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21 Jul 2005 : Column 2029W—continued

Tax Credits

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the new tax credits system developed by Affinity for his Department; how it interfaces with the main tax credit system; and what the estimated (a) cost and (b) timescale is. [9867]

Mr. Plaskitt: When the new tax credits commenced in 2003 a new data exchange mechanism was introduced to support the electronic exchange of data between the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs services (the Tax Credits Gateway"). The Department also has enquiry facilities for tax credits award details ("View Only Access") and IT to support electronic applications and reporting of changes of circumstances (e-portal").

Delivery, in partnership with HM Revenue and Customs is expected to be completed during summer 2006 with a planned cost of £114 million.

Teenage Pregnancy

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken through the tax and benefits system to tackle teenage pregnancy and to encourage responsible parenting in Kettering. [13917]

Margaret Hodge: The tax credits and benefits systems are there to provide financial support and stability to people with children. Our highly successful welfare to work programmes and our regime of work focused interviews ensure that where possible, these people are helped into work.

There are no further plans to tackle teenage pregnancy or responsible parenting using the benefit system. However the forthcoming welfare reform will encourage self-reliance and independence.
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Alcohol-related Deaths

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many deaths in which the primary cause was alcohol there were in Milton Keynes in each of the last five years. [13994]

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

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Mark Lancaster, dated 21 July 2005:

Alcohol-related deaths(15)to usual residents of Milton Keynes unitary authority, registered 2000 to 2004

Number of deaths

(15)For the year 2000 the cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9). The codes used by ONS to define alcohol-related deaths are listed as follows:
291—Alcoholic psychoses
303—Alcohol dependence syndrome
305.0—Non-dependent abuse of alcohol
425.5—Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
571—Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
E860—Accidental poisoning by alcohol
For the years 2001–04 the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) was used. To maintain comparability with earlier years the following codes were used:
F10—Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol
142.6—Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
K70—Alcoholic liver disease
K73—Chronic hepatitis, not elsewhere classified
K74—Fobrosis and cirrhosis of liver
X45—Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol
Deaths were selected using the original underlying cause.
The selection of codes to define alcohol-related deaths is described in:
Baker A and Rooney C (2003). Recent trends in alcohol-related mortality, and the impact of ICD-10 on the monitoring of these deaths in England and Wales. Health Statistics Quarterly" 17, pp 5–14.

Animal Feed Imports

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure compensation is paid to UK farmers, food manufacturers and their insurers if UK port authorities fail to detect contaminated animal feed imports. [12167]

Caroline Flint: I have been asked to reply.
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There is a requirement under General Food Law (EC Regulation 178/2002) for both food and feed business operators to comply with the requirements of food law and verify that their requirements are met. The port health authorities are required to monitor imports and to ensure that businesses discharge their legal responsibilities, they are not responsible for checking imports on behalf of United Kingdom farmers and food manufacturers. Compensation would not therefore be provided as a result of failing to detect contaminated animal feed imports by the port health authorities.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters to his Department from hon. Members in Session (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (i)one month old, (ii) two months old, (iii) three months old, (iv) four months old and (v) over six months old. [13851]

John Healey: Correspondence with the hon. Members is recorded by financial year not parliamentary Session. As at 19 July, the information sought is as follows:
2004–052005–06 to date
1 month old015
2 months old03
3 months old02
4 months old20
6 months old10
Total over 1 month old320

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the take-up rate of the (a) child element of child tax credit, (b) family element of child tax credit and (c) child care tax credit in working tax credit, broken down by (i) case load and (ii)expenditure. [13877]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer to the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Osborne) on 19 July 2005.

Council Tax

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate the Valuation Office Agency has made of the number of residential properties in each council tax band in Wales in (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06. [11419]

Dawn Primarolo: The actual number of dwellings shown in each council tax band in Wales is as follows:
For 2004–05 (at 31 March 2005)

Council tax bandNumber of dwellings

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For 2005–06 (at 30 June 2005)

Council tax bandNumber of dwellings

Debt Relief

Ann McKechin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) to which poor countries the Government's current debt relief programmes apply; [13575]

(2) what steps he plans to take to ensure (a) that para. 31 of the 2005 G8 Communique" will be put fully into effect and (b) that international financial institutions no longer impose conditions which run counter to the policy there expressed; [13585]

(3) what outstanding bilateral debts the UK has from low-income countries; and from when each dates. [13586]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The G8 agreement for multilateral debt relief is for all HIPCs who have reached completion point. Currently 18 countries could be eligible for debt worth up to $40 billion (Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso,Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Mali, Mauritania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia). As more countries reach completion point (currently 9 pre-completion point countries, and 11 pre-decision point countries) in the HIPC initiative this will increase in value to $55 billion.

The UK will also continue with its initiative to pay for the debt servicing of eligible non-HIPCs to the World Bank and African Development Bank. Eligible countries would be those low-income IDA-only borrowers who have sufficiently strong public financial management systems in place to ensure that the savings from debt relief are used for poverty reducing expenditures.

The G8 proposal is fully consistent with para. 31 of the 2005 G8 Communique with countries eligible for relief ready to demonstrate their commitment to poverty reduction and sound financial management.

Please see the following table for the countries with outstanding bilateral debt owed to the UK. These are the amounts owed to ECGD under Paris Club bilateral rescheduling agreements.
Sovereign debts owing to ECGD under bilateral debt agreements following Paris Club reschedulings, all countries as at17 July 2005

CountryDebts incurred
prior to
(£ million)
AlgeriaOctober 1993123.3
AngolaJanuary 1987141.1
ArgentinaDecember 198333.3
Bosnia and HerzegovinaDecember 19821.3
BrazilApril 1983133.4
CameroonJanuary 198952.3
Central African RepublicJanuary 19830.4
Congo RepublicAugust 1986151.5
Democratic Republic of CongoJuly 198373.9
Cote D'IvoireJuly 198317.3
CroatiaDecember 198243.1
CubaSeptember 1982103.5
EcuadorJanuary 198352.4
EgyptNovember 1986143.5
GabonJuly 1986139.5
GuineaJanuary 19863.9
IndonesiaJuly 1997743.0
JamaicaOctober 19830.9
JordanJanuary 1989344.8
KenyaJanuary 199119.8
LiberiaJanuary 198322.8
MacedoniaDecember 19822.4
MalawiJanuary 19820.3
MoroccoMay 198313.3
NigeriaOctober 19854,392.7
PakistanOctober 19976.8
PeruJanuary 1983101.4
PhilippinesApril 19845.2
RussiaJanuary 1991651.8
SenegalJanuary 19831.0
Serbia and MontenegroDecember 1982252.8
Sierra LeoneJuly 19833.3
SomaliaOctober 198330.5
SudanJanuary 1984580.6
TogoJanuary 198320.5
VietnamJanuary 19909.8

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