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10 Nov 2008 : Column 935Wcontinued
Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what payments are owed or outstanding to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme from (a) Bradford and Bingley and (b) Northern Rock. 
Ian Pearson: Details of Bradford and Bingleys liabilities to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in respect of the sale of the companys retail deposit book to Abbey National plc were set out in a written ministerial statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 13 October 2008.
Northern Rock is a member of the FSCS and so will be liable for the levies to cover the FSCSs costs in the same way as other deposit taking institutions. It is not possible to estimate these liabilities at this point.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what requests for help and support the government of Iceland made (a) to him and (b) to the EU in the six months before 7 October 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions.
As regards requests for help that the Government of Iceland may have made to the EU, this is a matter for the Government of Iceland.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance his Department issues on the application of inheritance tax to individuals who are married under the provisions of Sharia law outside the UK. 
Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 99W.
Inheritance tax spouse exemption is dependent on the transferor and transferee being party to a marriage that the law of the country in which it takes place recognises as legally valid. That is the case for all marriages outside the UK and the relevant conditions depend on the law of the relevant country.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the balance between revenues raised and public expenditure in (a) Hertfordshire and (b)
Dacorum against the balances of other local authorities of a similar size and profile; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Data on revenue raised from most taxes is not available at local authority level. The Government do not publish public expenditure data disaggregated any further than country and region level.
Mr. Malins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Chief Secretary to the Treasury plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Woking of 28 June, 28 July and 19 September 2008 on Nina Hassall. 
Yvette Cooper: I replied to the hon. Member on 29 September and am sending him a copy of my letter.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to bring forward proposals to change the rate of national insurance contributions. 
Mr. Timms: The Government keep all tax and benefit rates under review as part of the Budget process. National insurance contribution rates are normally announced at the pre-Budget report.
However, the Government have already announced that they intend to increase the price of class 3 contributions to ensure that changes allowing some individuals to buy an additional six years over and above those permitted under the current time limits is overall cost neutral. The initial modelling suggests that the price will increase by around half. This time limited proposal will apply to those who reach state pension age between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2015 and who already have 20 qualifying years (taking into account Home Responsibilities Protection) on their national insurance record.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government is taking to protect the assets of British citizens living in the Isle of Man whose savings were deposited with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Ltd. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 20 October 2008]: Arrangements for depositors in banks in the Isle of Man are a matter for the Government of the Isle of Man.
Deposits with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander, Isle of Man, will be subject to the Isle of Man deposit compensation scheme.
In line with usual constitutional arrangements, the Government will represent the Crown Dependencies in its negotiations with the Icelandic Authorities.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice HM Revenue and Customs has given to hon. Members on whether donations or payments made to the Parliamentary Labour Party by hon. Members are tax-deductible in the last two years. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs provides guidance to hon. Members about the tax treatment of donations for party political purposes in the booklet MPs, Ministers and Tax, a copy of which is sent to all Members at the start of each Parliament.
Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a date has been set for publication of the Governments factual paper on the Barnett Formula. 
Yvette Cooper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 729W.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff (a) on a full-time equivalent basis, (b) on a headcount basis and (c) as a proportion of total HM Revenue and Customs staff in HM Revenue and Customs are employed in an enforcement role. 
Mr. Timms: The term enforcement' has been used to cover different activities in HMRC and the two predecessor departments. There are 6,195 (headcount) staff in HM Revenue and Customs who have the power of arrest, including uniformed staff now working with the UK Border Agency. That is 7 per cent. of the total staff in HM Revenue and Customs.
The FTE figure for these staff is not available.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance his Department issues on the provision of benefits to couples with children where the couple was married under the provisions of Sharia law outside the UK. 
Mr. Timms: Child benefit is paid to the person responsible for the child. Tax credits are not social security benefits but are part of the tax system. Guidance on the definition of a couple, including a married couple, for tax credits purposes is published on HMRCs website and is available at:
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) non-UK citizens and (b) non-UK EU citizens have received each type of tax credit in each year since their inception; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the amount of each type of tax credit paid to (a) non-UK citizens and (b) non-UK EU citizens in each year since their inception. 
Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available. The number of A8 nationals claiming tax credits is published quarterly in the Home Office Accession Monitoring Report at:
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the budget for the training of tax compliance investigatory staff in the large scale business service was in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and what budget is planned for 2008-09. 
Mr. Timms: Training for tax professional staff in the Large Business Service is provided both centrally and locally. Costs of central training are not broken down by directorate, but in this case an estimate is provided based on total departmental spend.
The total budget for the training of tax professional staff in the Large Business Service is estimated at:
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to the introduction of a Tobin tax on sterling currency transactions. 
Mr. Timms: The Tobin tax is a long-established proposal. The Government have previously studied the technical implications of a proposed tax on sterling currency transactions and reached the view that there would be economic distortions across a range of activities beyond just the foreign exchange markets, the cost of which would be likely to far outweigh the relative costs of raising finance via other mechanisms that Governments use.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was collected by HM Revenue and Customs through investigations into transfer pricing in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: The yield from transfer pricing inquiries on large business was £118 million in 2003-04, £138 million in 2004-05, £230 million in 2005-06 and £473 million in 2006-07. Information is not yet finalised for 2007-08.
Information is not available for years before 2003 because in many cases the records do not distinguish between yield from transfer pricing and yield from other areas.
The yield from transfer pricing inquiries on smaller businesses was £48 million in 2004-05, £61 million in 2005-06 and £66 million in 2006-07.
Information is not readily available for other periods.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many value added tax (a) surcharge liability notices and (b) surcharge liability extension notices have been served on small and medium-sized businesses by HM Revenue and Customs in the last four financial quarters by; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs issued the following number of surcharge liability notices and surcharge liability extension notices in respect of each of the last four financial quarters for which information is available.
|Financial quarter ended||Surcharge liability notices||Surcharge liability extension notices|
Reliable information is not readily available on the notices issued to businesses of different size and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households have been required to repay received tax credits following a failure to finalise their award in each of the last three years; how many of these were required to repay the full amount of the award; and what the (a) average and (b) maximum amount required in repayment was in each of those years. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 27 October 2008]: Information on the number of families who incurred finalised overpayments in 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 because they failed to renew their award is shown in the following table, along with the average overpayment.
|Families who incurred finalised overpayments due to non-renewal|
|Number of families||Average overpayment value (£)|
Information on the recovery of these overpayments is available only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1353W, on Afghanistan: reconstruction, what studies the Stabilisation Unit has conducted into lessons learned for his Department from UK stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
Since December 2007, the Stabilisation Unit has published three Stabilisation Issues Notes covering security sector and the rule of law, human rights, and demobilisation, disarmament and re-integration. It will shortly publish notes on public administration, strategic communications, and private sector development. These notes consider how to engage
on these issues in conflict-affected environments. All draw heavily on lessons identified from Afghanistan and in particular Helmand Province.
All of these documents are or will be available on the Stabilisation Units website:
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