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Strengthening our operational responses;
Reducing opportunities for fraud;
Closing off illicit supply chains.
HMRC is making good progress on all three strands of this strategy. The regulatory framework is being strengthened to reduce opportunities for fraud; the new operational model for HMRC to respond to fraud using new approaches and the full range of HMRC's powers is on track to be implemented from April 2010; and HMRC is working with the large brewers and wholesale buying groups on developing practical measures to close off illicit supply chains by restricting the availability of illicit alcohol to fraudsters.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 7 January 2010]: Investigations HM Revenue and Customs are conducting into illicit alcohol supply chains are a confidential matter. The results of investigations into alcohol fraud are published annually in HMRC's Departmental Autumn Performance Report copies of which are available on HMRC's internet site.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons the Financial Services Authority has required independent financial advisers to requalify; and whether it sought legal advice prior to its decision on that matter. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Financial Services Authority has published several consultations detailing and explaining its proposals for reform of distribution of financial products. These are available on its website. I also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 October 2009, Official Report, column 1285W.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the legislative power used by the Financial Services Authority in requiring independent financial advisers to re-qualify; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many furnished holiday lettings owned by (a) UK residents and (b) residents of other EU member states there are in (i) North Yorkshire and (ii) England. 
Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available, as HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) administrative systems do not capture information on the number or location of furnished holiday lettings. Non-UK residents are not eligible to claim tax relief under the furnished holiday lettings rules.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 16 September 2009, Official Report, column 2212W, on housing: valuation, how many properties in Solihull local authority area there are with each code for (a) type, (b) room number, (c) bedroom, (d) bathroom, (e) floors, (f) floor level, (g) parking, (h) garaging, (i) conservatory type, (j) age, (k) outbuilding and (l) modernisation. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 209W, on council tax: valuation, how reputational issues that affect open market value are recorded by the Valuation Office Agency. 
Ian Pearson: Where a reputational issue that might be value significant comes to the attention of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) it can be recorded on the VOA's database by using a 'WK' value significant code and/or it might be noted on a VOA domestic survey record.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 74W, on housing: valuation, whether the Valuation Office Agency takes into account the presence of lack of planning permission when calculating local housing allowance for a dwelling which is a caravan. 
Ian Pearson: The local housing allowance (LHA) was introduced on 7 April 2008 and is applicable to new applicants for housing benefit or to claimants moving property and having a break in claim. However, there are exemptions to the LHA and these include caravans.
Any application to the local authority for housing benefit where the accommodation is a caravan will be subject to a referral to the rent officer for the rent officer to make a determination of a reasonable rent for housing
benefit subsidy purposes. In making this determination, the presence or lack of planning permission is not taken into account. The amount of any award for housing benefit will rest with the local authority.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Valuation Office Agency plans to take steps to increase the proportion of dwellings with (a) dwelling house code and (b) value significant codes assigned to them. 
Ian Pearson: Dwelling house codes and value significant codes are routinely updated in the course of the VOA undertaking its statutory duty to maintain the current valuation lists of approximately 24 million dwellings in England and Wales. The VOA will always look to ensure that its codes are as up to date and as accurate as possible in order to support its statutory functions.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answers of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 583W, on imports: Israel, whether HM Revenue and Customs has requested from supermarkets the information from their tracking system on the origin of imports when the supermarket is not the importer. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has not requested any information from supermarkets' tracking systems. I refer the hon. Member to my answer to her of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 583W. HMRC only has access to systems and records which relate directly to the customs declaration and to the person shown as the importer/consignee on it.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answers of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 583W, on imports: Israel, what documentation provided in such cases is provided by (a) producers, importers or Israeli authorities and (b) organisations independent of producers, importers or Israeli authorities 
Mr. Timms: The documentation consists of original commercial documents accompanying any customs import declaration: the sales invoice and delivery note/consignment note/packing list issued by the exporter and showing the UK importer/consignee, which in the case of fresh produce is normally an intermediate company, rather than a UK supermarket; plant health documentation (where required); and where a preferential rate of duty is being claimed, either a proof of preferential origin showing the place of production and zip code on the invoice or a Form EUR1 issued by the exporter and stamped by the Israeli authorities.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 579W, on agricultural products: Israel, what (a) the importer, (b) the nature of the produce, (c) the name of the settlement in which the consignment originated and (d) the person or organisation responsible for misidentification was in the case of each of the six consignments wrongly claiming Israeli preferential origin; what sanctions were imposed by HM Revenue and Customs in respect of each consignment; and against whom. 
