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As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning, how many consultants employed by the Office for National Statistics earned £50,000 or above in the last financial year. (23160).
In 200405, the Office for National Statistics paid 28 companies more than £50,000 for consultancy, contractors and other bought-in expertise. The bulk of these payments was for IT contracting services to support major development programmes such as Neighbourhood Statistics and Statistical and Technological modernisation.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many staff in the Office for National Statistics were affected by the increase in the minimum wage on 1st October. (23161)
I can confirm that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had 167 staff for whom action needed to be taken in respect of the minimum wage. However, it should be noted that our pay award date is 1 August; pay negotiations are continuing, but had our pay award been implemented on the due date, no staff in ONS would have fallen below the minimum wage.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how much was spent on consultants by the Office for National Statistics in each financial year from 199697 to 200405. (23163)
The sharp increase in expenditure from 200203 is in respect of the major development programmes of work being undertaken by the Office for National Statistics e.g. Neighbourhood Statistics, Statistical and Technology Modernisation. Most of this expenditure relates to IT systems expertise. Nearly £3 million of the 200405 expenditure related to Valued Added Tax, which ceased to be reclaimable during this year.
John Healey: The Treasury has not completed such an assessment on the geographic areas specified. It is the responsibility of a procuring authority to ensure that its PFI project continues to deliver value for money over its life, and this will include an assessment of whether it is delivering the services and benefits anticipated. To date, PFI schemes in Wales have provided investment in areas such as schools, roads, police facilities, prisons and health.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of (a) vaccines research relief, (b) contaminated land tax credit and (c) research and development tax credits has been claimed by each type of industry in each year for which information is available, broken down by company size; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The proportion of claims made for the remediation of contaminated land each year by the standard industrial classification reported in the company's annual accounts is given in the following table. The table shows the industry sectors that have generated the most claims, ranked with the sector with the most claims first. Information is not available by size of company.
|Real estate, renting and business activities||40%||43%||52%||41%||46%|
|Wholesale and retail trade||23%||17%||10%||15%||14%|
|Other community, social and personal services||9%||7%||6%||5%||7%|
|Number of claims||260||410||730||315||1,715|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies (a) are under investigation and (b) have been investigated for mis-claiming (i) vaccines research relief and (ii) research and development tax credits in each year since the introduction of each; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the administration costs of (a) vaccines research relief and (b) research and development tax credits in each year since the introduction of each; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit awards ceased on 31 August; how many new awards started on 1 September; for what reason tax credit awards must be re-applied for when a child leaves school at 16 years and moves into further education; and what assessment he has made of the administrative cost of the process of re-application for these claimants. 
Dawn Primarolo: There is no need to re-claim tax credits when a 16-year-old continues into further, full-time, non-advanced education provided HM Revenue and Customs is notified before 1 September. If a claimant fails to notify, their award is adjusted from 1 September.
However, providing HMRC is subsequently notified that the 16-year-old will be continuing in full-time education, the award will be readjusted and the restored award backdated for a maximum of three months.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises were eligible for research and development tax credits in the last five years; and what the take-up was in (a) Luton and (b) the UK. 
The National Statistics estimate is that there were 4.3 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK in 2004 (defined as those with up to 250 employees). Research and Development (R&D) tax credits are only available to companies
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conducting eligible R&D. Of the 4.3 million SMEs, around one million were companies and thus potentially eligible for the tax credits. However, the vast majority of SMEs do not carry out R&D. Of those that do, some will not meet the special SME definition which applies for R&D tax credits, and others may not spend more than the £10,000 per annum required on qualifying R&D.
Information on the number of claims received for the SME R&D tax credit since it was introduced are published as National Statistics on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/randdtcmenu.htm.
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