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Mr Djanogly: Expenditure on criminal legal aid is not ring-fenced but is met from the Ministry's overall departmental expenditure limit. Net cash expenditure on civil and criminal legal aid for the past three years is shown in the following table.
|(1 )Figures for 2009-10 are estimates. The final position will be reported when the LSC annual report and accounts are published.|
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10 per cent. by May 2011. 
Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice's: change in the level of carbon dioxide it has emitted since May 2010 together with the steps the Ministry of Justice plans to take to meet its target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011 have been published on the internet and can be found at:
Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many statutory duties were placed on local authorities by legislation introduced by his Department in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
The Ministry of Justice does not currently hold a central record of the information requested. Collating the information would require a comprehensive review of all legislation, both primary and secondary, enacted by the Department since May 2007 and therefore cannot be provided except at a disproportionate cost.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) officials of his Department and (b) external advisers are working on his Department's consultation on the provision of magistrates' and county court services. 
Mr Djanogly: On 23 June 2010 the Justice Secretary announced, via written ministerial statement, a consultation on the future provision of court services across England and Wales. The consultation closed on 15 September and the Government aim to publish their response by the end of the year.
A core team is working on the consultation process. This is currently a team of eight, which has been formulated from existing resources within Her Majesty's Courts Service and the Ministry of Justice. The team has been supported by other officials across the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty's Courts Service as part of their other duties.
There are no external advisors working on the consultation on court services. We have procured services to conduct travel time analysis and for some small scale social research on the public's use of courts.
Mr Djanogly: Between 6 May to 30 June 2010 (the date of the latest published data) 211 civil servants who were appointed to the Ministry of Justice (including the National Offender Management Service) were on fixed term contracts.
Mr Djanogly: Future work force plans for the Ministry will be reassessed in light of the outcome of the forthcoming Spending Review settlement. For any future recruitment, at the senior civil service level or otherwise, the Ministry will continue to comply with the restrictions on recruitment announced by the Government on 25 May 2010.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in respect of how many expert witnesses costs were paid from (a) civil and (b) criminal legal aid budgets in (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09 and (iii) 2009-10. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission does not record centrally the costs paid to expert witnesses in legally aided cases. As this information is not readily available it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions the Tribunals Service has received requests from the UK Border Agency to re-send appeal determination notifications from the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and its predecessors in the last 12 months. 
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) Crown Court, (b) county court, (c) High Court and (d) Supreme Court judges were appointed in each of the last three years; what the cost to the public purse was of making such appointments to each court in each such year; and if he will make a statement. 
Costings are not collected routinely in the way requested. However, estimated MOJ staffing costs for those appointments totalled £523,343 in 2007-08, £566,114 in 2008-09 and £580,596 in 2009-10. The Judicial Appointments Commission similarly cannot break down the costs of these particular appointments but they received grant in aid funding of £7.13 million in 2007-08, £8.15 million in 2008-09 and £7.61 million in 2009-10.
|Appointment type||2007- 08||2008- 09||2009- 10|
|(1) Not created until 1 October 2009|
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) Crown Court, (b) county court, (c) High Court and (d) Supreme Court judges he expects to be appointed in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: Judicial appointments in the Crown court and county courts will be made from existing and future appointment lists of selected candidates depending upon the needs that arise. Plans to create future lists will be established once allocations for Her Majesty's Courts Service are finalised following the forthcoming spending review. It is currently anticipated that there will be two judicial appointments at High Court level and one in the Court of Appeal which are likely to be filled within the next 12 months. A competition has recently been launched to fill two vacancies in the Supreme Court.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not record the number of people who receive legal aid instead it records the number of 'acts of assistance'.
One individual may receive a number of separate acts of assistance, and one act of assistance can help more than one person.
|Civil legal aid acts of assistance||Criminal legal aid acts of assistance|
|(1) Figures for 2009-10 are estimated. The final position will be reported when the LSC Annual Report and Accounts are published.|
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many legal practices in (a) Houghton and Sunderland South constituency and (b) Sunderland local authority area are to be awarded contracts to provide family legal aid services from November 2010. 
Mr Djanogly: Following the legal proceedings by The Law Society in respect of the Legal Services Commission's (LSC) tender for family services judgment was handed down on 30 September in favour of the Law Society. The effect of this was to quash the family tender.
The LSC is currently considering the detail of the judgment and its implications, including its grounds for appeal. In light of the judgment, details of awards in the Family Category of Law are not currently available.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether provisions exist under the terms of the 2007 Unified Civil Contract for legal aid services for the extension of the contract; and whether his Department has made provision for financial redress to those affected by extension beyond the terms specified in the contract. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is the non- departmental public body with responsibility for the administration of the legal aid fund and the tender process and award of legal aid contracts are operational matters for the LSC.
