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17 Nov 2008 : Column 174W—continued


Members: Correspondence

Ann Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter of 8
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September 2008 from the hon. Member for Congleton on behalf of her constituent Mr. Peter Carr. [236240]

Ian Pearson: The former Economic Secretary to the Treasury my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley, (Kitty Ussher) replied to the hon. Lady on 18 September.

Non-domestic Rates: Ports

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 7 October 2008, Official Report, column 594W, on non-domestic rates: ports, which ports have been affected by the decision to backdate the higher rateable values. [231870]

Mr. Timms: Hereditaments situated within the following ports in England and Wales, and occupied other than by the designated port operator, have been

affected:


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The only assessment of a hereditament occupied by a designated port operator which has experienced backdated increases is Harwich Dock.

Individual occupiers have the right of appeal against rateable values. The outcome of such appeals may affect the overall picture.

Public Sector: Pensions

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations have been made by his Department in connection with the treatment of state pension liabilities and public service pension liabilities under the revisions to the System of National Accounts 1993 being prepared by the UN Statistics Commission. [233237]

Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated November 2008:

Public Works Loan Board: Interest Rates

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the effect of (a) rates of inflation, (b) the banking situation and (c) the increase in Government borrowing on Public Works Loan Board interest rates. [236087]

Angela Eagle: The PWLB's rates are determined according to the price of gilts in the secondary market, with a margin to prevent loss to the National Loans Fund.

Revenue and Customs: Public Appointments

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the decision to appoint Lesley Strathie as the new Chief Executive of HM Revenue and Customs was made. [235357]

Mr. Timms: The Chairman of HMRC, Mike Clasper announced on 13 October 2008 that Lesley Strathie was to become the new chief executive officer, and she took up her new post on 10 November.


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Tax Havens

Frank Dobson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department’s most recent estimate is of the reduction in UK tax revenues consequent upon the existence of overseas tax havens. [235549]

Mr. Timms: In March 2008 HMRC released details of some analysis from 2005 that attempted to derive estimates of the direct tax gap at the start of the decade—see:

Since the Offshore Disclosure Facility was launched in 2007 it is estimated that over £400 million unpaid tax has been collected.

Trade Unions

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants in his Department were seconded to work for (a) trade unions and (b) the Trades Union Congress in each year since 2003. [229098]

Angela Eagle: None.

Valuation: Information and Communications Technology

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Valuation Office Agency has spent on IT projects in the last 24 months, broken down by project. [235098]

Mr. Timms: The amounts spent by the Valuation Office Agency on IT projects during the period October 2006 to September 2008 were as follows:

Project title £000 (exc. VAT)

Appeals Direct

540

Computer Assisted Design ( CAD )

160

Deployment of hand held devices for VOA executives

27

Electronic Billing Authority Reports

124

Electronic interface with OGDs

262

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP )

5,163

Geographical Information System (GIS )

1,509

Hardcopy records

687

Internet service level revision

74

Mass appraisals techniques (1 and 2 )

2,871

Minerals

204

Mobile computing (homeworkers )

173

NDR Reval 2010

4,252

Offline data capture

439

Secure UAT access

75

Web access from the desktop

5

Working in advance

18

Procurement of laptops

346

Replacement of personal computers

802

Replacement file and print servers

286


Written Questions: Government Responses

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to answer question (a) 227155, (b) 227156, (c) 227157 and (d) 227158 on the
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Zanzibar eProcurement Service, tabled by the hon. Member for Putney on 9 October 2008. [236200]

Angela Eagle: I very much regret not having answered the hon. Lady’s questions and hope to be in a position to do so very shortly.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Administration of Justice

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when he expects the guiding principles for dealing with cases of extraterritoriality, referred to by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on 25 October 2007, Official Report, column 510, to be (a) finalised and (b) published; [219511]

(2) what he expects to be included in the guiding principles for dealing with cases of extraterritoriality, as referred to by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on 25 October 2007, Official Report, column 510; and what account will be taken of these principles in formulating and implementing the Government’s extraterritorial policy. [219512]

Gillian Merron: Whitehall discussions on a set of guiding principles are continuing.

Admiralty House: Utilities

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on (a) electricity, (b) heating and (c) water bills in each of the flats in Admiralty House in each of the last five years. [221192]

Gillian Merron: Costs associated with each of the flats (including costs for electricity, heating and water) are calculated on the basis of percentages of the total costs for Admiralty House, which includes the common parts. It is not possible, within the overall total, to identify separately the costs for electricity, heating and water that arise from the three flats.

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the UK's objectives are for the Paris 2008 Conference on Afghanistan to be held on 12th June 2008. [204089]

David Miliband: The UK saw the Paris Conference as an important occasion to reaffirm international and Afghan Government commitment to Afghanistan's future. This commitment was demonstrated by the launch of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the $20 billion pledged by the international community to support the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

The $20 billion pledged at Paris included £613 million of UK support to Afghanistan (over the period up to 2012-13). This support is in addition to the £500 million we pledged at the London Conference in 2006.

The UN Secretary General, myself and others also used the opportunity to stress the urgent need for the
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Afghan Government to tackle corruption. The conference also reiterated the importance of the role played by the UN in coordinating the civilian effort in Afghanistan and made clear its support for the UN Special Representative, Kai Eide.

British Nationality: Overseas Residence

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent estimate is of the number of British expatriates resident in each country outside the UK. [223175]

Gillian Merron: Our network of posts overseas is asked each year to provide an estimate of the number of British nationals resident in their consular areas. The results of this survey for April 2006 to March 2007 are as follows.


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