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10 Oct 2006 : Column 735W—continued

Hywel Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total amount of tax credit
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overpayments was in each constituency in England and Wales in each of the last three years; how much of the overpayments was (a) reclaimed and (b) written off in each constituency; and what each figure represents as a percentage of the total tax credit paid in each year. [91427]

Dawn Primarolo: For estimates of the numbers of in-work families with tax credit awards, including information on overpayments, by constituency I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1421W to my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field).

Information on overpayments reclaimed or written off, and expenditure, by constituency, is not available.

Hywel Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans there are for HM Revenue and Customs to produce tax credit notices and renewal packs in the Welsh language; and when these will be made available to claimants. [91429]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 1651W.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average length of time elapsing between a claimant receiving acknowledgement of a claim form from the Inland Revenue and receiving an award notice was in the last period for which figures are available. [91863]

Dawn Primarolo: The information is not available.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people he estimates are eligible to claim tax credit but do not claim. [91864]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr Laws) on 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 933W.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the total amount of tax credits paid erroneously to illegal immigrants in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [91987]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 18 July 2006, Official Report, column 363W.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit overpayment cases have been reviewed at the request of the recipient in each of the last eight quarters; and what proportion of those reviews have led to (a) some and (b) all of the overpayment being written off. [92252]

Dawn Primarolo: For the number of tax credits overpayments disputed and remitted, in part or in full, up to and including April 2006, I refer the hon.
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Gentleman to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 18 July 2006, Official Report, columns 359-60W.

The figures for May to August 2006 were around:

Number disputed Number written off (fully or partially)

May 2006

36,500

1,500

June 2006

39,500

1,000

July 2006

33,000

1,000

August 2006

32,000

1,000


The figures for overpayments written off do not directly relate to those disputes that were received in the same month. TCO does not separately record whether an overpayment is written off in part or in full.

Figures for September 2006 are not yet available.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit recipients resident in Scotland had their first award notice for 2006-07 sent to them after 11 August; and how many resident in England and Wales had their first notice sent to them after 1 September. [92253]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the target date was for issue of a customer’s first tax credit award notice for 2006-07; and in what proportion of cases this target was met. [92254]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answers I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 16 Jun 2006, Official Report, column 1421W and the hon. Member for Guildford (Anne Milton) on 2 November 2005, Official Report,( , )column 1058W.

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the amount of child tax credit paid to migrant workers from within the EU whose children do not reside in the UK in the latest period for which an estimate is available. [92670]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois) on 13 September 2006, Official Report, columns 2337-38W.

Tax Relief (Companies)

Dr. Cable: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies received tax relief on capital expenditure in 2005-06. [90332]

Dawn Primarolo: Latest published estimates, to 2003-04, of the numbers of companies receiving tax relief by way of capital allowances claimed against trading income can be found in the HMRC National Statistics table at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/11_3_oct05.xls

Tax Returns (Penalties)

Mr. Betts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the most recent range of late filing of tax return
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penalties was introduced; and what the range of penalties would have been in 2006-07 if they had been updated in line with the retail prices index since their introduction. [89951]

Dawn Primarolo: There are different penalties for the late filing of different types of returns; for example— income tax, company tax and VAT returns. Of these major heads of tax, the late filing penalties for company tax returns were the most recently introduced in Finance Act 1998. Those penalties are £100 if the return is delivered up to three months late and £200 in other cases. These amounts are increased to £500 and £1,000 respectively for a third successive failure to file on time. These penalties have not been updated in line with the retail price index since their introduction.

Tax Revenue

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many estates in the UK paid inheritance tax in (a) 2005-06, (b) 1997-98 and (c) 1979-80; and what these figures represent as a percentage of the population in each year. [91439]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of estates paying inheritance tax is published on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax receipts/1_4_apr06.xls

UK population estimates are published on the ONS website as follows:

Years 1976 to 2004:

Year 2005:

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total amount of tax raised from all sources is in each of the last three financial years. [91932]

Dawn Primarolo: The Treasury's latest estimates of tax receipts are published monthly in table C4 of the Public Finances Databank: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/economic_data_and_tools/finance_spending_statistics/pubsec_finance

The series which most closely reflects the total amount of tax raised each financial year is “Net taxes and National Insurance Contributions”.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total amount of income tax is that his Department has collected in the last three financial years. [91933]

Dawn Primarolo: The amount of income tax collected net of repayments and tax credits treated as negative taxation in the past three financial years can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax receipts/tablel-2.xls.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the Treasury is, in pence per pound collected, of collecting income tax. [91934]


