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18 Apr 2007 : Column 689W—continued


Child Trust Fund

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2007, Official Report, column 472W, on the Child Trust Fund, how much was paid to Sheree Murphy to promote the Child Trust Fund; and what activities she undertook. [129345]

Ed Balls: In support of Child Trust Fund week, Sheree Murphy was employed by HMRC to participate in interviews, features and photo shoots for national TV, press, radio, parenting and women's magazines. She was also featured in the Child Trust Fund Week pack, which helped partner organisations appeal to parents. The cost was £25,000.

Corporation Tax: Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the changes in corporation tax allowances announced in the 2007 Budget on the level of Government liabilities in private finance initiative contracts. [132123]

Dawn Primarolo: The effect of the changes in capital allowances cannot be examined in isolation from other changes to corporation tax announced in the Budget; the proposed changes in the rate of corporation tax have a corresponding impact. Overall, the impact of the reforms to corporation tax announced in the 2007 Budget is to reduce the cost of capital for investment.

Departmental Press Office

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff are employed in the press offices of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies, broken down by pay band. [110848]

John Healey: The numbers of staff employed in the Press Office of the Treasury and its agencies as at 31 December 2006 are in the following table.


18 Apr 2007 : Column 690W
Department Number of staff

GAD

Nil

HM Treasury

2 Range B

3 Range C

2 Range D

3 Range E

1 Team Leader

NS&I

3 Range D

1 Range E

OGC

1 Range B

2 Range D

1 Team Leader

OGC Buying Solutions

1 Range C

Royal Mint

Nil


Departmental Travel

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which company provides travel management services to his Department; and what the total value of the contract was in each year since 1997. [115220]

John Healey: Travel management services for air, sea and rail are currently provided under a former Inland Revenue (now part of HM Revenue and Customs) framework contract with Carlson Wagonlit Travel UK Limited. The Treasury has spent the following amounts on travel management services between July 2002 and March 2006.

Period Fees( 1)( ) (£000)

July 2002-03

35,000

2003-04

60,000

2004-05

86,000

2005-06

123,000

(1 )Including VAT

The level of fees paid for travel management services obviously correspond to the level of travel undertaken. As a result, the figures for 2004-05 and 2005-06 reflect the higher levels of travel undertaken throughout 2005 as a result of HM Treasury’s international commitments during the UK’s dual presidencies of the EU and G7, as well as the visits undertaken by the Chancellor and his officials during that period to Africa, the Middle East and China.

The information prior to July 2002 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Redundancy

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people in his Department participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98; and if he will make a statement; [131549]

(2) how many people in his Department who participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98 were paid
18 Apr 2007 : Column 691W
between (i) £0 to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement. [131558]

John Healey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 2 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1587-8W. An analysis of the costs between voluntary and compulsory schemes, or broken down by cost bands, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Silverfish Productions

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contracts his Department has awarded to Silverfish Productions Limited in each of the last three years; and at what cost. [127821]

John Healey: None.

Employment: Lone Parents

Mr. Gauke: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what forecast he has made of the employment rate for lone parents in 2010-11. [132039]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 18 April 2007:

Gift Aid

Tim Farron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely effect on charities receiving Gift Aid following the reduction in the basic rate of income tax to 20 per cent. from April 2008. [132040]

Dawn Primarolo: The precise impact on charities’ income will depend on the behavioural reactions of donors and charities to the recent tax changes, and will also depend on any measures adopted to drive up giving through gift aid as a result of the consultation with the sector, which we will report on at the pre-Budget report. The strong upward trend in donations is however expected to result in consistent year-on-year growth in charities’ overall income from giving through gift aid, including in the year 2008-09.

Income Tax: Tax Evasion

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a)
18 Apr 2007 : Column 692W
number of cases of and (b) loss of revenue through income tax evasion by those resident in (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) each region and (iii) each London borough in each of the last five years. [132171]

Dawn Primarolo: There are currently no reliable estimates of the income tax revenue lost through tax evasion.

Inheritance Tax

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of raising the inheritance tax threshold to (a) £350,000, (b) £400,000, (c) £450,000 and (d) £500,000 for each year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. [131117]

Dawn Primarolo: Raising the inheritance tax threshold with effect from 2007-08 would have the following effect on forecast revenue receipts:

Reduction in revenue (£ billions) arising from raising the threshold to:
£350,000 £400,000 £450,000 £500,000

2007-08

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.7

2008-09

0.5

1.0

1.3

1.5

2009-10

0.6

1.1

1.4

1.7

2010-11

0.6

1.1

1.5

1.8


Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of extending the seven year rule for exemption of inheritance tax to 15 years; and if he will make a statement. [131836]

Dawn Primarolo: Information to make a reliable estimate is not available.

Minimum Wage

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people receiving the national minimum wage, broken down by level of total annual earnings. [132120]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows the number of employee jobs estimated to have been paying the national minimum wage in April 2006, split by gross annual earnings. In total, around 385,000 employee jobs were paid the national minimum wage.

Employee jobs( 1) paying the national minimum wage( 2)
Gross annual earnings
Less than £5000 £5000 to £9,999 £10,000 to £14,999 £15,000 or more

Jobs paying national minimum wage

213,000

126,000

41,000

4,000

(1) Employees whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence.
(2) 16-17 year-olds earning £3.00 per hour, 18-21 year-olds earning £4.25 per hour, and those age 22 and over earning £5.05.
Note:
Figures may not sum due to rounding.
Source:
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, April 2006, Office for National Statistics

18 Apr 2007 : Column 693W

Personal Savings

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice he received on the implications for savings as a consequence of the abolition of personal equity plans and their replacement with individual savings accounts. [132036]

Ed Balls: As part of a package of reforms to be implemented from April 2008 aimed at making the ISA regime simpler and more flexible for savers, all remaining PEPs will be brought within the ISA wrapper, by aligning the rules for the two schemes.

The Government have received representations from the industry and consumer representatives that this change will enable investors to integrate their stocks and shares investments within the ISA wrapper and so manage their funds more effectively, potentially leading to reduced administration costs for providers and lower account charges for customers in future. Existing PEP investors will also benefit from the wider range of investments available under the ISA, such as stakeholder accounts and insurance.

Schools: Cadets

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2007, Official Report, column 770W, on schools: cadets, which fundraising (a) events and (b) meetings Rod Aldridge has attended in the last six months as part of his duties. [131370]

Dawn Primarolo: Rod Aldridge engages in fundraising for a wide range of youth volunteering activities through V, but has no specific responsibilities for fundraising for cadets.

Smuggling: Alcoholic Drinks

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value was of untaxed spirits intercepted in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. [132149]

John Healey: HM Revenue and Customs do not record the value of all spirits intercepted. HMRC does estimate the value of each non-UK duty paid spirits seizure however. The total estimated value of spirits seizures made in Northern Ireland during 2005-06 is £13,310. The amount of spirits seized during 2006-07 will be published later this year.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of raising the (a) one per cent. stamp duty land tax threshold to £150,000 and three per cent. threshold to £300,000 and (b) one per cent. threshold to £200,000 and three per cent. threshold to £350,000; and if he will make a statement. [131118]

Ed Balls: The estimated cost in 2007-08 of raising the residential stamp duty land tax thresholds to levels indicated by (a) and (b) are given in the following
18 Apr 2007 : Column 694W
table. The estimates in this table make allowance for expected associated behavioural effects:

New 1 per cent. starting threshold (£) New 3 per cent. starting threshold (£) Cost (£ billion)

Change (a)

150,001

300,001

0.9

Change (b)

200,001

350,001

1.8


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