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9 Nov 2009 : Column 67W—continued


Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of personal debt in the economy; what estimate he has made of the likely level of personal debt in the economy in May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [298321]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Bank of England collects and publishes statistics on the level of personal debt. The full Bank of England dataset can be found at:

The Government do not publish forecasts for personal debt.

Departmental Freedom of Information

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff in his Department were employed on the management of freedom of information requests submitted to his Department in each year since 2005; and how much his Department spent on the management of such requests in each such year. [299130]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Treasury has a central team of seven (full-time equivalent) that co-ordinates work on information rights. A substantial part of their work is managing FOI requests; however, the Treasury does not operate a time recording system that would enable costs for this element to be determined.

Economic Growth

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the British economy grew on average each year (a) in total and (b) per capita in the period (i) 1983 to 1987, (ii) 1987 to 1992, (iii) 1992 to 1997, (iv) 1997 to 2001, (v) 2001 to 2005 and (vi) 2005 to 2008. [298225]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Data on the UK economy is publicly available from the website of the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS). Calculations of GDP per capita are available online from international organisations such as the IMF and World Bank.

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Economic Situation

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the UK economy; and if he will make a statement. [298270]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government will publish updated forecasts for the UK and world economies in the pre-Budget report later this autumn, as is usual practice.

Equitable Life Assurance Society

Ben Chapman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make financial assistance available to pensioners in Wirral South constituency who have lost money as a result of their investments with Equitable Life. [297119]

Mr. Byrne: The Government have appointed Sir John Chadwick to advise on the relative losses suffered by policyholders and their impact. As I announced in the House on 21 October, the Government expect Sir John to submit his final advice by spring 2010. We will consider his advice as quickly as possible and announce a payment scheme that is practical to deliver and fair to both policyholders and taxpayers.

Financial Services: Regulation

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reviews his Department has carried out of the role of the Financial Services Authority in identifying breaches and preventing losses to savers in respect of the conduct of regulated activities by industrial and provident societies in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the UK in the last three years. [297411]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Industrial and Provident Societies (IPSs) in Northern Ireland are registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. In July 2009 the Treasury issued a 'Review of the Legislative Framework for Credit Unions and Industrial Provident Societies in Northern Ireland'. The Review recommended that the Northern Ireland authorities should consider what can be done to improve Northern Ireland legislation governing IPSs, with the aim of improving member information and governance.

In Great Britain, Industrial and Provident Societies are subject to the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. The 'Review of the Legislative Framework' recommended that, in Great Britain, the Financial Services Authority and the sector should identify an appropriate approach to minimise the risk of money laundering and improve transparency between IPSs and their members.

The Review concluded by recommending that the Northern Ireland authorities, the Treasury and the FSA, working together to develop a unified regime that protects societies and their members, should achieve an integrated approach across the UK.

Government Assets

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the monetary value of the portfolio of non-financial assets the Government
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proposes to sell (a) when they were acquired by the Government and (b) at the time of the proposed sale. [296935]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 2 November 2009]: As I announced on 12 October, a portfolio of assets for sale, and assets where there is the potential for alternative ownership options, will be published in the coming months.

The publication of the value of Government assets ahead of any commercial negotiations would undermine the value for money of any disposal. Departmental and national accounts provide some details of the book values of Government assets.

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions officials of his Department had with local government officials on the proposed sale of Government assets. [296992]

Mr. Byrne: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions 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 representations.

Income Tax

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are (a) in each income tax band and (b) paying no income tax in 2009-10. [298939]

Mr. Timms: Estimates for 2009-10 of the number of taxpayers by marginal rate of tax are shown in Table 2.1 "Number of individual income taxpayers", available at:

The information is based on the Survey of Personal Incomes of which 2006-07 is the latest available, and projected in line with Budget 2009 assumptions.

The estimated number of non-taxpayers can be found by subtracting the number of taxpayers from the latest population projection published on the Office for National Statistics website at:

Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander

Mr. Gale: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to take steps to assist UK citizens who have lost funds invested in Kaupthing Singer, Isle of Man which were subsequently transferred to London. [298895]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man (KSF IoM) is not a subsidiary of KSF in the UK, but of the Icelandic parent company. Oversight of KSF IoM is the responsibility of the Isle of Man's Financial Supervision Commission. Arrangements for depositors in KSF IoM are a matter for the Isle of Man Government.

Both KSF IoM and KSF UK are subject to insolvency proceedings in their respective jurisdictions.

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Mortgages: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the number and proportion of mortgage applications by residents of (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford and (b) the London Borough of Bexley which were granted in each of the last 24 months. [298109]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government do not hold this information. The Bank of England publishes data on mortgage approvals. These are available at:

Northern Rock

Caroline Flint: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much Government lending to Northern Rock has been repaid to date. [298630]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Northern Rock published its third quarter trading statement on 4 November 2009. This reported that the gross loan outstanding to the Government stood at £14.5 billion at 30 September 2009. After deducting liquidity balances held with the Bank of England the net loan at 30 September 2009 stood at £10.9 billion. The gross and net loan outstanding at 31 December 2007 was £26.9 billion. To date, Northern Rock have repaid £12.4 billion and £16.0 billion in gross and net terms, respectively.

The Government announced in February of this year that in order to enable Northern Rock to undertake increased levels of new lending, the bank will be restructured so that the back book of mortgages are managed separately to its other business. The Government also announced at the time that they will increase the loan to Northern Rock and extend the repayment schedule as part of plans to restructure the company.

Following last month's state aid approval from the European Commission, the Government are working with the company to finalise the details of the restructuring, including the revised repayment schedule for the Government loan.

Public Expenditure: Northern Ireland

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been contributed from the Exchequer to EU programmes in Northern Ireland in each year since 2005. [297446]

Mr. Byrne: EU Programmes in Northern Ireland are funded by the European Commission and are paid by the EU to the Northern Ireland Executive. Since 2005 EU receipts have been treated as negative public expenditure, which offsets the spending of the receipts within the Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL). The effect of this is that the funds are fully additional to the DEL spending funded by the Exchequer and determined by the Barnett Formula.

Public Expenditure: South West

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much public funding has been allocated to (a) Cornwall and (b) the Isles of Scilly in each year since 1997. [297274]

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Mr. Byrne: Public funding from central Government grants allocated to Cornwall county council and the council of the Isles of Scilly for the years 1997-98 to 2007-08 is set out in the following table.


Cornwall Isles of Scilly


































The lowest level at which total public expenditure information is available is the region. Total identifiable expenditure on services in the South West can be found in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2009 (CM 7630). Please see the following link for the relevant chapters of PESA 2009:


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax schemes have been closed as a result of the retrospective application of legislation since 1997. [298739]

Mr. Timms: Legislation enacted with retrospective effect (to a date before the announcement date) is rarely used. A separate record has only been kept since 2004.

Since December 2004 the following schemes have been closed by legislation enacted with retrospective effect:

Taxation: Aviation

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the effect of increases in air passenger duty on small regional airports. [298940]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: In line with Cabinet Office guidance, HMRC conducted an impact assessment of the new banding system and published it on its website at:

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was received from (a) air passenger duty, (b) tax on insurance and (c) all indirect taxation in the latest period for which figures are available. [298941]

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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Receipts from air passenger duty, insurance premium tax and the total for indirect taxes are published on a monthly basis in the National Statistics Table 1.3a available from the HMRC website at

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