10 Oct 2006 : Column 739W

Dawn Primarolo: The cost of collecting income tax is published in Table 1 of Annex F in the HMRC Annual Report 2004-05, which is available from the Library of the House. The latest available figures are for 2004-05.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what total amount of inheritance tax his Department has collected in the last three financial years. [91935]

Dawn Primarolo: Net revenue from inheritance tax is published on the HMRC internet site at www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/table1-2.xls.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the Treasury is, in pence per pound collected, of collecting inheritance tax. [91936]

Dawn Primarolo: The cost of collecting inheritance tax, in terms of pence per pound collected, is given in Table 1, Annex F, of HM Revenue and Customs’ “Annual Report 2004-05 and Autumn Performance Report 2005”. A copy of the report is available in the House Library.

Tobin Tax

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the operability of a Tobin tax. [92385]

Dawn Primarolo: The Tobin tax is a long-established idea that has recently re-emerged in discussions on financing for development. The Government have concluded that there would be significant technical problems with a tax of this sort and it is not being actively considered at the present time. The UK Government have set a timetable to reach the target of 0.7 per cent. Overseas Development Assistance-GNI by 2013.

Wales

Departmental Expenditure

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent by his Department in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (a) in the UK and (b) abroad for (i) Ministers, (ii) staff and (iii) other persons in each year since 2001-02. [91903]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office does not have any agencies or non-departmental bodies.

The Wales Office does not currently hold information in the format requested. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent by his Department on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02. [91904]


10 Oct 2006 : Column 740W

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office records expenditure on all subsistence costs as a total. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed since April 2005 in his Department is recorded as disabled. [92169]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office publishes information about the gender and grading of staff in its annual departmental report, which is available in the House Library. The Wales Office has a small number of staff with disabilities. For privacy reasons the numbers are confidential, in line with guidance issued by the Cabinet Office, which states that Departments are not required to provide figures on the number of disabled staff where it is less than five in the department.

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what tax-efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles his Department makes available to its employees; how many and what percentage of his Department's staff purchased bicycles through such schemes in 2005-06; whether the schemes are available through a range of suppliers; and whether arrangements are made to enable staff with disabilities to purchase adapted bicycles from a specialist supplier. [90054]

Mr. Hain: Wales Office staff are able to apply for an advance of salary (which is then deducted at source and is therefore tax-efficient) to purchase bicycles and safety equipment. While a number of Wales Office staff cycle to work, none of them purchased bicycles through the scheme in 2005-06.

Staff are able to purchase bicycles from any supplier, which would allow those requiring adapted bicycles to purchase them.

Electoral Commission

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the Electoral Commission Report “Wales: Poll Position” in respect of changes made in the governance of Wales. [92425]

Mr. Hain: I welcome the Electoral Commission's report, which identifies a need for more effective communication of the powers, remit and responsibilities of the National Assembly for Wales. In the Government of Wales Act 2006 we have given the Assembly new powers to promote public awareness of its role and electoral arrangements. This was itself recommended in the Electoral Commission's earlier report on the 2003 Assembly elections.

Nuclear Decommissioning

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the cost of decommissioning Wylfa power station on Anglesey; how long the decommissioning process will take; how
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many local jobs will be created by the decommissioning process; and if he will make a statement. [89028]

Mr. Hain: I and my Department have made no direct estimates on the decommissioning of Wylfa. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) assumed responsibility for the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK's historic civil nuclear legacy on 1 April 2005. The legacy includes the Magnox nuclear power station at Wylfa, Anglesey.

The lifetime costs for Wylfa are estimated to be in the region of £1.7 billion, with about £1.2 billion spent subsequent to the end of operations. The NDA's current plan for decommissioning Wylfa (as set out in its approved Strategy) is that it will operate until 2010; between 2010 and 2012 the fuel will be removed. That will be followed by a period of preparation for care and maintenance, which will include all of the facilities outside the reactor core being decommissioned; this is planned to be completed by 2025. The core and its contents will be finally cleared by 2125. Further details of all NDA activities, such as the Strategy and plans for Wylfa and decommissioning costs, can be found on the NDA website at: www.nda.gov.uk.

The detail of Wylfa's plans for decommissioning and clean-up are still in preparation, and job requirements have not yet been finalised. The NDA is therefore only able to provide indicative numbers. The current plan estimates that job numbers (staff and subcontract) will be about 700 in 2010, reducing progressively to 160 in 2024 through the defuelling and decommissioning phase for care and maintenance preparations.

The Assembly Government is working with the Isle of Anglesey County Council, UK Government and other stakeholders to develop approaches for addressing the future socio-economic impact.


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