Caroline Lucas: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 9 December 2010, Official Report, column 381W, on the Schools Sports Partnerships scheme, how many representations (a) his Office and (b) the Department for Education received. 
The Prime Minister: My Office and the Department for Education have received many representations on this issue. I refer the hon. Lady to the announcement the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has made on Schools Sports today.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what assessment the Regulatory Policy Committee made of the impact assessment on the implementation of the dual discrimination provisions in the Equality Act 2010. 
Lynne Featherstone: The Regulatory Policy Committee has issued its Opinion on the impact assessment for the dual discrimination measure. The Regulatory Policy Committee's Opinions are not currently published, although this policy is under review.
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how many overseas visits she expects (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the Government Equalities Office to have undertaken at the end of 2010-11; and what estimate she has made of the costs under each budget heading of each such visit. 
|Visit n umber||Rail||Air||Hotel|
The Council of Europe meeting on Equality between Women and Men in Strasburg on 8 to 10 December 2010;
The EU Commission High Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming meeting in Budapest on 11 to 12 January 2011; and
The 55th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York on 22 February to 4 March 2011.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Attorney-General what the Serious Fraud Office's policy is on claiming costs in transnational bribery and corruption cases for the purposes of funding further investigations. 
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Attorney-General how many staff employed by the Law Officers' Departments were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
New staff are provided with brief induction training on domestic violence, and are required to undertake pre-course work, including a workbook on the Infonet and e-learning. This is followed by a one-day practical classroom course on domestic violence. Currently there are just over 4,500 prosecutors and caseworkers employed by the CPS, all trained to deal with domestic violence cases.
The Attorney-General: The funding provided to witness care units since financial year 2005-06 is shown in the following table. The funding includes the allocation made from Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) baseline resources, and the net additional funding received externally:
|CPS funding||External funding||Total|
Robert Neill: As the Secretary of State indicated in his departmental press notice of 29 November 2010, the new Administration is committed to celebrating Christmas, including its Christian heritage. We should not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christmas and the importance of the birth of Christ.
Ministers recognise that we live in frugal times due to the need to pay off the significant public deficit and national debt that the Government have inherited from the previous administration. But there is no need to play Scrooge.
In this context, a Christmas tree has been placed in the Department's reception at Eland house which has been provided at no cost to the taxpayer. This is in contrast to the previous cost of £1,037 for a Christmas tree outlined in the parliamentary answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 849W.
Ministers plan to hold one small reception for senior DCLG staff to thank them for their hard work this year. Their work includes the abolition of bureaucratic Comprehensive Area Assessment and other local red tape, stopping the imposition of bin taxes and the unfair ports tax, and laying the ground for radical new powers for local authorities through the Localism Bill. The reception will be held in Eland House. Individual divisions within the Department may hold Christmas lunches paid for by staff.
A Christmas quiz and Christmas fair are being held for staff to raise funds for the Civil Service Benevolent Fund. The fair included Christmas carols sung by the Environment, Transport and Communities choir, ETCetera, and by Westminster Cathedral primary school children.
Last year, the Department spent £2,855 of taxpayers' money on Christmas cards. This year the departmental Christmas card, now with appropriate Christian imagery, has been produced at no cost to the taxpayer and will be sent electronically. Recognising the need to look after the vulnerable at this time of year, we are also supporting the homeless charity Shelter in the card. We will ensure that the right hon. Member is included on the distribution list.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department has allocated for support to victims of domestic violence in each year since 2005. 
Andrew Stunell: The provision of Supporting People housing related support services, including domestic violence provision, is a matter for local authorities to determine based on local needs and priorities. DCLG do not specify what portion of the Supporting People budget should be allocated to individual client groups. However DCLG, collect retrospective annual spend on services for women at risk of domestic violence client group funded from the Supporting People programme. Details of spend are provided in the following table.
|Financial year||SP spend on women at risk of domestic violence (£000)||Total SP spend (£ billion)||Women at risk of domestic violence spend as a % of local SP spend|
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department has allocated for support to victims of domestic violence in each year of the comprehensive spending review period; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: The allocation of funds for domestic violence provision is a matter for local authorities to determine based on local needs and priorities. However, throughout the spending review we have been guided by a commitment to fairness, protecting the most vulnerable people in our society and as far as possible protecting frontline services. We have secured investment of £6.5 billion for the Supporting People programme over the next four years, which equates to an average annual reduction of less than 3% in cash terms. Local areas will continue to take decisions informed by local need in commissioning housing-related support services for victims of domestic violence.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the (a) short-term and (b) long-term effects on levels of homelessness in Easington constituency of his Department's spending reductions. 
Grant Shapps: This Government are committed to preventing homelessness. We have protected Homelessness Grant funding, with £400 million over the spending review period. This will be made available to local authorities and the voluntary sector to support their work to tackle homelessness. We have made an additional £190 million available for discretionary housing payments and other forms of practical support alongside the Government's package of welfare reform measures. We have also minimised reductions to the supporting people programme with £6.5 billion investment secured over the next four years.
It will be for local authorities to determine their spending priorities taking account of local circumstances. The Department for Communities and Local Government has not produced any estimates of the potential impacts of these decisions in the Easington constituency.
I also refer the hon. Member to my letter of 20 October 2010, on the Spending Review's Settlement for Housing, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. It outlines our plans to build more affordable homes and renovate rundown housing stock.
