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Mrs. Moon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Child Trust Fund vouchers have (a) been issued, (b) been invested and (c) failed to be invested in the Bridgend county borough council area; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is available only at disproportionate cost. UK-wide information on the number of Child Trust Fund vouchers issued and the number of accounts opened are published on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/child_trust_funds/child-trust-funds.htm. The latest set of figures was published on 31 August 2005. Data showing activity to 20 November will be published on the 30 November 2005.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: UK-wide information on the number of Child Trust Fund vouchers issued and the number of accounts opened are published on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/child_trust_funds/child-trust-funds.htm.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total operating expense of the UK civil service was in the last period for which figures are available; how many civil servants are employed in the UK; and what the rates were in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Des Browne: Spending on gross and net controlled administration costs for Whitehall Departments is shown in table 4 of the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper 200405 (Cm 6639) which has been put in the Library of the House.
Data on civil service employment levels can be found in table 1 of the National Statistics quarterly publication Public Sector Employment First Release", published on the ONS website. This publication includes figures since 1997. The latest release can be found at the following web address http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/pse0905.pdf.
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Romford of 14 November 2005, Official Report, column 879W, on economic and monetary union, what the pay grades of the civil servants concerned are; and what estimate he has made of the man hours per week each spends on the work in question. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The UK's net contribution to the EC Budget in 200405 can be found in footnote 1 to Table 2 of the Provisional Expenditure Outturn" White Paper (Cm 6639) published in July 2005. The Government's latest estimates for 200506 and 200607 can be found in Table 3.2 of the European Community Finances" White Paper (Cm 6580) published in June 2005.
28 Nov 2005 : Column 78W
Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how often financial transfers were made from the UK Treasury to contribute to the Government's share of the EU budget in each of the last three years; what mechanisms are used; and what the last sum transferred was. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK, like every other member state, makes two contributions to the EC budget each month. The first of these is made on the first working day of each month and relates to VAT-based and GNI-based contributions and also takes account of the UK abatement. The second payment is made on the first working day after the 19th of each month and relates to traditional own resources (e.g. customs duties). Payments are made direct from the consolidated fund into a European Commission account held in the UK and administered by HM Treasury under Section 2(3) of the European Communities Act 1972. The latest payment was made on 21 November 2005 and was for £153 million.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he has put in place to assess the impact on business and inward investment in the UK of the measures contained in the Finance Act (No. 2) 2005. 
Dawn Primarolo: The measures contained in Finance Act 2005 meet the Government's objectives for a modern and fair tax system which encourages work and saving, keeps pace with developments in business practices and the global economy and provides the foundation for building world-class public services.
Mr. Gordon Brown: Having reviewed the Framework for National Statistics, we will publish plans by early in the New Year to legislate to make the Office for National Statistics independent of government, making the governance and publication of official statistics the responsibility of a wholly separate body at arms length from government and fully independent of it. We propose to legislate for:
Dawn Primarolo: There are long-standing published procedures under which HMRC will give consideration to reimbursing the additional expenses customers incur directly as a result of mistakes and unreasonable delays caused by the Department. These are set out in the code of practice 1 and notice l000, available on the HMRC website.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the inter-generational equity of the current tax and benefits system; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: HM Treasury's long-term public finance report provides an assessment of long-term fiscal sustainability and the inter-generational fairness of current policies. An updated version of the long-term public finance report will be published alongside the pre-Budget report on December 5.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will (a) freeze the bank accounts and (b) seize the assets of members of the Government of the Maldives in response to human rights abuses. 
The Government has no current plans to impose sanctions, such as the freezing of assets and bank accounts, or travel bans against members of the Government of the Maldives. Sanctions are most appropriate where existing efforts at dialogue and co-operation are not able to lever positive progress. We note recent moves from the Government of the Maldives to establish dialogue with all political parties. We look forward to seeing early progress on democratic reform.
We are, however, seriously concerned about the human rights situation in the Maldives. We continue to raise those concerns, including in September when the British High Commissioner in Colombo accredited to the Maldives did so personally with President Gayoom. The High Commissioner and his deputy also separately made representations to the Maldivian Foreign Minister in late October. We will continue to do so.
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