Mr. Marsden: To ask the Leader of the House how many employees from (a) his Office and (b) the Privy Council Office have been asked to retire upon reaching 65 years of age as a result of the Departments mandatory retirement policy in each year since 1997. 
John Healey: Information on payments made prior to 2002-03 could be provided only at disproportionate cost due to a change in accounting system. Since then one payment has been made to Electronic Data Systems Ltd for £34,193 on 19 March 2004 for professional services in connection with the merging of tax policy units across the Treasury, Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.
John Healey: The Highly Skilled Migrants Programme was amended in November 2006 to trial changes proposed as part of the move to a points based system for managed migration. The points based system will simplify the multitude of current routes into a scheme with five tiers for entry. One of the key objectives for changing the scheme is to reduce subjectivity and base decisions on objective evidence, making the process more transparent for the applicant. The aim of the change in November was to allow for a period of live testing of the proposed tier one criteria, presenting an opportunity to review the effects of the criteria and refine them before full tier one roll-out. Tier one in the new scheme will be broadly equivalent to the existing Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) in aim (to attract the most highly skilled who can benefit the UK) and entitlements (unrestricted access to the UK labour market, no need to have an employer in UK sponsoring application, the option to settle in the UK after five years, the right to bring dependants). The changes are therefore not expected to have a measurable impact on the UK economy.
Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's policy is on the peak oil concept; and what planning his Department has undertaken on the basis of estimates of oil reserves in (a) 25, (b) 50 and (c) 100 years time. 
John Healey: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given yesterday by the Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry, my hon. Friend the Member for Poplar and Canning Town (Jim Fizpatrick).
Therein, he indicated that the view of the International Energy Agency is that the key problem is not the limit of geological oil resources. The agency noted in its 2005 publication, Resources to ReservesOil and Gas Technologies for the Energy Markets of the Future:
The hydrocarbon resources around the world are sufficiently abundant to sustain likely growth in the global energy system for the foreseeable future.
Rather, the challenge lies in bringing these resources to market in a way that ensures sustainable, timely, reliable, and affordable supplies of energy. While market mechanisms will help provide the incentives for the development of these resources, as well as low carbon technologies, governments need to take appropriate actioninternationally and domesticallyin support of this, and also to promote energy efficiency.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has plans to introduce a windfall tax on land value increases resulting from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans the Valuation Office Agency has to use automated valuation technology and methods to calculate Planning Gain Supplement liability. 
John Healey: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have no plans to use automated valuation technology to calculate planning-gain supplement liability. Should the Government proceed with the planning-gain supplement, the valuations required to calculate liability will be self-assessed by taxpayers.
The VOA will be involved in checking taxpayers valuations but they do not envisage using automated valuation technology as part of this process. However, HM Revenue and Customs do plan to use an automated risk assessment process to select those valuations to be checked by the VOA.
John Healey: The Valuation Office Agency have been involved in preliminary work on policy development undertaken by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help them develop and explore the feasibility of proposals for PGS since 2004. The costs incurred have been borne by HMRC as part of the normal policy development process.
John Healey: Valuations will be self-assessed by taxpayers, should the Government proceed with the planning-gain supplement. The valuations in Scotland will be checked by HMRC with assistance from the Valuation Office Agency.
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary Question asking what the value to the UK economy of the publishing industry has been in each year since 1990.
Estimates of gross value added by industry are currently collected through the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI). Figures before 1998 were based on the Annual Census of Production (ACOP). However, figures for 1995-1998 were reworked on both bases to allow comparisons over time to be made. The table below shows both sets of figures for 1995.
|Figures for gross value added for group 22.1 (publishing) of the standard industrial classifications 1992 and 2003 (publishing)|
|Current prices (£ million)|
|ABI based( 1)||ACOP based( 1)|
|(1) The annual census of production covered the production industries alone. the annual business inquiry on the other hand covers most sectors of the economy (excluding agriculture, finance and public services). The introduction of the ABI, with its greater coverage, is therefore likely to have caused a wider identification of publishing activity. (2) Publishing is industry group 22.1 in the 1992 and 2003 standard industrial classification. Before 1993, this industry was dealt with rather differently in the then-current classification (the standard industrial classification 1980). Although the data for 1990-1992 have been converted to be broadly in line with earlier years, the change in Classification does mean that these estimates must be slightly uncertain. (3) Note: Estimates of gross value added are published in the results of the annual business inquiry, ONS annual survey into detailed industrial financial information on UK businesses.|
Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the 10 day period allowed under the former Inland Revenue's Code of Practice 21 (COP21) for the Department to investigate and respond to an appeal against non-disclosure of subject access data under the Data Protection Act 1998 remains the same for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC); and when he expects Mr. Michael Armstrong of the Data Protection Unit HMRC to reply substantively to the letter from Mr. Gerard Churchhouse on his appeal (Ref: SAR 2090/06) dated 7 September 2006. 
Dawn Primarolo: The target for replying to appeals against the non-disclosure of personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act is outlined in HM Revenue and Customs leaflet "Information we hold about youData Protection". The target for issuing a response is 10 days. In this case an acknowledgement letter was not issued and a letter of apology will be sent to Mr. Churchouse, with an explanation of the delay and a substantive reply containing the result of further searches for data, by 23 February 2007.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) employees and (b) workspaces there are in each of the HM Revenue and Customs offices in Greater Manchester; and what the (i) expiry date of the lease and (ii) rental cost per square foot is of each office. 
Dawn Primarolo: The following table gives requested details for the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices in Greater Manchester, including those for Valuation Office Agency (VOA) the Executive Agency of HMRC.
Almost all of the HMRC offices in Greater Manchester are held under private finance initiatives (PFI) arrangements which differ from traditional lease and rent arrangements. They do not have a normal lease expiry date and a standard rent is not paid.
|Town||Building||Employees as at 1 December 2006||Workspaces||Lease Expiry||Rent per sq ft (£)|
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