|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) discussions he has had with and (b) representations he has received from debt counselling services since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for Trade and Industry coordinates the Government's work on consumer credit and tackling over-indebtedness. Ministers in that Department have engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders on this issue.
Vera Baird: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) men and (b) women aged over 65 years (i) started a job with a new employer, (ii) were employees and (iii) were employed in 2004. 
The attached table provides the available information showing the number of people aged 65 and over, who are employees, were in employment 12 months ago and who had changed jobs one or more times within the last 12 months.
|Three months ending May 2005||Total||Male||Female|
|All employees aged 65 and over||362||192||170|
|In employment(6)12 months ago||325||177||148|
|Changed jobs in past year(7)(5508280008)||8||7||1|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public (a) in full and (b) in part Gateway Reviews for these projects. 
John Healey: Eight IT projects have been or are about to be delivered between 2002 and 2005. A Gateway Review is conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) and is not generally made public. To disclose Gateway Review Reports or RAG status information would be likely to prejudice both the ability of reviewers to examine the effectiveness, efficiency and economy with which other Government Departments exercise their functions and also the formulation and development of Government policy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provisions against loan losses the Financial Services Authority and its predecessor bodies have
2 Nov 2005 : Column 1054W
required mortgage lenders to make on their mortgage portfolios since 1998; and when guidance has been issued over the last three years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is operationally independent of the Government and is responsible for determining what provisions against loan losses it has required mortgage lenders to make on their mortgage portfolios since 1998, and when it has issued guidance on this over the last three years. The FSA shall be writing to the hon. Member shortly about these issues.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of employer contributions to public sector final salary pension schemes in 200405; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Information on official error is collated by reference to the amount of relief given. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on the 27 October 2005, Official Report, column 497W, which provides an update on the amount of official error relief given.
Details on accuracy of processing and calculating awards in 200405 were published in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 200405, which forms part of the 200405 Inland report accounts. This shows an accuracy level of 96.5 per cent. in 200405.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is his policy that staff at HM Revenue and Customs should take a decision on which tax credit payments are recoverable under code of practice 26 before recovery action on tax credits is initiated; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Code of practice 26, 'What happens if we have paid you too much tax credit?', sets out HMRC's policy on dealing with overpayments. I refer also to the reply to the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Mudie) on 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 368W.
(2) pursuant to the Written Statement from the Paymaster General of 26 May 2005, Official Report, columns 223WS on tax credit over-payments, what progress has been made on the implementation of the six measures to improve the tax credits system. 
Dawn Primarolo: In my Statement to the House on 26 May 2005, Official Report, column 22WS, I outlined a six point recovery plan to improve the administration of tax credits. I reported on the progress that has been made on these measures at a hearing of the Treasury sub-Committee on 26 October.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the automated response telling hon. Members and their staff that all the tax credit advisers at the MPs' tax credit hotline are busy was introduced; and if he will make it his policy to increase the number of staff available to serve the hotline. 
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely impact on staff (a) time and (b) requirement of the decision to intervene manually in the case of a tax credit overpayment where the automatic recovery procedure has been initiated. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs currently estimates that the manual suspension of recovery and subsequent necessary administrative processes will add 40 minutes to the processing of a disputed overpayment case.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely average time between an automatic recovery procedure being initiated in a case of overpaid tax credits and the manual intervention by officials to stop that procedure. 
Dawn Primarolo: Manual intervention to stop an automatic recovery procedure will normally take place within five working days of Tax Credit Office receiving a dispute, unless the case can be brought to a satisfactory conclusion before that time.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in receipt of tax credits and who are most at risk of an overpayment have been contacted by HM Revenue and Customs to ensure that their stated circumstances and incomes are up to date. 
Dawn Primarolo: As agreed with HM Revenue and Customs and announced in my statement of 26 May 2005, HMRC is currently testing the effectiveness of different methods of encouraging families to keep them informed of changes in their circumstances.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average time was between a tax credit application being made and the claimant receiving the first payment in (a) 200304, (b) 200405 and (c) 200506. 
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC has Service Delivery Agreement targets for deciding tax credits claims, renewals and changes of circumstance within five days and 30 days. Targets and the performance against these targets in 200304 are published in the former Inland Revenue's annual report for 200304. 200405 targets and indicative results of performance are published in spring report for 200405 and the results, together with targets for 200506 will be reported in the Department's annual report in due course. These reports are available on the HMRC website, www.hmrc.gov.uk
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|