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15 Feb 2006 : Column 2161W—continued

Millennium Dome (Redevelopment)

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what responsibilities he has had for the millennium dome in each year since his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister. [49713]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Deputy Prime Minister inherited responsibility for the millennium dome in May 2002 when the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created as a Department in its own right. Prior to that responsibility for the dome rested with the former Department for Transport, local government and the regions.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister sponsors English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency, which has owned the dome site since 1997 and was charged with securing a long term use for the millennium dome structure and regeneration of associated land on the Greenwich peninsula.

English Partnerships have entered into legally binding contracts with Meridian Delta Ltd (MDL), a consortium consisting of Lend Lease and Quintain Estates and Development Plc, and Anschutz Entertainment Group (Anschutz), for the redevelopment of the dome and the regeneration of approximately 190 acres of land on the Greenwich peninsula.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister continues to oversee and monitor English Partnerships' role in securing the financial returns from the deal and in working with MDL and Anschutz in the redevelopment of the millennium dome and associated land to ensure successful delivery of the regeneration of the area. English Partnerships also continues to have responsibility for certain aspects of the dome's maintenance, security and insurance until Anschutz completes the construction of the arena and takes on full responsibility for the dome structure and its immediate surroundings.

Supporting People

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will put mechanisms in place to ensure that the calculation of the needs-based formulae for supporting people grants will not include a ceiling; and that the implementation of the increase grant will take effect in full from April 2007. [51185]

Mr. Woolas: Through Creating Sustainable Communities: Supporting Independence", the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently consulting on whether, and if so how, to take forward any changes to the basis for allocating supporting people grants to local
 
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authorities. In parallel, the ODPM is also consulting on a technical model which provides one option for an alternative approach to allocations. Consultation on both runs until 28 February 2006, and decisions will be taken once we have had the opportunity to consider all representations received.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has, however, already announced guaranteed minimum supporting people grant allocations for 2007–08. These have been set on the basis of each authority receiving at least 95 per cent. of their grant for 2006–07. The ODPM will determine and confirm how to allocate the remainder of the funding following and in the light of the current consultation. However, the announcement of minimum allocations means that any change to the basis for grant distribution cannot be implemented in full from April 2007.

TREASURY

Departmental Expenditure

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent by his Department on (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2004–05. [51769]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The amounts spent on (a) gas and (b) electricity consumed in 1 Horse Guards Road during 2004–05 were (a) £3,566 and (b) £332,130.

Free Bus Travel

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he made of the method of distributing the sum of money allocated to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to cover the cost of the free bus travel policy announced in the Budget when deciding the total sum of money to be applied to the policy; [51466]

(2) how the sum of money allocated to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to cover the cost of the free bus travel policy announced in the Budget was calculated; [51467]

(3) what representations he has received concerning the calculation of the sum of money allocated to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to cover the cost of the free bus travel policy announced in the Budget. [51468]

Mr. Des Browne: The Government are providing an extra £350 million for 2006–07 through the Formula Grant system which will be sufficient to fund the cost to local authorities, as set out in Budget 2005. Local authorities were fully consulted by The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on the distribution by a new formula and received very few representations against. Decisions on the distribution of local government grant for 2006–07 and 2007–08 were made as part of the local government finance settlement, approved by this house on 6 February 2006.

The £350 million included reimbursement to operators for lost income, additional costs due to the increase in generated users, the reimbursement of authorities already offering free off-peak local bus travel, and inflation.
 
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A small number of representations have been received regarding the Budget 2005 announcement of an increase in concessionary fares. However, these have concentrated on the method of distribution as opposed to the calculation of the £350 million allocated.

Parliamentary Questions

Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of the written parliamentary questions addressed to him he has answered personally in each year since he took up his post. [50227]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Written questions are usually answered by the Minister with day to day responsibility for the issue concerned.

Post Office

Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what services to the public which are provided by his Department are available from the post office. [51199]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Customers can pay direct taxes (including national insurance contributions) at the post office. They can also buy National Savings and Investment products and £5 Royal Mint commemorative coins.

Revenue and Customs

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and its predecessors spent on (a) television and (b) radio advertising in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the advertising campaigns were for in each case. [44791]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 24 January 2006]: The following table details media spend figures, by campaign, excluding VAT and all fees, for (a) television and (b) radio advertising from 2000 to 2005.
£

TVRadio
2004–05
HMCE Fuel Fraud 2004–05125,078
Total125,078
Tax Credits 2004–052,302,241930,427
Self Assessment 2004–053,138,9611,025,965
PAYE 2004–0584,788
Child Trust Fund 2004–051,112,299334,528
Share Fishermen 2004–0540,443
Total6,553,5012,416,151
Total6,553,5012,541,229
2003–04
Tax Credits 2003–042,739,999950,958
Self Assessment 2003–043,313,116881,013
Share Fisherman 2003–0447,758
Total6,053,1151,879,729
2002–03
HM Customs & Excise 2002–0374,454
Total74,454
Self Assessment 2002–033,145,572667,501
New Tax Credits 2002–036,705,001732,960
Total9,850,5731,400,461
2001–02
HM Customs & Excise 2001–02184,908
HM Customs & Excise 2001–02 (New Terms)8,000
Total192,908
Self Assessment 2001–022,263,000397,836
Working Family Tax Credits 2001–02489,934
Self Assessment 2001–02 (New terms)487,900199,438
PAYE Online 2001–02 (New Terms)324,966
Disabled Persons Tax Credit (New Terms)559,170
Total2,750,9001,971,344

 
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Tax Credits

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit cases have been with the (a) Compliance Co-ordination Unit and (b) Field Force in each month since 2003–04. [38555]

Dawn Primarolo: Compliance activity for this work area is no longer organised in the teams referred to as (a) Compliance Co-ordination Unit and (b) Field Force. This means that the Department is unable to supply the information requested.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research was conducted in preparing the Government news network press release issued on 1 February on the tax credit system. [50215]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 13 February 2006]: The press release was based on published statistics, administrative data on Tax Credits, and calculations by HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in total has been overpaid in tax credits since they were introduced. [50702]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 13 February 2006]: Estimates for 2003–04 of the numbers of in-work families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 2003–04 are published in Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards. 2003–04." This publication and provisional estimates for the number of in-work families with tax credit awards as at selected dates in 2004–05 are available on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-quarterly-stats.htm

Estimates of numbers and values of overpayments or underpayments for 2004–05 awards at 5 April 2005 will be published in May 2006.

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the stages of the working tax credit system are from application to payment; how many claims have been stopped as fraudulent or possibly fraudulent cases at each stage since the scheme began; and if he will make a statement. [47657]

Dawn Primarolo: All claims for tax credits are subjected to risk assessment and key personal details are matched against other HMRC frameworks before any
 
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payments are made. I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 10 January 2006, Official Report, column 558W.


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