Grant Shapps: Information about local authorities' discharge of their duties under homelessness legislation is collected on quarterly PIE returns. Summary information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library of the House and via the DCLG website:
Data collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available and this information is also collected.
During the July to September quarter 2010, 2,630 households were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty in London. At the end of September 2010, there were 36,960 households in temporary accommodation in London.
Information is also collected on rough sleeping. Since 1998, only councils in areas with a known, or suspected, rough sleeping problem were required to conduct an official rough sleeper count-which meant that only 70 councils submitted information to central Government. Figures published in July 2010 showed that under this previous method, on any given night there were 440 rough sleepers in England. However, when the remaining 256 councils provided estimates of the scale of the problem in their areas, this added a further estimated 807 rough sleepers-taking the national total to 1,247 rough sleepers on any given night, of which 317 were in London.
Under new guidance all councils across England will now provide information on rough sleeping. This move follows consultation with homelessness charities and councils and is aimed at getting a clearer picture of the scale of the problem in each area so more targeted support can be provided to some of the most vulnerable in society.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to alter the definitions of voluntary and involuntary homelessness as part of his proposed changes to housing benefit. 
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanism will be used to calculate the rate at which formula grant is redistributed from local authorities (a) in each region and (b) at each tier to fund the New Homes Bonus. 
Grant Shapps: The spending review has secured almost £1 billion of funding to support the New Homes Bonus and any funding required above that will be top sliced from formula grant. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), announced the Government's formula grant proposals for the next two years on 13 December 2010, Official Report, column 679.
Mr Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to improve the means of redress for park home residents; and if he will make a statement. 
Grant Shapps: I announced on 14 July that, subject to parliamentary approval, I intended to transfer most dispute resolution under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 from county courts to residential property tribunals. This will provide park home residents with a cheaper, quicker and easier means of redress than currently exists through the courts. The transfer will take place next spring.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many houses in multiple occupation were licensed under (a) mandatory, (b) selective and (c) additional licensing in each local authority area in each year since the introduction of licensing. 
Grant Shapps [holding answer 16 December 2010]: The collection of data centrally by DCLG on the register of licensed houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) has been suspended and its continued collection is subject to an internal review of all DCLG statistical data collections as part of the new Government's goal of reducing the burdens of data reporting requirements on local government. On 17 December 2010 DCLG published a first draft of the single local government data list and will engage the sector to identify areas where burdens could be reduced further. Definitive numbers of licensed HMOs are available from the registers held by local authorities.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of implementing local referendums to approve local neighbourhood plans for a parish of (a) 3,000, (b) 5,000 and (c) 10,000 households. 
Greg Clark: We will be publishing an Impact Assessment on our Neighbourhood Plan proposals in due course which will outline how the changes will increase sustainable development and deliver monetised benefits to local authorities and developers.
Grant Shapps: The Growth Fund will not continue into the next spending period, and I refer the right hon. Member to the Local Growth White paper published on 28 October 2010, which sets out a range of policies and incentives to support locally led growth, including eco-development and eco-towns.
I note that the previous Administration cut Growth Fund funding for 2010-11 in a written ministerial statement of 15 December 2009, Official Report, column 94WS, and declined to commit to future funding in an answer given on 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 219W.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many residential premises deemed problematic in each ward of each local authority area were closed in each of the last three years. 
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions his Department has provided embargoed media briefings prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010; in respect of how many such briefings his Department was informed that the embargo had been breached; what steps were taken as a result of each such breach; and on how many occasions his Department has provided media briefings without an embargo prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010. 
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the likely effect on universities in Scotland of the consequences of implementation of (a) the Higher Education (Basic Amount) (England) Regulations 2010 and (b) the Higher Education (Higher Amount) (England) Regulations 2010. 
David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland and I are in regular discussion with a range of organisations, such as Universities Scotland and NUS Scotland, about the effect of Government policy on Scotland.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent estimate she has made of the effect of the increase in the standard rate of value added tax on her Department's annual expenditure. 
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when her Department last published a Welsh language scheme in accordance with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act 1993; and at which web addresses these can be accessed in (a) Welsh and (b) English. 
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Leader of the House how many staff employed by his Office were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the proportion of his Department's aid provided to Afghanistan which has been diverted from its intended purpose in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: DFID aid in Afghanistan is safeguarded as far as possible given the security situation. Money allocated to the Government of Afghanistan is channelled through a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank and monitored by an external agent. It is provided on a reimbursement basis and only released once proof of legitimate expenditure has been provided.
DFID has rigorous systems and procedures in place across all its programmes to ensure effective financial oversight of its funding and to ensure that aid achieves maximum value for money and both reaches and delivers results for its intended recipients. This Government will take the strongest action where such abuse of UK funds is proven. DFID's Counter Fraud Unit takes a robust approach to investigating and pursuing allegations of unintended use.
Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department allocated to the Financial Education Fund in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what plans he has for future funding for financial education and services in developing countries in Africa. 
FEF is using a challenge fund mechanism to test the effectiveness of different approaches to improving consumers' financial capability. Overall, 15 projects are being supported in various African countries including an educational drama programme in Kenya which has so far reached over seven million people, and an initiative for rural young women in Zambia. Over the next year we will evaluate the evidence from FEF, communicate the lessons learned within DFID and to the wider development community and then explore how these results can support further financial education initiatives in developing countries.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the role of, and assistance provided by, his Department to Colombia in ensuring appropriate action against human rights violations. 
