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14 Feb 2006 : Column 1836W—continued

Financial Services Authority

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what research he has undertaken on the relative cost effectiveness of the Financial Services Authority; [51190]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Financial Services Authority's scrutiny of the financial services industry; and if he will make a statement. [51191]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) enables a review to take place of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has used its resources in discharging its functions. As announced in the pre-Budget report 2005, the Treasury aims to hold the first such review in the near future.

The effectiveness of some FSA functions was considered as part of the Treasury's Two-Year Review of FSMA, the outcome of which was announced on 2 December 2004. As part of this review the FSA improved its provision of advice and guidance, improved the accessibility of its handbook of rules, improved its cost-benefit analysis, and reduced consultation burdens.

Fuel Smuggling

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the extent of fuel smuggling into Northern Ireland in 2005. [51356]

Dawn Primarolo: The latest estimates of revenue loss in the hydrocarbon oils sector are published in 'Measuring Indirect Tax Loss-2005', which was published alongside the PBR. All estimates for Northern Ireland relate to total non-UK duty paid consumption rather than the illicit market. This is because it is not yet possible to split revenue losses between those resulting from the illicit market and those from legitimate cross-border shopping.

Gold Reserves

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 2 February 2006, Official Report, column 739W, on gold reserves, what interest has been earned from the funds reinvested from the sale of gold reserves; and if he will list the movement in currencies against sterling since that date. [51763]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The gold sales between July 1999 and March 2002 reflected a prudent decision to reduce over-exposure to a single asset in the net reserves portfolio. The gold sales reduced risk by around 30 percent. (as measured by value-at-risk) and are not expected to deliver a loss in return when measured over the medium to long-term; the appropriate time horizon for such a decision.

Government Accounts

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what independent auditing the Whole of Government Accounts will be subject; and if he will make a statement. [50632]

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Mr. Des Browne: Section 11 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 provides for the Comptroller and Auditor General to audit Whole of Government Accounts.

Gross Domestic Product (Peterborough)

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what level of gross domestic product was recorded in each of the last five years in (a) the Peterborough city council area and (b) Peterborough constituency. [51387]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 14 February 2006:

Gross value added (GVA)(9) for Peterborough (NUTS3 area) at current basic prices 1999 to 2003

£ million

HM Revenue and Customs

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria HM Revenue and Customs uses to determine whether an appeal against one of its decisions constitutes a test case. [50677]

Dawn Primarolo: All the circumstances of a case are taken into account, including whether there is a question of law in need of clarification which has wider relevance to taxpayers as a whole.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the evidence from HM Revenue and Customs to the Public Administration Committee on 20 October 2005, Question 81, on the tax credits system, when the part manual-part computerised method of suspending the automatic recovery of overpayments in tax credits will be introduced; and how this differs from the manual intervention introduced from November 2005. [45833]

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Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 26 January 2006]: The interim method of suspending disputed overpayments was introduced in November 2005. This interim method, is the part manual and part computerised method, as described in answer to Q81 of the Public Administration Committee on 20 October 2005. From November 2006 a fully computerised system is planned.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria he uses to decide whether the HM Revenue and Customs logo may appear on a commercial product; and whether HM Revenue and Customs endorses any tax calculation products which do not include the full UK tax return. [47321]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 31 January 2006]: HMRC authorises suppliers to use its logo only in cases where there is clear benefit to the Department and its relationship with its customers.

PAYE products produced by a third party can carry the following message if they have achieved HMRC's Payroll Standards: Tested and meets HM Revenue & Customs Payroll Standard". This message does not include the HMRC logo.

In addition, although HMRC does not endorse any of these products, the Self Assessment Filing Partner logo was developed for those software vendors who entered into an agreement with HMRC to jointly promote their SA filing online services.

Income Tax

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of tax which would be raised by introducing a new 49 per cent. tax band for those with incomes over (a) £100,000 per annum, (b) £125,000 per annum, (c) £150,000 per annum and (d) £200,000 per annum; and if he will make a statement. [50450]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is in the following table.
Revenue yields from introducing a new 49 per cent. band in 2005–06

Income level at which the new 49 per cent. is
introduced (£)

Yield (£ billion)

These estimates assume tax changes to earned income and savings only—the higher rate income tax on dividends remains at 32.5 per cent.

The income tax information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes and 2005 pre-Budget assumptions.

The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response to the tax change, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.
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Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received from the Israeli embassy in relation to the Interpal charity in the last six months; what meetings have been held between embassy officials and Ministers from his Department on the subject; and what was discussed at those meetings; [51308]

(2) what representations he has received from representatives of the Interpal charity in the last six months; what response he has made to those representations; and if Ministers from his Department will meet representatives of Interpal to discuss their concerns. [51344]

Mr. Des Browne: HM Treasury does not comment on the details of ministerial meetings. The Treasury receives numerous representations from a range of organisations in the course of Treasury business. Interpal is one such organisation, but it would be inappropriate to comment on the details of any one particular case.

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