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5 Jul 2005 : Column 279W—continued


Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research he has evaluated on the cost to the economy of (a) loss of workforce through smoking-related illness and (b) loss of working hours through smoking breaks. [5639]

Caroline Flint: I have been asked to reply.

In view of the health risk from smoking, our policy is to prevent uptake of the habit and to assist smokers to stop. We evaluate impacts, on the economy in general and employers in particular, in the context of specific policies. On Monday 20 June, we launched a consultation on the smoke free elements of the Health Improvement and Protection Bill. Alongside the consultation, we published a partial regulatory impact assessment on smoke free enclosed public places and workplaces. This contains estimates of the costs and benefits, including the impact of smoking and smoking breaks on the economy. A copy is available in the Library.

State Pensions

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will exempt state pensions from income tax and national insurance contributions. [9403]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: State pensions are not subject to national insurance contributions. Successive Governments have believed that a pension, whether State or occupational, is a form of income like earnings and as such should be taxable, subject to any age related personal allowances.

While state pensions are subject to income tax, the age related personal allowances for people aged 65 and over mean that in 2005–06 no pensioner aged 65 or over will be required to pay tax on income of less than £136 a week in 2005–06, considerably more than the basic state pension of £82.05.

This means that around half of all pensioners do not pay income tax. Exempting the state pension from income tax would therefore only benefit the better off pensioners; the Government instead continues to focus resources on the poorest pensioners.

Tax Credits/Models

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to contact recipients of tax credits who have had overpayments recovered prior to June to notify them of the rights of appeal under Code of Practice 26; and if he will make a statement. [9247]

Dawn Primarolo: Where a claimant's tax credit award is revised, following a change of circumstances, they are sent a revised award notice. Where entitlement has been reduced, the guidance notes sent out at the same time as
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the award notice, bring to the attention of the claimant HMRC's Code of Practice COP 26 What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit?'.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which models used by other countries to estimate the tax gap his Department has studied. [9404]

Dawn Primarolo: HMRC has studied models used by Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.

The models used by other countries to estimate the tax gap split into two main types—models based on the results of enquiries, and models based on the results of surveys. HMRC is studying the use of both these types of models.


Official Visits

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if the Minister for Sport will make an official visit to Halifax. [9320]

Mr. Caborn: I regularly make regional visits but at the moment have no current plans to visit Halifax.

Olympics 2012

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the progress of plans for the new (a) aquatic centre, (b) velopark and (c) hockey pitches identified in the London 2012 bid; who will finance these facilities; and when they are expected to be completed. [9148]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 4 July 2005]: Should London win the right to host the 2012 games we are planning to complete all the Olympic facilities well in advance of 2012. All the facilities will be funded from the public sector funding package for the games. Should London be unsuccessful we have committed to building an aquatics centre, velopark and hockey pitches in East London. These facilities will be funded from a combination of sources including Sport England and the London Development Agency.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the budget was for the promotion of the London 2012 bid; and how much of that budget has been spent. [9149]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 4 July 2005]: The Government budget for supporting the London Olympic bid was £10 million, financed in equal part by my Department and the London Development Agency (LDA). This budget has been fully committed. In addition, my Department and the LDA have contributed up to £20 million to the budget of the Bid company London 2012.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions (a) she and (b) other Ministers in her Department have had with the Treasury concerning the tax take on the proposed Olympic lottery game. [9150]

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Mr. Lammy [holding answer 4 July 2005]: DCMS Ministers regularly discuss a wide range of business with colleagues at the Treasury. However, no such discussions have been held on the taxation of the proposed Olympic lottery games as tax policy is a matter for the Chancellor and is considered as part of the Budget process.

Places of Worship (VAT)

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of
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28 June 2005, Official Report, column 1431W, which listed places of worship in Northern Ireland have received grants covering the full amount of VAT paid on eligible works. [9114]

