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Mr. Mike O'Brien: With around 20 billion barrels, or more, remaining, there is plenty of life left in the North sea. Our 25th licensing round produced the highest number of licenses ever offered171 to 99 companies, industry continues to respond strongly to our initiatives to stimulate activity via licensing innovations, releasing fallow acreage and boosting production from older fields. With industry, we will continue to squeeze as much from the North sea as possible for years to come.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many communities have had environmentally-friendly improvements sponsored by the Green Neighbourhoods Initiative. 
Joan Ruddock: The Government announced in April 2008 their intention to launch a new green neighbourhoods programme. We asked the Energy Saving Trust to develop a community-based approach which would help up to 100 selected neighbourhoods in England reduce their carbon footprints by 60 per cent. The scheme is currently still in development and we will be making decisions shortly on its future.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of public expenditure on grants to individual households for (a) renewable energy installations and (b) energy efficiency measures over the next six years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 23 February 2009]: The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) Phase 1 provides grants to householders to install renewable and low carbon technologies. It aims to run through to June 2010 for new applications and the current forecast for grant commitment is:
The largest energy efficiency programme in the household sector is carbon emission reduction targets (CERT), which runs from 2008-11 and which is paid for by energy suppliers, not Government. We estimate that, over 2008-11, energy suppliers will pay around £3.2 billion for this programme although they may reach their carbon saving target at lower cost than expected. In addition, the decent homes programme supports social housing in England only and around £250 million was spent on energy efficiency in social housing during EC2 (2005-08) and the CERT calculations are based on the assumption that this level of commitment will continue until 2011.
In terms of the warm front scheme, the funding for the current period (2008-11) is set at £959 million. Current estimates suggest that the scheme will complete approximately 266,000 heating jobs and 210,000 insulation jobs in this period. It is not possible to provide projections relating to spend after this time.
The policy landscape for energy saving after 2011-12 is not yet fixed. The Government recently released the heat and energy saving strategy for consultation, which outlines the various options and some of these are based on continued commitments from energy suppliers.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assumptions his Department makes in calculating the carbon abatement accruing from the provision of energy efficient light bulbs under the Warm Front scheme. 
Joan Ruddock: Warm Front is estimated to save an average of 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per year for every household assisted. This figure is calculated using the industry standard software, and as such no assumptions are made by the Department about the impact of individual measures.
Mr. Timms: As the memorandum of understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authorities (FSA) sets out, it is the FSA that is responsible for prudential supervision of individual banks.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what credit default swaps (a) have been issued in the last five years and (b) are held by each bank regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the rate of change in salaries of company directors and senior executives as a result of salary pay review boards; and if he will make a statement. 
The Directors Remuneration Report Regulations 2002 require quoted companies to publish a report on directors remuneration as part of its annual reporting process and give shareholders a vote on that report. This enables shareholders to hold companies accountable for their remuneration policies.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of public opinion on the arrangements introduced by his Department for the management of its controlling interest in banks where UK Financial Investments is on the board. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to empower the customers, employees and borrowers of banks to appoint directors of their banks. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require bank directors to return the bonuses and share options that they received during 2006, 2007 and 2008. 
Mr. Timms: The Government have ensured that none of the banks accessing the recapitalisation scheme awarded cash bonuses for 2008 to board members, and the Government approve the terms of remuneration for senior executives at banks in temporary public ownership.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to reduce expenditure by banks in receipt of public support on their existing and proposed sponsorship arrangements. 
|Value of beer sales|
Duty on beer is paid by breweries and not by retailers. As a result, HMRC statistics do not have a breakdown of taxes and duties collected on beer between the on-trade and off-trade. An estimate of this breakdown has not been produced, as excise duty revenues on beer depend on beer volumes and their strength, while VAT revenues on beer depend on the value of beer sales.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the additional revenue which would accrue to the Exchequer if capital gains were taxed at the basic rate of income tax in 2009-10. 
A reform of this kind would result in a large behavioural response and such estimates are susceptible to a wide margin of error. A broad estimate of the eventual steady state impact, taking account of the likely taxpayer response to such a change and assuming that the annual exempt amount would continue
to exist under this kind of reform, is additional receipts in the order of £200 million a year by comparison with the current capital gains tax (CGT) regime. This estimate should be viewed with caution, as the comparison point is the new 18 per cent. rate of CGT for which data are not yet available.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals for temporary increases in levels of child benefit, tax-free child allowances, and child tax credits to help workers with families currently on short-time working. 
Mr. Timms: Tax credits are a flexible, responsive system of financial support that adjusts to peoples circumstances. Shortened working hours that have the effect of reducing a household's income may lead to a higher tax credits award, provided that the household continues to meet the normal eligibility conditions for tax credits.
In December 2008, 412,000 households were benefiting from an increased tax credits award because of a fall in income compared to their previous years income. To receive any additional support, households need only notify HMRC of their changed circumstances.
In addition to this responsive support, the Government have already brought forward extra help for families in the economic downturn. In January 2009, Child Benefit was increased to £20 per week for the first child, bringing forward the increase originally planned for April. The child element of child tax credit will increase by £75 above indexation from April 2009, bringing forward the £25 increase originally planned for April 2010 and building on the Governments original commitment to a £50 increase. The Government will announce any further changes to tax and benefits rates in the Budget.
Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials of (a) his Department, (b) the Financial Services Authority and (c) the Bank of England will receive bonuses during 2008-09; how much will be paid in bonuses to staff of each; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Bank of England are operationally independent of Government. The payment of non-consolidated performance awards to staff is a matter for these organisations.
Details of performance payments made by the Treasury Group in 2008-09, and on the performance pay awarded to individual members of the Treasury Board, will be included in the Treasury Groups Annual Report and Accounts later this year.
For 2008-09, up to 2 per cent. of HM Treasurys total pay bill is available for non-consolidated payments related to performance. Such payments are funded within existing pay bill controls and have to be re-earned each year.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of letters sent by his Department were given to (a) the Royal Mail and (b) another postal services provider for delivery in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: A total of 61,372 items were sent in the past 12 months. Of these 54,744 were transmitted by Royal Mail (89 per cent.) and 6,628 by other postal service providers (11 per cent.) including the Government Car and Dispatch Agency.
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