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Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on public expenditure of removing the second income threshold on tax credits and applying a consistent taper rate of (a) 46 per cent., (b) 45 per cent., (c) 44 per cent. and (d) 43 per cent. in each of the next five years; if he will estimate the number of people who would no longer be eligible for tax credits in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 20 January 2009]:The estimated saving, in 2009-10 to 2013-14, of removing the second income threshold and applying a consistent taper rate at each of the rates requested, is provided in the following table. No account has been taken of possible behavioural effects.
|Effect on expenditure|
Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of providing tax exemptions to encourage part-time work, with particular reference to the likely effects of such a policy on small businesses. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers were penalised £100 for late tax returns for the tax year 2006-07; and how many of them appealed (a) successfully and (b) unsuccessfully against that penalty. 
Information on the number of appeals resolved (either successfully or unsuccessfully) is not available. However, 85,175 customers had their penalty notices cancelled in that period and 317,849 customers had their penalties capped.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received advocating the reduction of payroll taxes for small businesses; and what assessment he has made of those representations. 
Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals 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 representations.
Ian Pearson: The Treasury reports quarterly to Parliament on the exercise of its powers under these orders. This report includes the total amount and number of funds frozen as at the end of each period. As of 30 September 2008, a total of 252 separate accounts containing approximately £670,000 of suspected terrorist funds were frozen in the UK. The next report, covering the period October 2008 to December 2008, will be laid shortly.
The figure is based on balances reported at the time of freezing and represents funds frozen under the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Orders 2001 and 2006 and the Al-Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Orders 2001 and 2006. Money may be frozen under these orders on a number of different grounds, not all of which require a suspected or proven link to a terrorist organisation.
The Treasury does not publish a historic breakdown of frozen or unfrozen funds for each year, due to the need to avoid the identification, directly or indirectly, of personal or operationally sensitive information.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer at what time his Department makes written ministerial statements available to (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the press; and if he will make a statement. 
10. Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made towards the Government's target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. by 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: We expect CO2 emissions to fall to about 15 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010, taking into account the impact of credits surrendered through the EU emissions trading scheme. Our goal, which we adopted in 1997, was challenging, but that was its purpose. It was designed to give a clear signal of the direction in which policy was moving, allowing long term planning and stimulating innovative responses. In these respects it has been successful.
13. Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had on Government policy for the future of nuclear power; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department publishes estimates of annual bills in its publication Quarterly Energy Prices and on the web. The estimates are based on annual usage of 3,300 kWh for electricity and 18,000 kWh for gas. These show that in 2008 the average bill for a consumer paying by standard credit was £975 (£405 for electricity and £570 for gas). Data split by region and by other payment methods are available in the publication.
16. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect of the current economic climate on levels of expenditure on new electricity generation plants. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
Along with the regulator Ofgem, I am closely monitoring the effects of the current economic climate on the energy sector, including on investment plans. There are signs of the willingness of investors to continue to develop new generation capacity with some 9 gigawatts of new electricity plant currently under
construction. In addition some 3 gigawatts of new plant has received consent, while consent applications with a further 4.5 gigawatts have also been received.
17. Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of (a) the UK's electricity generation capacity and (b) the spending required to sustain that capacity over the next 10 years. 
There are various estimates but some industry estimates suggest that up to £100 billion investment in new electricity generation capacity will be required over the next 10 years to replace those power stations expected to close and build the new renewable generation needed to meet the electricity sector's contribution towards the EU's 2020 target for 20 per cent. of energy consumption in the UK to come from renewable energy sources.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he next expects to meet representatives of local authorities in East Anglia to discuss on-shore wind farms in that area. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has no planned meetings with representatives of local authorities in East Anglia to discuss onshore wind farms in that area.
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's Save Energy Save Money advertising campaign; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: The Government launched the new phase of the Act On CO2 campaign in September 2008. Initial evaluation of the campaign has shown a favourable response with over 550,000 unique visitors to the campaign website since its launch and over 270,000 calls to the Act On CO2 advice line between August and November 2008. This is more than double the number of calls the line received over the same period in 2007.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government announced on 28 October last year that we will mandate the provision of smart meters to all households. We have also set out an indicative timetable for this programme under which roll-out would be completed by the end of 2020.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken steps to establish an independent and effective vetting process to exclude individuals suspected of having committed crimes under international law or other human rights violations from its security forces. 
Gillian Merron: The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has yet to make a serious effort to implement vetting mechanisms called for in UN Security Council resolutions 1856 (2008), 1794 and 1820.
We support ongoing work by the UN integrated Human Rights Office to document abuses by individuals in the armed and security forces, which could usefully inform work on a future vetting mechanism. We have raised the issue with Congolese authorities. Most recently, our ambassador in Kinshasa referred to the importance
of vetting in the armed forces in a speech to the Congolese Parliament at the showing of a documentary on sexual violence.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1048-9W, on exchange rates, which 10 overseas posts have had the greatest reduction in the purchasing power of their local budgets; and what the reduction has been in each case. 
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office maintains an overseas pricing movement (OPM) mechanism, intended to negate the impact of changes in exchange rates on the budgets of overseas posts. The OPM increases or decreases the sterling budget of posts when there is a change in the value of sterling relative to local currencies. This ensures that posts purchasing power is kept consistent.
|Ranking||Country||Post||Initial budget (£)||OPM uplift (£)||New OPM uplift (percentage)||New budget (£)|
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