As stated in my written answer of 11 October, the first one-month extension of the Unified Contract (Civil) was implemented by the LSC in accordance with the contract's standard terms and following consultation with the representative bodies. The latest extension (to 15 December) was made in response to the judgment in R (On the application of Law Society of England and Wales) v Legal Services Commission  All ER (D) 01 (Oct), again in accordance with the contact standard terms and following consultation with the representative bodies. In the circumstances, no question of compensation arises.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many local providers of legal aid services have received contracts from the Legal Services Commission under the 2010 tendering process. 
Following the legal proceedings by the Law Society in respect of the Legal Services Commission's (LSC) tender for family services judgment was handed down on 30 September in favour of the Law Society. The effect of this was to quash the family tender.
The LSC is currently considering the detail of the judgment and its implications, including its grounds for appeal. In light of the judgment, details of awards in the Family Category of Law are not currently available. For civil non-family work existing contracts have been extended to 15 November. The tender exercise will conclude following the finalisation of the current appeals process and the pre-contract verification exercise. Once concluded, the LSC intends to publish the outcome of the tender process on its website at:
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many contracts to practise (a) family, (b) social welfare and (c) criminal law were awarded by the Legal Services Commission in each year since 2005; 
Mr Djanogly: Figures for the number of solicitor offices in England and Wales providing legal aid services in each year since 2005 are available and are shown in the following table. Prior to the introduction of the civil unified contract in April 2007 and criminal unified contract in July 2008, legal aid providers delivering services in more than one office would hold separate contracts for each of those offices. In addition, where providers have decided not to continue providing civil legal aid services, they may nevertheless still have an account or accounts with the Legal Services Commission while they continue to deal with their remaining clients.
|(1) 2009-10 figures are unaudited. The final position will be reported in the LSC's annual report and accounts 2009-10 which will be reported later in the year.|
|Not for Profit||Solicitors|
|n/a = Information not available in the annual report.|
(1) 2009-10 figures are unaudited. The final position will be reported in the LSC's annual report and accounts 2009-10 which will be reported later in the year.
James Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has for the disposal of buildings used by magistrates' courts which are to close under his proposals on the provision of court services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: As no decision has yet been taken on closing any court, it would be inappropriate to pre-empt that by undertaking detailed disposal assessments. These will be created following decisions on closures.
Mr Djanogly: The need to recruit new magistrates is determined annually by local Advisory Committees on Justices of the Peace. The committees take into account projected retirements, resignations, average sitting days, work load and the use of district judges (magistrates courts). No digest of these decisions is created in the Ministry of Justice so there is not a national picture of planned magistrate recruitment available for the financial year 2011-12.
|Number of magistrates appointed|
Minimum staffing levels are set by governors. No central guidance has been issued to governors on a minimum ratio of prisoners to prison officers across the prison as a whole. The Specification, Benchmarking and Costing programme is producing non-mandatory
operating models for services operated in prisons, which can include potential staffing models. Governors may use these operating models to inform their decisions about staffing. The programme publishes a full list of the prison and probation services to be covered by the programme, which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr Blunt: I have had discussions with Ministers in a number of Departments including the Department of Health, Home Office and the Cabinet Office. These have covered a range of drugs related topics, including reforming drug addiction services in prisons.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent assessment he has made of the potential effects on (a) staff headcount and (b) prisoners in Northumbria of Probation Service expenditure reductions of (i) 10, (ii) 20 and (iii) 30 per cent; 
(3) what recent assessment he has made of the potential effects on the (a) caseload of Northumbria Probation Service and (b) provision by that service of (i) court reports and (ii) supervision of people on parole licences of Probation Service expenditure reductions of (A) 10, (B) 20 and (C) 30 per cent. 
Mr Blunt: To reduce the budget deficit, the Government are examining all areas of public expenditure, including the criminal justice system, to see where savings can be made. The Ministry of Justice is discussing options with the Treasury: the outcome of the spending review will be announced on 20 October. Following the announcement, the Ministry of Justice will decide how funding is to be allocated. We will work with probation trusts to ensure that they are able to provide the reports requested by the courts and to supervise offenders sentenced to community orders or on release from custody, in accordance with sentencing guidelines.
Work to protect the public and to reduce reoffending is a key priority. All probation trusts should ensure that savings are achieved by streamlining administration and improving working practices. Funding should be focused on front line services, to protect the public and reduce reoffending.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convictions there have been under section 1 of the Regulation of Investigation Powers Act 2000 on the unlawful interception of telephone communications since the implementation of that provision. 
