Official Hospitality

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible claimed reimbursements for working lunches and official entertainment in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was in each such year. [152670]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is not held centrally. Official expenditure, including expenses claims, whether by officials in the Department or any of its arm's length bodies, has to be in line with relevant codes of conduct and of business practice. All such systems and processes are subject to external audit.

Operating Costs

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of administrative savings have been made by his Department in each of the last eight years. [152467]

Dr Poulter: Administration budgets are Treasury control totals set as an outcome of spending reviews and represent the underlying trajectory for recurrent administrative spending.

Over the 2002 spending review period (2004-05 to 2005-06) the Department's administration budget fell by 10.9% in real terms; in the 2004 spending review (2006-07 to 2007-08) it fell by 19.3% in real terms; in the 2007 spending review (2008-09 to 2010-11) it fell by 13.3% in real terms; and in the first year of the 2010 Spending review period (2011-12) it fell by 13.6% in real terms.

Each year, the out-turn on administration spend was within budget, demonstrating implicit savings on these spending review settlements.

Each spending review baseline will be set on a slightly different basis and/or scope because of technical changes to the administration costs regime (eg the treatment of income), changes to the boundary of the administration budget (eg the recent inclusion of some NHS bodies) and machinery of government changes. The aggregation of absolute (cash) reductions across this period is not therefore meaningful as the data are not directly comparable.

Ovarian Cancer

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on its refusal to provide the drug Avastin on the NHS to treat ovarian cancer. [152945]

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1008W

Norman Lamb: We have had no such discussions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for providing advice to the national health service in England on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of drugs and treatments.

NICE is currently appraising the use of Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin for the first-line chemotherapy treatment of ovarian cancer and in combination with gemcitabine and carboplatin for treating the first recurrence of platinum-sensitive advanced ovarian cancer (including fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer). NICE has not yet published its final guidance to the NHS for these appraisals.

In the absence of positive NICE technology appraisal guidance, local NHS commissioners should make funding decisions based on an assessment of the available evidence and on the basis of an individual patient's clinical circumstances.

Where a cancer drug is not routinely funded by the local NHS, patients may be able to access it through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Pain

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the contribution by the Minister of State for Care and Support on 25 February 2013, Official Report, columns 147-150, what plans he has to introduce a quality standard for chronic pain management. [152921]

Norman Lamb: The Department has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to develop a quality standard on pain management for young people and adults as part of a library of approximately 180 NHS Quality Standards. NICE has not yet published a time scale for the development of this quality standard. NHS England is now responsible for the strategic direction of NHS quality standards.

The mandate to NHS England requires it to deliver continued improvements in relation to enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions, which includes those with chronic pain.

Patients: Death

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) mortality alerts and (b) reviews there have been in the NHS in England in the last three months; and in how many cases services were suspended whilst reviews or investigations took place; [153094]

(2) how many (a) mortality alerts and (b) reviews are currently under investigation in the NHS in England; and in how many cases services have been suspended whilst these take place. [153140]

Norman Lamb: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) mortality outliers programme currently has 40 active mortality alerts. Between 22 January 2013 and 22 April 2013, 21 mortality alerts have been generated internally or received as part of the CQC mortality outliers programme. 17 alerts were received from the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College, two mortality alerts were received from the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery and two alerts were generated internally. CQC does not carry data numerating how many reviews are currently

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1009W

under investigation in the NHS in England. No services are being or have been suspended during investigation of these mortality outlier alerts.

There is a separate review being undertaken by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh (Medical Director of NHS England) into 14 NHS trusts and foundation trusts that have been mortality outliers for the last two consecutive years. They are:

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust;

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust;

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust;

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust;

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust;

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust;

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust;

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust;

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;

Medway NHS Foundation Trust; and

Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The review began in February 2013 and will publish a public report summarising the findings and actions resulting from the 14 investigations before the summer.

In March further concerns arose in relation to outcomes from surgery at Leeds General Infirmary's child cardiac unit specifically. In response to the potentially serious concerns that were identified surgery was temporarily halted at Leeds until NHS England had been reassured that it was safe for surgery to continue. NHS England is continuing to work with Leeds General Infirmary to ensure that it can deliver sustainable improvements in outcomes for children undergoing heart surgery over the long-term.

Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to implement the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. [153191]

Dr Poulter: Cabinet Office circulated a Procurement Policy Note on 20 December 2012 with guidance on the requirements of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, which came into force in January 2013.

