National Insurance Records
Mr. Frank Field:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many records of individuals stored in the national insurance record system were removed because the identities concerned were found to be bogus in 200001. 
Records of individuals with bogus identities are not removed from the National Insurance Recording System. The process is to flag the accounts via the Department of Work and Pensions National Identity Fraud Unit so that activity on the accounts can be monitored.
Working Families Tax Credit
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent in each year for which figures are available on administering payments of the working families tax credit, broken down by (a) costs associated with direct payment of the working families tax credit and (b) costs associated with payment via employers. 
During the 12 months to March 2001 the cost to the Inland Revenue of administering working families' tax credit was £133.8 million. In the previous six months the cost was £36.1 million.
The Department does not record separately the costs of payment directly to the recipient and payment via the employer.
Government Statistics (Longevity)
Mr. Gordon Prentice:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to revise Government statistics to take account of recent research into human longevity. 
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Gordon Prentice, dated 20 May 2002
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what steps are being taken to revise government statistics to take account of recent research into human longevity. (56913)
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The Office for National Statistics keeps abreast of international research into shifts in aging, and is able to increase the analytical understanding we have through publishing measures of healthy life expectancy. We are also a significant contributor to the major UK social research programme into influences on aging.
Population projections for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries are prepared by the Government Actuary's Department at the request of the Registrars General of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The assumptions used for these are agreed in consultation with the statistical offices of the four constituent countries. A range of projections are then published, based on agreed variations in the assumptions made about mortality, fertility and migration.
The Government Actuary's Department last year carried out a review of the methodology for projecting mortality in these projections as part of the National Statistics Quality Assurance review programme.
The review report, published in December 2001 (available of the National Statistics website at www.statistics.gov.uk/methodsquality/qualityreview/population) compares the performance of several methods of projecting future mortality and concludes that the method currently used outperformed the other methods assessed in terms of accuracy. However, several recommendations were made to improve the current methodology. The Government Actuary's Department will take the recommendations of the review and the findings of all relevant recent research into account when setting the assumptions for future population projections.
Ms Oona King:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on developing payment systems to ensure that the main carer of a child, even if she or he does not have a bank account, can be paid children's credit from April 2003 onwards. 
The Inland Revenue will provide advice in the tax credits application pack on what types of bank accounts can be used for Child Tax Credit payments. The options are current accounts, basic bank accounts or the card account that the Post Office is currently developing and which should be available from April 2003. The Inland Revenue are also making it clear in the material they issue that main carers who do not wish to use an existing joint or sole account to receive payments of their Child Tax Credit can open another account for those payments if they wish.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what help is available for (a) people and (b) people over the age of 75 who experience difficulties in completing their tax returns; and if he will make a statement. 
There are five main ways in which the Inland Revenue provides help for people who experience difficulties in completing their Tax Returns.
1. The Tax Return Guide, issued to tax advisers annually, or with the Tax Return to people who do not have a tax adviser.
2. The national Self Assessment Telephone Helpline 0845 9000 444 is open seven days a week. This line has a MINICOM facility.
3. The Inland Revenue website www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk has a specific area for Self Assessment and provides on-line help and guidance notes.
4. People can telephone any tax office or contact centre for information.
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5. People can visit any Inland Revenue Enquiry Centres (IREC) across the UKmost of these are open from 8.30am to 5pm weekdays.
How to get this help is shown on the front page of each Tax Return and help is available when people need it and not just during office hours. While we do not have help aimed specifically at people aged over 75, local offices will arrange home visits, on request, to help anyone complete their tax return who has difficulty going to a tax office, such as pensioners, the elderly, the sick or disabled.
We also have a range of leaflets that are available to customers on request form the IRECs and we provide separate specialist telephone Helplines for subjects such as Disabled Persons Tax Credit or Trusts.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to simplify (a) the tax system and (b) tax returns; and if he will make a statement. 
