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Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful appeals against council tax banding have been received in each year since 1997; and how many properties were moved down (i) one, (ii) two and (iii) three or more bands following successful appeals. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff (a) are, (b) have been and (c) will be (i) employed and (ii) contracted out by the Valuation Office Agency to carry out the council tax revaluation process. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the sources are of the house sales price data the Valuation Office Agency is using for computer modelling as part of the council tax revaluation process. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of dwellings will be assessed by the Valuation Office Agency using the automated valuation model during the council tax revaluation in England. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Automated Valuation Model will be used to support the revaluation of the majority of properties within England. Valuation Office Agency staff will use their expertise to review all the outputs.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the specification and technical documentation relating to the automated valuation model used by the Valuation Office Agency for the council tax revaluation. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Automated Valuation Model (AVM) is still under development, and so its specification and associated technical documentation is not yet finalised. The Valuation Office Agency will however publish information on this in due course.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate the Valuation Office Agency has made of the number of appeals which are likely to be made following the council tax revaluation in England. 
Dawn Primarolo: The number of appeals which may be received following a revaluation are dependent upon a number of issues, which include the characteristics of the banding scheme, the extent of information provided to individual taxpayers about how their assessment has been arrived at, and also the level of payments to be made including whether any transitional relief scheme will apply. A number of these issues are currently under consideration by the Inquiry being undertaken by Sir Michael Lyons which is due to report in December 2005. It is therefore too speculative to provide estimates of appeal rates at this stage.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent consultations have been carried out by his Department with representatives of faith communities; and if he will make a statement. 
Treasury Ministers are concerned to ensure that the views of all sectors of society, including faith communities, are taken fully into account in the process of policy development and analysis. Recent examples of active engagement with faith groups include the tax treatment of Islamic (Shari'a compliant) financial products and the refund of VAT on repairs to listed places of worship.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions EU finance ministers have had on introducing additional charges on domestic and international flights to fund international development in Africa; what the UK's position is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 20 June 2005]: EU finance minister discussions on innovative mechanisms for financing development, including the IFF, the IFF for Immunisation, and an air ticket levy that could support specific development projects and refinance the IFF, are on-going.
The 1617 June European Council invited the Council to pursue its consideration of the most promising options for innovative sources of funding for development, so as to increase the resources available in a sustainable and predictable manner."
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) value for money savings consequent on the Gershon review, (b) procurement savings and (c) reduction in civil service posts each Department is expected to make in the fiscal year 200405; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne:
Efficiency targets were set out for each Department in the Spending Review 2004 White Paper. Progress was reported in Budget 2005 and Departments will report on further progress in their annual reports.
29 Jun 2005 : Column 1548W
Sarah Teather: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 681W, on home ownership, what economic analysis was undertaken to underpin the target of one million more homeowners by 2010. 
John Healey: The Government expect one million people to enter home-ownership over the next five years. This is based upon analysis of recent trends in house-building and new owner-occupiers. It also takes into account the impact that the domestic economic stability delivered by the Government's macroeconomic framework will have had on numbers entering into homeownership.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Treasury has received no representations regarding allegations of insurance premium tax (IPT) fraud by insurance companies in the past year. Some allegations of underpayment of IPT have been received regarding one particular business and these have been investigated by HM Revenue and Customs.
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