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|Location||Endorsed number (as at 21 January 2011)( 1)|
|(1) Rounded to the nearest 50 personnel.|
(2) Numbers at sea in support of operations in the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
(3) Small scale deployments in support of EU and UN missions, headquarters liaison officers and capacity building activities.
The precise number of personnel in each theatre fluctuates on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including mid-tour rest and recuperation, temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces, visits and a range of other factors. We do not, therefore, publish actual figures for personnel deployed in theatre.
|Vehicle type||Number reported stolen|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles of each type in each armed service were (a) in service and (b) available for operations on the latest date for which figures are available. 
|Vehicle||Total number in service|
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence will reduce its holdings of Challenger 2, AS-90, MLRS, Warrior, CVR(T) and FV430 in light of operational priorities and revised planning assumptions as laid down in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Exact numbers are the subject of the ongoing Defence planning round and are yet to be finalised.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the re-kit programmes for (a) the A45 and (b) the A90 facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston over the lifetime of the programmes. 
Peter Luff: The estimated Ministry of Defence expenditure on the re-kit programmes for the A45 and A90 facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston over the lifetime of the programmes is in the order of £32 million and £272 million respectively at outturn prices.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 37W, on the Atomic Weapons Establishment, by what date he expects to place in the Library the post-redaction reports from the Astral Bend 10 nuclear weapons emergency exercise. 
Peter Luff: Further to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 12 November 2010, Official Report, column 503W, work continues on the review of these documents and a copy should be placed in the Library of the House prior to the Easter recess.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2010, Official Report, column 503, on AWE Aldermaston: fires, by what date he expects to place in the Library a copy of the Atomic Weapons Establishment emergency plan for dealing with incidents in the AWE Aldermaston conventional explosives area. 
Peter Luff: Further to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 37W, work continues on assessing the content of the Emergency Plan. I anticipate that a copy will be placed in the Library of the House prior to the Easter recess.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations his Department has received from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) on the desirability of storing radioactive waste from decommissioned submarines at AWE sites. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not received any representations from either AWE Management Limited or AWE plc on the desirability of storing radioactive waste from ex-Royal Navy nuclear submarines at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites.
Briefings have been provided to AWE plc senior management on the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP), to ensure that the company is aware of SDP activities that may be relevant to the sites it operates on behalf of the MOD. This is because the SDP Proposed Site Criteria and Screening Paper identified MOD-owned sites with existing nuclear licences as one of three generic categories of sites that should be the subject of more detailed analysis. Two AWE sites fall into this generic category.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to maintain the Challenger Two Main Battle Tank beyond 2020; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of such maintenance. 
Peter Luff: The cost of in-service support for Challenger 2 in this financial year was approximately £35 million. Future support costs will depend upon the number of platforms in service, activity levels and operational usage. These factors are subject to our ongoing planning round following publication of the strategic defence and security review. The planned out of service date for Challenger 2 is 2035.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the Chief Executive of the Defence Vetting Agency has made of possible reductions in the (a) budget and (b) staffing levels of her agency; and what level of reductions are under assessment. 
Mr Robathan: In line with other areas of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Defence Vetting Agency (DVA) is currently examining what reductions can sensibly be made as a result of the strategic defence and security review and the spending review. The outcomes of the both of these are being developed through the MOD's annual planning round. This is expected to conclude in spring 2011. The final decisions on funding for the DVA will ensure that the MOD can continue to provide an effective level of security vetting for its staff and contractors.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of procurement of (a) aircraft carriers, (b) the Joint Strike Fighter, (c) the Trident replacement programme, (d) Type 45 destroyers, (e) the Future Rapid Effects System, (f) Astute Class submarines and (g) Typhoons in the next 12 months. 
Peter Luff: Expenditure on individual projects in the coming year is still being finalised as part of the Ministry of Defence's planning process. However, we do not routinely publish figures for anticipated annual project expenditure, as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2010, Official Report, columns 221-2W, on defence: procurement, what assessment he has made of the compliance of each project history document with his Department's guidance set out in Maintaining a Project History, v.4.0, August 2007. 
Peter Luff: Project histories are not subject to compliance review. Departmental good practice guidance on maintaining project histories allows scope for project team leaders to interpret it to best meet the needs of their project depending on its size, complexity and nature. This ensures that the main elements of the guidance are considered.
