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25 Jun 2009 : Column 1062W—continued

EU: Legislation

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of statutory obligations provided for by legislation on matters for which his Department is responsible which were introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the latest period for which figures are available. [281859]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: No such estimate has been made. Figures for the proportion of statutory obligations introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation on matters for which the Treasury are responsible are not available.

Income Tax

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimated additional revenue would be raised in 2010-11 by increasing the higher rate of income tax to 50 per cent. for one year for those with incomes in excess of £60,000 per annum from April 2010. [281528]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 22 June 2009]: The estimated yield from lowering to £60,000 the threshold at which income will be taxed at the additional and dividend additional rates of 50 per cent. and 42.5 per cent. respectively is likely to involve significant behavioural effects. The estimated yield incorporating these behavioural effects can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Members: Correspondence

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Northavon of 25 February 2009 on behalf of Mr. Bracey of Coalpit Heath, acknowledged by his Department with the reference: 1/67931/2009. [273378]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: A reply has been sent to the hon. Member.

Monetary Policy Committee

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether taking up full-time residence in the UK is a condition of the appointment of Adam Posen to the Monetary Policy Committee. [281897]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: As part of the process for appointing members to the Monetary Policy Committee announced by the Chancellor in June 2008, full time residence in the UK is required. This is the basis upon which interviews are held and the basis upon which Dr. Adam Posen will be taking up his position in September 2009.

Revenue and Customs: Maladministration

Mr. Gale: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the error rate in activity dealing with EU claims relating to business and taxation was at HM Revenue and Customs (a) Ty-Glas, (b) Bootle and (c) Nottingham office in the latest period for which figures are available. [277104]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 1 June 2009]: The information requested is not held and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Discrepancies in claims relating to business and taxation can emanate from a wide range of sources.

Revenue and Customs: Manpower

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2009, Official Report, column 444W, on HM Revenue and Customs: manpower, how many grades of officer there are in HM Revenue and Customs. [282153]

Mr. Timms: In HM Revenue and Customs there are nine main grades of officer:


25 Jun 2009 : Column 1063W

The SCS grade can be broken down further:

Swine Flu

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has made an estimate of the effects of swine influenza on inflation in the UK. [280230]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Treasury’s latest assessment of the economy, including inflation, was published in Budget 2009 (HC 407). Estimates of the effects of swine influenza on inflation in the UK are inherently uncertain and would depend crucially on the necessary assumptions employed. However, HM Treasury continues to monitor all relevant factors from a range of sources to inform its assessment of the UK Economy. The effects on inflation from economic and other developments are also closely monitored by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England. The MPC has full operational independence from the Government in deciding how to meet the Government’s inflation target of 2 per cent. on a Consumer Price Index basis.

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the UK economy of the outbreak of swine flu. [282190]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Treasury's latest assessment of the economy was published in Budget 2009 (HC 407). Estimates of the potential cost to the UK economy of an outbreak of swine flu are inherently uncertain and would depend crucially on the necessary assumptions employed. HM Treasury continues to monitor all relevant factors from a range of sources to inform its assessment of the UK economy.

Taxation: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2009, Official Report, columns 444-45W, on taxation: alcoholic drinks, whether he has made an estimate of the revenue that could result from the taxation of expenditure on advertising by businesses producing alcoholic drinks. [282211]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: No estimate has been made of the revenue which could be raised if alcohol advertising were to be subject to taxation.

Taxation: Crown Dependencies

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent progress he has made in negotiations with Crown Dependencies on the establishment of tax information exchange agreements; and if he will make a statement. [281779]


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Mr. Timms: The UK has concluded tax information exchange agreements with the Crown Dependencies. The agreement with the Isle of Man was signed on 29 September 2008, with Guernsey on 20 January 2009 and with Jersey on 10 March 2009.

Valuation Office: Standards

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assistance the Office for Government Commerce has provided to the Valuation Office Agency on Gateway reviews; and what the (a) title of each project is and (b) purpose for which assistance has been provided is. [252431]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Office of Government Commerce has arranged several OGC Gateway‚"Ę reviews for the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) on a number of their projects.

