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22 Nov 2005 : Column 1907W—continued

Financial Ombudsman Service

Justine Greening: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints were made to the Financial Ombudsman Service in relation to life
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insurance policies in each year between 1997 and 2005; and how many were resolved (a) at the assessment stage, (b) after investigation by an adjudicator and (c) by final decision of an ombudsman in each case. [29874]

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Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 21 November 2005]: The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) gained statutory powers on 1 December 2001. Composite data for life insurance related disputes (incorporating complaints about both whole of life policies and endowments other than those linked to mortgages) are only available from the year ending 31 March 2001.

Also, FOS statistics do not record a distinction between the assessment stage and the initial investigation by an adjudicator.

The percentages for life insurance cases resolved from this date at the assessment and investigation and the ombudsman stages are as follows:
Assessment and investigation
1 April 2001 to 31 March 200289.05
1 April 2002 to 31 March 200390.35
1 April 2003 to 31 March 200493.35
1 April 2004 to 31 March 200591.95
1 April 2001 to 31 March 200210.95
1 April 2002 to 31 March 20039.65
1 April 2003 to 31 March 20046.65
1 April 2004 to 31 March 20058.05

Insurance Premium Tax

Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to combat fraud by insurance companies paying the insurance premium tax. [29815]

John Healey: HM Revenue and Customs continues to develop its risk-based compliance strategy for all taxes to ensure that resource is targeted most effectively at key risk areas.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reform the insurance premium tax. [29820]

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John Healey: The Government keeps all taxes under review.

Low-income Households

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he uses (a) income before housing costs and (b) income after housing costs when calculating the number of children in relative low income households for the purposes of measuring performance against 2004 PSA Target 7. [30058]

Mr. Des Browne: The methodology for measurement of 2004 PSA target 7 is set out in the technical note for the target, published by HM Treasury in July 2004. This is available online at:

Media Relations

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on external media relations in each year since 2001. [29613]

John Healey: HM Treasury has not spent any money on external media relations in the years from 2002–03 through to 2004–05. Due to a change in accounting system, information on spending, if any, on external media relations in earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ministerial Decisions (Dissent)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the instances since 1990 when an accounting officer has passed a Note of Dissent to the Comptroller and Auditor General in respect of a ministerial decision. [28099]

John Healey: The following table lists the ministerial directions that the Treasury has been informed of since 1990.
DepartmentSubject of directionCategory of direction
1990Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD)Sale of British Aerospace (now BAe Systems) Hawk jets to KenyaEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1991Ministry of Defence (MOD)Chieftain Tank replacementEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1991The former Overseas Development Agency (ODA)Pergau Dam projectEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1992MODHMS Endurance replacementEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1992MODClosure of depot at Royal Navy Stores Depot (RNSD) CopenacreEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1992The former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF)Location of Divisional OfficesEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1992MODImage IntensifiersEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1993ECGDGuarantees for Export and Investments in RussiaEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1995MODMedium Support HelicoptersEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1995ECGDECGD support to JordanEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1995The former Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)Re-examination of the wreck of the MV DerbyshireEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1995DETR—the former Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF)Decision on Profit Participation in the passenger rail franchising programmeEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1995DETR-OPRAFDecision on Revenue Risk sharing in the passenger rail franchising programmeEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1997DETRMillennium Exhibition: Expenditure to regenerate the Greenwich Peninsula and to provide a site for the Millennium ExhibitionEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1997DETRChannel Tunnel Rail Link and exceptional hardshipEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1998The former Department of Social Security (DSS)Benefits Agency/Post Office Counters Ltd (BA/POCL) automation projectEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1998DSSBenefits Agency/Post Office Counters Ltd IBA/POCL) automation projectEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1998Northern Ireland Court ServiceConcerns an individual's personnel recordsPropriety/regularity
1998MODSale of Cadet Property in MoffatPropriety/regularity
1998DSSBenefits Integrity ProjectPropriety/regularity
1999DSSBenefits Integrity ProjectPropriety/regularity
1999DSSBenefits Integrity ProjectPropriety/regularity
1999ECGDCashmere ExportersEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
1999ECGDECGD Cover—IndonesiaEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
2000ECGDECGD Cover—RomaniaEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
2000MODUse of public funds to provide financial assistance to meet cost of air flight to Croatia for member of public to attend trial of those accused of murder of his son, a British ServicemanPropriety/regularity
2001MODRoll-on, Roll-off (RoRo) ferriesEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
2001Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)Regional Selective Assistance (RSA)Regularity/propriety
2002DETRA43 Silverstone bypassEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
2003DTIRegional Selective Assistance (RSA)Economy, efficiency and effectiveness
2003MODAcquisition of BAe Hawk trainer aircraftEconomy, efficiency and effectiveness
2005DTIBombardier C-series launch investmentValue for Money

This table consolidates all of the information given by Treasury Ministers in written answers on the subject of ministerial directions since the answer given by former Chief Secretary on 23 October 2000, Official Report, column 74W.

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Ministerial Visit

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1519–1520W, if he will break down the total cost by individual and mode of transport; whether the costs include the costs incurred for the travel arrangements of special advisers; whether (a) his flights from Ramallah to the UK and (b) the subsequent return flight were (i) chartered flights, (ii) RAF flights and (iii) private flights; and if he will make a statement. [31183]

John Healey: I set out the costs in my answer of 17 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1519–1520W. These costs related solely to scheduled flights leaving and returning to Tel Aviv. No costs were incurred by special advisers.

Non-EU Immigration

David Davis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total net immigration from non-EU countries was in each year since 1997. [30795]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell to Mr. David Davis, dated 22 November 2005:

Table 1: Total International Migration(18): time series 1997 to 2003, Net immigration from non-EU2 countries—United Kingdom

All countriesNon-EU countries2, 3

+ denotes a net inflow figure.
- denotes a net outflow figure.
(18) Data for 1997–2003 are based mainly on data from the International Passenger Survey. Includes adjustments for (1) those whose intended length of stay changes so that their migrant status changes; (2) asylum seekers and their dependants not identified by the IPS; and (3) flows between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
(19) Figures for all years show the non-EU as constituted at 1 January 1995. Therefore, up to and including 2003, the non-EU grouping includes the 10 accession countries of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
(20) Includes EU citizens coming in from non-EU countries.

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