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20 May 2008 : Column 203Wcontinued
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many reviews of histopathology services were conducted in each strategic health authority in each of the last three years; 
(2) how many histopathology samples were reviewed by NHS trusts following concerns about discrepancies in histopathology laboratories in each of the last three years. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Department does not routinely collect information centrally about reviews of histopathology services or the number of histopathology samples reviewed by national health service trusts.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many patients have been affected by a Choose and Book system error since the systems inception; 
(2) how many times unique reference numbers for Choose and Book have been transposed between patients since the systems inception. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are aware of only one choose and book system error that has affected patients. Out of 8.5 million bookings made, the error is known to have affected 272 bookings, between 11 April 2008 and 24 April 2008 through the transposition of unique reference numbers.
The affected cases were quickly identified and action was taken to minimise any potential impact for patients. All hospitals and patients were contacted where the possibility had arisen of notification of incorrect appointments resulting from the error. In many cases it was established that no adverse effect on patients had occurred and at no time was patient confidentiality compromised.
The supplier made corrections to the system and no recurrence of the problem has been experienced since 24 April 2008. While no further recurrence is expected in future, an automated process has been put in place to identify the problem immediately if that should happen.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness implications of the plans to cease dispensing by doctors. 
Dawn Primarolo: There are no plans to cease dispensing by doctors. Dispensing doctors play a pivotal role in ensuring continued access to pharmaceutical services and providing patient care for those who need it.
The White Paper Pharmacy in England; Building on StrengthsDelivering the Future, looks at aligning the future provision of pharmaceutical services and sets out proposals to look at the market entry criteria for doctors and pharmacistsbut no decision has yet been taken on the criteria to be used in future for patients to receive pharmaceutical services from their general practitioner. Copies of the White Paper are available in the Library.
A consultation paper will be launched in late summer after the publication of the primary and community care strategy. We will consider fully the impact of any proposals on patients, the national health service and contractors.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, columns 1810-11W, on prescriptions: ICT, what the reasons are for the difference between the number of electronic prescriptions service (EPS) prescription messages generated by GPs and the number of EPS dispense notification messages sent by pharmacies. 
Mr. Bradshaw: During the transition from paper based prescriptions to electronic prescriptions, we are committed to ensuring that patients have the choice of going to any community pharmacy or other dispensing contractor to get their prescriptions whether they have the appropriate information technology capability or not. This results in a larger number of electronic prescription messages being issued than are dispensed.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk of 9 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1226-32W, on prostate cancer, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the trend in the number of diagnoses of prostate cancer since 1997. 
Ann Keen: The main reason for the increase in the number of prostate cancers diagnosed is the introduction of the Prostate Specific Antigen test in the early 1990s, although this increase was on top of an existing underlying trend of more cases.
Alongside this increase in prostate cancers diagnosed the mortality rate from prostate cancer has continued to decline in recent years. The five-year survival has increased from 42.4 per cent. between 1986 and 1990, to 74.4 per cent. between 1999 and 2003.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects Government-funded trials for prostate cancer screening to report; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The Government are not currently funding trials for prostate cancer screening. There is currently insufficient evidence from any country in the world to show that screening would reduce deaths from prostate cancer. The Government are committed to introducing a national screening programme for prostate cancer if and when screening and treatment techniques are sufficiently well developed. The UK National Screening Committee keeps screening for prostate cancer under review, and research under way in both Europe and the United States of America is being monitored.
The Department is supporting the development of screening technology for prostate cancer by having a comprehensive research strategy into all aspects of prostate cancer. We are jointly with other National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) members funding two NCRI Prostate Cancer Research Collaboratives, and the Department is funding half of the total £7.4 million cost. In addition, the Department is funding a £20 million trial of treatments for prostate specific antigen screen-detected early prostate cancer, the ProtecT trial and supporting a comparison trial to run alongside it.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the additional revenue from capital gains tax if it were levied on companies at the same rate as corporation tax in 2008-09. 
Jane Kennedy: No additional revenues would be raised. Companies are not subject to capital gains tax, instead any chargeable gains accruing to them are charged to corporation tax as part of their total profits. Consequently companies' chargeable gains are already taxed at the relevant rate of corporation tax for 2008-09.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the additional revenue from capital gains tax if it were levied on individuals at the basic rate of income tax in 2008-09. 
Jane Kennedy: A reform of this kind would result in a large behavioural response and such estimates are susceptible to a wide margin of error. A broad estimate of the eventual steady state impact, taking account of the likely taxpayer response to such a change, is additional receipts in the order of £400 million a year by comparison with the current capital gains tax regime.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many notification changes have been made to the Valuation Office Agencys Council Tax List with a code of CL26 (correction of inaccuracy) in the last 12 months. 
Jane Kennedy: Of the 22.5 million entries in the council tax valuation lists in England, 56,122 (0.25 per cent.) were reviewed and cleared in 2007-08 using code CL26.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultants were contracted by his Department to conduct public participation activities in the last three years; and how much expenditure his Department has incurred on each such contract. 