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not provide direct assistance to the Government of Colombia. DFID provides assistance through multilaterals and civil society organisations in Colombia. The UK pays particular attention to human rights as part of our bilateral dialogue with the Government of Colombia.
The work of civil society partners is critical for the respect and promotion of human rights across Latin America, particularly in the areas of impunity, land restitution and improved security for human rights defenders. An independent mid-term evaluation of DFID's Latin America Partnership Programme Arrangement in 2010 found examples of:
"effective social mobilisation of groups that have historically been marginalised, of increasing recognition by duty-bearers of the legitimacy of the rights and interests of these groups, and of reforms to policy and legislation that have been made as a result."
Mr Duncan: No member of the Department for International Development's (DFID's) executive management board is based in East Kilbride. Members of the management board visit the DFID office in East Kilbride between once and three times a month and there are frequent video conferences and virtual discussions with staff involving the management board. The most senior member of DFID staff based in East Kilbride is the Director for Value for Money.
Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he considered the relocation of jobs out of London as part of his Department's contribution to the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has two UK headquarters, located in London and East Kilbride. We are transferring 70 posts from our London office to East Kilbride where we have around 500 staff. We will keep under review the potential for further relocations.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff employed by his Department were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development has no London or UK based staff paid at a rate equivalent to or below the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible have taken to comply with the guidance of the Office of Government Commerce on promoting skills through public procurement issued in 2009. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) implemented a change to its invitation to tender processes in 2009 in response to the Office of Government Commerce publication of guidance on promoting skills through public procurement.
Our standard invitation to tender document encourages suppliers to provide training and apprenticeship opportunities in their work force for DFID contracts where it is appropriate to do so, and that they should encourage their sub-contractors to offer such opportunities as appropriate.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the effect of the increase in the standard rate of value added tax on his Department's annual expenditure. 
Mr Duncan: Department spending review settlements are set on a tax-inclusive basis, including the increase to the standard rate of value added tax (VAT). The Department for International Development (DFID) is entitled to reclaim the standard rate of VAT when purchasing a service which is included in the "Contracting Out Direction" issued by HM Treasury. Where DFID is unable to reclaim the VAT this will be borne out of existing budgets.
Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with international organisations on user fees and access to health care services in developing countries. 
Mr O'Brien: The Secretary of State has had discussions with international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about user fees and access to health care services in developing countries. Department for International Development (DFID) officials have been working with all the relevant organisations, including the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, on issues related to user fees and access to health care.
Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department (a) allocated to the Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund in the most recent year for which figures are available and (b) plans to allocate to the fund in each of the next three years. 
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated grants totalling £1,837,080 to the Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund for the period 2009-10 to 2012-13. Funds are released when projects achieve agreed milestones. Projects supported to date include bringing new teas from Rwanda and Kenya, coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a chocolate drink from Sao Tome.
Decisions on future funding to the Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund have not yet been made. DFID is currently reviewing all our aid programmes to ensure UK aid is effective, represents value for money for the UK taxpayer and accelerates growth towards the millennium development goals.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that funds paid to developing nations are spent on the projects to which they have been allocated. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) has rigorous systems and procedures to ensure effective financial oversight of its funding and to ensure that aid reaches and delivers results for its intended recipients. Where funds are paid direct to governments, we protect them from unintended use by: carefully assessing the risks and ensuring that our assessments are checked by external experts; making sure that governments have a credible reform programme to improve their financial management and reporting systems, and providing technical support to help them do so; and using safeguards to prevent misuse of funds, for example, by ensuring procurement is approved by someone outside national systems, conducting audits of particular sectors, and tracking money from the Ministry of Finance to ensure it gets to the right place.
The UK Government have a zero tolerance approach to corruption, and we will take the strongest action where such abuse of funds is proven. DFID's Counter Fraud Unit takes a robust approach to investigating and pursuing allegations of unintended use. For example DFID has suspended funding to the Kenyan Ministry of Education after an audit report into the use and management of education funds in Kenya found that UK aid could not be accounted for. All unaccounted funds identified in this first audit have now been fully recovered.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect of US cotton subsidies on farmers in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr O'Brien: The UK Government have supported significant research into the impacts of cotton subsidies on African farmers, including US cotton subsidies. These subsidies have a significant negative impact on farmers in developing countries and their removal is a key objective of the UK Government.
We will continue to press the US bilaterally on this issue. However, successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will be the key driver of reform. In 2005, WTO members committed to treat cotton subsidies "ambitiously, expeditiously and specifically" within the DDA. The UK is at the forefront of countries pressing for conclusion in 2011.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when his Department last published a Welsh language scheme in accordance with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act 1993; and at which web addresses these can be accessed in (a) Welsh and (b) English. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a Welsh Language Scheme but works in consultation with partner organisations, such as the Welsh Assembly, to provide major policy documents in Welsh as and when required.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department plans to give to Yemen in aid in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and to which projects such aid will be allocated. 
Social Fund for Development
Social Fund for Development-Cash Transfer Programme
Basic Education Development Project
Secondary Education Development and Girls Access Programme
Maternal and Newborn Health
Justice and Policing
Humanitarian Assistance Programme
International Finance Corporation Private Sector Development.
In June 2010 the Secretary of State for International Development commissioned a review of all DFID's bilateral aid programmes. Funding allocation for 2011-12 will be made after the review has concluded early next year.
Mr O'Brien: The UK works closely with partners to continually assess the health situation in Zimbabwe. For example, we support a survey every three months that looks at basic infrastructure, staffing, and stocks of essential drugs and commodities in over 1,000 health facilities across the country.
