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28 Jun 2005 : Column 1431W—continued

Tax-related Convictions

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals for legislation under which accountancy firms would be required to declare tax-related convictions when filing tax returns for their clients. [7582]

Dawn Primarolo: That an accountancy firm had been prosecuted for tax-related offences is information that would already be known to HM Revenue and Customs and would be information in the public domain.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the scale of unpaid VAT as a percentage of the theoretical liability for VAT has been in each of the last 10 years for which data are available; and if he will make a statement. [7088]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to Measuring and tackling indirect tax losses 2004", a copy of which is available in the Library of the House and available on the HM Revenue and Customs website.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) churches, (b) religious institutions and (c) sacred places in Northern Ireland have made use of the reduced VAT scheme introduced in the 2004 Budget. [7157]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since the introduction of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme in April 2001, grants to refund VAT costs have been paid to 128 listed places of worship in Northern Ireland.

Since the extension of the scheme, from 1 April 2004, 57 listed places of worship in Northern Ireland have received grants covering the full amount of VAT paid on eligible works.

Working Tax Credit

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people over state pension age have received working tax credit in the last two years, broken down by region; and what proportion of all childless recipients of working tax credit they represent in each case. [7683]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the number of childless recipients of working tax credit by region at selected dates since July 2003 appear in the HMRC publication Child and Working Tax Credit Geographical Statistics." Estimates of the number of families with at least one member over state pension age who were receiving working tax credit as at April 2004 and April 2005, and the proportion of all childless family recipients of working tax credit they represent, are listed below. Both of these estimates are based on samples and are subject to significant sampling uncertainty, which is described in the above mentioned publication. This publication can be found on the HMRC web site at
28 Jun 2005 : Column 1432W

Number and proportion of pensioner couples receiving WTCat for April 2004 and April 2005

April 2004
April 2005
(thousands )
(thousands )
North East0.740.73
North West0.851.74
Yorks and The Humber1.351.34
East Midlands1.051.15
West Midlands1.361.46
South East0.951.05
South West1.571.87
Northern Ireland0.560.88
All (including Unknown)12.6514.05

World Bank/IMF

Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will press the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to end the practice of placing economic conditions on aid, loans and debt relief to developing countries. [7672]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government have recently published a new policy paper, Partnerships for Poverty Reduction: rethinking conditionally", which sets out our position on conditionality. Many developing countries and NGOs have expressed concerns about the use of conditionality in aid programmes. As set out in the policy paper, the Government believe that the relationship between donors and each developing country should be a partnership, based on shared commitments and priorities taken from the country's own poverty reduction strategy, and that progress should be measured against benchmarks from that strategy.

The UK is working to ensure that this is reflected in all the UK's bilateral programmes with developing countries. The World Bank and IMF are both undertaking reviews of their approach to conditionality this year. In the context of these reviews, the UK will work to ensure that these institutions support country-owned programmes and that conditions are not imposed externally.

Young Mothers

John Hemming: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many mothers in each age cohort from 12 to 19 have given birth in each year since 2000–01. [7493]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the national statistician. I have asked him to reply.
28 Jun 2005 : Column 1433W

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. John Hemming, dated 28 June 2005:

Maternities by age of mother, 2000–03, United Kingdom


Office for National Statistics, General Register Office Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency


Adult Education

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether her Department will fully fund courses for adults at level 3 in Wirral in 2006–07. [7512]

Bill Rammell: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). In the Department's Grant Letter of 15 November 2004, the LSC was allocated £6.8 billion in 2006–07 for learning participation, which includes funding for adult education.

The White Paper Skills: Getting on in Business, getting on at work" published in March 2005 set out our commitment to introduce a new National Employer Training Programme (NETP) based on the successful Employer Training Pilots. The new programme will commence from April 2006 and offer employers access to the full range of training solutions they need from including free Skills for Life and first full level 2 provision. Level 3 provision will be available through it but employers will need to make a contribution.

The White Paper also gives a commitment to trial, in two regions, providing an additional element of subsidy alongside a contribution from the employer for level 3 training delivered flexibly through NETP. We will invest an additional £20 million per year in 2006–07 and 2007–08 to assess the impact of that way of operating prior to taking final decisions on the routing of public funds for level 3 training through the National Employer Training Programme.

We are currently working with the LSC and others to identify the regions for the trials and expect to make an announcement shortly.
28 Jun 2005 : Column 1434W


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she has received about the content of the Level 1 Vocationally Related Qualification in Healthier Catering. [7244]

Jacqui Smith: We have not received any representations about the content of the Level 1 Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ) in Healthier Catering. The qualification was developed by the Department together with the Food Standards Agency and People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality industry. People 1st are taking the lead in accrediting the qualification with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, and representations relating to content of the qualification have been made directly to them.

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