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17 Feb 2011 : Column 945W—continued

Child Care Tax Credit

Ms Buck: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects on work incentives of reductions in entitlement to the child care element of working tax credit. [41448]

Mr Gauke: The estimates of the impact of the reduction in entitlement to the child care element presented in the 'Spending Review 2010 policy costings' document consider only the first-order effects of the policy.

The Office for Budget Responsibility's "Economic and Fiscal Outlook" considered the wider indirect effects of welfare reforms made in the spending review. Full details are available at:

Departmental Conferences

Robert Halfon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps he has taken since his appointment to reduce expenditure on conferences from budgets within his responsibility; [28356]

(2) what his Department's annual budget for conferences was at (a) 7 May 2010 and (b) 7 December 2010. [30032]

Justine Greening: Conference spending, along with all other spending by the Department, is subject to rigorous scrutiny and regular review to ensure there is a necessary business need for the spending and that it represents good value for money.

The Treasury does not have a specific budget for conferences, but conference costs are included within HM Treasury's wider hospitality, catering and conferences budget. At 7 May 2010 this budget was £705,000 and at 7 December 2010 was £655,000. The full year forecast is now £477,000.

Disability Living Allowance: Care Homes

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to spending review 2010, page 69, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of public funds spent on meeting the mobility needs of those in receipt of disability living allowance who live in residential care excluding funding spent by the Department for Work and Pensions; and what the evidential basis is for this estimate. [41120]

Justine Greening: Mobility provision for people in residential care homes will be reviewed as part of wider reform of DLA.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 946W

The review of mobility provision will allow us to put in place proper support for care home residents that takes full account of their individual needs and puts clear duties in place to safeguard the most vulnerable.

Financial Services: Consumer Protection

Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution he plans to make on consumer protection in financial services to the Financial Stability Board prior to the G20 Summit in November 2011. [41532]

Mr Hoban: The Financial Stability Board (FSB) is currently developing its consultation. The UK is seeking to take a full role in the consultation process to inform the FSB's thinking and is currently in discussions with the FSB to determine how we can most effectively contribute.

Financial Services: Pay

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date he next expects to discuss with his European counterparts an agreement on transparency for executive pay in the financial services sector. [39307]

Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Ed Balls: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to secure agreement with other European countries on transparency of executive pay in the financial services sector. [39509]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 10 February 2011]: Remuneration disclosure has been discussed as part of the Government's dialogue with other jurisdictions and we continue to consider proposals to strengthen remuneration disclosure, including of executive pay in the financial services sector.

The Chancellor has called on counterparts in the European Union to consider urgently proposals to strengthen remuneration disclosure. While there is a range of views among the international community, there is consensus and support for an internationally consistent approach to remuneration disclosure.

Ed Balls: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of his Department's meetings on Project Merlin have involved small businesses in Northern Ireland. [39515]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 10 February 2011]: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 947W

Income Tax: Northern Ireland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many residents of Northern Ireland there were in each income tax band in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [41031]

Mr Gauke: The requested information can be found on the HMRC website on page 3 of table 2-2 at the following address:

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to respond to the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton of 9 December 2010 in regard to Ms G Brownridge. [36052]

Justine Greening: I have replied to the right hon. Member.

Mr Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he expects to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 11 January 2011 sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, reference 7/22583/2011 and transferred to his Department, regarding a constituent; [39514]

(2) whether the hon. Member for Walsall North will receive a reply to his letter of 9 February 2011 concerning a constituent and dealing with domestic energy prices despite the circulation of a standard letter to hon. Members on fuel prices from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. [41461]

Justine Greening: I wrote to all hon. Members on 9 February to set out the Government's overall position on fuel duty. I will reply separately to the hon. Member's correspondence concerning domestic energy prices.

