Problem communicating with remote server...
Previous Section Index Home Page

5 Dec 2007 : Column 1346W—continued


Average Earnings: Herefordshire

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average wage was in Herefordshire in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [170954]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 5 December 2007:

Child Benefit: Personal Records

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his oral statement of 20 November 2007, whether the Government will reimburse clearing banks for all or part of the costs of taking measures to prevent identity theft arising as a consequence of the loss of data. [167848]


5 Dec 2007 : Column 1347W

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 26 November 2007]: HMRC is in regular and ongoing contact with the banks on all the issues associated with the loss of the discs.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sanctions have been taken against the HM Revenue and Customs official who posted two compact discs containing confidential child benefit information. [168208]

Jane Kennedy: It would be inappropriate to comment on this while there is an ongoing police investigation.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are in place to compensate individuals for losses arising from fraudulent activity using data released by HM Revenue and Customs inadvertently or by virtue of official error; and if he will make a statement. [168226]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 26 November 2007]: The police continue to have no reason to believe the data have found their way into the wrong hands and are not aware that it has been used for fraudulent purposes or criminal activity.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who will bear the cost of the police operation to trace the lost disks containing confidential child benefit information. [168289]

Jane Kennedy: HMRC will bear the incremental direct costs of the police operation to trace the two missing discs containing child benefit data.

Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who will bear the costs to the banks of the increased customer activity due to the loss of two compact discs containing confidential child benefit information; and if he will make a statement. [169315]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 29 November 2007]: HMRC is in regular and ongoing contact with the banks on all the issues associated with the loss of the discs.

James Brokenshire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the potential liability HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may be under to provide compensation to financial institutions or individuals arising from any financial fraud committed against child benefit recipients whose identity details have been lost by HMRC. [169488]

Jane Kennedy: The police continue to have no reason to believe the data have found their way into the wrong hands and are not aware that they have been used for fraudulent purposes or criminal activity.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his statement of 20 November 2007, Official Report, columns 1101-04, on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), how much time banks requested
5 Dec 2007 : Column 1348W
after receipt of data files from HMRC to ensure adequate protection of customer accounts before details of the loss of personal information was released to the public; and when he received the request. [169539]

Jane Kennedy: HMRC worked closely with the banks to inform them of the missing data and to ensure the right safeguards are in place to protect individuals. The banks asked for sufficient time to prepare for the announcement.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the individuals' records missing in the transfer of information from HM Revenues and Customs are of (a) adults and (b) children. [168457]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 29 November 2007]: The missing information contains details of child benefit records for 25 million individuals, 9.5 million adult claimants and 15.5 million children and 7.25 million families.

Crossrail Line: Finance

Graham Stringer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the Barnett consequentials arising from Crossrail in each of the next five years; [168130]

(2) what estimate he has made of the Barnett consequentials arising from Thameslink in each of the next five years. [168131]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 26 November 2007]: These projects are being funded from a variety of sources including the Department for Transport. Details of the Department for Transport's funding for the years to 2010-11 are set out in Annex D3 of the 2007 pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review document (Cm 7227). The Barnett formula is applied to changes in the overall Department for Transport's departmental expenditure limit. Full details of the Barnett formula are available in the Treasury publication ‘Funding the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly: Statement of Funding Policy’.

Death: Weather

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in Leicester aged 65 years and over died of cold related illnesses between 1 October and 1 March in each of the last 10 years. [170772]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 5 December 2007:


5 Dec 2007 : Column 1349W

Delivery Unit

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times officials from the Delivery Unit have met individuals representing (a) rail passengers, (b) the rail industry, (c) bus passengers, (d) bus companies, (e) coach passengers, (f) coach companies and (g) cyclists since 27 June. [170734]

Andy Burnham: Officials from the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit regularly meet with stakeholders relevant to its work. However, in the period since June 2007, officials from the Delivery Unit have not met individuals representing transport uses or providers.