Budget 2002 contained a number of measures to simplify tax including measures to ease the impact of VAT on small business and implementing the recommendations of the Carter Review of Payroll Services.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his definition of poverty is; and what plans he has to alter his definition. 
There is no single definition of poverty as it is a complex and multi-dimensional problem. The Government's annual "Opportunity for all" publication sets out the strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and monitors progress against a range of indicators.
On 18 April 2002, the Department for Work and Pensions published a consultation document on child poverty measurement looking at how best to build on the Government's existing indicators for the measurement of child poverty in the long-term, seeking views on a range of approaches proposed by academics and poverty experts from the UK and overseas. The consultation period ends on 10 July 2002.
Commonwealth Education Fund
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he expects to announce the details of the scope and distribution of the Commonwealth Education Fund; 
(2) what calculations he has made (a) inclusive of tax relief and (b) exclusive of tax relief of the cost of the Commonwealth Education Fund; 
(3) if the Commonwealth Education Fund will be applied to a fund separate from DFID's budget; 
(4) what representations to United Kingdom industry the Treasury has made in relation to the Commonwealth Education Fund; 
(5) who the trustees of the proposed Commonwealth Education Fund will be; 
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The Government launched the Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) on 12 March to mark Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee year. The CEF will help Commonwealth developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in education, so that by 2015 every child will be able to enrol in and complete primary school, and by 2005 gender equity in enrolments can be reached.
At present 75 million primary school-age children in the Commonwealth do not attend school.
Since 1997 the Government have committed over £650 million to support the development of sustainable, quality primary education systems, mainly in Commonwealth sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
Under the chairmanship of Sir Edward George, the Governor of the Bank of England, the CEF will raise resources from business and individuals to support this objective. The Governor is currently working with the administering NGOs to establish the formal umbrella board of the fund, determine trustees, and will make a number of representations to UK industry over the course of this year.
The CEF will have three financing windows:
(i) A strategic fund that will be administered jointly by ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children. This will be the largest element of the CEF.
The strategic fund will strengthen the capacity of low-income Commonwealth countries to ensure that the poorest and most marginalised children are able to enrol in and complete good quality primary education. Activities will cover three broad areas:
Strengthening civil society participation in the design and implementation of national and local education plans and frameworks. Particular priority will be given to supporting initiatives that can accelerate progress towards gender equity in education;
Enabling local communities to monitor Government spending on education, both at the national and local levels;
Supporting innovative ways for civil society to ensure that all children, especially girls and the most vulnerable and disadvantaged (including street children, former child soldiers and nomadic children) are able to access quality education.
The Government will provide a grant of £10 million to kick-start the fund. In addition moneys raised in 2002 by business for the CEF will be matched by the Government pound for pound (including tax relief). Funding from the CEF will commence from mid-2002 and be made available over three and a half financial years, ending in December 2005 (coinciding with the gender equity Millennium Development Goal).
The strategic fund will concentrate on low-income Commonwealth countries identified by ActionAid, Oxfam and Save the Children as being seriously under-resourced in relation to education provision, and in which one or more of them has existing capacity to provide support to local organisations and to monitor and evaluate outcomes and impact. The potential 17 countries are: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
(ii) The Government will also match, pound for pound (including tax relief) funds raised for primary education in Commonwealth developing countries through Comic Relief's
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'Sport Relief'. Comic Relief will manage these funds independently, and they will disburse funds via UK based NGOs.
(iii) The Government will expand its work to develop links between schools in Commonwealth developing countries and the UK, to raise awareness and understanding of international development issues and strengthen the global dimension in the life and work of schools.
The CEF will be separately administered by the three NGOs according to a framework agreed with Government. The Government's £10 million endowment and matching funds will be channelled as a grant to the NGOs through DFID, whose existing budget will be increased accordingly. The precise cost of the matching funds will not be known until the end of 2002. Tax relief can be claimed by corporate donors and Comic Relief (in respect of donations from private individuals) at the appropriate tax rate.