Mr Blunt: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for the years 2000 to 2008 (latest available), for offences under section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, for the offence of unlawful interception of a postal public or private telecommunication scheme, is shown in the table.
|Number of defendants found guilty( 1,2) at all courts for offences under Section 1(1)(2)(7) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, England and Wales 2000 to 2008( 3,4,5,6)|
|Offence code 9956|
|(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.
(4) The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 came into force on 28 July 2000 source:
(5) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008.
(6) The following corresponding offence description is used:
Unlawful interception of a postal public or private telecommunication scheme.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the re-offending rate was, expressed in terms of number of (a) offences per 100 offenders, (b) offences per 100 re-offenders and (c) severe offences per 100 offenders, for male offenders with each number
of previous offences subject to (i) court orders, (ii) custodial sentences of any length, (iii) custodial sentences of 12 months or less for each (A) group and (B) type of offence in 2008. 
Table 1, which has been placed in the Library, provides (a) offences per 100 offenders, (b) offences per 100 reoffenders and (c) severe offences per 100 offenders, for male offenders with each number of previous offences subject to (i) court orders and (ii) custodial sentences of any length for each group of offence for 2008.
Table 2, which has also been placed in the Library, provides (a) offences per 100 offenders, (b) offences per 100 reoffenders and (c) severe offences per 100 offenders, for male offenders with each number of previous offences subject to (iii) custodial sentences of 12 months or less for each group of offence for 2008.
Reoffending rates by disposal should not be compared to assess the effectiveness of sentences, as there is no control for known differences in offender characteristics. While the data for offenders commencing court orders shows lower reoffending rates than offenders discharged from prison, it is important to note that offenders sentenced to prison have on average a higher probability of reoffending based on their previous criminal history.
We have piloted the Youth Restorative Disposal that allows police officers to resolve minor first-time offences by young people using restorative techniques. The pilot is being independently evaluated and will be considered as part of our comprehensive review of sentencing and rehabilitation.
Mr Gauke: The Government consider a wide range of factors when formulating policy and will set out further information on the announcement to withdraw child benefit from higher rate taxpayers at the spending review.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many looked after and accommodated children in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority in Scotland received payments from a child trust fund in each year since such funds were established; 
This shows that at 5 April 2009 the total number of children who have been reported as being in local authority care and for whom a child trust fund has been opened is 33,158. Information on Child Trust Funds for looked after and accommodated children is not available at parliamentary constituency or local authority level.
Information is not available on the precise amount of payments made by HM Revenue and Customs to the Child Trust Fund accounts of looked after children. Some of these children will have received the special government payment of £500 for looked after children (reduced to £100 from August 2010). Others will already have had a Child Trust Fund before they entered local authority care and will have been subject to the normal government payments into their Child Trust Funds.
The Department for Education (formerly the Department for Children, Schools and Families) has provided the following amounts to local authorities in England, and to the devolved assemblies, to fund extra annual £100 top up payments for looked after children:
The Government have announced that, to help reduce Britain's budget deficit, it will end eligibility for Child Trust Funds from January 2011, and therefore stop all government payments. We have not received any recent representations from children's organisations about the ending of Child Trust Funds for looked after and accommodated children.
John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an estimate of the effect of the implementation of his proposal that public service pension schemes be increased in line with the consumer price index in 2010-11 prices over the course of retirement on the pension of an active member of the Classic section of the Civil Service Pension Scheme aged 40 years who will draw his pension at 60 years after 40 years' service in the scheme with earnings of (a) £15,000, (b) £20,000, (c) £30,000 and (d) £40,000 per annum. 
Danny Alexander: The Government have not estimated the effect of indexing based on the consumer prices index (CPI) instead of the retail price index (RPI) over the course of retirement for specific groups in the public service pension schemes. However, the overall estimated savings in annually managed expenditure for public service pension expenditure were made available in answers to the right hon. Member for Stirling (Mrs McGuire) on 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 991W.
The table shows the likely change in cash terms for each financial year from 2011 -12 to 2016-17 for public service pensioners as requested. It is based on the OBR forecasts for CPI and RPI to 2016-17.
Ian Swales: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of companies that will be affected by the reduction in small profits rate of corporation tax from April 2011 in Redcar constituency. 
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011. 