National Insurance Contributions

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the number of employees for whom employers pay no national insurance contributions in each (a) local authority, (b) parliamentary constituency and (c) region; and what estimate he has made of the effect on this number of the proposal to raise national insurance threshold for employers by £21 a week above indexation from April 2011; [39170]

(2) if he will estimate the number of businesses in each (a) local authority, (b) parliamentary constituency and (c) region which will be affected by the change in national insurance threshold for employers in April 2011; [39189]

(3) if he will estimate the effect on an average business in each (a) local authority, (b) Parliamentary constituency and (c) region of the change in national insurance threshold for employers in April 2011. [39190]

Mr Gauke: Estimates of the total number of employees earning below the secondary threshold for national insurance contributions in 2011-12 are not available through HMRC administrative data sources.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 948W

It is estimated that the number of employees for whom employers pay national insurance will decrease by 650,000 due to the increase in the secondary threshold by £21 above indexation in April 2011. Estimates for local authorities, parliamentary constituencies and regions are not available.

The estimate above is based on Annual Survey of Hours and earnings data for employees, projected using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility's autumn 2010 forecast.

Detailed estimates of numbers of businesses benefitting and average impacts per business are not available. However, all employers paying employer contributions gain up to £150 per employee as a result of the increase in the secondary threshold. Statistics published by Business Innovation and Skills show there are around 1.8 million businesses with employees in 2009, the majority of which are likely to benefit.

Revenue and Customs: ICT

Mike Freer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the capacity of commercial software suppliers to provide the necessary software for businesses to comply with the April 2011 implementation deadline set by HM Revenue and Customs for iXBRL filing. [41092]

Mr Gauke: Over 30 commercial suppliers whose iXBRL enabled software products have been successfully tested with HMRC are listed on HMRC's website. All have provided evidence that their software can produce documents compliant with the iXBRL requirements being brought in from 1 April 2011.

Mike Freer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of (a) the likely effect on business costs of the implementation of iXBRL filing, (b) the likely effect of penalties imposed by HM Revenue and Customs on small businesses unable to comply with the iXBRL filing deadline and (c) the effect on receipts to the Exchequer of extending the iXBRL filing deadline beyond April 2011. [41093]

Mr Gauke: HMRC published a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in 2007. This provided an estimate of the one off costs for businesses from the increase of online filing generally. Now that a range of iXBRL-enabled software is available, HMRC will update this RIA.

There are no new penalties associated with the introduction of iXBRL. As currently, people may be penalised if they file returns late. But HMRC has confirmed that if a deadline is missed because of implementation issues with iXBRL software their well-established reasonable excuse provisions will apply. HMRC's guidance on transitional arrangements can be found at:

April 2011 is not a filing deadline. It is the implementation date for mandatory filing of Company Tax Returns using iXBRL. No assessment has been made of the effect on receipts of changing this date.


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Royal Bank of Scotland: Santander

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effects on competition of the sale of Royal Bank of Scotland branches to Santander. [40444]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 11 February 2011]: The Royal Bank of Scotland is required to execute the sale of a retail banking business with a 5% market share in the small and medium enterprise (SME) market as a condition of EU state aid approval for the aid they have received. The terms of this approval committed that the buyer of the divestment must, in combination with the divestment business, have a SME market share of no more than 14% in the UK. This condition on the maximum size of potential purchasers was set based on evidence from the UK competition authorities as to the size of banks that behave as challengers to the large incumbent banks. Santander UK currently have a small SME market share in the UK and in combination with the RBS divestment will have less than a 14% share of that market. As such, the sale will serve to increase competition in the UK banking sector as a whole, and especially in the SME market.

Taxation

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the exemptions for woodland owners from (a) capital gains tax, (b) inheritance tax and (c) income tax. [34390]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave on 24 January 2011, Official Report, column 125W.

Taxation: Aviation

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment has been made of the effects on the level of aviation taxation in the UK and (a) economic activity, (b) trade, (c) tourism and (d) growth; and if he will make a statement; [40928]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of the level of aviation taxation and the UK's ability to increase its trade with (a) China and (b) India; [40929]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effects of the level of aviation taxation and the UK's ability to attract more tourists from (a) China and (b) India. [40930]

Justine Greening: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Dr Poulter) on 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 83W.

