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Final figures for 2005-06 have not yet been published.

G8 Summit

19. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the forthcoming G8 meeting in St. Petersburg on 15 to 17 July. [84780]

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Ed Balls: The Prime Minister will attend the G8 summit in St. Petersburg this weekend. This is the first Russian G8 Presidency and the UK is working with G8 partners for a successful summit. The Presidency’s focus is on energy security, infectious diseases and education. These and other current issues will be discussed at the meeting. The Prime Minister will lead two sessions on Africa at the summit, in recognition of continuing G8 focus on Africa.

Unemployment (Shropshire)

20. Mark Pritchard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on levels of unemployment in Shropshire between June 2005 and June 2006. [84782]

John Healey: The number of people unemployed and claiming benefit in Shropshire in May 2006 is 2,599. This is 603 higher than the previous year, but it is nearly 1,700 lower than it was in 1997, and nearly 10,000 lower than it was in 1986 under the last Government.

Tax Credits

21. Mr. Vara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the level of fraud in the tax credit system in 2005-06. [84783]

Dawn Primarolo: HMRC has published estimates of error and fraud for tax credits from the random enquiry programme on its website at:

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are employed in HM Revenue and Customs to handle (a) tax credit complaints and (b) telephone calls about tax credits; and if he will make a statement. [75748]

Dawn Primarolo: On (a), I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave him on 13 December 2005, Official Report, column 1835W, 18 July 2005, Official Report, column 1333W, and 6 July 2005, Official Report, column 437W.

As to (b), around 3,500 FTE staff were employed on tax credits helplines in May 2006.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors were taken into account when deciding that industrial injuries disablement should not be treated as income for tax credit purposes. [81750]

Dawn Primarolo: The child and working tax credits are part of the tax system, so the tax credits income assessment is generally based on income tax rules. Apart from industrial death benefit pensions, industrial injuries benefit is exempt from income tax and, therefore, is not taken into account as income for tax credit purposes.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 3 May 2006, Official Report, column 1724W, on tax credits, if he will break down the management information data collected by the period for which it is collected. [81782]

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Dawn Primarolo: A wide variety of management information is kept across all the HMRC business areas involved in the administration of tax credits. This is a combination of reports and the extraction of supplementary information as and when required.

Because of the large amount of information produced it is not practicable to provide a comprehensive breakdown. This management information is used to provide data for the Department’s annual report.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the results of the proactive contact pilots designed to reduce tax credit overpayments. [82832]

Dawn Primarolo: All three phases of the proactive contact pilot exercise have been completed and the initial results are being evaluated. The impact in terms of helping claimants to avoid an overpayment cannot be determined until after the 2005-06 awards have been finalised later this year.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent assessment he has made of the extent of tax credit fraud by migrant workers; and if he will make a statement; [83419]

(2) how many people are receiving tax credits in the UK while living abroad; and if he will make a statement; [83420]

(3) what steps he has taken in the last 12 months to reduce tax credit fraud by migrant workers. [83421]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answers 11 July 2006]: Tax credits are normally only payable to people who are present and ordinarily resident in the UK. The residence rules for eligibility to tax credits are explained on the HMRC website, at

In some cases, recipients of child tax credit may have legitimate foreign correspondence addresses. These include, for example, families of the armed forces or other Crown servants serving abroad.

HMRC takes fraud very seriously and has a range of checks in place throughout the life of each claim. If fraud is suspected, payment is stopped.

International Finance Facility

22. Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the international finance facility; and if he will make a statement. [84784]

Ed Balls: The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) was launched in September 2005 with contributions from France, Italy, Spain and Sweden, as well as the UK. Norway, Brazil and South Africa have since pledged contributions. The first bonds will be issued within a few months, and the IFFIm will begin purchasing vaccines and delivering these to the poorest countries through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) before the end of the year. The IFFIm will demonstrate the benefits of frontloading aid using legally binding, long-term commitments from donors through issuing bonds in international capital markets.

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The World Health Organisation estimates that in frontloading aid and investing an extra $4 billion in vaccination now, the IFFIm is expected to save a total of 10 million lives, including 5 million children before 2015. The on-going effectiveness of the disbursements will be monitored by GAVI.

Makinson Incentive Scheme

24. Mr. Todd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the evaluation of the Makinson incentive scheme in HM Customs and Excise. [84786]

Dawn Primarolo: Incentive schemes for teams (team bonuses) were trialled within HM Customs and Excise between July 2000 and 31 December 2002 in two phases. The first, from 1 July 2000 to 31 March 2001, involved six teams and a total of 650 staff. A second more extensive trial took place between April 2002 and 31 December 2002. It involved 12 teams ranging in size from 24 to 890. The trials were subject to rigorous evaluation during and at the end of the trials.

Advanced Pricing Agreements

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many advanced pricing agreements (a) have been made and (b) were in force with multinational companies in each year since 2001; and in how many cases in each year (i) enforcement action was taken and (ii) penalties were imposed in transfer pricing disputes. [84887]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 6 July 2006, Official Report, column 1258-59W.

Antique Imports

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what VAT regulations apply to importing antiques; and if he will make a statement. [84426]

Dawn Primarolo: The law relating to the import of antiques is covered in the VAT Act 1994 as amended, section 1 and section 21 items (4 and 5(b)).

