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21 Nov 2007 : Column 915Wcontinued
implemented improvements to the Customer Management System to improve its usability, performance and reliability;
improved the underlying IT infrastructure to reduce the number of hardware and operating systems failures and therefore the amount of IT failures suffered by our front-line staff;
implemented increased bandwidth and improved PC infrastructure to improve response time and communication between offices;
implemented a single Customer Information System to bring together information on the people which we serve to improve our ability to re-use information;
implemented upgrades twice yearly to each of our major business systems to ensure they keep pace with the changing nature of our business; and
implemented a Fraud Management system which brings together consistent and accessible information to support our investigators in the continued battle against benefit fraud.
I hope this is helpful.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans are in place for people on benefits, low wages or with hire purchase schemes to receive assistance with the costs of contents and buildings insurance. 
Kitty Ussher: I have been asked to reply.
The Governments recent financial inclusion strategy has highlighted the importance of insurance as a tool to help people to cope with financial pressure and plan for the future.
The Treasury has asked the Financial Inclusion Taskforce to work with the insurance industry and the Association of British Insurers to increase understanding of the problem of exclusion from insurance, and to identify potential policy responses.
The Taskforce will be reporting its initial findings to me shortly, and the Government will respond next month in its detailed action plan for financial inclusion.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were defined as being in child poverty in Stroud constituency in each of the last 10 years. 
Caroline Flint: The information is not available below the level of Government Office Region.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which members of the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit are working on the review of academies; what their remit is; and when the review will be completed. 
Andy Burnham: The review of the academies programme is being jointly led by a number of officials in the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit in partnership with Treasury and DCSF officials in the academies group of the Department. Their remit is to review how the academies programme is meeting the objectives of turning around attainment in underperforming schools and how the programme is addressing a culture of underachievement and low aspirations in some of the most disadvantaged communities. The review will be completed before the end of the year.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether EEA nationals living in the UK will be able to claim child benefit in respect of unborn children whose mother is living outside the UK from 2009 onwards. 
Jane Kennedy: Nochild benefit can only be claimed after the birth of a child. There is no provision for child benefit to be claimed before a child is born.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families (a) were eligible for and (b) claimed childcare tax credit in each year since its introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Information on the take-up rate of the childcare element is not available.
Information on the average number of in-work families benefiting from the childcare element, based on final family circumstance and incomes, in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 are published table 2.4 of the HMRC publications Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards, for each relevant year. These publications are available on the HMRC website at:
John Cummings: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many jobs have been relocated in County Durham as a result of the Gershon Review. 
Andy Burnham: By June 2007 eight posts had been relocated out of London and the south east to County Durham as a result of the Lyons relocation programme.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the evidence given by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and officials before the Treasury Select Committee on 22 October 2007, if he will place in the Library copies of all deflators used to calculate defence expenditure from 1997 onwards. 
Andy Burnham: The Government calculate real terms public expenditure using the GDP deflator published at:
Nick Herbert: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department has spent on (a) citizens juries, (b) focus groups and (c) other deliberative forms of public opinion research in each month since January 2006. 
Angela Eagle: I refer to the answers given by my hon. Friend the then Financial Secretary (John Healey) to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 196W, and to the hon. Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois) on 18 June 2007, Official Report, column 1495W. The workshops for the financial inclusion taskforce (per the answer of 4 December 2006) were invoiced in February to April 2006.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the annual contribution of the engineering sector to the UK economy. 
Angela Eagle: The average annual growth of output of the engineering and allied industries from 1997 to 2006 was 1.1 per cent. Total gross value added growth in 2006 was 3.8 per cent. and 0.14 percentage points of this was due to growth in the output of the engineering and allied industries. The industry employed 1.9 per cent. of the work force in 2006.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what data sources relating to the value of homes his Department uses when formulating economic policy. 
Angela Eagle: The Treasury uses a wide variety of data sources on the value of homes, including house price indices from the Department for Communities and Local Government, Halifax, Nationwide, the Land Registry, and others, for example internet based property listing firms. It also makes use of survey evidence from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Data on the overall value of the residential housing stock is available within the national accounts produced by the Office for National Statistics.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what figures he holds on the (a) percentage of the population liable to inheritance tax in each EU member state and (b) the rate payable. 
Jane Kennedy: The number of UK estates paying inheritance tax in each year is less than 0.1 per cent. of the population.
For the UK, it is estimated that, for those estates which passed on death in the year 2003-04 and for which probate was granted, 6 per cent. of the total value was paid in inheritance tax. The estimate excludes estates that were not notified for probate since that information is unavailable.
Estimates are not available for other EU member states.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many studies his Department has (a) started and (b) completed into the consequences of the Iraq war for his Department and lessons learnt; and if he will place copies in the Library. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 19 November 2007]: The Treasury keeps a range of issues under continuous review, including the implications, for the Exchequer and the economy, of military operations in Iraq.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the level of labour market participation was among lone parents in (a) the UK, (b) the North East and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in each year since the introduction of working tax credit. 
Angela Eagle: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 21 November 2007:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the labour market participation of lone parents. (166592)
The information requested is given in the attached table. The figures in the table are estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|Economic activity( 1) levels and rates for working-age( 2) lone parents with dependent children( 3) , by area of residence|
|Thousand and percentage ( not seasonally adjusted )|
|Three months ending June of each year||Middlesborough South and East Cleveland||North East||UK|
|(1) Economically active people are those who are either employed or unemployed, as defined by the International Labour Organisation.|
(2) Men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.
(3) Dependent children are children under 16 and those aged 16-18 who are never-married and in full-time education.
(4) Estimates have not been adjusted for people with unknown economic activity status.
(5) Economically active lone parents as a percentage of all lone parents. Base for percentages excludes people with unknown economic activity status.
Labour Force Survey household datasets
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether accommodation provided to junior doctors at a partial or fully subsidised rate by NHS trusts is eligible for tax as a benefit in kind. 
Jane Kennedy: The same tax rules covering accommodation provided by an employer apply to junior doctors as to all employees. Whether there is a tax charge depends on the particular facts and circumstances in the light of the employment income tax rules.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Foundation Year 1 doctors' accommodation costs are tax deductible. 
Jane Kennedy: The same tax rules covering tax relief for accommodation costs apply to junior doctors as for all employees. The correct tax treatment will depend on the particular facts and circumstances in the light of the employment income expense rules.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the investment-grade credit rating of (a) the NHS and (b) foundation trusts; and if he will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham: HMT is not responsible for assessing the sustainability of individual NHS organisations. Monitor oversee the FT Sector by applying a proportionate regulatory regime which includes risk ratings on the financial performance of the FT Sector. Monitor publish these ratings (one to five) in quarterly reports on the performance of the FT Sector.
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