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Pensions Mis-selling

Mr. Terry Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the average time taken for the Government Actuaries Department to complete the headroom check where a pensions mis-selling case involves excess contributions; and if he will make a statement. [109220]

Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 8 February 2000]: The information requested cannot be obtained without disproportionate cost. The Government Actuary's Department (GAD) has no general responsibility for work on compensating victims of pensions mis-selling, but it does provide actuarial services to a number of public service pension schemes whose members were mis-sold personal pensions in the past. In most of the main public service pension schemes the number of cases involving excess contributions is relatively small, and the normal procedures for carrying out headroom checks have been applied without causing delay. In the Teachers' Pension Scheme there has been a large number of such cases and new procedures are being implemented to allow the scheme administrators (Capita Teachers' Pensions) to carry out most of the calculations using tables supplied by GAD. This should allow speedier processing.

Tobacco Tax

Mr. Barron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was raised from each of the taxes payable on each category of tobacco products in the last year for which figures are available. [109100]

Dawn Primarolo: Excise duty receipts for each category of tobacco products are shown in HM Customs and Excise Annual Report 1998-99, table E2. The VAT received on cigarettes is estimated at £1,655 million in 1998-99, and the VAT on all other tobacco products is estimated at £115 million. VAT has been estimated from Office for National Statistics figures for household consumption on cigarettes and other tobacco products. No separate figures are available for VAT on cigars, hand-rolling and other smoking and chewing tobacco.

10 Feb 2000 : Column: 280W

Child Benefit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 February 2000, Official Report, column 579W, if he will estimate the yield from tapering away child benefit in the hands of the highest earner in a couple according to the thresholds and tapering mechanism envisaged for children's tax credits, whereby benefit would be tapered away from couples containing a higher rate tax payer. [108616]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government will introduce a new Children's Tax Credit from April 2001. To ensure that support for the family is increased in the fairest way, it will be tapered away from families where there is a higher rate taxpayer. The long-term goal is to bring together the different strands of support for children in Working Families Tax Credit, Income Support and the Children's Tax Credit to create an integrated and seamless system of financial support, building upon the foundation of universal Child Benefit.

However, if Child Benefit were to be tapered away from families where there is a higher rate taxpayer along the lines envisaged in the hon. Member's proposal, the estimated yield would currently be £600 million in a full year.

Working Families Tax Credit

Ms Kelly: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what are the (a) gross earnings, (b) earnings after income tax and national insurance contributions and (c) entitlements to the working families tax credit of a dual-earner couple with two children under the age of 11 years, both earning the minimum wage and where one works full-time and the other 16 hours a week; [107801]

Dawn Primarolo: The figures requested are given in the table.


Couple, one working full-time, one working 16 hours a weekLone parent working full-timeLone parent working 16 hours a week
Gross earnings183.60126.0057.60
Earnings net of income tax and National Insurance Contributions175.33117.7357.60
Amount of Working Families Tax Credit56.1287.8092.00

Childcare Tax Credit

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the responses he has so far received to his consultation on an integrated child credit set out in the Treasury Paper, "Supporting Children Through the Tax and Benefit System". [108753]

10 Feb 2000 : Column: 281W

Dawn Primarolo: The Treasury receives Budget representations and letters on a range of topics, including the Integrated Child Credit. As is usual practice, it is not our intention to publish them.

Ms Kelly: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the steady-state cost of providing the childcare tax credit to all households with a child below the age of one year on the current tapers, irrespective of whether anyone is in work, assuming that households with a mother in the first (a) 18 and (b) six weeks of maternity leave are not included. [107651]

Dawn Primarolo: The childcare tax credit is available to families in receipt of the Working Families' Tax Credit or Disabled Persons's Tax Credit who meet the work requirements and have eligible child care costs. There are no plans to make it available to families where no-one is in work.

If a separate weekly credit of £70 were to be given to all families with a child under one, subject to a taper of 55 per cent. for net income over £90 per week, the estimated cost for 2000-01 would be about £800 million. If households with a mother in receipt of statutory maternity pay are not included, the cost would reduce by about £30 million for the first 18 weeks of maternity pay and by about £10 million for the first six weeks of maternity pay.

It has been assumed that the start of maternity pay coincides with the birth of the child, and that those mothers on Income Support would still receive the £70 credit, since statutory maternity pay is taken into account when calculating Income Support.

Children (Merseyside)

Mr. Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children aged 15 years or under live in (a) the Birkenhead constituency and (b) at Merseyside constituencies in total. [109350]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from John Pullinger, on behalf of Dr. Holt, to Mr. Frank Field, dated 10 February 2000:

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