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Gillian Merron: The Bexhill to Hastings link road scheme was granted Programme Entry in December 2004 with an agreed departmental funding contribution of £47.12 million. In July 2006, we accepted the South East regions advice that the scheme was a priority for the region at an increased cost of £48.5 million. However, it has since been reported that the estimated total cost of the scheme has increased to around £89 million. As a result, the South East region will need to decide whether it still wishes to prioritise funding for this scheme at its higher cost within its regional funding allocations. Should the region formally advise that the scheme continues to be a priority, it will then be subject to a re-appraisal and value for money assessment in accordance with the Departments guidance before a final decision is taken on whether to provide additional funding for the scheme.
John Healey: With the following exceptions, the information for the Chancellor's Departments and their agencies could be provided at disproportionate cost only. Information on spending on recruitment consultancy is not held in a format whereby it can be separated out from other external management consultancy, or from the cost of agency staff. The Government Actuary's Department has provided a nil return, the Valuation Office Agency can confirm that it did not use recruitment consultants during 2006-07, and the Royal Mint and the Debt Management Office have been able to provide the following figures for recruitment consultancy fees.
|Royal Mint||Debt Management Office|
|(1) Figures for years prior to 2002-03 could be provided at disproportionate cost only due to a change in accounting system in that year.|
Use of a taxi at the Treasury's expense is not an entitlement and official journeys should
wherever possible be made on public transport. However, when there is no reasonable and cost-effective alternative, for example when travelling home after working late into the night, the Treasury may justify the use of a taxi. Expenditure in 2006-07 was £188,000.
As the National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question about how many babies were born in hospitals run by Mid-Essex Hospital Trust in each of the last 10 years. (145963)
Figures on live births in hospitals are available from birth registration information. The latest available figures by place of birth are for 2005. The attached table shows the figures requested for the years 1996 to 2005.
|Live births in hospitals run by Mid-Essex Hospital Trust( 1) , 1996 to 2005|
|(1) St. Michaels Hospital in Braintree and the Chelmsford and Essex Centre are also run by Mid-Essex Hospital Trust, but no live births took place in these establishments between 1996 and 2005.|
Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many claims made by members of HM armed forces for laundry allowance while on deployments and exercises were granted in each of the last five years; and what the (a) total value of the tax allowance and (b) average allowance per claimant was in each of those years; 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the long-term financial effect of (a) reducing the basic rate of tax from 22p to 20p and (b) abolishing the 10p lower level of tax on pensions over the next (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 30, (iv) 40 and (v) 50 years. 
Ed Balls: The Government do not judge there will be discernable long-term financial effect on pensions resulting from changes to income tax announced in Budget 2007. Any long-term financial effect would depend not only on the marginal rates of relief but also on the future structure of the tax system, the numbers saving for pensions and their contribution levels, the numbers in receipt of pensions and any behavioural response to the changes in rates of relief.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on the reform of taxation for older people on low incomes; if he will commission further research on the matter; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government have received a number of representations on this subject following the reforms to personal taxation announced in this year's Budget. For older people, the Budget announced that the
age-related income tax allowances for those aged 65 or over and 75 or over will rise by £1,180 above indexation in April 2008. By April 2011 no pensioner aged 75 or over will pay any tax until their income reaches £10,000 a year. These reforms will remove 580,000 pensioners from paying tax in April 2008.
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many instances there have been of debt caused by overpayment of tax credits being (a) generated and (b) subsequently cancelled, broken down by (i) constituency or (ii) nearest equivalent geographical area in the last year for which figures are available; and how much was (A) generated and (B) cancelled in each such area in the same period. 
Information about overpayments of tax credits, which HM Revenue and Customs decide claimants should not be asked to pay back in accordance with its Code of Practice 26, is not kept at constituency or regional level.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what means a woman whose husband reaches 65 years is advised of her right to claim a pension based on his contributions to replace the pension she is drawing based on her own contributions. 
Over the phone they are asked to provide their marital status and, if appropriate, the national insurance number of their spouse. If the man is married and his wife is over state pension age and in receipt of a basic state pension based on her own contributions but which is less than the rate of pension based on her husbands contributions, a claim form is issued to her.
If customers who wish to claim by post, they are asked to complete and return a tear-off slip from the invitation to request a claim pack. The tear-off asks men Is your wife aged 60 or over? If the customer ticks yes, a claim form is also sent out to their wife.