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19 Jan 2006 : Column 1484W—continued

Unlicensed Taxis

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of unlicensed taxis operating in (a) England and (b) Leeds North West. [43376]

Ms Buck: We have made no estimate of the extent of unlicensed taxi operation either in England as a whole or in particular local areas. However, relevant data is held by the Court Proceedings Database of the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Taxis in England must be licensed by the relevant local authority under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. Individuals who attempt to provide a taxi service without being properly licensed normally do so by contravening section 45 of the 1847 Act by illegally plying for hire or section 167 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 by touting.

The Court Proceedings Database shows the numbers of offenders found guilty of offences under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 (wider than just illegal plying for hire) and s167 of the 1994 Act are as follows; these data are provided on the principal offence basis.

Vehicle Testing

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis he deems it necessary for private motor vehicles to be tested annually once they are over three-years-old; if he will assess the merits of extending the period between tests beyond 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [41979]


 
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Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 16 January 2006]: The primary purpose of the MOT test is to help safeguard against unroadworthy vehicles being used on the road. The average failure rate at annual test is, and has been for many years, around 30 per cent. for cars (equating to 6,752,700 cars), 35 per cent. for light goods (about 173,250 light goods vehicles between 3 and 3.5 tonnes) and 20 per cent. for motorcycles (about 149,000 motorcycles). The failure rate for cars undergoing their first MOT since their initial registration is around 16 per cent. (and equates to 375,000 vehicles). This reflects mainly items prone to wearing such as brake pads and tyres, which high mileage drivers who fail to check their vehicles regularly can easily overlook.

The current frequency of the test represents a reasonable balance between the cost to the motoring public and the risk to road safety of allowing defective vehicles to go undetected. However Ministers keep this under review.

TREASURY

Audible Fire Alarms

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the premises occupied by his Department is fitted with audible fire alarms. [42869]

John Healey: 100 per cent.

Carers

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost of the inclusion of carers allowance recipients in the tax credit system. [41227]

Dawn Primarolo: Carer's allowance recipients are not excluded from the tax credits system. Carer's allowance recipients who meet the appropriate qualifying conditions are eligible for child tax credit and working tax credit. Information on the current cost of paying tax credits to carer's allowance recipients is not available because we do not separately collect information on tax credits paid to recipients of carer's allowance.

Charities

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times HM Revenue and Customs audited the accounts of charitable organisations in each of the last five years. [43669]


 
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Dawn Primarolo: The number of audits and enquiries in relation to Gift Aid tax repayment claims and charity tax returns is shown in the table as follows. Information is only available from 2001–02.
Number of audits/inquiries
2001–02(16)828
2002–03813
2003–04884
2004–05908


(16)This does not include inquiries made in relation to Scottish charities, for which no record is available for 2001–02.
Note:
Figures do not include inquiries raised in respect of any subsidiary trading companies.



Child Care Costs (Tax Exemption)

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many firms have claimed a tax exemption on the first £50 a week of child care costs since the introduction of the exemption. [43766]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not currently available; Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are currently assessing and monitoring the impact of the tax and national insurance contributions exemptions for employer supported child care.

Child Trust Fund

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Child Trust Fund vouchers have been issued to families in Tamworth constituency to date. [43460]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 1 December 2005, Official Report, column 658W, to the hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire, North (Jim Sheridan).

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff (a) from the Valuation Office Agency, (b) HM Revenue and Customs and (c) his Department will attend the (i) Mass Appraisal Valuation Symposium in Vancouver on 6–7 February, (ii) Integrating GIS and CAMA Conference in Orlando, Florida on 19 to 22 February and (iii) International Property Tax Institute International Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August; and what the total estimated cost to the public purse will be of attendance at each of the events. [42841]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is as follows:
Number of staff attending
VOAHMRCHMTEstimated cost (£)
Event
Valuation Symposium Vancouver February 20061001,000
GIS/CAMA Conference Florida February 20061001,000
IPTI Conference Kuala Lumpur August 20061001,000

Departmental Staff (Castle Point)

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff employed by his Department live in Castle Point. [42821]

John Healey: None of the staff of the Treasury are known to live in Castle Point.
 
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Economic Activity

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were economically inactive in each London borough in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [42948]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 January 2006:


 
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Number of persons of working age resident in each London borough who are economically inactive, and working age inactivity rates

12 months ending February 2001
12 months ending February 2002
12 months ending February 2003
London boroughInactive persons
(Thousand)
Inactivity Rate(17)
(Percentage)
Inactive persons
(Thousand)
Inactivity Rate(17)
(Percentage)
Inactive persons
(Thousand)
Inactivity Rate(17)
(Percentage)
Barking and Dagenham323328282828
Barnet432242214221
Bexley282128212620
Brent513045265330
Bromley301734194123
Camden372839283827
City of London1(18)30(19)(19)(19)(19)
Croydon422141204019
Ealing593054275326
Enfield442645264526
Greenwich292234254029
Hackney453546344533
Hammersmith and Fulham282526222924
Haringey493450344530
Harrow231831243224
Havering241826192317
Hillingdon332231203020
Hounslow292130223525
Islington403335293831
Kensington and Chelsea272633303531
Kingston-upon-Thames202118191818
Lambeth402245244424
Lewisham372343263823
Merton262224192016
Newham624161396340
Redbridge402735233624
Richmond-upon-Thames141319171715
Southwark483045274728
Sutton141215131917
Tower Hamlets493948375239
Waltham Forest342437263827
Wandsworth311729163620
Westminster, City of352938304131










12 months ending February 2004
12 months ending February 2005
London boroughInactive persons (Thousand)Inactivity Rate(17)
(Percentage)
Inactive persons
Thousand)
Inactivity Rate(17)
(Percentage)
Barking and Dagenham29293131
Barnet53255425
Bexley262025.18
Brent51295029
Bromley37203017
Camden34244331
City of London(19)(19)(19)(19)
Croydon43204018
Ealing48234924
Enfield42245229
Greenwich38283828
Hackney48355237
Hammersmith and Fulham26213024
Haringey57384631
Harrow32232921
Havering22162821
Hillingdon36233220
Hounslow33233424
Islington35293528
Kensington and Chelsea31274033
Kingston-upon-Thames19192222
Lambeth48274526
Lewisham39243622
Merton20162721
Newham65426139
Redbridge38253724
Richmond-upon-Thames26232924
Southwark42264528
Sutton23202017
Tower Hamlets48375138
Waltham Forest41304130
Wandsworth35194022
Westminster, City of42314130


(17)Rate as a percentage of the resident population of working age (men aged 16 to 64, women aged 16 to 59).
(18)Rounded rate reflects small number in sample resident in City of London.
(19)Estimate not available, sample size less than three could be disclosive.
Source:
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey.





 
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Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were classed as economically inactive in Tamworth constituency in each of the last 10 years as (a) a percentage of the population of working age and (b) as a total; and if he will make a statement. [43472]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 January 2006:


Number and rates of working age persons resident in the Tamworth parliamentary constituency who are economically inactive

12 months endingLevel (Thousand)Rate(20) (Percentage)
February
19971220
19981525
1999916
2000916
20011016
20021118
20031117
20041321
March
20051118


(20)Rate as a percentage of the resident population of working age (men aged 16 to 64, women aged 16 to 59).
Note:
Estimates are subject to sampling variability. Changes from year to year should be treated with particular caution.
Source:
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey.




 
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