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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Valuation Office Agency operates an incentive scheme for staff for (a) council tax valuations and (b) business rate valuations. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Many of the supplies made by charities are not subject to VAT. Charities also benefit from VAT reliefs on their purchases worth more than £200 million per year. This forms part of the total tax reliefs for charities worth £2.4 billion per year.
Under agreements governing the application of VAT reliefs throughout the EU, successive Governments have agreed with European partners not to extend any existing VAT zero rates or introduce any new ones. The scope of the exemptions from VAT is similarly limited by European agreements. It is therefore not possible for the Government to introduce any new VAT zero rates or exemptions for supplies or purchases made by charities.
Charities VAT costs have been considered by the Government in two major reviews since 1997. In the course of these reviews it was not possible to find a solution that was practical, efficient, affordable, well-targeted and based on principle. Available resources are better and more effectively deployed through targeted initiatives and support, such as the Futurebuilders investment fund, rather than through a general VAT refund scheme for all charities.
31 Jan 2006 : Column 415W
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many appeals against antisocial behaviour orders were funded by legal aid in the last 12 months; and what the (a) average and (b) total cost to public funds of this legal aid was. 
HM Inspectorate of Court Administration has on-going contact with the Commission for Racial Equality in relation to their role in monitoring HM Court Services' compliance with the duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, their own internal responsibilities and linkage with the Department for Constitutional Affairs' Race Equality Scheme.
DCA corporate staff network for black and minority ethnic staff (PROUD), approached the Commission for Racial Equality to participate in PROUD's black history month in October 2005. Trevor Phillips attended giving a presentation on Race Equality in the Public Service.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was paid by her Department in 200405 in rent for properties in (a) total, (b) each (i) region and (ii) nation of the UK and (c) London. 
Ms Harman: The answer provided relates solely to property on the HQ estate of the Department for Constitutional Affairs. It does not cover HM Court Service, associated offices or NDPB's as this information is neither collated nor managed by DCA and to obtain it would incur a disproportionate cost. Wales Office and Scotland Office are excluded on the grounds that they fund their own rent and should receive this question directly.
|Region||Property rental (£)|
|East of England||Nil|
|Yorks and Humber||Nil|
|Nation||Property rental (£)|
|Building||Rental paid (£)|
|Selborne House, London||2,175,000|
|30 Millbank, London||229,313|
|Millbank Tower, London||1,464,050|
|Chancery Lane, London||2,332,918|
|Conquest House, London||481,600|
|Greycoat Place, London||(38)312,456|
|Archway Tower, London||884,000|
|Steel House, London||1,629,183|
|Sunlight House, Manchester||134,056|
|Tower House, Bristol||26,896|
|City House, Leeds||37,830|
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