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The figures cover the period 1 December 2007 to 30 November 2008 and include all granted work permit applications. This excludes members of group applications, dependants and all other categories of permit.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which organisation has managed each project funded by his Department in Helmand province since 2005; what the budget of each was; how much has been spent in each case; what monitoring, impact assessments and evaluations have been undertaken; and if he will make a statement. 
Yvette Cooper: HM Treasury has not directly funded any projects in Afghanistan. The Treasury allocates funding to other Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will review the proposed boundaries for new rates of air passenger duty to provide that Larnaca airport, Cyprus, falls in the same band as Paphos airport; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of charging different rates of air passenger duty for travel to Cyprus via Paphos and Larnaca on (a) the prevalence of air travel to those airports and (b) the Cyprus economy and tourist industry; and if he will make a statement. 
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of people over the age of 18 years who do not have a bank account; and if he will make a statement. 
The Family Resources Survey data for 2006-07, published in June this year, show that the number of adults living without access to a bank account fell from 2.8 million in 2002-03 to 2.1 million in 2006-07.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's policy on bank recapitalisation on the availability of credit to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector in Peterborough; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: On 8 October 2008 the Government announced a comprehensive package of measures to support stability of the financial system, protect ordinary savers, depositors, businesses and borrowers, and to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer.
As part of their investment, the Government have agreed a range of commitments with banks accessing the recapitalisation scheme. The Government expect banks to restore and maintain the availability and active marketing of competitively priced lending to SMEs, at a level at least equivalent to that of 2007, until the end of 2011.
UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, will also oversee the conditions attached to subscribing to the Government's recapitalisation fund, including in relation to SME lending.
British small businesses should also be able to benefit from around £4 billion of lending from the European Investment Bank (EIB) between 2008 and 2011. As announced in the pre-Budget report in November 2008, after negotiations between UK banks and the EIB, £1 billion of EIB funds were approved by the end of last
year to be available to British small firms. The Government continue to work with UK banks and the EIB on the use of EIB loans to deliver the most effective support to small firms with sound business propositions. It is a condition for banks participating in the Government's recapitalisation scheme to seek EIB Loans for SMEs.
Furthermore the Government announced a package of support to help smaller businesses at the Pre-budget report 2008. This package included the establishment of the Small Business Finance Scheme, an Export Credits Guarantee Department scheme, and the equity or quasi-equity capital fund. When combined this package will facilitate over £2 billion of extra support to SMEs experiencing short-term financial difficulties.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates he held meetings with (a) HBOS, (b) Nationwide, (c) Abbey, (d) Lloyds TSB, (e) Northern Rock, (f) Barclays, (g) RBS and (h) HSBC on the Government's repossessions policy before its announcement on 3 December 2008. 
Ian Pearson: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings 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 Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Ian Pearson: The Governments investment are managed on a commercial basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI), a company which is wholly owned by the Government. Its overarching objectives will be to protect and create value for the taxpayer as a shareholder, with due regard to financial stability and acting in a way that promotes competition.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps have been taken to ensure that loans to Iceland from the European Union and International Monetary Fund are used to compensate UK depositors in Icelandic banks; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 16 December 2008]: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Carmarthen, East and Dinefwr (Adam Price) on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1880W.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reports he has received on the determination by the US Administration on 17 December 2008 that Assa Corporation is created and controlled by Bank Melli; and whether he has made representations to the relevant Channel Islands authorities on the operations in Jersey of Assa Company Ltd and its subsidiaries. 
Ian Pearson: HM Government are currently liaising with the US Administration on their determination that Assa Corporation is created and controlled by Bank Melli and with the relevant Jersey authorities on this issue.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission is coordinating the Jersey investigation and focusing on the part played by any Jersey Company which may have conducted business with Assa Corporation, Assa Company Ltd or Bank Melli.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on requirements on banks whose shares are in public ownership to support small businesses. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 11 December 2008]: 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 Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will require those banks in receipt of public money to increase liquidity to include representatives of the banking trades unions on their remuneration committees. 
Ian Pearson: UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, will oversee the conditions attached to subscribing to the Government's recapitalisation fund, including in relation to remuneration policies of banks board directors.
Ian Pearson: I refer the hon. Member to the statement on financial markets made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 22-23, which announced that Adair Turner, the Chairman of the FSA, had been asked to make recommendations for reforms.
Mr. Timms: No estimates have been made in the past 12 months of the tax gap attributable to offshore tax regimes. 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 decadesee
Lyn Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of claims for child benefit made by (a) EU nationals excluding A2 and A8 nationals, (b) A2 and A8 nationals and (c) those with indefinite leave to remain took longer than 36 days to be processed since April 2008; 
(2) what the average processing time was for claims for child benefit by (a) EU nationals excluding A2 and A8 nationals, (b) A2 and A8 nationals and (c) those with indefinite leave to remain in each month since April 2008; 
(3) what his Department's target times are for processing child benefit claims; and what percentage of cases involving (a) the transfer of a claim from one carer to another (b) non-UK EU citizens, A2 and A8 nationals and (c) those with indefinite leave to remain were processed within those target times in the latest period for which information are available; 
(6) what the average time taken to process child benefit claims where the claim was being transferred from one carer to another was in each month since April 2008; and what percentage of claims of that type took longer than 36 days to process since April 2008. 
Mr. Timms: For 2008-09, HM Revenue and Customs aim to pay 69 per cent. of child benefit claims in nine working days and aim to pay all new child benefit claims in an average of 20 calendar days. This is the first year that this target has been in place. Performance outturn for 2008-09 will be published in due course.
More complex claims, including those from customers arriving from abroad, often require HMRC to make more detailed inquiries, and so HMRC are normally unable to process and pay them within the usual target times. The HMRC Helpline can provide advice about expected waiting times to customers chasing progress of their claims
Information on the number of claims processed in 36 days, since April 2008, is not available and I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) on 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 356W.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many awards of child tax credit were made for (a) 2001-02 and (b) 2002-03; and what estimate he has made of the number of eligible claimants in each of those years. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) training and (b) guidance manuals the Valuation Office Agency has produced to assist in the use of the council tax banding support tool. 
Mr. Timms: The Valuation Office Agency, in conjunction with the system software provider, has produced two manuals to be used for training and guidance covering the main functions of the council tax banding support tool.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the performance of sterling; what comparative assessment he has made of the performance of the euro; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Government continue to monitor the value of sterling against other currencies, but does not comment on short-term exchange rate movements since this may have undesirable effects on their stability. The Government's objective is for a stable and competitive exchange rate in the medium term.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many confirmed data security breaches there have been in his Department in the last three years; and what steps were taken in response to each such occurrence. 
(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated.
(b) In respect of e-mails, this could be answered only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to respond to the letters dated 10 July 2008 and 13 August 2008 from the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banff and Buchan on fuel costs and farming industry; and what the reasons are for the time taken to reply. 
Angela Eagle: It is understood that this relates to correspondence from Stewart Stevenson MSP. Receipt of the correspondence could not be traced and a copy, dated 9 June, was obtained. A reply was sent on 6 January.
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