Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have occurred to (a) the number of civil servants employed and (b) the number of external consultants employed since the publication of the Gershon Review. 
Mr. Timms: The Gershon Review was published in July 2004. The number of people employed in the civil service as measured by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in June 2004 (the closest available figure to July 2004) was 570,000. By June 2006 this figure had fallen by 12,000 to 558,000.
ONS Statistics reflect a number of statistical and classification changes. For example, in April 2005 12,000 staff in the magistrates court service were transferred from local government into the civil service.
The Government remain on track to meet the work force reduction target set out in the 2004 Gershon Review of a gross reduction of 84,150 posts and a net reduction in posts of 70,600 after re-allocations to the frontline. Departments have made good progress towards their targets with 54,963 gross reductions and 45,551 net reductions in total reported to the end of September 2006.
John Healey: Departments accounting systems primarily report spending by the classification of the spending, rather than the source. Therefore information on the totals for staff expenses claims could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost was of (a) fixed line telephone bills and (b) mobile telephone bills in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years. 
|(1) Figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
(2) The decrease in landline charges for HMRC in 2005-06 reflects the transfer of responsibility for maintenance and service of the telephone system to the Departments IT partner.
(3) The high fixed line charge for the Royal Mint in 2004-05 related to a settlement in respect of 0845 numbers which had not been charged by BT over the previous three years. The reduction in 2005-06 was due in part to the more competitive marketplace and in part to more efficient use of the charging system by the Mint.
John Healey: Information on payments made prior to 2002-03 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost due to a change in accounting system in that year. Payments made to DHL in each financial year since 2002-03 were:
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs does not publish geographical analyses of its data on VAT registrations. Information on business enterprises registered for VAT by local authority is available via the Small Business Service website:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if HM Treasury will make an Order under section 25 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 for the accounts of the regional chambers to be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. 
John Healey: Regional assemblies produce accounts that are audited as part of the Accountable Body arrangements in place to satisfy grant funding requirements from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Grant funding is included in DCLGs resource accounts which are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Given these arrangements, there is no need for the Treasury to require further scrutiny or make an Order under section 25 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of household costs were accounted for by fuel costs for each income decile in the latest year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Fuel costs as a percentage of total costs