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Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost is of HM Revenue and Customs extending its service helping importers and exporters to apply information to the custom handling import and freight computer system; and how many staff are employed in providing this service. 
HMRC is in the process of going to open tender for the running of the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system contract between 2010 and 2015. Work will commence in 2008 on the actual replacement of the CHIEF service, to be completed by 2015. The EU Programme of Change MASP) will be delivered mainly on CHIEF and HMRC will be working in partnership with Business Link, who are part of the Department of Trade and Industry, to explore the opportunities available for extending current services. This will be done as part of the International Trade Single Window initiative. Preparatory work is ongoing and it is not therefore possible to provide accurate costs for
updating CHIEF services at this time. There are currently 12 HMRC staff engaged in the maintenance of the CHIEF service and four technicians engaged in the maintenance of existing links.
Dawn Primarolo: VAT zero-rating applies to live animals of a kind generally used as, or used to produce, food for human consumption. The scope of the relief is therefore defined by the type of animal concerned and whether it can be considered to be food according to the ordinary and every day meaning of the word. Game birds are therefore zero-rated.
Basing the VAT treatment on the reason for purchase, or the final use, of the animal would be difficult to administer and would create significant complexities for both business and HM Revenue and Customs. While the Government keep all taxes under review, there are no current plans to alter the VAT treatment of game birds.
Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have received guardian's allowance in each of the last five years; how much was paid in guardians allowance in each year; and how much was spent on the administration of the allowance in each year, broken down by (a) employee costs, (b) IS/IT costs and (c) other costs. 
Dawn Primarolo: The following table shows the number of people who received guardians allowance, and how much was paid in the allowance in each of the last five years. The administration cost of the allowance is not separately available.
|Average number of claimants (Thousand)||Expenditure (£ million)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many local office HM Revenue and Customs compliance staff dealing with (a) tax credits and (b) all tax compliance have been (i) transferred and (ii) made redundant in each quarter since March 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The extent to which VAT will be payable on the costs incurred by a prospective house seller in compiling a home information pack will depend on what is included in the pack, and on how the person chooses to compile it.
Dawn Primarolo: Since April 2003, when HM Revenue and Customs took on responsibility for tackling imports into Great Britain that are in breach of the products of animal origin regulations, there have been a total of nine prosecutions, all of which resulted in convictions. There were seven cases in the financial year 2004-05 and two in 2005-06.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures his Department has taken to increase the detection and seizure of illegal imports of animal products in the last 12 months. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs continues to target traffic from high disease risk source countries on the basis of risk assessment and intelligence. In the last 12 months it has taken a number of additional measures in response to the threat posed by the spread of H5N1 avian influenza. HMRC stepped up the level of checks at ports, airports and postal services to target traffic from countries reporting H5N1 infection, doubling the resources deployed on detection of illegal animal products. It has revised its targeting to direct efforts at traffic from those states, including mounting intensive exercises on passenger, freight and postal traffic from specific countries.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the amount of imported food products which are entering the UK from the occupied Palestinian Territories but labelled as from Israel. 
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs target goods, including food products, imported from Israel on the basis of risk and on the basis of information received from the European Commission in respect of goods which are suspected of originating in a settlement. Claims to duty relief under the provisions of the EC-Israel Association Agreement are disallowed where documentation accompanying the goods indicates that they were produced in the Occupied Territories.
Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what change in the threshold of inheritance tax (a) in percentage terms and (b) as a monetary value he expects to be necessary in each of the five years from 2006-07 to maintain the inheritance tax take as a percentage of overall taxation at the level at 2005-06. 
Dawn Primarolo: The share of total tax revenue represented by IHT is forecast to remain broadly level in the next five years. The Chancellor has pre-announced above-indexation increases in the threshold for all tax years up to 2009-10, when the threshold will be £325,000.
Ed Balls: The Treasury published a regulatory impact assessment of the impact of the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive with its consultation document on the legislative implementation of the directive. The consultation document can be found at:
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue the Treasury received in penalty fees for late registration for national insurance contributions in each year since 1997. 
Mark Hunter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to reduce the time taken by HM Revenue and Customs to supply pension provider companies with information needed to make payments to clients; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The tax rules governing registered pension schemes are set out in Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004. Guidance is also available on the HMRC website. Together these should give pension companies the information they need to make payments to clients.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the implications for tax revenue in each year from 2012-13 of reforms to state pensions proposed in the Pensions White Paper, Security in Retirement: Towards a New Pension System assuming no impact on employment rates amongst older workers or on private savings; and what his estimate is of the likely impact on (i) employment rates among older workers and (ii) on private savings. 
Ed Balls: The Long-Term Public Finance Report provides a comprehensive analysis of fiscal sustainability. On the basis of current policies, the analysis provides long-term projections of tax revenue and spending that take into account projections of employment rates. An updated analysis will be provided at the time of this year's pre-Budget Report.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many referrals have been made to the Tax Credit National Intelligence Analysis Team in each month since April 2003; and what proportion have (a) been investigated, (b) been prosecuted and (c) led to a conviction; 
Dawn Primarolo: Referrals where it is suspected that a claim for tax credits may be wrong or fraudulent can be received by HMRC from a variety of sources. HMRC look at all the information provided and determine whether a compliance intervention is appropriate. The National Audit Office Standard Report 2005-06 gives details of the number of instances where HMRC made compliance interventions on tax credit claims and also the number of prosecutions and convictions that HMRC brought. It is not possible to say how many of these were because of referrals without incurring disproportionate cost.
The National Intelligence and Analysis Team no longer exists but the team contributed towards the overall compliance targets set for tax credits contained in HMRCs (previously Inland Revenues) Annual Reports.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the target time for processing new tax credit claims is; and what percentage of new claims for tax credits were processed within this target in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2006, Official Report, column 362W, on tax credits, what information is collected in relation to the number of occasions on which HM Revenue and Customs have intervened where they suspect a claim by an individual from another EU country claiming tax credits in the UK may be (a) incorrect and (b) fraudulent; and in what format that information can be produced. 
Dawn Primarolo: Statistical information on compliance interventions broken down by nationality of the claimant is not available. It would also generally be inappropriate to disclose a complete list of compliance information relating to tax credits as to do so may provide assistance to those attempting to defraud the system.
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