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Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs policy is to attempt to make personal contact in all cases before legal proceedings are considered including at least one visit to the last known address of the claimant. HM Revenue and Customs has taken some 1,200 cases to court, as a last resort to secure payment, in Northern Ireland for recovery of tax credit overpayments in year 2006-07. The information requested is not available for earlier years.
David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of levels of tax credit customer service in Northern Ireland (a) before and (b) after the removal of the Tax Credit Customer Service Unit; and if he will consider re-establishing the unit. 
Jane Kennedy: Customer service for tax credits is dealt with by a central team enabling HM Revenue and Customs to treat all customers fairly and consistently. The information requested is not available in the format requested but HMRC conduct a satisfaction survey of its customers who telephone the tax credits helplines. In 2006-07 87 per cent. of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall service they received from the helpline.
Mr. Timms: A firm estimate of the cost of operating the Business Council for Britain will only be possible following further discussion with its Chair and members regarding the Councils working methods. However, Members will not be paid for their work on the Council and costs will be kept to the minimum consistent with the Councils efficient and effective operation. The cost of supporting the Council, including the operation of its secretariat, will be met from within the Departments agreed budget for the new Comprehensive Spending Review period.
Mr. Timms: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) will now lead on encouraging links between business and universities. They will build on the successful links established through the Higher Education Innovation Fund and the Technology Programmes while within the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform will liaise closely with DIUS to ensure that business can take full advantage of UK science, research and innovation so that it can compete successfully in the global economy.
As of December 2006, over 5,700 free ATMs were located in the poorest 10 per cent. of wards in the UK, equivalent to around 17 per cent. of all free ATMs in the UK. On 13 December 2006, the working group on ATMs set up at the instigation of the Treasury found that while most low-income areas are relatively well served by free ATMs, there were a small but significant number of areas without convenient access to free cash withdrawals. The group concluded that around 600 new free ATMs could effectively meet access gaps in these areas.
As announced by my predecessor on 19 June, excellent progress is being made towards this goal of providing over 600 additional free ATMs in low-income areas across the UK, and 56, or 34 per cent. of the 167 new free ATMs already issuing cash to the public are located in the poorest 10 per cent. of the low-income areas identified by the working group.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the total cost has been of the change from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, broken down by (a) relocation expenses, (b) rebranding expenses on (i) signs, (ii) stationery and (iii) departmental publications and (c) other expenses. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of (a) UK investment in Taiwan and (b) Taiwans investment in the UK was in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
|UK stock of foreign direct investment in Taiwan||Taiwan stock of foreign direct investment in UK|
ONS Foreign Direct Investment Surveys
BERR consultation documents are made accessible electronically by placing them on the departments website in a single place. The departments consultations include an email address to which consultees can respond electronically.
Some consultations have gone further and introduced innovative ways of enabling responses. A recent example is the current consultation on the future of nuclear power where an interactive website has been set up to allow the submission of consultation responses online.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many flights to overseas destinations were taken by (a) employees of,
(b) board members of and (c) individuals sponsored by the regional development agencies (RDAs) in the last three calendar years, broken down by RDA; and what the total cost was of such flights. 
The Governments approach to raising productivity centres on maintaining macro-economic stability so as to provide firms and individuals with the certainty needed to invest in the future, as well as implementing micro-economic reforms to remove barriers that prevent markets from functioning efficiently.
The Government have identified five drivers of productivityinvestment, innovation, skills, enterprise, and competitionand a wide-ranging programme of reforms have been initiated to boost productivity in these areas.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Police Service of Northern Ireland has received (a) full details and (b) summaries of allegations of child sexual abuse by priests from the Roman Catholic Church. 
Paul Goggins: I have been advised by the PSNI that they have received information regarding a number of allegations of historic sexual abuse allegedly committed by priests from the Roman Catholic Church.
This information was handed to PSNI by solicitors acting on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church has co-operated fully with PSNI supplying all relevant information which has been required or requested.
Paul Goggins: There is a wide range of measures in place to communicate crime prevention advice, both at regional and local levels. The Community Safety Unit of the Northern Ireland Office provides advice, as well as financial support, and works in partnership with other statutory and voluntary organisations to tackle many crime prevention issues. These include domestic burglary, car crime, hate crime, business crime, crimes against older people, antisocial behaviour, illicit drugs, domestic violence and sexual violence. Advice is provided through a variety of mediums including television and radio campaigns, project staff, leaflets, face to face advice and websites.
At a local level, Community Safety Partnerships are located in every district council area throughout Northern Ireland. Each partnership has a published action plan which specifies the crime issues to be addressed in that particular area. They offer advice through local road shows, seminars, community newsletters and targeted leaflets.
PSNI communicates crime prevention advice to the public in many ways. Radio advertisements, posters and billboards are used both by the PSNI and in partnership with the Northern Ireland Office Community Safety Unit. There have also recently been publicity campaigns giving advice on domestic burglary, crimes against older persons and property marking.
PSNI have also made presentations at public meetings on a variety of topics. For example, in Londonderry during May 2007, a presentation was given to more than 70 business owners on preventing Tiger Kidnaps. Likewise, the PSNI participate in a number of groups such as the National Security Inspectorate, the Tobacco and Alcohol group (to give anti-robbery advice for high value loads), Retailers Against Crime In Northern Ireland (dealing with all aspects of crime against the retail community) and Northern Ireland Bankers Association (cash in transit robberies, kidnap or robbery of bank staff and counterfeit currency).
In addition, PSNI Crime Prevention Officers frequently attend public events such as the recent Young at Heart exhibition at the Kings Hall (for older persons) and the Seagate Young Innovators exhibition at the Odyssey (for school children). They also hand out advice leaflets (both Home Office and locally produced material) at many public events, from local Farming Shows to the North West 200 motorcycle race event.
Crime prevention advice is provided to children as part of the Citizenship and Safety Education Programme (CASE) in schools and they can also get advice from the website owned by PSNI Community Safety Branch.
PSNI Crime Prevention Branch purchases and gives away a variety of security products. In 2007-08 to date this has included 9,000 personal attack alarms for nursing and health care staff and 10,000 Ultra Violet
property marking pens as well as various promotional items to guide the public to websites giving advice on various crime issues.
PSNI also promote the ACPO Secured by Design Scheme, both by involvement with architects, town planners and local council Planning and Building Control Departments and by advertising in trade journals and local magazines.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in his Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in the last 12 months. 
Paul Goggins: Within the Northern Ireland Office, one member of staff has been disciplined within the last 12 months and one member of staff is currently being served with disciplinary proceedings in relation to inappropriate use of the internet while at work.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 515W, on Departments: official hospitality, from which external customers the sum of £184,000 was recouped in 2006-07; and for what reason the amount recouped increased by £95,000 from the previous year. 
Paul Goggins: The previous answer referred to of 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 515W, inadvertently stated that £184,000 was recouped from external customers. In fact, this money was recouped from both external and internal customers. In 2005-06, £80,000 was recouped from external customers and £9,000 from internal customers. (In 2006-07, £149,000 was recouped from external customers and £35,000 from internal customers).
In addition to its own use, the NIO permits a wide range of organisations to use the facilities at Hillsborough Castle for a variety of events. These organisations include; other NI Government Departments, the Prison Service, the Police Service, the armed services, and a variety of charitable organisationsall of whom are charged for the services they receive.
The number of events and the cost of putting on those events will determine the amount recouped from customers. These two factors will have contributed to the rise in recoupment between 2005-06 and 2006-07.
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