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15 May 2006 : Column 816W—continued

Right-to-buy Receipts

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much income local authorities received from right-to-buy receipts in each year since 1997; what estimate he has made of income in future years; and how much was (a) retained by local authorities and (b) remitted to the Treasury in each year. [45303]

Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows both the total capital receipts the disposal of all housing assets and from right-to-buy sales of local authority dwellings in England in the years from 1997-98 onwards, net of discount and as reported by local authorities. These are capital receipts and not income into the authority's Housing Revenue Account, which is generated by, for instance, rental income.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not estimate future right-to-buy receipts but does estimate future housing capital receipts. Estimates are subject to a number of volatile factors such as the state of the housing market, lending rates, amounts of disposable income and stock condition, and are kept under constant review.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister collects data on total pooled receipts and total amounts set aside by housing authorities. These figures include the amounts arising from right-to-buy sales alongside amounts relating to other housing capital receipts, but the amounts relating to right-to-buy sales are not separately identified.

The amount of income received by local authorities from the sale of housing assets will not be quite equal to their housing capital receipts less the amount they are obliged to set-aside or pool. Rather, the housing capital receipt, such as a right-to-buy receipt, will first be reduced by, for instance, the administration costs
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associated with the disposal and any other deduction to the capital receipt the authority may make, such as clawing back the cost of improvement to the asset in previous years. It is the value of this reduced capital receipt that is then used as the basis for the calculation of the set-aside or pooling liability.

As can be seen from the following table, since 1997 the Government have consistently invested more in
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housing than was received in receipts. In 2004-05 the amount paid to government from all housing receipts (not just right-to-buy) was £1.7 billion. The amount invested in housing was £4.1 billion i.e. almost 21/2 times the amount received. The ratio of amount invested to amount received is expected to increase substantially in the future.

£ million
Total housing capital receipts Right-to-buy receipts Set Aside/Pooling Capital investment Investment greater than set-aside/pooling by

1997-98

1,438

890

943

1,894

951

1998-99

1,630

907

1,085

2,098

1,013

1999-2000

2,249

1,375

1,477

2,173

696

2000-01

2,441

1,431

1,626

2,866

1,240

2001-02

2,244

1,568

1,382

2,696

1,314

2002-03

3,474

2,244

1,626

2,943

1,317

2003-04

3,622

3,007

(1)

3,964

n/a

2004-05

3,193

2,575

1,700

4,135

2,435

2005-06

(1)

(1)

(2)840

(3)5,223

4,383

2006-07

(1)

(1)

(2)801

(3)5,347

4,546

2007-08

(1)

(1)

(2)753

(3)5,665

4,912

(1) No data (2) Estimated pooled housing capital receipts (3) Programmed expenditure Note: Pooling replaced set-aside as the mechanism to invest housing capital receipts in 2004-05

Right-to-buy receipts are extremely volatile and difficult to forecast. They are affected by the rest of the housing market and by the nature of the properties available in particular areas. An extrapolation of current trends suggests:

£ million
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Housing capital receipts

1,120

1,068

1,004

Retained by local authority

280

267

251

To Treasury

788

729

665

To ODPM

52

72

88


In 2004-05 ODPM received £53.9 million from debt free local authorities. Treasury received £1.640 billion from with debt local authorities. The remainder was retained by local authorities.

Section 106 Agreements

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate the Government have made of the annual revenue in cash or in kind from section 106 agreements in England. [70707]

Yvette Cooper: Sheffield university and the Halcrow Group have recently completed a study for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) “Valuing Planning Obligations in England” which provides estimates on both the number of planning permissions that include planning obligations as well as the value of contributions being negotiated by local authorities for the year 2003-04, The report, based on a national survey of local authorities, will be published shortly.

Previous research undertaken by Sheffield university titled “Planning Obligations and the mediation of development” published in 2001 provided estimates for the average value of planning obligations (including cash and in-kind) but not of annual yield.

Sound Insulation

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many dwellings constructed in each year since 2000 have failed to satisfy the relevant regulations on sound insulation; and if he will make a statement. [65143]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not available, but surveys carried out by the Building Research Establishment have indicated that about 25 per cent. of the party walls and 40 per cent. of the party floors between dwellings failed to meet the standards expected by the 1992 edition of Part E of the Building Regulations, which deals with sound insulation. To improve this situation the ODPM revised Part E in 2003 and the evidence is that compliance rates are now much higher, in excess of 90 per cent.


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Prime Minister

BDO Stoy Hayward

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister when he last met BDO Stoy Hayward; and what matters were discussed. [70826]

The Prime Minister: I have had no meetings with BDO Stoy Hayward on Government business.

Connexions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with Ministers at (a) the Department of Health and (b) the Department for Education and Skills about the Government's Connexions programme; and if he will make a statement. [70390]

The Prime Minister: I have regular meetings and discussions with ministerial colleagues and others on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Departmental Structures

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to consult Parliament before embarking on changes to departmental structures; and if he will make a statement. [70928]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 15 February, Official Report, columns 2031-32W.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister when an updated edition of the List of Ministerial Responsibilities will be published; if he will send a copy to each (a) hon. Member and (b) Member of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement. [70077]

The Prime Minister: An updated List of Ministerial Responsibilities is currently being compiled and will be published shortly.

Copies will be available for Members of both Houses in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister what mechanisms he has in place to enable him to assess the effectiveness of Ministers; and if he will make a statement. [70924]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) on 28 November 2002, Official Report, column 442W.


15 May 2006 : Column 820W

Ministerial Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) of 2 May 2006, Official Report, column 1385W, on visits, if he will list the mode of transport used for each visit. [70421]

The Prime Minister: I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance document, "Travel by Ministers".

Mr. Hands: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether he uses an Oyster Card in fulfilling his official responsibilities; [69913]

(2) whether the Oyster Card he was filmed with for television on 27 April is one he uses in fulfilling his official duties. [69914]

The Prime Minister: I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in Chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance document, "Travel by Ministers".

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the flights he has taken since 2001; and what measures to offset the carbon emissions were taken for each flight. [68943]

The Prime Minister: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All my travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”, copies of which are available in the Library. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. Copies of the lists are available in the Library. Information for 2005-06 is currently being compiled and will be published when it is ready.

All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases Certified Emissions Reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with high sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries. In addition, offsetting my flights and those of Ministers in DEFRA has been backdated to 1 April 2005.

Offshore Trusts

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what his policy is on Ministers having offshore trusts administered (a) directly and (b) by means of a blind trust; [70828]

(2) whether it is his policy that Ministers are required to make declarations to HM Revenue and Customs relating to (a) property, (b) income and (c) any other form of assets held in (i) accounts, (ii) trusts and (iii) other forms of holding outside the UK. [70829]


15 May 2006 : Column 821W

The Prime Minister: Guidance to Ministers on handling their financial interests is set out in section 5 of the Ministerial Code.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister when it became his policy to refer hon. Members to his website in replying to Parliamentary Questions; and if he will make a statement. [70078]

The Prime Minister: Where my answer refers to a specific document on the website, copies are made available to the hon. Member asking the question and are also placed in the Libraries of the House.


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