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Departmental Manpower

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Prime Minister’s (a) Strategy Unit and (b) Delivery Unit is conducting work related to the responsibilities of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. [266630]

Mr. Byrne: The Strategy Unit are not conducting any work related to the responsibilities of DECC. However, the Strategy Unit are examining questions relating to energy as part of a broader piece of work on the European Neighbourhood Policy.

PMDU have recently worked with DECC on delivery of home insulation commitments and on assessing progress of PSA 27 for which DECC are the lead Department.

Departmental Work Experience

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) paid and (b) unpaid graduate internships his Department has awarded in each of the last six months. [281523]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: No graduate internships have been awarded in the last six months. However, there have been a number of undergraduate placements arranged through various Government schemes this year.

Equitable Life Assurance Society

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent progress has been made in establishing the ex-gratia payments scheme for Equitable Life policyholders; what steps will be taken in relation to the scheme in the next two months; and if he will make a statement. [281831]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 23 June 2009]: Sir John Chadwick has been appointed by the Government to review available information and consider a number of issues in relation to determining relative losses suffered by Equitable Life policyholders, and their impact. Sir John’s work will inform the establishment of an ex-gratia payments scheme.

Last week Sir John issued a document that set out his proposed approach and issues to be addressed in his work, alongside announcing his formal appointment of actuarial support and the launch of his website. The document gives interested parties an opportunity to comment on Sir John’s proposed approach and written comments are invited to be sent to Sir John’s office by 17 July 2009.

Sir John expects to make an interim report to Government later this summer, containing a definitive statement of his approach for determining relative losses and a definitive list of the specific issues he will address.

It is intended that a statement will be made to the House updating it on Sir John’s work and the establishment of the payments scheme before it rises on 21 July 2009.

Government Departments: Standards

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Departments have had funding withheld since 1998 as a result of not meeting public service agreement targets; and how much funding was withheld in each case. [266584]

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Mr. Byrne: Since their introduction in the 1998 comprehensive spending review (CSR), public service agreements (PSAs) have played a vital role in galvanising public service delivery and driving major improvements in outcomes. Department’s performance in the previous spending review period is always taken into consideration in any new spending review. The Prime Minister’s delivery unit was established in 2001, and while delivery of PSAs is ultimately the responsibility of individual Departments PMDU and HM Treasury work closely to support Departments to ensure delivery against these challenging commitments. Currently 70 per cent. of SR02 PSAs are assessed as met, met-ongoing or partly met, while 56 per cent. of SR04 PSAs are assessed as met, ahead or on course.

Kaupthing Bank: Compensation

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to compensate people who have sustained financial losses owing to the failure of Kaupthing Bank. [278775]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 9 June 2009]: On 8 October 2008, the FSA concluded that Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Ltd. no longer met threshold conditions and was in default for the purposes of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The Treasury, using an order under the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008, transferred KSF’s deposit book of “Kaupthing Edge” accounts to ING Direct. The Government also committed to paying out in full FSCS eligible depositors whose accounts were not transferred.

The remainder of KSF’s business was subsequently placed into administration following due legal process. The administrators are responsible for managing the remainder of KSF’s business and loan book to maximise recovery for creditors. The administrators will continue to deal with the assets in compliance with insolvency law and the provisions of the transfer order (including those provisions of the transfer order which confer certain limited functions on the Treasury in relation to the assets of KSF). Those depositors that are ineligible for FSCS compensation will be creditors of the bank in the normal way and paid out in accordance with UK insolvency procedures.

Deposits with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) (KSF IoM) will be subject to the Isle of Man deposit compensation scheme. This scheme is administered by the Isle of Man authorities.

National Insurance Contributions

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of a reduction of one per cent. in the rate of employers' national insurance contributions in the present tax year. [281904]

Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to Table 5 of the 2008 pre-Budget report: Tax ready reckoner and reliefs, which provides estimates of the effects of illustrative tax changes, and is available at:

These figures exclude any estimate of behavioural response.

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Public Expenditure

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate his Department has made of total annually managed expenditure in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13 and (d) 2013-14; [281884]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the debt interest the Government will pay in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13 and (d) 2013-14. [281885]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 23 June 2009]: Projections for debt interest and annually managed expenditure (AME) for 2010-11 are shown in table C9 of the Budget 2009 document. Projections for total public sector current expenditure and public sector net investment to 2013-14 are shown in table C4 of the same document.

Total AME programmes to 2010-11 have been forecast consistent with the economic assumptions and policy decisions set out in Budget 2009.

Royal Bank of Scotland: Pay

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Chairman and Chief Executive of UK Financial Investments in respect of bonuses planned to be awarded to senior bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland. [278383]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: UK Financial Investments Ltd. (UKFI) has been set up to manage the Government’s investments in financial institutions on a commercial basis and at arm’s length. As part of this work UKFI is monitoring the non-lending conditions, including remuneration, attached to recapitalisation and participation in the Asset Protection Scheme for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). HM Treasury has regular discussions with UK Financial Investments and regularly monitors UKFI’s performance against its objectives.

