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24 Apr 2006 : Column 873W—continued


John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Parliamentary Business Unit of the Tax Credit Office will respond to the hon. Member for Edinburgh West's letters of (a) 20 December 2005 and (b) 19 January 2006 with regard to his constituent Mr.Terence Boyd. [64409]

Dawn Primarolo: The Tax Credit Office replied in January 2006 and has provided copies of those replies to the hon. Member's constituency office.

EU Sixth VAT Directive

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations the Treasury has received on the EU Sixth VAT Directive; and if he will make a statement. [64262]

Dawn Primarolo: The Sixth VAT Directive provides the basis for the application of VAT in EU member states. It is therefore the subject of many representations to the Treasury.

Family Hardship

Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) essential living expenses and (b) estimated weekly costs are taken into account in the calculation of family hardship when considering the recovery of an overpayment under code of practice note 26; and if he will make a statement. [64108]

Dawn Primarolo: When considering the recovery of an overpayment each individual case will be dealt with according to its circumstances as these will vary from case-to-case. In the calculation of family hardship, examples of essential living expenses that will be taken into account are: food, vital services (e.g. gas, electricity, water), rent or mortgage payments, court fines, council tax payments, and maintenance/child support.
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In addition to the costs noted, other examples of estimated weekly costs that are taken into account include telephone bills, fares and motoring costs, insurance, pension payments, health, television licence payments and repairs and maintenance.

Financial Services Authority

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he has put in place to ensure value for money from the operation of the Financial Services Authority. [64931]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), enables the Treasury to hold an independent review of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has used its resources in discharging its functions. As announced in the pre- Budget report 2005, the Treasury aims to hold the first such review in the near future.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role the Financial Services Authority has in improving consumer understanding of financial matters. [64932]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Financial Services Authority has a statutory responsibility to promote public understanding of the financial system and to secure the right degree of protection for consumers. The FSA's annual report, which is laid before Parliament, explains how this statutory remit has been met.

The FSA leads work on the national strategy for financial capability involving a range of other partners, including Government, the financial services industry, employers' organisations and trades unions, the media, consumer bodies and the voluntary sector. Over the coming year the focus for the strategy will be on the following seven key priorities:

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what public participation in its operation the Financial Services Authority provides for. [64933]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is an operational matter for the FSA. The Chairman of the FSA will write to the hon. Member directly.

Fiscal Golden Rule

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of whether his fiscal
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golden rule would have been complied with had the assessment of the economic cycle not been altered in (a) July 2005 and (b) December 2005. [64594]

Mr. Des Browne: Progress against the golden rule is measured across the full economic cycle. It is misleading to assess progress over an arbitrary portion of the cycle.

The latest judgment of the current economic cycle and progress against the golden rule over the cycle was set out in Budget 2006.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the gross domestic product per capita was in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Wales, (d) Scotland and (e) Northern Ireland in each year since 1976. [64197]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell dated 24 April 2006:

Table A: Gross domestic product per capita 1976 to 1988(18)

United KingdomEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland

(18)Gross Domestic Product per head for 1976–1988 is based on data from the National Accounts Blue Book 1997. As the regional estimates of GDP and GVA are produced on a different basis, they cannot be used in conjunction to form a time series.

Table B: Gross value added per capita 1989 to 2004

United KingdomEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland

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