|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2009, Official Report, columns 783-84W, on taxation: corporate hospitality, when his Department plans to publish its guidance on businesses claiming tax back on corporate entertainment in lapdancing clubs referred to by the Minister for Women and Equality in media interviews in September 2009; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent the use of receipts which do not disclose the nature of the entertainment provided in order to reclaim VAT paid on corporate entertainment in lapdancing clubs. 
VAT incurred by business in respect of corporate entertainment is not recoverable regardless of the nature of that entertainment. Guidance on that was published in HMRC Notice 700/65, Business entertainment, available at:
http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=;true&_pageLabel=page VAT_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000092&propertyType= document
Where a business seeks to recover VAT, HMRC insist that a VAT invoice is retained to evidence the tax paid. That invoice must in all circumstances contain a description sufficient to identify the goods and services supplied.
Stephen Pound: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what stage has been reached in the appeal lodged with HM Revenue and Customs by Wikimedia UK in respect of its application for charitable tax status. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date the consultation on draft statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England closed; how many responses to the consultation were received; if he will place in the Library a copy of each response; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The consultation period for the draft statutory allocations guidance closed on 23 October; over 130 responses have been received. A summary of the responses to consultation will be published on the Department's website within three months of the close of consultation. Individual responses will be made available on request, unless respondents have asked that they be treated as confidential.
Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have transferred housing to registered social landlords through large-scale voluntary transfers since 1997; how many dwellings have been so transferred in the period; and how much debt was written off as part of such transfers. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Since 1997 there have been 226 transfers by 140 local authorities with 939,347 dwellings transferred. The amount of debt the Department has paid to the Public Works Loans Boards in respect of completed housing stock transfers to date is £4.124 billion.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many domestic flights within Great Britain officials from his Department made in 2008-09; and at what cost. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many employees of his Department and its predecessors were convicted of an offence of fraud in each of the last 10 years. 
Barbara Follett: Our records, which do not go back further than 2003, show that, since that date two members of staff have committed fraud against the Department. Both were successfully prosecuted. Another member of staff was convicted of a fraud not connected with the Department's business.
The Government do not hold any information pertaining to insurance cover for the activities of housing associations. Social landlords will wish to ensure that they have appropriate arrangements for their circumstances.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 4 June 2009, Official Report, column 678W, on the Housing Corporation: public relations, if he will place in the Library a copy of the article written by the Chairman of the Housing Corporation; and what the nature was of the consultancy work undertaken in respect of transition. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent by the Homes and Communities Agency Academy on (a) developing, (b) publicising and (c) providing continuing support for the foundation degree in sustainable communities offered by Salford University; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey: The development costs associated with the foundation degree in sustainable communities at Salford university are £1,980, covering the costs of the HCA's university adviser. The majority of the publicity has been covered by Salford university through their normal marketing and promotional channels, however the cost of a promotional video associated with Salford university was £1,681. The continued support costs are £5,000 for 2009-10. The total costs are therefore £8,661, which equates to a cost per person to date of £376.57. The foundation degree aims to develop the practical skills and values necessary for success in delivering regeneration and sustainable communities.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on the payment of backdated business rates in ports; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a public house which has diversified to offer (a) post office or banking facilities and (b) limited retail sales, will have the income from such activities taken into account, when the Valuation Office Agency rates the hereditament for the 2010 business rates revaluation; and whether such facilities may act as a material consideration in affecting the rateable value. 
Barbara Follett: The contribution of any ancillary activities to the effective use of a property as measured by the rental market is used as the reference point for the rating assessment. Circumstances will vary, but unless the ancillary activity yields significant potential for additional maintainable trade in its own right, it is unlikely to result in an increased rating assessment on the pub.
The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one business reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. The 2010 revaluation will not raise a single extra penny for Government.
Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation. The Government intend to put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on the minority with bill increases. This is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the 2010 non-domestic rate revaluation is to be revenue-neutral (a) in the first year of operation and (b) over the five-year rating cycle. 
Barbara Follett: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing on 12 March 2009, Official Report, column 752W.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in what ways the Valuation Office Agency's methodology and guidance for valuing car parking spaces has changed since May 1997. 
Barbara Follett: There have been no significant changes since May 1997 in the Valuation Office Agency's methodology and guidance for valuing car spaces, which is set out in Rating Manual Volume 5 Section 200 for Car Parks and in the individual practice note issued for each five yearly revaluation. The methodology has remained one of Rental Comparison by parking space. Current and earlier practice notes can be compared on the Valuation Office Agency's web site at:
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to update Planning Policy Guidance 17, with particular reference to provisions for playing fields. 
Mr. Ian Austin [holding answer 5 November 2009]: As part of the reform of the planning system, we intend to consolidate and streamline planning policy on open space, and sport and recreation (PPG17); biodiversity and geodiversity (PPS9); and landscape and soil (part of PPS7). We aim to consult on our proposals by the end of the year.
Mr. Ian Austin: Planning policy guidance note 17, Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation, states that local planning authorities should undertake rigorous assessments of the needs of their communities for open space. This enables them to set their own open space standards which take into account local circumstances, including the extent of development. It is for local authorities to determine how much open space should be provided as part of a new development, whether in the green belt or elsewhere.
Under our plan-led system, all development in the countryside is strictly controlled, but in green belt there is an additional restraint-the presumption against inappropriate development. This is explained in planning policy guidance note 2, "Green Belts". Only where the harm that inappropriate development may cause to the green belt would be clearly outweighed by other considerations, and where there are very special circumstances to justify the development, should permission be granted by the planning authority.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent
estimate he has made of the number of victims of domestic violence who are in refuge accommodation. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate his Department has made of the average length of (a) social and (b) private domestic tenancies in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Estimates of the median length of time that social and private renters had occupied their current accommodation to date for each of the years 2003-04 to 2007-08 are provided in the following table. These estimates are based on data from the Survey of English Housing. Reliable data on the average length of completed tenancies is not available.
|Median length of rental tenancies to date, England, 2003-04 to 2007-08|
|Social renters||Private renters|
Survey of English Housing
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information his Department holds on the number of social housing tenants in each local authority area who have requested an exchange in the last 12 months. 
There were 14,300 local authority dwellings let through mutual exchanges between 1( )April 2007 and 31 March 2008, reported through the 2007-08 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA). The 2008-09 HSSA will be published on 26 November, 2009. Information on registered social landlord dwellings let through mutual exchanges is not collected centrally.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many social housing tenants left the sector for accommodation in (a) the private rented sector and (b) owner occupancy in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Estimates of the number of social renting households that moved into private renting and owner occupation in each year since 1997 are provided in the following table. These estimates are based on data from the Survey of English Housing.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|