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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. 
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. 
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 Queens Flight. 
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.
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. 
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.
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. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking Mr 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 percent of all households, (B) 99 percent of all households, (C) 75 percent of all households and (D) 25 per cent, of all households. (152707).
Estimates of household income and related taxes are provided in the ONS analysis The effects of taxes and benefits on household income. The latest analysis for 2005/06 was published on the National Statistics website on 17th May 2007 at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/taxesbenefits. The analysis is based on data from the Expenditure and Food Survey, which is a sample survey covering approximately 7,000 households in the UK.
Gross income includes income from wages, occupational pensions, self-employment income, investment income, and income from state benefits, all before tax. Direct taxes include income tax, national insurance contributions and council tax. The indirect taxes include VAT, duties, and a number of smaller items such as television licences. Indirect taxes also include intermediate taxesthese are indirect taxes paid by companies which are deemed to be passed onto households through the prices they pay for goods and services. A more detailed breakdown showing each of the different taxes appears in the annual article.
Indirect taxes, when expressed as a proportion of gross income, appear particularly high for those on lower income, although this result needs to be interpreted carefully. Estimates of indirect taxes are estimated based on household expenditure. It should be remembered that measured expenditure will not necessarily balance with measured income for the year. This is especially true for low income households where average measured income is significantly lower than average expenditure. For these households, indirect taxes (which reflect expenditure) are not being met solely from current income, and so indirect taxes are very high when expressed as a proportion of gross income.
There are a number of plausible reasons why for some households, expenditure might exceed income. Households with low incomes may draw on their savings or borrow in order to finance their expenditure. In addition, the lower income households in particular include some groups, who have, or report, very little income (for example, self-employed people starting a business or someone who has just been made redundant). In these cases, expenditure is not being met from current income. Some types of receipts are not included as income in the EPS e.g. inheritance and severance payments. In some cases, the information given on expenditure is not consistent with that on income received because of timing differences.
It is usually accepted that surveys have problems picking up data from extremely high income households. With the EPS having a sample of approximately 7,000 households, interpreting data for this high income group should be done with caution.
|Taxes as a percentage of gross income( 1) United Kingdom, 2005-06|
|(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.
Office for National Statistics
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. 
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. 
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.
Jane Kennedy: The decision to proceed with the contract between Her Majestys 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.
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. 
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:
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. 
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:
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. 
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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