Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the value of child benefit support as a percentage of forecast (a) mean and (b) median earnings in each year until 2012. 
Jane Kennedy: Child benefit is currently paid at a rate of £18.80 for the first child and £12.55 for subsequent children. The first rate of child benefit has risen by over 25 per cent. in real terms since 1997, and is set to rise further to £20 from April 2009.
While the Government are committed to further tackling child poverty and strengthening financial support for families, child benefit rates from April 2010 have not yet been set. Decisions about the rate of child benefit will continue to be made at Budgets and pre-Budget reports.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many full-time posts were filled on a temporary basis for a period in excess of six months in his Department in each of the last three years. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of (a) individuals and (b) families claiming (i) working and (ii) child tax credits have incomes of (A) 60 per cent., (B) 70 per cent., (C) 80 per cent., (D) 90 per cent. and (E) 100 per cent. or more of median earnings; and if he will make a statement. 
However, estimates of the number of in-work benefiting families with tax credit awards, broken down by income bands, are produced in table 2.10 of the HMRC publications Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Annual Awards. for the years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. These publications are available on the HMRC website at:
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people in each constituency in Wales were paying income tax at the 10 pence rate on the entirety of their taxable income on the latest date for which figures are available; 
(2) how many people in Chesham and Amersham constituency were paying income tax at the 10 pence rate on the entirety of their taxable income on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: The estimated number of taxpayers in each Government office region paying tax only at the starting rate of income tax for 2007-08 is shown in Table 2.2 Number of individual income taxpayers by country and region, which is available from HM Revenue and Customs website.
Accurate information on the number of taxpayers who pay income tax at the 10p starting rate for geographic areas below country and region are not available but information on the total number of taxpayers in each parliamentary constituency is shown in Table T3.15, which can be found at the HM Revenue and Customs website.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) England, (c) Greater Manchester, (d) Stockport borough and (e) Cheadle constituency were paying only the 10p starting rate of income tax as at 1 April 2008. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 23 April 2008]: Estimates for the number of individual taxpayers in the United Kingdom and England paying tax only at the starting rate of income tax for 2007-08 are provided in tables 2.1 and 2.2, which are available from HM Revenue and Customs website:
Accurate information on the total number of taxpayers in Greater Manchester, the borough of Stockport, and the parliamentary constituency of Cheadle are shown in tables T3.13, T3.14 and T3.15 respectively, which can be found at the HM Revenue and Customs website:
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in Pendle who paid income tax at the 10p rate on all their taxable income on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: The estimated number of taxpayers in each Government office region paying tax only at the starting rate of income tax for 2007-08 is shown in Table 2.2 Number of individual income taxpayers by country and region, which is available from HM Revenue and Customs website:
Accurate information on the number of taxpayers who pay income tax at the 10p starting rate for geographic areas below country and region are not available but information on the total number of taxpayers in the parliamentary constituency of Pendle is shown in Table T3.15, which can be found at the HM Revenue and Customs website:
Yvette Cooper: The ISB has allocated over £87.5 million to 161 local authority-led projects. Successive rounds have continued to fund innovation with an emphasis on local partnerships delivering local projects that strengthen local communities. Tables listing those projects that are local authority-led have been deposited in the Library of the House.
Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate of the effect on inflation of the provision of an overall public sector pay rise of (a) 2, (b) 3 and (c) 4 per cent. in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library copies of all internal audit recommendations made in the last five years in relation to (a) the Tax Credit Office and (b) HM Revenue and Customs. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how staff are surveyed at (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) his Department; and on what dates the next survey's results will be made public. 
The staff of HM Revenue and Customs are currently surveyed, on a sample basis, twice per year (winter and summer). The full responses to the staff surveys are published on the Department's external website and are available to the general public. The latest staff survey results from winter 2007 (November/December) were published on 29 February
2008. The next survey is scheduled for this summer and the results will be published shortly thereafter.
Staff at HM Treasury are surveyed in two ways: a main staff survey that takes place in December each year and a series of smaller "Pulse" surveys each quarter. A summary of the results from the 2007 annual staff survey were published on the Department's external website on 5 March 2008.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to produce a regulatory impact assessment on the withdrawal of the agricultural building allowances; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: An impact assessment on the capital allowances changes announced in Budget 2007 was produced and included in the technical note containing draft legislation on the majority of the package, published on 17 December 2007.
Angela Eagle: The Government's strategy for tackling climate change is set out in Government publications and reiterated in pre-Budget Report and Budget documents. Policy on environmental taxation was published in the 1997 Statement of Intent, and the Government continue to keep all taxation matters under review as part of the annual Budget process.
Many climate change impacts (for example floods, droughts and heat waves) are not new. As such, the Government have well-established policies to address them and reviews these policies and their funding regularly. Taxation, spending and regulation are some of the several policy instruments to tackle climate change. For example, the 2007 comprehensive spending review included additional funding for flood defences.
However, climate change is creating different impacts as well as changing the frequency and intensity of traditional ones. The framework in the Climate Change Bill will ensure that the Government regularly assess the risks from climate change and bring together a range of policies and proposals to address these risks, ensuring a joined-up approach to adaptation across Government.
The principal VAT directive, which governs the application of VAT throughout the European Union, provides for VAT exemption to be
applied to betting, lotteries and other forms of gambling, subject to the conditions and limitations laid down by each member state.
Jane Kennedy: Guidance on the VAT treatment of houseboats can be found in HM Revenue and Customs Notice 701/20, Caravans and houseboats. There have been no changes to the technical content of this notice, or the VAT liability rules in this area, since the current version of the notice was published in February 2004.
The supply of a houseboat (defined in VAT legislation as a boat or other floating decked structure designed or adapted for use solely as a place of permanent habitation and not having means of, or capable of being readily adapted for, self-propulsion) is VAT zero-rated.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, columns 890-1W, on income, what estimate he has made of expenditure on (a) tax credits and (b) child benefits to households in each income decile in each year since 1997. 
The annual Office for National Statistics publication The effects of taxes and benefits on household income provides data on the distribution of households' reported receipt of tax credits, child benefit and other benefits by income decile over time:
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the effect on receipts to the Exchequer of increasing the taper rate on tax credits to (a) 46 per cent., (b) 45 per cent., (c) 44 per cent. and (d) 43 per cent. in 2009; and what his estimate is of the number of people who would no longer be eligible for tax credits in each case. 
|1st taper rate (percentage)
|Effect on expenditure (£ million)
|Number of claimants ( Th ousand)
These changes would not affect the number of claimants eligible for tax credits. However, it would increase the number of claimants with awards reduced to zero. Estimates of which are provided in third column for each rate change.
Jane Kennedy: HMRC constantly monitor and look for ways to improve their procedures to prevent tax credits and child benefit fraud. These convictions demonstrate that HMRC can and do prosecute those that wish to commit a crime.