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15 Dec 2005 : Column 2267W—continued

Domestic Central Heating

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of households that will be provided with (a) central heating and (b) insulation in each year of his plans as announced in the Pre-Budget Report. [37055]

John Healey: The Government announced an additional £300 million to provide free central heating installations to pensioner households on pension credit who do not already have such systems. These funds will be delivered through the warm front programme and funding will be available from this current financial
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year. Warm front has assisted over one million homes and already installed over 50,000 central heating systems. This additional funding will help deliver a significant number of more central heating systems to pensioners on pension credit who do not have them.

Insulation for pensioner households on pension credit will be provided by energy suppliers as part of their obligations under the Energy Efficiency Commitment. Under the current structure of EEC, suppliers are required to achieve energy savings targets and for this phase of the EEC (2005–08) of the EEC 130 TWh of savings have to be achieved. The suppliers have indicated that they will be able to provide insulation to any pensioners on pension credit.

Excise Duties (Receipts)

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the receipts from (a) vehicle excise duty, (b) air passenger duty, (c) fuel duty and (d) VAT on fuel as a percentage of gross domestic product in each year since 1996–97; and if he will estimate future receipts consistent with the forecasts in the Pre-Budget Report. [37117]

John Healey: Projected UK gross domestic product, and receipts from vehicle excise, air passenger and fuel duties, were set out in the financial statement and Budget Report and in the Pre-Budget Report, every year since 1997. Copies of these can be found in the Library of the House. The latest estimates were published in the 2005 Pre-Budget Report. These estimates will be up-dated when the 2006 financial statement and Budget Report is published.

HM Revenue and Customs do not collect VAT receipts on the basis of individual goods so no estimate of VAT on fuel as a percentage of gross domestic product is available.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the gifts received by (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in each of the last two years for which information is available; what the approximate value of each was; and how many were (i)accepted and (ii) returned. [37407]

John Healey: Guidance for Ministers on the acceptance of gifts is set out in the ministerial code. An annual list of gifts received by Ministers valued at more than £140 is published. The annual list provides details of the gift received, its value, the donor and whether the gift was retained by the department, purchased by the
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Minister or marked for disposal. Information for June 2001-March 2005 is in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2005–06 will be published as soon as it is available after the end of the financial year.

For officials, the Treasury's gifts' policy states that officials should refuse or return gifts worth more than £25, if such a course of action does not harm good working relations. Gifts valued at over £25 should be handed over to the department for disposal or the recipient can purchase them.

Illegal Meat Imports

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many seizures of illegal meat imports were made in the last month for which records are available. [37633]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs made 2,496 seizures of products of animal origin in September 2005. Of these seizures, 1,333 contained meat.

Legal Aid

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the reply given to the Law Society's letter to him of 31 August about the future of legal aid. [37427]

Mr. Des Browne: I have done so.

Local Authority Grants

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the Government's total grants to local authorities as a percentage of gross domestic product in each financial year since 1978–79. [37054]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the national statistician, who has been asked to reply.
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Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 15 December 2005:

Total transfers from central Government to local government, as a percentage of GDP, from 1978–79 to 2004–05
Market price, not seasonally adjusted (£ million)

Financial yearCurrent transfersCapital transfersTotalGross domestic productTotal as a
percentage of GDP

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