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Inland Revenue

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he (a) has taken and (b) proposes to take to ensure that the provisions of the Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002 are fully applied by Inland Revenue offices in relation to communications to the Inland Revenue by hon. Members on behalf of their constituents. [12192]

Dawn Primarolo: Guidance is provided for staff of the Inland Revenue, now HM Revenue and Customs, in relation to hon. Members' communications with the department on behalf of their constituents. This guidance takes account both of the relevant data protection legislation, and the special legislation which governs information held by the department.

Sickness Absence

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. [11475]

John Healey: The information on average working days sickness absence covering the years 1999 to 2003 for the Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs is available from the Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based on. Reports for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are also available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office website at:

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will change the method by which deaths
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are recorded in order to identify deaths caused by sudden adult death syndrome; and if he will make a statement. [11561]

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

Letter from Colin Mowl to Jennifer Willott, dated 14 July 2005:

Tax Credits

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of his staff have been (a) dismissed and (b) moved to other jobs as a result of their responsibility for the problems surrounding the implementation of tax credits; and if he will make a statement. [11036]

Dawn Primarolo: None.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit awards were made to people with incomes in excess of (a) £50,000, (b) £52,500, (c) £55,000 and (d) £57,500 in (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05; and if he will make a statement. [11450]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the average number of tax credit awards broken down by income for 2003–04 awards is available in the HMRC publication Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised annual awards 2003–04." This publication can be found on the HMRC website at:

Table 2.9 of this publication shows the average number of in-work benefiting families in each band of income used to taper awards In 2003–04, after taking into account their final family circumstances and income. This shows that there was an estimated average of 112,000 families with such incomes over £50,000, after taking into account the disregard.

A further breakdown of incomes over £50,000 show that for 72,000 of these families the income was over £52,500, for 36,000 it was over £55,000 and for 7,000 it was over £57,500. These figures exclude families whose tax credits awards were tapered to zero. The relevant incomes have been measured net of the disregard of the first £2,500 increase over 2001–02 incomes.
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Statistics on finalised 2004–05 awards cannot be compiled until all families report their 2004–05 incomes; they are due to be published in May 2006.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the largest overpayment in a single year to one recipient under the tax credit system was. [11455]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available except at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many awards of (a) children's tax credit, (b) working families tax credit and (c) disabled person's tax credit were made in 2002–03; and what the cost per award of administration was in that year. [11844]

Dawn Primarolo: An estimated 3.9 million families benefited from children's tax credit in 2002–03. The cost per award of administration for children's tax credit is not available.

Estimates of the number of recipient families for working families' and disabled person's tax credits for 2002–03 appear in the published Quarterly Enquiries. These publications can be found on the Inland Revenue website, at

The costs of managing and paying working families' and disabled person's tax credits for 2002–03 are shown in the Inland Revenue Trust Accounts, Note 4, for the year ending 31 March 2003.

Travel Concessions

Mr. Clelland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2005, Official Report, column 699W, on travel concessions, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the contribution to the relief of traffic congestion that might be made by abolishing the taxation applied to employer-provided travel concessions. [12110]

John Healey: There have been no specific discussions on the relationship between traffic congestion and tax relief for employer-provided travel concessions. However, the Treasury continues to discuss a range of transport issues with the DfT on an ongoing basis.

Water Rates

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role the Valuation Office Agency plays in the assessment of rateable values for water rates. [12015]

Dawn Primarolo: The rateable values, used for water rates, were contained In the 1973 rating list. This rating list was effective from 1 April 1973 to 31 March 1990 and the Valuation Office Agency was, at this time, responsible for assessing the rateable values and maintaining this list. With the introduction of community charge, on 1 April 1990 (replaced by council tax on 1 April 1993), all rating assessments on domestic property ceased to exist, but water companies use these historic rateable values in levying charges for water and sewerage rates. There is now no mechanism for the Valuation Office Agency to amend rateable values shown in the 1973 rating list.
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25. Hugh Bayley: To ask the Solicitor-General If he will make a statement on his role in combating corruption. [11941]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney General is responsible for superintending the work of the Director of Public Prosecutions as head of the CPS and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office. Both these departments have responsibility for prosecuting corruption cases. The Serious Fraud Office also has power to investigate allegations of corruption. By statute. Law Officer consent must be given before corruption offences can be prosecuted.

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