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9 Feb 2010 : Column 935W—continued

Amount and proportion of all tax credit entitlement by income, 2007-08
Income used to calculate award Total tax credit entitlement (£ million) Proportion of total entitlement (percentage)

Up to £19,999



£20,000 to £29,999



£30,000 to 39,999



£40,000 to £49,999



£50,000 or more






Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of out of work (a) lone parents and (b) couple parents are receiving child tax credit equivalent to the family element or less. [315978]

Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs estimate that at 1 December 2009 there were:

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of couples with children receiving (a) child tax credit only and (b) both working tax credit and child tax credit have more than one adult in full-time work. [315980]

Mr. Timms: At December 2009 there were 580,000 couples with children who both worked full-time and were receiving child tax credit only. This is approximately 14 per cent. of all in-work couples receiving child tax credit only.

There were also 75,000 couples with children who both worked full-time and were receiving working tax credit and child tax credit. This is approximately 4 per cent. of all couples receiving both child tax credit and working tax credit.

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) mean and (b) median gross income is of (i) in work and (ii) out of work (A) lone parents and
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(B) couple parents claiming tax credits with (1) one, (2) two, (3) three, (4) four, (5) five and (6) six or more children in the family; and if he will make a statement. [315981]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is provided in the following table:

Mean and median income used to calculate awards at December 2009
Income used to calculate award( 1)
Out of work( 2) In work( 2)

Mean Median Mean Median

Single parent

One child





Two children





Three children





Four children





Five children





Six or more children






One child





Two children





Three children





Four children





Five children





Six or more children





(1) This is the gross family income which is used for the purpose of calculating the tax credit award in 2009-10. (2) Out of work families are those where claimants are not working, or working less than 16 hours per week. In-work families contain at least one claimant working 16 or more hours per week.

Welfare Tax Credits: Northern Ireland

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of tax credit claimants in Northern Ireland who do not renew their claims. [316277]

Mr. Timms: In 2007-08 approximately 4,500 awards in Northern Ireland were terminated due to non-renewal.

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests were received for emergency payments of tax credits in Northern Ireland in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. [316347]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available, as HM Revenue and Customs does not record the reason for issuing a manual payment of tax credits at a local enquiry centre.


Re-registration: Overseas Voters

16. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the merits of ending the requirement on overseas voters to re-register every year. [316147]

Mr. Wills: Overseas voters (except service voters) are subject to the same requirements as those in the UK in that they are required each year to confirm where they are resident and ensure that relevant election documents are despatched to the correct address whenever an election is held. Changing that requirement could damage the integrity of the electoral register.

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Drug Use: Prisons

17. Christopher Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Blakey review on disrupting the supply of illegal drugs in prisons. [316148]

Maria Eagle: We have made good progress in implementing David Blakey's recommendations, including:

Burglary Sentences

18. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on sentencing guidelines in respect of burglary offences. [316149]

Claire Ward: Sentencing guidelines are published by the independent Sentencing Guidelines Council, not by the Government. In December 2008, the Sentencing Guidelines Council published a definitive guideline on theft and burglary in a building other than a dwelling. It is anticipated that the Sentencing Advisory Panel will produce its advice on sentencing for burglary in a home in spring this year.

Legal Aid: Asylum Seekers

19. Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will extend eligibility for legal aid to asylum seekers seeking to appeal against the withdrawal of support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and section 21 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 2006. [316150]

Bridget Prentice: Legal aid is available for eligible people to obtain help and advice in respect of such an appeal. The Government do not believe it is necessary to extend public funding to representation. Doing so would be disproportionate to the complexity of the issues and evidence under consideration.

Prison Transfer Agreements

20. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects the prisoner transfer agreements with Jamaica, Nigeria and Rwanda to be completed and ratified. [316151]

Maria Eagle: Prisoner transfer agreements with Jamaica and Rwanda have been agreed. The Agreement with Jamaica was signed in 2007. The Agreement with Rwanda will be signed shortly. Both Agreements are subject to ratification procedures before they can be brought into force. In the case of Jamaica changes to legislation are also necessary. It is not possible to say when either country will complete their procedures.

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Negotiation of a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement with Nigeria cannot be completed until Nigerian prisoner transfer legislation is amended. A Bill for this purpose is currently before the Nigerian National Assembly. I cannot therefore say when negotiations will be completed.

Solicitors: Payments

21. Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with the Legal Services Commission on their payments to solicitors in 2008-09. [316152]

Bridget Prentice: Meetings are held regularly with the Legal Services Commission at which a wide range of issues are discussed. One of the key current items on the agenda is the PAC report, which we welcome.

Custodial Sentences: Single Parents

22. Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent consideration he has given to the effect on dependent children of custodial sentences for single parents. [316153]

Claire Ward: We are working very closely with the Department of Children, Schools and Families to meet the needs of this vulnerable group of children. We have published a cross government Framework which aims to improve multi agency support and have a significant programme of work in hand to explore how agencies can work together to identify, assess and support the needs of children of offenders.

Information Commissioner's Office: Finance

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of funding of the Information Commissioner's Office. [316165]

Mr. Wills: The Information Commissioner's Office is funded by a combination of grant in aid from the Ministry of Justice to pay for the Office's freedom of information work and notification fees paid directly to the Office by data controllers (and retained by the Office with HM Treasury's consent) to fund its data protection work.

The Ministry of Justice and the Information Commissioner's Office regularly review funding arrangements. The Government introduced tiered notification fees in October 2009 to increase funding to pay for the Commissioner's proposed new statutory data protection responsibilities. The Ministry of Justice has given the Information Commissioner's Office additional grant in aid for its freedom of information responsibilities over and above its original baseline for this financial year and the previous four.

The level of grant in aid funding for freedom of information in the next financial year is currently under discussion.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will set out, with statistical information as closely related to Chorley constituency as possible, the effect on that constituency of the policies of his Department and its predecessor since 1997. [314236]

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Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice's work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. Every year around nine million people use our services in 900 locations across the United Kingdom, including 650 courts and tribunals and 139 prisons in England and Wales.

The range of the Department's policies and actions is wide and the statistical information relating to it is not normally collected on a constituency basis. Consequently, some of the information requested in the question cannot be provided in the form requested except at a disproportionate cost.

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