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9 July 2007 : Column 1226Wcontinued
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to answer the letter to his predecessor of 11 May 2007 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on Mr. A. Bange. 
Jane Kennedy: I have replied to the right hon. Member.
David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what continuing financial commitments the UK has towards countries which gained independence from the British Empire. 
Meg Munn: I have been asked to reply.
Upon independence from the UK, financial (and all other) responsibility passed to the independent countrys government.
John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised from residential stamp duty on properties within the City of Edinburgh local authority area in each year since 1997. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 5 July 2007]: Estimates of amounts of stamp duty payable on residential transactions for 2005-06, broken down by each local authority, were deposited in the House of Commons Library last June.
Reliable information is not available for earlier years.
John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many properties within the City of Edinburgh local authority area were subject to (a) 1 per cent., (b) 3 per cent., and (c) 4 per cent. residential stamp duty in each year since 1997. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 5 July 2007]: Estimates of the number of property transactions for local authorities are only available for 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 and are given in the following table for Edinburgh, grouped by stamp duty band.
|Property transactions attracting:|
|0 per cent. rate( 1)||1 per cent. rate( 2)||3 per cent. rate( 3)||4 per cent. rate( 4)||Total|
|(1) Residential threshold was £60,000 in 2004-05, £120,000 in 2005-06 and £125,000 in 2006-07.|
(2) £60,001£250,000 range in 2004-05, £120,001£250,000 in 2005-06, £125,001£250,000 in 2006-07.
(3) £250,001 to £500,000.
(4) £500,001 or more.
The number of transactions bearing stamp duty will be lower than the number shown in the non-zero bands due to the use of various reliefs, e.g. disadvantaged area relief, group relief, registered social landlord relief etc. There are also some lease transactions which fall in the 0 per cent. band on account of consideration, but which bear stamp duty on the lease rental.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working age workless households with couples without dependent children there were in the north east region in each year since 1992. 
Angela Eagle: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 9 July 2007;
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about workless couple households without dependent children in the North East region. I am replying in her absence. (148209)
The attached table gives the information requested. The figures in the table are estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), for the three month period ending in May of each year from 1992 to 2006.
A household is defined as a single person, or a group of people living at the same address who have the address as their only main residence and either share one main meal a day or share the living accommodation (or both). A workless working-age couple household is one that is headed by a married/cohabiting couple and that includes at least one person of working age and in which no-one aged 16 or over is in employment. Couple households without dependent children may include non- dependent children, and/or members of other family units, whose economic status affects the combined economic status of the household (i.e. whether it is classified as workless or not).
As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|Workless working-age couple households without dependent children( 1, 2, 3) ; north east region: spring (March-May) 1992 to 2006, not seasonally adjusted|
|Thousands( 4)||Per cent.( 5)|
|(1) A workless couple household is a household that is headed by a married/cohabiting couple and that includes at least one person of working age and in which no-one aged 16 or over is in employment. Couple households without dependent children may include non-dependent children, and/or members of other family units, whose economic status affects the combined economic status of the household (i.e. whether it is classified as workless or not).|
(2 )Working-age includes men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.
(3 )Dependent children are those aged under 16 and those aged 16-18 who are never-married and in full-time education.
(4 )Estimates have not been adjusted for households with unknown economic activity status.
(5 )Workless working-age couple households without dependent children as a percentage of all working-age couple households without dependent children. Base for percentages excludes households with unknown economic activity status.
As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin or uncertainty.
Labour Force Survey.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sample size was used for 2004-05 tax credit awards to check the level of tax credit fraud and error; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The sample size used by the HMRC random enquiry to check the level of tax credit error and fraud in 2004-05 is around 4,500.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1890W, on welfare tax credits: overpayments, from how many people who have been declared bankrupt the Tax Credit Office is claiming back tax credit overpayments in the format in which the information is available. 
Jane Kennedy: Since May 2004 HM Revenue and Customs is aware of around 550 cases where claimants have notified the Department that they are bankrupt.
Information is not available for the number of claimants who have notified the Department they are bankrupt but are continuing to pay back an overpayment of tax credits.
If any claimant disputes HMRCs decision to recover an overpayment from them, then HMRC will suspend the recovery of the overpaid tax credits while the reasons for the dispute are looked into.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what representations he has received on the openness of proceedings in the family courts; and if he will take steps to increase access to such proceedings. 
The consultation paper Confidence and confidentiality: Improving transparency and privacy in family courts was published in July 2006. 245 formal responses were received to the consultation, and over
200 children and young people contributed their views. There was a material difference of opinion in the responses: the media supported the Governments proposal to allow the media into family courts as of right, but children and young people and the groups who support and protect them disagreed. However, children and young people said that they trust the court to make the decision on whether the media should be allowed to attend on a case by case basis. An overview of responses is available at:
The Government therefore have taken a new approach to openness in family courts. Instead of increasing access into such proceedings, they have decided to increase the amount of information coming out of the court. In certain cases, information will be given to the people involved, it will be retained for people who were involved in family proceedings as children to help them understand how decisions were made about them, and it will be made available in an anonymous format for public scrutiny.
A further public consultation was published on 20 June which outlined this new approach, and also asked questions on changing the rules on disclosure of information and whether the identity of a child should be protected after the end of proceedings. The consultation closes on 1 October 2007. It is available at:
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 346W, on family law, legal aid scheme, how much of the legal aid bill for family law cases since 2005 can be attributed to contributions towards the costs of residential assessments in care proceedings. 
Bridget Prentice: Information on the cost to legal aid of residential assessments in care proceedings is not recorded centrally. Further work is being done to isolate these costs through a review of closed files at the moment.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions were made and (b) fixed penalty notices were issued by (i) each police force and (ii) each local authority for graffiti under the (A) Criminal Damage Act 1971, (B) Clean Neighbourhood and Environment and Neighbourhoods Act 2005 and (C) Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Hanson: Graffiti is not a specific offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 or the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
Prosecutions for graffiti under these acts would be included with other offences, for example under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 it is likely these offences would be prosecuted under other criminal damage. It
is therefore not possible to separate graffiti offences from other acts of criminal damage.
Data on the number of environmental fixed penalty notices issued for graffiti-related offences are held by the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The following table provided by DEFRA shows the number of fixed penalty notices issued for offences relating to graffiti by local authorities under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 as amended by the Clean Environment and Neighbourhoods Act 2005, for the years 2004-05 and 2005-06. DEFRA do not hold this information broken down by police force area.
|Local authority||Number of fixed penalties issued|
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