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Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to ask the Office of National Statistics to review its methodology in respect of population estimates in order to take into account immigration to the United Kingdom from European Union accession countries since May 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The National Statistics Centre for Demography within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is already actively monitoring the estimates of international migration used in the population estimates to ensure that they continue to reflect migration from the Accession countries.
Through the National Statistics Quality Review (NSQR) of international migration and the Improving Migration and Population Statistics project, ONS are researching ways to improve their international migration estimates at both the national and local level. As well as Home Office data on asylum seekers and visitor switchers, ONS are also currently investigating how data from the WRS might be used to inform estimates of immigration from EU accession countries. The latest progress report on the NSQR can be found at:
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of members of the Principal Civil Service pension scheme in his Department joined the scheme before the age of (a) 20, (b) 25, (c) 30, (d) 35, (e) 40, (f) 45 and (g) over 45 years old. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the current employer contribution rates to the Principal Civil Service pension scheme are; what assumed rate of return underlies those contribution rates; and what the contribution rate would be if the assumed rate of return was in line with current redemption yield on index-linked gilts. 
|Salary band||Percentage rate of charge|
|Band 1||£18,500 and under||17.1|
|Band 2||£18,501 to £38,000||19.5|
|Band 3||£38,001 to £65,000||23.2|
|Band 4||£65,001 and over||25.5|
|Employees age at start of tax year||Percentage of pensionable earnings|
|46 and over||12.5|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of people paid less than £6.50 per hour who are working for private sector companies contracted to work for the public sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne: It is not possible from available survey data to identify those employed indirectly in the public sector (including employees of private sector companies contracted to work for the public sector). Government policy on public sector pay is devolved to individual Departments who each hold administrative records in respect of their directly employed staff, and any records in respect of contracts with private sector service providers.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employees who work for the public sector were being paid less than £6.50 per hour in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Des Browne: The best source for this information is the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) collected by the Office for National Statistics. The ASHE, however, is unable to provide estimates of the number of people earning below these thresholds on a statistically reliable basis. Only proportions of people are available, for which the figures are as follows:
|Percentage of public sector employees who|
earn less than £6.50 per hour
Estimates for 200405 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 200405 are due to be published in May 2006.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what mechanism his Department has in place to allow tax credit claimants to end their claims if they no longer wish to receive tax credits, despite a continuing entitlement to them; 
Dawn Primarolo: Tax credit claimants can amend or withdraw their claims at any time before HMRC have made a decision whether to make an award. Once a decision is made to award tax credits, that support remains in place until either the claim is renewed after the end of the tax year or comes to an end in-year, for example where there is a change in the number of adults in the household or someone getting working tax credit becomes unemployed.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff have been working on compliance in the tax credits system in each month since April 2003; how many have been allocated for the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: It is not our policy to disclose the details of the numbers of staff engaged in tackling serious and organised criminality as to do so could provide assistance to those engaged in criminal activity.
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC run various pilots intended to identify better ways of working. The findings are used to determine whether better internal procedures can be introduced. It would be inappropriate to disclose detailed information about any new processes designed to tackle compliance risk.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of staff who will be employed administering tax credits at HM Revenue and Customs for each year from 200304 to 200708. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for tax credits for severely disabled adults were made in each month from January 2004 to February 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many joint claims for tax credits have been terminated and replaced by two single claims in each quarter since April 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the number of staff at the (a) Department of Work and Pensions and its agencies and (b) his Department and its agencies who have had their identities used in tax credit fraud since 1 January 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the cost of tax credit fraud in (a) 200304, (b) 200405, (c) 200506 to date and (d) 6 April 2005 to 30 March 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the value of overpaid tax credits written off in each month from October 2005 to February 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: For the value of tax credit overpayments written off by HM Revenue and Customs in October and November 2005, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) on 26 January 2006, Official Report, columns 224950W.
|Month 200506||Amount written off (£000)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when staff of HM Revenue and Customs first raised with ministers the possibility of closing the tax credits e-portal; and if he will make a statement. 
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