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Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how HM Revenue and Customs assesses the value for money of its expenditure on marketing and advertising to promote self-assessment online; and how it determines what proportion of the increase in the uptake of the service is due to its marketing and advertising campaign as opposed to the increased use of internet across society. 
Dawn Primarolo: The value for money of HMRC's advertising expenditure is monitored via an independent specialist agency. Their most recent report concluded that HMRC are receiving excellent value compared to the industry average.
Dawn Primarolo: At the end of the year tax credits claimants will be sent a notice containing a summary of their award history for the year as part of their renewal pack. For the end of 2006-07 this will also include playback.
John Cummings: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many projects in (a) County Durham and (b) Easington constituency received research and development tax credits in each of the last four years. 
For information generally on the take-up of research and development tax credits, I refer my hon. Friend to the National Statistics published in December 2006 on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the (a) amount of taxation on levels of remittance aid, (b) amount of tax paid on remittances from the UK to developing countries and (c) cost of providing tax relief on remittance aid; what measures he has taken to maximise levels of remittance aid; what steps he plans to take to increase the level of remittance aid; and what policy recommendations he has received from the UK Remittances Working Group. 
Ed Balls: Remittances are an increasingly importance source of development finance and can have a significant positive economic impact in developing countries, particularly low-income countries. That is why the Government welcomed the report of the UK Remittances Working Group, available at:
developing partnerships with countries such as Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria;
establishing an information portal (www.sendmoneyhome. org) on costs, transparency, access and choice of remittance transfers; and
engaging regularly with the private-sector led UK Remittances Task Force which is working to promote increased competition and transparency for consumers and provide better information on the UK remittances market for Government and industry.
Dawn Primarolo: Checking the accuracy of VAT returns is not a single activity to which HMRC allocates a specific resource. It is an intrinsic element of enforcement and compliance activity within the VAT regime on which 8,924 staff years were used in the financial year 2005-06.
Mike Wood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the extent to which the tax credits system has met its objectives; and what assessment he has made of the effect of problems experienced by claimants on the meeting of objectives. 
Furthermore, tax credits have also been central to reducing the tax burden on low to middle income families. The latest OECD study shows the tax burden on a single-earner couple with two children earning £21,000 has fallen from 17.3 per cent. of gross earnings in 1997 to 9.8 per cent. in 2004.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many overpayments have been (a) caused and (b) written off due to the original problems being caused by technical problems on the Tax Credit Office computer system. 
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what circumstances a person living in the UK working as an au pair from (a) an EU and (b) a non-EU state may qualify for Working Tax Credit (WTC); for how long such a person must be resident in the UK before qualifying; and how many such people are estimated to be receiving WTC. 
Dawn Primarolo: Entitlement to Working Tax Credit (WTC) depends on a person being in qualifying remunerative work. Claimants with responsibility for a child or qualifying young person, or who are disabled, must work for at least 16 hours a week to qualify for WTC. Workers without children or a disability must be aged at least 25 and work for 30 or more hours a week in order to qualify.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding has been committed to Afghanistan for reconstruction and development in each year since the invasion; what proportion of this funding has been committed (a) bilaterally and (b) multilaterally; and through which organisations. 
Hilary Benn: DFID spent over £390 million on reconstruction and development in Afghanistan between April 2001 and March 2006. We have committed to spend a further £330 million between April 2006 and March 2009, including a planned £102 million in 2006-07.
Amounts channelled through UN agencies were £1.3 million in 2001, £2.1 million in 2002, £1.4 million in 2003, and £4.0 million in 2004. We are also contributing 18 per cent. of the ECs pledge of £1 billion between 2002 and 2007 (around £125 million in total, or around £25 million per year). We also contribute over 10 per cent. of the World Banks spending of $250-$300 million a year in Afghanistan, and we also channel funds through the Asian Development Bank. The international and local non-governmental organisations through which we have channelled funds are listed at Annexes A and B respectively.
Action Contre La Faim
Afghan Development Association
Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
Aide Medicale International
Assisting Marsh Arabs and Refugees
BBC World Service Trust
British Agencies Advisory Group
British Red Cross
British Refugee Council
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
International Rescue Committee
Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres
Refugee Studies Centre
Save the Children Fund
The Asia Foundation
War Child UK
Afghan Fertiliser Company
Afghanistan Independence Human Rights Commission
Afghanistan Information Management Service
Afghanistan National Construction Coordination
Civil Service Commission
Cooperation Centre for Afghanistan
Helping Afghan Farmers Organisation
Irtiqa Development and Construction Organisation
Luqman Rehabilitation Organisation
Moqadas Reconstruction Organisation
Reconstruction Committee for Development of Afghanistan
Roshan Construction Company
Southern Afghanistan Development Association
Southern Rehabilitation and Aid Committee
Tribal Liaison Office
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the danger posed by
landmines in Nicaragua; and what aid the UK (a) has allocated and (b) plans to allocate for mine removal and local training to remove mines. 
Mr. Thomas: In recent years, Nicaragua has made significant progress in de-mining landmines left over from its years of conflict, under the auspices of the Nicaraguan Army Engineer Corps. The most recent Landmine Monitor report of 2006 indicated that many areas, such as the Southern Atlantic Coast Region, have now been cleared entirely, but progress is still needed in other regions, such as the North Atlantic Coast. In addition, the social and economic impact of uncleared mines is still felt, with casualties continuing to occur every year. Nicaraguas Demining National Plan lays out Nicaraguas interventions with regard to demining, with the support of the international community through the Organisation of American States (OAS). The de-mining programmes are often accompanied by mine education and awareness programmes and support to victims.
Globally, DFID is committed to reduce the social and economic impact of landmines on developing countries through helping them to implement their obligations under the Ottawa Convention. In 1999-2001, DFID provided support (£283,000) to the Government of Nicaragua, through the Humanitarian Mine Action programme coordinated by the OAS, to remove and destroy landmines and unexploited artefacts planted throughout the country during the years of conflict.
In addition, between 2000 and 2001, the UK Government, through the embassy in Nicaragua, contributed £850,000 to the implementation of Nicaraguas Demining National Plan through the OAS. These resources went towards the removal and destruction of land mines in the area of the Northern Atlantic Coast.
The European Commission has also undertaken a €1.3 million project (2003-04), entitled Implementation of Humanitarian Operations for Demining in Nueva Segovia. This project was executed by the Nicaraguan Army, under the supervision of the OAS and Inter American Development Bank.
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