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6 Feb 2007 : Column 904Wcontinued
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2007, Official Report, column 1618, on Westinghouse Engineering, what account was taken of the implications of access to reactor design technology in the decision to sell Westinghouse Engineering; and what advice N M Rothschilds gave on this matter. 
The sale of Westinghouse was in line with the finding of the joint BNFL/HMG strategy review. We considered the matter carefully before agreeing to a sale. We did not believe that ownership of
Westinghouse would be likely to have any bearing on the UK's ability to satisfy any future nuclear energy needs. In the event of a new build programme we would want the private sector, most likely the existing generators, to take the lead in funding and purchasing any new generation of reactors untainted by whether the technology was Government owned.
N M Rothchilds did not provide any specific advice on whether technology ownership was in any way important to UK new build. Advice given by N M Rothchilds was provided on a confidential basis.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to publish new guidelines relating to planning considerations for on-shore wind farms; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Planning Policy Statement 22: Renewable Energy was published in August 2004 and sets out the Government's policies for renewable energy which need to be taken into account by regional planning bodies in England and the Mayor of London in the preparation of regional spatial strategies (or the Spatial Development Strategy in London), and by local planning authorities in the preparation of local development documents. They may also be material to decisions on individual planning applications.
The Government are currently consulting on Planning Policy Statement: Planning and Climate Change which sets out how spatial planning should contribute to reducing emissions and stabilising climate change, including through renewable energy supply. The Government will be publishing in spring 2007 a guidance note on the consents process under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for power stations, including onshore wind farms, whose generating capacity exceeds 50 megawatts electrical.
The Government are working towards a Planning White Paper for spring 2007. This will set out the Government's response to Kate Barker's recommendations on planning and its proposals for dealing with major infrastructure projects, following up her and Rod Eddington's recommendations.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are in receipt of child benefit; and how many are (a) single fathers and (b) single mothers. 
Dawn Primarolo: There were 7.4 million recipients of child benefit (CB) in August 2006. Whether or not a CB recipient is currently a single parent or part of a couple is not recorded on the CB system as after 5 July 1998 it did not affect the level of award.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new cases of colorectal cancer there were in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006 in (i) men and (ii) women in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 6 February 2007:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many new cases of colorectal cancer there were in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006 in (i) men and (ii) women in England and Wales. I am replying in her absence. (119211)
The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of cancer (incidence) are for the years 2005 (Wales), 2004 (England). In 2004 there were 16,920 new cases of colorectal cancer among males in England and Wales and 13,910 among females.
2005 cancer incidence figures for Wales are available at:
There are a number of reasons why the figures appear to be two years out of date. Cancer registration is not statutory. Cancer registration is a complex process, involving the capture of information from a large number of sources. Registries have to register all cases, while not unwittingly creating duplicate records for the same person and cancer. This inevitably takes some timeparticularly when, as is often the case, information from the patient's notes is not made available to the registries until the patient's main course of treatment has ended.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps the Government are taking to promote credit unions; 
(2) whether he plans to increase Government support available to credit unions. 
Ed Balls: The Government recognise the valuable work of credit unions in providing affordable credit and savings products to those on low incomes.
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 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.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints about bank-related services were resolved by the Financial Ombudsman Service in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: The annual report of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) provides information on total number of cases resolved. However, this information is not broken down by industry sector. The FOS has agreed to provide my hon. Friend with this information directly.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what definition he uses of non-cashable savings as made following the Gershon review. 
Mr. Timms: Within the Gershon efficiency programme, non-cashable efficiency gains occur when productivity or output quality increases, either for the same resource inputs or a proportionally smaller increase in resource inputs, in a way that does not release financial resources that can be deployed elsewhere.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the backlog is of unopened letters in HM Revenue and Customs processing offices in the south-east. 
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC processes require that letters received from customers are opened on the day of receipt and a count of unopened items is therefore not maintained.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many letters to HM Revenue and Customs from individual taxpayers have yet to be answered. 
Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people made voluntary contributions as a supplement to income tax in the tax year 2004-05; and what the total value of these contributions was. 
