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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the time taken by the HM Revenue and Customs office in Cardiff to reply to letters from members of the public; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: There are a number of HMRC offices in Cardiff. In the main HMRC office, which deals with PAYE and self assessment customers, the vast majority of correspondence is dealt with within 20 days. The office does take longer to deal with some more complex or specialist correspondence but as of 18 May 2007 4 per cent. of correspondence only was more then 20 days old.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Office for National Statistics most recent estimate is of the number of lone parents; and how many lone parents claim tax credits. 
Mr. Timms: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use different definitions of lone parents and the statistics they produce refer to different time periods and are therefore not comparable.
The tax and benefit system defines a couple as either a man and a woman who are either married or living together as husband and wife or two people of the same sex who are either civil partners or living together as such. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) asks about the adults living in a household, and it counts an adult
as being single if they do not declare another adult in the household as being their partner.
ONS estimates that there are 1.9 million lone parents in the UK, based on the 2006 Labour Force Survey data. The HMRC 2005-06 Finalised Award data show that on average 2.1 million families claimed child tax credit, or the equivalent via benefits, as a single adult.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the (a) level of revenue which would be foregone were national insurance contributions classes 1 and 4 to be abolished and (b) level to which the basic rate of income tax would need to be raised to recoup such revenue. 
Ed Balls: The estimate of the total amount of class 1 (employee and employer) and class 4 (self-employed) NICs revenue that would be foregone is £95 billion for 2007-08. Individuals would have to pay basic rate income tax of 33 per cent. for 2007-08 to recoup the £40 billion of employee and self-employed NICs foregone. This estimate does not allow for any behavioural effects.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what projection he has made of how the changes to income tax and national insurance announced in the Budget will affect the value of tax relief on pension contributions in future years. 
Ed Balls: No projections have been made of how the changes to income tax and national insurance announced in the Budget will affect the value of tax relief on pension contributions in future years. Estimates of the annual cost of tax relief on approved pension schemes are publicly available. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1513W.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois) of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 189W, on Planning Gain Supplement, by what criteria consideration will be given as to whether Planning Gain Supplement should be deemed to be workable and effective. 
to finance additional investment in the local and strategic infrastructure necessary to support growth, while preserving incentives to develop;
to help local communities to better share the benefits of growth and manage its impacts;
to provide a fairer, more efficient and more transparent means of capturing a modest portion of land value uplift; and
to create a flexible value capture system that responds to market conditions and does not inappropriately distort decisions between different types of development.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria his Department uses to compare value for money in a private finance initiative proposal and financing the same scheme from taxation. 
John Healey: Government Departments use the Treasury's value for money guidance in making assessments about the suitability of PFI as opposed to conventionally financed programmes, both at a project and programme level. This is available at:
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the Government's contingent liability is in the event that all private finance initiative and public-private partnership schemes fail. 
John Healey: The Government constantly monitor risks and liabilities relating to PFI but do not undertake a central assessment of liabilities in the event that all PFI/PPP schemes fail, not least because any such figure would be dependent on a number of variables surrounding the specific circumstances of the termination.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance he has issued to Departments on the criteria to be used in deciding priorities for the type of projects to be supported using private finance initiative credits. 
John Healey: The Project Review Group, which oversees the approval process for local authority PFI projects that receive Government support via PFI credits, has an established evaluation framework. This framework covers the criteria on which projects seeking approval will be assessed. Additionally, Departments are required to use the PFI value for money assessment guidance issued by HM Treasury. These documents are available through the Treasury PPP website at:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what guidance his Department has issued on the secure disposal of final review reports where a decision has been taken not to publish them; 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many claims for (a) child benefit and (b) child tax credit were (i) made by and (ii) paid to migrant workers for children (A) living in the UK and (B) living abroad in each year since 2003-04; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how much (a) child benefit and (b) child tax credit was paid to migrant workers for children (i) living in the UK and (ii) living abroad in each year from 2003-04 to 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the Governments policy is on payment of child tax credit to migrant workers in respect of children living outside the UK if such individuals receive child related benefits in the home country; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) which social security benefits are payable to the (a) children and (b) spouses of EU migrant workers who are in the UK for dependants who are living abroad but in the EU; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The main purpose of child tax credit (CTC) and child benefit (ChB) is to support families living in the United Kingdom, The general rules for these benefits do not provide for them to be paid in respect of children who reside outside the UK. However, these general rules are supplemented by the co-ordinating rules in EC Regulations 1408/71 and 574/72, which the United Kingdom has applied since it joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The Regulations protect the acquired social security rights of European Economic Area (EEA) workers and their families moving within the Community.
The Regulations have detailed rules that determine which scheme a worker should contribute to, and which state has responsibility for the payment of family benefits. In general, it provides that the worker pays into the social security scheme of the member state where the work takes place and that state is responsible for the payment of family benefits. If entitlement to family benefits arises in more than one member state,
the Regulations contain priority rules to determine who has responsibility for paying. More detailed information relating to these Community rules can be found in leaflet SA29 Your social security insurance, benefits and healthcare rights in the European Economic Area, published by the Department of Work and Pensions and available on their website.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of how much would be raised if tax relief was withdrawn for (a) buy-to-let mortgage owners, (b) corporate landlords and (c) homeowners renting out their own homes. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the statement by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 303WH, on tax credits, when he expects to publish the results of the pilot into payments of tax credits at the time of relationship breakdown. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 11 June 2007]: HMRC are currently assessing the outcome of the pilot into the payment of tax credits at the time of a relationship breakdown. They will publish their findings and how they intend to take those findings forward in due course.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the taxation revenues generated from the specialist natural health product manufacturing and retailing sectors in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
|Year of donation||Value of gifts of shares (£ million)|
Mr. Timms: The Government are committed to encouraging philanthropy and published a report on 4 May this year entitled Charitable Giving By Wealthy People. The report was commissioned to identify the incentives for wealthy people to engage in charitable giving as well as the barriers that may prevent them from doing so. The report can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website: www.hmrc.gov.uk.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax incentives relating to giving to charities are in place; and what the cost of each was to the public purse in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Timms: There are several tax incentives available to individuals wishing to make financial donations to charity. These include gift aid, payroll giving, relief on gifts of shares and securities and land and buildings. Gifts of assets to charities are also exempt from capital gains tax and the value of outright gifts and bequests by individuals to UK charities are completely free of inheritance tax, subject to certain provisions preventing donors retaining some degree of interest. Full details are available on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/donors/tax-efficient.htm.
Figures for the basic rate relief on gift aid donations can be found at table 10.1 http://www.hmrc. gov.uk/stats/charities/table10-1.xls
Table 10.2 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/charities/table10-2.xls contains the costs of the following reliefs to individuals:
Higher rate income tax relief on gift aid donations;
Income tax relief on payroll giving donations;
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