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9 Jun 2009 : Column 789W—continued

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her most recent estimate is of the level of benefit fraud. [272476]

Jim Knight: The latest DWP estimates of fraud are contained in the DWP publication “Fraud and Error in the Benefit System October 2007 to September 2008”, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library.

Social Security Benefits: Myasthenia Gravis

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to which benefits those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis are entitled; and if she will make a statement. [278652]

Jonathan Shaw: Myasthenia gravis does not, in its own right, confer or deny entitlement to any benefit. People diagnosed with myasthenia gravis are entitled to the full range of benefits as long as they fulfil that particular benefit’s entitlement conditions.

Unemployed: Social Security Benefits

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to her Department’s press release of 12 January 2009 on guaranteed extra help for people unemployed for six months, how much and what proportion of the £0.5 billion required to fund the package will be provided by her Department. [260066]

Jim Knight: The pre-Budget report made available to DWP an additional £1.3 billion of funding which will ensure that over the next two years, through Jobcentre Plus and our private and voluntary providers, we not only maintain, but increase, the support we offer.

The proposals announced on 12 January 2009 pledged £0.5 billion over two years from April 2009 to guarantee more support to people unemployed for six months or
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more by providing incentives for firms to hire, access to help in setting up a business, extra funding for training and opportunities for work-focused volunteering.

The costs attributable to the elements sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions are estimated at around £400 million over the next two years, with the costs attributable to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills estimated at around £83 million. Of the £400 million, HM Treasury released an additional £295 million and the Department will fund the remainder from efficiencies and the Department’s VAT windfall.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Carlton Gardens

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects negotiations with the Crown Estates Commissioners on his Department's lease on 1 Carlton Gardens to be completed. [278715]

Chris Bryant: We expect negotiations to be completed by December 2009.

Departmental Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have been (i) disciplined and (ii) dismissed for (A) breaches of data protection requirements and (B) inappropriate use of personal or sensitive data in the last 12 months. [278736]

Chris Bryant: Information is a key asset to Government and its correct handling is vital to the delivery of public services and to the integrity of the Government. The Security Policy Framework and the Data Handling Report produced by the Cabinet Office provide a strategic framework for protecting information that Government handle and put in place a set of mandatory measures which Departments must adhere to.

In line with Cabinet Office guidance details are not provided to avoid revealing the identity of individuals and on the grounds of confidentiality.


Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Italian counterpart on when (a) the agenda and (b) supporting papers for the G8 Summit in July 2009 will become available. [278001]

Chris Bryant: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed the agenda for the 2009 G8 summit with Prime Minister Berlusconi during his visit to Rome on 19 February 2009.

The G8 presidency is responsible for hosting and organising preparatory meetings in the lead up to the summit and also the circulation of summit-related papers. In advance of the summit, the Italian presidency has hosted several preparatory meetings, details of which are available at:

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We are not expecting the summit agenda and summit statements to be finalised until nearer the time of the G8 summit.

Middle East: Politics and Government

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 381W, to which organisations in Israel and Palestine his Department has provided support for promoting women's roles in political processes; how much financial support each has received; and what other kinds of support his Department has provided. [275956]

Caroline Flint: In 2008-09, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provided £7,050 for a project implemented by the Itach Maaki, a women's legal rights centre in the Negev.

Between 2005 and 2007, the FCO also spent £329,600 (from the Global Opportunities Fund) on a project run by the Civic Forum Institute to train newly elected women in Palestinian local councils.

Somali: Piracy

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on steps to disrupt and dismantle pirate bases on the Somali coast; and if he will make a statement. [278632]

David Miliband: The UK seeks to deter, disrupt and suppress pirate activity on the high seas through participation in two international counter piracy operations, Operation ATALANTA and Combined Task Force 151. We are also working with international partners through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia on military coordination, with the shipping industry, Somali information strategies, and regional capability development.

It is clear, however, that the solution to Somali piracy lies on land. The UK is engaging with partners to tackle the root causes of piracy, particularly instability and insecurity in Somalia, through the provision of humanitarian, security and development assistance. We will continue to work with regional partners and the wider international community on building regional capabilities to combat effectively all aspects of piracy.

Sri Lanka: Armed Conflict

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the detention of Dr S. T. Rajah, T. Sathiyamoorthy and V. Shanmugarajah in Sri Lanka; and if he will make representations on their detention to his Sri Lankan counterpart. [277486]

David Miliband: We are aware of the reports of the detention of these three doctors and are following their case closely. I discussed this with Foreign Minister Bollegama on 5 June 2009 and our high commissioner to Colombo has made representations to the Sri Lankan Government on their behalf.

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Cabinet: Glasgow

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much expenditure was incurred by his Department in respect of the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009. [278247]

Mr. Straw: I attended the regional Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009. £132—for my return travel by train from Oxenholme Station to Glasgow Central station. There was no further departmental expenditure by the Ministry of Justice in relation to the meeting.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many commonhold residential developments in (a) England and (b) Wales have been recorded by the Land Registry since commonhold ownership was introduced. [278364]

Mr. Wills: Land Registry’s records show that, as of 3 June 2009, there were

Crimes of Violence: Sentencing

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of those offenders sentenced for violence against the person or sexual offences received (a) a custodial sentence and (b) a non-custodial sentence or other disposal in each of the last two years. [278461]

Mr. Straw: The information requested is shown in the following table:

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Number and percentage of offenders sentenced for violence against the person or sexual offences receiving custodial and non-custodial sentences, 2000-07
2008 2007

Offenders Percentage of offenders Offenders Percentage of offenders

Violence against the person

Custodial sentences:

Immediate custody





Suspended sentence





Non-custodial sentences





Total number sentenced





Sexual offences

Custodial sentences:

Immediate custody





Suspended sentence





Non-custodial sentences





Total number sentenced





1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.
2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

These figures can all be found in table 1.2 of Sentencing Statistics 2007 available at the following link:

These data are based on the principal offence. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence it is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed, where the same sentence has been imposed for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

Departmental Data Protection

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many notifications his Department made to the Information Commissioner in the year ended 30 April 2009 in respect of the loss or mishandling of personal information or data; what was notified in each such case; and how many individuals were the subjects of personal information or data in respect of which such notifications were made. [278737]

Mr. Wills: In the year ending 30 April 2009 the Ministry of Justice formally reported two personal data related incidents to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

In each instance the ICO was notified of the circumstances of the incident, the number of people affected, the nature of the data involved and the investigations being undertaken.

The number of individuals potentially affected by the two incidents were 89 and 1,500.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what activities his Department determines fall within the definition of developing policies for the purposes of administering the policy development grant. [278354]

Mr. Wills: Under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), policy development grants are intended to assist registered political parties (i.e. those who have at least two Members of the House of Commons who have made and subscribed the parliamentary oath) with the development of policies for inclusion in any election manifesto for relevant elections. The administration of the policy development grant scheme is a matter for the Electoral Commission, not the Government. The Commission has a duty to
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keep under review the terms of the scheme and make recommendations to the Secretary of State for change as it considers appropriate.

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