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Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the guidance provided by his Department to other departments on what they should include in their 2007 spring departmental reports. 
Paul Holmes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the impact on the income of charities registered with the Gift Aid scheme of changes in the rates of income tax in the 2007 Budget. 
Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General gave the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron) on 18 April 2007, Official Report, column 691W.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 26 April 2007, Official Report, column 1314W, on official hospitality, what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each official (i) lunch and (ii) dinner he hosted in the most recent period for which the information can be provided without disproportionate cost. 
John Healey: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such meetings.
The Pensions Ombudsman can investigate and decide complaints and disputes about the way that occupational and personal pension schemes are run. The following figures cover complaints accepted as within the Pensions Ombudsman jurisdiction.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the taxation and penalties incurred by those in the UK entitled to Hong Kong pensions as a result of tax refunds made by Hong Kong special administrative region; and if he will make a statement. 
Ed Balls: The tax treatment of Hong Kong pensions received by UK residents is governed by the UKs normal domestic rules for relieving double taxation. Where the amount of Hong Kong tax was reduced, there was a corresponding increase in the UK tax payable.
Where tax is paid late, the law requires the taxpayer to pay interest. Interest is not in any sense a penalty. It is designed to recompense the Exchequer on a broadly commercial basis for the loss of the use of the tax paid late. There is no discretion over whether it is charged.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which international organisations which publish assessments of the state of the UK economy he has supplied with data on total Government liabilities under PPP and private finance initiative partnerships. 
John Healey: All expected unitary charge payments for PFI projects (with the exception of the London Underground PPP and Scottish Executive deals) are published on the HM Treasury's website and are therefore available to any international organisation, or individual.
John Healey: Any severance pay to special advisers in the Treasury is made following the terms and conditions set out in the Cabinet Office model contract for special advisers. The total cost of special advisers in Government; including the cost of severance pay, is set out in an annual written statement to the House by the Prime Minister most recently of 26 July 2006.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total cost has been of the scheme for the online registration of births, deaths and marriages; and how much is accounted for by (a) software, (b) hardware, (c) press and publicity to promote the scheme and (d) training costs; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the scheme for the online registration of births, deaths and marriages in the UK; and what assessment he has made of the suitability of the (a) scheme as a whole and (b) chosen software to handle the volume of transactions required; 
(3) what alternative schemes were considered by his Department before the adoption of the chosen scheme for the online registration of births, deaths and marriages in the UK; and what procurement process was followed for the scheme; 
(4) what the name is of the software which is being used for the online registration of births, deaths and marriages in the UK; and whether the software was specifically designed for use in the UK; 
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking:
What the total cost has been of the scheme for the online registration of births deaths and marriages and how much is accounted for by (a) software (b) hardware (c) press and publicity to promote the scheme and (d) training costs. (138062)
What assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the scheme for the online registration of births deaths and marriages in the UK and what assessment he has made of the suitability of the (a) scheme as a whole and (b) chosen software to handle volume of transactions required. (138063)
What alternative schemes were considered before the adoption of the chosen scheme for the online registration of births deaths and marriages in the UK and what procurement process was followed for the scheme. (138064)
What the name is of the software which is being used for the online registration of births deaths and marriages in the UK and whether the software was specifically designed for use in the UK. (138065)
What representations have been received on the introduction of the online registration of births deaths and marriages in the UK and what problems have been experienced with the service. (138067)
When is the national scheme for the online registration of births deaths and marriages to be reactivated and what funds have been set aside for that purpose. (138068)
The total cost of the new system (known as RON) is just over £6m, of which some £3.5m is for the software, £2.5m is for IT infrastructure, and £60,000 for training. Compared with its predecessor, the new system does not significantly alter the experience for informants when they carry out a registration, so no costs were set aside for publicity.
I expect the RON system to deliver considerable benefits once fully operational, both in terms of the speed with which registration data will become available centrally and the reduction in administrative effort in the General Register Office and local registration offices. There is no question of the software not being capable of handling the volume of transactions required.
There was a full procurement process for the software conducted in accordance with the principles of good procurement laid down by the Office for Government Commerce, and subject to Gateway Review. Before a final choice was made, a range of software products was extensively reviewed, tested and evaluated.
The software acquired as a result of the procurement is a package called VRVWeb, a system developed initially for use in the USA. The core system has been customised to ensure that its functionality meets the requirements of the registration service in England and Wales.
Representations have been received mainly from staff in registration offices. As would be expected, those in districts where RON has not worked well have expressed disappointment and frustration at the problems experienced, whereas a number of staff where RON has performed at expected levels have commented very favourably on its qualities.
The RON system is currently being used by some 54% of Local Authorities. No precise estimate is currently being made of when it will be available to other authorities, all of which are able to continue to register births and deaths using pre-existing systems. The need to reintroduce RON in those districts in such a way as to ensure no detriment to current users means that the exercise must be very carefully planned and could take some months. Estimates of additional cost are currently being drawn up.
John Healey: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1630W, on taxation: aviation, for what reasons a formal assessment of the effects of introducing the Air Passenger Duty on small travel agents and tour operators was not carried out prior to its introduction. 
John Healey: The pre-Budget report announced an increase in the rates of air passenger duty. This decision was taken in recognition of the environmental costs of air travel and also took into account economic and social factors, including the impact on airlines, travel agents and tour operators.
John Healey: PBR 2005 announced the conclusion to the review of gambling taxation began in 2004. We concluded that the current taxation regimes are generally working well and that maintaining stability in the overall structure of taxation is desirable in a period of regulatory transition with the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005.
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