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31 Jan 2008 : Column 676W—continued

Stamp Duties

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 906W, on stamp duties, how many homes claimed the tax relief for zero carbon homes from 1 December 2007 to date, according to HM Revenue and Customs records. [183157]


31 Jan 2008 : Column 677W

Jane Kennedy: Of those transactions for which a stamp duty land tax certificate was issued in December 2007, three transactions claimed the stamp duty land tax relief for new zero-carbon homes. Figures are not yet available for 2008.

The tax relief will help stimulate the market for new highly efficient technologies in homes, both for the fabric of the building and in the use of microgeneration, and sets a gold standard for green homes.

We expect the numbers of qualifying transactions to rise as more properties eligible to claim the relief go on the market.

The Government are committed to conducting an interim review of the relief in 2010 which will examine the effectiveness of the relief in stimulating the innovation necessary to ensure that all new homes are built to a zero-carbon standard from 2016.

Tax Avoidance

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals were identified as having intentionally failed to comply with tax regulations in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. [183308]

Jane Kennedy: This information is not available, as HMRC does not currently record information about the intention of those who fail to comply with tax regulations.

Tax Credit Office: Administration

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total annual administrative costs of the Tax Credit Office were for the most recent period for which figures are available; and what proportion of those costs related to (a) processing claims, (b) dealing with inquiries and (c) resolving complaints. [181088]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) delivers tax credits through a number of its business units including the Tax Credit Office (TCO). The TCO has a number of roles largely relating to handling awards that cannot be processed automatically by HMRC computer systems. For example, TCO will help bring new claims into payments where customers have provided incomplete information. TCO also handles most written inquiries put to HMRC about tax credits, including complaints and requests for reviews of decisions.

TCO staffing costs for 2006-07 were around £84.3 million and the staff costs of handling complaints in the TCO in the same period was around £4.5 million. The other information requested is available only at disproportionate cost.

For information relating to the full costs of delivering tax credits, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander) on 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 375W.


31 Jan 2008 : Column 678W

Tax Relief: Exercise

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider bringing forward proposals for introducing tax relief on gym membership for the clinically obese. [183314]

Jane Kennedy: There are no plans to introduce tax relief on gym membership for the clinically obese.

Taxation: Alcoholic Drinks

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the annual revenue has been from (a) duty on alcohol and (b) VAT on sales of alcohol in the last five reported years; and if he will make a statement. [182941]

Angela Eagle: Excise duty receipts for alcoholic products can be found in the HM Customs and Excise ‘Bulletins', for Spirits, Wine, Beer and Cider, which can be found on a HM Customs and Excise website address at:

The value added tax (VAT) receipts for alcohol products are not available. HM Revenue and Customs do not collect data on VAT from individual goods and services.

Taxation: Construction

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies in the construction sector have been fined since the introduction of the new construction industry scheme for wrongly stating the employment status of a member of their workforce; and how many workers were given the wrong status by each such company. [178591]

Jane Kennedy: Information provided on returns made by contractors under the new construction industry scheme is used to inform employer compliance reviews undertaken by (HMRC). These reviews can include checking the employment status of workers as well as other aspects of the return.

Employer compliance reviews involve examination of records and fact finding and consequently they can take some time to complete. At present, no instances have arisen where penalties have had to be imposed because of an incorrect declaration of employment status by a contractor.

Unemployment: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many workless households there were in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London Borough of Bexley in each year since 1997. [178669]

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


31 Jan 2008 : Column 679W

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 January 2008:

Number of workless households( 1) in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and the London borough of Bexley( 2) , April to June 1999 to 2007, not seasonally adjusted
Thousand
Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency London borough of Bexley

1997

(3)

7

1998

(3)

(3)

1999

4

8

2000

(3)

(3)

2001

3

9

2002

3

9

2003

2

6

2004

4

7

2005

2

6

2006

3

10

2007

4

10

(1) A workless household is a household with at least one person of working age (male aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59), and in which no one aged 16 or over is in employment.
(2) Figures have not been adjusted to include estimates for households with unknown economic activity.
(3) Comparable estimates are not currently available
Note:
As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin or uncertainty.
Source:
ONS Labour Force Survey

Valuation Office: Press

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to which periodicals (a) the Valuation Office Agency and (b) HM Revenue and Customs subscribed in the latest period for which figures are available. [176409]

Jane Kennedy: The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Business streams, including the Valuation Office Agency, order business periodicals as required in order to keep abreast of developments in their areas of expertise and are responsible for meeting the costs of any appropriate journals and periodicals out of their overall operating budgets.


