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16 Feb 2006 : Column 2419W—continued

Insurance Premium Tax

Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he plans to bring forward reforms of insurance premium tax to reduce fraud; [52454]

(2) how much money has been spent on investigating cases of alleged fraud in connection with insurance premium tax; and how much he expects will be spent in each of the next three years. [52456]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There is no evidence of continuing or growing levels of fraud relating to insurance premium tax. The Government keeps all taxes under review with any changes being announced as part of the normal Budget process.

Investigations into alleged insurance premium tax (IPT) fraud are carried out as part of HM Revenue and Customs' risk-based compliance strategy. The cost of investigating alleged IPT fraud is not separately identified.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answers of 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 119W, and 26 January 2006, Official Report, column 2260W, on Iraq and the Ministry of Defence press release of 28 September 2005, entitled 2005 UK Defence Statistics, if he will update the figures provided on 26 January 2006 to include the cost of combat operations; and if he will make a statement. [51714]

Mr. Des Browne: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 26 January 2006, Official Report, columns 2260–61W, which includes the net additional costs of all operations in Iraq.
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Tax Credits

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families have received child and working tax credits awards of (a) less than £1,000, (b) £1,000 to £2,499, (c) £2,500 to £4,999, (d) £5,000 to £9,999 and (e) over £10,000, broken down by parliamentary constituency. [51031]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of in-work families with average level of entitlement above the family element and at the family element or below in 2003–04 are published in Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards 2003–04". Estimates of awards by entitlement by constituency, which are particularly subject to sampling uncertainty, have been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in his Department have been working on fraud in the tax credit system in each month since April 2003. [44994]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 24 January 2006]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my reply to the hon. Member for Northavon, Official Report, 24 February 2005, column 766W. It would be inappropriate to disclose detailed information relating to staff engaged in working on fraud on the tax credit system as to do so could provide assistance to those engaged in criminal activity.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in how many of the total number of cases of tax credit overpayments where recovery has been disputed since October 2005, recovery was suspended pending the result of the dispute; and in what proportion suspension took place (a) one week, (b) two weeks, (c) three weeks, (d) four weeks, (e) five weeks and (f) six weeks and over after notice of the dispute was first received by HM Revenue and Customs. [45859]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 26 January]: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not keep management information at the level requested by my right hon. Friend.

Following the introduction of the new procedures, referred to in my written answer of 2 December 2005, Official Report, column 805W, HMRC suspended around 32,000 disputed overpayment cases by the end of November 2005. The number of cases suspended in December is not yet available.

Where HMRC cannot resolve a dispute straight away, it will suspend recovery in all cases in around five-10 working days.

The tax credit office is making progress towards its target of making decisions on disputed cases within four weeks.

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in Denton and Reddish constituency receive the (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit. [51139]

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

Temporary Migrant Workers

Hywel Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account is taken in the calculation of mid-year population estimates for Government statistical purposes of the arrival of temporary migrant workers (a) in the UK and (b) in each (i) nation and (ii) region of the UK. [52472]

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 16 February 2006:

Terrorist Activities (Financing)

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will announce the terms of reference of his review of measures to stop exemptions available to charities being abused by those financing terrorist activities; who will carry out the review; who will be consulted on the measures proposed; what safeguards will be included to protect bona fide charities from vexatious allegations; and whether the conclusions of the review will be presented to Parliament. [52033]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The structure, focus and membership of a review to safeguard the charitable sector from terrorist finance will be established in consultation with
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other Government Departments in order to deliver proposals in advance of the Financial Action Task Force's evaluation of UK anti-money laundering and terrorist finance measures scheduled for 2007.

The review and any subsequent recommendations will be developed in line with Government's Code of Practice on Consultation available through Cabinet Office.


Citizens Juries

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions his Department consulted citizens' juries on departmental policies in the last five years; in how many of those consultations the recommendations of the citizens' jury differed from existing departmental policy; and on how many occasions departmental policy was changed to reflect the recommendations of the citizens' jury. [46239]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office has not used citizens' juries.

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