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25 Mar 2008 : Column 38W—continued


Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 27 February 2008, Official Report, column 1638W, on departmental pay, how many civil servants in his Department were in receipt of the (a) normal maximum and (b) high performance maximum in each pay range in each year since 1997. [195904]

Angela Eagle: To provide the information from 1997 to 2006 would be at a disproportionate cost.

The numbers as at 1 November 2007 are in the following table:

Range Staff in receipt of normal maximum Staff in receipt of high performance maximum

B

18

12

C

23

11

D

37

4

E

23

14

B(Nat)

0

1

C(Nat)

1

1

D(Nat)

2

0

E(Nat)

0

1


Departmental Sustainable Development

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department plans to publish its sustainable operations policy statement. [195862]

Angela Eagle: HM Treasury published the sustainable development report and action plan in August 2007. This is updated regularly as appropriate and is available on the HM Treasury website.

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely change in the number of individuals consuming alcohol, and the quantity of alcohol consumed, as a result of the alcohol duties announced in the 2008 Budget; and what effect this had on his revenue assumptions for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [194872]


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Angela Eagle: No estimate has been made of the change in the number of individuals consuming alcohol as a result of the alcohol duty changes announced in the 2008 Budget. The difference against the underlying trend in total pure alcohol consumption in each year is estimated to be (a) 1.6 per cent., (b) 2.6 per cent. and (c) 3.5 per cent. The revenue effects, including behavioural effects, are set out in table 1.2 of the FSBR.

Excise Duties: Fuels

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on the differential between tax rates for petrol and liquefied petroleum gas; and what the duty charged on each fuel was in each of the last five years. [195712]

Angela Eagle: At pre-Budget report 2003 it was announced that the environmental benefits of LPG no longer justified the level of duty differential that it received, and that the Government would gradually increase the duty rate, setting differentials on a path towards a level commensurate with the fuel’s environmental benefits.

Historical LPG duty rates appear in the UK Trade Information hydrocarbon oils bulletin, available at:

The duty rate for LPG was 9p per kilogram from 2001 until December 2006, when it rose to 12.21p per kilogram, as main road fuel duties were increased in line with inflation. It was then increased to 16.49p per kilogram on 1 October 2007, when main road fuel duties rose by 2p per litre.

Consistent with the Government's commitment to give three-year certainty on duty differentials for alternative fuels, Budget 2008 announced that differential tax rate for LPG until 2010. The differential will decrease by 1p per litre when main fuel duty rates change on each of 1 October 2008, 1 April 2009 and 1 April 2010.

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the effect of the postponement of an inflation-linked fuel duty increase on the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus and (c) train in 2008-09; [195921]

(2) if he could estimate what the effect on the real cost of motoring would have been if fuel duty had been increased in line with inflation since 1997. [195922]

Angela Eagle: The Government’s policy is that fuel duty rates should rise each year at least in line with inflation as the UK seeks to reduce polluting emissions and fund public services. It is estimated that, by April 2008, fuel duty will be about the same in real terms as it was in May 1997. Therefore, fuel duty has not made a substantive impact on the real cost of motoring since 1997.

Budget 2008 confirmed that main road fuel duty rates will rise by 1.84p per litre on 1 April 2009 and announced that they will also rise by 0.5p per litre above indexation on 1 April 2010. However, consistent with Government’s stance of maintaining flexibility in responding to short-term economic conditions, Budget 2008 also announced that the planned 2p per litre increase in fuel duty due to take place on 1 April 2008 would be deferred for six months, until October 2008.


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The impact of this deferral on the cost of travelling by private car will vary depending on the fuel efficiency of the car chosen, and the number of miles driven. The Government have not estimated the impact of a postponement of an inflation-linked fuel duty increase on the cost of travelling by bus or train in 2008.

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on carbon dioxide emissions of the postponement of the inflation linked fuel duty increase that had been planned for 1 April; [195931]

(2) what estimate he has made of the revenue forgone arising from the decision to postpone the planned fuel duty increase that had been planned for 1 April. [195932]

Angela Eagle: The Government's policy is that fuel duty rates should rise each year at least in line with inflation as the UK seeks to reduce polluting emissions and fund public services. Budget 2008 therefore confirmed that main road fuel duty rates will rise by 1.84p per litre on 1 April 2009 and announced that they will also rise by 0.5p per litre above indexation on 1 April 2010.

However, consistent with Government's stance of maintaining flexibility in responding to short-term economic conditions, Budget 2008 also announced that the planned 2p per litre increase in fuel duty due to take place on 1 April 2008 would be deferred for six months, until October 2008.

The estimated revenue forgone as a result of this deferral is shown in Table A1 of the Budget document, available on the HM Treasury website.

It is estimated that the three fuel duty increases announced at Budget 2008—for October 2008, April 2009 and April 2010—will lead to a reduction of 0.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2010-11. The deferral of the 2008 increase from April to October is expected to lead to an additional 0.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted in 2008-09, than would have been, had the increase gone ahead in April. However, there is no impact in subsequent years, as the rate returns to the pre-announced levels.

