Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Mar 2008 : Column 533W—continued

Written Questions

Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many written questions to his Department had not received an answer as at 25 February 2008 for (a) between two and four, (b) between four and six, (c) between six and eight and (d) more than eight weeks; and how many in each category were tabled for named- day answer. [193397]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is given in the table:

Weeks Questions awaiting answer (named day component)

2-4

13 (-)

4-6

14 (2)

6-8

11 (1)

8 +

17 (1)


Treasury Ministers have answered substantively 2,123 House of Commons written questions in the present session. Over the preceding seven sessions since 2000-01, some 78 per cent. of the 26,493 written questions received by the Treasury were answered substantively on or before the due date.

Economic Situation: Cumbria

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to take into account (a) the wider social and economic issues facing West Cumbria, (b) the needs of businesses in the same area, (c) the skills and experience of the Whitehaven workforce and (d) West Cumbria’s roads and public transport infrastructure when making decisions relating to the future of the HM Revenue and Customs office in Whitehaven. [193596]


13 Mar 2008 : Column 534W

Jane Kennedy: Factors such as these are taken into account before a decision is made on the future of any office in HMRC’s regional review programme. The overall aim of this programme is to restructure HMRC’s estate and business in the most efficient way possible so as to provide a better service at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

HM Revenue and Customs: Bonuses

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria are used to determine (a) the total amount available for bonus payments to HM Revenue and Customs staff in each pay year and (b) the amounts awarded to individuals as bonuses. [193313]

Jane Kennedy: A common pay framework for the Senior Civil Service (SCS) is determined by the Cabinet Office, and not delegated to individual Departments. This framework includes incentive payments for the highest-performing staff who can demonstrate that they have delivered the outcomes expected of them and service improvements that matter to the public. The Cabinet Office also determines the size of the overall SCS bonus pot each year.

Full details of SCS pay criteria and awards are set out annually by the Senior Salaries Review Body. Its 29th Report on Senior Salaries 2007 (Cm 7030) includes a review of the pay system in 2005-06 and recommendations for 2006-07.

In accordance with this guidance, HMRC paid performance awards in four non-consolidated, non-pensionable tranches for 2006-07: zero, minimum (£3,000), medium (9 per cent. of base salary) and high (15 per cent. of base salary). Payment of these bonuses was made in November 2007.

Pay for other staff is delegated to individual Departments, who are expected to negotiate pay deals with their staff in accordance with pay remit guidance issued by HM Treasury. HMRC agreed a three-year pay remit with the Treasury in 2005, and a three-year pay settlement with staff and unions for pay awards in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08. HMRC has made provision for a proportion of the overall funds available to be invested in non-consolidated performance awards.

HMRC’s bonus pot of 0.80 per cent. is currently below the minimum level of 2.5 per cent. recommended in the pay remit guidance. HMRC’s pay settlement provides for a payment for a “top performer” of between 2.5 per cent. and 5 per cent. of salary, and a smaller payment for a “good performer” whose salary has reached the range maximum.

HMRC sets the actual percentage of performance awards paid each year on the basis of affordability, after analysing performance marks received by staff and the resulting cost implications.

HM Revenue and Customs: Data Protection

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions HM Revenue and Customs has transferred more than 50 tax returns between offices in each of the last 12 months. [193295]

Jane Kennedy: The requested information is not available.


13 Mar 2008 : Column 535W

HM Revenue and Customs: Training

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what training courses were attended by HM Revenue and Customs staff in the last 12 months. [193300]

Jane Kennedy: The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House.

HM Revenue and Customs: Whitehaven

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how staff from the HM Revenue and Customs office in Whitehaven will be consulted on the future of the office. [193597]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publishes its proposals on its internal staff intranet at the start of any review, and whenever possible business units hold face-to-face meetings with staff to explain and discuss the proposals. Staff are invited to comment on them, either individually or as part of a team, via a dedicated e-mail facility. Staff can also engage with their trade unions to put forward their views.

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the consultation on the future of the HM Revenue and Customs office in Whitehaven to (a) begin and (b) conclude; and what criteria he expects to be taken into account in the decision-making process. [193598]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has too much office space and will need even less in the future. It is therefore engaged in a review programme to decide which offices best suit its future business needs. It has already reviewed offices in and around the major urban centres, and is currently working on a timetable, which it hopes to publish shortly, for the review of its remaining offices, including Whitehaven.

