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6 Nov 2003 : Column 802Wcontinued
Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of the draft EU constitution on the Treasury's powers to set the fiscal regime for the exploitation of oil and gas reserves from the UK continental shelf. [R] 
Dawn Primarolo: Any changes to the provisions of the existing EU Treaties, including in relation to energy matters, require the unanimous agreement of all member states. The Government have made it clear in their White Paper, "The British Approach to the European Union Inter-governmental Conference 2003", that they will insist that tax matters continue to be decided by unanimity.
Mr. Keith Bradley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates the cost would be in this financial year to the Treasury of exempting the state retirement pension from income tax. 
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much, as a percentage of GDP, has been spent on (a) health, (b) education and (c) defence in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) each other member of the EU in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
|199899 outturn||19992000 outturn||200001||200102||200303|
Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2003 (Cm 5901)
6 Nov 2003 : Column 804W
Mr. Gray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 14 October 2003, Official Report, column 139W, on the Inland Revenue, if he will break down the £1.09 million by size of company from which recovery was made. 
Ruth Kelly: Details of families who have child and working tax credit awards as at quarterly reference dates are published in "Child and Working Tax Credits. Quarterly Statistics". This appears on the Inland Revenue website at: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm
John Barrett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 22 October 2003, Official Report, column 620W, on tax credits, what plans he has to make estimates of take-up of (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit broken down by (i) region, (ii) local authority and (iii) parliamentary constituency. 
Dawn Primarolo: As I announced on 31 October, 5.9 million families are now receiving benefits through new tax credits. Estimating take-up will only be possible when the Family Resources Survey for 200304 becomes available.
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(3) how many people were eligible for an NHS tax credit exemptions certificate in the last year for which figures are available; and how many are still waiting to receive certificates. 
Dawn Primarolo: Claims for tax credits are processed as quickly as possible. Claims for which no further information is required, and which pass the various pre award checks, go through the stages of calculating the award quickly and will normally be in payment within a few days. Once an award has been made, the Inland Revenue identify the families who are entitled to a health costs exemption certificate and send the data to the Prescription Pricing Authority (PPA) to issue the certificates on behalf of the Department of Health. On receipt of the data the PPA processes tax credit exception claims and issues the certificate within 30 days of valid data being received. Data are sent monthly from the IR to the PPA.
Since the new tax credits were introduced in April 2003, the PPA has issued over 1.7 million certificates for tax credit claims. A certificate is issued on an individual basis and a couple would therefore receive one each.
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Mr. Pond [holding answer 3 November 2003]: The Department produces a number of leaflets for people who have been bereaved. Around 1,300,000 copies of these leaflets were printed during 200203. Information on bereavement benefits is also included in general benefit leaflets.
Malcolm Wicks: In the financial year 200102, an estimated 525,000 people were in receipt of occupational pensions in Scotland; this compares with 5,775,000 people in receipt of occupational pensions in the United Kingdom. A higher percentage of the population are in receipt of occupational pensions in Scotland than in the United Kingdom as a whole (9.1 per cent. in Scotland and 8.6 per cent. in the UK as a whole).
|Gross cost||Net cost|
|Estimated gross cost and the cost net of savings on means-tested benefits and increased income tax revenues of introducing age additions to the basic state pension of £10 per week at the age of 75 from April 2004.||2.2||1.4|
|Estimated gross cost and the cost net of savings on means-tested benefits and increased income tax revenues of introducing age additions to the basic state pension of £15 per week at the age of 80 from April 2004.||1.9||1.2|
1. Figures are in 200304 price terms and are rounded to the nearest £100 million.
2. Gross costs are estimated by the Government Actuary's Department.
3. Income-related benefit offsets are calculated using the DWP policy simulation model.
4. Income tax revenue increases calculated by the Inland Revenue using the 200001 Survey of Personal Incomes and April 2003 Budget forecasts.
5. The two options have been costed separately.
6. The age addition increases are assumed to be flat-rate increases and are paid in full to all pensioners of applicable age.
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