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Miss Begg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications for (a) his Department and (b) tax credit claimants who have received overpayments of the Court of Appeal judgment of 13 October 2009 on the recovery of overpayments of social security benefits through the courts where the claimant is not at fault. 
Mr. Timms: I believe the hon. Member is referring to the Court of Appeal case originally bought by the Child Poverty Action Group about whether the Department for Work and Pensions has the power to recover an overpayment under common-law in addition to their powers under section 71 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 1992).
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not enforce recovery of overpayments of child benefit, guardians allowance or the health in pregnancy grant in cases where section 71(1) of the SSAA 1992 is not applicable.
HMRC's powers to recover taxes are statutory. For example, section 28 Tax Credits Act 2002 gives HMRC the power to ask for any overpayment to be repaid. HMRC's policy on how it uses this power is set out in its code of practice 26, available at:
Mark Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on meeting the universal broadband commitment contained within the Digital Britain report. 
Mr. Timms: Since my appointment as Minister of State in August, I have not had discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers about the universal broadband commitment. However, officials from this Department and the Welsh Assembly Government have been working together, along with other nations, on the delivery of the universal service commitment for broadband, and will continue to do so.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress his Department has made since February 2009 in ensuring that payments to sub-contractors of tier one contractors on construction projects funded from the public purse are made within 10 days of receipt of invoice. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department is engaged in a range of activity to ensure (i) payment practices in the construction sector are improved, (ii) public sector contractors are paid on time and (iii) public sector contractors pay their own suppliers on time.
Poor payment practices in the construction industry give rise to substantial additional financing and transaction costs. More importantly certainty over how much and when payment is made builds trust between supply team members and underpins collaborative working to achieve value for money for clients. That is why Government are committed to a 'Fair Payment Charter' in construction contracts which applies equally between the client and lead contractor and throughout the supply chain. To ensure effective and equitable cash flow for all those involved, all contracts will provide for regular payments and have payment periods not exceeding30 days.
In October 2008 the Prime Minister committed all central Government Departments to pay invoices within ten days. We have made good progress and, as of September 2009, 19 out of every 20 invoices are being paid within ten days. Some £59 billion of payments were made within 10 days between June and September 2009.
The Government model contract includes a requirement for contractors to pay their own suppliers within 30 days and all Departments have recently been asked to (i) remind suppliers of their contractual obligations, (ii) undertake compliance checking and (iii) secure supplier support for the Prompt Payment Code.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent assessment is of the effect on the levels of employment in the creative industries of unlawful file sharing; and what assessment he has made of its likely effect in the next three years. 
Mr. Timms: The UK creative industries represent a large and complex part of the economy. The most recent estimates are that it accounts for 6.4 per cent. of GVA. However the sector is made up of over 13 different industries including music, film, and business software, but also sectors such as architecture that are not impacted by file-sharing.
Of those sectors where file-sharing is an issue, there are a range of factors which influence the level of employment and it has not been possible to arrive at any authoritative estimate of the impact that file-sharing has on employment to date or over the next three years.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many flights within Great Britain officials of his Department took in 2008-09; and at what cost to the public purse. 
Number of flights-1,035
Number of flights-152
Figures are for the ex Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) part of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) only. Under a shared service arrangement the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) administers the account on behalf of DIUS to its former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) staff. To isolate the DfES figures would incur disproportionate costs.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 447W, on departmental video conferencing, what the cost was of installing the state-of-the-art video conferencing and telepresence facilities in Kingsgate House. 
(a) Video Conferencing-£286,000 (this included all equipment and links, set up costs and necessary security).
(b) Telepresence Facility-£434,000 (this included all equipment, links, security firewalls and implementation costs.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many students diagnosed with (a) dyslexia, (b) dyspraxia and (c) dyslexia/dyspraxia and who received (i) one to 11 and (ii) 12 or more hours of learning support per academic term were awarded each level of degree qualification in the last five years. 
The numbers of first degree qualifiers who were recorded as having dyslexia in the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record are provided in the table as an alternative. This information is self-reported: therefore a student may choose not to share information about his/her disability.
|UK domicile first degree qualifiers( 1) with dyslexia( 2) by degree classification UK higher education institutions academic years 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Academic year||First class honours||Upper second class honours||Lower second class honours||Third class honours/pass||Unclassified|
|(1) Covers qualifiers from full-time and part-time courses.|
(2) Dyslexia is part of the HESA Student Record field 'Disability' which records the type of disability that a student has, on the basis of the student's own self-assessment.
(3) Figures for 2007/08 refer to the category 'A specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia' in the 'Disability' field and are not directly comparable to previous years
Figures in the table are rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have held with the British Chamber of Commerce on a date for implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive. 
Mr. McFadden: Since October 2008, when the EU Agency Workers Directive was agreed, my officials have met a wide range of organisations to discuss implementation of the Directive. This includes national consultation events held in London and the regions as part of the public consultation exercise held between 8 May and 31 July 2009. Officials have also had a number of bilateral discussions with representatives of organisations representing workers, hirers and agencies, including the British Chambers of Commerce, to explore specific issues arising from the consultation paper in more detail.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of students from Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency awaiting (a) a decision on and (b) payments of their student support for 2009-10. 
1,530 Student Finance applications were received from students in Bexleyheath and Crayford. 120 of these applications have been assessed as ineligible or the application has been withdrawn by the student or an application has been started via the online application process but not completed.
A further 100 applications have been received via the online application process and have been approved, but Student Finance England is awaiting the return of a signed declaration form from these applicants.
Mr. McFadden: The Government make decisions on National Minimum Wage rates based on recommendations from the Low Pay Commission. We have asked the Low Pay Commission to submit their next report by the end of February 2010. We will consider their recommendations carefully once that report has been received.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations his Department has received from UK transport operators on access to the public transport system in France for overseas transport operators. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) receives regular representations from UK transport operators and is in regular contact with such companies regarding opportunities in the French transport sector. UKTI has an international business specialist for rail, seconded from industry, to work on such issues.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make representations to the French Government on access for overseas operators to bid for contracts in the public transport system in France; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: Both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport work with EU partners to maintain and develop an open and fair Single European Market. The Government are working with French authorities on issues of market access and UK Trade and Investment will continue to work with UK companies looking for opportunities in France.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assistance his Department has given to companies in the UK transport sector seeking to win contracts in France. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment works constantly with UK companies in the transport sector seeking to win contracts in France and has held many events to introduce UK suppliers to the French transport sector.
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