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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The personal allowance for income tax and the primary threshold for national insurance contributions would have to be raised to over £9,000 to exempt all individuals earning the national minimum wage and working a full working week of 35 hours.
This would cost tens of billions of pounds and would provide the greatest benefit to higher rate taxpayers, for whom any increase would be worth four times as much to them as starting rate taxpayers. It would also remove millions of individuals from building up entitlement from benefits such as the basic state pension.
Unlike the personal allowance tax credits can reduce a family's net tax bill below zero through payments and can provide support tailored to the family's circumstances, such as the number of children in a family.
Together with child benefit the system of tax credits offsets income tax liabilities so that the effective point at which a family with two children starts paying tax on net is now £21,200 and from April 2007 will be over £22,000.
Monthly receipts to May 2005 of petroleum revenue tax (PRT) can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/table13.pdf. Receipts of corporation tax (CT) from north sea companies are not separately disclosed.
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Figures for average incomes per person for London are shown in Table A. These were published on 29 April 2005. Gross disposable household income (GDHI) is the amount of money that households have available for consumption expenditure or saving. Total household incomes represent the total amount of money households receive before any deductions. Regional GDHI data are available on the national statistics website http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=7359
Regional figures for unsecured debt are not available. Average unsecured debt per person figures for the United Kingdom, are shown in Table B. These were published on 30 June 2005 in Blue Book 2005 on the national statistics website http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=l143.
|Average incomes per capita(25), London|
|Gross disposable household income (GDHI)(26)(£)|
|Annual income per person(29)||Unsecured debt per person(29)|
I am keen to ensure that our inquiries minimise the load on those from whom we seek information. Our estimates are that the annual PRODCOM form costs the average small (less than 20 employees) business around £65 to complete. Some industries have been covered quarterly rather than annually and these quarterly forms have cost the average business around £39 to fill in. However, the quarterly inquiries have recently, following consultation, been dropped so businesses in the industries affected will in futureif they are selectedreceive only one form a year rather than four.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many small businesses have been required to complete PRODCOM returns in each of the last five years. (9586)
|Year to which the|
|For the annual inquiry||For the quarterly inquiries|
From the beginning of this year the quarterly PRODCOM inquiries have ceased. These industries are now, like the others, being covered annually. Therefore, selected firms in these industries that would previously have received four forms in the year, will in future only get one.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average fine imposed on small businesses in
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(i)Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) England for failure to return PRODCOM forms was in each of the last five years; 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions concerning the prosecution of businesses for failures to return their PRODCOM forms, and the fines they have received (9583, 9584, 9587 and 9588).
Prosecution of recalcitrant responders is very much a last resort: we would much prefer to proceed with the cooperation of those we ask to fill in forms, and for the vast part we succeed in that. However, 5 businesses have been prosecuted and fined in the last five years for failure to return their PRODCOM forms (one in the year 2000; two in 2001; and two in 2004). One of those businesses had an address in Scotland; the others all had addresses in England. One was a business with fewer than 20 employees.
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