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Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at his Department and its agencies in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; and what was spent on such bonuses in each of those years. 
Angela Eagle: Bonuses are paid to senior civil servants to reward and incentivise high performance. Recipients will typically have consistently performed at a very high level. In 2006-07, 69 bonuses were paid at a cost of £517,000 and in 2007-08, 82 bonuses were paid at a cost of £585,000.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much capital expenditure has been brought forward in response to the economic downturn by his Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies to (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; from which years such expenditure has been brought forward; and if he will make a statement. 
The 2008 Pre-Budget Report announced that £3 billion of capital spending from 2010-11 will be brought forward to support businesses and jobs across the country. The Chancellors Departments have not brought forward any capital expenditure. The Chancellors Departments and their agencies all have small capital budgets that mainly relate to information technology expenditure. A thorough evaluation was undertaken that concluded it would not be appropriate to bring forward capital expenditure for the Chancellors
Departments. This was due to the limited size of the projects and value for money problems involved in doing so.
Mr. Timms: In the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2008, HMRC staff lost 298 departmental identity cards, and 41 were reported stolen. These losses represent a small proportion of the 30,000 ID cards held by HMRC.
HMRC provides a Helpdesk facility that enables staff to report such losses and thefts, and allows the Department to take appropriate steps to maintain security across all its estate, including reporting to the police and notification on the card administration database.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1096W, on departmental training, what personal training courses at public expense other Ministers in his Department have undertaken since 1 January 2008. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of hon. Members questions for written answer on a named day his Department has answered on the day named in the 2008-09 Session of Parliament to date. 
Angela Eagle: Treasury Ministers endeavour to answer written parliamentary questions promptly wherever possible. Of the 169 named day questions tabled to the Treasury in the current parliamentary Session, 103 (61 per cent.) were answered on the day nominated by questioners.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role his Department played in discussions leading to the recent decision of the Financial Services Authority to remove its prohibition on short selling of shares in financial institutions. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 26 January 2009]: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) reviewed its recent short selling restrictions and, after consulting publicly, decided to extend the short selling disclosure regime until 30 June 2009 and allow its prohibition on the short selling of shares in financial institutions to expire.
The UK tripartite authorities, HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the FSA, have worked, and continue to work, together to take all necessary steps to ensure the stability of the UK financial system. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such discussions.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what projection he has made of the prevailing exchange rate between the pound sterling and the (a) euro, (b) Thai baht and (c) US dollar in each of the next 12 months. 
Ian Pearson: As set out in footnote 2, on page 146 of Pre-Budget Report 2008 (Cm 7484), the Governments economic forecast is based on the assumption that the exchange rate moves in line with an uncovered interest parity condition, consistent with the interest rates underlying the economic forecast. The Government do not publish forecasts of sterling against individual currencies.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made representations to (a) the euro area authorities on the abolition of the 500 euro banknote and (b) the United States administration on abolition of the 100 dollar bill as a means of making criminal payments more difficult. 
Ian Pearson: Her Majestys Government recognise that high denomination banknotes can present a money-laundering risk, and we continue to work with our international partners through the EUs Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to reduce these risks where possible.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) in relation to the preference shares taken by the Government in (a) Lloyds Bank, (b) HBOS and (c) Royal Bank of Scotland, whether non-payment of the preference dividend by the board of directors would be treated as an act of default entitling the Government to initiate proceedings for winding-up the company; 
(2) in relation to the preference shares taken by the Government in (a) Lloyds Bank, (b) HBOS and (c) Royal Bank of Scotland, if he will bring forward proposals to (i) make them cumulative and (ii) adjust the coupon on the shares to a lower rate; 
(3) in relation to the preference shares taken by the Government in (a) Lloyds Bank, (b) HBOS and (c) Royal Bank of Scotland, whether, if the board of directors decide to pass the dividend the lost dividend will be recoverable for the public purse. 
Ian Pearson [holding answers 20 January 2009]: The terms of the agreements with the recapitalised banks on preference shares were set out in Chancellors statements to the House on 8 October 2008, 13 October 2008 and 19 January 2009, and in press notices on HM Treasurys website. The placing and open offer agreements are available in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to reply to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland's letter to him of 20 October 2008 on petrol prices in Orkney and Shetland. 
Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many jobs the Government plans to create through expenditure on eco-friendly projects; what estimate he has made of the proportion of such jobs which will go to British workers; and how much money the Government plans to spend in this respect. 
Angela Eagle: At the 2008 pre-Budget report, the Government announced that £3 billion of capital investment would be brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 to support a number of different industries and sectors through the current downturn. This included a green stimulus of £535 million, comprising:
£100 million new funding for the Warm Front scheme and £50 million brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10;
£60 million to provide to accelerate household energy efficiency and heating measures under the Decent Homes programme;
£300 million to accelerate delivery of up to 200 new rail carriages;
£20 million accelerated flood defence spending; and
£5 million accelerated spend on the British Waterways canal network.
(2) with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Jim Cousins) of 13 June 2007, Official Report, column 1123W, on Revenue and Customs: manpower, what the definition is of pre-surplus staff. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2008, Official Report, column 197W, on departmental personnel, how many of the pre-surplus staff classified as such upon return from maternity leave; and how many of the pre-surplus staff have been classified as such for at least (a) six months and (b) 12 months. [Official Report, 1 June 2009, Vol. 493, c. 1MC.] 
My hon. Friends answer of 21 January 2009, Official Report, column 1473W described how the pre-surplus arrangements work. Pre-surplus status is a term used by HMRC as part of their arrangements for managing workforce changes. When work volumes reduce or it is planned to move work to another location, HMRC use pre-surplus arrangements to help manage the consequent change in staffing requirements. HMRC use this scheme to help re-deploy staff to new roles ahead of any change in staffing requirements in a particular location or business unit.
Potentially surplus staff are given pre-surplus status and then have priority for any vacancies that arise that they apply for. This allows HMRC to address proactively any potential staffing surplus as a result of a change in the business. Pre-surplus staff continue to carry out essential work for the Department as they await new jobs. This is a sensible way to make best use of the skills of people during a period of radical reconstruction to improve service to customers.
If pre-surplus measures do not resolve the situation, staff can be declared surplus after which the Department can start to move to redundancy. The pre-surplus arrangements are a key part of our strategy for managing surpluses, and the Department remains committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies as far as this is reasonably practicable.
Information on pre-surplus information was only retained from the quarter ended September 2007. The figures provided as follows provide a snapshot of the position at each date. The position changes on a daily basis.
|Numbers of pre-surplus staff in HMRC|
|n/a = Not available.|
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