The potential impacts of an office closure on staff, customers and the wider local community are taken into account in the decision-making process, and balanced against HMRC’s overall aim of restructuring its estate and business in the most efficient way possible.

Income Tax Rates and Bands

Stephen Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenue that would be raised by a 1 per cent. increase in the higher rate of income tax, based on (a) 2007-08 tax bands and (b) 2008-09 tax bands. [194049]

Jane Kennedy: The cost or yield from a 1p change in the higher rate of income tax is regularly published in the “Tax ready reckoner and tax reliefs”, copies of which are in the Library, and in table 1.6 on the HM Revenue and Customs’ website:

An updated version of table 1.6 reflecting changes announced in Budget 2007 which take effect from April 2008 is due to be published at the end of April.


13 Mar 2008 : Column 536W

Landfill Tax

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of the landfill levy was allocated as tax foregone in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006 and (d) 2007; [193104]

(2) what income he received from the operation of the landfill levy in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006 and (d) 2007; [193105]

(3) what the disbursements from tax foregone on the landfill levy to (a) environmental trusts and other bodies and (b) Business Resource Efficiency and Waste were in (i) 2004, (ii) 2005, (iii) 2006 and (iv) 2007. [193106]

Angela Eagle: Latest landfill tax receipts are published by HM Revenue and Customs at

This also includes estimates of tax forgone as a result of contributions to environmental bodies (EBs) through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF); the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste programme is not funded via tax foregone.

Information submitted to ENTRUST, the regulatory body for the LCF, shows the total contributions received by EBs as follows:

£

2004

46,610,695

2005

52,723,090

2006

56,013,671

2007

64,549,433


Public Buildings

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the Public Sector Building Non-housing (PUBSEC) index, rebased to 2000, for each quarter of each financial from since 1990 to 2000. [191683]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

The Public Sector (Non-Housebuilding) index was published in the bulletin “Quarterly Building Price and Cost Indices”. I have arranged for a copy of the index, rebased to the year 2000, to be deposited in the Library.

Regional Development Agencies: Complaints

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints against regional development agencies were (a) received and (b) upheld in each year for which figures are available. [191357]

Mr. McFadden: I have been asked to reply.

RDAs record information relating to formal complaints in different ways. The following tables show the number of complaints against RDAs which were received and upheld.


13 Mar 2008 : Column 537W

13 Mar 2008 : Column 538W
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
RDAs Complaints received Complaints upheld Complaints received Complaints upheld Complaints received Complaints upheld

AWM1

2

2

EEDA2

3

5

1

4

1

HMD A3

LDA4

17

0

NWDA

0

0

0

0

0

0

ONES

SEEDA6

SWRDA

0

0

0

0

0

0

YF7

10

0

3

0


2005-06 2006-07
RDAs Complaints received Complaints upheld Complaints received Complaints upheld

AWM1

3

3

3

3

EEDA2

4

3

6

2

HMD A3

0

0

0

0

LDA

29

0

20

0

NWDA

0

0

7

1

ONES

20

0

24

0

SEEDA6

2

0

1

0

SWRDA

0

0

1

0

YF

9

0

16

0

Notes:
1. AWM only records formal complaints which could not be resolved in the first instance and required further action to resolve them. The AWM figures in the table all relate to formal complaints which required investigation and, in some cases, further action.
2. EEDA's complaints upheld figures for 2002-03 are in archive and are not held centrally and are available only at disproportionate cost. Complaints received figures for 2002-03 are from the annual reports and accounts.
3. EMDA only records complaints which could not be resolved in the first instance and required further action to resolve them.
4. LDA's figures for 2002-03 and 2003-04 are archived. This information is not held centrally and is available only at disproportionate cost.
5. Prior to 2005-06, ONE did not record complaints received. After 2005-06, the agency only recorded complaints received. The complaints procedure is not designed to result in a complaint being 'upheld' or not. The complaints ONE receives are rarely of a nature that enables them to record information in this way as the procedure is actually a mediation process. For example, a complaint may relate to failure of a complainant to secure funding - the resolution in this case would be to discuss feedback with the complainant and point them in the direction of alternative funding sources.
6. SEEDA only records complaints which could not be resolved in the first instance and required further action to resolve them.
7 Prior to 2003-04, YF did not record complaints received.

Next Section Index Home Page