The Department has reviewed and updated its procurement documentation and guidance in light of the provisions of the Act.

Redundancy Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible received payments under a voluntary exit scheme in each of the last five years; and at what total cost in each such year. [152651]

Dr Poulter: Since 2007-08, the Department has approved a number of voluntary exits. In 2007-08 and 2010-11, the Department ran voluntary exit schemes which explains the rise in numbers and costs during those years.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1010W

Details of the number of staff who left and the cost are shown in the following table.

Financial yearNumber of exitsTotal cost (£ million)

2007-08

76

7.9

2008-09

15

2.6

2009-10

18

2.2

2010-11

261

20.3

2011-12(1)

(2)19

2.3

(1) During 2011-12 the Department also used compulsory redundancy as part of downsizing. (2 )Figure comprised of 16 voluntary and 3 compulsory exits.

Figures for 2012-13 will be published as part of the annual reports and accounts.

None of the six non-departmental public bodies for which the Secretary of State for Health is responsible made any payment under a voluntary exit scheme in each of the last five years up to 2011-12.

Figures for 2012-13 will be published as part of their annual reports and accounts.

Royal Sussex County Hospital

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects HM Treasury to approve the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. [153138]

Dr Poulter: All major capital schemes are expected to demonstrate robustly that they are affordable to their trusts, and need to be approved by the Department of Health and HM Treasury before the Government can grant our approval.

The Department has had recent discussions with HM Treasury and the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) about the business case for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital and to identify next steps in approval. The NHS TDA is currently leading the work with the Trust to provide new and refreshed financial information for HM Treasury to support the business case. This information is expected to be available in the coming weeks, however it is not possible at present to give an indication when an approval decision will be made.

Transplant Surgery

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many organ transplants have been received by those deemed to be (a) addicted to and (b) abusing alcohol in (i) each of the last five years and (ii) 2013 to date. [152472]

Anna Soubry: This information is not held centrally.

The information in the following table has been provided by NHS Blood and Transplant. This table shows the number of liver transplants where the reason given for transplantation is ‘alcoholic liver disease’. The table also includes information where ‘alcoholic liver disease’ is the secondary and tertiary disease for liver transplantation, however in these cases the primary disease is recorded as Hepatitis C. The table also includes four cases where patients have received a combined liver and kidney transplant as this is, on occasion, considered beneficial.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1011W

Table: Liver transplants (including four cases of liver/kidney) since 2008 in United Kingdom where cause of disease is recorded as ‘Alcoholic liver disease’
Alcoholic liver disease200820092010201120122013(1)

Primary disease

129

127

143

127

161

58

Secondary disease

27

15

15

24

28

7

Tertiary disease

4

4

1

4

8

1

Total

160

146

159

155

197

66

(1 )Includes data as of 15 April 2013. Source: NHS Blood and Transplant

Treasury

Banks: Regulation

Ann McKechin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions his Department has held with the Financial Conduct Authority about the introduction of an independent code of conduct for retail banking staff. [152900]

Sajid Javid: Treasury officials have had contact on various occasions with FCA and PRA staff (and, before 1 April 2013, with FSA staff) on possible measures to strengthen culture and standards in the banking sector.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has been established as a joint committee appointed by both Houses and chaired by Andrew Tyrie MP. The Committee has a remit to consider and report on a range of issues including professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, and to make recommendations for legislative and other action. The Government look forward to the committee's final report.

Child Benefit

Ian Austin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what measures are in place to ensure that child benefit is distributed fairly when two parents have made competing applications for child benefit for the same child; [151514]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of cases in which two parents have made competing applications for child benefit for the same child in each of the last three years. [151515]

Sajid Javid: The law provides for child benefit to be paid to only one person. Where more than one person is responsible for a child and each satisfies the entitlement conditions, they should decide between themselves which of them shall be entitled and make an election to that effect. If they are unable to decide, it falls to a decision-maker, acting on behalf of the Commissioners for HMRC, to make a discretionary decision. There are no hard and fast rules governing these decisions, as every case is different and many factors that have a bearing on the care arrangements need to be considered. In general, the claimant who bears the greater responsibility will be awarded the child benefit. The overriding position is to ensure that the child is the ultimate beneficiary.