Graham Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies has spent on information and communication technology in each year since 1997. 
|HM Treasury (HMT)||Debt Management Office (DMO)||Asset Protection Agency (APA)|
In 2007-08 and 2008-09 HMT implemented a programme to relocate the Office of Government Commerce and create a shared IT service for both organisations. In 2009-10 HMT began a programme of investment to update the Treasury Group's IT infrastructure, to improve its resilience and reliability and modernise its services to deliver improved management of information, as well as better collaborative tools and communications.
Danny Alexander: The Government committed to ensuring this spending review process was open, responsible and fair and to engaging the whole public in the difficult decisions that have to be taken. The Spending Challenge was an important part of this, attracting over 100,000 suggestions from public sector workers and members of the public on how Government can do more with less.
These ideas are (a) to reduce the number of CRB checks for Junior Doctors, by taking a more common- sense approach across the NHS, so that junior doctors are not checked repeatedly over a short space of time, saving up to £1 million a year; (b) to distribute National Insurance numbers to people with a letter rather than a plastic card, also saving up to £1 million; and (c) to increase the selling of surplus and second hand Government equipment by expanding the use of the Ministry of Defence's eDisposals service for use across all Government departments.
Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs deploy compliance officers on a wide range of compliance activities including risk assessment, addressing inaccurate returns and verifying repayment claims, debt collection and criminal investigations across all heads of duty. HMRC have specialist teams to deal with avoidance and evasion once it has been identified and referred to them for a response. These are Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF), Specialist Investigations (SI) and Anti-Avoidance Group (AAG). For most interventions avoidance and evasion are likely to be finally identified, and escalated as necessary, once an intervention has begun, so it is not possible to identify how many compliance officers we have working solely on the responses to these behaviours. The number of compliance officers deployed by HMRC over the last five years was:
|FTE compliance officer|
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what projects under the private finance initiative are being undertaken in Stevenage constituency; and what the monetary value is of each such contract. 
For each PFI project, this list details the project name, the capital value, the constituency, the procuring authority and whether it is on or off balance sheet; as used by the ONS in calculating public sector net debt.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the then hon. Member for Milton Keynes South West of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 1022W, on EU external trade: Israel, how many (a) cosmetic companies and (b) importers were targeted for checks; what the nature of the checks was; what documentation was required and from whom; whether the investigations have been completed; and whether any mislabelling has been detected. 
Mr Gauke: For reasons of commercial confidentiality HMRC is unable to say how many cosmetic companies and importers were targeted for checks. However, it has undertaken checks in respect of a range of cosmetic products imported from Israel. So far, two duty demands have been issued in 2010 where the accompanying proof of preferential origin showed that the goods were produced in a settlement. HMRC will continue to make regular checks on imports from Israel which receive preference under the EU-Israel agreement. However, the majority of cosmetic products attract a free rate of customs duty outside of any preferential tariff arrangement.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the contribution of the former Exchequer Secretary on 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 320WH, whether he has yet received a copy of the reports of the fact-finding mission of the European Commission to Israel and Palestine in 2009. 
Mr Gauke: HMRC has not received copies of reports of the fact finding missions to Israel and Palestine in 2009. However, it understands that in April 2010 the EU Commission provided an EU Council Working Group with a brief oral report of its findings in which it concluded that the 2005 Technical Arrangement is working satisfactorily.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the then hon. Member for Milton Keynes South West of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 1022W, on EU external trade: Israel, what progress HM Revenue and Customs has made in checking exports made under the EU-Israel Agreement from settlement companies listed in the 2009 research paper prepared by the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. 
Mr Gauke: HMRC has examined customs import declarations from all companies mentioned in the research paper. There were no imports from a number of the companies. For some of the companies that did export goods to the UK, the proofs of preferential origin covering goods indicated that the goods were produced in Israel. HMRC is returning the proofs concerned to the Israeli authorities for verification of the origin of the goods. HMRC has already issued duty demands for goods imported from four of the companies in the paper whose goods have been established as originating in a settlements location.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the then hon. Member for Milton Keynes South West of 10 March 2010, Official Report, column 676W, on Israel: EU external trade, whether the consignment with commodity code 34013000 is still under investigation; and whether HM Revenue and Customs has received confirmation of its place of production. 
Mr Gauke: Goods covered by commodity code 34013000 are under investigation. HMRC asked the Israeli authorities in September 2010 to verify the origin of three consignments of the products concerned. A response is awaited.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the contribution of the former Exchequer Secretary of 27 January 2010,
Official Report, column 321WH, how many importers have been issued a financial penalty since the entry into force of the new civil penalty provision for persistent claims of preference outside entitlements; what guidance has been issued on the frequency of false preference claims outside entitlements which constitute persistent submission; whether HM Revenue and Customs is recording the false declarations made by each importer which they have detected; and what the policy of HM Revenue and Customs is on checking the imports of importers who have previously made claims outside preference entitlements. 
