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Ed Balls: The Government believe that taxation is a matter for member states to determine at a national level. The UK has made clear that there are absolutely no plans to impose a harmonised tax on its citizens.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings officials in his Department have had with representatives of the public relations company Portland PR; what contracts Portland PR has with his Department and agencies for which he has responsibility; and what the nature of the contract is in each case. 
John Healey: According to our records, there have been no meetings between Treasury officials and representatives of Portland PR in the past year. Neither the Treasury nor its agencies have any contracts with Portland PR.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have been made since 1997 to the Valuation Office Agency's (a) powers and (b) policy on revaluing, re-assessing or re-classifying a domestic hereditament or composite hereditament after a material change to a property. 
The powers of a listing officer or valuation officer, employed by the Valuation Office Agency, to revalue, re-assess or re-classify a domestic hereditament following a material change to a property have not changed since 1997.
The alteration of non-domestic rating lists by valuation officers is subject to regulatory control. The powers of valuation officers to alter rating lists, including the non-domestic parts of composite hereditaments, were amended with effect from 1 April 2000 by the Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2000 and the Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals)(Amendment)(Wales) Regulations 2000, which restricted the effective date of list alterations in respect of material changes of circumstance. Further amendment of valuation officers' powers has been made by the Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals)(England) Regulations 2005 and the Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals)(Wales) Regulations 2005 and the Non-Domestic Rating (Material Day for List Alterations)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2005 in respect of rating lists compiled on or after1 April 2005 which allow valuation officers to alter rating lists, including in entries for composite hereditaments, in respect of material changes of circumstances with effect from the day the circumstances changed.
The interpretation of the power of a listing officer to increase the council tax band applicable to a dwelling following a material increase and a relevant transaction of the dwelling was changed in July 2002 in the lightof two Scottish Court of Session decisions that the sale of a part share in a dwelling is not a relevant transaction. .
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) VO 7746 and (b) VO 7747 letters were issued by the Valuation Office Agency in (i) England and (ii) Wales in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many domestic properties in England have photographs allocated to the address by the Valuation Office Agency as part of their council tax valuation records. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate the Office for National Statistics has made of the level of voter registration for local elections in England in each year since 1997. 
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question about what estimates the Office for National Statistics has made of the level of voter registration for local elections in England in each year since 1997. (70689)
I refer you to the Official Report No. 149 column 450 of 11 May 2006. The answer provided here gives the 'proportion of the estimated usual resident population who have registered to vote'; this is the closest possible approximation to the information you have requested.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on improving the services offered to women seeking refuge from domestic violence in Kingston upon Hull North. 
Meg Munn: As Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, I sit on the inter-ministerial group for domestic violence (chaired by my hon. Friend Baroness Scotland of Ashtal) which performance-manages the cross-Government National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan by reviewing progress at quarterly meetings. This is the mechanism for improving the services offered to women seeking refuge from domestic violence nationally.
Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership is a new multi-agency team including representatives from the police, health, housing and social services. It provides a one-stop service for women in the city seeking refuge from domestic violence and is working to improve services to victims.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of services available to children who have been involved in domestic violence in Kingston upon Hull North. 
Meg Munn: As Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, I sit on the inter-ministerial group for domestic violence (chaired by my hon. Friend Baroness Scotland of Ashtal), which performance-manages the cross-Government National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan by reviewing progress at quarterly meetings. This is the mechanism for improving the services available to children who have been involved in domestic violence.
Generic provision, support and access to information is available through the Children's Services Family Resource Centres and the council's internet service.
Hull pilot for the early identification of risk indicators of DV in private and public law proceedings is an initiative in a response to Section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Its purpose is to alert the court, in cases of DV, at the earliest opportunity in order that an early assessment of risk indicators can be made and developed. The Hull Domestic Abuse Project (DAP) will carry out these assessments. It is the intention to roll the pilot out across the courts in the Humber region.
Hull children's fund provides resources for direct work with young children who are resident in the Women's Aid refuge and also on an outreach basis.
NSPCC specialist staff are working with young males who have experienced or witnessed DV.
The NSPCC, NCH, Barnados and Women's Centres across Hull are also providing support services to affected children.
Women's Aid and the women's services also carry out work within the local primary and secondary schools raising awareness and discussing safety issues around DV.
Women's Aid provides refuge facilities for families.
The Hull DAP also carries out Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC's) on a six-weekly basis. This serves the purpose of identifying high-risk victims and enables the sharing of information within a multi-agency setting to take place in order to give further support.
Meg Munn: We believe that the voluntary approach is the best way to achieve lasting change through working alongside the business community, employers, trade unions and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) to promote equal pay reviews. We supported Opportunity Now's recent Benchmarking Report which contains case studies, advice, action plans and recommendations on how employers can address gender equality and diversity in the workplace, including tackling the gender pay gap. We also support an equal pay panel of experts, led by the TUC.
The Women and Work Commission's independent report 'Shaping a Fairer Future', recently examined the merits of mandatory equal pay reviews in addressing the gender pay gap but did not recommend a regulatory approach.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the effect on the costs to British industry of the replacement of the existing anti-market abuse legislation with the EU market abuse directive. 
The market abuse directive (MAD) provides for a common approach to market abuse issues in an increasingly integrated financial services market in Europe. The Treasury published a regulatory impact assessment together with the regulations implementing the MAD. Copies of the assessment were placed in the Library of the House and it is available on the EU financial services section of HM Treasury's website.
There are increased numbers of volunteers and there are also increased levels of Government investment in the promotion of both volunteering and charitable giving. On 8 May my right hon. Friend the Chancellor and I launched "V", a charity to encourage young people into volunteering.
Today the Government launched a Cross-Cutting Policy Review which will look at how we can ensure the role of Third Sector organisations in contributing to the social and economic regeneration of the country.
David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House on how many occasions (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his office stayed overnight in (i) five star, (ii) four star and (iii) three star hotels in each of the last three years. 
Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year; this information includes accommodation costs. This information can be found on the Cabinet Office website at:
Mr. Straw: No special discounts are available to civil servants and special advisers within the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, other than the HM Government Hotel Programme' from Intercontinental Hotels Group, open to all Government Departments.
Mr. Straw: Members are entitled to a combination of up to five loaned PCs and laptops. If aggregated therefore, Members could request up to 3,230 PCs and laptops. Not all Members request their full allowance. To date, Members have requested and received 2,206 PCs and 642 laptops. For those Members who require more equipment, they can purchase additional equipment of the same make via Parliament with Parliament's own software pre-configured and installed.
David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House how much has been paid in (a) salary, (b) travelling expenses, (c) subsistence allowance and (d) removal expenses to special advisers in his private office in each of the last five years. 
Nigel Griffiths: Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. Information on special advisers prior to 2003 was provided at regular intervals and this information is available in the Library of the House.
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