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10 Sep 2007 : Column 1966W—continued


10 Sep 2007 : Column 1967W

10 Sep 2007 : Column 1968W

Quarter ending March each year Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Gynaecology) Ophthalmology Orthodontics Paediatrics Rheumatology Total

1997

3.6

9.3

8.4

7.1

7.8

5.9

1998

4.3

9.9

11.6

8.4

7.3

6.6

1999

7.7

10.6

15.8

5.9

8.4

8.4

2000

8.3

11.5

17.6

7.5

5.5

8.9

2001

3.6

8.8

10.4

6.1

6.0

6.9

2002

3.7

7.9

11.3

6.5

6.8

6.1

2003

3.9

6.9

15.5

6.8

8.5

6.4

2004

5.0

7.8

15.6

5.9

9.9

6.4

2005

3.6

6.8

17.2

6.0

8.3

6.4

2006

3.8

4.8

9.9

7.2

7.9

5.4

2007

2.1

4.0

n/a

3.3

4.4

3.5

Note:
Only includes specialities with over 100 patients
Source:
Department of Health QM08

Treasury

Air Passenger Tax

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised by air passenger duty in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006; and how much he estimates will be raised in 2007. [155015]

Angela Eagle: The following revenues were raised from air passenger duty in the respective calendar years:

£ million

2005

900

2006

950

2007(1)

2,000

(1) Forecast.

Auctions: Internet

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which suppliers have been added to the list of electronic auction framework agreements held by the Office of Government Commerce; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the market in intellectual copyright related to electronic auctions. [154869]

Angela Eagle: OGCbuying.solutions, an agency of the Office of Government Commerce, is responsible for electronic auction framework agreements.

No new suppliers have been added to the electronic auction framework agreements and no recent assessment of the market in intellectual copyright has been made.

Building Schools for the Future Programme

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 90W, on the Building Schools for the Future programme, how many recommendations were made to (a) the Department for Education and Skills and (b) HM Treasury as a result of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit's review. [153611]

Andy Burnham: Priority reviews, regardless of topic, typically contain between half a dozen and two dozen recommendations.

Child Benefit: EU Nationals

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for (a) child benefit and (b) child tax credit made by A8 nationals in the last 12 months were made in respect of children living outside the UK. [154842]

Jane Kennedy: At the end of June 2007 there were around 14,000 A8 nationals receiving child benefit for a child or children living in another EEA country.

The information requested on the child tax credit is not available.

Child Benefit: Overseas Residence

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 413W, on tax credits (1) how many individuals claiming child tax credit and child benefit in respect of children living abroad were asked in the last 12 months to provide a copy of the birth or adoption certificate for the children in question in order to verify their application; [155013]

(2) how many checks of claims for child tax credit and child benefit in respect of children living abroad were carried out in the last 12 months. [155014]

Jane Kennedy: A person making a claim for child benefit must provide HMRC with documentary evidence of the child being claimed for, such as a birth certificate, adoption certificate or passport. HMRC would only require a person making a claim for the child tax credit to furnish them with documentary evidence of the child being claimed for if they had not claimed child benefit.

All claims for tax credits and child benefit are subject to a wide range of checks throughout the life of each claim.


10 Sep 2007 : Column 1969W

Child Trust Fund

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect of the Gini coefficient on wealth of the Child Trust Fund since its introduction; and if he will make a statement. [152712]

Kitty Ussher: No estimates are made for this effect. Furthermore, to the extent that published wealth estimates exclude children, the Child Trust Fund could have no impact on this measure of wealth distribution until 2020, when the first Child Trust Fund account holders reach age 18.

The Child Trust Fund promotes saving and financial education and will ensure that in future all children have a financial asset at age 18, regardless of family background.

Companies: Registration

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the basis was for the decision to abolish the three-month Companies House filing date extension for companies with overseas interests; and if he will make a statement. [152708]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

The automatic three-month extension which companies with overseas interests could claim for filing their accounts with the registrar of companies, conferred by section 244(3) of the Companies Act 1985, was repealed by the Companies Act 1985 (International Accounting Standards and Other Accounting Amendments) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 2004/2947, regulation 9).