Angela Eagle: Information on consultants used to conduct public participation activities is contained within the total external consultancy figures and cannot be separately identified without incurring disproportionate cost.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to help working families in the Vale of Clwyd since 1997. 
Jane Kennedy: Since 1997 the Government have introduced a number of policies to make work pay and help working families.
The working tax credit (WTC) provides financial support on top of earnings, and together with the national minimum wage (NMW) helps to improve work incentives and relieve in-work poverty. The child care element of WTC improves the financial rewards for parents from work, and gives them the financial flexibility to choose the child care arrangements that are most appropriate for their families. It offers low-to-moderate-income families support with up to 80 per cent. of child care costs up to a limit of £300 per week for two or more children. In addition, families in work are eligible for the child tax credit. Taken together, these policies mean that form October 2008, the guaranteed minimum income for a family with one child working full-time will be £292 a week.
The Government are committed to helping parents balance work and family life, including introducing enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave, the right for parents to request flexible working.
The Government are also trialing new ways of ensuring that work pays. From October 2008 the Government will pilot a new better off in work credit which will reassure long-term recipients of incapacity benefit (ESA on its introduction), income support, or jobseeker's allowance that if they enter full-time work they will have an in work income, including any in work benefits or tax credits, of at least £25 per week more than they receive from their out of work benefits.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect of immigration on (a) gross domestic product and (b) per capita gross domestic product since 1997. 
Angela Eagle: Migration has added around 0.5 per cent. per annum to the working age population between 1997 and 2006, stimulating growth in total output. Average output growth over this period was 2.7 per cent. and migration is estimated to have contributed around 15-20 per cent. of this.
The direct impact of immigration on gross domestic product per capita has been small but broadly positive.
The impact of immigration on the economy is discussed in more detail in a cross-departmental report(1) in sections 3.3 and 3.4.
(1) Home Office and Department of Work and Pensions (2007). The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration: A Cross-Departmental Submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs:
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what projection the Government Actuary's Department has made of changes in population over 50 years per million immigrants; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: The Government Actuary's Department (GAD) has made no such projection since responsibility for the production of the national population projections transferred from GAD to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 31 January 2006. This transfer was recommended by an independent review of the actuarial profession and of GAD conducted by Sir Derek Morris. The latest set of population projections produced by ONSand the first since the transfer of responsibility took placewas published on 23 October 2007.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in Crewe and Nantwich constituency paid only the 10 pence rate of income tax in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 14 May 2008]: 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 at:
Reliable 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. These tables can be found at the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
These estimates are based on the latest available Survey of Personal Incomes (2005-06).
The removal of the 10p rate from 2008-09 is part of a package of reforms announced in Budget 2007 and should not be looked at in isolation. Individuals previously paying tax only at the starting rate of income tax could be better off through other measures, for example, higher age related personal allowances or increased tax credits. Individuals paying tax at the starting rate on their savings will not be affected as this rate will be replaced by a new starting rate for savings income.
The Chancellor announced on 13 May an increase in the individual personal tax allowance by £600 to £6,035 for this financial year, benefiting all basic-rate taxpayers under 65 and removing 600,000 low-income individuals from tax. Around 22 million basic-rate taxpayers will gain an additional £120 this year, fully compensating 80 per cent. of households that lose from the Budget 2007 reforms, with the remainder seeing their loss at least halved. The Government will set out their plans for future years in the 2008 pre-Budget report.
Jeremy Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what funds arising from the overpayments of income tax on the part of pension funds HM Customs and Revenue held at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 23 April 2008]: In 2007-08 HMRC repaid a total of £2.2 billion to registered pension schemes. This was in respect of tax relief at source relating to contributions made to pension schemes and certain tax on investment income received by schemes. Such repayments are claimed routinely by pension scheme trustees and administrators and are made to pension schemes on a regular basis by HMRC.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date he approved the increase in personal allowance as announced on 13 May 2008. 
Jane Kennedy: In the letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Chairman of the Treasury Committee of 23 April, the Chancellor said he would set out our proposals to help those who lost out as a result of the withdrawal of the 10p starting rate of tax for the longer term in the pre-Budget report later this year. He also said that he would not wait unnecessarily until November before setting out how we intended to proceed. His announcement on 13 May is fully consistent with these commitments.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) West Chelmsford constituency and (b) Chelmsford Local Authority area who have been adversely affected by the abolition of the 10 pence income tax rate. 
Jane Kennedy: Budget 2007 announced a package of reforms from which over 16 million households gained and over five million households lost out. It is not possible to provide comparable figures of those who have been affected by the withdrawal of the 10 pence starting rate for parliamentary constituency or local authority areas.
The Chancellor announced income tax measures on 13 May to provide financial support in 2008-09 for all basic rate taxpaying families, fully compensating 80 per cent. of households adversely affected by the withdrawal of the 10 pence starting rate and with the remainder seeing their loss at least halved.
The Chancellor will set out proposals to help those who lost out as a result of the withdrawal of the 10 pence starting rate of tax for the longer term in the Pre-Budget Report.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date the 10 pence income tax band was first announced or described by his Department as an interim or transitional measure; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 13 May 2008.
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