Mr Gauke: HMRC has published on its website a schedule, taken from the Customs (Contravention of a relevant rule) (Amendment) Regulations 2009, of those situations in which an importer may incur a financial penalty. It supplements the guidance in HMRC Notice 301 on civil penalties in the customs area.
HMRC also keeps records of false declarations made by importers in respect of the preferential origin of goods. It is HMRC's policy to regularly examine the customs import entries of those importers who have previously made invalid declarations. Demands are issued for the full rate of customs duty, where appropriate.
HMRC is unable to extract specific information in respect of the number of warning letters and penalty notices issued in respect of the new penalty provision, which came into force in December 2009 for the persistent presentation of invalid proofs of preferential origin.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the contribution of the former Exchequer Secretary of 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 320WH, which supermarkets HM Revenue and Customs has contacted to explore potential discrepancies between settlement origin identified by the supermarket's internal tracking system and the customs imports declaration. 
Mr Gauke: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, HMRC cannot disclose its dealings with specific UK companies. However, it continues to experience traceability problems as a result of intermediaries rather than supermarkets being shown as importers on customs import declarations. HMRC therefore supports the work of DEFRA in encouraging supermarkets, under voluntary labelling arrangements, to ensure that their suppliers correctly mark the origin of the produce originating in the settlements. This will help HMRC to identify such products at the time of importation.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the contribution of the former Exchequer Secretary of 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 321WH, what changes HM Revenue and Customs plans to make to the 2005 technical arrangements to ensure compliance with the rules on claims for preference. 
The 2005 Technical Arrangement was concluded in the EU-Israel Customs Co-operation Committee by the EU Commission acting on behalf of the European Union as a whole. Consequently, the UK cannot take unilateral action to amend its terms. However, HMRC will continue to immediately refuse, under the
arrangement, claims to Israeli tariff preference where a settlements location is shown on the accompanying proof of origin. It will also continue to return proofs to the Israeli authorities for verification where it has doubts about the origin of the goods concerned.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the contribution of the former Exchequer Secretary of 27 January 2010, Official Report, column 320WH, what steps the European Commission has taken in response to the HM Revenue and Customs request for correct compliance by the Israeli authorities in respect of the precise place of production on the proof of preferential origin. 
Mr Gauke: The European Commission continues to monitor the correct operation by Israel of the 2005 Technical Arrangement. It periodically asks member states for information and concerns in respect of the operation of the arrangement. In the last year only the UK has raised concerns about the possibility that the place of production shown on the proof of origin is simply a head office or distribution centre in Israel, and that the goods concerned may have in fact originated in a settlement. HMRC does not have any information about the Commission's current plans for any bilateral contacts with the Israeli authorities.
Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 195W, on the European Investment Bank, to which entities the European Investment Bank has provided over £1 million since it was established; and in which country each such entity is based. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on the balance of the Consolidated Fund of financial corrections imposed by the EU for failure to implement requirements of EU regulations. 
Under plans inherited from the previous Government, the 20ppl biofuel duty differential ended on 1 April 2010 for all biofuels (biodiesel and bioethanol) except those produced from used cooking oils, which is currently subject to a two-year temporary extension of the differential. Support for biofuels is
provided by the renewable transport fuel obligation, which has a greater environmental focus. The Chancellor keeps all taxes under review.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to extend the eligibility criteria for Guardian's Allowance to relatives caring for a child in circumstances in which one parent is deceased and the surviving parent is unable to provide financial support. 
Ian Swales: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in Redcar constituency who will be affected by the increase in the threshold for payment of the basic rate of income tax. 
Mr Gauke: A total of 880,000 individuals are taken out of income tax. However, the information requested is not available at parliamentary constituency level due to small survey sample sizes at this level of geography, and because the information is based on 2007-08 survey data which would not be reliable for this purpose.
Available information on incomes and tax by parliamentary constituency based on the latest available Survey of Personal Incomes (2007-08) can be found in Table 3.15 'Income and tax by Parliamentary Constituency' on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the International Monetary Fund on (a) long-term unemployment, (b) public sector job creation and retention and (c) private sector job creation and retention. 
The IMF holds regular bilateral discussions with each of its member countries as part of its country surveillance function, under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement. IMF staff recently visited the UK as part of their 2010 Article IV consultation, and met with a variety of institutions including
HM Treasury to discuss issues relating to the economy. The IMF's Concluding Statement sets out its view that the Government's deficit reduction plan will ensure the sustainability of the public finances and support economic growth. The IMF concluded that the early action taken by the Government has increased the credibility of the consolidation and is consistent with a sustainable recovery, in line with the OBR forecasts in the June Budget.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter of 20 July from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on the Rev Father P. Connelly, transferred by the Secretary of State for International Development. 