UKFI has worked to ensure management incentivisation based on long-term, sustainable performance and no rewards for failure, in order to protect the interest of the taxpayer as a shareholder.

RBS has announced that there will be no bonuses or pay increases made to staff associated with the major losses suffered in 2008 and that board executive directors will receive no bonus for 2008 performance and no pay increase in 2009. No discretionary cash bonuses will be paid in 2009 for performance in 2008, and only legally binding guaranteed bonuses will be paid.

Social Security Benefits: Families

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families have received (a) child trust fund payments, (b) child tax credit, (c) childcare tax credit and (d) working tax credit in each parliamentary constituency in Lancashire in the latest period for which figures are available. [282059]

Mr. Timms: Estimates of the number of child trust fund accounts opened for children born on or before 5 April 2007, in each parliamentary constituency, are available at:

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Latest estimates of the average number of families benefiting from tax credits, as well as the average number of in-work families benefiting from the child care element in each Government office region, local authority and parliamentary constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are available in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publication “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised annual awards. Geographical analyses 2006-07”. This publication is available at:

HMRC do not produce these statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit. Information is not yet available for 2007-08 at parliamentary constituency level. Further information can be found at:

Latest estimates of the number of families who were claiming child benefit in the areas requested are provided in the HMRC annual publication “Child Benefit geographical statistics. August 2006”, available at:

Figures for August 2007 are not yet available.

Taxation: Telecommunications

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what rate per metre per year British Telecom is required to pay in respect of fibre tax. [281144]

Mr. Timms: British Telecom is assessed for business rates in the Central rating lists for England and Wales. Their rateable values are shown in the Central rating lists which are available on the Valuation Office Agency’s website at:

It is not possible to disaggregate how much of the rateable value is attributable to fibre.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue has been raised from fibre tax in each year since its inception; and what the cost to the Valuation Office Agency of collecting the revenue in each such year was. [281145]

Ian Pearson: Fibre optic telecommunication networks are assessed for business rates, the majority, on local billing authority rating lists with a small number on the Central Lists for England and Wales. We do not hold information on the amount of rates collected by local authorities from fibre optic cable networks. The Valuation Office Agency does not collect business rates.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether value added tax will be levied on the proposed supplement to be paid on all fixed copper lines referred to in the Digital Britain White Paper. [282035]

Mr. Timms: The Government intend to consult on the proposal for a general supplement on all fixed copper lines for a Next Generation Fund by September. The details of the Government's proposals will be set out in that consultation.

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VAT: Training

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from (a) commercial and (b) not-for-profit training providers on the applicability of value added tax to fees paid in respect of chef training; and if he will make a statement. [281778]

Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations 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 Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.

The VAT treatment of chef training is governed by the rules relating to the exemption from VAT for education. There are currently two categories of exemption: educational training supplied by an 'eligible body' and private tuition supplied by an individual (acting independently of an employer) in a subject ordinarily taught in a school or a university.

The list of eligible bodies was drawn up by the previous Government in 1994 to reflect the scope of the exemption laid down in the EU Directive, which is for supplies by public bodies and those with similar aims.

Welfare Tax Credits: Overpayments

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people required to make repayments as a result of overpayments of their tax credits in (a) Great Britain, (b) Leeds and ( c) Leeds North West in the last 12 months. [282080]

Mr. Timms: Information on the number of families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments at UK level can be found in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publications, “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards. Supplement on Payments”, for the years 2003-04 to 2007-08 available at:

Similar Information at country, regional, local authority and constituency level, can be found in the HMRC publications, “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics; Finalised Annual Awards; Supplement on Payments and Geographical Analysis” for the years 2003-04 to 2006-07 at:

Geographical information for 2007-08 is not yet available.

More details can be found at:

Working Tax Credit

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans next to review the number of hours of work a week which determines eligibility to receive working tax credit payments. [281587]

Mr. Timms: Parents and people with a disability are eligible for Working Tax Credit if they work at least 16 hours per week, while other people, who face less of a
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barrier to work, are eligible if they work 30 hours per week. The working tax credit has helped improve work incentives for people on low incomes to ensure that work pays. The Government believe it is important to protect these achievements, and while it keeps all aspects of tax credits under review, it currently has no plans to change the hours rules.

However, to protect people affected by the economic downturn, the Government announced in the Budget that from 31 July anyone who ceases to be eligible for Working Tax Credit because of a fall in working hours will continue to receive support for four weeks. This support, worth up to £68 per week for a couple without children and £32 per week for a single person, will help households as they adjust to their new work situation.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to answer Question 266584, tabled on 25 March 2009, on public service agreement targets. [282338]

Mr. Byrne: I have replied to the hon. Member.

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