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19 Apr 2007 : Column 777W—continued

Gross hourly earnings for all employee ( 1) jobs
UK 5( th) Percentile















2004 excl.


2004 inc. (2)






(1) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.
(2) In 2004 additional supplementary surveys were introduced to improve the coverage of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Figures are presented both excluding and including the additional surveys for comparison purposes.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics.

19 Apr 2007 : Column 778W

Child Tax Credit

Stephen Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the cost was of child tax credit for families with children aged 16 to 19 years in full-time education and training in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; and what the cost is expected to be in 2007-08; [131573]

(2) what the cost was of child benefit paid to children aged 16 to 19 years in full-time education and training in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; and what the cost is expected to be in 2007-08. [131574]

Dawn Primarolo: The latest information on finalised child tax credit awards is for 2004-05. It is estimated that the entitlement for families with one or more children aged at least 16 at the previous 31 August was about £1.8 billion. This includes families receiving the equivalent level of support via income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance.

In 2005-06, around £.9 billion was paid in child benefit to families in respect of children aged at least 16 at the previous August.

Estimates and forecasts for later years are not available.

Civil Servants: Location

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants have been moved from London since the Lyons review. [132005]

Mr. Timms: As part of the Lyons relocation programme, by December 2006 11,068 posts had been relocated out of London and the south-east to every nation and region in the UK.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants have moved to Yorkshire and Humberside region since the Lyons review. [132006]

Mr. Timms: Of the 11,068 posts that had been relocated out of London and the south-east by December 2006, 2,287 had been moved to Yorkshire and Humberside.

Debts: Developing Countries

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps the Government are taking to protect heavily indebted poor countries and other indebted developing countries from litigation by vulture funds in British courts; [132061]

(2) what options have been discussed for Government action to pre-empt litigation by vulture funds and other commercial creditors against heavily indebted poor countries and other indebted developing countries, including within the Paris club; [132062]

(3) what steps the UK Government have taken to prevent the exploitation of developing countries by vulture funds since May 2002; [132063]

19 Apr 2007 : Column 779W

(4) what sums have been received from the Exchequer through taxation of awards made to vulture funds which have successfully sued developing country governments in British courts; [132064]

(5) if he will make a statement on the principles on fair debt restructuring, in relation to vulture funds. [132065]

Ed Balls: The Government have made clear its concern over the activities of so-called vulture funds and the problems they case for those countries that have received debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The Government’s action to date has focused on preventing vulture fund litigation through the elimination of commercial debts and on strengthening debt management in HIPCs. The Department for International Development (DFID) co-funds a debt management capacity building programme that, through better debt management, should help to avoid debts being sold on to potential litigators. DFID also supports the World Bank’s Debt Reduction Facility, which provides grants to enable countries to buy back their commercial debts at very significant discount (on average over 90 per cent. reduction), thereby removing the potential for litigation. Since its establishment, this facility has helped eliminate around $8 billion of debt in low-income countries.

The UK has assisted HIPCs in fighting aggressive creditors. We are also encouraging the African Development Bank to develop a Legal Assistance Facility, which will offer advice to HIPC countries facing litigation. DFID has also been working with partner Governments to tackle the corruption that can make it easier for vulture funds to purchase distressed debts in the first place.

All Governments and companies have a responsibility to ensure that debts of vulnerable countries are not sold to vulture funds. The UK is working with our international partners to agree a Charter on Responsible Lending. The G20 agreed a set of Principles on Fair Debt Restructuring in 2004 and the UK fully supports this.

The Paris Club group of sovereign creditors recognise the importance of tackling vulture fund activity against HIPCs and press for comparable debt relief treatment from all creditors. The UK is an active member of this group.

HMG does not hold a record of the awards made against developing country Governments in UK courts or the identity and/or country of residence of the parties involved. Some information on existing lawsuits is published by the IMF in their HIPC Status of Implementation Report. This is available at:

Poverty: Children

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what total Government expenditure has been on policies aimed at reducing child poverty since 1997. [132542]

19 Apr 2007 : Column 780W

Mr. Timms: The Government have invested significant resources since 1997 in our commitment to halve and eradicate child poverty.

Budget 2007 announced £1 billion for the child element of the child tax credit, and £1.3 billion for the working tax credit. Along with the package of reforms to the personal tax and benefit system announced at the Budget, this will help lift around 200,000 children out of poverty.

