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Council Tax

John Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on pensioner poverty of the decision not to continue the annual council tax rebate for pensioners. [65624]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

The payment of £200 to help households with someone aged 65 or over not in receipt of the guarantee element of pension credit to help with council tax bills was for last year only. Available data do not allow for a precise assessment of the impact on pensioners on low income of not making a similar payment in 2006–07.
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Departmental Websites

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list (a) the websites operated by his Department and (b) the reports placed on the internet in March 2006, indicating in each case whether paper copies were also made available. [65199]

John Healey: The information is as follows.

(a) The websites operated by the Department are as follows:

(b) Reports placed on the internet in March 2006

TitleHard copies available
Central Government Supply Estimates 2004–2005: Statement of excessesYes
Budget 2006: Main ReportYes
Budget 2006: Main LeafletYes
Budget 2006: Data sourcesYes
Budget 2006: Regulatory Impact AssessmentsYes
Budget 2006: Operational Impact AssessmentsYes
Delivering sustainable development: HM Treasury Action PlanNo
The European Cooperative Society: A consultation documentYes
PFI: Strengthening long-term partnershipsYes
Independence for statistics: a consultation documentYes
Productivity in the UK 6: Progress and new evidenceYes
Devolving decision making: 3—Meeting the regional economic challenge: The importance of cities to regional growthYes
Financial services in London: Global opportunities and challengesYes
The climate change levy packageYes
Employment opportunity for all: Analysing Labour market trends in LondonYes
Review of Government OfficesYes
Science and innovation investment framework 2004–2014: next stepsYes
Reducing reporting requirements: a consultation on reform of the 'controllers regime' in Part XII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000Yes
Extending employers' freedoms: A consultation on facilitating financial promotions in the workplaceYes
Modernising tax relief for business expenditure on cars: a consultation documentYes
Carbon capture and storage: a consultation on barriers to commercial deploymentYes
New responses to new challenges: Reinforcing the Tackling Tobacco Smuggling StrategyYes
Debt and Reserves Management Report (DRMR) 2006–07Yes
The economy: Supplementary charts and tablesYes
Proposed changes to the eligibility rules for establishing a pension scheme: Government response to the consultationYes
The UK and the IMF 2005: Meeting the challenges of globalisation for allYes
Secondary legislation for the regulation of Home Reversion and Home Purchase Plans: A consultationYes
Risk: Good Practice in GovernmentYes

Government Spending

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total capital expenditure was in England on (a) education and skills and (b) health in each year since 1999–2000. [65732]

Mr. Des Browne: As set out in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2005 the total capital expenditure in England on (a) education and skills and (b) health since 1999–2000 is presented in the following table.
Accruals, £ million

Education and TrainingHealth

The capital expenditure figure for 2005–06 will be published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2006 (for publication in May 2006).
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Laundered Diesel (Northern Ireland)

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many motorists in Northern Ireland have been detected driving with laundered diesel fuel in each of the last five years. [65353]

John Healey: HM Revenue and Customs carry out tests to detect statutory markers in rebated fuel and, where these are detected in the running tank of a road vehicle, action is taken. Tests do not establish with any certainty whether or not fuel in a vehicle's engine is laundered.

Medical Staff (Pay)

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to announce the pay increases to be awarded to (a) doctors and dentists and (b) nurses in the 2006–07 financial year; and whether he intends these pay increases to be phased over the course of the financial year. [62723]

Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement the Secretary of State for Health gave on 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 89WS.

Ministerial Meetings

Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates in the last year Ministers in his Department have held meetings with Ministers in the Scottish Executive. [66753]

Mr. Des Browne: Treasury Ministers meet Scottish Ministers from time-to-time to discuss matters of common interest.

Pension Liabilities

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the liabilities are of each company issued with Crown guarantees in respect of their pension fund deficits; and if he will make a statement. [66351]

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what contingent financial liabilities have been entered into by the Government in respect of employees pension funds of companies privatised since 1980; and what his Department's estimate is of its liabilities in relation to (a) British Telecom, (b) the former British Rail, (c) National Freight Corporation and (d) the former National Coal Board; [66357]

(2) what estimate he has made of the contingent public sector liabilities in respect of employee pensions of companies in which the Government retain a shareholding; and what the liabilities are for each company. [66358]

Mr. Des Browne: Where a Department retain a shareholding in a company or where a Department has provided a guarantee of any pension scheme, it is a matter for that Department to report any obligations created by the guarantee to Parliament in accordance with the requirements of Government accounting and in its departmental resource accounts in accordance with the Government's financial reporting manual, which complies with generally accepted accounting practice.
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It is a matter for that Department to report any obligation created by that shareholding.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the public sector pension liabilities are in respect of (a) the Civil Service, (b) local government, (c) the NHS, (d) other government agencies, (e) companies in which the Government have a majority or minority shareholding and (f) privatised entities which were formerly state-owned. [66355]

Mr. Des Browne: The information is not available in the form requested. A technical note detailing the unfunded public service pension liability was placed in the House of Commons Library pursuant to my reply to the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Dunne) of 2 March 2006, Official Report, column 388, and this covers the liability position of all the unfunded public service pension schemes including the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme and the NHS Pension Scheme. In addition the liabilities of the funded Local Government Pension Scheme at the last reporting date were estimated to be approximately £130 billion with assets of £100 billion.

Information on the pension liabilities of companies in which the Government has a minority or majority shareholding and those of private sector bodies which were formerly state owned is not held centrally but is publicly available in the relevant accounts.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account is taken of the contingent public sector liabilities in respect of employee pension funds of privatised companies in his Department's estimate of public sector debt liabilities. [66356]

Mr. Des Browne: The UK Government are one of the few in the world who has a statutory obligation to report liabilities in the same way as private companies, and whose accounts are subject to independent audit.

Contingent liabilities are reported in government accounts and to Parliament. They are defined as being contingent on an event, or a set of events, whose likelihood of occurring has been judged as remote. They are not, by their definition, actual liabilities, and so it would not be right to include them in measures of Public Sector Net Debt.

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