Dawn Primarolo: There are no voluntary contributions that supplement income tax.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost in terms of forsaken revenue of exempting foreign dividends from tax. 
Dawn Primarolo: The cost of exempting foreign dividends from tax depends primarily on the behavioural response to the introduction of any exemption.
An exemption regime could take various forms. The behavioural response would vary depending on the form. It is therefore not possible to estimate the cost of exemption with any accuracy.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department will reply to correspondence from the hon. Member for Chesterfield
of (a) 27 November 2006, (b) 28 December 2006 and (c) 12 January 2007 on the future of HM Revenue and Customs offices in Chesterfield. 
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC issued responses to the hon. Gentleman on 9 January 2007, in response to his letter of 27 November 2006, and on 2 February 2007, in reply to his letter of 28 December 2006. The hon. Gentleman's letter of 12 January 2007 was requesting a response to his letter of 27 November, therefore does not require a further reply.
Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether local councillors in the UK are included in the category of politically exposed persons under the Third EU Money Laundering Directive. 
Ed Balls: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 14 December 2006, Official Report, column 1424W, on the effect of Commission Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/70/EC.
On 22 January the Government published draft Money Laundering Regulations 2007 for consultation. These regulations will implement the directive. Regulation 10 (5) defines a politically exposed person. The draft regulations limit the application of enhanced due diligence measures to politically exposed persons either resident abroad or entrusted with prominent public functions by a foreign state, European or international body.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 232W, on mortality statistics, how many people died as a result of a stroke in each (a) strategic health authority and (b) primary care trust in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006. 
John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 6 February 2007:
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking, pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 232W, on mortality statistics, how many people died as a result of a stroke in each (a) strategic health authority and (b) primary care trust in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006. I am replying in her absence. (119233)
The table attached provides the number of deaths where stroke was the underlying cause of death in each (a) strategic health authority and (b) primary care organisation(1 )in England, the total number in Wales, and in England and Wales combined, for 2003 to 2005 (the latest year available). A copy has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
The totals given here for England and Wales are slightly lower than the corresponding figures given in the answer of 30 January. Figures broken down by NHS organisation differ from national figures in excluding deaths of people not usually resident in England and Wales, and are based on the year of registration of death rather than the year of occurrence.
(1) Primary care organisations consist of primary care trusts and care trusts.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average salary multiple for mortgages taken out was by first time buyers of private homes in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: Information on salary multiples of first time buyers split by rural and non-rural areas is not available.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects hon. Members to be able to fill out their tax returns online. 
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC are looking at possible enhancements to their online services to enable the very small minority of self-assessment taxpayers, including MPs, currently unable to file their tax returns online, to do so. However, these will yet take time to develop and it is not currently possible to say when MPs will be able to file online.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will publish draft legislation on changes to (a) pension term assurance, (b) alternatively secured pensions and (c) scheme pensions. 
Ed Balls: On 6 December 2006 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced, as part of his pre-Budget report (PBR), changes to the tax rules governing alternatively secured pensions and that measures would be introduced to prevent other pensions options, such as scheme pensions, being used as a route to pass on tax-favoured pensions savings. Work is ongoing on these issues.
The draft legislation for the main changes to alternatively secured pensions was published, along with an explanatory note, at PBR.
It was also announced that the Government would work with the pensions industry to explore in time for the Budget how the principles underlying pensions tax relief apply to pension term assurance. These discussions are ongoing.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent on consulting on and preparing for a planning gain supplement tax. 
The Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Department for Communities and Local Government have undertaken preliminary work to develop and explore the feasibility of a planning gain supplement since 2004. This has included the publication of one consultation document alongside the 2005 pre-Budget report and three consultation documents alongside the 2006 pre-Budget report. The
costs incurred have been borne by the respective Departments as part of the normal policy development process.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was of (a) hiring (i) props, (ii) locations and (iii) personnel and (b) procuring airtime for self-assessment commercials. 
Dawn Primarolo: Disaggregated information is not available.
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