of the G8 summit.

Home Ownership

Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the basis is of the Government's target of creating 1 million more homeowners by 2010. [2456]

John Healey: The Government expect 1 million people to enter home-ownership over the next five years as a result of the strong and stable macro-economic conditions that it has created and sustained with interest rates close to historically low levels; unemployment close a record low; employment rising in every region; and uninterrupted economic growth.

This growth in homeownership will be supported by the measures set out in the Deputy Prime Minister's five-year plan "Homes for All" which will assist up to 110,000 households to become first-time buyers.

Income Tax

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost in (a) 2005–06 and (b) 2006–07 of removing from income tax liability the first £10,000 of income; and how many people he estimates this would remove from income tax liability. [2840]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is provided in the following table.
Cost of removing from income tax liability the first £10,000 of income
(£ billion)
Number of people removed from
income tax liability
(Thousand)
2005–0629,87,010
2006–0729,66,640









 
9 Jun 2005 : Column 682W
 

These estimates have been obtained after increasing all personal allowances (i.e. the personal allowances and personal allowances for individuals aged 65 and above) to £10,000.

There would be no savings from lower tax credits since tax credit entitlement is based on gross income.

The personal allowance is currently linked to the Primary and Secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions thresholds and the Class 4 Lower Profits Limit. No cost has been included to increase these thresholds in line with the personal allowance.

The income tax information is based upon the 2002–03 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) projected forward.

The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response to the tax change, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.

MG Rover

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance has been given to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in respect of deferment of VAT payments by companies suffering losses as a result of MG Rover going into administration; what guidelines are in operation on this; and if he will make a statement. [2741]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) continue to treat businesses affected by the administration of MG Rover as sensitively as they usually do in such circumstances. Their approach to revenue debt is not only to secure the revenue but to provide flexible assistance to help viable businesses survive short term financial problems and restructuring. Within the legislation governing VAT and PAYE, deferred payment arrangements are made available on a case-by-case basis within HMRC's usual remit. Guidance has been published on HMRC's internet site about debt management issues, with particular reference to the administration of MG Rover.

Public Procurement Directive

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether Article 45 of the new EU Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC applies only to EU companies tendering for public procurement projects in the EU; [2384]

(2) what steps the Office of Government Commerce has taken to establish information-sharing mechanisms with (a) local authorities and (b) Government Departments in (i) the UK and (ii) the EU on convictions held by UK companies for corruption, fraud, money laundering and criminal investigation; [2386]

(3) what steps the Office of Government Commerce has taken to establish an agreed contact point for advice on blacklisting companies in public procurement for (a) local authorities, (b) Government departments and (c) companies; [2392]
 
9 Jun 2005 : Column 683W
 

(4) if he will place a copy of the record of discussions held between the Office of Government Commerce and the Home Office's Criminal Investigation Bureau about implementation of Article 45 of the new EU Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC in the Library; [2393]

(5) what steps the Office of Government Commerce has taken to establish a national list of compulsorily disqualified contractors in relation to the EU Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC; [2394]

(6) what sanctions will be applicable under the EU Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC to those companies that fail to alert contracting authorities to convictions held for corruption, fraud, money laundering and criminal organisations. [2591]

John Healey: Article 45 of the new ED public procurement Directive (2004/18/EC) will apply to the award of all public contracts for goods, works and services which are covered by that Directive. The Directive requires that candidates or tenderers shall normally be excluded where the contracting authorities are aware of relevant convictions, and that the contracting authorities may apply to a so-called competent authority in each member state to obtain further information about the convictions of the companies concerned. The Office of Government Commerce is currently considering, with the Criminal Records Bureau, how this need for information on convictions, via a competent authority, can best be implemented in the UK. This will then be reflected in guidance on Article 45, which will be published before the implementation of the new Directive. Companies which fail to notify contracting authorities about their relevant convictions, in response to questions from such authorities, should be considered for exclusion from future contracts and for breach of any terms and conditions for contracts awarded under the new Directive.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many meetings the Office of Government Commerce has had with UK companies and businesses to discuss Article 45 of the new EU Public Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC since August 2004; and if he will list the companies with which he has had such meetings; [2385]

(2) on what date the Office of Government Commerce intends to publish its regulations and guidance on the new EU Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC for public consultation; [2388]

(3) if he will place a copy of all the responses to the Office of Government Commerce consultation on the new EU Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC in the Library; and how many consultees requested confidentiality for their responses. [2391]

John Healey: The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has engaged with both the public and private sectors on the implementation of the new EU public procurement Directive, by means of the consultation exercise undertaken in 2004. This consultation included
 
9 Jun 2005 : Column 684W
 
Article 45, which concerns the mandatory exclusion from public contracts of suppliers convicted of certain offences. A summary of the 255 replies to the consultation exercise, from Government Departments, local authorities, law firms, suppliers, trade unions and other interested parties, together with OGC's response to the issues raised, has already been published on the OGC website: http://www.ogc.gov.uk/embedded_object.asp?docid=1002381. The OGC will begin the second stage of consultation, on the draft Regulations to implement the new Directive, shortly. The draft Regulations take account of the responses to the earlier consultation exercise. OGC intends to publish additional guidance on specific provisions, including on Article 45, before the implementation of the new Directive. The deadline for which in all member states is 31 January 2006.


Next Section Index Home Page