Health services across Zimbabwe, in both urban and rural areas, are inadequate and the country is seriously off track to meet its health related millennium development goals. This is why supporting improvements in health care delivery is a major focus of our work in the country. In Zimbabwe, the number of mothers dying in childbirth has increased four fold since 1990 and more children are dying before their fifth birthday. Doing even more on maternal and child health is a development priority of the coalition Government.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking in support of the human rights of Christians who have been imprisoned, tortured or persecuted as a consequence of seeking to practise their faith in Afghanistan. 
Alistair Burt: Working with the international community, we continue to monitor the situation of Christians in Afghanistan and to remind the Afghan Government of its duty to abide by its national and international commitments on freedom of religion and belief.
Alistair Burt: Corruption remains a serious concern for the Afghan Government, Afghan citizens and the international community. It hampers socio-economic development and undermines the legitimacy of the Afghan Government and their ability to deliver services to the Afghan people.
Since 2008, the Afghan Government have committed to a number of steps to tackle corruption and build independent institutions to monitor and drive progress in this area. We and our international partners have welcomed these commitments. Progress to date has been slower than we would like with only partial implementation in some areas. We continue to press the Afghan Government to intensify their efforts. We also continue to provide practical support on anti-corruption.
Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to prevent (a) forced marriage, (b) enslavement and (c) violence against women in Afghanistan. 
The UK's national action plan on women, peace and security which identifies how UK defence, diplomacy and development work can empower and protect women
in conflict situations includes a specific section on our efforts in Afghanistan. One of our objectives is to strengthen and protect women's rights and to promote access to effective remedy of violations of these rights.
Mr Jeremy Browne: Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest was long overdue and warmly welcomed by the Government. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke to her on 15 November and assured her of the Government's support. Our ambassador to Rangoon has met her frequently in the month since her release, most recently on 15 December. The Government condemn attempts by the military regime to force the dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The huge number of Burmese people who greeted Aung San Suu Kyi's release on the streets of Rangoon demonstrate that the NLD continue to have widespread popular appeal. The Government urge the military regime to work with all democratic and ethnic groups towards achieving national reconciliation.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to press the Government of Burma to grant political freedoms to Burmese citizens. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government remain deeply concerned about the actions of the military regime which continues to deny fundamental freedoms to the people of Burma. The UK played a leading role at the Asia-Europe summit in May, where the EU pressed the Burmese Foreign Minister to respect human rights. These issues have also been raised with Burma's regional neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's visits to India and China and in human rights bodies including most recently the UN General Assembly, where the EU secured a strongly-worded resolution which catalogued the continuing human rights abuses in Burma.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans his Department has to (a) host Christmas parties and (b) purchase Christmas trees and decorations; and what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on such activities in 2010-11. 
Alistair Burt: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be hosting a Christmas reception for diplomatic, parliamentary, media and other contacts. This event replaces two events held previously. This year we expect the cost of the event will be £9,823. Last year the cost was more than £16,000.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not purchased any Christmas trees or decorations in 2010-11. Three Christmas trees have been donated to the office by Facilities Management Client Unit (FMCU) contractors (Compass, Interserve and G4S).
The Foreign and Commonwealth office will be holding a Christmas party for staff who will have to purchase tickets to attend. £3,600 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office budget has been allocated for the party. This will meet various set-up costs (such as hire of tables and chairs and a public address system). Ticket sales will meet the costs of food and drink. Public funds will not be used to fund the purchase of food or drink.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make arrangements to discuss with Parliamentarians the development of his Department's Building Stability Overseas strategy. 
Mr Bellingham: Following the commitment made in Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the Government will publish a Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS) by spring 2011. The National Security Strategy (NSS) makes clear our commitment to a dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders to build a shared understanding of the security challenges we face and what we are doing and need to do to tackle them. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Department are currently planning detailed consultations, to be held early in the new year to ensure that the Building Stability Overseas Strategy is developed with key partners, including parliamentarians.
Mr Lidington: The Government are aware of the strength of feeling in the UK about the killing of pilot whales (a term which also includes Calderon dolphins) in the Faroe Islands. Our position on the hunting of cetaceans (marine mammals) is clear in that we support the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling and oppose all forms of cetacean hunts, other than limited whaling operations by indigenous people for subsistence purposes.
I have not yet had any contact with my Danish counterparts on this issue. However, we raise the issue of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands with Denmark on a regular basis at official level. This was discussed at the annual meeting of the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas in October, at which Denmark was represented. At this meeting, the UK raised concerns over the increasing frequency and diversity of these hunts.
We will continue to make our opposition to whaling known to Denmark at every appropriate opportunity. We will argue that the actions of the Faroe Islands undermine the credibility of the IWC as an effective organisation for the conservation of cetaceans worldwide.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what expenditure his Department incurred on the employment of (a) historians and (b) librarians in each of the last 13 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not maintain a central record of the expenditure on previous historian and librarian staff and it would incur disproportionate cost to establish such historical expenditure for each of the last 13 years from relevant staff file records.
The FCO currently employs a historians team of seven full-time staff (including two members of staff on secondment from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Archives) and three part-time staff, at a total average salary cost in 2010-11 of £324,309. An e-library service has been provided to staff since the closure of the FCO library in March 2008. Three full-time staff are currently employed to support the e-library service, at a total average salary cost in 2010-11 of £94,058.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements are in place for his Department's officials to access his Department's historical records; in what format such records are made available to his Department's staff; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) selects and transfers records to The National Archives (TNA) after 30 years. Some records are retained in the FCO archive (under the provisions of the Public Records Act) and others are held closed at TNA (under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act).