Steve Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the reasons are for the difference between the estimates of the surplus of the national insurance fund published by HM Revenue and Customs and the Debt Management Office. 
Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not publish estimates of the National Insurance Fund (NIF) surplus. The actual surplus is recorded in the annual cash-based NIF accounts which are published on the HMRC website.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) publishes only retrospective data regarding the National Insurance Fund Investment Account (NIFIA) and publishes no forecasts. The UK DMO produces annual accounts for the NIFIA-the surplus disclosed in these accounts refers to the total interest income from the investments held by NIFIA during the period.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps HM Revenue and Customs plans to take to assess hardship in cases where individuals cannot afford to make repayments of underpaid tax as a result of historical errors in the PAYE system; 
Mr Gauke: It is a normal part of the PAYE cycle that changes in circumstances that cannot be reflected in in-year tax deductions need to be reconciled annually. This is not a Revenue error but the PAYE system not being able to react quickly enough to changes. PAYE works well for the majority of people, particularly those with stable circumstances, but because the processes remain fundamentally unchanged since they were introduced in 1944 there are limitations. The coalition Government are looking at how to reform PAYE further and make it more efficient.
HMRC has put in place a new process for people with 2008-09 and 2009-10 underpayments that cannot automatically be paid through their salary deductions-generally those who owe £2,000 or more. Individuals in this position will be offered the same length of time to pay as those with smaller underpayments and not face interest, provided they engage with HMRC and agree to pay their underpayment. Individuals who owe £2,000 or more will also have the option where possible of paying up to £2,000 through their salaries.
Stephen Mosley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many residents of City of Chester constituency have been identified as having (a) underpaid and (b) overpaid pay-as-you-earn contributions during the recent automated reconciliation of such payments. 
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which officials within the Office for Budget Responsibility authorised the publication of the projections for public and private sector employment for the period 2011-2016 published on June 30. 
Justine Greening: The Terms of Reference for the interim Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) state that it has discretion over what material it publishes. These terms of reference were agreed between Sir Alan Budd and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8 June.
The interim OBR is committed to improved transparency as is set out in the foreword to the OBR's pre-Budget forecast published on 14 June. This foreword set out that the OBR would as far as possible meet requests for further background information.
Kate Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many local tax offices were in operation in each of the last five years; which such offices he plans to (a) retain and (b) close; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The number of offices held by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are detailed in the following table. HMRC does not use the classification of "local tax office" and the numbers provided are the total HMRC offices at the beginning of April in each year.
|Total number of HMRC offices|
Details of the decisions made regarding each HMRC office, including the chief executive's 13 January 2010 formal announcement of 130 office closures as the final stage of the Regional Review, can be found on HMRC's web-page at:
HMRC office numbers since 2005 have been affected by the creation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency (UKBA). The associated transfer of offices to these agencies is in addition to vacations under the Regional Review programme. Following the transfer of HMRC offices to UKBA, the total number of HMRC offices at April 2010 was 446.
HMRC is currently reviewing its future accommodation needs but has not yet made firm plans for further office closures. However, in a number of buildings HMRC are seeking to take advantage of impending lease break opportunities.
Mr Gauke: Most of HMRC's business is organised on national lines and it does not categorise its offices as "local" or otherwise. The total number of full-time equivalent staff in HMRC at 30 September 2010 was 67,498.8.
Mr Gauke: Aggregated data on the number of calls to the Tax Credit Helpline that took over 30 seconds to answer is not held centrally. Interrogating the call waiting time data HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does collect in order to provide this information could therefore be completed only at disproportionate cost.
HMRC does not have a specific measure to identify those calls that are "lost." In this instance, HMRC has interpreted "lost" to mean those calls which were "abandoned" after the customer selected an option from the call steering menu and were placed in a queue to speak to an adviser (i.e. - calls that HMRC Contact Centres have the capacity to answer but the call was abandoned/lost before connection to an adviser). For the period October 9 to September 10, the proportion of calls that were "abandoned" on the Tax Credit Helpline was 17%.
Angela Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether any Minister in his Department has received copies of (a) written and (b) e-mail correspondence on the matter of Sheffield Forgemasters addressed to Ministers in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from Andrew Cook of William Cook Holdings; 
Kate Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of benefits claimants in Stretford and Urmston constituency who would be affected by implementation of the proposed cap on benefits of £26,000. 
