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7 Jan 2008 : Column 339W—continued

Revenue and Customs: Postal Services

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent by HM Revenue and Customs on (a) recorded post and (b) non-recorded post in each of the last five years. [173353]

Jane Kennedy: For the year April 2006 to March 2007, HMRC handled approximately 300 million pieces of outgoing post.

HMRC expenditure on recorded and non-recorded post since 2005 is:

£
Recorded Non-recorded

2005-06

513,706

78,563,963

2006-07

670,014

78,582,763

2007-08 (to 31 November 2007)

445,835

53,303,839


7 Jan 2008 : Column 340W

Sandstorm Report

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) with reference to the answer of 27 February 2007, Official Report, column 1300W, on the Sandstorm report, what plans he has to publish the Sandstorm report; [175536]

(2) to which (a) individuals and (b) organisations his Department provided access to (i) all and (ii) part of the Sandstorm report; [175537]

(3) with reference to the answer of 27 February 2007, Official Report, column 1300W, on the Sandstorm report, when his Department expects to make a definitive reply to Professor Prem Sikka of the University of Essex's request of 13 March 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for publication of the Sandstorm report relating to the closure of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International; and what the reasons are for the time taken to respond. [175545]

Angela Eagle: A response has been provided to Professor Prem Sikka's request of 13 March 2006. The Treasury is currently considering this case in response to an internal review request made by Professor Sikka in September 2007 under the Freedom of Information Act. A decision will be reached shortly.

Security Clearances

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department’s contracts with courier and postal service providers include provisions requiring (a) security clearance for the employees of such providers and (b) a check on residence entitlement in the UK. [171490]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 6 December 2007]: HM Revenue and Customs postal and courier service providers, as part of their recruitment policies, carry out employment checks to establish (a) criminal history record and (b) entitlement to work in the UK.

Smuggling

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance is given to HM Revenue and Customs customs officers on the exercise of powers of arrest in relation to individuals from whom seizures of goods are made; and if he will make a statement. [175819]

Jane Kennedy: HMRC is not able to seize goods illegally.

HM Revenue and Customs officers engaged in operational customs work have powers of arrest under s.138 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and s.24(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

All officers involved in work areas that require them to exercise the power of arrest, including those involved in making arrests of individuals from whom seizures of illegal goods are made, receive training in arrest procedures, policy and relevant law as part of their core training for the role. In addition, standing instructions on arrest law
7 Jan 2008 : Column 341W
and procedure are maintained as a source of reference for all officers involved in works areas that require them to exercise the power of arrest.

Only staff who have received full training in relevant law and procedure are authorised to effect an arrest.

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many seizures of illegal goods HM Revenue and Customs customs officers made in (a) ports, (b) airports, (c) rail terminals and (d) other locations in each year since 2004. [175820]

Jane Kennedy: The number of seizures of illegal goods is published in the HMRC and previously HM Customs and Excise Annual report.

The requested breakdown could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Smuggling: Tobacco

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of (a) the proportion of tobacco products consumed in the UK on which duty was not paid due to smuggling and fraud in each year since 1997 and (b) the resultant loss of income to the Exchequer. [174768]

Angela Eagle: Estimates for the market share of tobacco products that are supplied to the UK through smuggling and fraud, and the associated revenue loss to the Exchequer, are available from 2000 to 2001.

The latest estimates for the market share of illicitly supplied cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco and the associated revenue loss to the Exchequer (duty plus VAT) are estimated separately for 2001-02 to 2005-06 and are given in “Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007” published by HMRC in October 2007, which is available in the House of Commons Library. Estimates for 2000-01 are given in “Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2006” which was published by HMRC in December 2006 and is also available in the House of Commons Library.

Social Security Benefits: Personal Records

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for how long information on individuals who are claimants of any benefits or tax credits is stored after they cease to be claimants; and what measures are taken to destroy these records. [168560]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 29 November 2007]: The child tax credit and working tax credit were introduced on 6 April 2003. HMRC currently hold records for tax credit claimants whether their claim has ceased or not, for making decisions on entitlement, administering payments; the recovery of overpayments and compliance purposes.

Records for Child Benefit claimants are deleted five years after the award of the youngest child in the family has ceased.


7 Jan 2008 : Column 342W

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people died of spinal muscular atrophy in each year since 2001. [175290]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 7 January 2008:

Number of deaths from spinal muscular atrophy and related syndromes( 1) in England and Wales, 2001 to 2006( 2)
Number

2001

1,479

2002

1,518

2003

1,520

2004

1,551

2005

1,616

2006

1,702

(1) The cause of death for spinal muscular atrophy and related conditions was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code G12. (2) Figures are for registrations of death in each calendar year.

Suicide

Mr. Vara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many suicides there were in each 10 year age cohort in each of the last 10 years. [174841]

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 7 January 2008:


7 Jan 2008 : Column 343W

7 Jan 2008 : Column 344W
Number of deaths from suicide and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent, by age group, England and Wales, 1997 to 2006( 1)
Suicide( 2) Suicide( 2) and injury /poisoning of undetermined intent( 3)
Ages 13-14 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84 85 and over

1997

2

590

1,111

942

857

516

389

286

123

1998

7

651

1,351

1,048

919

554

394

301

114

1999

2

550

1,205

1,115

900

574

429

326

134

2000

1

555

1,124

1,091

911

558

406

287

137

2001

5

506

1,031

1,047

917

594

376

291

129

2002

1

475

1,009

1,104

852

563

364

254

130

2003

2

492

954

1,141

847

598

347

302

115

2004

3

476

896

1,151

889

608

396

315

140

2005

3

445

830

1,131

930

633

338

260

135

2006

3

399

748

1,066

893

692

340

256

110

(1 )Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
(2) The cause of death for suicide was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes E950-E959 for the years 1997 to 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes X60-X84for 2001 onwards.
(3) The cause of death for injury/poisoning of undetermined intent was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes E980-E989 excluding E9 88.8 for the years 1997 to 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes Y10-Y34 excluding Y33.9 where the Coroner’s verdict was pending for 2001 onwards.

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