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15 Dec 2008 : Column 428W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 5 November 2008, Official Report, column 541W, on departmental ICT, whether any of the IT projects were discontinued as a result of the Gateway review process. [242098]

Angela Eagle: None of the HMT IT projects were discontinued as a result of the Gateway‚"Ę review process. The Gateway process is intended to provide independent expert advice to the senior responsible owner of a programme/project on achieving successful delivery; it is not designed to recommend the cancellation of projects.

Gateway information is only part of the assurance advice SROs receive If a Department is considering cancelling a project it will consider all assurance advice available to them.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, columns 778-80W, on departmental ICT, what the (a) expected completion date and (b) estimated cost of each of the projects was at its outset. [242169]

Angela Eagle: Original costs and completion dates for the projects were as follows:

Department IT Project Estimated c ost at outset (£) Estimated completion date at outset

HMT

OGC Laptop Refresh Project—Planned replacement of obsolete equipment with new devices with remote working capabilities.

280,575

August 2008

HMT

Group Networks—Implementation of new Restricted network infrastructure for shared services.

628,750

March 2008

HMT

Common Infrastructure Management Tools—Implementation of single toolset and process for systems management across multiple networks. Confidential and restricted including deployment of software/upgrades and security patches.

462,000

November 2008

HMT

Firewall Replacement Project—Planned replacement of obsolete firewalls to ensure security and compliance of networks and services.

339,000

February 2008

HMT

Switch Replacement Project—Planned replacement of obsolete network infrastructure to ensure delivery, security and performance of networks and services.

456,000

August 2008

HMT

OGC Blackberry—implementation of Blackberry servers and devices to support the business requirements.

52,000

December 2008


Departmental Marketing

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent by his Department on advertising in the last 12 months. [243900]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1891W, to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Browne).

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many special advisers were employed in his Department at each pay band on 30 November 2008; and what his Department’s expenditure on special advisers was in 2007-08. [243561]


15 Dec 2008 : Column 429W

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1891W, to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Browne).

Departmental Procurement

Alan Duncan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [243359]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 166W, to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk).

Departmental Rail Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date he last used a train in the course of his official duties. [242611]

Angela Eagle: Treasury Ministers, including the Chancellor, have used various forms of public transport in the course of their ministerial duties over the last year.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 780W, on departmental temporary employment, how many staff were recruited through each company in each year; and how long on average staff recruited through these companies worked for the Department in each year. [242157]

Angela Eagle: 73 workers in the Treasury were engaged via Kelly Services during 2007-08.

The average length of assignment, or numbers of assignments via other suppliers is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Economic and Monetary Union

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in his Department are engaged in work on the UK's potential membership of the euro. [240962]

Ian Pearson: The Chancellor announced in Budget 2008 that

The Treasury will again review the situation at Budget time next year as required by the Chancellor's June 2003 statement.

Economic Situation: Crown Dependencies

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) remit and (b) primary objective of the review relating to Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories announced in the Pre-Budget Report 2008 is. [240811]


15 Dec 2008 : Column 430W

Ian Pearson: The Chancellor has asked Michael Foot to conduct an independent review of the long-term opportunities and challenges facing the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories as financial centres, which have been brought into focus by recent financial and economic events. All Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories with financial centres are in scope for the review. This covers the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Anguilla.

The Review's objective is to consider how Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, whose economic models place a significant reliance on financial services, can respond in the long term to the new conditions created by the stressed economic circumstances of recent months. The terms of reference for the review have been posted on the Treasury website.

Equitable Life

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the reasons for the closure of Equitable Life to new business; [242640]

(2) what steps his Department has taken to protect the investments of Equitable Life policyholders; [242641]

(3) whether his Department monitored the proposed sale of the Equitable Life with-profits fund. [242642]

Ian Pearson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 11 December 2008, Official Report , column 261W.

EU Budget

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the EU budget UK contributions will comprise in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. [243025]

Ian Pearson: Chart 2.3 (page 17) of the 2008 European Community Finances White Paper (Cm 7462) shows the respective member states’ percentage shares of financing the 2008 EC Budget. The equivalent shares for the 2009 and 2010 EC Budgets will be included in the 2009 and 2010 White Papers respectively.

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects of trends in exchange rates on the UK’s contribution to the EU budget. [243027]

Ian Pearson: Exchange rate assumptions are just one of a number of factors which are taken into account, and which inter-relate with each other, in putting together each forecast of UK contributions to the EC Budget. Figures for UK net contributions to the EC Budget are published twice each year in the Budget and the pre-Budget report (PBR) and latest estimates of these for the period 2007-08 to 2010-11 were included in Table B16 (page 210) of the PBR (Cm 7484) published on 24 November 2008.


15 Dec 2008 : Column 431W

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to mitigate the possible effects of foreign exchange movements on the level of the UK’s financial contribution to the EU; and if he will make a statement. [243028]

Ian Pearson: UK in-year contributions are not affected by exchange rate movements because contributions are made using a fixed exchange rate that is set on the last working day of the previous year.

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much the Exchequer received in alcohol duties in each year since 1997, expressed in (a) cash terms and (b) 2008-09 prices; [240647]

(2) what percentage of total tax revenue was made up by alcohol taxes in each of the last five years; [240648]

(3) what percentage of total tax revenue he expects to be made up by alcohol taxes in each of the next three years. [240649]

Angela Eagle: The UK Trade Information website contains information on the amount of alcohol duty revenue received by HM Revenue and Customs in cash terms. Deflating by RPI, revenue in 2008-09 prices, to the nearest £10 million, has been estimated as:

Revenue in 2008-09 prices (£ million )

1997-98

7,880

1998-99

7,920

1999-2000

8,440

2000-01

8,480

2001-02

8,690

2002-03

8,980

2003-04

9,050

2004-05

9,140

2005-06

8,880

2006-07

8,630

2007-08

7,880


Website address:

Alcohol duty revenue as a percentage of total HMRC revenue is summarised as follows:

Total revenue from alcohol duty (Percentage)

2003-04

2.2

2004-05

2.1

2005-06

2.0

2006-07

1.9

2007-08

1.8


Forecast alcohol duty revenue as a percentage of forecast total revenue is estimated to be 1.9 per cent. in 2008-09, 2.1 per cent. in 2009-10 and 2.0 per cent. in 2010-11.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the Treasury of extending the reduced rate of duty on beer for beer from singleton breweries that produce (a) 50,000 hectolitres, (b) 100,000
15 Dec 2008 : Column 432W
hectolitres, (c) 150,000 hectolitres and (d) 200,000 hectolitres per year. [240869]

Angela Eagle: No estimate of the cost of extending the reduced rate of duty on beer from singleton breweries has been made.

The changes that have been made to alcohol duties in each year since 1997 are available from the UK Trade Information website. See table 3 from the respective bulletins. Website address:

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what timetable he has set for reducing levels of duty on alcohol introduced to offset the temporary reduction in VAT levels. [243487]

Angela Eagle: The position is set out in Chapters 2 and 5 of the pre-Budget report.

Industrial Buildings Allowances

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the cost to the Exchequer of the industrial buildings allowance in each of the last five years; what percentage of such expenditure was accounted for by the construction of new hotels; and if he will make a statement. [242889]

Mr. Timms: The average annual value of IBA relief claimed by businesses was approximately £2.2 billion per annum between 2003 and 2005. The cost of this to the Exchequer is estimated to be approximately £600 million per annum.

Businesses with a primary activity operating hotels during this period accounted for, on average, an estimated £180 million per annum; with an estimated cost to the Exchequer of £45 million to £50 million per year.

Information for later years is not yet complete.


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