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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many VAT registration applications were received in each of the last five years; what the average time taken
to process such applications was in each year; what the target time is to process such applications; and how many and what proportion of applications were processed within that target time in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: VAT registration is the entry point to Missing Trader Intra-Community and other fraudwhich reduced VAT receipts by an estimated £2 billion to £3 billion (2005-06). It is right that HM Revenue and Customs take steps to stop those who would abuse the system.
However, HMRC recognise that there has been a problem in recent months with delays in processing the VAT registration applications of genuine businesses. HMRC has put in place plans to improve the processing of registrations and already have additional staff in post and IT investment under way.
|Number of applications received||Average processing time (95 per cent.)( 1)||Target time||How many/what proportion processed within target|
|(1)Average measurement made on basis of 95 per cent. of low risk cases|
(2)Revenue and Customs did not record the average processing times for years 2002-03 to 2005-06.
Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the numbers of families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments by county and country, based on final family circumstances and incomes, for the years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 are available in the HMRC publication Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards. Supplement on Payments. Geographical Analysis, for each relevant year. These publications are available on the HMRC website at:
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was overpaid to recipients of tax credits in Hereford constituency in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the numbers of families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments by constituency and county, based on final family circumstances and incomes, for 2005-06, is available in the HMRC publication "Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards 2005-06. Supplements on Payments in 2005-06. Geographical Analysis", which is available on the HMRC website at:
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in City of York constituency receive (a) child and (b) working tax credit; and what the average value of tax credits to those households was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Jane Kennedy: The average number of households benefiting from either child or working tax credits in 2005-06, or receiving the equivalent support through out-of-work benefits, by constituency, is shown in Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards. 2005-06. Geographical Analyses. This publication also includes average annual entitlement for 2005-06 and is available on the HMRC website at:
The publication referred to shows that there were around 9.5 thousand families benefiting from child and working tax credits in the City Of York constituency in 2005-06. It also shows that the average annual entitlement to these families was £3,086.
|Total number of accidents|
The accident rate for this road between Lewes and Polegate is 24.04 Personal Injury Accidents (PIA) per 100 million vehicle kilometres. The national average figure for this type of road is 24 PIAs per 100 million vehicle kilometres.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department is not aware of any assessment of the environmental impact and noise pollution caused by private aircraft. Propeller driven aircraft weighing under 9,000 kgthe main general aviation aircrafthave to comply with an internationally agreed noise certification standard, unless they were on the UK register prior to 1980. This standard was tightened for aircraft certificated after 1999. We expect aerodromes to set and to enforce appropriate rules to minimise noise nuisance, reflecting local circumstances. Guidance on recommended measures to help reduce the noise related nuisance from light aircraft is available on the Civil Aviation Authoritys website (www.caa.co.uk).
Jim Fitzpatrick: Total UK biofuel sales for the financial year 2005-06 amounted to some 139 million litres, and provisional figures suggest that total UK biofuel sales for the financial year 2006-07 amounted to some 327 million litres. Further details are available via:
Some of these biofuels were produced in the UK from a variety of feedstocks, and some were imported. The Department does not hold precise information on the breakdown between domestically produced and imported biofuels, nor does the Department have a precise forecast for UK biofuel production in 2007-08.
The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, due to be introduced in April 2008, will significantly increase the
demand for biofuels in the UK. A number of major new UK biofuel production facilities are due to come on stream over the next few years to help meet this additional demand. UK biofuel producers will, however, continue to need to compete with overseas producers to supply the UK market.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of her staff took early retirement in the last five years; at what cost; what grades of staff took early retirement; and what percentage of each grade took early retirement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table represents the number of staff exits for the Department for Transport and its agencies broken down by grade and the total cost to the Department for the last five complete financial years. Information relating to percentage of staff who took early retirement broken down by grade can be given only at disproportionate cost.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have placed in the Libraries of the House a list of the provisions in Acts for which the Department for Transport has lead responsibility, which have received Royal Assent since 1 January 1997 and which remain to be brought into force.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have placed in the Libraries of the House a list of the provisions in Acts for which the Department for Transport has lead responsibility, which have received Royal Assent since 1 January 1997 and which have been repealed.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have placed in the Library of the House a list of the criminal offences created by primary legislation which received Royal Assent on or after 1 October 2006 and for which the Department for Transport has lead responsibility. The list includes (a) provisions that reform or modernise existing offences and (b) provisions that confer power to create new offences under secondary legislation.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on overnight accommodation by civil servants within her Department's areas of responsibilities in the last 12 months. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport (central) and four of its agencies spent a combined total of £3,102,287 on overnight accommodation and associated subsistence in the last 12 months. The remaining three agencies do not record overnight accommodation separately from other business travel expenses, and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which her Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
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