However it is not possible to provide a complete figure for all spending aimed at reducing child poverty as this would include a large but undefined proportion of numerous Government programmes, including social housing, welfare to work, and the tax and benefit system.

As a result of personal tax and benefit measures introduced since 1997, by April 2009, families with children will have benefited from around £13 billion additional spending per year.


Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) men and (b) women aged between 55 and 59 years of age committed suicide in 2003, broken down by method of suicide chosen. [132469]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 April 2007:

19 Apr 2007 : Column 781W
Number of suicides( 1) by sex and method( 2) for those aged 55-59, England and Wales, 2003( 3)
Method (a) Men (b) Women

Drug-related poisoning



‘Other’ poisoning



Hanging, strangulation and suffocation






Firearms and explosives



Sharp objects



Jumping/falling from a high place



Jumping/lying/falling before moving object



Smoke, fire and flames



Other specified and unspecified means






(1 )In routine statistics, ONS defines suicides as deaths from both intentional self-harm and ‘injury or poisoning of undetermined intent’. It is likely that most of these latter deaths are cases where the harm is self-inflicted but there was insufficient evidence to prove that the deceased deliberately intended to kill themselves.
The cause of death for intentional self-harm was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes X60-X84, and the cause of death for injury or poisoning of undetermined intent was defined using ICD-10 codes Y10-Y34 excluding Y33.9 where the Coroner’s verdict was pending.
(2 )Suicides were grouped by method using the following ICD-10 codes. These categories are based on an article which was published in Health Statistics Quarterly 20*:
Drug-related poisoning—X60-X64, Yl0-Yl4
Other poisoning—X65-X69, Yl5-Yl9
Hanging, strangulation and suffocation—X70, Y20
Drowning—XII, Y21
Firearms and explosives—X72-X75, Y22-Y25
Sharp objects—X78, Y28
Jumping/falling from a high place—X80, Y30
Jumping/lying/falling before moving object—X81, Y31
Smoke, fire and flames—X76, Y26
Other specified and unspecified means—X83-X84, Y33-Y34
(3 )Figures are for deaths occurring in the calendar year.
* Brock A and Griffiths C (2003) Trends in suicide by method in England and Wales, 1979 to 2001. Health Statistics Quarterly 20, 7-18

Taxation: NHS

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated research on the public's willingness to pay a hypothecated NHS tax. [131958]

Mr. Timms: No such research has been undertaken.

The Chancellor set out the Government's position on hypothecation of tax to the NHS in his evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on 11 December 2001 (Treasury—Minutes of Evidence, 11 December 2001, Session 2001-2002, HC 430iii:


Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what correspondence his Department has had with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the sale of the Tote and what progress has been made with its sale; [132559]

(2) what the procedure is for his Department's approval for the sale of the Tote. [132556]

Mr. Timms: An announcement on the sale of the Tote is expected to be made shortly. The Government remain committed to proceeding with its objectives of removing the Tote from public ownership, promoting horserace pool betting and benefiting racing.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much additional income (a) a single parent and (b) a married couple with one child are entitled to if each such household has a single worker in part-time work earning their income support entitlement, assuming that each household had its rent covered in full and claimed its full entitlement to tax credits. [132656]

19 Apr 2007 : Column 782W

Mr. Timms: A single parent with one child earning the same amount as their income support entitlement is £20 a week better off than on income support in 2007-08, both before and after housing costs are taken into account. A couple with one child earning the same as their income support entitlement is around £65 a week better off before housing costs and around £18 a week better off after housing costs are taken into account.

Work and Pensions


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on (a) sponsoring newspaper and publication supplements and (b) funding advertorials in newspapers and publications in the last year for which figures are available; and what the topic of each was. [129958]

Mrs. McGuire: Spend on newspaper supplements, advertorials and Featurelink in 2005-06 is in the following table.

Supplements Advertorials Featurelink

Jobcentre Plus—services to employers


Office for Disability Issues (Extending boundaries)


Targeting Benefit Fraud


Winter Fuel Payments


State Second Pension


Pension Credit


State Pension Deferral


1. Figures are for 2005-06, which is the last financial year for which figures are available
2. All costs are shown in pounds sterling and are exclusive of VAT
3. Jobcentre Plus does not hold centrally details of what each of its Regions and Districts may have spent sponsoring or funding advertorials. We could obtain this information only at disproportionate cost.
4. The Department purchased branded advertising features which included advertorials using the commercial ‘Featurelink’ service

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