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22 Mar 2006 : Column 428W—continued

Economic Growth

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what analysis he has undertaken of the factors behind economic growth over the next two years for (a) the Eurozone and (b) the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [60144]

John Healey: A full analysis of economic prospects is contained in the 2006 Budget report which is being published today.

High Fat Foods

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on imposing a tax on high fat foods; and if he will make a statement. [60655]

Dawn Primarolo: Representations are made to Treasury Ministers and officials on a wide range of issues by a variety of organisations and individuals.

As the Wanless Review 'Securing Good Health for the Whole Population' discusses, there are difficulties of principle and practice with using tax instruments to promote public health. In particular, unlike with smoking
 
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where any consumption can have damaging effects, the consumption in moderation of most foodstuffs can be to the benefit rather than the detriment of an individual's health.

Marginal Taxation Rates

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what statistics the Government collects on effective marginal taxation rates; [60603]

(2) whether the Government (a) publish and (b) produce graphs showing effective marginal taxation rates against gross earnings. [60605]

Dawn Primarolo: Statistics on income tax liabilities by marginal tax rates are available in Table 2.5 'Income tax liabilities by Income Range' which is available on the HM Revenue & Customs internet website at:

The information in the table is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes projected forward to 2005–06 in line with the December 2005 pre-budget report.

Information on effective marginal deduction rates is available in Tax Benefit Models' which are available oh the Department for Work and Pensions website at:

Information on the number of families facing high marginal deduction rates can be found in Table 4.2 The effect of Government's reforms on high marginal deduction rates" on page 89 in the HM Treasury's December 2005 pre-budget report. Copies of the Pre-Budget Report are available in the House of Commons Library or on the HMT website at:

Marine Insurance

Mr. Malik: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the implementation of the EU Directive on Insurance Mediation on the ability of the freight forwarding sector to provide marine insurance. [60567]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: HM Treasury is aware of the concerns that have been expressed by the freight forwarding sector, and has met industry representatives to discuss their concerns.

The FSA will begin a review of the effectiveness of the general insurance regime in April 2006. This will include seeking feedback from firms and consumer research.

Ministerial Conference (Paris)

John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the outcome was of the ministerial conference in Paris of 28 February and 1 March 2006 on innovative sources of finance for development aid; and if he will make a statement; [60287]

(2) what plans he has for the disbursement of funds from the proposed International Finance Facility to be funded by an air ticket levy; [60309]
 
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(3) why the UK is not listed in the communique" summary as one of the countries which has agreed to provide financial support for the International Drug Purchase Facility; [60312]

(4) what steps he plans to take in the next 12 months to develop innovative financing instruments to fund the Millennium Development Goals. [60323]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Chancellor of the Exchequer issued a written ministerial statement on Innovative Financing for Development on 2 March 2006, Official Report, column 29WS, following his attendance at the Paris Ministerial Conference.

The UK Government recognises that in order to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, additional resources are urgently needed. The UK is, therefore, committed to developing innovative financing mechanisms, in particular the International Finance Facility (IFF) and the pilot IFF for Immunisation (IFFIm).

In September last year, the IFFIm was launched with contributions from France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and now Norway and Brazil, as well as the UK. By frontloading aid and investing an extra $4 billion in vaccination now, the IFFIm is expected to save a total of 10 million lives, including 5 million children before 2015. France has reiterated its support for this important initiative and will contribute an average of $100 million a year over 20 years. The IFFIm is now so advanced that the first bonds will be issued within a few months, and the IFFIm will begin purchasing vaccines and delivering these to the poorest countries in 2006.

Given the scale of the challenge for reaching the MDGs by 2015, France and the UK have agreed jointly to establish a working group to consider the implementation of an IFF going to health and education, among other sectors, which will be partly funded by an air ticket levy.

The UK has also agreed to support the proposal for an International Drug Purchase Facility, which will provide greater access to those in developing countries to much-needed drugs to tackle HIV/AIDS and malaria.

National Insurance Fund

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what multiple of the minimum working balance of the National Insurance Fund he considers necessary to retain in support of state pensions and the national health service. [60642]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The National Insurance Fund is used to fund contributory benefit expenditure. I refer the right. hon. Gentlemen to paragraph 20 of the Report of the Government Actuary on the drafts of the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2006 and the Social Security (Contributions) (Re-rating and National Insurance Funds Payments) Order 2006.

Primary Care Trusts (Financial Deficits)

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of alleviating the financial deficits in primary care trusts from the sums available in the National Insurance Fund above the statutory minimum reserve. [60641]


 
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Dawn Primarolo: The National Insurance Fund (NIF) is used to fund contributory benefit expenditure and there are no plans to change this.

Tax Credits

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many households in (a) Bedfordshire and (b) the parliamentary constituency of Mid-Bedfordshire have received overpayments of (i) working tax credits and (ii) child tax credits in each year since the credits were introduced; and if he will make a statement; [60229]

(2) how many households in (a) the county of Bedfordshire and (b) the UK are receiving child tax credits; and if he will make a statement. [60230]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to her on 10 October 2005, Official Report, columns 321–2W.
 
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Estimates for 2004–05 of the numbers of in-work families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 2004–05 are due to be published in May 2006.

Taxpayer Statistics

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) starting rate, (b) basic rate and (c) higher rate taxpayers there were in (i) Scotland and (ii) the UK in the most recent year for which figures are available; [60536]

(2) how much revenue was raised in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland from (i) starting rate, (ii) basic rate and (iii) higher rate income tax in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will estimate the revenue that will be raised in each case in (A) 2006–07, (B) 2007–08 and (C) 2008–09. [60522]

Dawn Primarolo: The latest information for Scotland is in the following table.
2003–04

Starting rateSaver's rateBasic rateHigher rate
Number of taxpayers (Scotland) (£000)280601 ,930210
Amount of income tax liability (Scotland) (£ million)40404,6103,400
Amount of income tax liability (UK) (£ million)49063052,88057,130

Information on the number of taxpayers by marginal tax rates for the UK is available in Table 2.1 'Number of individual income taxpayers', which is available on the HM Revenue and Customs internet website:

The information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes.

Projected revenue estimates broken down by Scotland and other UK countries/regions and by tax bands for 2006–07 will be available in May 2006. Projections of income tax receipts for subsequent years are normally prepared covering the whole of the UK and separate estimates by country and tax band are not available.


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