There have been 173 public appointments made to Ministry of Defence non-departmental public bodies since May 2010. Of those appointed, 36 are women and 137 are men. 163 of the appointments are voluntary members of the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees, who represent the interests of war disablement pensioners and war widow(er)s. They are unpaid and receive only reasonable out of pocket expenses. The Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation appointed one unpaid member. There were five appointments to the National Army Museum Council. Council members are unpaid but receive reasonable expenses. There were four appointments to the Defence Scientific Advisory Council. The chairman and council members are paid a fee for each day worked, plus
reasonable travel and subsistence costs. The exact amounts depend on the number of days they are required to work each year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much and what proportion of his
Department's budget was spent on (a) pay, (b) pensions and (c) equipment in 2009-10. 
|Financial year||£ billion||Percentage||£ billion||Percentage||£ billion( 1)||Percentage|
|(1) The figure quoted comprises capital expenditure on equipment, equipment support and research and development costs.|
Departmental Resource Accounts 2009-10 and UKDS 2010, Table 1.4.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has for GR9 Harrier aircraft to be retained in reserve after their withdrawal from service; and if he will make a statement; 
The Harrier fleet is currently in storage and is receiving minimum maintenance including anti-deterioration measures to keep the aircraft in an airworthy condition for possible sale. It is too early to say what the final disposal arrangements will be and any associated storage costs will be considered as part of that process.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with officers of the (a) Royal Navy and (b) Royal Air Force on the potential of Harrier aircraft which have been mothballed to be utilised in the event of an emergency. 
Peter Luff: Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Harrier aircraft retired from service on 15 December 2010. There are no plans to retain these aircraft as a reserve or emergency capability. The National Security Council decision to retire the Harrier fleet was agreed collectively by the Service Chiefs.
Peter Luff: The Strategic Defence and Security Review announcement on 19 October 2010 stated that we plan to deliver the carrier strike capability from around 2020 with the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier fitted with catapults and arrestor gear to enhance the effectiveness of UK carrier strike.
In conjunction with industry and our international partners we are investigating how best to deliver this outcome, including which vessel or vessels will be converted and at what point in their build schedule. No decisions have yet been taken. Construction work is due to begin on HMS Prince of Wales in May 2011.
|Aircraft type||In-service fleet (Number)|
|(1) Dominie was withdrawn from service on 21 January.|
Peter Luff: Cannibalisation is where one aircraft benefits from the removal of serviceable parts from another. It is a routine and temporary measure to ensure that the required number of aircraft is available for front line duty.
|(1) Harrier was withdrawn from service on 15 December 2010|
(2) Nimrod MR2 was withdrawn from service on 31 March 2010
(3) Combined with Vigilant
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to have made an assessment of the effects of the outcome of the strategic defence and security review on the defence estate in Northern Ireland. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for
Newport West of 12 November 2010, Official Report, column 503W, on nuclear weapons, what (a) findings, (b) safety improvement notices and (c) immediate safety requirements were issued by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator in the period 2005 to 2010. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made on producing a decommissioning and disposal strategy for the defence nuclear programme; and when he expects such a strategy document to be published. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) team responsible for producing the decommissioning and disposal strategy for the defence nuclear programme is part way through the drafting process, with oversight from the Defence Nuclear Executive Board. This work is being carried out in liaison with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), in recognition of the need to align the MOD's strategy with the NDA's strategy for the civil nuclear sector.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) officer and (b) non-officer recruits joined the (i) Territorial Army, (ii) Royal Naval Reserve and (iii) Royal Auxiliary Air Force in each defence region in each of the last six years. 
Mr Robathan: The information is not held in the format requested. The services collect and collate this information differently. The information that is available is presented in the following tables:
|Naval S ervices|
|Royal Air Force|
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's estimate is of the cost of purchasing long-lead items required for the Vanguard submarine replacement programme assessment phase ahead of the Main Gate decision. 
Peter Luff: The programme to replace the Vanguard Class of submarines has yet to enter the assessment phase. During this phase a number of long lead items will be ordered so they will be available to use, as needed, after the main gate decision point planned for 2016. Not to do so would lengthen construction time and potentially impact the plan to deliver the first boat in around 2028. Final decisions on exactly what long lead items will be required and when, will not be taken until after initial gate.
