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18 Jan 2010 : Column 196W—continued

Financial Services: Qualifications

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the likely length of time that would be required to complete the QCF Level 4 qualification for financial advisers proposed by the Financial Services Authority. [310954]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Retail Distribution Review is a matter for the FSA, as the independent regulator. Although the qualification requirements have yet to be finalised, in its most recent consultation, "Delivering the Retail Distribution Review", the FSA explained that it expects new qualifications intended for its transitional qualifications list to meet the broad criteria for a Level 4 'Diploma', as defined by the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). A QCF Diploma must be at least 37 credits, where one credit is equal to 10 hours of notional learning time.

Gaming Machines and Lottery Machines

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations (a) he and (b) HM Revenue and Customs have received on the separate definitions of a gaming machine and an automated lottery machine. [310698]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.

HM Revenue and Customs have received representations about the tax liability of certain machines that are sometimes referred to as automated lottery machines. A number of appeals have been lodged with the Tribunals Service so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.

Olympic Games: Canada

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department are planning to attend the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010; and what estimate he has made of the cost of such attendance. [310850]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Since 1999 the Government have published on an annual basis a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. From 2007-08 the list was extended to include all Ministers. The list also provides information on the number of officials who accompany Ministers. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2009-10 will be published as soon as the information is available.

All travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the "Ministerial Code" and "Civil Service Management Code" respectively.

Pension Credit

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pensioners his Department has contacted in relation to its pension credit tax back campaign; how many such pensioners have responded to that campaign; how much has been claimed back (a) on average per pensioner and (b) in total; and if he will make a statement. [308307]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: As part of the Taxback campaign announced at Budget 2009, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have written to all 3.4 million beneficiaries of pension credit to encourage those who are overpaying tax on their bank and building society interest to claim it back and, where eligible, to register to receive future interest payments without tax deducted.

The final letters went out on 3 December and so claims are still being received and more are anticipated. An accurate estimate of the full impact of the campaign could not be provided until all responses have been received and evaluated.

Public Expenditure

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish his Department's projections for overall departmental expenditure limits for the years (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [309296]

Mr. Byrne: Departmental expenditure limits are set within a spending review. Beyond the current spending review period no overall or individual departmental expenditure limits have been set.

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Mr. Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the amount of revenue to the public purse generated in England which is spent under the block grant system on (a) free care for the elderly and (b) free prescriptions for people in other parts of the UK. [309861]

Mr. Byrne: Under the Barnett formula the devolved Administrations receive a population based share of comparable changes in spending by UK Government Departments. These calculations are based on overall changes in Departments' provision rather than disaggregated by individual programmes. The costs of devolved policies, for instance on free care for the elderly or free prescription charges, are met by the relevant devolved Administrations within their existing block budgets.

Strategy and Delivery Units

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many full-time equivalent officials were employed in the Prime Minister's (a) Strategy Unit and (b) Delivery Unit in each year since 2007; what the cost of employing these staff was in each of those years; and how many staff were employed in each unit at the latest date for which figures are available. [309850]

Mr. Byrne: The total number of full-time equivalent staff employed at year end (31 December) was:

Strategy Unit Delivery Unit










The cost of employing these staff in each of these years was:


Strategy Unit Delivery Unit










Costs of employing staff include salaries, bonuses, overtime and other allowances, as well as other social security and other pension costs.

Tax Allowances

Andrew Selous: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a version of table 5.2 in chapter 5 of Budget 2009, HC 407, showing the number of persons with marginal deduction rates of (a) 60 per cent. or over, (b) 70 per cent. or over, (c) 80 per cent. or over, (d) 90 per cent. or over and (e) 100 per cent. or over. [311108]

Mr. Timms: Tables estimating the numbers facing marginal deduction rates over 60 per cent., over 70 per cent., over 80 per cent., over 90 per cent. and over 100 per cent. are published in Budget and pre-Budget report documents. The Government have no plans to change the format these tables are published in.

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Tax Yields

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 176W, on tax yields, when he expects the data relating to Pay as You Earn tax for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 will be available. [310611]

Mr. Timms: Estimates for 2007-08 Pay-As-You-Earn tax deducted from pay (excluding pension), by industry, will be published as National Statistics in Table 2.10 on HM Revenue and Customs website in March 2010:

in accordance with pre-announced publication dates for National Statistics:

The publication date for estimates for 2008-09 will be published on the above website page in due course.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people informed HM Revenue and Customs by 4 January 2010 of previously undeclared overseas income and gains under the most recent tax amnesty; and if he will make a statement. [310673]

Mr. Timms: Approximately 10,000 people have registered an intention to disclose previously undeclared overseas income and gains under the new disclosure opportunity.

The opportunity to register with the scheme closed on 4 January. Those who have registered now have until 12 March 2010 to provide full details of their disclosure through our online facility, and pay what they owe.


Geraldine Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the temporary reduction in the rate of value added tax on the economy during the recession. [311365]

Mr. Timms: The Government expect the package of stimulus measures announced in the 2008 pre-Budget report to have increased GDP by around 0.5 per cent. percentage posts in 2009. The VAT reduction was a key element of this stimulus and reduced the tax liability for both businesses and households by around £11 billion. It has benefited consumers, where passed on via lower prices, and otherwise has helped to support businesses and jobs, by strengthening cashflow and profits.

VAT: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate has been made of the additional revenue which will accrue to the Exchequer from (a) all alcohol sales and (b) beer sales in 2009-10 as a consequence of the change in the rate of value added tax on 1 January 2010. [311310]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The increase in revenue over the period 2009-10 comes solely for the months after VAT was returned to 17.5 per cent. In other words, January 2010 to March 2010. The increase in revenue from VAT rising on 1 January for 2009-10 is estimated at £160 million.

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The figures for alcohol are in table 1.2 of the 200 pre-Budget report available at:

A breakdown for beer was not published.

Welfare Tax Credits

John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much was paid in interim or emergency payments of tax credits in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09; [308191]

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(2) how much has been allocated for interim or emergency payments of tax credits in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; [308192]

(3) how many requests were received for interim or emergency payments of tax credits in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09. [308200]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not collated centrally and would be available only at disproportionate cost due to the work required to aggregate data from across HM Revenue and Customs. No separate allocation is made for interim/emergency tax credits payments.

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