It was considered that this provision (which was introduced in 1976) was no longer justifiable in an era of rapid global communications, and there is no such provision in the Companies Act 2006.

Any company that anticipates real difficulty in meeting the deadline for filing accounts may apply for a discretionary extension to be granted under section 244(5) of the 1985 Act (section 442(5) of the Companies Act 2006).

Council Tax: Valuation

Michael Gove: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the agreement signed between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove redacting commercially confidentiality information. [143662]

Jane Kennedy: No contract exists between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove. However, the contract between Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Rightmove.co.uk Limited with minor redactions will be placed in the Library.

Customs Officers: South West Region

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the planned reduction is in the number of permanent customs officers who cover small ports and airports in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset as part of the Law Enforcement Business Plan; what assessment he has made of the role of such officers in combating
10 Sep 2007 : Column 1970W
illegal drugs imports; and if he will take steps to prevent the proposed reduction in numbers being implemented. [154852]

Jane Kennedy: There are no plans to reduce the number of permanent customs officers covering small ports and airports in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.

Debts: Business

Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the loss in revenue to the Exchequer from private equity businesses offsetting debts on one business in their ownership against profits elsewhere in their ownership to minimise or eliminate tax liability in each of the last five years. [152613]

Kitty Ussher: Interest on debt is in general treated as a business expense for tax purposes. Most major tax systems adopt the same approach and international capital markets and global businesses are structured on this basis. There are no plans to review this fundamental principle. However, on the 8 March 2007 Government announced a review of the tax treatment of the use of shareholder debt to replace the equity element in highly leveraged deals.

There is no special interest tax relief for private equity-owned companies, the tax rules apply to all companies regardless of ownership.

As HMRC does not specifically take into account private equity backed companies in their tax records it is not possible to provide this estimate.

Departments: Aviation

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent by his Department on (a) first class and (b) business flights in the last 12 months. [153172]

Angela Eagle: For details of the Department's expenditure on travel and subsistence in 2006-07 I refer to the answer to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) given on 25 July 2007. Of this expenditure, £144,788 was on first class flights and £1,004,269 was on business class flights.

All travel and subsistence is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code.

Departments: Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether policy on financial capability is within the remit of his Department following the recent machinery of Government changes. [152913]

Kitty Ussher: HM Treasury has retained the policy lead for financial capability within government. This was unaffected by the recent machinery of Government changes.


10 Sep 2007 : Column 1971W

Departments: Disabled

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of people employed by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are disabled. [153592]

Angela Eagle: The latest available statistics on the disability status of civil servants in Departments and agencies are as at 30 September 2006 and are published in ‘Civil Service Statistics 2006’ at Table P. This document is produced by the Office for National Statistics and can be accessed from the following website addresses:

Departments: Disclosure of Information

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 1066W, on Departments: disclosure of information, on how many occasions his Department has used a section 36 exemption to withhold information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 that was agreed by the departmental Minister; [153453]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 1066W, on Departments: disclosure of information, who his Department's departmental Minister was on (a) 1 January 2007 and (b) 5 July 2007; [153454]

(3) pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 66W, on Departments: freedom of information and the Ministry of Justice aggregated statistics, what information has been requested of his Department under the Act in the last six months. [153616]

Angela Eagle: The Ministry of Justice produces an annual report on FOI in central Government, which includes a table summarising the use of exemptions by each Department. The report for 2006 was published in June 2007.

The departmental Minister for HM Treasury on 1 January 2007 was Financial Secretary, Mr. John Healey. As Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury since 2 July, my responsibilities include those of departmental Minister.

The Treasury has had around 3,000 FOI requests since January 2005; it would exceed the costs limit to provide lists of the requests made to HMT. HMT meets the reporting standards agreed by the then Department for Constitutional Affairs with the House.


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