The following table sets out the number of cases in which two parents have made a rival claim for child benefit for the same child in each of the last three years.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1012W

 Number of rival claims

2012-13

86,283

2011-12

92,496

2010-11

61,565

2009-10

147,616

Defence

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it remains his policy to increase the defence budget in real terms in 2015-16. [152382]

Danny Alexander: The Ministry of Defence budget allocation for 2015-16 will be set as part of the Spending Round which is due to be published on 26 June 2013.

Dementia

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has a dementia strategy. [151835]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury does not currently have a dementia policy.

The Department is firmly committed to supporting the Dementia Challenge and Friends initiative launched by the Prime Minster last year, and in this respect the Department encouraged employees to sign up to the “Dementia Friend” initiative after the launch.

There is support also available for staff through a confidential Occupational Health service with an onsite Occupational Health Adviser available to discuss any medical conditions which could result in long term sickness absence. This service provides both help to identify, assess and prevent ill-health wherever possible and to provide assistance to any staff who are affected. There is also an Employee Assistance Programme which provides information and counselling services particularly if problems could result in absence relating to mental health. Wellbeing events where staff can take part in health checks are also held from time to time.

Economic Situation

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures his Department uses to quantify (a) consumer and (b) business confidence in the UK. [152588]

Sajid Javid: HM Treasury reviews a wide range of data and surveys to inform its assessment of the economy.

In assessing developments in household consumption and consumer confidence, HM Treasury considers a range of indicators alongside official statistics. These include:

Bank of England Agents' Summary of Business Conditions

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

Visa Expenditure Index

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1013W

Similarly, in assessing conditions in the business sector, including business confidence, HM Treasury considers a range of indicators alongside official statistics. These include:

Bank of England Agents' Summary of Business Conditions

British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey

CBI Monthly, Quarterly and SME Industrial Trends Surveys, Service Sector Survey and Financial Services Survey

Construction Products Association State of Trade Survey

Deloitte CFO Survey

EEF-BDO Manufacturing Outlook

KPMG Annual Tax Competitiveness Survey

Markit-CIPS Purchasing Manager Indices (PMI) for manufacturing, services and construction.

EDF Group

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evaluation and due diligence has been carried out by his Department's Commercial Secretary in respect of the ability of Electricité de France to capitalise the construction of any new nuclear power plant in the UK while holding a £33 billion debt. [151501]

Sajid Javid: The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) leads negotiations on all projects under the FID-enabling programme subject to the usual arrangements for managing major projects. The Commercial Secretary supports DECC in these negotiations as part of his role in coordinating Government activity on infrastructure.

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what involvement his Department has in the strike price negotiations with EDF. [151858]

Sajid Javid: The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) leads negotiations on all projects under the FID-enabling programme subject to the usual arrangements for managing major projects. The Commercial Secretary supports DECC in these negotiations as part of his role in coordinating Government activity on infrastructure.

Electronic Government

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many emails phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk has received; and what action has been taken as a result. [152489]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 22 April 2013]: HMRC has received over 75,000 customer referrals to our phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk e-mail address in the last 12 months. All referrals are investigated, and where necessary measures are taken to actively shut down websites that are set up to abuse our brand and defraud our customers.

Equitable Life Assurance Society: Compensation

Katy Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the decision not to make compensation payments to Equitable Life With Profits policyholders who took out their policy prior to 1 September 1992. [152147]

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1014W

Sajid Javid: The Chancellor announced in the 2013 Budget that those with-profits annuitants who bought their policy before September 1992, and are alive at the time of the announcement, will receive an ex-gratia payment of £5,000. A further £5,000 is available to those in receipt of pension credit. Further detail on this measure can be found at

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013_equitable_life.htm

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

Robert Flello: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with the off-licence trade and trade bodies regarding evasion of alcohol duty by retailers. [152711]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders as part 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 meetings and discussions.

Excise Duties: Tobacco

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the lower, mid-point and upper estimates were of the tax revenue foregone as a result of tobacco smuggling in each of the last five years; and when he expects to publish the estimate for financial year 2011-12. [152315]

Sajid Javid: Estimates of the losses in revenue associated with illicit sales of tobacco products were published in “Measuring Tax Gaps 2012”. This contains lower, midpoint and upper estimates of the tobacco tax gap from 2006-07 to 2010-11.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/tax-gaps/mtg-2012.pdf

These estimates cannot be disaggregated by the type of illicit activity, e.g. through smuggling, counterfeiting or other fraud.

Figures for 2011-12 are due to be released in the autumn of 2013.

