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Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to induce local and central government to cooperate to encourage dissemination of best practice and innovation on reducing emissions by the public sector. 
John Healey: Budget 2006 announced a seminar to be held at HM Treasury later this year to bring together central and local government to encourage the further dissemination of best practice and innovation to reduce emissions in the public sector. The purpose of this was to encourage and motivate more local authorities to reduce their carbon emissions. Since the announcement, Treasury officials have worked closely with other Departments to plan the event, which will be held during the autumn.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the fraud and error rate in (a) percentage terms and (b) cash terms for (i) child benefit and (ii) the child trust fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: It is estimated that in 2005-06 the rate of fraud on child benefit is around 0.1 per cent. or around £10 million in cash terms and the estimated rate of error is around 0.03 per cent. or £3 million in cash terms.
For the child trust fund, the issue of the initial voucher is dependent on a successful child benefit application. The low rate of error and fraud in child benefit suggests a low rate of error and fraud in the child trust fund.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) USB (i) flash drives and (ii) memory sticks, (b) compact discs, (c) DVD-ROM discs, (d) laptop computers, (e) external computer hard drives, (f) internal computer hard drives and (g) desktop computers were purchased for use in his Department in each month since March 2005. 
|Laptop computers||External computer hard drives||Desktop computers|
1. No internal computer hard drives have been purchased since March 2005.
2. The numbers given for USB. Compact discs and DVD discs are not held in the form requested.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to encourage retailers to pass the VAT reduction on condoms on to consumers; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The VAT reduction for contraceptive products, which took effect from 1 July, is designed to allow wider access to these products where appropriate, consistent with the Government's sexual health policies. The Government therefore expects all retailers to promote access by passing the VAT reduction on within the retail prices charged to consumers. As a result of the VAT reduction, retailers might typically reduce the retail price of a packet of three condoms by around 30 pence.
Prior to implementation of the VAT reduction, the Department of Health commissioned a survey of major retailers, which found that the vast majority of those surveyed planned to cut retail prices by the full 12.5 per cent. reduction in VAT either on 1 July or shortly thereafter, and some had already reduced prices in anticipation of the VAT change. The Department of Health will continue to monitor the impact of the VAT reduction on retail prices.
Articles 4(2), 5(2), 7, 9(6), 9(7) and 11 and paragraphs 2(3) and 4(a) to (d) of the Schedule.
Articles 4(2), 5(2), 7, 9(6), 9(7) and 11(4) and paragraphs 2(3) and 4(a) to (d) of the Schedule.
Articles 3(1), 4(9) and (10), 5, 6(1 )(a) to (c) and (2) and 7(3) and paragraph 3(a) to (d) of the Schedule.
Articles 3(1), 4(9) and (10), 5, 6(1) and (2), 7(1)(a) and (b) and 9(6) and paragraph 3(a) to (d) of the Schedule.
Articles 5(6) and (8) and 6(3)
Articles 5(1) (a) to (c), 7(3), 8(2) and (3), 11, 12(1) and (2), 13(2) and (3), 17(3)(a) to (c), 20(6), paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 and paragraph 5(a) to (d) of Schedule 3.
Articles 3(1), 3A(1), 4A(10), 5(4), 5A(7), 6, 7, 8(1)(a) to (c), 9(7)(a) to (c), 10(2) and 11(4).
Dawn Primarolo: Information on staff by location cannot be disclosed, as this would provide information of value to those seeking to circumvent HM Revenue and Customs controls, thereby prejudicing the prevention and detection of crime.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contracts were awarded by his Department to Bird and Bird Solicitors in each year since 1997; what the (a) value and (b) duration of each such contract was; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: Bird and Bird is one of the law firms participating in the L-Cat framework agreements established by the Office of Government Commerce, the Department for Education and Skills and the Treasury Solicitors Department to facilitate the procurement of quality legal services for government and achieve better value for money.
In the period since 2002-03, the Treasury has had one contract with Bird and Bird, which was in April 2002 with a total value of £1,151.03. Information on contracts, prior to 2002-03 could be provided only at disproportionate cost due to a change in accounting system during that year.
John Healey: The Treasury's expenditure on newspapers and periodicals since 2002-03 is as follows. Information for years prior to 2002-03 could be provided at disproportionate cost only due to a change of accounting system in that year.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what conferences have been funded in whole or part by his Department in the last 12 months; how many attendees there were at each; and what the cost of the conference was to the Department. 
|Title of conference||Number of attendees||Cost (£000)|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were employed by (a) HM Treasury, (b) the Royal Mint, (c) National Savings and Investments, (d) the Government Actuaries Department, (e) the Debt Management Office, (f) the Office for National Statistics, (g) OGC Buying Solutions, (h) HM Revenue and Customs and (i) the Valuations Agency in each of the last 12 months for which data is available; and how many and what percentage of posts were vacant in each region in each month. 
|Vacancy figures for The Royal Mint|
|Vacancies||Percentage vacancies (versus establishment)|
The Royal Mint is based in Wales.
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