Arrangements are in place with the TNA whereby the FCO can order back any material required by FCO officials, both closed and open records. Retained records are also available for FCO officials whenever required.
Any records currently requested from TNA will be in paper format as the FCO has not yet transferred any electronic records. This also applies to FCO records which are currently retained by the Department.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what analysis was undertaken of the merits of his Department's historical library prior to the decision to close it. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)'s historical library collection was transferred to Kings College London in 2007 following an internal review conducted in 2003, the establishment of an Advisory Committee in 2006 which oversaw a tender exercise to assess the merits of the bids received, and the laying of a Departmental Minute before both Houses of Parliament regarding the "gift" of the FCO historical collection to Kings College London. The FCO and King's College London set up a limited company-in effect a charitable trust-to hold title to the collection. The decision to close the physical library was taken in 2007 following a review conducted by external consultants. Consequently the remaining 20,000 volumes in the physical library were transferred to Kings College London and the
physical library closed in March 2008. The FCO is confident that Kings College London is proving to be an excellent custodian of the historical library especially as it is now the most heavily used of King's special collections and has never before been made accessible to the public.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK-based staff employed by his Department were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to which local newspapers his Department had a subscription between June 2007 and May 2010; on what date each such subscription started; and what the cost to the public purse was of such subscriptions. 
Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible spent on press cuttings services in each of the last 12 months. 
|£ (Excluding VAT)|
The FCO is also obliged to purchase an annual licence fee from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) in order to deliver electronic press cuttings. In 2010-11, this cost £70,755 (excluding VAT). The FCO does not pay for this by month but makes an annual payment each year, which runs from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2010. Prior to 2007, the FCO had a paper cuttings service. When we moved to the more environmentally friendly digital service, the NLA increased its fee as the digital information can now be provided across the whole of the FCO's worldwide network rather than just in the UK.
For the period 1 November 2009 to 31 October 2010, the British Council spent £17,251 (excluding VAT) on NLA payments. The FCO's other non-departmental public bodies did not spend anything on press cutting services during this period.
|Press cutting services||Newspaper Licensing Agency|
We cannot separate costs prior to 2004 without incurring disproportionate costs. The FCO is also obliged to purchase an annual licence fee from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) in order to deliver electronic press cuttings. Prior to 2007, the FCO had a paper cuttings service. When we moved to the more environmentally friendly digital service, the NLA increased its fee as the digital information can now be provided across the whole of the FCO's worldwide network rather than just in the UK.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible have taken to comply with the Guidance of the Office of Government Commerce on promoting skills through public procurement issued in 2009. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) incorporated the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) guidance document 'Promoting Skills through Public Procurement' into its Procurement Guidance and uses FCO UK-based construction procurement to promote the use of apprentices as part of supplier work forces.
FCO Services, a trading fund of the FCO, also supports the OGC guidance. The nature of the work means that fully qualified staff are sent to locations overseas which limits the scope for suppliers' apprentices. However, FCO Services, as a supplier of the FCO currently has 40 apprentices.
Wilton Park and non-departmental public bodies such as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Great Britain China Centre are small organisations who do not undertake procurement of this nature. The British Council follows the guidance but rarely enters into construction contracts in the UK.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many EU directives are pending transposition into domestic legislation by his Department; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such transposition. 
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on progress on exploration of oil and gas reserves in Falkland Islands territorial waters; and what assessment he has made of any likely date for commencement of commercial exploitation. 
Mr Jeremy Browne:
Hydrocarbons exploration resumed in Falkland Islands waters in February 2010. Five wells have so far been drilled. Rockhopper Exploration announced an oil discovery in their Sea Lion prospect
in the North Falklands Basin on 6 May 2010. However, thus far, no companies have announced hydrocarbons finds in commercially viable quantities. We will need to wait for the results of the continuing exploration before we can make any assessment about long-term prospects for the industry.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to enable UK honours to be awarded in recognition of voluntary work in the local community to non-British or Commonwealth citizens who are resident in the UK. 
Mr Bellingham: Substantive UK honours can be awarded to citizens of countries where Her Majesty The Queen is Head of State (UK Realms). Dual nationals (one of which is the UK) resident in the UK are eligible for substantive awards.
Non-British and non-Realm Commonwealth nationals are eligible for honorary awards. Clearance has to be sought from the respective foreign government before an award is made. Honorary awards are not included in the birthday and new year honours lists but are published on the Foreign and Commonwealth website as and when they are awarded.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he expects the former inhabitants of the Chagos Islands to settle permanently in the British Indian Overseas Territory. 
Mr Bellingham: The Government are continuing to defend the claims for resettlement and further compensation which the Chagos Islanders have brought to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This is because we believe the arguments against allowing resettlement on the grounds of feasibility and defence security are clear and compelling. Nor do we see the case for compensation as this has already been paid in full and final settlement of all claims. Both of these issues have already been decided by the UK courts.
Alistair Burt: I am aware of the case of Jinous Sobhani, reportedly sentenced to two years' imprisonment in Iran. I have not received any recent reports from the Iranian authorities on her case, but have asked my officials to investigate her situation. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have repeatedly expressed our concern at the human rights situation in Iran. Last week, our ambassador in Tehran raised our concerns about the fate of human rights defenders directly with the Iranian authorities.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the imprisonment of (a) Haleh Rouhi, (b) Sasan Taqva and (c) Raha Sabet in Iran. 
