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15. Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions Ministers and officials from his Department have had with the Office of Climate Change on the Global Carbon Finance project. 
Angela Eagle: The Stern Review demonstrated that the economics of climate change is an important issue for economics and finance ministries. Treasury officials therefore work closely with the Office of Climate Change and other government Departments on a range of issues around the economics and financial aspects of climate change, and continue to be involved with the development of the Office of Climate Change's Global Carbon Finance Project.
Angela Eagle: Treasury Ministers and officials hold a wide range of discussions with international counterparts. The Treasury published analysis of the recent increases in energy and agricultural prices on 12 June, and the Government are working to deal with both the short and long-term issues relating to global food prices. For example, the June European Council agreed that it is important to continue to improve the market orientation of agriculture and thus enable EU farmers to respond better to market signals, while the Government continue to work for a balanced WTO deal.
Jane Kennedy: A single earner family with two children on half male average earnings pays no net tax in 2008-09, as tax credits and child benefit more than offset income tax and national insurance liabilities.
I am delighted to say that I was recently able to announce at the UK Cooperatives Congress, that the Government will be introducing a Legislative Reform Order which will remove the unnecessary burdens on the sector and help them to
grow and develop with fitting legislation for the 21st century. We will be publishing a consultation document on the proposed changes before summer recess.
21. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on potential measures to mitigate the effects of increases in vehicle excise duty; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: The Government have received a wide-ranging number of representations in relation to the vehicle excise duty reforms announced at Budget. There are a variety of options expressed on their merit.
Jane Kennedy: On 13 May 2008, the Chancellor announced further support for low and middle-income families for 2008-09. For the current tax year, income tax personal allowances will be increased by £600 for all tax payers under 65. Around 22 million basic-rate taxpayers will benefit from this change. The Government will set out plans for future years in the 2008 pre-Budget report.
Angela Eagle: Fuel duty remains an important mechanism to encourage efficient use of fuel as the UK seeks to reduce polluting emissions, as well as providing support for the funding of essential public services.
EU law is clear that policy measures may not inhibit the freedom of movement of goods and may not discriminate according to nationality, origin or destination of a vehicle. This of itself precludes any lump-sum tax levied specifically on entry to the UK.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individual declarations of share disposals for capital gains tax purposes were made in each of the last three most recently available tax years; and of what total value in each year. 
|Tax year||Shares||Disposals (Thousand)||£ million|
Angela Eagle: Higher inflation tends to raise the cost of living. The Treasury published its latest assessment of economic prospects in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2008. The Budget forecast showed inflation was expected to rise in the near term, driven by global energy and food prices. Since then, further rises in crude oil and world food prices have led to higher inflation than that expected at Budget.
Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the number of VAT-free bicycles that have been bought by employers under the Governments Cycle to Work scheme in each year since the scheme began; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of employees who have received use of a bicycle from their employer under the Governments Cycle to Work scheme in each year since the scheme began; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the effects on revenues accruing to the Exchequer as a result of the Cycle to Work scheme, with particular reference to (a) VAT exemptions on the purchase price of bicycles, (b) lower income tax contributions as a result of bike-related salary sacrifices, (c) lower national insurance contributions by employers as a result of bike-related salary sacrifices, (d) lower national insurance contributions by employees as a result of bike-related salary sacrifices and (e) capital allowances for bicycle purchases in each year since the scheme began; 
Bicycles purchased by employers for use in a Cycle to Work scheme are liable to the standard rate of VAT. However, under the normal rules of VAT, the tax charged can be reclaimed by a VAT registered business to the extent that it relates to its taxable business activities.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with EU counterparts on the list of energy saving materials covered by a reduced value added tax rate; whether these discussions have included proposals to amend the list; what discussions he has had on the exclusion of double glazing and low emissivity glass from the list; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The availability of VAT reduced rates is governed by the European VAT agreements, signed by successive Governments. Where reduced rates are available, these have been applied where they provide the most cost-effective and well-targeted support for the Governments objectives.
The existing provisions of directive 2006/112/EC have allowed us to introduce a reduced rate of VAT of 5 per cent. for the installation of certain renewable energy technologies and certain energy-saving materials; there is no requirement to discuss the materials and products to which it is applied with EU counterparts. The Government have examined the possibility of applying a reduced rate to the installation of double glazing and low-emissivity glass, but legal advice has suggested that under the current terms of directive 2006/112/EC, this would be incompatible with the principle of fiscal neutrality.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the oral statement of 13 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1201-02, on income tax, if he will break down the 1.1 million people affected by the removal of the 10p tax rate, who were not fully compensated by the measures announced in the statement by (a) age, (b) income decile, (c) region and (d) full or part-time employment; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 3 July 2008]: A detailed breakdown, including by age, of the 1.1 million households who were not fully compensated by the £600 increase in the personal allowance for income tax announced by the Chancellor on 13 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1201-02, is provided in the Treasurys memorandum to the Treasury Select Committee as part of their inquiry into Budget Measures and Low Income Households.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire dated 28 May 2008, PO Ref: 1/57888/2008, on diesel fuel. 
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with mortgage lenders on the effect on the economy of levels of mortgage provision to first-time house buyers. 
Kitty Ussher: I have regular discussions with the mortgage industry on a range of issues relating to the economy, and we continue to monitor economic developments closely, including the market for first-time buyers.
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 7 July 2008]: Since 1997 the Government have introduced a series of reforms to make work pay and to guarantee minimum weekly incomes for families without dependent children. By October 2008, in real terms, households without dependent children in the poorest fifth of the population will be, on average, £1,800 a year better off.
These changes include the introduction, for the first time, of the working tax credit and a national minimum wage, which work together to provide guaranteed income in work. Since 1999, the minimum income guarantee has increased by 30 per cent. in real terms for single people aged 25 and over and in full time work.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much funding his Department has provided through research and development tax credits for projects relating to (a) energy generation, (b) renewable energy generation, (c) energy transmission and (d) energy efficiency, broken down by region. 
Angela Eagle: Claims made by companies for R and D tax credits do not include details of the type of R and D project in the claim. Therefore, information on funding provided by R and D tax credits for energy-related projects is not available.
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