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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of his Department's officials work on calculating the UK's fortnightly payment to the European Communities budget; and how much the last such payment was. 
Ian Pearson: Treasury officials, and officials in HM Revenue and Customs, calculate and check the twice monthly UK contributions to the EC Budget as a part of their overall job remit. The latest UK payment was made on 22 June and was £161,264,379.67.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Alcohol duties are an important contributor to the public finances. The increase in duty on beer in Budget 2009 means the Government will receive additional revenue to support the public finances.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that the two new non-executive directors appointed to the Financial Services Authority Board have extensive professional skills, knowledge and experience from outside the financial services industry. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Treasury is responsible for appointing members of the FSA board. The recent advertisement for new non-executive directors sets out that candidates are expected to have at least one of the following areas of experience and expertise: a wide understanding of consumer issues within financial services and experience of representing consumer interests at the most senior levels; senior management experience in a major financial services or related institution; a thorough understanding of global economics and its relevance to international financial and business markets; a background within a financial services smaller company, e.g. a mortgage adviser, or an independent financial adviser. The selection panel, which comprises members of the Treasury, the FSA and an independent reviewer will then select the most suitable candidates for recommendation to the Treasury for appointment.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procedure is being followed for recruitment for the two additional non-executive directors of the Financial Services Authority Board announced in March 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The process by which the appointment of non-executive directors to the board of the Financial Services Authority is as follows: there is an open advertisement and focused search, then a selection panel reviews all applications thoroughly and interviews short-listed candidates. The selection panel will select the most suitable candidates for recommendation to the Treasury for appointment. The selection panel comprises members of the Treasury, the FSA and an independent reviewer.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: HM Revenue and Customs does not have data on the proportion of residents of Essex and Castle Point who have individual savings accounts (ISA). However regional ISA statistics are published on the HMRC website at:
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The UK entered the global economic crisis with low public debt, which has given the flexibility to allow debt to rise in the short-term to support the economy. In the current environment of economic uncertainty, the Government's approach is to ensure that debt is on a downwards path in the medium term. The Budget set out plans that are consistent with debt falling as a share of GDP by 2015-16, in line with the temporary fiscal operating rule.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Central Government debt interest payments in current prices are published monthly by the Office for National Statistics and can be found in Table 1.1C: Central Government (series NMFX), available on:
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Since 1997, the Governments savings strategy has focused on developing better incentives for saving, ensuring people have the capability to make the right savings decisions for them, and that they have access to appropriate savings opportunities. To support this strategy, the Government have introduced a range of incentives to save, including ISAs. ISAs are extremely popular and are held by over 18 million people. The tax relief given through ISAs amounted to an estimated £2.4 billion in 2007-08.
The Government are also committed to supporting pensioners through the global economic downturn, providing support for all and more for those who need it most. To provide additional support, Budget 2009 announced a package of measures to support pensioners who receive income from savings. From October 2009 the annual ISA investment limits will rise for people aged 50 and over to £10,200, of which up to £5,100 can be held in cash. In November 2009 the capital disregard in pension credit and pensioner-related housing and council tax benefit will increase, meaning the first £10,000 of capital will not be included when calculating someones entitlement for these income-related benefits. Budget 2009 also announced a new tax back campaign to contact pension credit recipients to encourage them to claim back tax they may have overpaid on their savings income and, where possible, register to receive interest on their savings tax-free in future.
The Government have taken a range of measures to strengthen financial stability and improve protection for savings. These include bringing in a new Banking Act, which provides for new arrangements for the resolution of banks in distress, and for a new insolvency procedure for winding up failed banks which focuses on ensuring the rapid payout of compensation to, or the speedy transfer of the deposits of, retail depositors.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Treasury receives representations on a range of issues. As was the case with the previous Administration, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of such representations.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been lent to (a) UK businesses other than banks and financial institutions and (b) UK homeowners in each month since August 2007. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on public expenditure of raising the public sector pension age to 68 on a phased basis in line with the increase in the state pension age; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: No estimate of the effect on public expenditure of raising the public sector pension age to 68 on a phased basis in line with the increase in the state pension age has been made. Occupational pensions, such as public sector pensions, involve different structures and rights to state pensions, which make it far more administratively complex and costly to apply phasing in such a way.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The disposal of used foundry sand to landfill is currently able to benefit from the lower rate of landfill tax. Used foundry sand, and other wastes, were established as lower rated in 1996 on the basis of the then understanding that they were not active and their landfilling results in a relatively lower level of environmental impact.
At Budget 2009, the Government published a consultation document, Modernising Landfill Tax Legislation which proposes, inter alia, that, in order to strengthen the environmental integrity of the tax, the benefit of the lower rate should be restricted to those wastes which are inert according to the tests provided for at a European level which post-date the establishment of lower rated wastes. The consultation document also seeks views on whether environmental criteria other than inertness should be taken into account when deciding whether a waste might be lower rated. It identified used foundry sand as a waste that would cease to be lower rated if inertness were the only criterion. Comments on the proposals are welcomed by the consultation deadline of 24 July 2009.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenue that would accrue to the Exchequer from applying the value added tax regime in force on the mainland to goods brought in from the Channel Islands. 
Goods supplied to UK consumers from the Channel Islands benefit from low value consignment relief and are not subject to UK VAT if they are valued at under £18. The latest estimate of the cost of this relief in respect of supplies from the Channel Islands of around £80 million for 2007-08 was set out in the answer I gave on 12 February 2009, Official Report, column 2148W.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 May 2009, Official Report, column 383W, on council housing, how much was spent under each budgetary heading on each (a) stakeholder workshop and (b) regional event; and how many people attended each event. 
|1st workshop||2nd workshop||3rd workshop|
There were three regional events, two in Bristol and Birmingham, held in Government offices for the regions, and one in London, held in departmental headquarters. Attendance in Bristol and Birmingham was 31 and 28 respectively. Attendance in London is not recorded but the event was a similar size to the others. There is no separate record of catering costs, but arrangements were on a similar scale to the workshops.
There were two seminars for regional and national tenant organisations, both held at departmental headquarters. Attendance was 28 and 19 respectively. The cost of catering for the regional event was £275.20. Catering costs for the national event are not held separately but the figure would have been slightly less than for the regional event. Tenants' travel expenses to London were reimbursed. A precise figure for expenses for this purpose is not available, but the total is approximately £3,600.
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