Mr. Lammy: There are 57 listed places of worship in Northern Ireland that have received grants covering the full amount of VAT paid on eligible works since the scheme was extended in April 2004. They are as follows:
ChurchAddressGrant received (£)
Presbyterian ChurchEbrington, Londonderry3,743.76
St. Peters CathedralSt. Peters Square, Belfast10,384.22
St. Pauls Parish ChurchParish of Errigal, Main Street, Garvagh3,292.42
St. Marys ChurchCraigavole, Garvagh, Co. Londonderry14,620.66
Dunluce Presbyterian ChurchPriestland Road, Walk Mill, Bushmills628.61
First Presbyterian ChurchMeeting House St., Ballymoney32,679.50
St. Johns ChurchBentra Road, Ballycarry, Larne, Carrickfergus2,008.98
The Old Presbyterian ChurchMeeting House Street, Larne, Co. Antrim305.28
St. Saviours ChurchChurch Street, Connor, Ballymena, Co. Antrim1,628.73
Moravian Church25 Church Road, Gracehill, Co. Antrim303.20
Parish ChurchThe Square, Pomeroy, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone2,145.36
Holy Trinity/Garvary Parish ChurchTempo Road, Garvary, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh261.09
Inishmacsaint Parish ChurchBinmore Glebe, Derrygonnelly, Enniskillen3,814.07
ArdessKesh, Co. Fermanagh304.90
Parish Church of MagheracrossMain St., Ballinamallard, Co. Fermanagh7,362.92
Clonfeacle Parish Church of St. PatrickMain St., Benburb, Co. Tyrone595.00
St. Michaels ChurchCastlecaulfield, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone10,663.36
Armagh Road Presbyterian ChurchChurch St., Armagh Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh1,225.00
Christ ChurchChurch Place, Lurgan, Craigavon, Co. Armagh2,927.16
St. Francis ChurchBurnt Island, Moss Road, Loughgall, Co. Armagh9,927.43
Ballymore Parish ChurchChurch St., Tandragee, Co. Armagh459.13
St. MochliaDerrynoose Road, Derrynoose, Co. Armagh29,631.13
Presbyterian ChurchChurch Street, Middletown, Co. Armagh3,276.64
St. Marks ChurchThe Mall East, Armagh, Co. Armagh793.75
Mullartown House159 Glassdrumman Rd., Annalong, Newry2,941.68
St. Patricks ChurchStream Street, Newry, Co. Down1,286.66
Donaghmore Parish Church11 Donaghmore Road, Donaghmore, Newry1,316.65
Ryans Presbyterian ChurchOld Meury Road, Rathfriland, Co. Down8,851.81
Presbyterian ChurchScarva St., Banbridge, Co. Down925.93
St. PatricksSaul Brae, Downpatrick, Co. Down3,625.00
St. Malachys Church121 Dublin Road, Kilcod, Co. Down58,340.00
Presbyterian ChurchStream St., Downpatrick, Co. Down5,093.10
Hollymount ChurchDrumcullen Road, Downpatrick, Co. Down6,324.43
Ballinderry Presbyterian ChurchMeetinghouse Street, Larne, Co. Antrim224.11
St. Johns ChurchSt. John's Road, The Parish of Upper and Lower Kilwadun22,833.08
First Lisburn Presbyterian ChurchMarket Square, Lisburn, Co. Antrim1,012.63
Holy Trinity ChurchDrumbo, Ballylesson, Lisburn, Co. Down29,859.38
Drummaul Parish ChurchChurch Road, Randalstown, Co. Antrim7,257.61
First DonegorePresbyterian Church, Main Street, Parkgate, Co. Antrim3,658.92
Killead Parish ChurchCrumlin Road, Aldergrove, Co. Antrim10,881.21
Church of St. Patricks113 Jordanstown Road, Newtown Abbey, Co. Antrim468.65
St. Patricks ChurchVictoria Avenue, Whitehead, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim22,999.85
Congregational ChurchAlbert Road, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim2,780.94
Parish ChurchDonaghadee road, Groomsport, Co. Down353.23
First Presbyterian ChurchHigh St., Holywood, Co. Down1,686.69
Balligan Church of St. AndrewBalligan, Kircubbin, Newtownards, Co. Down10,515.25
St. Patricks ChurchUpper North St., Newtownards, Co. Down64,359.50
St. Marks Parish ChurchChurch St., Newtownards, Co. Down2,064.28
Fisherwick Presbyterian Church4 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast17,737.92
McCracken Memorial Presbyterian Church161 Malone Road, Belfast2,374.13
Crescent ChurchUniversity Road, Belfast385.00
St. Thomas ChurchEglantine Avenue, Lisburn Road, Belfast472.88
St. Aidans Church of IrelandBlythe St., Belfast647.50
St. Peters CathedralSt. Peter's Square North, Belfast209,438.62
St. Marys Church of IrelandThe Passionists, Crumlin Road, Belfast30,191.25
Holy Cross Church of IrelandCrumlin Road, Belfast53,889.10
Fortwilliam Park Presbyterian Church557 Antrim Road, Belfast2,465.00

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