The information is available for Great Britain. Latest estimates show that in 2010-11 there are around 100,000 working age households in receipt of more than £500 a week in all benefits and tax credits, including disability living allowance. If disability living allowance is excluded then around 50,000 working age households are in receipt of more than £500 a week.
The Chancellor's announcement of a benefit cap was informed by high-level consideration of the broad impacts. We are now working up the more detailed design of the caps as part of the spending review. When we introduce legislation for the implementation of the caps, we shall publish an impact assessment.
All figures are rounded to the nearest 50,000.
DWP Policy Simulation Model, based on the 2008/09 Family Resources Survey data.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an assessment of the likely effects on pensioners in (a) Blaydon constituency and (b) the North East of changes to state pension payments from April 2011 consequent on the use of the consumer price index as an uprating mechanism. 
The Government's proposals for increases in the rates of social security benefits including state pensions from April 2011 will be announced to Parliament in due course. As outlined in the emergency Budget the principles by which the elements of state pension will be increased are as follows.
The basic state pension is subject to a "triple guarantee" that it will be increased by the highest of prices, earnings or 2.5%, with an additional commitment that it will be increased in April 2011 only, in line with the retail prices index (RPI), should that index show the highest growth.
Legislation sets out the minimum increase for defined benefit private sector occupational pensions earned from service after April 1997. The consumer prices index (CPI) will be used to determine the minimum amounts for increasing private sector pension schemes going forward.
The impact on pensions in payment will vary depending on the rules of individual schemes and the circumstances of the individual. Schemes often choose to pay more than the minimum, for example, paying increases for service before 1997.
It will also vary depending on how schemes respond to changes to the statutory minimum amounts. Some schemes may, for example, change their rules to adopt CPI as the measure of inflation, but others may choose to stay with RPI.
Mr Gauke: This Government are committed to tackling avoidance wherever it occurs and will be building in sustainable defences against avoidance opportunities when undertaking policy reform and reviewing areas of the tax system in which repeated changes have been necessary to close loopholes. We are also exploring whether there is a case for developing a general anti avoidance rule (GAAR) for the UK.
Alongside this we will continue to use intelligence obtained from the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime and other sources to detect avoidance schemes early and we will challenge avoidance robustly where we find it.
The Government announced on 20 September that they will make £900 million available over the spending review period to fund HMRC's compliance activities, both to tackle tax avoidance and to combat tax evasion.
Kate Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the monetary value of uncollected tax revenue in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The recent publication of the tax gap figures for 2008-09 provides a detailed breakdown of the monetary value of the UK tax gap. This being the difference between the amount of tax collected and the amount that, in HMRC's opinion should be collected-the theoretical liability. This document can be found at:
Steve Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy not to support the proposal of HM Revenue and Customs for centralised deductions of tax and national insurance contributions. 
Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a discussion paper 'Improving the operation of Pay As You Earn (PAYE)' on 27 July 2010. The purpose of the discussion paper was to seek views about potential options to improve PAYE processes.
Mr Gauke: HMRC enforcement and compliance officers of all grades are engaged in a variety of compliance activities, which may include the recovery of underpaid tax, the prevention of further tax losses, debt collection and the deterrence of tax evasion through, for example, criminal investigation. For this reason, HMRC does not collect statistics on the average revenue collected by a compliance officer. Results of HMRC's compliance activity were published in their 2009 autumn performance report which can be found at:
Mr Gauke: Estimated total income tax liabilities in 2007-08 of persons in employment broken down by legal status of their employer are provided in the following table. Estimates are based on the 2007-08 Survey of Personal Incomes.
|Income tax liabilities( 1) in 2007-08|
|£ million||% total|
|(1) Table shows total liabilities of income taxpayers estimated across all incomes subject to tax. (2) Taxpayers with pay. (3) Reflecting legal status of employer given by Inter-Departmental Business Register where available (main employment where more than one). Public sector defined as central Government, local authorities and public corporations. Source: Survey of Personal Incomes, 2007-08. See http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/inc-distribution-note.pdf|
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to HM Revenue and Customs' publication, Measuring Tax Gaps 2009, March 2010, what his most recent estimate is of the size of the tax gap in (a) absolute and (b) percentage terms; and what steps HM Revenue and Customs is taking to avoid underestimating the avoidance tax gap, as referred to in paragraph 4.77. 
HMRC has a range of tools to detect avoidance. The Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime provides early information about tax avoidance schemes and those who use them. Finance Act 2010 introduced a range of amendments intended to strengthen the DOTAS regime to provide HMRC with better information about avoidance. HMRC also detects avoidance through its compliance work and real-time engagement with large businesses. Avoidance detected in these ways will inform future estimates of the tax gap.
