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Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the public expenditure implications of the proposals in the Pensions Commission's second report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the affordability of the pension proposals made in the second report of the Pensions Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne:
I refer the hon. Members to the answer given by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson) on 8 December 2005, Official Report, column 1445W.
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much was paid by his Department in 200405 in rent for properties in (a) total, (b) each (i) region and (ii) nation of the UK and (c) London. 
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans (a) to prohibit investment by self-invested personal pensions directly into a residential property, (b) to prohibit such investments if they are for personal use and (c) to allow such investment only through an institutional fund. 
Mr. Des Browne: The Chancellor announced at the pre-Budget report (PBR) that self invested personal pensions (SIPPs) and all other forms of self-directed pensions will be prohibited from obtaining tax advantages when investing in residential property, and certain other assets from April 6 2006.
The Government remain committed to encouraging investment in a range of assets as part of pensions saving and is therefore minded to allow SIPPs to invest in genuinely diverse commercial vehicles that hold residential property, such as the proposed UK Real Estate Investment Trust model (UK-REIT) that was outlined at PBR.
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the chronology was for the development of Government policy in relation to the use of self-invested pension schemes for investment in residential property over the last five years; 
(3) what assessment he has made on the likely effect of the changes to self-invested personal pensions announced in the pre-Budget report on (a) take-up and (b) anticipated cost of tax revenue contained in the relevant Regulatory Impact Assessment 
Mr. Des Browne [holding answer 8 December 2005]: Like all policy developments, announcements on pension tax simplification have been made in pre-Budget reports and Budgets and a number of Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs staff have worked on the policy, The Regulatory impact Assessment focused on the impact of pension tax simplification of which self-invested personal pensions are only a small part.
John Hemming: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 525W, on silent calls, what estimate the Inland Revenue made in 200405 of the number of silent calls made from its offices and those of its contractors using predictive dialler technology. 
HMRC recognises that silent calls can cause people concern which is why, when using an outbound dialler, a caller line identity is always displayed so anyone missing a call would have the option of calling the number back. Additionally HMRC configures its predictive diallers to ensure the minimum of silent calls in line with Ofcom guidelines.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the tax allowances that have been introduced since 1997; by what percentage each such allowance has changed since its introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The main rates and allowances are set out each year in the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report and Financial Statement and Budget Report. Copies of this are available in the House Library. More detailed information on individual tax allowances and reliefs with an estimate annual cost of at least £50 million can be found in the HM Treasury publication, Tax ready reckoner and tax reliefs". Recent versions can be found on the HM Treasury website and historic copies are held in the House Library.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answers to the hon. Member for Tatton of 12 September 2005, Official Report, columns 238586W, on tax credits, if he will update the tables to include figures for the months of August to November. 
For the number of disputed
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overpayments of tax credits in 200405 and for the period 1 January 2005 to 31 May 2005, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 September 2005, Official Report, column 2385W to the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Osborne).
The number of disputed overpayment requests for June 2005 has been updated. The figure given in my previous answer only included receipts to the last Friday in the month of June rather than to 30 June 2005.
|Month||Number of appeals received (UK)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff at the Tax Credits Office have received bonus payments in each month from January 2003 to October 2005; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what has been the largest single payment; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The (former) Inland Revenue introduced a Team Bonus scheme from 1 April 2003. Team Bonus payments were paid annually to directorates of the Inland Revenue which had contributed exceptionally towards achievement of the Department's PSA targets.
The Tax Credit Office (TCO) qualified for team bonuses in 200304 and 200405. The maximum amount each individual in the TCO could receive was set centrally for the inland Revenue, according to grade.
|Percentage of maximum bonus payment available for achievement of target||Target to qualify for team bonus||Associated PSA Key Target||TCO Performance against Bonus Target|
|Decide 97 per cent. of claims, change of circumstances and renewals within 30 working days of receipt excluding ceased household cases||60||97||95||95.9|
|Deliver quality casework of which 90 per cent. is fully satisfactory or better than standard||20||90||90||97|
|Decide 94 per cent. of claims, changes of circumstances and renewals accurately||20||94%||90||96.5|
|Number of individual staff in receipt of annual team bonus payment||Value (£)||Average payment (£)|
|31 July 2004||3,850||938,542||243|
|31 July 2005||3,755||425,229||113|
|Quarter ending||Total value of directors bonuses awarded|
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average unit cost of processing new claims for tax credits including capital costs was in (a) 200304 and (b) 200405; and what it has been in 200506. 
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates HM Revenue and Customs (a) requested and (b) received a written agreement from Electronic
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Data Systems to proceed with the compression of testing time for the new tax credit system; and if he will place this correspondence in the Library. 
Dawn Primarolo: Electronic Data Systems (EDS) carried out a range of testing in the run-up to the introduction of the tax credits system on 7 April 2003, with the testing arrangements reviewed regularly. EDS provided a certificate on 4 April 2003 to confirm that the release of software was fit for purpose to deliver new tax credits.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will establish an independent inquiry into the introduction of the new tax credits following the settlement between HM Revenue and Customs and Electronic Data Systems. 
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