Alistair Burt: I am aware of reports that Haleh Rouhi, Sasan Taqva and Raha Sabet, three Baha'is, have been detained in Shiraz in Iran. I have not received any recent report from the Iranian authorities on their cases, but have asked my officials to investigate their situation. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have repeatedly expressed our concern at the situation of the Baha'i community in Iran, and urged the Government of Iran to cease all harassment of all religious groups.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Iranian government on the imprisonment of the Baha'i leaders Mrs Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr Afif Naimi, Mr Saeid Rezaie, Mrs Mahvash Sabet, Mr Behrouz Tavakkoli and Mr Vahid Tizfahm. 
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Iran on the imprisonment in Iran of leaders of the Baha'i faith. 
Alistair Burt: I remain deeply concerned about the ongoing detention of seven leaders of the Baha'i faith in Iran. I raised their cases with the Iranian ambassador in London immediately following their sentencing to 20 years in prison in August. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary also highlighted their plight in a statement, expressing our concerns about the serious flaws in due process in this case and describing the sentence as unacceptable. I highlighted our concerns again in a statement in November. We continue to call on the Government of Iran to urgently review their case, and to ensure that no-one in Iran faces imprisonment simply for practising their faith.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Iranian Government on the stoning for adultery of (a) Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and (b) other women. 
Alistair Burt: I have repeatedly raised the plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani with the Iranian authorities, as have my officials in Tehran and London. We have expressed our concern at the serious flaws in her case, including lack of proper legal representation, the use of televised confessions and lack of transparency in the legal process. We have also expressed our complete opposition to the implementation of the death penalty in any form and in any circumstances, and in particular to the horrific punishment of stoning. We continue to urge the Iranian authorities to ensure her case is properly conducted in line with due process, and that the death penalty is not applied in any form.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of the level of (a) military and (b) nuclear co-operation between Iran and North Korea; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: The UK remains deeply concerned by both Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programmes. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) network of proliferation activities, including to countries such as Iran, are a threat to regional and international security. The UN Panel of Experts to the 1718 Sanctions Committee published a midterm report in November 2010, which indicated that Iran and the DPRK were co-operating in the development of ballistic missiles.
We strongly support the tough sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, which are designed to curb the range of weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms related proliferation activities undertaken by the DPRK. UN Security Council Resolution 1929 also requires countries to take steps to ensure that shipments of weapons and proliferation sensitive goods en route to Iran are stopped. We continue to work closely with international partners to ensure that these measures are robustly implemented.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take in the next two years to ensure that shipments of illegal weapons do not reach Iran; what discussions he has had with his UN counterparts on such issues; what has been the outcome of such discussions; and if he will make a statement; 
Alistair Burt: The UK was a key player in securing UN Security Council Resolution 1929 in June 2010 which imposed strong sanctions on Iran. These include the requirement for all states to ensure that shipments of weapons and proliferation sensitive goods to Iran are stopped. We are committed to implementing these sanctions robustly and are working closely with our international partners and through the 1737 Sanctions Committee to this end:
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received from the International Atomic Energy Agency on any development of atomic weapons by Iran; what discussions he had at the United Nations on this issue since September 2010; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
The most recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General was issued on 23 November 2010. The report sets out the key concerns of the IAEA about Iran's nuclear intentions and reiterates that there has been no Iranian co-operation
with the IAEA on "possible military dimensions" to Iran's programme since August 2008. The agency makes clear that it
'remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear related activities, involving military related organizations, including activities relating to the development of a payload for a missile.'
Alistair Burt: We have received reports from the United Nations and the Government of Iraq on the situation in Camp Ashraf in recent weeks. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq have reported that the Iraqi Government have refused to allow some items such as stationery, beds and bicycles into the camp. However the Iraqi army, present inside the camp, have told us that food, water and medical supplies have been allowed to enter. Within the camp there is a hospital to which the residents have access.
The Iraqi Government have given assurances to us that no Ashraf residents will be forcibly transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution, or where substantial grounds exist to believe they would be tortured.
Alistair Burt: The political situation in Iraq has been largely uncertain since the March 2010 elections. However, the appointments on 11 November 2010 of the Speaker of the Council of Representatives Usama al Nujaifi, President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki constitute an important step towards stability. President Talabani has formally invited Prime Minister Maliki to form a Government. We have urged the Iraqis to complete this process swiftly and focus its attention on the multiple challenges facing Iraq, including the security situation.
The security situation in Iraq remains a concern. But despite continued terrorist attacks, it is important not to lose sight of the progress that Iraq has made. There remain those opposed to progress and intent on stirring up sectarian tension, but the March 2010 elections and the recent progress towards Government formation have demonstrated the determination of the Iraqi people to follow the path of dialogue and democracy over violence and destruction.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects on regional peace and stability of the recent election dispute in Ivory Coast. 
Mr Bellingham: As well as our concern for the internal stability of Cote d'Ivoire as a result of the current political crisis, there are risks to the wider region. There are large communities of Burkinabe and Malian nationals living in Cote d'Ivoire. There is a possibility that there would be a large flow of refugees to those countries should the current situation in Cote d'Ivoire deteriorate into widespread conflict. The Liberian authorities have also expressed concern that former rebels might seek to become involved in the situation in Cote d'Ivoire. The British Government will continue to stay in close touch with the governments of the region as well as the Economic Community of West African States to monitor regional concerns.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of (a) the security situation in southern Lebanon and (b) the role of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in maintaining peace and security in Southern Lebanon. 
