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Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the revenue implications of raising the threshold at which people pay income tax and national insurance to £50,000 in each year from 2008-09 to 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
|Cost (£ billion)|
|Income tax||National insurance|
The estimates are based on the 2004-05 Survey of Personal Incomes projected forward against an indexed baseline which includes the reforms to simplify the income tax and national insurance system announced at Budget 2007.
Ed Balls: The package of business tax reforms announced in the 1997 Budget, including the abolition of payable tax credits, has contributed to a stronger investment climate for UK companies. The investment statistics show this.
In the quarter after the July 1997 Budget, business investment grew by 1Â3/4 per cent. In the quarter after that, it rose by 6.1 per cent., and in the quarter after that, it rose by another 7.1 per cent.
Between the July 1997 Budget and the 1998 Budget, business investment had risen by 16 per cent. This is around three times as fast as it had grown in the run-up to the previous Administrations last Budget in early 1997.
Since 1997, real business investment has risen by 50 per cent.
This year investment growth is forecast to be the fastest in the G7 (according to the OECD).
Whole economy investment has risen in every year since 1997. In the previous 18 years, investment growth was negative over a quarter of this period.
Dawn Primarolo: The essential difference and change between the policies of the former Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise and that of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Reporting Concerns (whistleblowing) is:
a change of emphasis to positively encourage, as well as enable, genuine reporting. Encouragement to raise concerns is clearer and more explicit;
more prominence, better access and an increase in the number (from 13 to 25) of nominated officers, who provide independent advice and guide staff on these issues, and are appointed by the executive chairman; and
agreed and clearly stated top management commitment, understanding and support.
The stated purpose of the HMRC policy is to encourage and enable those who work for HMRC who have serious concerns of malpractice, wrongdoing or unethical behaviour at work to raise their concerns within the Department without fear of reprisal.
Take-up rates at United Kingdom level are shown in table 1. Take-up rates for working families with children at country and regional level are shown in table 9. Take-up rate estimates are not available at parliamentary constituency level.
Estimated numbers of families benefiting from tax credits, by constituency, are available only for in-work families. The average number in 2004-05 of such families with positive awards in each constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are published in Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards 2004-05 Geographical Analysis. This publication is available on the HMRC website at:
David T.C. Davies:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unemployed single
parents took part in the Big Brother project in each of the last two years for which figures are available, broken down by area. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Big Brother project is a pilot scheme which is intended to help single parents back to work. The project ran in the Hereford and Worcester Jobcentre Plus district (funded by the European Social Fund) from January 2005 to March 2007; in the South Tyne and Wear Valley and Northumbria districts from November 2006 to March 2007 and has been running in the Manchester East and West district since November 2006 with a projected end date of March 2008.
|Big Brother Project starts|
|(1 )Started in January 2005.|
(2 )Started in November 2006.
(3 )Started in November 2006.
Years are financial rather than calendar years.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the costs of administering council tax benefit were to (a) central government and (b) local government in the last financial year for which figures are available. 
|CTB subsidy paid to Scottish local authorities (£ million)|
1. Local authorities pay CTB to eligible claimants and central Government funds the payments by way of CTB subsidy paid to the authorities.
2. Benefit which is paid in accordance with CTB rules is subsidised at 100 per cent., but lower rates of subsidy are paid where there has been an overpayment of benefit, caused by, for example, claimant error or fraud.
Audited subsidy claims submitted to DWP by local authorities.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the levels of (a) fraud, (b) customer error and (c) official error in (i) attendance allowance, (ii) carers allowance, (iii) basic state pension, (iv) bereavement benefit, (v) industrial injuries benefit, (vi) maternity allowance, (vii) severe disablement allowance, (viii) the Social Fund, (ix) widows benefit, (x) winter fuel payments, (xi) income support, (xii) incapacity benefit, (xiii) disability living allowance, (xiv) jobseekers allowance, (xv) housing benefit, (xvi) pension credit and (xvii) council tax benefit in each year since 2001 in (A) percentage terms and (B) cash terms; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The Government are committed to reducing fraud and error across the benefits system, and we are succeeding. For example, fraud across the benefits system was down from around £2 billion (2 per cent. of expenditure) in 2001 to an estimated £0.7 billion (0.6 per cent. of expenditure) by 2005-06. And National Statistics estimate that fraud and error loss in income support and jobseekers allowance are now at their lowest everby March 2006, the amount lost had reduced by around half compared to 1997-98.
Estimates of fraud and error in income support, jobseekers allowance, pension credit and housing benefit can be found in National Statistics reports, and additional tables on the Departments website at:
The available estimates for other benefits are in the tables. These estimates are consistent with the methodology used for those presented for 2003-04 onwards in the Departments resource accounts. For some benefits, estimates before 2003-04 will differ from figures published earlier due to improved assumptions and methodology.
|Percentage of overspend||Overpaid (£ million)|
1. Carers allowance is not reviewed regularly. These estimates are based on the assumption that the percentage of expenditure overpaid has remained constant since it was last reviewed in 1996.
2. Estimates are rounded to the nearest £10 million. The totals may appear different from the sum of the components due to this rounding.
|Fraud||Customer error||Official error|
|Percentage of overspend||Overpaid (£ million)||Percentage of overspend||Overpaid (£ million)||Percentage of overspend||Overpaid (£ million)|
1. These estimates are for state pension as a whole. Separate estimates for basic state pension are not available.
2. Fraud and customer error figures up to 2004-05 are based on the assumption that the level of fraud and error in state pension had not changed since it was reviewed in 1995.
3. Fraud and customer error estimates for 2005-06 are taken from the 2005-06 National Benefit Review pilot exercise.
4. All official error estimates are derived from annual measurement of official error for the relevant year.
5. Estimates are rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent. or £10 million. Figures of 0.0 per cent. or £0 million indicate an estimate of less than 0.05 per cent. or £5 million respectively. The totals may appear different from the sum of the components due to this rounding.
|Bereavement benefit and widows benefits|
|Percentage of overspend||Overpaid (£ million)|
1. For bereavement benefits and widows benefits, only official error has been measured.
2. The estimates are based on very small samples. The results for BB and WB cannot be separated, and are subject to a large degree of statistical uncertainty.
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