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Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of recovering tax credits debt where deduction from ongoing payments is not possible; 
(3) what steps he plans to take to increase the number of opportunities for recovering tax credit overpayments from any subsequent tax credits payments where one award has ceased and a new award started; 
Mr. Timms: These issues were included in the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee of Public Accounts report 2009-10: 'HM Revenue and Customs: Improving the Processing and Collection of Tax: Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Tax Credits' (HC 97), published on 10 December 2009. The Government will publish their responses to the Committee's Report in a Treasury Minute.
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the total tax credit debt was recovered (a) by deduction from ongoing tax credit payments and (b) by other means in the 2008-09 tax year. 
Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects on (a) children living in poverty and (b) households in the lowest quartile of annual income of recovery of tax credits overpayments. 
Mr. Timms: Processes are in place to ensure that the recovery of overpayments does not cause hardship. HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) policy on the recovery of overpayments is set out in the Code of Practice 26 'What happens if we have paid you too much tax credits?', available at:
Households receiving the maximum tax credits, with no reduction due to income, will have a maximum of 10 per cent. of their award recovered to re-pay an overpayment. Those entitled to the child element above the family element or working tax credit below the maximum award will have a maximum of 25 per cent. of their award recovered in order to repay an overpayment. If a customer cannot meet their living expenses, due to recovery of the overpayment, HMRC may allow more time to repay the overpayment.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans his Department has to support (a) Portsmouth and (b) other local authorities in the achievement of the aims of "The Learning Revolution" White Paper. 
Kevin Brennan: Local authorities have a key part to play in achieving the aims of "The Learning Revolution" White Paper. During 2010-11 we will work with the Skills Funding Agency to develop new lead accountable bodies, led by local authorities, to take responsibility for funding and planning informal adult learning in order to strengthen local ownership, widen local partnerships and improve coherence between key policies at the local level.
Funding priorities for 2010-11 are set out in the "Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11", published November 2009. In 2010-11 we will continue to invest £210 million in Adult Safeguarded Learning, reaffirming our White Paper commitments. In the 2009-10 financial year we have invested an additional £20 million in a Transformation Fund which is supporting more than 300 innovative projects to strengthen local infrastructures and widen access to learning for hard-to-reach groups. Funding is supporting two projects in Portsmouth: "Memories are made of this" and the "Portsmouth Informal Learning Project". Portsmouth is also an eligible district for the
Community Learning Champions Support Programme grants and can bid for funding to support a second round project.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what role Adult Safeguarded Learning funds will play in achieving the aims of "The Learning Revolution" White Paper. 
Kevin Brennan: Our funding priorities are set out in the strategy document, "Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11", published November 2009. In 2010-11, we will continue to invest £210 million in Adult Safeguarded Learning-learning for personal, family and community development. This reaffirms our commitment to implementing the vision set out in "The Learning Revolution" White Paper. A new priority will be to encourage Digital Life Skills which can often be embedded with other provision and open up a whole range of new learning opportunities to help thousands of offline adults take their first steps with computers and the internet.
We want every adult to benefit from a wide choice of learning opportunities. Informal learning can make a profound difference to people's lives by developing family and community cohesion, improving people's health and providing a stepping stone towards training and employment. During 2010-11 we will work with the Skills Funding Agency to develop new lead accountable bodies, led by local authorities, to strengthen local ownership, widen partnerships and improve coherence between policies at the local level.
Kevin Brennan: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts in Essex local authority, Southend-on-Sea local authority, Thurrock local authority and Castle Point parliamentary constituency from academic year 2003-04 onwards, the earliest year for which comparable data are available. Essex is made up of Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock local authorities.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship Programme Starts for Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock local authorities and Castle Point parliamentary constituency, 2003-04 to 2008-09.|
1. Figures for Castle Point Parliamentary Constituency are rounded to the nearest 10. Local Authority figures are rounded to the nearest100.
2. Figures are based upon home postcode of the learner.
3. Figures include apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships.
4. Essex is made up of Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Local Authorities.
Individualised Learner Record
Information on the number of apprenticeship starts by parliamentary constituency, local authority, Government Office Region and for England is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 17 December, and re-issued on 21 January to include provisional national estimates of the number of apprenticeship starts and achievements in the first quarter of 2009-10:
David Davis: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average annual cost to the Government is of an apprenticeship undertaken through the National Apprenticeship Service. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Children, Schools and Families allocate funding to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the provision of apprenticeships in England. Planned investment for 16-18 and adult apprenticeships for 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years is given in the following table.
Adult apprenticeships-BIS Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11, November 2009
16-19 apprenticeships-DCSF 16-19 Statement of Priorities and Investment Strategy 2010-11
The public cost of delivering an apprenticeship varies significantly depending on the industry in which the apprenticeship framework is being delivered; whether the framework is at level 2 or 3; and whether the participant is in the 16-18, 19-25 or 25+ age group. For example the LSC estimates that it costs £2,749 to deliver a level 2 adult apprenticeship framework in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools and £4,083 to deliver the level 3 equivalent framework. Between industries the difference in estimated costs can be more marked. LSC estimates that the cost of delivering a level 3 adult apprenticeship in clock and watch repair is £13,409 but the cost of an adult apprenticeship at the same level in business and administration is £3,327.
John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the annual cost to businesses of compliance with Government regulations introduced since 27 June 2007 in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency. 
Ian Lucas: In October 2009, the Government published the first Total Benefit/Cost ratio of New Regulations, for all legislation that received Royal Assent or was made by Parliament in the previous financial year, 2008-09. This is summarised in the following table:
|Measure||Quantified equivalent annual benefits (£ billion)||Quantified equivalent annual costs (£ billion)||Ratio of quantified benefits to costs (rounded)|
The Government do not collate data about regulation such as road closure orders that affect business on a purely local basis. It also does not hold data on national regulation at local authority or constituency level.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was spent on advertising by (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which his Department is responsible in 2009. 
Mr. McFadden: For advertising spend by the Department in 2009/10 I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 132W.
I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the National Measurement Office and the Intellectual Property Office and they will respond to the hon. Member directly.
I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 9 February 2010, UIN 317251 to the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Companies House spent £331,804 on advertising in 2009. The vast majority of this was spent on informing businesses of their obligations under the Companies Act.
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question how much was spent on advertising by (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which his Department is responsible in 2009.
The Insolvency Service did not spend anything on advertising and marketing in 2009.
I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 09 February 2010, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Intellectual Property Office, an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, spent £122,000 on advertising in 2009.
I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office to your Parliamentary Question asking the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much was spent on advertising in 2009.
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