Excise Duties: Motor Vehicles

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider reducing the excise duty on 4x4 vehicles which use biofuels. [196439]

Angela Eagle: The renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) takes effect from April this year. The RTFO will require fuel suppliers to ensure that 2.5 per cent. of all fuel they supply is biofuel. This will increase to 3.75 per cent. in 2009-10 and 5 per cent. in 2010-11. This will ensure that biofuels will account for an increased percentage of fuel used across road transport, including 4x4 vehicles. Therefore, there is not a case for a reduced rate of vehicle excise duty for 4x4 vehicles using biofuels.

Fossil Fuel Levy

Mr. Ingram: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was transferred to the Consolidated Fund from the England and Wales fossil fuel levy in
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(a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2006-07 and (d) 2007-08; and whether such funds were ring-fenced for the purpose of promoting the use of energy from renewable sources. [196214]

Angela Eagle: No amounts have been transferred to the Consolidated Fund from the England and Wales fossil fuel levy since 2004-05.

Income Tax

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total value is of all the tax reliefs and allowances accruing to those with incomes over (a) £50,000, (b) £100,000, (c) £250,000 and (d) £500,000 in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average value of tax reliefs and allowances accruing to persons in those income bands was. [196630]

Jane Kennedy: Information on deductions and reliefs and their mean values for various bands of total income can be found in Table T3.8 ‘Deductions and Reliefs’ on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:

The table is based on the Survey of Personal Incomes of which 2005-06 is the latest year available.

Northern Rock

Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 1431W, on Northern Rock, when he expects the annual report and accounts for 2007 to be published. [191334]

Angela Eagle: Northern Rock operates on an arm’s length basis from Government as a commercial entity. It publishes its audited reports and accounts on a regular basis in accordance with statutory reporting requirements.

The publication of audited reports and accounts for 2007 will take place in due course; exactly when is a matter for the Board of Northern Rock.

Northern Rock: Compensation

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out the basis on which compensation may be paid to those people who were shareholders of Northern Rock before the company was nationalised. [196274]

Angela Eagle: The Chancellor made clear from 21 January onwards that, if temporary public ownership were pursued, any compensation payable would be assessed by an independent valuer on the basis that:

Accordingly, the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008 requires that the assumptions to be made in assessing the amount of any compensation payable in relation to a bank whose shares have been taken into
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public ownership are that all public financial assistance has been withdrawn and none is available in future (apart from the Bank of England's ordinary market assistance, on its usual terms). The Northern Rock plc Compensation Scheme Order 2008 sets out two further valuation assumptions to be made:

Prices: Food

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on domestic inequality of above-inflation rises in prices of necessary goods such as food. [195555]

Angela Eagle: Real household disposable incomes have risen strongly across the income distribution since 1997, and the previously sharp upward trend in inequality has been arrested.

Income growth for low-income households will be boosted in 2008-09 by increases in recent Budgets including increases in the child element of child tax credit and the tax credit income threshold. Low-income pensioner households will benefit from increases in the aged personal allowance and pension credit as well as a one-off payment of £50 to over-60s and £100 to over-80s.

As a result of these measures, households in the poorest fifth of the population will be £160 better off on average in 2008-09, compared with 2007-08, and those with children in the poorest fifth of the population will be £400 better off on average.

Real household disposable incomes are expected to grow by 1.5 per cent. to 2 per cent. in 2008, rising to 2 per cent. to 2.5 per cent. in 2009. The forecast takes full account of inflation overall, including those particular goods and services where price rises are currently stronger than the average. Changes in purchasing power for individual households will depend on individual spending patterns.

Tax Credits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 March 2008, Official Report, column 1017W, on tax credits, what the highest possible income is that a family may receive while being eligible for the child care element of the working tax credit; and what child care costs this would involve. [196593]

Jane Kennedy: The income at which a family with maximum child care costs could benefit from the child care element depends on the number of children and whether the family claims the disability element for any children or adults in the family.

Taxation: Investment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on tax revenue of abolishing the distinction between trading and investment activities of open-ended investment companies. [196275]


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Jane Kennedy: The Government have been considering the issue of the trading and investment boundary as it applies to open-ended investment companies through a joint Investment Management Association, Treasury and HMRC working group to consider the findings of the Investment Management Association/KPMG report on Taxation and the Competitiveness of UK Funds. Discussions are still ongoing. To help clarify the existing boundary, particularly as it applies to derivatives, a statement was issued by HM Revenue and Customs at PBR 2007.

Taxation: Scotland

Mr. Ingram: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs and the Scottish Executive on HM Revenue and Customs' role in the collection of local taxes in Scotland. [196163]

Yvette Cooper: There have been no discussions between the Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the Scottish Executive on an HM Revenue and Customs role in the collection of local taxes in Scotland.

Unemployment: Greater London

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) unemployed and (b) economically inactive (i) women and (ii) men there were in each London borough in each year since 2000. [195848]


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Angela Eagle: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 25 March 2008:


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