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The tax credit IT system automatically checks whether a child matches with a record in the Child Benefit Office database. Where there is no evidence of child benefit, HM Revenue and Customs will ask the tax credit claimant to supply a birth certificate or medical card to support their claim for child tax credit.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the annual cost of the common agricultural policy arising from (a) increased food prices and (b) direct costs to the Exchequer under the new financial perspective 2007 to 2013. 
Mr. Des Browne [holding answer 9 January 2006]: The OECD estimates the annual cost of the common agricultural policy to EU consumers arising from increased food prices at around €50 billion each year, of which part will be borne by UK consumers. In addition, taxpayers in the UK and other member states pay the fiscal costs of the CAP. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I have given to his related question number 39460.
For a more comprehensive assessment of the costs of the CAP, I refer the hon. Member to the paper A Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy" published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and HM Treasury in December, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the common agricultural policy to (a) the EU and (b) the UK under the new financial perspective 2007 to 2013. 
Mr. Des Browne
[holding answer 9 January 2006]: The European Council meeting of 1516 December agreed to set the EU budget for pillar 1 of the common agricultural policy (market-related expenditure and direct payments) for 200713 at €293.105 billion in 2004 prices. The rural development budget was set at €69.25 billion, excluding transfers from pillar 1 to this budget.
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A wide-ranging assessment of the economic, financial, social and environmental costs of the CAP is contained in the paper A Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy" published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and HM Treasury in December, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Des Browne: The Government do not separately record expenditure on items previously recorded as contingent liabilities. The cost of obtaining details of contingent liabilities that became payable in each year since 1992 would therefore exceed the Disproportionate Cost Threshold for answering parliamentary questions and so I am unable to provide the information requested.
Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of corrective actions proposed by the International Monetary Fund for members whose performance is below requirements for the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: On the 21 December 2005, the IMF Executive Board confirmed 19 countries as qualifying for the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Qualifying countries will get irrevocable debt relief with immediate effect, once final administrative matters have been completed. The UK fully supports and welcomes the IMF's implementation plans for debt relief for Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guyana, Ghana, Honduras, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Uganda and Zambia.
The IMF Board also concluded that at this stage, while Mauritania is eligible for debt relief, it will not qualify immediately due to issues regarding macro-economic performance and public expenditure management since it reached completion point in the HIPC initiative in 2002. The IMF will work closely with the authorities in the coming months to help Mauritania qualify for MDRI debt relief. The UK welcomes efforts by the IMF and
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Mauritanian authorities to establish a track record, and we hope that Mauritania will qualify for debt relief in the near future.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was of pension contributions incurred by (a) his Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body, (ii) executive agency and (iii) other public body for which he is responsible in (A) Scotland, (B) Wales, (C) each of the English regions and (D) Northern Ireland in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is for 200506. 
John Healey: Pension contributions and other pension costs for past years are disclosed in the annual accounts of each public body, which are available in the Library of the House or from the websites of the respective bodies. Further analysis could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government will take to encourage people who may have dormant accounts to claim their money before the funds are used by the Government. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what progress has been made by the European Commission regarding his proposal to increase the duty free allowance to £1,000; and if he will make a statement; 
Dawn Primarolo: The Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to the European Commission at Budget 2005 proposing that the limit on goods (excluding wine, spirits, tobacco and perfume) brought into the EU without incurring tax or duty on arrival should be increased to £1,000. The Commission has expressed support in principle for an increase in the allowance, and we hope they will soon come forward with draft legislation addressing our request and reducing unnecessary restrictions on travellers bringing goods into the EU for their own use.
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Ministerial attendance and the outcome of each ECOFIN have been reported either by written ministerial statement, written answer or, occasionally, by letter to the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee.
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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles statistics of inactivity for local areas from the National Population Survey following International Labour Organisation definitions. The table, attached, shows the numbers of inactive people of working age, resident in each London Borough, for the 12 months ending March 2005. The table also shows the number of inactive people as a percentage of the total working age population resident in each Borough.
|London borough||Number of inactive persons (thousand)||Inactivity rate(28)(percentage)|
|Barking and Dagenham||31||31.2|
|City of London||(29)||(29)|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||30||24.2|
|Kensington and Chelsea||40||33.3|
|Westminster, City of||41||30.1|
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