|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Office of Government Commerce spent on consultants in relation to the conduct of the Gershon Review of public sector efficiency. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs would not refuse to receive a tax return submitted by an agent acting on behalf of a client, providing the return was satisfactory (i.e. it has been signed by the taxpayer and all the required supplementary pages are attached).
Considerable caution is needed in interpreting the figures for the two years owing to changes in survey methodology, changes in the sample size over the period and because each figure is subject to sampling variation.
The Government as a whole takes collective ownership of the Lisbon agenda and individual departments work closely when deciding the initiatives set out in the UK National Reform Programme. HM Treasury agrees and submits the UK's national reform plan.
14 Mar 2006 : Column 2135W
Dawn Primarolo: The Government have introduced a range of measures to promote flexible working. Parents of children under six already have the right to request flexible working, and this will be extended to carers from April 2007.
The Government believe that flexible working, including providing quality part-time jobs, brings returns to business because it opens up a wider pool of skilled labour. It is considering the range of innovative proposals in the Women and Work Commission's report, Shaping a Fairer Future", but at present has no plans to provide fiscal incentives.
Dawn Primarolo: The collection of overdue PAYE contributions is not done in isolation but forms part of the wider cost of administering the PAYE and Self Assessment systems. The former Inland Revenue's estimated gross expenditure on these PAYE and SA systems in each of the last three financial years was around:
The Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003 provide the detailed rules which govern the operation of the PAYE system. Regulation 21 requires an employer to make deductions from employees' wages and Regulation 69 requires the employer to pay over the amounts deducted to HMRC within 14 days of the end of the relevant income tax month (or 17 days if the payment is made by an approved electronic method). The circumstances of individual cases may vary, but where an employer has failed to make payment HMRC may contact the employer by letter and on the telephone to request payment. HMRC will try to help businesses facing temporary financial difficulties and may agree to give them extra time to pay in certain circumstances. In the continued absence of payment HMRC will take formal enforcement proceedings via the Courts or via distraint action.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2005, Official Report, column 775W, to the hon. Member for
14 Mar 2006 : Column 2136W
Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond), on pensions, what allowances were made for future improvements in mortality in estimating the total liability for unfunded public sector pension schemes. 
The number of children in single parent households is not routinely published but the table below provides estimated numbers and proportions of the number of dependent children in lone-parent families in Wales. Estimates for 1997 and 2005 have been provided from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the sample survey normally used for this purpose. For 1979 such estimates are not readily available, because that was the year the LFS began in its current form, an estimate from the 1981 Census data for Wales has been provided as the closest figures available. The data is in the table below.
|Number of dependent children in lone- parent families (Thousand)||(29)73.4||144.1||143.1|
|Proportion of dependent children in lone- parent families (Percentage)||11.1||22.1||22.6|
|Base: Number of dependent children in all families (Thousand)||659.3||652.2||633.4|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|