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15 Dec 2005 : Column 2264W—continued

Building/Refurbishment Projects

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by his Department in (i) 2005–06 and (ii)2006–07; and what the expected costs are of each project. [37403]

John Healey: The Treasury has no building or refurbishment projects planned.

Catering/Entertainment Contracts

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value is of (a) catering and (b) entertainment contracts let by his Department; and what value of such contracts has been let in each nation and region of the UK, including London. [37461]

John Healey: The Treasury did not let any catering or entertainment contracts during 2004–05.
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Consumer Debt

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average level of consumer debt was in (a) Staffordshire and (b) England in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [37831]

John Healey: Figures from the Bank of England showed that the level of unsecured consumer debt in the UK in October 2005 was £191,406 million, of which £56,334 million is credit card debt and £135,072 million other. Official regional and average data are not available. The growth in unsecured lending is now at its lowest in over 10 years.


Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value was of (a) public opinion research and (b) public relations contracts awarded by his Department in 2004–05 in (i) each (A) nation and (B)region of the UK and (ii) London. [35894]

John Healey: The Treasury awarded contracts for public opinion research with a total value of £30,000 in 2004–05. The expenditure was for the whole of the UK. No public relations contracts were awarded in 2004–05.

Cooking Oil (Duty)

John Hemming: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason Inland Revenue decided to charge fuel duty on recovered cooking oil. [38196]

John Healey: Fuel produced from vegetable oil is eligible for the rate of duty for biodiesel (currently 27.10 pence per litre) if it meets the legal definition of biodiesel for tax purposes set out in section 2AA of the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979. In other cases it is liable to duty at 47.10 pence per litre, as has been the case since Royal Assent to the Finance Act 2002. Before that date biodiesel was liable to the same rate of duty as ultra-low sulphur diesel.

Correspondence/Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) letters from hon. Members, (b) letters from members of the public and (c) parliamentary questions from (i) hon. Members and (ii) Lords were dealt with by his Department in each year since 1995; in respect of what percentage his Department took (A) more than one month and (B) more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and if he will make a statement. [37404]

John Healey: The Cabinet Office publishes a report to Parliament each year on the performance of departments in replying to correspondence from Members of both Houses of Parliament. The report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns 137–140WS. The reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

Since 1999, the Treasury has dealt with the following number of letters from members of the public (figures for earlier years are not available):
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LettersAnswered within 15-day target

The breakdown requested of the length of time taken to reply to correspondence is not available.

The number of written parliamentary questions answered by Treasury Ministers in both Houses since the 1995–96 session is given in the following table:
SessionHouse of CommonsHouse of Lords
1995–961,851Not available
2004–05 (As at 15 December 2005)2,307116

Information relating to the number of questions which took longer than one month and three months toanswer is not readily available and could be obtainedonly at disproportionate cost. However, Treasury Ministers attach importance to answering parliamentary questions promptly wherever possible. In the 2004–05 session, 83 per cent. of House of Commons questions were answered substantively by the accepted deadlines, as were 96 per cent. of House of Lords questions.

Death Statistics

Angela Browning: To ask the Chancellor of theExchequer what percentage of people died (a) inhospital, (b) in a hospice, (c) at home and (d) in residential or nursing care in each of the last five years. [37973]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 15 December 2005:

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Percentage of all deaths by place of death in England and Wales, 2000 to 2004(22)

Place of death20002001200220032004
(c)Own home1919181818
(d)Residential or nursing Home(25)1818171716
Other places54444
All places100100100100100

(22)Figures are for deaths occurring in each calendar year.
(23)NHS and non-NHS general hospitals.
(24)NHS and non-NHS hospices.
(25)NHS nursing home, Non-NHS nursing home, private residential home and local authority residential home.

Department Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff are employed by his Department in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK; and if he will make a statement. [35926]

John Healey: The information requested is published in Table D of the Civil Service Statistics. These are available in the Library, and online at: service/statistics/civil_service_statistics/index.asp

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants in each grade have left his Department in each of the last three years to join consultancy firms; and which firm each joined. [37365]

John Healey: The Treasury does not collect information from staff on prospective new employers when they leave the department. Therefore, data on the number of civil servants in each grade that have left the Treasury to join consultancy firms is not available.


Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a Minister in his Department is planned to be nominated to take responsibility for liaison with the office for disability issues; and if he will make a statement. [37071]

John Healey: The Minister for disabled people has overall responsibility for the office for disability issues (ODI) and lead responsibility, in collaboration with colleagues across Government, for advancing the Government's 20-year strategy to improve outcomes for disabled people. Treasury Ministers will continue to engage with the Minister for disabled people on disability issues.

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