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In Gorton people are benefiting from this investment. Since the middle of 2009, more than 730 people moved
off of the claimant count each month on average. At the beginning of 2010, claimant count unemployment is still nearly 18 per cent. lower and long-term youth unemployment 85 per cent. lower than in May 1997.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 17 July 2008, Official Report, column 629W, on investment income surcharge, what the equivalent figure is for 2008-09. 
Mr. Timms: The exemption limit above which the investment income surcharge of 15 per cent. applied was £7,100 for 1983-84, the last year before the investment income surcharge was abolished. The level of the exemption limit which would have applied for 2008-09 is £19,800 under annual statutory indexation based on changes in the retail price index with rounding up each year to the nearest multiple of £100.
Applying a rate of surcharge of 15 per cent. to individual's investment income above an exemption limit of £19,800 would yield around £3.7 billion in respect of the 2008-09 tax year, although most of this income would not be received until the following year.
This estimate is based on the Survey of Personal Incomes 2006-07 projected forward in line with the 2009 pre-Budget report assumptions. The figure excludes any estimate of behavioural response which could be considerable given the extent of the change.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons HM Revenue and Customs (a) refused preference for and (b) investigated consignments of imports from Israel under the EU-Israel Trade Agreement in respect of (i) two consignments with commodity code 33079000, refused in August 2009, (ii) one consignment with commodity code 34013000, refused in November 2009 and (iii) one consignment with commodity code 34013000, under investigation. 
Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs refused preference for the three consignments in question as documentary checks confirmed that the place of production was in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the remaining consignment with commodity code 34013000, HMRC are awaiting confirmation of the place of production.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from the Public and Commercial Services Union on the job security of its members who work for his Department and its agencies. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procedures are in place to communicate agreed redundancy and relocation arrangements to staff at HM Revenue and Customs offices which are scheduled to close. 
Mr. Timms: On 13 January 2010 HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) confirmed that 130 of its offices, previously announced for closure during the Department's Workforce Change Regional Review Programme, would close during 2010-11.
The Department has put in place a range of measures to communicate with and provide support to staff who are affected by the announcement. HMRC has, and will continue to consult with trade unions on communication issues.
Meetings were held in each office affected on 13 January to explain the consequences of the announcement. These meetings were supported by information, including questions and answers, published on HMRC's intranet. A staff dial-in with senior managers was also held on 13 January, and a managers' help line and staff mail-box set up to ensure staff received the information they need about relocation and redundancy arrangements.
Letters were issued to all affected staff on 15 January confirming their surplus status and providing individuals with an estimated severance quotation. Staff seminars have been held to give people a better understanding of their situation, the options open to them and to provide a further opportunity to ask questions before they make a decision by 26 January.
HMRC will continue to provide regular updates for staff on its intranet site and through five regional support teams, with representatives from business units across HMRC, which have been set up both to help people make choices and facilitate closure of the offices.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to increase the state earnings-related pension scheme (SERPS) by 2.5 per cent. in line with the basic state pension; and what recent guidance his Department has issued to those considering a SERPS pension. 
The conventions on uprating state pensions are concerned with maintaining their price value. Had we applied those rules this year, when inflation as measured by the September retail prices index was minus 1.4 per cent. pensioners would not have received a rise in their state pension.
We decided that the fairest and most effective way of getting help to the 11 million pensioners in the UK was
to apply an above earnings increase of 2.5 per cent. to the basic state pension. Because of the statutory link between the additional state pension and public service pensions, any uprating of the additional state pension would impose a burden on taxpayers and also put pensioners with public service pensions at an unfair advantage over those with private sector pensions.
Leaving additional state pension at current rates this year has no bearing on an individual's decision on whether to contract-out of the state second pension because uprating applies only to additional state pension after a person is in receipt of their pension and does not affect the value of the additional state pension being accrued by people below state pension age. Information for individuals considering whether to contract out of the additional state pension into an occupational pension scheme or personal pension can be found in our leaflet entitled 'Contracted-out pensions' (PM7).
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to improve the tax incentives to charities engaged in tree planting and reforestation with traditional species of tree. 
Ian Pearson: The Government provide a generous range of tax reliefs for charities and donors, worth over £3 billion a year, which provides support to charities whatever their cause. The Chancellor keeps taxes and tax reliefs under ongoing review.
The Government's 2009 Low Carbon Transition Plan set out its intention to support a new drive to encourage private funding for woodland creation and work is under way to explore the best way of meeting this commitment.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what requirements passport holders from (a) Belize and (b) each other foreign country must satisfy to be granted non-domicile status in the UK for tax purposes; 
(2) under what circumstances a person who was born in the UK whose parents were UK citizens and who is a long-term resident of the UK can qualify to be classified as (a) non-domiciled in the UK for tax purposes and (b) domiciled in Belize for UK tax purposes; 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many senior staff have (a) resigned and (b) taken early retirement from the Valuation Office Agency for each reason since 2004. 
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 9 March 2010]: The Government estimate that the total cost of administering the boiler scrappage scheme over its lifetime will be around £1.8 million which equates to 3.6 per cent. of scheme costs.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the net cost to the Exchequer of the Government's Climate Change Agreements in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. 
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much of the UK's electricity supply was generated from good quality combined heat and power sources in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what his most recent estimate is of the quantity which will be generated from such sources in 2010. 
Mr. Kidney: In 2008, 27,911 GWh of electricity was generated from good quality CHP. This equates to 7 per cent. of the UK's electricity supply. Figures for 2009 will become available on the 29 July 2010.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many domestic electricity customers were disconnected as a result of non-payment of bills in each year since 1997. 
The following table includes the total number of disconnections due to debt for electricity in each year from 1997 to 2008. The majority of suppliers reduced their numbers of electricity disconnections in 2008. A large proportion of the increase in the total was due to the impact of a change in regulation which meant that prepayment meters could no longer be installed in some types of properties. Ofgem is currently monitoring the situation.
|Disconnections due to debt|
Existing supply licence obligations and an industry agreed code of practice provide a high level of protection for vulnerable consumers in debt. Suppliers must not disconnect a domestic premises during winter (October through to March) if they know, or have reason to believe, that the customer is of pensionable age and lives alone, or only lives with other pensioners or children under the age of 18.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent progress has been made on implementation of the EU's third energy package; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: The Government are carrying out an analysis of the Third Package Directives and Regulations to assess what changes will need to be made to our domestic energy market framework to meet the specified legal requirements. The required changes are to be made by 3 March 2011 and the Government will consult stakeholders on implementation of the package during the course of this year.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what provision has been made under mandated social price support in respect of electricity and gas to increase the level of support provided to households not connected to the mains gas network. 
I have announced my intention, subject to consultation, to require energy suppliers to deliver the new help available under mandated social price support schemes through eligible consumers' electricity accounts.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the effect of social tariffs in reducing the level of fuel bills in households which rely on heating fuels such as heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas. 
Mr. Kidney: Ofgem, who monitor the energy suppliers' social programmes, report on the number of gas and electricity customer accounts which benefit from social tariffs and the average savings per tariff. Some of these customers will be off the gas network, but the data available do not give a breakdown of these.
We have proposed legislation for a Social Price Support Scheme in the Energy Bill, which is currently before Parliament. As part of this, we are minded to require energy suppliers to provide help through eligible consumers' electricity accounts. This would enable eligible households off the gas grid to benefit alongside those eligible households on the gas grid.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration he has given to structuring mandated social price support to support households reliant on heating fuels; and if he will make a statement. 
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