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28 Oct 2009 : Column 359W—continued


Insurance: Travel

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the insurance industry on reducing the cost of travel insurance for (a) older people and (b) older people with health problems. [296280]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such representations.

Local Government: Assets

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government’s proposed sale of assets on local government; and what assumptions about the sale of assets held by local authorities will be made to inform the next local government finance settlement. [294888]

Mr. Byrne: The £11 billion of UK local authority asset sales assumed over the period 2011-12 to 2013-14 are based on historic performance by the sector and forecast recovery in prices and transactions following the downturn local authorities remain free to determine which assets they sell and when local government revenue finance settlements beyond 2010-11 will be determined in the normal way at the next spending review.


28 Oct 2009 : Column 360W

Local Government: Bank Services

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what timetable has been established for the repayment to local authorities of monies deposited with Icelandic banks. [296283]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Some local authorities are creditors of the failed Icelandic banks. Those creditors of UK subsidiaries of the failed Icelandic banks will be paid out in accordance with UK insolvency law. We understand that the administrations of Heritable Bank plc and Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander are progressing. However, the timetable for the administration process is a matter for the administrators. Creditors of the banks in Iceland will make recoveries from the winding up of those banks in accordance with Icelandic law. The timetable for creditor payouts is governed by the process that has been adopted in Iceland for those institutions.

Met Office

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 482W, on the Operational Efficiency Programme: Meteorological Office, which further public bodies the Operational Efficiency Programme is consulting as part of the next phase of its review of the Meteorological Office; and if he will make a statement. [295287]

Mr. Byrne: The Operational Efficiency Programme continues to analyse opportunities to work more collaboratively across Government, in preparation for wider consultation. An update on the progress of the review will be provided around the pre-Budget report.

Presbyterian Mutual Society

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) representations and (b) evidence the Prime Minister's working group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society has received in its investigation. [295809]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society has received representations from a range of stakeholders. It is not the Government's practice to disclose details of all such representations.

Revenue and Customs: Manpower

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were employed by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessors in each year since 1997. [295656]

Mr. Timms: The number of staff in HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor departments (HM Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue) for each year since 1997 is shown in the following table.


28 Oct 2009 : Column 361W
Headcount
As at 1 April HMCE Inland Revenue Total

1997

24,509

53,315

77,824

1998

25,115

53,163

78,278

1999

24,019

61,339

85,358

2000

23,036

67,347

90,383

2001

23,387

68,292

91,679

2002

23,073

70,103

93,176

2003

23,364

78,456

101,820

2004

23,859

82,151

106,010

2005

104,674

2006

100,738

2007

96,511

2008

90,961

2009

88,875


Taxation: Self-Assessment

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many attempts made by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessors to collect tax payments outstanding under the self-assessment system resulted in complaints from members of the public in each year since 1997. [295660]

Mr. Timms: HM Revenue and Customs’ central complaints database cannot provide the disaggregated data on complaints raised for this reason.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many attempts have been made by HM Revenue and Customs to collect tax payments outstanding under the self-assessment system in each year since 1997; how many such attempts resulted in the collection of (a) the full and (b) part of the payment outstanding; and how many such attempts did not recover any outstanding payment. [295661]

Mr. Timms: The information is not available. HMRC uses a range of interventions to collect unpaid tax. Successful collectors of debt cannot normally be attributed to one specific action.

VAT

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how long on average it took to complete a registration for value added tax in the latest period for which figures are available. [295860]

Mr. Timms: In 2008-09 the average time taken to complete a registration for VAT was 19.7 days. The figures for recent months are provided in the following table.

Average number of days taken

April 2009

17.7

May 2009

29.0

June 2009

23.0

July 2009

27.7

August 2009

23.1

September 2009

27.1


The difference in average processing times is due to an increase in the number of potential suspect cases which required further risk checks Processing of these
28 Oct 2009 : Column 362W
higher risk cases often takes longer as the necessary checks are made. HM Revenue and Customs remains committed to improving processing times, and is working with professional bodies, agents and other stakeholders to tackle the level of incomplete and/or inaccurate applications.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Wales

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many contracts related to the London 2012 Olympics have been awarded to businesses and organisations in Wales; and what the total value is of those contracts. [291214]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 16 September 2009]: Welsh business is playing a vital role in helping to deliver the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) do not have a central record of supply chain contracts and their value, but they estimate the overall spend in Wales to be in the tens of millions of pounds. Examples include:

In addition the ODA has contracted directly with Welsh companies in a series of small corporate and administrative contracts worth £5,615.

Transport

A14: Road Traffic

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the most recent traffic flow data are for each section of the A14. [296039]

Chris Mole: A table providing the 2008 estimated annual average daily flows (AADFs) for each section of the A14, has been deposited in the Libraries of the House.

These figures give estimates of the number of vehicles travelling along individual sections of road on an average day of the year.

AADF data for individual motorway and TV road links for 1999 to 2008 are available on the Department for Transport website at:

A14: Suffolk

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there have been on the A14 in Suffolk in each year since 1999; and how many of those involved drivers under the age of 21 years in each case. [296040]


28 Oct 2009 : Column 363W

Paul Clark: The information requested is given in the following tables:

Number of reported personal injury road accidents and fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk: 1999 to 2008

(a) Accidents (b) Fatalities

1999

122

8

2000

138

8

2001

138

10

2002

157

5

2003

128

3

2004

143

5

2005

150

4

2006

119

6

2007

126

6

2008

126

0


Number of reported personal injury road accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 and resulting fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk: 1999 to 2008

(a) Accidents (b) Fatalities

1999

21

1

2000

22

0

2001

26

1

2002

27

1

2003

29

0

2004

28

0

2005

28

0

2006

28

0

2007

19

3

2008

30

0


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