Exports

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the comparative (a) cost and (b) performance of (i) Swedish, (ii) Dutch, (iii) Polish, (iv) French and (v) British export agencies. [152577]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury regularly monitors trends in the activity of a range of overseas export credit agencies using data on business volumes collected by the OECD and Berne Union. Comparisons of cost and performance are difficult because of the different institutional structures in each country and wider economic differences. The Treasury also considers other sources of comparative information, such as that published by the British Exporters' Association on the range of products offered by export credit agencies around the world.

The Treasury has not recently compared the cost and performance of UK Trade and Investment with similar bodies overseas that promote exports.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1015W

Gift Aid

Mr Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to complete registration of the application by Hope Church, Ferndown for Gift Aid registration made on 14 October 2012; and what the reasons were for the difference between the time taken and the information on the HMRC website that such a new registration should take about six weeks. [152890]

Sajid Javid: I am unable to answer the question because HM Revenue & Customs is subject to a strict duty of confidentiality in relation to customer information.

HM Revenue & Customs may not disclose customer information outside the Department without the permission of the customer, except where there is specific legislation permitting the disclosure.

Government Departments: Procurement

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider bringing forward proposals to require Government contractors to pay their full tax liability in the UK. [151557]

Mr Gauke: The Government confirmed in the Budget that from 1 April 2013 it will require potential Government suppliers to declare specified previous occasions of tax non-compliance as part of the procurement process.

Income Tax

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of households containing one or more children in (a) the UK, (b) each nation and region of the UK and (c) each parliamentary constituency in the UK will have two adults each earning (i) more and (ii) less than the threshold for income tax in each of the next four financial years. [149461]

Sajid Javid: The following table gives the estimated number of households containing one or more children, by the composition of adults earning above and below the income tax personal allowance. Figures include households where one or more adults are not in work, but are limited to only those households with two adults and at least one child. Figures are not available for (a) geographical breakdowns smaller than the UK; and (b) 2015-16 and 2016-17.

 2013-14 (Personal allowance = £9,440)2014-15 (Personal allowance =.£10,000)

No adults earning above the personal allowance

620,000

637,000

One adult earning above the personal allowance

2,162,000

2,198,000

Two adults earning above the personal allowance

2,377,000

2,324,000

All

5,159,000

5,159,000

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000; totals may not sum due to rounding. The total population (5.2 million) represents the number of households with two adults (who may constitute multiple tax units) and at least one child.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1016W

Inheritance Tax

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) reducing and (b) scrapping the seven-year rule with regards to inheritance tax relief; [152407]

(2) if he will estimate the potential additional revenue that would be raised in inheritance tax by removing relief for agricultural and business assets; [152685]

(3) if he will estimate the potential additional revenue that would be raised in inheritance tax by removing the transferable nil rate band; [152686]

(4) how many estates were not taxed which were notified for probate worth (a) £500,000, (b) £1 million and (c) £2 million in each of the last three years; [152687]

(5) how much revenue in inheritance tax was foregone from (a) taper relief, (b) quick succession relief and (c) double taxation relief in (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland in the last 12 months for which figures are available; [152688]

(6) how much revenue for the public purse was raised from inheritance tax in (a) each Government office region, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each financial year since 2003; [152745]

(7) how many estates which were not taxed were notified for probate worth (a) £1,000,000, (b) £2,000,000 and (c) £500,000 in (i) Scotland, (ii) England, (iii) the UK, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland in each of the last three years; [153039]

(8) how much was paid in inheritance tax relief for holdings in (a) unincorporated partnerships, (b) owner-occupier farmland, (c) shares in qualifying unquoted companies and (d) bequest of landlord interests in let farmland in (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) England, (iv) Northern Ireland and (v) the UK in each of the last 30 years; [152879]

(9) what estimate he has made of how much additional income would be raised in inheritance tax if the zero rate threshold were to be abolished; [153087]

(10) how much was paid in inheritance tax relief at the rate of (a) 0 per cent, (b) 20 per cent, (c) 40 per cent, (d) 60 per cent and (e) 80 per cent for (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) England, (iv) Northern Ireland and (v) the UK in each year for which records are available; [153100]

(11) how much was paid in inheritance tax relief for holdings in (a) unincorporated partnerships, (b) owner-occupier farmland, (c) shares in qualifying unquoted companies and (d) bequest of landlord interests in let farmland for (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) England, (iv) Northern Ireland and (v) the UK in each year for which records are available; [153101]

