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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of raising income tax personal allowances to provide for those earning no more than the national minimum wage to be exempt from income tax; 
(2) by how much the personal allowance would need to be raised to take those working for 35 hours a week on the national minimum wage out of income tax liability; and what the cost of doing so would be in 2009-10. 
The annual amount received by someone on the national minimum wage will depend on the weekly hours worked, and estimates of the cost of raising the income tax personal allowance to different levels can be approximated from table 1.6 'Direct effects of illustrative tax changes' on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
Mr. Byers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what increase in the personal income tax allowance would be achieved at a cost of £8.6 billion in 2009-10; and how many people would be removed from any income tax liability as a result of such an increase. 
Mr. Timms: Raising the personal allowance by £1,520 to £7,995 for 2009-10 would cost around £8.6 billion and take approximately 1.7 million people out of income tax. This estimate is based on the 2005-06 Survey of Personal Incomes projected forward using pre-Budget 2008 assumptions. It refers only to income tax, not National Insurance contributions, and excludes any estimate of behavioural response.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead of 12 December 2008 on economic regulation and small businesses. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect of what provisions of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 the management and administration of is outsourced; what controls there are on companies to ensure the protection of data collected under the Regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Certain businesses (relevant persons) are regulated under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. Those Regulations transposed the Third Money Laundering Directive into UK law. Relevant persons may, in discharging the legal requirements, source a range of services from third parties.
Firms can, and typically do, subcontract a range of functions, buying in either expertise or access to information from specialist sources. Large retail firms also use information from consumer credit bureaux to help automate their customer identification and verification checks.
Relevant persons may rely on certain other regulated persons to carry out customer due diligence. In all of these cases relevant persons remain legally liable for the discharge of the responsibilities placed on them under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
Personal data obtained by relevant persons as a result of checks made under the Regulations are subject to the Data Protection Act, which places a number of requirements on those persons to safeguard those data. This means, for example, that businesses have to keep personal information secure, and ensure it is fairly and lawfully processed.
Regulators (including professional bodies) will also apply a variety of other safeguards to relevant persons who they supervise for money laundering and other purposes in order to monitor compliance with these requirements and relevant guidance.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of (a) the contribution of UK non-bank lenders to the mortgage market and (b) the effect on levels of mortgage lending of the levels of activity of UK non-bank and specialist lenders in the last 12 months; 
(2) what response he has made to the recommendation in the Crosby Report on mortgage finance markets for the introduction of a new guarantee scheme for residential mortgage-backed securities available to banks, building societies and specialist lenders; 
(3) how many meetings he has had with representatives of (a) banks, (b) building societies and (c) non-bank lenders to discuss measures to stimulate mortgage lending in the last three months; 
(4) what assessment he has made of the effects of the Governments lending support initiatives on (a) competition among banks, building societies and non-banks in the mortgage market and (b) the availability of mortgage finance to consumers in the last 12 months; 
On 19 January, the Government announced measures designed to reinforce the stability of the financial system, to increase confidence and capacity to lend, and in turn to support the recovery of the economy. These build on measures announced on 8 October last year.
This included a guarantee scheme for asset-backed securities to help improve lenders access to wholesale funding markets. The scheme will commence in April 2009 subject to state aid approval. Further details will be announced by the Debt Management Office in due course.
These measures have raised confidence in the banking sector and helped to stabilise financial markets. This is an essential condition for lenders to develop greater confidence to lend in the future to creditworthy businesses, home owners and consumers.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints relating to (a) mortgages and (b) mortgage endowments the Financial Ombudsman Service received in each year since 2001; and what percentage of such complaints the Ombudsman investigated. 
Ian Pearson: The Financial Ombudsman Scheme publishes an annual review, which has information on how many complaints relating to (a) mortgages and (b) mortgages endowments the Financial Services Ombudsman received in each year since 2001.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses in each parliamentary constituency in the South West did not pay the full rateable liability for national non-domestic rates in 2008-09. 
Ian Pearson: The Government are committed to continuing to support pensioner incomes. To provide help to pensioners on the lowest incomes, the 2008 pre-Budget report announced an above indexation increase to the standard minimum income guarantee in pension credit in April 2009. This means no single pensioner need live on less than £130.00 a week in 2009-10 and no pensioner couple on less than £198.45.
A full basic state pension will increase by £4.55 to £95.25 a week in April 2009. To provide additional support sooner, an additional one-off payment of £60 for each pensioner is being made, equivalent to bringing forward the uprating of the basic state pension from April to January. To support those pensioners who pay income tax, the age-related tax allowances will rise in April 2009 to £9,490 for people aged 65 to 74 and to £9,640 for people aged over 75.
This support is in addition to other measures taken by the Government to assist pensioners, including the introduction of winter fuel payments, free eye tests and local off-peak bus travel, and free TV licences for households with someone aged over 75. The Chancellor keeps all tax and benefit rates under review as part of the Budget process.
Ian Pearson: The Government are committed to supporting pensioners through the global economic slowdown, providing support for all, but more for those who need it most. A range of measures was announced at PBR 2008 to support pensioners including an extra £60 payment, an increase in the pension credit by more than indexation, and further winter fuel payments of £200 for those aged 60+ (£300 for 80+). This is on top of the additional support announced in last years Budget.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the monetary value was of each (a) private finance initiative and (b) public private partnership which was approved in (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007, (iv) 2008 and (v) 2009 to date, broken down by location of project. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumptions he made about (a) the state of the economy over the next five years and (b) the likely level of default on Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) assets when setting the fee for RBSs participation in the asset protection scheme. 
Ian Pearson: The consideration for the asset protection scheme takes into account a number of factors including the nature and risk of the assets protected, the interests of taxpayers, and the objective of ensuring financial stability.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Royal Bank of Scotland plans to use losses which it made in its last accounting year to reclaim corporation tax which it has already paid. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether tax losses Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) incurred in 2008 will be available for offset against tax paid by RBS in previous years in the context of the asset protection scheme. 
Ian Pearson: RBS have agreed not to claim certain UK tax losses and allowances for a number of years, meaning that when they do return to profitability, they will not be able to benefit from the losses accrued in the intervening period.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to provide for a tax of one per cent. on all derivative products written by banks regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 
From a regulatory standpoint, the Government agree that it is important to take steps to make the derivatives infrastructure more robust and support efforts by the European Union and other international bodies to increase transparency and liquidity in the derivatives market.
Under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes Regime, promoters are required to provide information to HMRC about avoidance schemes falling
within certain statutory descriptions. This must be done within five days of the schemes being made available or implemented.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 829W, on the Valuation Office: standards, if he will place in the Library a copy of the updated version of the customer services manual. 
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