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25 Apr 2006 : Column 1045W—continued

Television

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to ascertain the demand for access to Scottish television by viewers in Northern Ireland who do not have cable or satellite. [55157]

Mr. Hanson: Government have no plans to ascertain demand for access to Scottish television by viewers in Northern Ireland.

Two Tick Symbol

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) under what circumstances organisations in Northern Ireland may no longer use the two tick symbol; [64729]

(2) what the criteria are for use by an organisation in Northern Ireland of the two tick symbol; [64730]

(3) how many organisations in Northern Ireland have ceased to be eligible to use the two tick symbol in each of the last five years. [64751]

Angela E. Smith: The two ticks disability symbol does not operate in Northern Ireland.

TREASURY

Business Investment

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the rate of business investment was as a percentage of gross domestic product in (a) the UK, (b) Germany, (c) France, (d) the US and (e) other OECD countries in each of the last 10 years. [64796]

John Healey: On average between 1997 and 2004, UK business investment has grown more than any other G7 economy except Canada, and more than both the euro area and OECD averages.

The data requested are available from the OECD Economic Outlook (Source OECD database), which is available through the House of Commons Library.

Census Act

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the operation of the Census Act 1920. [64884]

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

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated 25 April 2006:


 
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Consultants

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor bodies spent on consultants in (a) each year between 1997 and 2000–01 and (b) 2005–06. [64812]

Dawn Primarolo: The former Inland Revenue spent the following amounts on consultancy between 1997 and 2000–01:
Amount (£ million)
1997–989.2
1998–9915.8
1999–200035.0

Data are not available for the former Customs and Excise for these years.

Audited figures for HMRC for 2005–06 are not available.

EU Commissioner for External Trade

Mr. Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has made to the EU Commissioner for External Trade on (a) his decision to impose duties on imports of shoes from China and Vietnam, (b) the current discussions on imports of furniture from Asia and (c) the current talks in the Doha trade round; and if he will make a statement. [64672]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As the Treasury set out in the April 2006 pamphlet 'The case for open markets: how increased competition can equip Europe for global change', openness to trade and investment is key to Europe's future prosperity and we need to strengthen its
 
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relationships with its major trade and investment partners. An ambitious outcome to the Doha Round is essential to deliver benefits to developed and developing countries alike and all key players need to demonstrate commitment and political will in order to achieve a successful outcome by the end of 2006.

To this end Treasury Ministers and officials have conversations and discussions with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the of policy development, analysis and delivery.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last met the EU Commissioner for External Trade; how many times in the last 12 months he has met him; when he next expects to meet him; and if he will make a statement. [64677]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development, analysis and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of every such meeting.

HM Revenue and Customs

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what performance related pay is given to HM Revenue and Customs employees. [64820]

Dawn Primarolo: In HMRC all pay awards are performance related. Staff must achieve a satisfactory or better standard of performance to qualify for a basic performance award.

There are three performance categories—'Top', 'Good' and 'Improvement needed'. In addition to the basic performance award, 'Top' and 'Good' performers will qualify for a pay range progression award. Also, the 'Top' category (20 per cent. of staff) will qualify for a bonus of between 2.5 per cent. and 5 per cent. of salary. Those deemed 'Good' and on their pay range maxima, will qualify for a smaller bonus.

This information excludes members of the senior civil service (SCS), who have a separate pay system.

Hospitals (Tax Payments)

Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much (a) pay as you earn tax and (b) national insurance is outstanding from all hospital trusts to HM Revenue and Customs. [65383]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 7 March 2006, Official Report, column 1300W.

Imports (Tax Evasion)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated level of tax evasion on imported goods was in each of the last five years for which records are available. [65859]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs currently does not undertake any exercise to quantify the level of tax evasion on imported goods.
 
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