Alistair Burt: The situation in southern Lebanon remains calm since the border clash on 3 August. We continue to call on all parties to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1701, which calls for full respect by Israel for Lebanon's territorial integrity, and the disarmament of Hezbollah and other militias. We continue to work with Lebanon, regional and international partners to see UNSCR 1701 implemented.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) continues to play a critical role in contributing to the peace and stability in southern Lebanon, as demonstrated by their actions to prevent the border clashes between the Lebanese armed forces and Israeli defence forces on 3 August 2010 from escalating.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken with his international counterparts to encourage Hamas to (a) accept the Quartet Principles and (b) join the peace negotiation process; what response he has received to such steps from Hamas; and if he will make a statement. 
Hamas' ideology of violence directly undermines prospects for peace in the region. We will continue to call on Hamas, with international partners, to take immediate and concrete steps towards the Quartet principles and to release Gilad Shalit unconditionally.
Mr Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the status of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions of Agdam, Kelbecer, Qubadli, Fizuli, Cerbrayil, Zengilan and Lacin; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: The UK does not recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state. The future status of Nagorno-Karabakh and the security of the seven named regions are vital questions that Armenia and Azerbaijan must address as part of finding a peaceful settlement to this conflict. The UK continues to encourage both parties to make the necessary political compromises in order to achieve this. The UK further supports the efforts of the Minsk Group to deliver such a settlement on the basis of international norms and principles.
Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Ministers of his Department have visited the North East since their appointment; and what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each such visit. 
Alistair Burt: The UK Permanent Representative to the EU is an established member of HM Diplomatic Service and, as such, has a permanent contract of employment with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The current Permanent Representative's posting is scheduled to last for four years from 2007. But a number of factors, such as the need to ensure continuity and the availability of any replacement, could affect the exact timing of their departure.
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what his Department's capital expenditure per head was in (a) London and (b) the North West in each of the last five years; 
The vast majority of capital expenditure by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) occurs outside the United Kingdom in order to support our
global network of more than 250 posts overseas. These funds help ensure that our staff operate effectively and safely around the world.
According to the methodology used in that paper (which allocates departmental spending to regions based on who benefits from that spending, rather than where the spending takes place), per capita capital spending by the wider FCO family, including the BBC World Service but excluding the British Council in the financial years 2005-06 to 2009-10 was calculated as £0.10, £0.09, £0.11, £0.05, and £0.06 in both London and the north-west.
On the same basis, the proportion of overall capital FCO spend in London in the financial years 2005-06 to 2009-10 was successively 0.5%, 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.2%, and 0.2%. In the north-west, it was 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.4%, 0.2% and 0.2%.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of (a) levels of (i) press freedom and (ii) freedom of association and (b) observance of the right of assembly in the Russian Federation. 
Mr Lidington: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed these issues with civil society groups during his visit to Moscow in October 2010. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to monitor these issues closely.
Mr Lidington: During his visit to Moscow in October 2010 my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed human rights issues with Russian non-governmental organisations and the Russian Government. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office assesses the human rights situation in the Russian Federation on an ongoing basis. Our view remains as set out in the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State on 19 July 2010, Official Report, column 62W, to the hon. Member for Ilford South (Mike Gapes).
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of the Russian Federation on the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. 
Mr Lidington: The Government are closely watching developments in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, and have noted the decision of the court to postpone the opening of the verdict reading until 27 December 2010. It is not for the Government to comment on ongoing judicial processes. However, we have consistently stressed to the Russian authorities the importance of fair and impartial trials, including through the EU and during our annual bilateral human rights dialogue.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) UK-based and (b) locally-employed staff his Department employs in its embassy in (i) Lima, (ii) Bogota, (iii) Buenos Aires, (iv) Santiago de Chile, (v) La Paz, (vi) Mexico City and (vii) Caracas. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office employs approximately 45 staff in the British embassy in Lima, 80 staff in the British embassy in Bogota, 65 staff in the British embassy in Buenos Aires, 55 staff in the British embassy in Santiago, 25 staff in the British embassy in La Paz, 110 staff in the British embassy in Mexico City and 50 staff in the British embassy in Caracas. These figures include UK-based civil servants and locally employed staff. For operational and security reasons, we cannot provide a more detailed breakdown.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of recent reports that the Sri Lankan government has considered banning the Tamil version of that country's national anthem. 
Alistair Burt: The Sri Lankan Government has announced that it would adhere to the constitutional status of the national anthem. According to the Sri Lankan constitution; the national anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be "Sri Lanka Matha". This is the Sinhalese version. It is unclear how this affects the Tamil version.
We regularly talk to the Sri Lankan Government on minority issues and the necessity to protect the rights of the minorities. We continue to urge them to take forward national reconciliation through a fully inclusive political process that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict.
Alistair Burt: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice (Nick Herbert) gave him on 13 December 2010, Official Report, column 547W.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had on ensuring a peaceful referendum in South Sudan and Abyei in January 2011. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary led discussions on Sudan at a special session of the United Nations Security Council on 16 November 2010. He also participated in a discussion of Sudan at the European Foreign Affairs Council on 13 December 2010. He has raised the issue of Sudan with other international and regional contacts. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Vice President Taha on 13 December 2010. I spoke to Vice President Kiir on 5 December 2010.
