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John Healey: The Chancellor announced a new deal for skills in the 2004 Budget. The Departments for Work and Pensions, and Education and Skills, Trade and Industry and Treasury have worked jointly to develop the three main strands: Skills Coaching, Skills Passports and the Adult Learning Option. The new deal for skills is being delivered by the Departments for Education of Skills and for Work and Pensions as a joint project.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Northern Ireland Housing Executive tenants are in receipt of child tax credits, broken down by (a) district housing executive area and (b) parliamentary constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Estimates for 200304 of the numbers of in-work families with tax credits awards based on final family circumstances and incomes for 200304 are published in Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards. 200304 Geographical Analysis." This publication and provisional estimates for the number of in-work families by constituency with tax credit awards as at selected dates in 200405 are available on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the rate of employer contribution to the pension schemes of civil servants employed by HM Revenue and Customs in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by (a) classic scheme, (b) premium scheme, (c) classic plus scheme and (d) partnership pension account; and if he will make a statement. 
Accruing Superannuation Liability Charges (ASLCs) are the contributions paid by employers, including HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to the Cabinet Office to provide cover for the PCSPS members they employ.
|Salary band||Rate of charge||Percentage|
|Band 1||£17,500 and under||12.0|
|Band 2||£17,501 to 36,000||13.5|
|Band 3||£36,001 to 62,000||16.5|
|Band 4||£62,001 and over||18.5|
|Age at the last 6 April||Percentage of pensionable earnings|
|21 to 25||4.5|
|26 to 30||6.5|
|31 to 35||8.0|
|36 to 40||10.0|
|41 to 45||11.5|
|46 or over||12.5|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his estimate is of the cost to the Government of dropping the plans to raise public sector pension ages to 65 years for existing public sector workers in each of the next 40 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to the announcement on 18 June on public sector pensions reform, what the cost is of his proposal that all new scheme members have the right to retire at age 60 years; and if he will make a statement; 
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Mr. Des Browne: The overall savings from increasing pension ages, after allowing for recycling monies into scheme improvements, had been estimated to have a net present value of around £13 billion over the next 50 years. That would have come mostly from long-term savings on new entrants benefits. We still expect comparable net savings once the reforms are finalised. The principles for reforming civil service, NHS and teachers pensions agreed at the Public Services Forum provide that proposals for reforming schemes should be agreed by June 2006 and that new schemes with a normal pension age of 65 should be implemented for new entrants as soon as practicable thereafter. The pension terms for existing members, including pension ages, will be discussed in scheme specific negotiations.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the total level of annual contributions made by public sector workers towards the cost of their final salary pension schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne: Employee contributions to unfunded public service pension schemes totalled around £4 billion for the financial year 200304. Employee contributions for the funded Local Government Pension Scheme in the same year totalled around £1.5 billion. Government do not hold aggregate estimates of employee contributions in the wider public sector.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the real annual growth rate of spending on public sector pensions for (a) 199798 to 200405 and (b) 200405 to 200809; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne: Figures for Government spending on unfunded public service pensions that are included within Annually Managed Expenditure are published in table B.1 of the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2005 (PESA). That table covers 19992000 to 200708; a comparable table for earlier years is not available. The PESA table includes payments in respect of transfers of liabilities within central Government as well as payments to pensioners. It does not include unfunded police and firefighter pensions paid by local authorities, which are included within line D.623 of Table 5.3.4S of the United Kingdom National Accountsthe Blue Book"2005. Figures for spending on Local Government Pension Scheme benefits in England and Wales are available at:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of public sector pensions as a percentage of gross domestic product in (a) 199091, (b) 200304 and (c) 202021; what
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estimate he has made of savings which may be made under current reform of public sector retirement ages; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne: The Long Term Public Finance Report, published alongside the pre-Budget report in December 2004 estimated gross expenditure on unfunded public service pensions in 200304 to be 1.5 per cent. of GDP rising to 2.1 per cent. of GDP in 202324 and 2.2 per cent. of GDP in 205354. Comparable figures for 199091 are not available, if the effect of pension age reform had not been included it is estimated that gross expenditure in 205354 would have been 2.4 per cent. of GDP. We still expect comparable savings from higher pension ages once the reforms are finalised.
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