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Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is on equity release to enable older people to remain in their homes; what recent representations he has received on the issue; what response he gave in each case; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such response; 
(2) what (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation regulates equity release; what changes he plans to initiate to this regime in the next 12 months; what recent representations he has received on the regulatory regime affecting equity release; what response he has made to such representations; if he will place in the Library copies of the representations received and responses given; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what research his Department (a) has commissioned, (b) plans to commission and (c) has evaluated on consumers perceptions of government regulation of (i) equity release schemes and (ii) other financial services; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) if he will bring forward proposals to introduce a statutory obligation on mortgage companies to advise borrowers about the risks of using property and equity release as a vehicle for pension investment when they take on a new mortgage; and if he will make a statement; 
(7) what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to provide information to the public on equity release products; what recent representations he has received about the issue; and if he will make a statement; 
(8) what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure retired people have consumer protection in respect of equity release schemes; what recent representations he has received on the issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: Since 2004 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has regulated mortgages, including lifetime mortgages, one type of equity release product. In 2007 the Government extended the scope of FSA regulation to cover home reversion plans (the other main type of equity release product), to help ensure a level regulatory playing field for the equity release market.
The FSA's regime provides consumers of equity release products with appropriate protections. These include rules on the suitability of equity release products where a firm is giving advice. The FSA's regime also offers means of redress for those consumers who experience problems.
The Chancellor receives representations from a wide range of stakeholders on issues relating to equity release products and other financial services. Locating this material and evaluating whether it might be released would present a disproportionate cost.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) financial service providers and (b) banking institutions have been served with section 20 notices by HM Revenue and Customs since September 2007; and how many individual returns have been received from those institutions to date. 
Jane Kennedy: Between 1 September 2007 and 30 April 2008, 151 notices under section 20 of the Taxes Management Act were issued to banking institutions. Information is not available as to how many individual returns have been received and as to how many notices were issued to financial service providers.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance (a) the Office of Government Commerce and (b) his Department has provided on the use of eBay to sell surplus government stock or assets. 
Angela Eagle: OGC has not issued guidance on the use of eBay to dispose of surplus stock or assets. In disposing of assets, Departments are required to seek value for money. The OGC website has a link to the Disposal Services Agencys website; Departments can set up an arrangement for DSA to dispose of assets on their behalf. In addition, OGC has produced guidance on the disposal of surplus property which is also available on its website.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 905W, how many reported breaches of security have been recorded by HM Revenue and Customs in its offices since 1 October 2007. 
Jane Kennedy: HMRC employs 90,000 staff at 600 sites. From 1 October 2007 to 24 June 2008, 1,993 breaches of security were reported, covering a wide range of different circumstances. Such security breaches reflect potential weaknesses reported by staff and not actual thefts or losses.
This high level of reporting reflects the increased awareness of staff to all forms of security following the child benefit data in loss in October 2007. HMRC takes any security incident report seriously and deals with each one appropriately in accordance with its departmental guidance and procedures.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Financial Secretary plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 28 May 2008, PO Ref: 3/05867/2008, on the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate. 
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Exchequer Secretary plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 22 April 2008, on taxation of 4x4 vehicles. 
Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Colchester (Bob Russell) on 28 April 2008. HMRC allows volunteers to use the Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rate for convenience, but it is not mandatory and volunteer drivers can claim tax relief for the full cost of motoring by completing a return, if they wish to do so.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the rate at which Northern Rock has repaid loans of public money made to it; and if he will make a statement. 
The outstanding loan facilities as at 31 March 2008 were £24.1 billion as reported in Northern Rocks trading statement published in May 2008. This compares to the outstanding loan facilities as at 31 December 2007 being £26.9 billion as reported in Northern Rocks 2007 annual report and accounts published in March 2008.
The Nichols Group
Methods Consulting Ltd.
Mentis Management Consultants Ltd.
The Tribal Group
Actica Consulting Ltd.
AMTEC Consulting plc.
Oakleigh Consulting Ltd.
VEGA Group plc.
Quo Imus Ltd.
Malcolm Reading Consultants Ltd.
Malcolm Hutchinson Associates Ltd.
Concerto Consulting Ltd.
Evolve Business Consultancy Ltd.
Quality Business Management Ltd.
Moorhouse Consulting Ltd.
Mott MacDonald Ltd.
Gardiner and Theobald LLP
Procurement Excellence Ltd.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what account he takes of trends in the consumer price index in determining the timing of reviews of public pay policy; and if he will make a statement. 
That public sector pay settlements should be consistent with maintaining the necessary levels of recruitment, retention and staff engagement needed to support service delivery; ensuring that total pay bills represent value for money and are affordable within Departments' overall expenditure plans and consistent with the achievement by the Bank of England of its CPI inflation target of 2 per cent.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the take-up of research and development tax credits in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the percentage of potential recipients who have received the tax credits; and what the value of such tax credits was in each year. 
Angela Eagle: Estimates of the number of claims made for research and development (R and D) tax credits and the cost of support claimed are published as National Statistics on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
The research survey conducted in 2005 as part of the evaluation of R and D tax credits collected information on the awareness and take-up of R and D tax credits among R and D companies at that time. The findings are published as Research Report 12 on the HMRC website at:
Information on the number of claims for R and D tax credits made by companies in their tax return and the estimated cost of support claimed are published on the HMRC website as National Statistics at:
Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) staff were prosecuted for (a) attempting to defraud and (b) defrauding HMRC in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) how many staff in HM Revenue and Customs were responsible for each instance of (a) fraud and (b) attempted fraud against the tax credit system in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) what estimate he has made of the losses to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from fraud committed by staff of HMRC against the tax credit system in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Since April 2005, there have been 30 members of staff, out of around 85,000 employed by HMRC, who have been prosecuted for activity relating to fraud against the Department, 10 of which were prosecutions for fraud committed against the tax credit system. The figures can be broken down as follows:
|Number of staff prosecuted for fraud against HMRC||Number of staff prosecuted specifically for fraud against the tax credit system|
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