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Nick Harvey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 13 June 2006, Official Report, column 5767W, on AK-47s, what UK custom entry clearance has been issued to UK based companies for the importation of pallets of small arms from Bosnia since June 2003. 
Ed Balls: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given by the then Financial Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Mr. Timms), to my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) on 14 March 2005, Official Report, column 84W.
Dawn Primarolo: Between 1998-99 and 2004-05, 700,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty. Macroeconomic stability, active labour market policies such as the new deal, policies to make work pay such as the working tax credit, and financial support for families, including the child tax credit, have all contributed to this success.
As a result of the Governments reforms to the tax and benefit system since 1997, by October 2006, in real terms, families with children will be, on average, £1,500 a year better off, while those in the poorest fifth will be, on average, £3,400 per year better off.
Albert Owen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he plans to take to ensure that civil service job cuts in Wales do not adversely affect economic regeneration of Objective 1 areas. 
Following Sir Michael Lyons independent review of public sector relocation the Government undertook to relocate 20,000 posts out of London and the south-east by 2010. By April 2006 7,800 posts had moved to every country and region in the UK, including more than 1,600 to Wales.
In order to target resources into improving key front-line services, the Government are committed to reducing the number of civil servants engaged in non-frontline functions by 70,600 (net) by 2008. Departments are responsible for implementing their work force targets and HM Treasury does not hold data showing the location of each affected site.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 410W, on correspondence, what estimate he has made of the cost of answering the question; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: It is not possible to identify separately the average cost of officials time in replying to letters from hon. Members and members of the public. Such correspondence is often of a varied and complex nature. Therefore any exercise to determine the average cost in officials time in responding to letters would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall, North of 18 May regarding a constituent; and what the reason is for the delay in replying. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests from overseas tax authorities HM Revenue and Customs has received in the past three years pursuant to the operation of actual assistance provisions of UK double taxation agreements; from which countries these requests have been received; what amount of tax was claimed in each case; and what checks HMRC applied in pursuance of provisions corresponding to (a) article 27 para 2 and (b) other articles of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development mutual convention to satisfy itself that the tax they were asked to collect was properly due and payable. 
Dawn Primarolo: At present the UK has no provisions in any of its double taxation agreements that correspond to article 27 of the OECD model convention nor has it ratified the Council of Europe/OECD convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what draft Bills have been produced by his Department since October 2005; how many were (a) examined and (b) are planned to be examined by (i) a departmental Select Committee and (ii) a Joint Committee; what draft Bills are still to be produced by his Department; when each is to be published; how many clauses each has; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what his practice is regarding meeting, discussing and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Treasury has not introduced any Bills in draft in the period covered by the hon. Members question. Announcements on future legislation and future draft legislation that will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny will be indicated in the Queens Speech.
The Treasury seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy making process, both formal and informal. The Treasury holds regular meetings with representatives of the principal stakeholder groups for our policy areas and with relevant experts. Organisations and individuals can also contribute to the Treasurys formal consultations that abide by the code of conduct on consultation. As required by the code, the Department then gives feedback on the responses received and on how the consultation process influenced the policy decision.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the ratio is of economically inactive persons to the number of persons engaged in manufacturing industry in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the ratio of economically inactive persons to the number of persons employed in manufacturing in (a) England (b) Wales and (c) Scotland. I am replying in her absence. (83803)
The attached table gives the ratio of persons economically inactive to people employed in manufacturing for the 3 countries of Great Britain for the period three month ending March 2006.
Estimates are taken from the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey (LFS). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|Economically inactive people and people employed in the manufacturing( 1 ) industry by country of residence for people of working age( 2) not seasonally adjusted|
|Three months ending March 2006|
|Economically inactive (Thousand)||Employed in manufacturing industry (Thousand)||Ratio( 3)|
|(1) Standard Industrial Classification (SIC92) code D.|
(2) Men aged 16-64 or women 16-59.
(3) Economically active people divided by the number of those in employment in manufacturing industry.
ONS Labour Force Survey
Dawn Primarolo: VAT is chargeable on the construction of all buildings in the education sector, except those that will be used at least 90 per cent. for a relevant charitable purpose, such as the provision of free-of-charge education by a charity. In such cases, construction of the building is VAT zero rated. VAT agreements with our European partners mean that, while we can maintain this relief for the construction of charitable buildings, it cannot be extended further.
However, where VAT is chargeable on capital projects, it can be reclaimed from HMRC to the extent that it relates to taxable business use of the facilities. In addition, local authorities can usually reclaim from HMRC all VAT costs relating to the educational institutions that they maintain.
Refund arrangements for local authorities reflect a commitment, made when VAT was first introduced, that VAT would not fall as a burden on local taxation. Accordingly, since 1997, bodies have been admitted to these refund arrangements only where they undertake a function ordinarily carried on by local government and have the power to draw their funding directly from local taxation. Unlike local authority maintained institutions, further education colleges do not meet the second of these conditions.
It is reasonable to expect that bids for public funding by further education colleges should take into account that they are not eligible for the VAT refund arrangements that apply for local authority maintained institutions. However, no detailed assessment has been made of the impact of VAT on further education capital projects.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which citizens advice bureaux are working in partnership with the personal finance education group on financial capability in schools; and what plans he has to expand this project. 
Ed Balls: I welcome the excellent work that citizens advice bureaux are doing with PFEG to improve the financial capability of students in schools, including the successful pilot they ran with independent financial advisers as part of the FSA-led national strategy for financial capability. In addition, I welcome the involvement of citizens advice bureaux in the £45 million financial inclusion fund project to deliver a significant increase in the capacity of free face-to-face debt advice for the financially excluded. I look forward to the outcome of these important projects with interest.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of providing financial assistance to low-income families during pregnancy; and whether there are any plans to provide any such financial support. 
Dawn Primarolo: Statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance and the Sure Start maternity grant provide financial support for low-income families during pregnancy. Statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance are worth £108.85 a week for up to 26 weeks, and may be taken from 11 weeks prior to the birth of the child. The Sure Start maternity grant is worth £500 per baby and may be claimed from the 29th week of pregnancy. The Government also run the welfare food scheme, which provides free milk, infant formula and vitamins to pregnant women on low incomes.
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the rate was of (a) cancers and (b) stroke in West Suffolk in each of the past five years. I am replying in her absence. 
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