Financial Literacy

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research he has commissioned to ascertain the level of financial literacy in the UK; and whether this has sought to ascertain differences in financial literacy in different (a) age groups, (b) genders, (c) classes, (d) ethnic groups and (e) occupations. [84499]

Ed Balls: The Financial Services Authority (FSA), in partnership with the Government, the financial services industry and voluntary organisations, leads the national strategy for financial capability.

The FSA recently published a comprehensive baseline survey(1) to establish the current state of financial capability in the UK. Published on 27 March
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2006, the baseline survey identified five separate components of financial capability: making ends meet, keeping track of your finances, planning ahead, choosing financial products and staying informed about financial matters.

The full research report, “consumer research 47 Levels of Financial Capability in the UK: Results of a baseline survey” (available at, provides detailed analysis of each component and includes commentary of differences by particular groupings such as age, gender, income, qualifications, ethnicity, employment status and housing tenure.

Information on social class and occupation was not collected but the FSA has incorporated a proxy measure based on a wide range of life-stage characteristics(2) which is undergoing further analysis.

The FSA continues to analyse the data, particularly to understand more about the needs of more vulnerable groups. The survey will be repeated in the next four to five years to assess the impact of initiatives targeted to improve financial capability.

New Buildings (VAT)

Simon Hughes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on proposals to exempt from value-added tax new buildings for use by youth and educational facilities and the local community. [84770]

John Healey: VAT is chargeable on the construction of all new youth, educational or other community facilities, except those new buildings 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.

Pension Tax Relief

Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the savings to public funds of restricting all pension tax relief to a maximum of 22 per cent.; and what that saving is estimated to be in the first year in which it is intended to implement the proposed new personal pension arrangements; [84230]

(2) if he will estimate the cost to public funds of the 1 per cent. contribution to be made to personal pension arrangements under the Government’s recent proposals in the first year in which the arrangement will come into effect. [84231]

Ed Balls: In relation to the savings from restricting tax relief on pension contributions to a maximum of 22 per cent., I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne) on 26 April 2006, Official Report, column 1175W.

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The estimate of the cost to public funds of the tax relief available to individuals in the proposed system of personal accounts is extremely uncertain and will depend on individual levels of participation. The regulatory impact assessment (RIA) published in May 2006 by the Department for Work and Pensions—“Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system”, “Regulatory Impact Assessments and technical annexes”—estimates that the increased saving resulting from the proposals could increase tax relief paid on individual contributions by around £1 billion once the scheme is fully operational. On the same central assumption of take-up as the RIA for the first year of personal accounts, the cost of tax relief on individual contributions is estimated to be £350 million, of which £100 million is estimated to be higher rate tax relief. The costs are lower in the first year owing to the proposed three-year phasing of contributions for both employers and employees.

Postage Stamps

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether postage stamps are subject to the same VAT regulations as other antiques when they have been imported into the UK. [84416]

Dawn Primarolo: Postage stamps that are no longer legal tender even if of an age of 100 years or over are covered by subsection (c) of section 21(5) of the VAT Act 1994 which states that any collection or collector’s piece of philatelic interest qualifies for the reduced rate of VAT at 5 per cent. Antiques are covered by subsection (b) of 21(5) of the VAT Act 1994.

Culture, Media and Sport

Clissold Road Swimming Pool

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with members and officers of the London borough of Hackney on the case of the closed Clissold road swimming pool. [84164]

Tessa Jowell: I have had no official discussions. Sport England has continued to monitor developments towards the re-opening of Clissold Leisure Centre, through a project working group established by the London borough of Hackney. Sport England has also instigated a series of meetings between its executive directors and a representative of the Mayor’s office, in the London borough of Hackney. The object of these meetings is to provide regular updates and to ensure that the agreed time scales and milestones towards the Centre’s re-opening are being met.

Environmental Standards

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department (a) is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard and (b) has been externally certified as in compliance with that standard; and if she will make a statement. [81181]

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Mr. Woodward: New sustainable operations targets for the Government Estate were launched on 12 June by the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The new targets included a commitment that all Government Departments should have an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place, based or modelled upon a recognised system (such as ISO14001, or the European regulation EMAS).

Previous targets for EMSs for the Government Estate (published September 2002) had the same wording as the recently announced commitment.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport currently has an uncertified EMS based on IS014001 and has a planned timetable to certify its EMS externally in line with the new standards for IS014001 by March 2007.

Departments have submitted data relevant to this question (including external certification) for annual Sustainable Development in Government Reports. The last Report published by the Sustainable Development Commission in December 2005, covering the reporting period April 2004 to March 2005, is available at:

Licensing Laws

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what regulations govern the licensing of pubs that offer adult entertainment in the form of strip dancing. [84374]

Mr. Woodward: Public houses offering such forms of entertainment are licensable under the Licensing Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) if they are selling alcohol and if they are putting on regulated entertainment such as the performance of dance. As such, their activities are open to scrutiny in relation to the four licensing objectives: public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder, the protection of children from harm and the prevention of public nuisance.

Pornography, indecent displays, public indecency and obscenity legislation are matters for the Home Office.

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