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2 May 2006 : Column 1445W—continued

Gershon Review

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made with implementing the recommendations of the Gershon review. [67453]

Mr. Des Browne: The Budget 2006 reported provisional annual efficiency gains totalling £6.4 billion by the end of December 2005 and 40,400 gross workforce reductions, including 7,150 reallocations to frontline services. Departments will report on further progress in their forthcoming departmental reports.

Import Duties

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Government are doing to ensure the effective collection of import duties at UK airports. [66697]

John Healey: All importers, or agents acting on their behalf, are legally obliged to lodge customs declarations when bringing goods into the UK from non-member states of the European Community. The overwhelming majority of import declarations are made by electronic means and HM Revenue and Customs computer system (CHIEF) calculates the amount of duties due. To ensure that the right amount of duties is paid import declarations may be checked at either pre or post-clearance to confirm their accuracy.

Income Tax

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 19 April 2006, Official Report, column 692W, on income tax, what further estimates he has made of income to the Inland Revenue if the same incomes in the upper rate of income tax has only applied to those earning over £100,000. [66995]

Dawn Primarolo: The following table provides yields from introducing an additional higher tax rate on earnings and savings income above £100,000.
Year: 2006–07

Higher rate of tax (per cent.)(24)Yield (£ billion)

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

2 May 2006 : Column 1446W

The income tax information is based upon the 2003–04 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) and projected forward in line with 2006 Budget assumptions.

The figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response, which could be significant given the scale of the changes.

Industrial Injury Claims

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the practice of banks loaning money for legal expenses in pursuing industrial injury claims. [65160]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: So far as I am aware, the Treasury has not received any representations on this practice.

International Finance Facility

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what use he expects to be made of the international finance facility to make progress with the research, development and delivery of new vaccines and new diagnostic methods to fight malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases in the developing world. [66343]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The international finance facility for immunisation (IFFIm) will provide $4 billion over the next 10 years to support efforts of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance) to tackle preventable diseases in the 72 poorest countries in the world. France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Brazil and the UK have already announced that they will make contributions to the IFFIm, and on 25 April, South Africa announced that they would also contribute to the IFFIm. It is expected that the IFFIm will save a total of 10 million lives from preventable diseases, including five million children before 2015.

Alongside the IFFIm, the UK and G8 partners are currently working on the proposal for advanced market commitments (AMCs). AMCs are a potentially powerful and cost-effective market-based mechanism to accelerate and stimulate the development and availability of priority new vaccines against diseases like pneumococcus, malaria and TB which kill millions in each year in developing countries.

Low-income Households

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households earning less than £425 per week (a) pay income tax and (b) do not claim working tax credit. [66092]

Dawn Primarolo: Information for part (a) is not available except at disproportionate costs since our income tax data covers individuals, not households.
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For part (b) , estimates of the number of families, broken down by income used to calculate entitlement, who are entitled to, but not claiming tax credits are given in tables 4 and 11 of the publication Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Take-up Rates 2003–04" available on the HMRC website at–04—mar06.pdf. Estimates for those earning below the exact income level specified (£425 per week) would be available only at disproportionate cost.

Microgeneration Technologies

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the funding to develop microgeneration technologies announced in the Budget has been allocated for each financial year; and how much of the funding in each financial year is additional funding to that previously allocated. [66938]

John Healey: The £50 million announced in the Budget for microgeneration is divided equally between financial years 2006–07 and 2007–08.

This £50 million is in addition to the £30 million that had already been announced for the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

Millennium Development Goals

Colin Challen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of when the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved. [66417]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed at the United Nations Millennium summit in September 2000. The goals range from halving global income poverty and protecting the environment, to human development objectives like improving health and sanitation, achieving universal primary education and tackling discrimination against women. Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been placed at the centre of Britain's international development effort. DFID's key aims and objectives, as set out in its public service agreement, are the attainment of the MDGs by 2015.

On income poverty there has been progress but is has been very uneven and on current trends few African countries will reach the MDG by 2015.

On the human development goals the situation is more concerning and South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are off-track on all of them.

The MDGs and global poverty were at the heart of the UK presidencies of the EU and the G7/8 in 2005. The international community committed to raise an additional $50 billion of aid by 2010, to cancel 100 per cent. of the multilateral debts of the world's poorest countries, and to launch the international finance facility for immunisation. G8 leaders also agreed to achieve universal access to AIDS treatment for all those who need it by 2010, and work on advance market commitments for vaccines against malaria, HIV/AIDS and other priority diseases.
2 May 2006 : Column 1448W

These are the sorts of measures needed to get progress towards the MDGs back on track. The key challenge now is for donors to fully implement their commitments and for developing countries to develop 10-year plans to meet the MDGs.

Mortgage Income Tax Relief

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households benefited from mortgage income tax relief in (a) 1996–97 and (b) 1997–98. [66451]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The numbers of households benefiting from mortgage interest relief in 1996–97 and 1997–98 are available at–2.xls.

Shared Appreciation Mortgages

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials have had with the Financial Services Authority on shared appreciation mortgages. [67507]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: HM Treasury officials have had one conversation with the Financial Services Authority about shared appreciation mortgages in 2006.

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