(12) what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) reducing and (b) scrapping the seven-year rule in relation to inheritance tax relief. [153117]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

PQ 152407 and PQ 153117

An estimate of the cost of reducing or scrapping the seven year rule with regards to inheritance tax relief is not available.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1017W

PQ 152685

The estimated cost of relief for agricultural and business property is published at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/expenditures/table1-5.pdf

PQ 152686

An estimate of the cost of the nil rate band for chargeable transfers not exceeding the threshold is not available. The number of estates above the IHT threshold using the nil rate band and the amount of relief claimed by them is published in table 12.2 of the National Statistics, available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/inheritance/table12-2.pdf

PQ 152687 and PQ 153039

The number of estates in the UK which were notified for probate but which were not taxed worth £500,000 to £1 million, £1 million to £2 million and over £2 million is published in National Statistics Table 12.3 available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/inheritance/table12-3.pdf

The information for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland is not available.

PQ 152688 and PQ 153100

The revenue forgone from taper relief, quick succession relief and double taxation relief are published in statistics table B1 available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/expenditures/table-b1.pdf

The information for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland is not available. The information for taper relief split into relief at (a) 0%, (b) 20%, (c) 40%, (d) 60% and (e) 80% is not available.

PQ 152745

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to her question of 18 April 2013, Official Report, column 520W.

PQ 152879 and PQ 153101

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to her question of 22 April 2013, Official Report, column 672W.

PQ 153087

The estimated cost of the IHT threshold is published in statistics table 1.5 available from the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/expenditures/table1-5.pdf

Minimum Wage

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) the UK, (d) Wales, (e) Northern Ireland and (g) each Scottish local authority area received a warning for non-payment of the minimum wage in each year since 2007 and in 2013 to date. [153113]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not record the outcome of its minimum wage investigations by reference to local authority areas.

The total number of non-compliant employers identified, for the period requested, is in the following table:

Financial yearEnglandWalesScotlandNorthern IrelandUK

2007-08

1,195

147

174

134

1,650

2008-09

1,251

168

175

148

1,742

2009-10

885

130

145

96

1,256

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1018W

2010-11

890

80

95

75

1,140

2011-12

763

81

72

52

968

2012-13

540

67

83

46

736

2013 to date

17

6

2

0

25

Mortgages: First-time Buyers

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to make low-deposit mortgages available to first-time buyers. [152516]

Sajid Javid: The Government are committed to making the aspiration of home ownership a reality for as many households as possible.

The Government have acted to help those wishing to own their own home by introducing Help to Buy, which was announced at Budget 2013.

Help to Buy is a major new package of measures designed to increase the supply of low-deposit mortgages for credit-worthy households, increase the supply of new housing and contribute to economic growth.

There are two key elements to Help to Buy, the equity loan scheme which is already in place and began on 1 April 2013; and the mortgage guarantee scheme, which will start in January 2014.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the equity loans scheme announced in Budget 2013 will be available to people living in Scotland; and whether a person living in (a) England seeking to use the scheme for a property in Scotland and (b) Scotland seeking to use the scheme for a property in England can apply to use the scheme. [153095]

Sajid Javid: Scotland will receive Barnett Consequentials of the Government's Help to Buy: equity loan scheme, which they can use to implement the same or similar scheme if they so wish.

Help to Buy: equity loan is available in England and is available to all UK residents providing the property is the buyers' only residence.

National Insurance Contributions

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of (a) co-operatives and (b) social enterprises in (i) the UK and (ii) Scotland which will benefit from the employment allowance. [151955]

Mr Gauke: Estimates are not available in the detail requested. However, co-operatives and social enterprises which trade will be eligible for the employment allowance as well as any other businesses which trade. Overall, it is estimated that up to 1.25 million employers in the UK and 98,000 in Scotland could potentially benefit from the allowance in 2014-15.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1019W

PAYE

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the cost of implementing PAYE Real Time Information. [150224]

Mr Gauke: The latest version of the full business case for PAYE Real Time Information shows a cost of £273.84 million for the spending review period to March 2015.

RTI is the most significant change to PAYE for 70 years, and it is going well. By 22 April over 625,000 schemes were being reported in real time. The business case for RTI is very strong and pays back by the end of 2014-15, including savings of £500 million for customers and HMRC by that point.

