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Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the surplus or deficit in the National Insurance Fund is; what proportion of UK gross domestic product that figure represents; and what the projected figures are in each case for (a) 2010, (b) 2020, (c) 2030, (d) 2040 and (e) 2050. 
Dawn Primarolo: The latest information on the excess of receipts over payments and closing balance can be found on page 10 of the National Insurance Fund Account 200304 (published 10 January 2005). The National Insurance Fund covers Great Britain only.
Projections of the excess of receipts over payments to 2060 for Great Britain can be found in tables 15.1 and 15.7 of the Government Actuary's Quinquennial Review of the National Insurance Fund. The Quinquennial Review is on the Government Actuary's Department's website: http://www.gad.gov.uk/Publications/docs/QR5-FullReport.pdf
As stated in the review, these results should be regarded as giving only a broad indication of the possible future progression of the fund balance, bearing in mind the significant uncertainties involved in such a projection.
Peter Luff: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 29 November 2005, Official Report, column 345W, what the cost of the travel of the two officials from his Department who accompanied him on his return from Israel was. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Peter Luff) of 29 November 2005, Official Report, column 345W, on official travel costs, for what reasons two officials from his Department accompanied him on his return from his trip to Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list all official overseas visits undertaken by officials in his Department, broken down by Directorate, in each year since May 2001; what the cost in cash and real terms was; how many official engagements and meetings were underaken on each visit; how many officials took part in each visit, broken down by grades; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Treasury's total spending on overseas travel and subsistence (including ministerial travel costs) in 200405 was £1,657,000. In relation to the earlier years, I refer to the answer given on 24 January 2005 by the then Financial Secretary (Mr. Timms) to the hon. member for Tatton (Mr. Osborne), 24 January 2005, Official Report, column 156W. Non-financial data on officials' visits are not recorded centrally so the further analysis requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the ministerial code", the civil service management code" and the code of conduct for special advisers".
John Healey: The joint Government and oil and gas industry task force (PILOT), chaired by Minister of State for Energy, Malcolm Wicks, does not discuss the quantum or structure of taxation. PILOT recognises that taxation is a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much regional aid he plans to make available to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from 2007 to 2013; and through what funding streams funds will be disbursed. 
Mr. Des Browne:
The Government set out in the 2004 Spending Review its spending plans for the years up to 200708, including on regional development. The Comprehensive Spending Review will decide spending plans for 200809 till 201011.
15 Dec 2005 : Column 2273W
Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly of his proposal to repatriate regional convergence funding from the European Union. 
The Government are presently in discussions with its EU partners and the Commission on the future of structural funds in the 200713 financial perspective. It is not possible to say how particular regions will be affected by a final outcome of the negotiations.
John Healey: The Government are committed to promoting the long-term economic performance of all areas of the UK. In England the Government have taken steps to promote economic growth at the national, regional and local level. At the local level, schemes such as the local authority business growth incentives and business improvement districts make resources available for areas such as Southend to promote economic growth in their locality. In addition, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Thames Gateway Funding are contributing to the long-term economic development of Southend. For instance, EEDA is contributing £2 million to the renaissance of industrial estates in Southend.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the representatives from his Department and public bodies for which his Department is responsible who attended the Harlow North Sustainability Symposia on 6 June. 
|Numbers of claims|
|12 August 2002 to 5 April 2003||427,000|
|6 April 2003 to 5 April 2004||545,000|
|6 April 2004 to 5 April 2005||547,000|
|6 April 2005 to 30 October 2005||438,000|
Dawn Primarolo: November 2006 is the earliest date that the new limits on the in-year recovery of tax credit overpayments can be introduced, due to the analysis and testing required to achieve the IT change.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 19 July 2005, Official Report, column 1699W, on tax credits, which problems the Government recognises as being faced by carers moving into work; and if he will (a) list the interested parties whom Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has consulted on the practicalities of extending tax credit support to this group and (b) summarise the representations they have made. 
Dawn Primarolo: We recognise that informal carers of adults can have constraints on their ability to work because of their caring responsibilities. HMRC has consulted on the practicalities of extending tax credit support for this group, with other Government Departments and with a number of representative bodies outside Government. There has been a range of representations, with a particular interest in whether there may be a case for reducing the working tax credit working hours requirement for informal carers of adults to at least 16 hours a week.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency he expects to benefit from the reform to the tax credit system announced in the Pre-Budget Report. 
Dawn Primarolo: The information is not available in the format requested. Combined, the various measures will achieve a balance between providing more certainty of tax credit award for families, while maintaining flexibility to respond to falls in their income and changes in circumstances.
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