Each university has a designated police officer with whom the university management team can discuss issues relating to extremism, radicalisation and recruitment by terrorist organisations;
Guidance was given to all institutions on how to manage the risk of violent extremism occurring and how to promote campus cohesion;
The National Union of Students work closely with their student societies to help them understand the risks associated with invitation to extreme speakers.
Universities are now more aware of the risks and how to manage them but we recognise that more needs to be done. As part of the review of the Prevent strategy currently under way, we will be considering what additional activity we need to undertake with the university sector to increase their resilience to extremism and to enable them to give more effective and earlier support to students who may be vulnerable to the effects of extremist activity on campus. This review, which is being led by the Home Office, is expected to be completed by the middle of February, with a new Prevent strategy published before Easter 2011.
Mr Prisk: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is planning to launch its new four year strategy towards the end of this financial year. UKTI will continue to support the creative industries and a business programme will be made available soon in the new financial year.
Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has discussed with Ministers in the government of (a) Canada and (b) Quebec the investment of each in the mining of asbestos for export to developing countries. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what actions the Technology Strategy Board undertook in each of the last five years to improve the relationship between business and higher education institutions; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what his assessment is of the effectiveness of the Technology Strategy Board's work to improve the relationship between business and higher education institutions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Technology Strategy Board supports technology innovation by UK businesses in those areas which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity on the basis of business and academic strength. To deliver this goal it works with partners across Government including, importantly, the research councils, as this ensures that investments in research are more closely informed by business, and that businesses will more readily adopt innovations that stem from excellent research.
Since its establishment in July 2007, the partnership with the research councils has become stronger and more diverse, evolving from traditional areas (e.g. aerospace) to addressing key challenges (e.g. sustainable agriculture and food and stratified medicine) and growing sectors of the economy that are important to the UK (e.g. creative industries).
The scale of research council activity aligned with the Technology Strategy Board (announced and projected) now totals £189 million, and has exceeded the original target of £120 million over the current Spending Review period. Furthermore, over two thirds of the 900 current collaborative R and D projects, which account for a majority of the Technology Strategy Board's direct funding, have at least one university partner collaborating with business, and its knowledge transfer networks and knowledge transfer partnerships, enable business and academia to collaborate to improve competitiveness and productivity through better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Networks bring together key individuals with a shared interest in areas aligned with Technology Strategy Board priorities, and partnerships allow the placement of skilled individuals into business injecting vital know-how to enable the strategic development of the business.
Moving forward, the research councils and the Technology Strategy Board have identified a number of strategic priority areas within the broad themes of high-value manufacturing; health care; digital; low carbon; energy and resource efficiency, for collaboration, and
the research councils will also work with the Technology Strategy Board to help deliver technology and innovation centres.
Mr Prisk: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has visited Scotland and held discussions on a wide range of issues facing the UK economy. He intends to visit Wales and Northern Ireland in the near future to hold similar discussions. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State remains committed to dialogue with the devolved administrations to ensure that the whole of the UK remains a competitive place to do business.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the monetary value of exports to Burma was in each of the last three years; and what were the main products so exported. 
Mr Prisk: Recorded UK exports of goods to Burma were worth just under £4 million in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009. The main exports were beverages and medicinal products in all three years, and power generating equipment in 2007.
The Government discourage trade and investment with Burma and UK Trade and Investment offers no commercial services to companies wishing to trade or invest there. EU sanctions are in place against Burma.
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to reduce administrative burdens on the issuing of export licences for small and medium-sized businesses wishing to trade with China. 
Mr Prisk: All export licence applications, including those for export to China, are considered on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and the associated EU Code of Conduct.
We have taken steps in recent years to reduce administrative burdens on the issuing of export licences in general. In September 2007 we moved to a fully electronic web based processing system, known as SPIRE. This replaced the previous system of paper licences and provides a complete end-to-end e-business service. This change benefited all exporters.
The Government publishes licence processing target times. For standard individual export licences, the target is to process 70% of these within 20 working days; although if extra information is requested and not supplied, this will inevitably delay resolution of the case. Additionally, sensitive destinations, such as China which is subject to an EU arms embargo, sometimes take longer to process due to the need to apply greater scrutiny. Furthermore, the Government's performance against these targets for each destination country is published in the Annual and Quarterly Reports on Strategic Export Controls.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many debt advisers have been funded through the Financial Inclusion Fund in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) each borough in the West Midlands in each of the last five years. 