Departmental Data Protection

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) procedures and (b) protocols govern the transfer of personal data between his Department and (i) other Government Departments, (ii) local authorities and (iii) other Government agencies. [167684]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 26 November 2007]: HMRC may only disclose information which it holds in accordance with the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005. Most transfers of data take place under statutory gateways which specify circumstances in which HMRC may disclose such information. All disclosures must be compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. Memorandums of understanding, partnership agreements and codes of practice set out the relationship between HMRC and the Department or other body receiving the data, including the specific procedures and protocols governing the use of the information.

On 20 November, the Chancellor announced an independent review of HMRC's data handling procedures to be conducted by Kieran Poynter, the chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Departmental Postal Services

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many items of post sent by his Department were reported missing by the intended recipient in each year since 1997. [171284]


5 Dec 2007 : Column 1350W

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review.

Departmental Reviews

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) reviews, (b) consultations and (c) taskforces his Department is (i) responsible for and (ii) scheduled to undertake; on what date each (A) started and (B) is expected to be completed; what the purpose is of each; and if he will make a statement. [170367]

Angela Eagle: Information on the independent reviews commissioned by the Treasury is published on the Treasury's website at:

Excise Duties: Beer

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's excise policy on the consumption of beer in public houses and bars; and if he will make a statement; [170310]

(2) if he will freeze beer duty; and if he will make a statement; [170311]

(3) if he will commission a review of the impact of excise policy on the UK brewing industry; and if he will make a statement. [170312]

Angela Eagle: Decisions on the taxation of beer are made by the Chancellor at Budget taking all relevant factors into consideration, including the state of the industry and its contribution to the economy.

Export Controls: ICT

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the IT system relating to export control at the UK's borders; what the problem with the system identified by the European Court of Auditors is; how many posts use individual ad hoc random checking in lieu of the IT system; what the cost of the IT system was in the last year for which figures are available; and what discussions he has had with the suppliers of the system on these matters. [170517]

Jane Kennedy: A number of interlinked IT systems are used to control exports at the UK border. HMRC regularly reviews these systems with the trade and with IT suppliers to maintain and improve effective controls and ensure that the UK continues to be a good place to do business.

In October 2004 the European Court of Auditors noted a problem involving a customs risk based system (TECS), used to target physical controls on exports claiming refunds under the Common Agricultural Policy.


5 Dec 2007 : Column 1351W

This problem only affected a small percentage of CAP export declarations. The problem had been identified by customs officers prior to the audit and guidance issued in June 2004 to provide a temporary solution and a technical correction was implemented in October 2005. Routine monitoring continues to ensure the effective performance of TECS.

There are a number of factors that determine which export consignments are checked and HMRC use electronic risk-based assessments to target our resources effectively. We do not use random or ad hoc checks to identify irregularities.

TECS is an in-house developed application, in place since 1999. The application is still supported and maintained by in-house staff in HMRC.

HM Revenue and Customs

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his statement of 20 November 2007, Official Report, columns 1101-18, on HM Revenue and Customs, what assessment he has made on whether the missing computer discs remain on Government property. [168797]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 27 November 2007]: The police continue to have no reason to believe the data have found their way into the wrong hands and are not aware that they have been used for fraudulent purposes or criminal activity.

Home Responsibilities Protection

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department will process the CF411 form applying for home responsibilities protection that was submitted by a constituent, Mrs. Donnelly, in September; and if he will make a statement on the length of time being taken to process CF411 forms by his Department. [170571]

Jane Kennedy: We cannot comment on individual cases.

Home responsibilities protection, (HRP), is processed in the national insurance contributions office. Where an application contains all the information required to process the case it can be completed within a month. It can take longer where cases require us to gather additional information and/or for us to contact the applicant or other Government Departments for further information.

Immigrants: Herefordshire

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many immigrants lived in Herefordshire in each year since 1997, broken down by country of origin; and if he will make a statement. [170950]

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


5 Dec 2007 : Column 1352W

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 5 December 2007:


Next Section Index Home Page