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9 Jan 2007 : Column 491W—continued

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the expected cost to the public purse is of state support to people on benefits for digital switchover; [107905]

(2) what the expected cost is to the public purse of supporting the transfer to digital television; and if she will make a statement. [107950]

Mr. Woodward: In addition to meeting its costs for the upgrade of the transmission network for digital switchover, the BBC will meet Digital UK’s communication costs and a share of Digital UK’s operational costs. The cost to the BBC to support Digital UK amounts to £228 million for the period of digital switchover. In addition, the BBC will also fund the digital switchover help scheme for people 75 or over or who have a significant disability. Our best estimate at this stage is that the cost of the scheme will be at or around £600 million over the period of switchover.

There are no central estimates of the overall cost to Government of digital switchover. However, other than the costs of updating television equipment within the Government sector, the only costs will be those incurred for research, communications and other programme support costs for the Digital Switchover Programme.

Royal Events

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government plan to link the celebrations for HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 with the London Olympics. [113657]

Mr. Caborn: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is not currently involved in preparations to commemorate HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and currently there are no plans to link any possible celebrations with the London Olympics. Any announcement of plans will be made closer to the time.


£5 Notes

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many £5 notes there are in circulation; how many were taken out of circulation in each of the last five years; and how many new notes were produced in each year. [113599]

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Ed Balls: The Bank of England's data are reproduced in the following table.

For completeness, the table also includes figures for new £5 notes issued in each year. There is no direct relationship between the value of notes produced by the Bank in any year and the number of notes put into circulation. The Bank's policy is to meet retail banks' demand for new notes. This demand determines the value of notes issued (ie new notes put into circulation by the retail banks) each year. In addition to producing notes to meet demand, the Bank may also vary production to alter the level of its contingency stocks.

All data are value of notes in £ millions
Year ending February £5s in circulation £5s produced New £5s issued £5s destroyed


























The figures for the years ending February 2003 and February 2004 include changes due to the replacement of the old £5 note with a new design and are not therefore directly comparable with data for the other years.

1997 Budget

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will produce an updated version of the graph S1.8 from the Budget 1997 and provide the background figures; and if he will make a statement. [112886]

John Healey: I am not aware of the graph the hon. Member refers to. If he would provide further information, I will look into the matter.

Aviation Industry

Mr. Randall: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the aviation industry of paying the full cost of the contribution of emissions from aviation to climate change identified in the Stern Review. [113387]

John Healey: The Government welcome the findings of the independent Stern Review on the “Economics of Climate Change” and continue to develop measures to tackle climate change.

As the Stern Review identified, climate change is an international issue and that is why the Government are committed to the inclusion of aviation within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

A joint March 2003 Department for Transport and HM Treasury report “Aviation and the Environment: Using Economic Instruments” provided estimates of monetary values of external costs relating to climate change, local air quality and noise. The cost of carbon emissions associated with UK passenger aircraft was estimated in the report at £1.4 billion in 2000, rising to over £4 billion in 2030 (using an illustrative value for the cost of carbon of £70 per tonne, rising by £1 per year in real terms).

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Child Trust Funds

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have opened child trust funds in each year since their inception; and if he will make a statement. [113034]

Ed Balls: The latest set of child trust fund account opening statistics was published by HM Revenue and Customs on 4 January 2007 at:

These show that in 2005-06, the first complete year of operation for the child trust fund scheme, 76 per cent. of parents used their voucher within 12 months to open an account for their child.

They also show that almost 2.5 million child trust fund accounts have now been opened, and over 1.95 million accounts have been opened by parents.


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many consultants have been employed by the Office of Government Commerce in the past 12 months; and at what cost. [109497]

John Healey: During 2005-06, the Office of Government Commerce entered into 190 consultancy contracts at a total cost of £11.1 million.

Credit Unions

David Heyes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to support credit unions in their bid to make an impact on high levels of indebtedness to doorstep lenders among poor and vulnerable people; and what support he offers to credit unions to allow them to provide people with an alternative source of affordable credit. [113375]

Ed Balls: The Government recognise the work of credit unions in providing affordable credit to those encountering exclusion from mainstream financial services.

The Government have established a Growth Fund of £36 million, administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, to boost the coverage, capacity and sustainability of credit unions and other third sector lenders. The recent pre-Budget report announced the Government will also make funding available to support the training requirements of staff and volunteers working for third sector lenders. Further measures introduced to support the sector include enabling credit unions to offer cash ISAs, and increasing the maximum rate that credit unions are able to charge on loans, in order to increase flexibility to lend to those on low incomes.

The Government will report on next steps for the financial inclusion strategy shortly.

Economic Activity

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are economically (a) active and (b) inactive in the UK. [112870]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 9 January 2007:

Economically active and inactive people of working age( 1 ) United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted
Three months ending October 2006 Levels (000) Rates( 2) (per cent.)

Economically active(3)



Economically inactive



(1) Men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.
(2 )As a percentage of all persons of working age.
(3 )Level figure relates to those aged 16 and over.
ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS)

English Heritage's Inspired Campaign

Sir Patrick Cormack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many postcards supporting English Heritage's Inspired campaign he received in 2006. [112829]

Mr. Timms: There have been 2,925 postcards received during 2006.

Iraq Visit

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will answer the questions tabled by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean on (a) 23 November 2006, reference 105863, and (b) 28 November 2006, reference 106097, on his visit to Iraq. [112989]

John Healey: Both questions were answered on 19 December.

Military Commitments: Contingency Reserve

Dr. Fox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the size was of the contingency reserve in each of the last 10 years; and how much of the contingency reserve was used to meet military commitments in each year. [110437]

Mr. Timms: Details on the DEL reserves, are set out in the Budget and Pre-Budget Report each year. The net additional costs of military operations are met from the reserves, and outturn figures are given in the Ministry of Defence's audited accounts each year.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish a consultation document on the future of pension term assurance; [110328]

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(2) what the original estimate was of the tax cost of introducing tax relief for pension term assurance; [110331]

(3) what information became available since A-Day about the take-up of pension term assurances which led to the announcement made in the Pre-Budget Report to suspend tax reliefs for these policies; [110332]

(4) how many pension term assurance policies have been sold since A-Day; [110333]

(5) what estimate he has made of the cost of tax relief for pension term assurance in 2006-07. [110334]

Ed Balls: The new tax regime for registered pension schemes included additional flexibilities to make it easier for pension providers to offer lump sum death benefits as part of an individual's overall personal pension arrangements.

By saving in any tax-privileged pension vehicle, individuals are committing to using the resulting fund for the purpose of providing an income in retirement. As part of the Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced their intention to work with the pensions industry to explore, in time for the Budget, the best way to apply this principle to term assurance contracts sold as pension products.

There has been a large growth in sales of pension term assurance since the inception of the new pensions tax regime. According to the new business statistics collated by the Association of British Insurers, 17,090 term assurance policies were sold as pension products in the quarter ended 30 June 2006 and another 44,580 policies were sold in the quarter ended 30 September 2006.

The announcement at Pre-Budget Report ensures that the cost of the new simplified pensions tax regime remains in line with the estimates previously set out in the published Regulatory Impact Assessments for simplifying the taxation of pensions. These are available on the HMRC website at:

Population Statistics: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) births and (b) deaths there were in Tamworth constituency in each year since 1996. [112830]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 9 January 2007:

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Table 1: Births( 1) and deaths( 2) in Tamworth parliamentary constituency( 3) , 1996 to 2005
Births Deaths































(1) Births occurring in each year.
(2) Deaths registered in each year.
(3) Using boundaries as of 2005 for all years shown.

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