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10 Sep 2007 : Column 1979W—continued

Personal Savings

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the underlying savings ratio was in the first quarter of 2007 excluding the contribution made to household pension funds; and if he will make a statement. [153481]

Kitty Ussher: The household saving ratio in 2007Q1 excluding the change in the net equity of households in pension fund reserves was 0.8.


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Public Sector: Pensions

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to announce the Government’s total accrued liability in relation to public service pension schemes as at March 2006. [147364]

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates he has made of the reduction in the accrued liability for public service pensions if mandatory retirement ages were abolished. [148707]

Andy Burnham: I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer the former Chief Secretary (Mr. Stephen Timms) gave on 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 393W.

A new estimate will be published in the autumn.

Queen's Flight

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the new aircraft being purchased for the Queen’s Flight. [152458]

Andy Burnham: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions on a wide variety of issues with organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. In line with the practice of previous administrations, this Government do not comment on the contents of these discussions. I refer the hon. Member to the press notice issued by the Department for Transport on 23 May concerning the procurement of the royal and ministerial air service.

Stamp Duties

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the average stamp duty paid by first-time buyers. [152853]

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average stamp duty paid by a first time buyer was in (a) each Government office region in England and (b) England in the last period for which figures are available. [153721]

Kitty Ussher: HMRC administrative systems do not identify whether a stamp duty land taxpayer is a first time buyer. It is not therefore possible to derive an estimate of the average stamp duty land tax paid by first time buyers. However, it is estimated that close to half of all first time home buyers are exempt from stamp duty land tax, taking into account the £125,000 starting threshold and the enhanced £150,000 threshold which is available in 2,000 disadvantaged wards.

Taxation

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate (a) direct and (b) indirect taxes as a percentage of gross income for households with an income (i) lower and (ii) higher than (A) 95 per cent., (B) 99 per cent., (C) 75 per cent. and (D) 25 per cent. of all households; and if he will make a statement. [152707]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.


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Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 5 September 2007:


10 Sep 2007 : Column 1982W
Taxes as a percentage of gross income( 1) —United Kingdom, 2005-06
Percentage

Indirect taxes( 2)

Income lower than 99% of all households

15

Income higher or equal to 99% of all households

7

Income lower than 95% of all households

16

Income higher or equal to 95% of all households

9

Income lower than 75% of all households

18

Income higher or equal to 75% of all households

11

Income lower than 25% of all households

25

Income higher or equal to 25% of all households

13

Direct taxes( 3)

Income lower than 99% of all households

20

Income higher or equal to 99% of all households

24

Income lower than 95% of all households

20

Income higher or equal to 95% of all households

26

Income lower than 75% of all households

17

Income higher or equal to 75% of all households

24

Income lower than 25% of all households

10

Income higher or equal to 25% of all households

22

Total taxes

Income lower than 99% of all households

35

Income higher or equal to 99% of all households

31

Income lower than 95% of all households

36

Income higher or equal to 95% of all households

35

Income lower than 75% of all households

35

Income higher or equal to 75% of all households

35

Income lower than 25% of all households

35

Income higher or equal to 25% of all households

35

(1) Households are ranked by equivalised disposable income.
(2) Includes VAT, Vehicle Excise duty and taxes on tobacco, alcohol and hydrocarbon oil.
(3 )Income tax, Employees’ National contributions (Including tax relief at source on life assurance premiums) and Council tax and Northern Ireland rates after deducting discounts.
Source:
Office for National Statistics

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Taxation: Domicile

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fact-finding exercises were undertaken as part of the review of the residence and domicile rules launched in Budget 2002; and if he will make a statement. [151771]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 5 July 2007, Official Report, column 1186W.

Valuation Office Agency: Freedom of Information

Alistair Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1888W, on the Valuation Office Agency: Freedom of Information, what the subject was of each request made in 2006; and what the outcome was of each request. [150627]

Jane Kennedy: The main subject for the 211 Freedom of Information Act requests received in 2006 related to Local Taxation Work (160), District Valuer Services (36), Customer Services (5), Human Resources (3) and Miscellaneous (7). In 106 cases the Agency provided the information in full, in 36 cases in part, and in 23 requests the information was not held. In the remaining 46 cases the Agency declined to provide the information.

Valuation Office Agency: Rightmove

Michael Gove: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Minister in which Department gave the authorisation for the contract between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove. [143665]

Jane Kennedy: The decision to proceed with the contract between Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (as parent department of the Valuation Office Agency) and Rightmove.co.uk Limited was taken by the VGA, in accordance with the delegated authority in Section 3 of its Framework Document (2005 Edition). Ministerial authorisation was not required.

Michael Gove: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the contract between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove plc was signed. [143666]

Jane Kennedy: No contract exists between the Valuation Office Agency and Rightmove.

The contract between Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Rightmove.co.uk Limited was signed by HMRC on 1 July 2005 and by Rightmove on 4 July 2005.

VAT: Uniforms

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the amount raised in 2006 from VAT on the sales of school uniforms. [155005]

Jane Kennedy: No such estimate has been made.


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Welfare Tax Credits: Northamptonshire

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of tax credit assessments for claimants in Northamptonshire have involved under or over payment in the most recent year for which figures are available. [154967]

Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the number of overpaid and underpaid awards at local authority level in 2005-06 are published in "Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards 2005-06. Supplements on Payments in 2005-06. Geographical Analyses". This is available on the HMRC website at:

Justice

Crime: Mentally ill

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research his Department has conducted into whether people with mental health problems who are (a) victims of crime and (b) witnesses of crime face particular difficulties when seeking access to justice. [152977]

Bridget Prentice: My Department has a research programme examining the experiences of vulnerable court users in both civil (including family) and criminal proceedings. One of the identified groups is individuals with mental health problems. Within this programme, we have commissioned two complimentary literature reviews, due for publication by 2008. One focuses on how people with mental health problems access and experience justice and the barriers they face. The other focuses more on the implementation and impact of legislation on individuals with mental health problems. These reports discuss, but do not specifically delineate between victims and witnesses.

During 2007 we expect to commission a 12-16 month project to determine how effectively the court system supports the complex and specific needs of individuals with mental health problems, learning disabilities or limited mental capacity. The focus will be on parties, victims and witnesses in both civil (including family) and criminal proceedings.

The Office for Criminal Justice Reform published a report on the evaluation of the use of special measures for Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses (VIWs), one of the criteria for which is having a mental disorder. The report found that VIWs were, and felt, better assisted than prior to the implementation of the special measures. But there continued to be a significant unmet need. However, there have been substantial developments in Government work relating to victims and witnesses since this piece of research was commissioned in 2000-01, which qualifies the conclusions of the study. The report has been placed in the libraries of the House and can also be found at:


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James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what support is available within the court process to assist people with mental health problems who are (a) victims of crime and (b) witnesses of crime. [152978]

Bridget Prentice: The Government have introduced 165 Witness Care Units, give £30 million annually to Victim Support including the Witness Service in every court and made improvements to court facilities which support all victims and witnesses of crime.

Under the statutory Code of Practice for Victims of Crime the police are obliged to identify vulnerable and intimidated victims and Witness Care Units are obliged to undertake a needs assessment to identify practical and emotional needs including special measures at trial.

The Government have introduced special measures for those witnesses (including victims who have to give evidence in court) who are vulnerable or intimidated. The definition of “vulnerable” in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 includes any victim who


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