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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: It is the Government's view that the best way to support the commercial property sector is to support the recovery of the wider economy. At pre-Budget Report 2008 and Budget 2009, the Government announced significant measures to support economic recovery in the UK, including additional support for business cashflow and investing in infrastructure, skills and innovation to provide the right environment for business growth.
reducing the main rate of VAT to 15 per cent until 31 December 2009;
measures to help SMEs facing credit constraints;
a deferral in the increase in the small companies rate of corporation tax;
temporary extension to loss relief rules; and
deferral of part of this year's business rates inflation up-rating.
Joan Walley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the opportunity cost of maintaining a UK nuclear weapons system for (a) other UK defence and security spending and (b) spending on schools and hospitals in (i) 10 years, (ii) 20 years and (iii) 40 years time; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Moran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effects upon the economy of the redesignation of registered social landlords as public bodies for public sector borrowing requirement purposes. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will direct the National Housing and Planning Advisory Unit to assess the level of public support for abolishing stamp duty for first time buyers on properties sold for up to £250,000. 
Mr. Timms: Since 2 December 2004 a number of schemes have been closed by legislation which was enacted with retrospective effect (i.e. to a date before the announcement date). The schemes in question were addressed by the following provisions:
Section 92 Finance Act 2006 (avoidance using options etc);
Section 58 Finance Act 2008 (UK residents and foreign partnerships);
Section 67 Finance Act 2009 (deductions for employee liabilities);
Section 68 Finance Act 2009 (employment loss relief); and,
Section 61 and schedule 30 FA 2009 (financial arrangements avoidance).
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals 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 such representations.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of landlords who have claimed wear and tear allowance against their income from property letting in each year since 2005. 
Mr. Timms: The number of landlords claiming wear and tear allowance, as recorded on the self-assessment return, was 520,000 in 2005-06, 530,000 in 2006-07 and 535,000 in 2007-08, the latest year available.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to provide tax incentives to purchase cars fitted with a seat belt reminder system; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Binley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether employment loss liabilities fall within the ambit of the Paymaster General's statement of 2 December 2004 on anti-avoidance measures; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) whether tax schemes which do not involve the extraction of income from a company by an employee in a manner which is free of PAYE, income tax and national insurance contributions fall within the ambit of by the Paymaster General's statement of 2 December 2004 on anti-avoidance measures; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The Paymaster General's statement of 2004 warned that where we become aware of arrangements which attempt to frustrate our intention that employers and employees should pay the proper amount of tax we will introduce legislation to close them down, where necessary from 2 December 2004.
It remains the Government's view that in rare cases, whether in the field of employment income or more widely, it will be appropriate for us to act retrospectively to ensure that abusive schemes are closed down rapidly and effectively. Section 68 of Finance Act 2009, dealing with employment losses was one such example.
Mr. Timms: The latest information on the number of recipient families of child and working tax credits, by parliamentary constituency, is given in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) snapshot publication, "Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Geographical Analyses April 2009".
Mr. Timms: The Treasury has not made an assessment of the effect on the costs to public sector pension schemes arising from the abolition of payable dividend tax credits. The decision in 1997 to abolish payable dividend tax credits was taken to remove a distortion in the tax system, which had encouraged companies to pay out their profits in dividends, rather than retain them for reinvestment in the business. The measure was part of a wider package of measures designed to improve the climate for long-term investment in the UK.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the reclassification of income from holiday lets as unearned income. 
Mr. Timms: Income from furnished holiday lettings will not be reclassified. It will continue to be assessed as property income, but after the repeal of the furnished holiday lettings rules it will no longer be treated as trade income for certain tax purposes.
Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with 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 meetings.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department conducted an assessment of the likely effects on the self-catering tourism industry of changes to the furnished holiday lettings scheme in 2010. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is considering steps to mitigate the effects upon landlords of the changes in the furnished holiday letting rules due to take place in April 2010. 
Mr. Timms: Tax policy changes and related measures are considered through the Budget process in the usual way and in the light of prevailing economic and other circumstances. The Government announced the withdrawal of the furnished holiday lettings scheme from 2010 in Budget 2009 and will be publishing draft legislation for comment alongside the pre-Budget report. An impact assessment will also be published at this time.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what loss relief will be available to those operating commercial furnished holiday letting businesses once the furnished holiday letting rules are repealed. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason consultation was not required to be held before the furnished holiday letting rules were repealed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The announcement to withdraw the FHL rules was made at Budget 2009 in order to provide a period of notice to those affected, and thus allow them time to plan for the change in tax treatment.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The regulation of Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) as defined in section 235 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), as the independent regulator.
On 1 April 2008 the FSA applied for a winding up petition against UK Land investments (UKLI) on the basis that: (i) UKLI had carried on and was carrying on
a regulated activity in breach of the general prohibition within the meaning of section 367(1) of the Act; (ii) UKLI was unable to pay its debts within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986; and (iii) it was just and equitable that UKLI should be wound up.
The FSA had previously advised UKLI that its landbanking scheme fell within the definition of a CIS and that the operation of a CIS without authorisation by the FSA amounts to a breach of the general prohibition (section 19 of the Act) and was a criminal offence (section 23 of the Act). The FSA also advised UKLI that the investors who had invested in its scheme to date would be entitled to recover any money paid pursuant to the scheme and/or recover compensation for any loss sustained by them pursuant to section 26 of the Act.
Mr. Timms: Billing authorities have a statutory duty under section 27(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to provide the Valuation Office Agency with any information which they consider would assist in maintaining council tax valuation lists.
Mr. Timms: The Valuation Office Agency's (VOA's) Automated Valuation Model (AVM) is not a database. It is the technology developed to support the valuation of dwellings. It draws on data held in the VOA's property database, which holds details of individual properties. The VOA has held information on properties for many years in order to maintain up to date valuation lists. All domestic properties appearing in the valuation list for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (60,837 as at 2 September 2009) are on the VOA's property database.
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