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19 Apr 2006 : Column 690W—continued

Financial Advice (Mortgages)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that borrowers are told by (a) an estate agent and (b) a financial adviser how many lenders are on the panel from which a mortgage can be obtained. [63339]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Estate agents and financial advisers that arrange or advise on regulated mortgage contracts are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

They are required by FSA rules to disclose whether they offer mortgages from a limited number of lenders. If that is the case they are required to tell consumers that a list of lenders is available on request.

Estate agents that confine their financial services activity to introducing clients to an authorised mortgage broker or lender are exempt from FSA regulation, provided the necessary conditions are met.
 
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Education Spending

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the UK's gross domestic product has been spent on education in each year since 2004. [64136]

Mr. Des Browne: As set out in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2005 (http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/172/47/pesa2005_complete.pdf) the percentage of the UK's gross domestic product spent on education in 2003–04 and 2004–05 (estimated outturn) is 5.3 per cent. and 5.4 per cent. respectively.

Final outturn data for 2004–05 and estimated outturn data for 2005–06 will be published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2006 (for publication in May 2006).

Identity Fraud

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2006, Official Report, column 705W, on identity fraud, what steps are taken to ensure that staff in his Department are aware of the dangers of identity fraud; and which staff are provided with this training. [63794]

John Healey: It would be inappropriate to provide details of the action taken within the Treasury to ensure that officials are made aware of the importance of safeguarding information which should remain confidential, as to do so would compromise the operational efficiency of the Department.

Income Tax

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who would cease to pay tax if the starting rate were raised to (a) £1,000, (b) £2,000, (c) £2,500 and (d) £3,000. [63877]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The starting rate band is £2,150 in 2006–07. The number of people who would cease to pay tax if this were increased from £2,150 to £2,500 and £3,000 is 15,000 and 33,000 respectively. This is due to their married couples allowance (MCA) offsetting their decreased tax liability.

The income tax information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) and projected forwards in line with 2006 Budget assumptions. The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the potential impact on Government income of a starting point for the basic rate of income tax band of (a) £2,200, (b) £2,300, (c) £2,400, (d) £2,500, (e) £2,600, (f) £2,700, (g) £2,800, (h) £2,900, (i) £3,000, (j) £3,100, (k) £3,200, (l) £3,300, (m) £3,400, (n) £3,500 and (o) £4,000. [63878]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is provided in the table.
 
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Year: 2006–07

Basic rate threshold (£)Cost (£ billion)
2,2000.2
2,3000.5
2,4000.8
2,5001.1
2,6001.4
2,7001.7
2,8002.0
2,9002.3
3,0002.6
3,1002.9
3,2003.1
3,3003.4
3,4003.7
3,5004.0
4,0005.4

The higher rate threshold has not been changed.

The income tax information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) and projected forwards in line with 2006 Budget assumptions. The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of (a) the extent to and (b) methods by which higher income earners (i) legally and (ii) illegally avoid paying the top rate of income tax. [63998]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not available.

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates his Department has made of income to the Inland Revenue of an increase in the upper rate of income tax from 40p in the pound to (a) 45p, (b) 50p, (c) 51p, (d) 52p, (e) 53p, (f) 54p, (g) 55p, (h) 56p, (i) 57p, (j) 58p, (k) 59p, (l) 60p, (m) 65p and (n) 70p. [63874]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information is provided in the table.
Year: 2006–07

Higher rate of tax (per cent.)(17)Yield (£ billion)
455.2
5010.5
5111.5
5212.5
5313.6
5414.6
5515.7
5616.7
5717.8
5818.8
5919.9
6020.9
6526.1
7031.4


(17) The new higher tax rate applies to earnings and savings income only. Dividends at the higher rate remain taxed at 32.5 per cent.


The income tax information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) and projected forwards in line with 2006 Budget assumptions. The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.
 
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London and Continental Railways

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list the meetings which have taken place between potential bidders for London and Continental Railways and officials and ministers at the Treasury; [54768]

(2) whether there have been recent discussions between the Treasury and (a) London and Continental Railways (LCR) and (b) potential bidders for LCR about altering LCR's debt structure; [54769]

(3) what representations have been made to his Department by (a) London and Continental Railways (LCR) and (b) potential bidders for LCR. [54770]

Mr. Des Browne: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Secretary of State's Statements on the matter, 14 February 2006, Official Report, column 104WS, 1 March 2006, Official Report, column 28WS and 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 111WS.

Ministerial Responses

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy when placing material in the Library in response to a parliamentary question to supply a copy of the material to the hon. Member who tabled the question; and if he will make a statement. [64198]

John Healey: It is the policy of Treasury Ministers always to provide the hon. Member concerned with a copy of any documents placed in the Library of the House in response to a parliamentary question, except where the material is too unwieldy to warrant the production of an additional copy.

New Employees (Wirral, West)

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the extra people in work since the 2005 budget are residents of Wirral, West. [64316]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 April 2006:
 
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