|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2005, Official Report, column 687W, on conferences, what estimate he has made of the cost of providing the information requested. 
The hon. Gentleman had asked how much the Department has spent on organising or sponsoring conferences in each of the last five years. The Treasury's accounting system did not, until 1 April 2005, treat conferences organised or sponsored by the Department as a separate category of expenditure. To provide the information requested, it would therefore have been necessary to review the transactions in each of the accounts to which conference costs might have been posted (for example the account for rent, for hire of conference premises; the accounts for travel and subsistence; the account for catering) and determine (by reference to invoices if necessary) which of those transactions were for hosted or sponsored conferences. There are many thousands of transactions each year and
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2386W
collating the information for any one financial year would have exceeded the £600 threshold for disproportionate cost.
Since 1 April 2005, the Treasury has an account specifically for the direct non-staff costs of conferences organised or sponsored by the Department, so it will be possible to provide that information for future years.
John Healey: In respect of 200203 and 200304, I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer the former Financial Secretary (Stephen Timms) gave to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 22 February 2005, Official Report, columns 47273. The corresponding figures for 200405 are £4.91 million (Revenue), £0.75 million (Capital) and £5.66 million (Total).
The advice of the consultants has contributed towards the planning and implementing of the department's efficiency plans. Information on progress against those plans and savings to date is set out in Annex C of the Treasury's 2005 Departmental Report, available on our website at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what management information he collects on the amount by which tax credit awards change in-year to reflect a change of entitlement arising from (a) an increase in income above the disregard, (b) a change in circumstances and (c) official error. 
Dawn Primarolo: Tax credit awards can be adjusted during the year to take account of a change in circumstances or income. Where the amount payable is reduced, payments are adjusted with the aim of paying out the right amount for the year as a whole. This is explained in HMRC's Code of Practice 26 What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit?", which is accessible at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/leaflets/cop26.htm. This is part of the normal operation of the tax credit system and we therefore do not keep records of the requested information.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claimants have contacted Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs telephone call centres in each month since the inception of the tax credits scheme. 
The following table shows the monthly total of separate telephone numbers from which calls were made to HMRC contact centres in Great Britain since August 2002.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2387W
|Month/Year||Number of callers (Thousand)|
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs will make a substantive reply to the letter of the hon. Member for Thurrock dated 16 June in connection with the case of Mr. and Mrs. K R Collins of Aveley, Essex. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why acknowledgement letters to hon. Members from the Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs do not contain any reference number or other indication as to how letters can be subsequently traced; and if he will make a statement. 
The current process of dealing with letters from hon. Members to the Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs means an acknowledgement is sent first, as a priority, before being recorded on the database that subsequently gives it a reference number. This ensures Members are informed at the earliest opportunity that their correspondence has been safely received and is being dealt with. Once the information
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2388W
has been recorded on the database, the case is easily traceable, not only by the reference, but by the constituents name, postcode or by the Member's name.
HM Revenue and Customs are committed to continually reviewing our processes, and actively looking for ways to improve them. We welcome feedback on how we can improve our services to hon. Members and to all our customers. We recognise that quoting a case reference will assist hon. Members, and therefore this will be done on all future acknowledgements from the Chairman's office.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total spending by his Department on (a) staff, (b) accommodation and (c) procurement in (i) Dundee East constituency, (ii) Tayside and (iii) the City of Dundee was for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total spending by his Department on (a) staff, (b) accommodation and (c) procurement in the (i) Moray constituency and (ii) Highland Region was for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total spending by his Department on (a) staff, (b) accommodation and (c) procurement in (i) Banff and Buchan and (ii) the North East of Scotland was for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total spending by his Department on (a) staff, (b) accommodation and (c) procurement in Perth and North Perthshire was for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
John Healey: The Treasury has no offices in Scotland. While some of the goods and services the Treasury purchases will have been produced in Scotland, and some may have been produced in the specific areas referred to in the questions, the information on where goods and services were produced is not recorded centrally. Figures could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures his Department is taking to enable developing countries to examine the Bretton Woods institutions' programmes before they are implemented. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
IMF and World Bank support to developing countries, including that released under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, is based on Poverty Reduction Strategy papers. These are prepared by developing countries in consultation with civil society and aim to ensure countries are in control of their own development plans. The UK encourages participation by poor people and by parliaments as part of this. In addition, the UK supports countries directly in their engagement with the Bretton Woods institutions
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2389W
though establishing a multi-donor trust fund to support independent analysis for use by African representatives at the IMF and World Bank.
The UK has consistently emphasised the need for the programmes of the Bretton Woods institutions to reflect the priorities contained within countries nationally owned Poverty Reduction Strategies. This approach is embodied in the UK Government's own approach to conditionality, as outlined in the Government paper Partnerships for Poverty Reduction: rethinking conditionality". We will continue to work within the IMF Executive Board and use the annual meetings of both the IMF and the World Bank to promote this approach in a number of ways, including by:
encouraging the IMF and the World Bank to take full account of the poverty implications of its operations, specifically by enhancing the capacity to conduct Poverty and Social Impact Assessments (PSIA) in its work;
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|