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30 Nov 2006 : Column 836Wcontinued
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total inheritance tax revenue from UK non-residents was in the last financial year for which figures are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: No figures are available.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether interest rates on variable rate National Savings and Investment savings accounts will rise in line with the Bank of Englands November rate rise. 
Ed Balls: Following the 25 basis point rise in the Bank of Englands base rate of interest as announced on 9 November 2006, it was announced on 22 November 2006 that interest rates on all variable rate National Savings and Investments savings accounts would also rise. The interest rates on Premium Bonds, Income Bonds, Direct ISA, Cash Mini ISA, Treasurers Account and the Ordinary Account have risen by 25 basis points. The interest rate on the Investment Account has risen by 15 basis points. The interest rate on the Easy Access Savings Account has risen by 10 basis points.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the current (a) estimated cost and (b) expected completion date is of each information technology project on the list deposited by his Department in the Library on 19 January 2004. 
John Healey: An updated list has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will make a statement on the closure of local tax offices; 
(2) how many HM Revenue and Customs offices his Department plans to close in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs announced on 16 November 2006 a programme of regional reviews of all its office locations. A consultation process will be built into each review.
HMRC has not announced any specific office closures, and will not take final decisions on the future of any individual office until after the completion of the consultation period in each region.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people made voluntary national insurance contributions in each year for which records are available; and what the total value was of such contributions in each year for which records are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: Latest available figures from 1994-95 are shown in the table. National insurance Class 3 contributions must be made before the end of the sixth tax year following the one in which they were due, hence figures are likely to increase, particularly the latest years.
|National insurance Class 3 contributions|
|In respect of tax year||Contributors (Thousand)||Contributions (£ million)|
1. Based on a 1 per cent. extract of the national insurance recording system created in August 2006.
2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand, and amounts to the nearest £ million.
3. Amounts are based on the rate that applied for the year the contribution is associated with, and does not reflect increases in rate which apply for those who pay late.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what communications his Department made with the public regarding voluntary national insurance contributions in each year for which records are available; and if he will place a copy of each such communication in the Library. 
Dawn Primarolo: Leaflets and letters giving information on voluntary national insurance contributions will be placed in the Library. In view of the voluminous nature of this material, it will be deposited in electronic format.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on trialling a parallel metrics exercise with the 2008 research assessment exercise for universities. 
Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.
We have recently completed a consultation on our initial proposals for research assessment in the future, and we shall announce the outcome on 6 December.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what target his Department has for the maximum acceptable amount of time to answer written parliamentary questions; and what percentage of parliamentary answers met that target in each parliamentary session since 2001. 
John Healey: Treasury Ministers endeavour to answer written questions in the timescales set by the House of Commonsthat is to say, on the day specified by the questioner in the case of named day questions and within a working week of tabling for ordinary written questions. The table gives the proportion of written questions answered within these timescales in each of the last six parliamentary sessions:
|Session||Questions answered on time (Percentage)|
The Treasury does not have a target for the maximum acceptable length of time for answering.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether funds donated to political parties are tax deductible. 
Dawn Primarolo: UK tax law provides that, when computing taxable income or profits, any expenditure not incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade, profession or vocation in question may not be deducted. Funds donated to political parties would not be regarded as being wholly and exclusively for a business purpose and therefore not tax deductible.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether party political donations by councillors of allowances granted in the performance of their duties are tax deductible. 
Dawn Primarolo: Tax rules provide that relief is given only for expenditure incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the course of a persons duties of their employment. Donations by councillors would not be considered to be made wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the course of their duties and therefore are not tax deductible.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Departments estimate is of the cost of contracting out by way of (a) reduced national insurance contributions and (b) age-related rebates for (i) each year from 2006 to 2012 for all occupational defined contribution schemes and (ii) each year from 2006 to 2052 for (A) personal and stakeholder pension plans, (B) employee contributions in public sector defined benefit schemes, (C) employer contributions in public sector defined benefit schemes and (D) contributions in respect of private sector defined benefit schemes. 
James Purnell: I have been asked to reply.
The information is in the following tables.
|(i) Estimated Cost of Contracted-out Rebates for Defined Contribution Occupational Pension Schemes2006-07 price terms|
|Tax year||Reduced rate NICs||Age-related rebates||Total (£ billion)|
|(ii)(a) Estimated Cost of Contracted-out Rebates for Personal and Stakeholder Pensions2006-07 price terms|
|Tax year||Cost (£ billion)|
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