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Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of Parliamentary Questions tabled for written answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department considers the provision of an interest free loan to be a qualifying benefit for the purpose of tax relief on contributions to an employee benefit trust. 
Mr. Timms: There is no obligation to notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the number of beneficiaries per Employee Benefit Trust (EBT). In HMRC's experience EBTs with only one beneficiary are very uncommon.
Chloe Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will require Sir John Chadwick to report by a specified date his advice on an ex-gratia payment scheme to Equitable Life policy holders. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside the Government Actuary's Department's buildings attended by civil servants in the Government Actuary's Department there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. 
(a) The Government Actuary and his senior management team currently hold two away days each year to review the Department's strategy and to formulate a yearly business plan. Prior to May 2008 one away day took place each year. The cost each financial year since 2005-06 is as follows:
(b) GAD's staff, as part of their ongoing professional development, attend a number of conferences and seminars. The number of conferences attended and associated costs in each financial year since 2005-06 are as follows:
|Number of conferences||Cost (£ 000)|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many gilts have been issued by the Government through (a) pre-announced auctions, (b) syndication and (c) mini-tenders in each of the last five years. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 16 October 2009, Official Report, column 1123W, on housing: valuation, when the code of practice, Valuations for Right to Buy, Right to Acquire and Equity Sharing of Social Housing was (i) first produced and (ii) last updated; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the methodology used by the Valuation Office Agency when calculating the financial value of the potential for further development. 
Ian Pearson: The code of practice, 'Valuations for Right to Buy, Right to Acquire and Equity Sharing of Social Housing' was published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in October 2006 and was updated in May 2009.
The method of valuation ('methodology') used by the Valuation Office Agency in 'hope value' cases, where the valuer reflects the potential for further development in the market value, will vary according to the individual circumstances and attributes of the property being valued. There is no prescribed methodology. The valuation approach adopted is a matter of professional judgement for the valuer using his/her experience and skills (having regard to relevant case law), knowledge of potential purchasers and how the latter would approach the valuation of the subject property.
|Tax year||Number of estates paying inheritance tax (nearest 1,000)||Inheritance tax receipts (£ million)|
The current forecast for 2009-10 and 2010-11 is for about 15,000 estates paying tax each year. Forecast numbers of taxpayers are not available for later years as they are subject to a great deal of uncertainty because of possible changes to forecasts of asset prices.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the Pre-Budget Report, Cm 7747, what assessment he has made of the effect on long-term interest rates of the Government's borrowing requirement; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect on UK interest rates of his forecasts for financing and debt management set out in paragraph 7.61 of the Pre-Budget Report, Cm 7747; and if he will make a statement; 
Ian Pearson [holding answers 14 December 2009]: UK public debt levels are forecast to remain in line with other major economies, and debt interest costs in 2010-11 as a share of GDP and public expenditure are forecast to remain below the levels in 1997. The Government have set out a credible plan for delivering a sustainable consolidation in the public finances over the medium-term, including the requirement set out in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill that public sector net borrowing is reduced to 5.5 per cent. of GDP or less by 2013-14. The average 10-year yield on government bonds for the current decade (to 9( )December 2009) is significantly below the average in any of the previous three decades.
The debt interest forecast uses interest rates based on latest market expectations. The short-term interest rates used for the 2009 pre-Budget report forecast are set out in box B1 in the pre-Budget report 2009 document.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on fiscal incentives for people with mortgages on domestic properties who are (a) up to date with their payments and (b) in arrears with their payments to work rather than claim benefits; and what account this policy takes of the practice among mortgage lenders of adjusting their fees to reflect whether or not an applicant is receiving an income from employment. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Contributions can be made towards the mortgage interest costs of homeowners through income support (IS), income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA), income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), and pension credit (PC). This is intended to provide a reasonable contribution towards customers' mortgage interest liabilities in order to protect against repossession. Where the amount paid is less than that charged by the lender, the onus is on the customer to keep the account in order by making any additional payments that are necessary.
For working age customers, a waiting period is served before assistance can be provided. This is because Government believe that those of working age taking on major financial commitments should ensure they are able to maintain these in the short term in the event of a change in circumstances. Last year we announced a temporary reduction in the waiting period from 39 weeks to 13 weeks, to provide additional support during the downturn. At the same time, we introduced a two-year time limit to Support for Mortgage Interest payments for customers claiming jobseeker's allowance. There is also a four week run-on for customers who have been in receipt of IS, ESA or JSA for at least 26 weeks to provide additional security when taking up a new job or entering work.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on steps to reduce the level of Government debt included in the 2009 pre-Budget report, Cm 7747; and if he will make a statement. 
The 2009 pre-Budget report set out the Government's plan to halve the deficit over four years, which is consistent with debt falling as a per cent. of GDP in 2015-16. The Government's Fiscal Responsibility Bill will enshrine these plans in legislation.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the pre-Budget report, Cm 7747, from which components of the National Programme for IT he expects the proposed efficiency savings to be taken. 
Since its inception, the Department has consulted and communicated with its national health service stakeholders, including clinicians, senior NHS managers and information management and technology staff, and the medical professional representative and health regulatory bodies, on a frequent and regular basis about all aspects of the NHS information technology programme. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has also often discussed issues relating to the programme in his regular meetings with the Chancellor.
As part of the current Government-wide drive to find efficiency savings and better value for money on major projects, officials are holding ongoing discussions with the Treasury, and with suppliers, about how these might be generated in relation to the national programme.
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