Justine Greening: The coalition Government are committed to increasing the share of revenue drawn from green taxes. All taxes are kept under review and announcements on tax policy are made at the Budget.
Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has had discussions with the (a) Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, (b) Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and (c) Secretary of State for Scotland on the likely effects on remote and island Scottish areas of the Government's proposals to amend the eligibility thresholds and reliefs available under the Furnished Holiday Lettings scheme; 
(2) whether he has made an assessment of the likely effects on the capacity of self-catering owners who subscribe to quality assessment schemes operated by the National Tourist Boards to maintain their present ratings of his Department's proposed changes to sideways and off-set reliefs; 
(4) whether he assessed the merits of a derogation from the proposed changes to the eligibility thresholds for Furnished Holiday Lettings Relief for claims made by self-catering operators in respect of properties in island areas in UK territorial waters; 
(5) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on social enterprises in remote and island communities of the proposed changes to the eligibility thresholds and off-set reliefs under the Furnished Holiday Lettings Relief scheme; 
(6) if he will assess the merits of a provision to enable the calculation of average attained occupancy levels over two or more tax years to comply with the proposed eligibility thresholds for Furnished Holiday Lettings Relief (a) on a permanent basis and (b) for the purpose of taking account of the effects on the ability of businesses to continue trading during prolonged periods of severe weather; 
(7) if he will assess the merits of a provision to enable a phased introduction of the proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for Furnished Holiday Lettings Relief by means of an increase in the threshold by
seven days in each of the next five tax years (a) in respect of all areas and (b) in respect of regions with Convergence Objective status. 
Mr Gauke: Treasury Ministers and officials hold discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.
There is a formal consultation on the proposed changes to furnished holiday letting which runs until 22 October 2010. The Government published an impact assessment with the consultation which summarises the key points of the assessment undertaken.
The issues raised in these questions, with regard to both the impact of proposals, and alternative options, will be added to the other comments and responses to the consultation and will be carefully reviewed in arriving at the Government's response.
Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what target HM Revenue and Customs has set for the time taken between receiving an application for a value added tax number and issuing a number; and in what proportion of cases this target has been met in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
HMRC aims to issue VAT registration numbers as quickly as possible, while protecting the VAT system from fraudulent registrations. It is necessary to balance speed of registration against the need to risk assess and check applications to safeguard against fraud.
The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme makes grants equivalent to the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in primary use as places of worship. The future of the scheme will be determined during the forthcoming spending review.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims were made under the Listed Places of
Worship Grant scheme (a) in each region, (b) in respect of each religious denomination and (c) for each purpose in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
|Region||Number of claims||Total value (£)|
|Denomination/faith group||Number of claims made||Total value of claims (£)|
(c) Grants are made in respect of the full range of building repairs, associated professional fees, and repairs to clocks, pews, bells and organs. It is not possible to provide figures for each classification of works. From January 2011 until April 2001, grants will not be available for professional fees or repairs to fixtures and fittings due to the need to make in-year financial savings. Plans for the period after April 2011 will be announced in the Spending Review later this week.
There are generous existing incentives for electric vehicles, including reliefs from vehicle excise duty and the taxation of company cars. In July, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that grants of up to £5,000 will be available to those buying ultra-low carbon cars between 1 January 2011 and 31 March 2012.
The case for any further support needs to be weighed against Government's priority of tackling the record budget deficit in a decisive but fair way, to restore confidence in our economy and support the economic recovery. Introducing a VAT zero rate would also require the agreement of our European partners.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in each constituency in North Wales received (a) child tax credit, (b) working tax credit and (c) child benefit in each of the last five years. 
Mr Gauke: Information on the number of families benefiting from child and working tax credits, by each parliamentary constituency, local authority and region is available in the HMRC snapshot publications "Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Geographical Analyses", available at:
Information on the number of families receiving Child Benefit, by each parliamentary constituency, local authority and region is available in the HMRC snapshot publications "Child Benefit Statistics Geographical Analysis", available at:
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has had recent discussions with ministerial colleagues on the annual number of fatal asthma attacks in schools; and whether he plans to take further steps to seek to reduce that number. 
Paul Burstow: Health Ministers have regular discussions with our ministerial colleagues in the Department for Education. These discussions include how schools can manage long-term health conditions, like asthma in children, effectively and safely. Our aim is to produce a concise set of guidance that clarifies expectations, statutory responsibilities and reiterates the importance of support measures with a clear explanation of the roles and responsibilities of key staff members.
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