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Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 12 December 2006]: The IT changes required to provide for in year restriction of recovery of overpayments involved changes to existing functionality in the calculations and household accounts functions. HMRC based its decision on the results of extensive testing.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on research and development tax credits in each year since its introduction, broken down by (a) local authority area and (b) region. 
John Healey: National estimates of the annual costs of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are shown on the HM Revenue and Customs website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/randdtcmenu.htm
Updated estimates of these costs, also extended to incorporate large companies from 1 April 2002 onwards, will be included in the National Statistics published on the HMRC website at the end of December 2006.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on (a) television advertisements, (b) radio advertisements, (c) public awareness campaigns and (d) other advertising and marketing campaigns on tax credits between 1 January and 1 October 2006. 
Dawn Primarolo: Between 1 January and 1 October 2006, HMRC has run advertising to: ensure that tax credits customers renew their award before the deadline; ensure that tax credits customers report changes which might affect their award; ensure that new mothers are aware of their entitlement to tax credits.
|Type of media( 1)||Spend (£ million)|
|(1) Some of the radio, online and ambient advertising included in this table ran into the first two weeks of October.|
(2) Other media includes advertising in magazines, online and using ambient media such as payslip advertising.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in Northern Ireland involved in attempts to defraud the tax credits system in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has Service Delivery Agreement targets for deciding tax credits claims, renewals and changes of circumstance accurately. The performance for 2003-04 was published in the former Inland Revenue's Annual Report for 2003-04 and HMRC's Annual Report for 2004-05. These reports are available on the HMRC website, www.hmrc.gov.uk.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit overpayments were made to recipients in Northern Ireland in (a) 2003-04 and (b) 2004-05; and how much was recovered from such recipients in each year. 
Dawn Primarolo: For information on number of tax credit overpayments made to recipients in Northern Ireland in the years requested, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon), on 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 406W.
Dawn Primarolo: The information is as follows. For (a) I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 31 October 2006, Official Report, column 319W, and the reply to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois) today (question 109241).
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 22 November 2006, Official Report, column 102W, on tax fraud and error, if he will place in the Library the available data on the cost/yield figures for tax credit fraud and error investigation in whatever format the information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: Overall yield/cost ratios for compliance interventions for tax credits can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information on tax credits compliance interventions and yield for 2005-06 can be found in the Comptroller and Auditor General's standard report on HMRC's 2005-06 accounts, available at www.nao.org.uk.
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 December 2006]: HMRC do not have a tax office closure plan. They recently announced a series of regional planning reviews of their accommodation to bring it into line with their operational requirements. No decisions on any specific office closures will be taken until after the reviews have been completed but HMRC expect to need a smaller office network in future through which they will be able to operate more effectively.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are employed in each tax office in each region of the UK; and what changes he expects to the number and percentage employed in each region over the next three years. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 December 2006]: The Regional Review Programme announced by the senior management of HMRC classifies each of its offices into three types for planning purposes which recognises their proximity to other HMRC sites. Details of the number of staff currently employed at these sites and future projections for planning purposes by region can be found at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/offices/index.htm.
Dawn Primarolo: As part of the work to meet the public service agreement (PSA) target for processing individual information to the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have met their internal target of processing 99 per cent. of paper Employer Annual Returns by 31 August in each of the last five years. There is no equivalent target for returns sent online.
The major IT systems supporting PAYE have been in place over a number of years and provide a stable service. The average availability for each of these services for the past 12 months has been as follows:
External Routing Interface Component (ERIC) was introduced in 2005 to process Employers Annual Returns and is working well. ERIC was a complex system being delivered within tight time scales. Although there were delays in the processing of 2004-05 returns, ERIC was able to process error-free employer data quicker than in the past. Processing delays have not been repeated in 2006.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value was of the exemption from (a) income tax and (b) corporation tax of profits from timber sales in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: As stated in my written answer of 29 November 2006, Official Report, column 732W, the Al-Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 freezes the assets of persons listed by the UN Sanctions Committee under UN Security Council resolution 1390 as members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, or associated with them, or persons subject to a direction by the Treasury. However the assets remain the property of those persons and therefore the assets cannot be disposed of.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the level of unemployment in the Sunderland city council area was in (a) 1997 and (b) the most recent year for which figures are available. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about unemployment. (110062)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces estimates of total unemployment for unitary and local authorities from a statistical model.
Table 1, attached, shows the number of unemployed people, and unemployment rates, resident in the Sunderland city council area for the 12 months ending in February 1997 and for the 12 months ending March 2006, These estimates are subject to variability related to the model.
ONS also compiles statistics for local areas of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). Table 2, attached, shows the average number of people resident in the Sunderland city council area, claiming JSA for the 12 months ending November 1997 and for the 12 months ending in November 2006. The table also includes these figures expressed a proportion of the resident population of working age.
|Table 1: Unemployed persons resident in the Sunderland city council area|
|12 months ending||Level||( 1) Rate (%)|
|(1) Unemployed as a percentage of the economically active population.|
Estimates are subject to random variability.
Changes in the estimates over time should be treated with particular caution.
Office for National Statistics
|Table 2: Average number of claimants of jobseekers allowance resident in the Sunderland city council area|
|12 months ending||Total||( 1) Proportion (%)|
|(1) Claimants as percentage of the resident working-age population.|
Jobcentre Plus administrative-data
Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2006, Official Report, column 981W, on the Paymaster General, whether he has visited a tax credit (a) contact centre, (b) office and (c) IT development office in the last 18 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the Treasury's staff took one day's paid leave to participate in volunteering in each financial year since this scheme was established. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in London were in receipt of working families tax credit in each of the last five years, broken down by constituency. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 7 December 2006]: Estimates for 2003-04 and 2004-05 of the numbers of in-work families with tax credits awards, by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 2003-04 and 2004-05 are published in Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards 2003-04 Geographical Analysis and the Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards 2004-05 Geographical Analysis. These publications and provisional estimates for the number of in-work families by constituency with tax credit awards as at selected dates in 2005-06 are available on the HMRC website at:
Estimates of the number of recipient families of working families tax credit from 2001-02, broken down by constituency, appear in the HMRC quarterly WFTC and DPTC geographical analyses. These publications are also available on the HMRC website at:
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