Project name Department /associated body Start of Gateway Gate

Data Collection

HMRC/VOA

24 September 2003

1

Manual Valuations

HMRC/VOA

6 April 2004

1

Manual Valuations

HMRC/VOA

17 October 2005

4

CTR 2007—IT Project

HMRC/VOA

26 April 2005

1

CTR 2007—Enquiries and Appeals

HMRC/VOA

9 May 2005

2


In January 2008 HMRC received delegated authority from the OGC to arrange and carry out Gateway reviews on projects and programmes designated as ‘medium risk’ within HMRC and its associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies. HMRC carried out a Gateway 0 Review of the VOA’s World Class Programme, in October 2008.

The OGC Gateway Process is designed to provide independent assurance to senior responsible owners (SROs) across central civil Government on the health of their programmes and projects. The selection of the Gateway review team is undertaken independently of VOA by the HMRC Gateway team. The review team leader would be from another Government Department and the review team members would be from within HMRC and independent of the VOA project.

The purpose of the individual Gateway reviews detailed above is as follows:

Gate 0: Strategic assessment

Gate 1: Business justification

Gate 2: Delivery strategy


25 Jun 2009 : Column 1065W

Gate 4: Readiness for service

Defence

Armed Forces: Deployment

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel are deployed on operations; and what the location is of each such deployment. [279964]

Bill Rammell: The endorsed force levels for UK military operations are provided in the following table by location.

Location Endorsed n umber( 1) (at 31 May 2009)

Afghanistan

(2)8,300

Iraq

(3)

At sea

(4)1,050

Falklands/South Atlantic

1,500

Qatar

250

Cyprus

300

Kuwait

(5)1,500

Kosovo

<50

Bahrain

(6)150

Oman

150

Bosnia

<50

Other(6)

100

(1) Rounded to 50
(2) On 29 April 2009, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced on 29 April 2009, Official Report, column 869, a temporary increase in troop numbers to 9,000 for Operation Herrick to bolster security during the Afghanistan election period.
(3) On 15 June, the Prime Minister set out for Parliament on 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 21, the current number of UK military personnel in Iraq (around 500) as we draw down our forces after the conclusion of the combat mission and the number we expect to remain in Iraq after the completion of the drawdown by the end of July (up to 100).
(4) Numbers at sea in support of Operations TELIC and CALASH.
(5) Temporary increases in endorsed posts during the period of the Operation TELIC drawdown, these numbers fluctuate daily but will not exceed these levels.
(6) Small scale deployments in support of EU and UN missions, headquarters liaison officers and capacity building activities.

The precise number of personnel in each theatre at any one time fluctuates significantly on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including: mid-tour rest and recuperation; temporary absence for training; evacuation for medical reasons; the roulement of forces; visits; and a range of other factors.

Armed Forces: Pay

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many service personnel have had salary payments reduced or stopped in order to offset overpayments made as a result of errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system since April 2006; [281712]

(2) what steps his Department has taken to eliminate errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system; [281713]

(3) how many service personnel have been overpaid as a result of errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system since 7 April 2006. [281714]


25 Jun 2009 : Column 1066W

Mr. Quentin Davies: The number of service personnel who have had salary payments reduced or stopped in order to offset overpayments made as a result of errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system since April 2006 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Since roll-out in 2006, significant steps have been taken to eliminate errors in the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) (ORACLE) system. To rectify problems identified, 166 fixes to the system have been undertaken, and a further 344 other system changes have been made.

For the number of personnel overpaid during the period April 2006 to September 2006 inclusive, I refer the right hon. and learned Member to the answer given by the previous Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans (Derek Twigg) on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1470W, to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams). Data for October 2006 to December 2006 inclusive are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

For the number of personnel overpaid during the calendar year 2007, 1 refer the right hon. and learned Member to the reply given by my noble Friend, the Minister for International Defence and Security, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, to the noble Lord, Lord Selkirk of Douglas in another place on 21 January 2008 and 5 February 2008, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WA2 and WA163.

Although similarly detailed information about the number of personnel overpaid from January 2008 to date is not held as JPA is now operating a steady state, an audit undertaken during 2008 identified some 5,800 personnel who may have received duplicate, or overlapping payments of Operational Allowance. An enhancement to the JPA (ORACLE) system to prevent a reoccurrence was introduced in July 2008.

Delays or errors in individual payments can also occur as the result of late or incorrect inputs by individuals or unit human resources staff. This information is not held centrally and could be provided at disproportionate cost.


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