Public Expenditure

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to communicate accurate and accessible information to the public about the size of (a) Government spending reductions, (b) the deficit and (c) the national debt. [152590]

Sajid Javid: The Government are committed to ensuring that the public are made aware of the state of the public finances and its fiscal policy decisions. We publish this information through a number of different channels. One of which is the published documents, including Budgets and autumn statements, available on the Treasury website at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

The latest information about the size of (a) Government spending reduction, (b) the deficit and (c) the national debt can be found in the Budget 2013 document available on the Treasury website at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013.htm

The Treasury also produces infographics to explain some of the key statistics and measures contained in the Budget document available on the Treasury website at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013_infographics.htm

Revenue and Customs

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many days were lost to staff sickness at HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of such absences in each such year. [151120]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

Number of days lost to sickness absence and estimated cost
 Days lostEst. cost (£)

2008-09

976,257

107,777,038

2009-10

906,567

101,149,720

2010-11

760,438

88,583,070

2011-12

579,197

64,395,741

2012-13

532,736

63,059,451

Note: Costs are calculated using average salary, including Employers National Insurance Contribution and superannuation.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1020W

Revenue and Customs: Fraud

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the benefit in (a) monetary and (b) other terms from the HM Revenue and Customs' counter-fraud activities in each of the last five years. [153141]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publishes performance data showing the additional revenues it raises from compliance activity within its annual report and accounts. The following table shows the additional revenues raised by the Department in each year from 2007-08.

 £ billion

2007-08

11.2

2008-09

12

2009-10

12.6

2010-11

13.9

2011-12

16.7

In addition HMRC publishes various progress reports on the further benefits that its compliance activity delivers. My hon. Friend can find useful information in the following publications:

The HMRC annual report, the most recent iteration of which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-report-and-resource-accounts-2011-12

The 2012-13 report will be published in due course.

Measuring tax gaps:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/tax-gaps.htm

Levelling the playing field: the most recent update of HMRC Compliance performance:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2013/level-tax-playing-field.pdf

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on the premium rates charged for helplines operated by HM Revenue and Customs; what the reasons are for charging premium rates; on what grounds reimbursement of such charges can be requested; and if he will make a statement on the appropriateness of charging premium rates for public service helplines. [152744]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not operate any “premium rate” helplines. All 0845 call charges are based on the tariff arrangements individual customers have with their service provider. For many customers, the cost of dialling a 0845 number will be very low or free; for those using a pay as you go mobile, the cost can be as high as 31.75p per minute.

When HMRC set up 0845 numbers they were a cost effective way of improving the telephone service provided to customers. Since then the telecoms market has changed, and the tariff arrangements of individual customers mean that some are now disproportionately disadvantaged by the use of 0845 numbers. Between April and September this year HMRC will migrate 0845 numbers to 03XX, a move which HMRC estimate will save their customers about £13 million per year.

HMRC does not reimburse customers for the cost of their telephone calls.

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Royal Household

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Royal Household received

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1022W

from the Exchequer in each of the last five years. [151975]

Sajid Javid: The following is the information requested:

 2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-14

Civil list and other grants

28

29

30

  

Sovereign grant

31

36.1

RH spend (real) Including Civil List Reserve

33.9

32.1

32.3

The Royal Trustees Sovereign Grant Report of 2013-14 explains that the formula used for the Sovereign Grant Act is 15% of the Crown Estate's net revenue. The Royal Trustees approved £36.1 million for the current year in accordance with the Sovereign Grant Act of 2011.

State Retirement Pensions: Carers

Katy Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce a carer's supplement to the basic state pension. [152404]

Sajid Javid: The Government recognise that unpaid carers provide invaluable support to people in some of the most vulnerable circumstances in society, and as such we have announced that carer's allowance will continue to exist as a separate benefit. While we continually keep benefits under review, there are no plans to introduce a carer's supplement to the basic state pension.

Carers on low incomes can claim income-related benefits, such as pension credit. This benefit can be paid to carers at a higher rate through the additional amount for carers, which is currently worth up to £33.30 a week.

State Retirement Pensions: Uprating

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department will revert to using the retail price index when setting pension increase rates. [152517]

Sajid Javid: The Government has no plans to revert to using the Retail Price Index (RPI) for uprating the state pension.

The Government introduced the triple lock for uprating the basic state pension, which means that it is increased each year by the highest of the growth in average earnings, price increases as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 2.5%.