Mr. Timms: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot disclose the names of specific importers/exporters. The information requested in relation to the name of the settlement is not available because no place of production was shown on the proof of origin and HMRC had firm doubts about the origin of the goods.
The identified products were three consignments of wine, two consignments of snacks/soft drinks and one consignment of chocolates. HMRC refused preferential tariff treatment and the UK importer was required to pay the full rate of customs duty on the consignments concerned.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 579W, on agricultural products: Israel, who (a) the importer, (b) the stated place of origin, (c) the actual place of origin and (d) the person or organisation responsible for mislabelling was in relation to the two labelling irregularities for herbs; what sanctions were imposed by HM Revenue and Customs in each case; and against whom. 
The accompanying proofs of preferential origin showed that the produce had been produced in one case in 19 different locations including Avital, Nir Moshe, Rewaya and Yavne-EI, which had not been included in the lists of settlements and accompanying zip codes circulated by the European Commission.
The goods were released from customs control upon provision of financial security for the full rate of customs duty payable. Inquiries are under way with the Israeli authorities to establish the true place of origin.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 579W, on agricultural products: Israel, what additional checks HM Revenue and Customs has subsequently required of produce (a) from the same importer, (b) from the same producer and (c) from the same place of origin as the misidentified and mislabelled goods referred to in the answer. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs can confirm that once a duty demand is issued, it is their normal policy to examine further customs entries for the parties involved and to issue additional demands if necessary. They will also target any importer known to have production facilities in the occupied territories.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 580W, on cosmetics: Israel, how many of the consignments referred to in the answer came from each post code of place of origin; and for how many of these consignments HM Revenue and Customs was informed that the business's head office address was the place of origin. 
Mr. Timms: The information requested could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost, as HM Revenue and Customs would have to obtain and examine the documents, most of which will be held by the importer, in respect of the 996 customs declarations concerned.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 580W, on cosmetics: Israel, what steps HM Revenue and Customs takes in such cases to ensure the place of production and not the business head office is given as place of origin. 
HMRC has also asked the European Commission to ensure that in its routine monitoring of the operation of the Technical Arrangement it checks that the Israeli authorities are including the actual place of production, rather than a head office, on the proof of origin.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 580W, on cosmetics: Israel, how many consignments of produce imported into the UK originated in Mizpe Shalem in each of the last three years; and what the nature of the produce was. 
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, column 579W, on agricultural products: Israel, what steps HM Revenue and Customs takes when it detects mislabelling to share that information with the equivalent authorities in other EU member states. 
Mr. Timms: Any irregularities detected as a result of the application of the EU-Israel Technical Arrangement are reported directly to the European Commission. The Commission is co-ordinating community-wide action in ensuring that only those products which are entitled to Israeli preference receive such benefit, and it disseminates information about the action being taken and the results of those actions to all member states.
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number and percentage of (a) pensioners and (b) pensioner households that have paid income tax in each year since 1997. 
The estimated percentage of pensioners who are taxpayers can be calculated by using table 2.1 "Number of individual income taxpayers" and the latest population estimates and projections published on the Office for National Statistics website at:
Estimates for the number of pensioner households that paid income tax since 1997 is not available. However, an estimated 3.6 million (56 per cent.) households headed by a person of state pension age will pay income tax in 2009-10. This estimate excludes pensioners who live in households not headed by a person of state pension age, or in households with other family units.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the gross increase in cash terms in revenue from inheritance tax was consequent on the adjustment of inheritance tax valuations following a challenge by the Valuation Office Agency in the latest year for which figures are available. 
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