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Ed Balls: No appropriations have been entered into the budget line 15 06 01 for the pilot project in favour of citizenship in the 2007 EC Budget. Its budget was set at €500 000 for both commitment and payment appropriations in the 2006 EC budget. The objective of this pilot project was to prepare the launch of the new Citizens for Europe programme, starting from 2007, through which the Commission aims to reduce the gap it perceives between citizens and the EU.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 1319W, on parliamentary questions, on how many occasions this advice has been given in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the purpose is of the PRINCERole of the European Union in the World programme; what its target audience is; what activities occur in the UK under the programme; whether public relations consultants are employed under the programme; what input his Department has into the programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: The budget line PRINCERole of the European Union in the World funds information and communication activities directed towards the citizens of the EU and European Neighbourhood Policy countries. Its aim is to explain the EUs external actions activity to citizens.
There have been no activities conducted in the UK under this budget line and HM Treasury has no input into this programme. DG RELEX has employed external contractors to help with the logistics and organisation of its seminars, visits to third states, and in developing publications and its website.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the objectives are of the PRINCEInformation and Communication Strategy (EU budget item, code 22 04 01); what its target audience is; what activities occur in the UK under the programme; whether public relations consultants are employed by the programme; what input his Department has to the programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: PRINCEInformation and Communication Strategy (budget line 22 04 01) is a European Commission programme which funds information and communication activities on priority EU policies. The aim of the programme is to facilitate an effective dialogue on enlargement between European citizens and the EU institutions. Target audiences include the general public, youth groups, the media, opinion leaders and rural populations.
HM Treasury has no input into this programme. We understand that the Commission has funded several seminars in the UK. HM Treasury does not hold information on public relations consultants employed by the Commission in support of the aforementioned activities.
Ed Balls: PRINCE is made up of a number of budget lines which include: EuroPRINCE; PRINCEArea of Freedom, Security and Justice; PRINCEInformation and Communication Strategy; and PRINCERole of the European Union in the World.
PRINCEEuro is a European Commission information programme aimed at informing European citizens of matters relating to the introduction of the euro. The UK Government policy is to join the euro if Government, Parliament and the people, in a referendum, all agreed that it would be the right thing to do. In advance of any such decision, the UK is not undertaking any communication activities funded by this programme.
John Healey: The latest published information(1) shows that in 2005 there were around 115,000 small businesses in Northern Ireland. The small business tax reforms announced at the Budget will reduce the differential between incorporated and unincorporated small businesses and refocus investment incentives. The self-employed will also be impacted by the announced changes to the personal tax system, including a reduction of the basic rate of income tax to 20p.
Any small business in Northern Ireland that invests will benefit from the introduction of the new Annual Investment Allowance, which allows 100 per cent. of capital expenditure up to £50,000 to be offset against the business's tax liability.
(1) Small Business Service data
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost of processing Child Support Agency cases (a) electronically and (b) clerically was in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases have been referred to debt collection agencies by the Child Support Agency in the last 12 months; how many of these resulted in the successful collection of the debt; and if he will make a statement. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the secretary of state promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases have been referred to debt collection agencies by the Child Support Agency in the last 12 months; how many of these resulted in the successful collection of the debt; and if he will make a statement. 
The Agency signed contracts with two debt collection agencies on 7(th) July 2006 and began transferring cases to these agencies in August 2006. By the end of February 2007 almost 24,000 cases had been transferred to these agencies and some or all of the debt had been collected in 3,895 of these cases.
The total amount collected by the debt collection agencies by the end of February 2007 was around £1.1 million. A letter sent by the Agency to inform clients that their debt is to be transferred to the external debt collection agencies had also resulted in an additional £795,000 collected by the Agency by the end of February 2007.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his letter of 3 October 2006 to the hon. Member for Totnes, reference PO5(4)10535/99, what progress he has made in his consideration of the current rules that allow the Child Support Agency to ignore the earnings of members of the Territorial Army. 
Mr. Plaskitt: My officials continue to look at this matter and are considering whether it is appropriate to make suitable amendments to existing Child Support legislation. All matters in relation to maintenance assessments, including the scope for further simplification, are being reconsidered as part of the consultation on the White Paper, A New System of Child Maintenance. The period of formal consultation ended on 13 March and we are currently analysing the responses received.
Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what powers the Child Support Agency has to pursue a non-resident parent who moves overseas to (a) an EU state and (b) a non-EU state. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what powers the Child Support Agency has to pursue a non-resident parent who moves overseas to (a) an EU state and (b) a non-EU state.
The Child Support Agency retains the power to pursue a non-resident parent who moves overseas, only where the non-resident is regarded to be habitually resident in the UK. The criteria for establishing Child Support jurisdiction when a non-resident parent leaves the United Kingdom is described at Section 44 of the Child Support Act. There is no distinction made between an EU state and a non-EU state.
There are certain cases where the nature of employment will bring the non-resident parent under the jurisdiction of the Child Support Agency, for example those employed in the Civil Service or a member of the naval, military or air forces. The Agency may also have jurisdiction where a non-resident parent is employed by a company that is prescribed in Child Support (Maintenance Arrangement and Jurisdiction Regulations) 1992, Regulation 7A(2).
If the non-resident parent is not regarded as habitually resident in the UK, then the Agency has no power to pursue. However the courts may be able to help the parent with care in obtaining ongoing child support maintenance, whether there is already a court order or not. The Department for Constitutional Affairs in the UK is responsible for the administration of reciprocal enforcement arrangements with more than 100 countries and territories.
Once an application is sent to the foreign authorities it will be dealt with according to laws and procedures of that country. The UK has no control over how long that process will take but will periodically check on the progress of a case with the foreign authorities.
I hope you find this response helpful.
Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases the Child Support Agency has where (a) the non-resident parent (NRP) lives in Scotland and the parent with care (PWC) lives in England and (b) the NRP lives in England and the PWC lives in Scotland. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases the Child Support Agency has where (a) the non-residential parent (NRP) lives in Scotland and the parent with care (PWC) lives in England and (b) the NRP lives in England and the PWC lives in Scotland.
Information regarding the region of residence of NRPs and PWCs in cases with an assessment or calculation is published in table 25 of the December 2006 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the internet via the following link: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_dec06.asp.
However, this is not a complete picture because it does not include cases without an assessment or calculation. Information on both types of cases is included in the following table.
It should be noted that we do not have the information requested for some cases:
Those cases without an assessment on the old computer systemaround 29,000 cases.
Cases without an assessment on the new computer system where the region of residence for the PWC, the NRP or both is not yet knownaround 38,200 cases.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
|Country of residence of non-resident parents and parents with care, December 2006|
|Number of cases where||With an assessment or calculation||Without an assessment calculation||Total|
1. New-scheme cases being processed clerically are excluded from this analysis.
2. Cases have been allocated to government office regions through matching the postcode for a residential against the Office for National Statistics postcode directory.
3. This table relates to cases. Therefore, individuals included in more than one case are included multiple times.
4. In December 2006 there were around 67,200 cases where we do not have information on the region of residence. This was made up of:
29,000 cases on the old computer system that did not have an assessment or calculation;
38,200 cases on the new computer system which had either not yet reached the point in the process at which details on the region of residence of the parent with care could be identified, or where the region of residence for one or both of the NRP and PWC was unknown.
5. Volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred.
Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of customers who will participate in the new deal self- employment programme in 2007-08; and how many did so in each of the previous three years. 
James Purnell: The national strategy for older people and an ageing society: Opportunity Age, Meeting the challenges of ageing in the 21(st) century was launched in March 2005. It focuses on promoting independence and well-being in later life, extending opportunities to work in later life, supporting healthy active ageing in our communities and giving older people more choice and independence in how they use the services at their disposal. The strategy celebrates the fact that people are living longer lives and highlights the valuable and increasing contribution that older people make to our society.
Already, much has been achieved. We have made major reforms of policies (including the biggest package of reform on pensions since the Second World War); started modernising services around the needs of the customer, including through a wide range of pilot
programmes such as Link-Age Plus, Individual Budgets, and PoPPs. We have significantly increased spending for older people (on pensions and benefits, health, care, free bus travel, winter warmth).
Incomes of pensioners have increased broadly in line with those in work; and for the first time ever in a period of sustained economic growth, pensioners are now no more likely to be living in poverty than people of working age. Older peoples well-being has improved across a broad range of indicators.
The strategy also addresses the needs of the baby boomer generation by helping them make the right choices to ensure retirement is a time of opportunity: by tackling age discrimination; ending the cliff edge from work into retirement; and helping them to balance work and caring responsibilities.
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