The triple lock means that in April 2013 a full basic state pension increased by £2.70 a week to £110.15 a week. As a result the basic state pension will represent a higher share of average earnings than at any time since 1992.

Tax Allowances: Married People

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to recognise marriage through the tax system. [151845]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 18 April 2013]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for York Outer (Julian Sturdy) on 30 November 2012, Official Report, column 536W.

Tax Allowances: State Second Pension

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of providing continuing tax relief in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15, (c) 2015-16 and (d) 2016-17 for contributions made into second pension schemes of those who had already received between (i) £1 million-£1.2 million, (ii) £1.2 million-£1.4 million, (iii) £1.4 million-£1.6 million, (iv) £1.6 million-£1.8 million, (v) £1.8 million-£2 million and (vi) over £2 million of such relief in their lifetimes; [151384]

(2) what the cost was in 2012-13 of providing continuing tax relief for contributions made into second pension schemes of those who had already received between (a) £1 million-£1.2 million, (b) £1.2 million-£1.4 million, (c) £1.4 million-£1.6 million, (d) £1.6 million-£1.8 million, (e) £1.8 million-£2 million and (f) over £2 million of such relief; [151385]

(3) how many people have received total tax relief on their contributions into second pension schemes of between (a) £1 million-£1.2 million, (b) £1.2 million-£1.4 million, (c) £1.4 million-£1.6 million, (d) £1.6 million-£1.8 million, (e) £1.8 million-£2 million and (f) over £2 million to date; [151387]

(4) if he will make an estimate of how many persons will continue to receive tax relief on their contributions into second pension schemes having already been recipients of such relief over their lifetimes at levels of between (a) £1 million and £1.2 million, (b) £1.2 million and £1.4 million, (c) £1.4 million and £1.6 million, (d) £1.6 million and £1.8 million, (e) £1.8 million and £2 million and (f) over £2 million in the fiscal years (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15, (iii) 2015-16 and (iv) 2016-17; [151652]

Sajid Javid: Records are not held that enable the history of contributions made towards separate private pension schemes to be estimated over an individual's lifetime, or for the cumulative amount of tax relief thereon to be estimated. I therefore regret that the information requested with regard to relief on contributions is not available in respect of individuals with pension entitlements to a second private pension scheme in addition to their principal private scheme.

Taxation: Electronic Cigarettes

John Woodcock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on taxation on e-cigarettes; what representations he has received on their classification for taxation purposes; and if he will make a statement on the future taxation of such products. [152267]

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1023W

Sajid Javid: E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, and are therefore not liable to tobacco products duty; however, they are liable to VAT. The Government keep all taxes under review, and decisions on taxation are a matter for the Chancellor as part of the Budget.

Treasury Ministers and officials receive and consider a wide variety of representations from organisations in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Taxation: Environment Protection

Mr Yeo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the Carbon Price Floor on the competitiveness of UK business. [152902]

Sajid Javid: The carbon price floor establishes a minimum carbon price, which sends an early and credible signal to drive investment in low-carbon electricity generation and support the UK's long-term energy security.

For most businesses, direct energy costs are a relatively small proportion of total costs. In 2011, purchases of energy and water accounted for less than 3% of total costs for UK manufacturing. In 2013 the carbon price floor will add around 2% to the average business electricity bill. However over the longer term, consumers stand to benefit from cleaner, cheaper and more reliable sources of low-carbon energy as a result of the Government's policies.

The Government recognise the cumulative impact of energy and climate change polices on the most energy intensive industries. Autumn statement 2011 announced a package of measures, worth £250 million over the spending review, to help these businesses adjust to the low-carbon transformation while remaining competitive. The Budget announced that energy-intensive industries will continue to receive support in 2015-16.

Energy-intensives will also benefit from relief from the costs of electricity market reform, subject to state aid; an exemption from the climate change levy (CCL) for metallurgical and mineralogical processes; and an increase in CCL relief to 90% on electricity for most energy-intensive businesses who are part of Climate Change Agreements UK businesses will also benefit from a further reduction in corporation tax to 20% by 2015 and the introduction of a £2,000 per year employment allowance for businesses and charities from April 2014 to reduce their employment and NICs bill.

Travel

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many officials in his (a) Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies travelled on (i) domestic and (ii) international flights in each of the last five years; in which class categories; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest airfare charges in each such year; [152543]

(2) how many officials in his (a) Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies stayed in hotels in (i) the UK and (ii) every other country during the last five years; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest such hotel expenses in each such year; [152567]

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(3) how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible claimed reimbursements for working lunches and official entertainment in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was in each such year. [152677]

Sajid Javid: The cost of complying with your requests would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold, in locating retrieving and extracting the information.