Mr Davey: There are around 500 debt advisers funded via the Financial Inclusion Fund's Face-to-Face (F2F) Debt Advice project, of which around 60 F2F debt advisers were employed in the West Midlands area. The funds which we provided aimed to maintain this level of advice support over the five years.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of people who have received debt advice funded through the Financial Inclusion Fund in each of the last five years. 
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many young people resident in Ashfield constituency participated in further education (a) in the academic year 2009-10 and (b) in each of the three years prior to the introduction of the education maintenance allowance. 
Estimates of participation in education and training for young people in each local authority (LA) in England are published by the Department in a Statistical First Release (SFR) each June. The full SFR can be found on the Department's website:
Figures are not available at parliamentary constituency level, so LA figures for Nottinghamshire are provided in this response. The latest figures relate to the end of 2008, part way through the 2008/09 academic year.
The latest figures show that in Nottinghamshire LA an estimated 8,800 young people of academic age 16 (usually those in their first year after compulsory education) were in some form of education or work based learning (WBL) at the end of 2008. This represented 86% of the resident population.
Education maintenance allowance (EMA) was introduced nationally from September 2004. The following time-series shows the number and proportion of 16-year-olds in education or WBL in Nottinghamshire for the three years prior to its introduction, and for every year subsequently for which data are available:
|Participation in education and work based learning (WBL) of academic age 16 years( 1)|
|End of year:||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage|
|(1) Numbers rounded to the nearest 100, and proportions to the nearest percentage point.|
We are committed to making sure that young people from low income households can continue in education and training post-16. We are considering the replacement for the education maintenance allowance and want to ensure that the funds we have are targeted on those young people who most need support to enable them to participate in learning.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether funding for higher education institutions in London to take account of additional costs in London will be additional to teaching funding in the Comprehensive Spending Review period. 
Mr Willetts: We will set out our priorities for the remaining teaching grant in the forthcoming Higher Education White Paper. This will include consideration of the additional costs for certain groups of institutions, subjects and students.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what sanctions will be imposed on higher education institutions which do not comply with an access agreement made with the Officer of Fair Access to Higher Education. 
The major sanction available is not to approve or renew an access agreement. This would remove the institution's right to charge its students above the basic level. The Director of Fair Access may also impose a fine (via the Higher Education Funding Council for England) of up to £500,000, or require restitution if students have been disadvantaged or commitments have not been honoured.
On 7 December I published draft guidance to the Director of Fair Access setting out my expectations and suggestions as to how the Director might approach the approval and monitoring of institutions' access agreements. Final guidance will be published shortly.
The basic and higher levels of graduate contribution are changing from 1 September 2012. Much more public funding will be reaching universities via students, supported by up-front loans from the public purse. These changes are significant, and we want to monitor their effects carefully. The draft guidance to the Director of Fair Access therefore asks him to review access agreements annually, rather than every five years as at present.
We will be publishing a White Paper on higher education reforms during the early part of this year. As part of that we will consider if changes are needed to strengthen the role of the Director of Fair Access further.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will meet (a) management and (b) employees of Aptuit to discuss that company's proposal to close its sites at Livingston and Riccarton. 
Mr Prisk: Local enterprise partnerships are locally driven. A proposal which covered the Bournemouth Poole and Dorset was received in response to the joint letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, dated 29 June. This proposal did not meet all the Government's expectations as set out in the Local Growth White Paper. Officials have been working with partners in the area as they develop a revised proposal.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the merits of selling the London Post Office Railway separate to other changes to the ownership structure of Royal Mail Holdings plc proposed in the Postal Services Bill. 
Mr Davey: No decision has been take on the form or method of sale of Royal Mail. We are taking a staged approach-our first priority is passing the Postal Services Bill to allow the framework for action. The Government will then bring into force the new regulatory regime and take decisions on private sector investment.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of his Department's project budget has been spent on microfinance projects in the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr Prisk: Direct funding for community development finance institutions CDFIs (who often provide microfinance) has been provided by regional development agencies. RDAs report around £11 million per year was provided to CDFIs over the last three years. A large proportion on this will have supported microfinance activity. Microfinance and larger loans are also supported by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (and previously Small Firms Loan Guarantee). However, no information is available about the breakdown between microfinance and larger loans for these schemes. For this reason I cannot provide information on the proportion of the Department's budget which supports microfinance. Government also support microfinance through the Community Investment Tax Relief Scheme which encourages investment enterprises in disadvantaged communities and groups through CDFIs.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff he expects to be employed by the Office of Fair Access in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
We will be publishing a White Paper on higher education reforms during the early part of this year. As part of that we will consider if changes are
needed in respect of the Office of Fair Access. We are working with its director to determine what level of resource will be required, including staffing, in future years.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the potential effects on the universal service obligation in Livingston constituency of implementation of his proposals to privatise Royal Mail. 
