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Jane Kennedy: HMRC does not provide specific guidance to employers on whether their employees should pay reduced national insurance contributions. The onus is on employees to give their employers a certificate of election form. Without this certificate the employer must deduct full rate national insurance contributions.
Employers are advised to have a procedure in place to ensure employees notify them if they lose the right to reduced rate contributions, (for instance because of divorce or they have cancelled their election). The CWG2 Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs
Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what studies have been (a) considered and (b) evaluated by his Department on the economic implications of the peak oil phenomenon; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Government constantly monitor risks to the UK economy, including from energy-related developments, as detailed in the Energy White Paper (May 2007) and the Long-term Opportunities and Challenges for the UK (November 2006).
Government are aware of a wide range of academic and industry studies which look at future world oil supplies, including the peak oil phenomenon, and meets regularly with experts to discuss this and other oil market issues. The Government's assessment is that the world's oil resources are sufficient to prevent total global oil production peaking before 2030. This is consistent with the assessment of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 2007 World Energy Outlook (WEO).
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people earn more than the minimum wage but less than £6.75 per hour; how many of those work in the (a) private and (b) public sector; and if he will make a statement. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question asking how many people earn more than the minimum wage but less than £6.75 per hour; how many of those work in the (a) private and (b) public sector. (174852)
Levels of earnings are estimated from the annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE), and are provided for employees on adult rates of pay, whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom.
ASHE is not used to provide estimates of the numbers earning above the national minimum wage but less than £6.75 per hour, split by public and private sectors, but is used to make estimates of the proportions of employees in those categories. I attach a table providing that information.
|Percentage of UK employees earning above NMW but below £6.75|
Figures have been calculated using hourly earnings excluding overtime and include employees on adult rates whose pay for the pay-period was not affected by absence. They apply to earnings at April 2007.
ASHE is not used to provide accurate estimates of the numbers earning above the national minimum wage but less than £6.75 per hour, split by public and private sectors, but is used to make estimates of the proportions of employees in those categories.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people died from (a) overdoses of prescription medicine, (b) adverse interactions of prescription drugs, (c) overdoses of herbal medicine and (d) adverse interactions of herbal medicines in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people died from (a) overdoses of prescription medicine, (b) adverse interactions of prescription drugs, (c) overdoses of herbal medicine and (d) adverse interactions of herbal medicines in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. (175410)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports annually on the number of deaths in England and Wales from drug-related poisoning. These figures relate to the number of deaths from poisoning with any drug or medicine or certified as drug abuse or dependence. The latest report was published on 28 November in Health Statistics Quarterly 36(1) and contained figures for deaths registered between 2002 and 2006. In 2006, there were 2,570 deaths from drug-related poisoning. Although all substances mentioned on the death record are collated for these deaths, it is not possible to ascertain whether the deceased was prescribed the substances mentioned. It is also not possible to ascertain whether a substance was a herbal preparation.
Deaths from adverse interactions to prescribed or herbal medicines are not available from ONS mortality records.
(1) Office for National Statistics (2007) Deaths related to drug poisoning: England and Wales, 2002-2006. Health Statistics Quarterly 36, 66-72.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Tax Credit Office targets there are for responding to letters from right hon. and hon. Members; and how many letters received responses outside the target period in each (a) month and (b) quarter since 1 November 2006. 
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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) deploying software and (b) implementing procedures to encrypt all data sent out of HM Revenue and Customs on compact disc. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what control HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has over the access to and use of data after it has left HMRCs computers and been sent to (a) the Student Loans Company, (b) the National Audit Office and (c) other institutions; and what records HMRC maintains of that use and access. 
Jane Kennedy: HMRC protects its information by requiring bodies receiving data to seek HMRC consent before it may be used for certain purposes, or disclosed further. Controls may also be set out in memorandums of understanding, partnership agreements or other documents, defining the relationship between HMRC and the body receiving the data, including the specific procedures and protocols governing the use of information.
Once data has left HMRC it is the responsibility of the receiving body, including the Student Loans Company or National Audit Office, to ensure that any further use complies with the law including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the environmental implications of relocating Huddersfield HM Revenue and Customs staff from local offices to Bradford. 
Jane Kennedy: HMRC is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and will in part cut its direct energy consumption through the reduction in the office space it uses, releasing buildings it no longer needs for others to use and improving the energy efficiency of those offices it retains.
Where an office is earmarked for closure an assessment is made of the travel implications for current HMRC staff of journeys to alternative offices. For some, journeys may be longer or shorter but in no case is anyone required to relocate beyond reasonable daily travel.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reimburse staff from HM Revenue and Customs Huddersfield for increased travel costs as a result of having to relocate to the Bradford branch. 
Jane Kennedy: Where HM Revenue and Customs staff face increased travel costs as a result of being required to relocate permanently to another office they will be given payment towards their additional travel costs for three years.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to help those employees of HM Revenue and Customs who are unable to relocate to a different branch to find alternative employment. 
Where it is agreed that it is not reasonable for individual members of staff, in their circumstances, to relocate, managers will discuss alternative options with them. These may include the provision of temporary work in their current location or a move to another business unit within HMRC. In addition HMRC will facilitate moves to other Government Departments where posts are available matching terms and conditions where they are not comparable to those in HMRC. A re-deployment workshop is also available for staff to help them maximise their prospects of finding alternative work, using a consultant to provide coaching on CV writing and interview techniques.
HMRC will continue to work with staff, managers and the departmental trade unions to seek alternative ways to ensure that HMRC staff are offered every opportunity to continue to work in the Department.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether employees of HM Revenue and Customs involved in the collection of tax receive bonuses related directly or indirectly to the amount of tax revenue that they have been involved in collecting. 
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