Previous Section Index Home Page

17 Oct 2006 : Column 1103W—continued

At present, 13 further education colleges are providing the NVQ level training that forms a central element of the RDI scheme. We expect the number of RDIs to increase significantly over the coming months as more colleges begin to provide training.

World Trade

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the latest round of Doha trade talks on (a) freeing up trade, (b) improving market access for developing countries, (c) sustainable development and (d) poverty reduction. [93622]

Mr. McCartney: A successful Doha round could deliver real benefits to developed and developing nations through increasing trade, stimulating economic growth and helping to alleviate poverty. The exact gains that developed and developing nations could derive from the Doha round are difficult to calculate, because they depend on a large number of variables. Although the UK has not conducted an independent assessment of the impact of the Doha development agenda, the European Commission has undertaken a full Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) of the possible economic, development, environmental and social impacts of a DDA agreement. This assessment is available on the internet at FinalReports.shtml.


Arms Export Controls

Susan Kramer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2006, Official Report, column 2332W, on arms export controls, what the numerical threshold is for widespread abuse used in HM Revenue and Customs assessment of the level of abuse of export controls; how many staff are allocated to the conduct of risk-testing exercises of arms export control; how much was spent on such risk-testing exercises in each of the last five years; and how many such exercises have been carried out since 2000. [92474]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs judgment that there is not widespread abuse of export controls is based on their assessment of the export control breaches either detected at the frontier or referred or disclosed to them and their evaluation of the intelligence and other information available to them. HMRC does not have a precisely defined numerical threshold for widespread abuse. They regard as abuse those cases where there is evidence of a deliberate breach involving destinations of concern or particularly sensitive goods.

17 Oct 2006 : Column 1104W

HMRC’s centrally driven risk testing exercises involve HMRC staff as well as experts from other Departments and the intelligence agencies. There have been 11 such exercises since the first took place in July 2004 although customs managers in ports and airports also carry out their own local exercises that will include elements of risk testing.

A typical exercise will comprise between six and 10 HMRC staff, who are deployed on a multi-functional and flexible basis. Accurate estimates of staff and other costs are not available.


John Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who the recipient is of the planned loans to Burma from the European Investment Bank; what the loans are for; and whether the UK Government are able to block such loans being made. [93950]

Ed Balls: No loans to Burma by the European Investment Bank (EIB) have been made.

The ECOFIN Council is currently discussing the framework for lending by the EIB outside of the European Community (EC) guaranteed by the EC, covering the period 2007-13—the so-called “external lending mandate”. No decision has yet been taken on the mandate, including on the procedures for agreeing eligibility of loan recipients in specific countries.

Child Benefit

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for child benefit were made in each year since 2001 in each local authority area. [94220]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available. However, the number of families in each local authority in England and Wales receiving child benefit from August 2001 to August 2005 are available on the Neighbourhood Statistics section of the National Statistics website.

Childcare Vouchers

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax-free child care vouchers have been given in each year since introduction; and what their total value was. [93890]

Dawn Primarolo: Employers and employees are not required to report the value of tax-free employer supported child care provided to employees since the tax and national insurance contributions exemptions were introduced in April 2005. HMRC has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), an independent social research organisation, to conduct a survey of employers with a view to providing estimates of take-up among employers and their employees.

17 Oct 2006 : Column 1105W

Children's Tax Credit

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the Inland Revenue contacted self-assessment claimants of the children's tax credit to inform them of (a) the switch to child tax credit in 2003 and (b) how to apply for it. [93474]

Dawn Primarolo: The former Inland Revenue (IR) ran an extensive advertising campaign in the national press, on the radio and online, in addition to a television campaign that ran for three weeks in September 2002. The deadline for submitting a claim to ensure a claimant received a full year's award for 2003-04 was 7 July 2003. This too was publicised widely in advertisements appearing in national and regional newspapers, on television and radio and online throughout June 2003.