Mr Davey: The Government's policy, as set out in the Postal Services Bill, is that the minimum requirements for the universal postal service must include at least one delivery of letters to addresses or other identified points every Monday to Saturday.
Our overarching objective is to secure the future of the universal postal service and the Bill ensures that this will be Ofcom's primary duty in respect of mail. The nature of the ownership of the universal service provider will not change this.
Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make representations to the Royal Mail on recent delays to the delivery of letters and parcels; and if he will estimate the number of letters and parcels held in postal delivery sorting offices for (a) longer than one month and (b) longer than three months in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Davey: Mail delivery is an operational matter for the Royal Mail. I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Moya Greene, to respond directly to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the Royal Mail postal delivery backlogs affecting (a) domestic and (b) international post and their effects on small businesses. 
Mr Davey: Mail delivery is an operational matter for the Royal Mail. I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Moya Greene, to respond directly to the honourable Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department plans to publish a shortlist of regional growth fund projects for consideration by the Independent Advisory Panel for each Government office region. 
Mr Prisk: The fund has received over 450 bids with a value worth over £2 billion; the information contained on each bid is currently being processed, after which we will have the final figure. This information will be available during the week commencing 31 January 2011 and placed on the BIS website.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many bids his Department has received for the first round of the regional growth fund in each Government office region. 
Mr Prisk: The fund has received over 450 bids; the information contained on each bid is currently being processed. The requested information will be available during the week commencing 31 January 2011 and placed on the BIS website.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether unsuccessful bids for the first round of the regional growth fund will be considered for inclusion in future rounds. 
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of bids received for the first round of the regional growth fund were submitted by local enterprise partnerships solely. 
Mr Prisk: The fund has received over 450 bids; the information contained on each bid is currently being processed. The requested information will be available during the week commencing 31 January 2011 and placed on the BIS website.
Mr Davey: The last Government consulted on this issue in 2009, and found that there were mixed views. There was a strong feeling that regulation of debt recovery companies should be looked at in the context of the personal insolvency regime as a whole. Our call for evidence "Managing Borrowing and Dealing with Debt" (published October 2010) invited comments on the personal insolvency framework, including debt management aspects. We have received a large number of responses which are currently being analysed and will be published in due course.
All who provide debt management services are required to be licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Last year the Office of Fair Trading reviewed compliance with its Debt Management Guidance and published a
report on 28 September 2010. Subsequently they issued warnings to 129 debt management firms about non-compliant business practices. Of the 129 firms, 35 have indicated that they will surrender their licences, 79 have produced audited evidence confirming action taken to address areas of non-compliance and the OFT have initiated revocation action against a number of traders.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with the Council of Mortgage Lenders about the effects of student debt on likely levels of mortgage lending to graduates; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Council for Mortgage Lenders have advised that a student loan is very unlikely to materially impact on an individual's ability to get a mortgage. However the reduction in net income may result in a commensurate reduction in the amount a mortgage lender is willing to lend.
Our proposal to increase the repayment threshold from £15,000 to £21,000 will reduce the amount borrowers need to repay each month, and therefore increase the amount of net income available to them which could be helpful to them when applying for a mortgage.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have had with the UN Special Representative on business and human rights. 
Mr Davey: I met Professor John Ruggie, UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, on 10 January 2011 together with officials from within the Department. There have been no separate meetings between Professor John Ruggie and other BIS Ministers.
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future length of a period of continuous employment which qualifies entitlement to unfair dismissal rights. 
Mr Davey: We are looking at a number of ways of helping businesses and protecting employees as part of our ongoing employment law review. As part of that review, the Government are considering changes to the length of a period of continuous employment which qualifies entitlement to unfair dismissal. We will make any announcements following on from that review in due course.