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4 Jul 2005 : Column 104W—continued

Tax Gap

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will (a) use a model similar to that used by the US Inland Revenue Service to estimate the tax gap in the UK and (b) regularly publish the results of the estimate. [8226]

Dawn Primarolo: There is currently no reliable estimate of the amount of direct taxes underpaid. The model used by US Inland Revenue Service to estimate the tax gap consists of a large number of component parts. HMRC is exploring the use of a number of these methods to estimate parts of the tax gap.

It was acknowledged by the NAO Fraud Study—published in 2003—that HMRC is as well advanced as overseas fiscal authorities in its thinking and work on fraud measurement.

Tax Incentives

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax incentives are available to businesses locating and operating in the UK. [8231]

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Dawn Primarolo: The UK's macroeconomic stability, low rates of corporation tax and other tax incentives such as tax relief for intangibles assets and R and D tax credits, make the UK a very competitive environment for business.

Tax Relief (Pension Contributions)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made of the cost of tax life on pension contributions in (a) 2005–06 (b) 2006–07 and (c) 2007–08, broken down by tax rate. [8741]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Latest estimates of the cost of tax relief on private pension contributions for 1998–99 to 2003–04 are published on the HMRC website:

Estimates for the years asked for in the question are not available.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the level of taxation on the economy. [8518]

Mr. Des Browne: The Government's macro-economic framework consistently has delivered stability with strong growth and low inflation, establishing a track record that has been acknowledged internationally. The Government's approach to taxation balances the need to finance better quality public services, deliver fairness and promote sustainable development while ensuring that the UK benefits from the advantages of being a lightly taxed economy.


David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Department has spent on taxis in each of the last five years. [6514]

John Healey: The Treasury's estimated spending on taxis in the last five years is as follows:


The figures for 2002–03 onwards include courier costs, since the Treasury has a combined contract for courier and taxi services, and it is not feasible to disaggregate the courier element.


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on reducing the VAT rate on condoms. [9070]

Dawn Primarolo: VAT rates are a matter for the Chancellor and any changes will be considered as part of the Budget process.
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Treasury Ministers and officials meet their Department of Health counterparts regularly to discuss a wide range of issues

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the VAT gap was in each year since 1997. [8225]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the VAT gap for recent years are available in the December 2004 paper Measuring and Tackling Indirect Tax Losses", which is available in the Library of the House.


Mr. Kidney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken within his Department to support the International Year of the Volunteer; and what steps have been taken to promote volunteering since 1997. [6404]

Paul Goggins: I have been asked to reply.

The Home Office budget to promote volunteering and the wider voluntary and community sector has increased almost tenfold from £16 million in 1997–98 to £153 million in 2005–06. Some examples of the initiatives that the budget has been used for, include:

The Time Limited Development Fund (TLDF)—a £13.5 million boost for volunteering in deprived communities. 113 voluntary organisations were selected in May 2002 for funding over the years 2002–03 to 2004–05. The organisations worked in deprived areas across England to help build the capacity of local communities by significantly increasing the number of local people involved in voluntary services and community support.

ChangeUp—a capacity building and infrastructure framework for the voluntary and community sector. ChangeUp is being supported by an initial investment of £80 million to be spent by March 2006, and a further £70 million for years 2006–07 and 2007–08.

Futurebuilders—the Government set up the £125 million Futurebuilders Fund, an innovative programme designed to assist front line voluntary and community organisations to build their capacity to deliver public services by providing tailored loan based funding packages.

The Russell Commission—the Government are allocating £45 million between 2005–06 and 2007–08 to support the implementation of the Commission's recommendations. This will be supported by a matched volunteering opportunities fund, which aims to attract at least £55 million from private sector sources.

International Year of the Volunteer—The National Centre for Volunteering, in consultation with the Home Office and key volunteering-involving organisations, agreed a structure for the delivery of the International Year of the Volunteer which took place in 2001. Those involved in the programme considered the Year to be a success. The Active Community Unit at the Home Office provided £297,229 core funding for the Year. Furthermore, 2005 is the Year of the Volunteer. The aims and objectives of the Year are to create awareness of, increase the opportunities for and encourage more people to get involved in volunteering. The Year is
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owned by volunteers, led by a partnership between Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and the Volunteering England consortium, and supported by the Home Office. The Volunteering England consortium consists of Volunteering England, community sector. TimeBank, YouthNet UK, The
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Media Trust, Business in the Community (BitC) and Youth Action Network. The Home Office spending on the Year is illustrated in table one. The devolved administrations are funding and hosting their own campaigns and initiatives to support the year and these differ in each country.
Table 1: Home Office investment into YV05

Policy initiatives
Amount invested by the Home Office (£)
Community Service VolunteersPrincipal Voluntary Sector partner delivering a range of activities, events, promotional materials and press and media coverage.1,000,000
Community Service VolunteersTo deliver a government employee volunteering scheme.500,000
Volunteering EnglandPrincipal Voluntary Sector partner working with a consortium to deliver a range of activities, events, promotional materials and press and media coverage.1,000,000
Volunteering EnglandTo increase the capacity of local volunteer centres throughout England.3,000,000
Volunteering EnglandSmall grants programme for other stakeholders who can contribute to achieving the objectives of YOV 2005250,000
Marketing/Communications SupportResearch and branding, publicity, partnership marketing and the YOV 2005 website (,000
Website and YOV 2005 evaluation supportTo develop and enhance and manage project evaluation.100,000
Media TrustFor high-profile, multi-media consumer marketing campaign which aims to supercharge the year, raise awareness of volunteering and drive registrations of new volunteers.1,000,000

Young People (Denbighshire)

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of young people are not in employment, education or training in Denbighshire, broken down by ward and listed in descending order. [8268]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Chris Ruane, dated 4 July 2005:

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