In all these discussions, we have stressed the need for the Southern Referendum to go ahead as scheduled on 9 January 2011 and our long-term commitment to stability and security in both Northern and Southern Sudan, whatever its outcome. We support the work of Thabo Mbeki as he hosts talks between North and South under African Union/United Nations auspices to discuss the Abyei region and wider Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the security situation in southern Sudan in advance of the planned referendum in January 2011. 
Mr Bellingham: The security situation in Sudan is of serious concern, particularly along the north/south border. The Sudanese armed forces have targeted the Darfuri rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, across the border in Southern Sudan. Tensions are particularly high in Abyei. The situation in Darfur also remains tense, making humanitarian access difficult. We call on all parties to refrain from violence.
Mr Lidington: Turkey has made good progress this year on its accession process, with the September constitutional reform package addressing a number of accession priorities. The General Affairs Council on 14 December welcomed Turkey's continued commitment to the negotiation process and the political reform agenda. Turkey has opened 13 of the 35 accession chapters and has provisionally closed one chapter. Turkey faces challenges to its accession process as a result of its failure to open its ports to Cyprus and in the context of the wider Cyprus problem.
Mr Bellingham: Our high commission in Kampala have taken every appropriate opportunity to engage the Ugandan Government, including the Prime Minister and other Ministers, on this issue and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Uganda more generally. We also supported a formal démarche by EU member states to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, and are continuing to raise our concerns with the Ugandan authorities.
The British Government are opposed to any actions that have a negative impact on the human rights of Ugandans. This includes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, tabled by a private Member, which would further criminalise homosexuality if passed into law.
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of revenue which would accrue to the Exchequer as a result of setting the bank balance sheet levy applicable to assets over £20 billion at 0.075% in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14, (e) 2014-15 and (f) 2015-16. 
Mr Gauke: Setting the rate of the Bank Levy at 0.075% from 2011 onwards produces estimated yields of £1.9 billion for 2011-12 and £2.5 billion for 2012-13. These estimates are made on the same basis as the updated costings published in the Tax Information and Impacts Note (TIIN) and are not certified by the Office for Budget Responsibility. These estimates have not taken account of any behavioural effect which might result from such a change to the rate. The yield figures for 2013-14 onwards are the same as those published in the TIIN.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the merits of changing the methodology for the calculation of the consumer price index to take account of changes in the level of (a) owner-occupied housing costs, (b) council tax, (c) the television licence fee and (d) motor vehicle excise duty. 
The coverage and classification of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are based on the international classification system for household consumption expenditures, which recommends certain transactions such as taxes, other transfers, or capital and financial transactions should be excluded from the
CPI index. The exclusions include council tax, vehicle excise duty and television licence fees. More information on the CPI is available at:
For owner-occupied housing costs, the Chancellor has asked the Governor of the Bank of England for his views on how the process to include housing costs into the CPI can be accelerated. The independent Office for National Statistics (ONS), along with the national statistical offices of other European member states are working with the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), to assess the most appropriate approach for including an index of owner-occupier housing costs in the CPI in the future. Alongside this international agenda the CPI Advisory Committee, which is considering the issue of housing costs in the CPI, recommended to the UK Statistics Authority in its annual report on 3 November that ONS should develop housing cost indices using the net acquisitions and rental equivalence approaches.
Mike Freer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on corporation tax receipts of the removal of the salary sacrifice concession for travel and subsistence from assessments of business compliance with the national minimum wage. 
All who provide debt management services are required to be licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Where the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has evidence of unfair practices, action can be taken to refuse or revoke or place conditions on the consumer credit licence of those concerned.
Following a review of compliance with its Debt Management Guidance, in September 2010 the OFT warned 129 debt management firms about identified non-compliant business practices. The firms were instructed to produce independently audited evidence confirming action that they have taken to address the identified areas of non compliance by the middle of December, and of the 129 firms, approximately 32 have indicated that they will surrender their licences, 87 firms have agreed to comply and the OFT have initiated revocation action against 10 traders, but these figures may well change.
All who provide debt advisory services are required to be licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The OFT's Debt Management Guidance (which was issued in 2001 and updated in September 2008) sets out minimum standards for debt management companies in the marketing of their services, pre-contract contact, the prevision of pre-contract information, contract terms, advice and the nature of the debt management service provided. Work to update the guidance to make sure the guidance addresses new developments in the market is underway and will be the subject of a public consultation in early 2011.
Following a review of compliance with its debt management guidance significant action was taken by the OFT in September 2010 to warn 129 debt management firms about identified non-compliant business practices, including the provision of poor quality debt advice and information.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what quality standards his Department has established for the debt management industry to ensure that advice offered to prospective consumers of debt management services is in their best interests. 
All who provide debt management services are required to be licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has a duty to ensure that applicants for licences are fit to engage in the activities for which they wish to be licensed, and to monitor the continuing fitness of those to whom licences
have been granted. The OFT's Debt Management Guidance sets out minimum standards for debt management companies in the marketing of their services, pre-contract contact, the provision of pre-contract information, contract terms, advice and the nature of the debt management service provided. Where the OFT has evidence of unfair practices, action can be taken to refuse or revoke or place conditions on the consumer credit licence of those concerned.
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what allowances and payments in addition to salary were available to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1997; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Mr Gauke: Details of allowances paid since 2005-08 are shown in the following table. Information on allowances paid in earlier years is not available within the disproportionate costs threshold. Rates of allowances will be frozen in line with the announced two year freeze in basic pay.
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