Self-assessment (SA) taxpayers who had the former children's tax credit included in their 2002-03 pay as you earn (PAYE) coding were automatically sent a tax credits claim pack to enable them to claim the new tax credits (NTC), in good time, prior to April 2003. All notices of coding, issued ahead of the new income tax year 2003-04, carried a message and enclosed a letter that explained how IR was changing the way they paid support for children.

The IR identified potential NIC claimants who did not have employed earnings or did not have children's tax credit in their PAYE coding in 2002-03, but claimed children's tax credit on their 2001-02 SA return by 31 January 2003, by comparing data held on their SA and NTC records. That exercise enabled IR to identify and send claim packs to around 675,000 SA customers, who had not already submitted a claim for NTC to enable them to claim tax credits.

Community Club Development Programme (VAT)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much VAT revenue has been collected on projects funded by the Government’s Community Club Development Programme in each of the last three years. [94440]

Dawn Primarolo: The information requested is not available. HM Revenue and Customs does not collect data on VAT relating to individual goods and services.


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter to the Paymaster General of 18 August 2006 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. and Mrs. Reid. [92962]

Dawn Primarolo: I have replied to my right hon. Friend.

Cultural Purposes Exemption (VAT)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much cultural organisations have received from the cultural purposes exemption on VAT in each year since 1997, broken down by (a)
17 Oct 2006 : Column 1106W
museums, (b) galleries, (c) art exhibitions, (d) zoos, (e) theatrical performances, (f) musical performances, (g) choreographic performances and (h) other recipients; and if he will make a statement. [93863]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available. HM Revenue and Customs does not collect data on VAT relating to individual goods and services.

Departmental Meetings

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many meetings he has had with Sir Christopher Evans since 1 January 2005; [92258]

(2) what representations he has received from Sir Christopher Evans to increase public expenditure on stem cell research. [93191]

John Healey [holding answers 9 and 12 October 2006]: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with and receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings and representations.

European Investment Bank

John Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in UK contributions was paid into the European Investment Bank in each of the last five years. [93951]

Ed Balls: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been self-sufficient in the last five years. Therefore, the UK has not paid any contributions to the EIB’s capital base in this period.

In 2004, the UK agreed to make a voluntary contribution of €2 million to the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment Partnership (FEMIP) Trust Fund. The first instalment of €1 million was paid in January 2005 and a second instalment of €1 million was made in March 2006.

Family Incomes

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the net income of a single earner family on half average earnings with two young children was in real terms in each of the last 10 years. [93911]

Dawn Primarolo: The table provides the information requested. Estimates of average earnings for each financial year are based on figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and HMT assumptions about in-year earnings growth. Net income is defined as earnings, less income tax and national insurance contributions, plus child benefit, family credit or tax credits.

17 Oct 2006 : Column 1107W
Net income of a single-earner family with two children aged 5-10 on half male mean earnings (2006-07 prices)
Half male mean earnings Half male median earnings































(1 )assuming WFTC in place of family credit

Financial Inclusion Taskforce

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the minutes for the Financial Inclusion Taskforce meeting on 11 July have not been made available; and when he expects them to be made available. [94380]

Ed Balls: Minutes of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce meeting on 11 July are now available on the Financial Inclusion Taskforce website. They can be accessed at

Game Birds

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to value all land used for commercial game rearing where more than 50 birds are kept; and if he will make a statement. [93368]

Dawn Primarolo: Valuation officers (VOs) of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) are responsible for the valuation of non-domestic property for rating purposes.

The VOA make assessments of game farms in all cases where it is appropriate to do so, in accordance with current rating legislation, responsibility for which rests with the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Inheritance Tax

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of the population paid inheritance tax in each of the last 30 years. [93798]

Dawn Primarolo: The number of estates paying inheritance tax is published on the HMRC website at:

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

The number of taxpaying estates has been less than 0.1 per cent. of the population in each year over the past 30 years.

17 Oct 2006 : Column 1108W

International Passenger Survey

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the International Passenger Survey cost the Government to run and analyse for each year from 2001. [94109]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the national statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 17 October 2006:

Cost of the International Passenger Survey, 1999 to 2006
Financial year Cost (£ million)













Next Section Index Home Page