Previous Section Index Home Page

31 Mar 2003 : Column 566W—continued

Tax Credits

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in Hamilton South he estimates will benefit from the working families tax credit. [106577]

Dawn Primarolo: The numbers of recipients of Working Families' Tax Credit and Disabled Person's Tax Credit in each local authority and in each constituency are shown in "Working Families' and Disabled Person's Tax Credit Statistics. Geographical Analyses", copies of which are in the Library and on the Inland Revenue web site,, under "Facts and Figures".

Travel Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was of travel by train by staff in his Department in 2002. [106337]

Ruth Kelly: Information is not held in the form requested.

Unpaid Tax

David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the total amount of unpaid tax, broken down by major category, in (a) the East Riding of Yorkshire and (b) the Yorkshire and the Humber region in each year since 1997. [105282]

Dawn Primarolo: The Inland Revenue does not hold information about unpaid tax on a local or regional basis. I gave the national figures in answer to a Question from the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 4 March 2003, Official Report, column 921W.

31 Mar 2003 : Column 567W

Voluntary Sector

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the future delivery of public services by the voluntary sector. [105687]

Mr. Boateng: As outlined in the cross cutting review of the role of the voluntary and community sector in service delivery (available on the Treasury website), we believe that voluntary and community organisations have a crucial role to play in the reform of public services and reinvigoration of civic life. They add value to service delivery in a way that complements, but does not substitute the responsibilities of government. The Government are committed to creating a framework in which the sector can continue to flourish, be strong and independent.

Withholding Taxes

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the UK Government's policy is on EU policy towards withholding taxes; and which EU countries are introducing a withholding tax on savings income; [105927]

Dawn Primarolo: HM Government supports exchange of information as the best means of combating cross-border tax evasion on savings income.

At ECOFIN on 21 January 2003, the EU reaffirmed its ultimate objective of exchange of information, on as wide a basis as possible, in respect of savings income. Political agreement was reached that all 15 member states would move to a system of automatic exchange of information, with a transitional period for Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. During this transitional period, it was agreed that these three member states would operate a withholding tax, rising to 35 per cent., on non-resident savings income.

EU member states assessed on 21 January that sufficient reassurances had been received that all the UK territories listed in the ECOFIN conclusions of 20 June 2000 at Santa Maria da Feira will implement the same measures as EU member states.

Under the OECD's initiative on harmful tax competition, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands have all made commitments to exchange of information on request in respect of direct tax matters.

World Economy

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the change in the level of global economic uncertainty since November 2002. [105322]

Ruth Kelly: Updated forecasts for UK and G7 GDP will be presented alongside the Budget statement on 9 April 2003.

31 Mar 2003 : Column 568W

World Trade

Mr. Flight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research was carried out to conclude in the pre-Budget report, Cm 5664, that world trade growth will increase by 5.25 per cent. in 2003 and by 8.75 per cent. in 2004. [105338]

Ruth Kelly: In the pre-Budget report the Government published forecasts of G7 GDP growth, world trade in goods and services and UK export market growth. Updated forecasts, based on all the latest available data, will be published alongside the Budget on 9 April.


Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what measures she is taking to ensure that magistrates receive an appropriate (a) level of training and (b) guidance as to how to handle anti-social behaviour order applications, with particular reference to the standard of proof required. [105370]

Yvette Cooper: The training of magistrates is the responsibility of Magistrates' Courts' Committees (MCCs). The Judicial Studies Board (JSB) advises my right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Chancellor on the policy for, and content of, training for lay magistrates; and on the efficiency and effectiveness with which MCCs deliver such training.

JSB training materials for lay magistrates on anti-social behaviour orders were revised in November 2002 as a result of the legislative changes introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002. These materials were issued to all MCCs and made available on the JSB web site. The training materials contain case studies that offer those using them an opportunity to explore the legal and practical issues arising in dealing with anti-social behaviour order applications including the standard of proof to be applied.

Departmental Catering Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the cost was of (a) the in-house canteen and (b) other catering services provided by the Department in 2002. [104259]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Catering services to meet my Department's requirements are provided through contractual arrangements with specialist suppliers. The term "in-house canteen" is taken to mean facilities provided primarily for use by my Department's staff.

My Department operates one staff canteen in its London headquarters where there is a concentration of staff. The facility is also used by visitors to the building.

Income from sales is used to offset the cost to the Department. However, there is a need for a subsidy, the cost of which was £82,124 in 2002.

My Department also provides catering services for jurors and other members of the public attending court buildings. These facilities are provided at 63 courts in England and Wales. In order to provide a service which supports effectively the business of the courts and

31 Mar 2003 : Column 569W

maintains the segregation and security of the various parties, especially jurors, a subsidy is required. In 2002 the subsidy amounted to £1,237,456.

Departmental Creche Facilities

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what creche facilities are provided by the Lord Chancellor's Department; and at what cost. [104293]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My Department has 45 bought-in nursery places, and during the past year, provided 78 holiday playscheme places. These cost approximately £103,000 during the past year: £94,000 on subsidised nursery places (at a cost of £2,350 per child per annum); and £9,000 on subsidised playscheme places during school holidays (at a cost of £115 per place).

We are currently conducting a review to establish whether other forms of childcare such as vouchers and after-school care could supplement existing provision. Departmental childcare subsidies were reduced to 25 per cent. of the cost in order to assist a greater number of employees with a more flexible childcare package.

The development of a Playscheme Pack1 to support regional holiday playscheme initiatives is already underway.

My Department has participated actively in an inter-departmental Working Party in collaboration with the Daycare Trust to develop a new childcare strategy for Civil Service employees. We are contributing to the development of a toolkit to assist Departments in making a business case for the provision of childcare and the establishment of a central database of information about setting up childcare initiatives.

Departmental Events

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by her Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in the last 12 months, broken down by title, purpose, date and cost. [104285]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Next Section Index Home Page