31 Jan 2008 : Column 680W

Valuation Office: Rightmove

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2008, Official Report, column 509W, on Valuation Office: Rightmove, if he will make it his policy not to extend the contract for a further 12 months. [178658]

Jane Kennedy: This is an operational decision for the Valuation Office Agency, who should continue to gather, in the most cost-effective way, the data it requires to perform its statutory functions.

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the data that the Valuation Office Agency collects from Rightmove.co.uk using the market comparable reporting tool include data derived from the Rightmove automated valuation model database. [183268]

Jane Kennedy: The Valuation Office Agency only has access to the information which was freely available to the public while a property was being advertised for sale on the Rightmove web site.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of families were (a) eligible for and (b) claiming (i) working tax credit and (ii) child tax credit in the latest period for which figures are available. [183568]

Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the take-up rate for child and working tax credits in 2004-05, for which latest figures are available, are published in table 1 of the HMRC publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credit Take-up rates 2004-05’. This publication is available on the HMRC website at:

Estimates of the numbers of families with tax credits awards are available in the HMRC publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Annual Awards’, for the years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. These publications and provisional estimates for the number of families with tax credit awards, as at selected dates in 2006-07 and 2007-08, are available on the HMRC website at:

We do not produce statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit.

Welfare Tax Credits: Devon

Nick Harvey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in North Devon were in receipt of (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit in each year since 1997. [183081]

Jane Kennedy: Child and Working Tax Credits were introduced in April 2003.


31 Jan 2008 : Column 681W

Estimates of the numbers of families with tax credits awards, by constituency and local authority, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are available in the HMRC publication "Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards. Geographical Analysis" for the years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. These publications are available on the HMRC website at:

HMRC do not produce statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit.

Welfare Tax Credits: EU Nationals

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1236W, on welfare tax credits: EU nationals, whether he plans to collect this data in the future; and if he will make a statement. [178802]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 210W, to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond).

Welfare Tax Credits: Fraud

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of fraud arising from tax credit claimants claiming to be living alone when living as part of a couple. [180821]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 21 January 2008 ]: The estimated level of error and fraud by category under tax credits is published in Table 7 of the HMRC publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Error and fraud statistics 2004-05’ which is available on the HMRC website at:

Welfare Tax Credits: Overpayments

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the cost of recovering overpayments of tax credits. [181038]

Jane Kennedy: Tax credit overpayments can either be recovered automatically from continuing entitlement or, where entitlement has ended in respect of the overpaid award, HMRC will oversee the direct recovery of tax credits debt.

The overall cost of recovering overpayments of tax credits is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

I refer to the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 26 November 2007, Official Report, column 71W.

Welfare Tax Credits: Telephone Services

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many calls were handled by the tax credits helpline in each year for which figures are available. [180231]


31 Jan 2008 : Column 682W

Jane Kennedy: For the period up to April 2006 I would refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the then Paymaster General on 12 September 2005, Official Report, column 2407W, on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2137W and on 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 188W. The following table shows the number of tax credit helpline calls that were handled between 1 May 2006 and 31 December 2007.

Calls handled (thousand)

2006

May

2,284

June

2,225

July

2,185

August

2,667

September

2,073

October

1,752

November

1,896

December

1,168

2007

January

1,759

February

1,829

March

1,723

April

1,876

May

2,288

June

2,400

July

2,747

August

2,026

September

1,841

October

1,629

November

1,529

December

1,013


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