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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Policy Review Working Groups which the Prime Minister announced on 14 December 2006 will feed into the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr. Timms: The policy review working groups are one element of the Governments preparations for the 2007 CSR, which will focus on equipping Britain to meet the challenges of the next decade. Alongside the recently published analysis Long Term opportunities and challenges for the UK, independent and HMT led policy reviews and wider public engagement, the policy review working groups will help inform the long term policy choices to be made in the CSR.
Ed Balls: HM Treasury has not commissioned any work from or made any payments to the Portland Trust in the past three years. No representatives of the Portland Trust were invited to the informal meeting of ECOFIN on 9-10 September 2005; nor did the Portland Trust provide any logistical support for my recent visit to the Middle East. Treasury Ministers and officials have met a wide range of stakeholders over the past three years to discuss various aspects of the economic regeneration of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments policy to provide details of such meetings.
Ed Balls: Estimates of numbers of households falling into each income decile group and average amounts of stamp duty land tax or stamp duty on land and property (prior to December 2003) paid by each of these groups are available in ONS reports on the effects of taxes and benefits on household income. These reports are available at:
Ed Balls: The estimated percentage of house purchases liable to stamp duty in each available year since 1997-98 is given in the following table. For each year the estimates given are based on those transactions whose value is above the stamp duty threshold but exclude those transactions which pay no stamp duty due to disadvantaged area relief. The figures are for the United Kingdom (shown using the code UK) apart from the years indicated (using the code EWNI) where only figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland can be given.
|Area code||Estimated percentage of liable residential transactions|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are in place to ensure that claims for £250 payment for online completion of tax forms by employers are processed in a fair and systematic way according to the receipt dates of claims. 
Dawn Primarolo: All small employers who successfully file their annual return online have the incentive amount credited to their PAYE account. The vast majority of these employers self serve the incentive which means that they deduct the amount from future payments of tax and national insurance.
A minority of employers request a cheque payment of the incentivethis process takes longer than the self-service arrangements. HMRC aim to make these payments within 21 days of the date the request was received.
Ed Balls: The Government welcomes the banking industrys commitment and progress towards introducing a scheme to allow unclaimed assets to be reinvested in the community. In the 2006 Budget the Government undertook to consider the legal and accounting issues surrounding unclaimed assets. Having done this, the Government believe that in order for the banking industry to set up an unclaimed assets scheme, where the rights and interests of both consumers and the industry are protected, it is necessary to bring forward enabling legislation. The Government intend to proceed with this and consult widely.
Dawn Primarolo: Yes, the Valuation Office Agencys forward plan 2006-10 and latest annual report and accounts 2005-06, both of which are available on its website www.voa.gov.uk. cover the strategy for improving its data and exploiting new technology.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in the Valuation Office Agency received bonus payments in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the total value was in each year of such payments. 
|Number of staff receiving bonus payments||Total value of payments (£)|
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what additional funds HM Treasury received since December 2004 as a result of the change in the law on 3 December 2004 which refused the right of claimants from outside the European Union in the financial services and insurance sectors engaged in the supply of services to non-EU customers to recover VAT incurred on goods and services from UK suppliers; and whether an assessment has been made of the impact of this measure on the competitiveness of the UK economy; 
(2) what representations the Government has received as a result of the change in the law on 3 December 2004 which refused the right of claimants from outside the European Union in the financial services and insurance sectors engaged in the supply of services to non-EU customers to recover VAT incurred on goods and services from UK suppliers. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the (a) tax expenditures from income and corporation tax and (b) other tax expenditures on woodlands are included in his Department's overall estimates of tax expenditures; and if he will estimate the value of such tax exemptions since 1998. 
Dawn Primarolo: The value of woodlands relief from inheritance tax since 1998 is estimated to be less than £1 million a year. Relief from inheritance tax may also be claimed under business property relief, agricultural property relief and heritage relief but no information is available on the value involved. Similarly insufficient data exist upon which to base any reasonable estimates of the costs of income, corporation and other tax reliefs and exemptions relating to woodlands. These are therefore not included in the published estimates of the costs of tax expenditures.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission for what reasons the chairs in Refreshment Department catering outlets in Portcullis House were recently replaced; what the cost was of the replacement; and how the old chairs were disposed of. 
Nick Harvey: The chairs in the catering areas of Portcullis House were recently replaced due to their repeated structural failure. They had been replaced once under guarantee, but by 2006 were uneconomic to repair as they were no longer under guarantee, and the original manufacturer had gone out of business.
The cost of replacement chairs, including an additional quantity to meet the Administration Committees recommendation for more seating to be provided in the Portcullis House catering areas, was £57,800 plus VAT.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent by the House authorities on (a) additional cutlery and (b) replacing missing cutlery in 2006. 
Nick Harvey: The House of Commons Refreshment Department spent £5,882 on cutlery purchases in 2006. This expenditure relates to the purchase of stainless steel cutlery for use in the cafeterias. It is not possible to break this figure down into (a) expenditure on additional cutlery and (b) replacement of lost and damaged cutlery. There were no purchases of silver cutlery in 2006.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether there are exclusions and exceptions to clauses (a) 5.1, (b) 5.2 and (c) 5.3 of the contract for hiring private dining facilities in the House of Commons. 
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission which works of art were (a) acquired and (b) bought by the House authorities in 2006; and how much was paid for each item. 
History is now and England (view of the House of Commons Library); painted by Vincent Keter [catalogue reference WOA 6486]
Portrait of Arthur Wellesley Peel; painted by William Ewart Lockhart [catalogue reference WOA 6550]
Portrait of 1st Earl of Chatham; painted by William Hoare [catalogue reference WOA L796]
Portrait of Lord Wilson of Rievaulx painted by Ruskin Spear [catalogue reference WOA L797]
The House of Commons, 1965; painted by Gerald Scarfe [catalogue reference WOA L798]
Caricature of Sir Winston Churchills last day in the Commons Chamber; drawn by Gerald Scarfe [catalogue reference WOA L799]
Portrait of Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford; painted by Nathaniel Dance [catalogue reference WOA L800]
Portrait of William Petty, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne; painted after Sir Joshua Reynolds [catalogue reference WOA L801]
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