However there are publications already available which provide some of the information within these requests and they can be found on HM Treasury website within the following link:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/about_departmental_index.htm

Visits Abroad

Mr Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's budget was for overseas travel for officials and Ministers in 2012-13. [151366]

Sajid Javid: The Department does not have a budget specifically for overseas travel. However the Department does have a travel and subsistence budget which includes all travel and associated costs.

Following are the budgeted figures for travel and subsistence over the past four years.

 £

2012-13

1,476,145

2011-12

1,846,570

2010-11

2,102,984

2009-10

4,579,066

Welfare Tax Credits: Wales

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in (a) Ynys Mon, (b) Gwynedd, (c) Conwy, (d) Denbighshire, (e) Flintshire and (f) Wrexham local authority areas are claiming (i) working family tax credit and childcare tax credit change in circumstance income disregards, (ii) childcare tax credit first income threshold, (iii) childcare tax credit second income threshold, (iv) childcare tax credit baby element, (v) working family tax credit 30 hour element, (vi) working family tax credit basic element, (vii) working family tax credit single parent and couple element, (viii) working family tax credit 50-plus element and (ix) working family tax credit minimum hours for couples. [150607]

Sajid Javid: Working family tax credit was abolished in March 2003 and replaced by the current child and working tax credit system.

(i) Final tax credit entitlement for a given year is based on income in that year if that is: more than £2,500 lower than the income in the previous year; or exceeds it by more than £5,000. A year on year income fall of less than £2,500; or increase of less than £5,000 is disregarded in calculating the current years’ final tax credit entitlement, and the previous years’ income is used.

24 Apr 2013 : Column 1025W

(ii-iii) The tax credit income thresholds cannot be claimed, they represent the point at which a families award begins to be tapered away. There are two income thresholds in tax credits.

Any family eligible for any element of working tax credit (WTC) can receive their full entitlement until their annual household income reaches £6,420 p.a. After this point, their tax credit entitlement is tapered away at a rate of 41 pence for each additional £1 of income beyond the threshold.

Any family eligible for child tax credit (CTC) only, can receive their full entitlement until their annual household income reaches £15,910 p.a. After this point, their tax credit entitlement is tapered away at a rate of 41 pence for each additional £1 of income beyond the threshold.

(v-vii) The table below shows the number of families in the requested regions benefitting from the WTC basic element, WTC lone parent or couple element, and the WTC 30 hour element. These figures are based on HMRC's Tax Credits National Statistics publication for December 2012. Further statistics and information can be found here:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/personal-tax-credits.htm#1

Number of families benefitting from certain elements of WTC
Thousands
 (vi) WTC Basic element(vii) WTC lone parent or couple element(1)(v) WTC 30 hour element

Ynys Mon Isle of Anglesey

3.9

3.4

2.9

Gwynedd Gwynedd

7.1

6.0

5.4

Conwy Conwy

6.8

5.8

4.9

Sir Ddinbych Denbighshire

5.6

4.9

4.1

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Sir y Fflint Flintshire

8.1

7.0

6.1

Wrecsam Wrexham

7.6

6.7

5.6

(1) The numbers in this column include people who receive either the lone parent, or the couple's element.

(iv, viii) The baby element of child tax credit, and the 50+ return to work element of working tax credit were abolished in April 2011 and April 2012 respectively; therefore there are no current recipients. These changes were part of a package of measures reaffirming the government's commitment to making work pay. Since 2010, the government have announced successive increases in the personal allowance totalling £3,525, representing a rise of more than 50% in just four years. These changes will benefit 25.4 million individuals and provide a real terms gain of £507 to most basic rate taxpayers in 2013-14. Around 2.7 million individuals will be taken out of income tax all together by April 2014.

(ix) The hour's rules for couples claiming working tax credit changed in April 2012. A couple that is responsible for a child or young person must work at least 24 hours between them, and one adult must be working at least 16 hours. If the couple is not responsible for a child one adult must be over 25 years old and working at least 30 hours a week.

Recent figures have shown that nearly three quarters of families affected by the April 2012 change to the WTC hours rule have since reported an increase in hours worked. These data are evidence that difficult welfare reform can combine savings for the taxpayer with better incentives for people who want to work.