Andrew Selous: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will instruct the Highways Agency to make improvements to junction 10a of the M1 to reduce congestion; what assessment he has made of the effect of such congestion on the flow of traffic on the M1; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: Junction 10a is the responsibility of Luton borough council as the Local Highway Authority. Improvement of the junction was not included as a priority in the East of England's February 2009 Regional Funding Allocation advice to Government.
|Route length detrunked|
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic aeroplane since (i) 1980 and (ii) 1997. 
Mr. Khan: Between 1980 and 2009 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 17 per cent., bus and coach fares increased by 54 per cent. and rail fares increased by 50 per cent. in real terms. These figures are based on the transport components of the Retail Prices Index.
Between 1997 and 2009 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 14 per cent., bus and coach fares increased by 24 per cent. and rail fares increased by 13 per cent. in real terms.
The costs of travelling by air are not available from the Retail Prices Index. However, the cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights fell by 35 per cent. between 1997 and 2008, the latest date for which figures are available.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much (a) his Department, (b) the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and (c) other public bodies spent on each category of agricultural research in each of the last 10 years; 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Over the last 10 years research programmes and public funders of agricultural R and D (including DEFRA) have been restructured and comparable data across this period are not available by categories. The following table presents the food and farming R and D funding by the main sponsors (DEFRA, BBSRC and DFID) since 2003-04.
|R&D funding on farming and food per financial year|
DEFRA's research is primarily applied strategic, BBSRC's is primarily fundamental and DFID funds research in and for developing countries.
National statistics on R and D spend are presented per calendar year, and the latest year available is 2007. The following table compares the combined DEFRA, BBSRC and DFID funding on farming and food R and D with total spend on R and D between 2003 and 2008, indicating that Government expenditure in food and farming research has represented on average 1.2 per cent. of total R and D investment.
|Year( 1)||Total Government expenditure on R and D in the UK (£ million)( 2)||Year( 3)||Defra, BBSRC and DFID funding on agricultural R and D (£ million)||Ratio (percentage)|
In 2007-08, over 68 per cent. of public investment on food and farming research and development supported applied (strategic and specific) research (based on the international Frascati coding definitions), with the remainder for basic research.
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA has not carried out a full assessment of return on its investment on agricultural R and D. DEFRA R and D has been commissioned to develop evidence to inform policy development or develop solutions which underpin policy objectives.
In 2006 DEFRA assessed the rationale for investment in animal and plant genetics to underpin breeding. A review of returns on R and D investment(1) was commissioned to inform this assessment, which considered relevant UK studies and their estimates of the rates of return on agricultural R and D. These studies showed a great deal of variance in rates of return, which reflects both the length of time period studied and improvements in the estimation method employed, but the three most recent reported internal rates of return between 22-44 per cent.
Part of the economic benefit of investment in R and D arises from the support of research facilities which maintain strategic capabilities, and this is equally difficult to quantify. An independent report by DTZ consultants in 2008 estimated that the Institute for Animal Health work on bluetongue virus potentially saved the UK economy £485 million and 10,000 jobs in that year(2).
(1) DEFRA (2006). The rationale for DEFRA investment in R and D underpinning the genetic improvement of crops and animals-Project IF0101:
(2) The economic and social impact of the Institute for Animal Health's work on Foot and Mouth Disease:
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. 
Dan Norris: The Department produces statistics each month on the time taken to pay invoices and specifically within the 10 day target. This is reported to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which collects 10 day payment performance data for 22 Departments and shares collated data with key external stakeholders (such as the CBI and IoD).
In December 2009 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs paid 99.92 per cent. of invoices within 10 days. From data held centrally, the performance of Natural England was 100 per cent., Animal Health Agency was 100 per cent. and Marine and Fisheries Agency was 99.62 per cent.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by his Department to pay invoices from (a) small and medium-sized enterprises and (b) all creditors in the last 12 months. 
Ann McKechin: The Prime Minister announced in October 2008 that all central Government Departments will aim to pay invoices within 10 days. The Scotland Office does not differentiate between creditors and endeavours to pay all valid invoices within 10 days of receipt. The Scotland Office have managed to meet this target so far in 99.1 per cent. of cases in 2009-10.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many performance reviews were undertaken in respect of staff of (a) his Department in each of the last five years; in how many cases performance was rated as unsatisfactory or below; how many staff left as a direct result of such a rating; and what percentage of full-time equivalent staff this represented. 
Ann McKechin: All the staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice. The Office follows the relevant performance appraisal schemes for each of those parent bodies, and as such, all staff are subject to annual performance review. Details of the exact number of performance reviews undertaken would be a matter for the parent bodies. No staff are currently subject to poor performance procedures nor have there been any instances in the last five years.
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