UK Financial Investments

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing a public interest test in respect of disposal of assets of companies in which UK Financial Investments Ltd holds a stake. [40446]


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Mr Hoban [holding answer 11 February 2011]: UK Financial Investment's (UKFI) mandate is to develop and execute a strategy for disposing of the Government's investments in financial institutions in an orderly and active way, within the context of protecting and creating value for the taxpayer as shareholder and paying due regard to the maintenance of financial stability and to acting in a way that promotes competition. UKFI is responsible for recommending sales to the Chancellor in line with its Framework Agreement and Investment Mandate.

UKFI's mandate was constructed to reflect the key factors that will drive the Government's decisions with respect to disposals of the publicly-owned banks. Good outcomes for the Exchequer, financial stability and competition are all clearly in the public interest.

VAT: Supermarkets

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to extend the application of the basic rate of value added tax to hot food sold from delicatessen counters in supermarkets; and if he will make a statement. [41460]

Mr Gauke: The rules concerning hot take-away food are the same for all businesses.

VAT is payable on a supply of hot food that has been heated for the purposes of enabling it to be consumed at a temperature above the ambient air temperature and it is above that temperature at the time it is provided to the customer. The Chancellor keeps all taxes under review and announces any changes as part of the budget process.

Welfare Tax Credits: Repayments

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will fund proposals to allow tax credit claimants who have received erroneous payments due to administrative error to have payments backdated by more than three months; and if he will make a statement. [40958]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) code of practice 26 (COP-26) "What happens if we've paid you too much tax credit?" outlines the Department's approach to overpayments. The COP 26 is available on the HMRC website together with customer guidance about backdating tax credits entitlement at:

Regulation 7 of the Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) Regulations 2002 provides for tax credits entitlement to be backdated up to a maximum of 93 days. Regulation 8 outlines the circumstances in which entitlement can be backdated for longer than 93 days for working tax credit claims including the disability element.

Regulation 3 of the Tax Credits (Official Error) Regulations 2003 provides for the revision of incorrect decisions, and gives a time limit of five years after the end of the tax year to which the decision relates, where a decision was a result of an Official Error.


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Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme: Sign Language

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications were (a) made and (b) approved under the Access to Work scheme for sign language interpreting services (i) in 2009-2010 and (ii) between January and November 2010. [40692]

Maria Miller: The information requested is not routinely collected and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Cumulative data about the numbers and types of people who are helped by Access to Work is published quarterly on the DWP website. The latest data, published in December 2010, covered the period from April to September 2010.

Of the 37,210 people who were helped by Access to Work between April 2009 and March 2010, 5,450 said that their primary need for support was because of a difficulty hearing.

Of the 29,040 people that Access to Work helped between April and September 2010, 4,580 said that their primary need for support was because of a difficulty hearing.

Children: Maintenance

Mr Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to conduct its review of procedures and rules relating to share care cases; and what consideration will be given to cases in which the disparity in income between the non-resident parent and the parent who is caring for the child is substantial. [38754]

Maria Miller: The Government have recently published a consultation document "Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility: the future of child maintenance" available at:

The Government want to encourage parents to reach family-based arrangements for child maintenance which will facilitate co-parenting and ongoing involvement of both parents in their children's lives. If parents can come to an agreement about shared care we would hope that they could also make a family-based arrangement suitable to both parties.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (the Commission) is currently reviewing shared care as it makes plans to move to the new child maintenance system in 2012. The new child maintenance system seeks to deliver calculations which are simpler, quicker and more transparent. In keeping with the objective of simpler calculations, liabilities will continue to be based on the relevant income of the non-resident parent.

A disparity in income levels between the parent with care and non-resident parent does not alter parent's responsibility to support their child. This is a central principle of child support legislation and the majority of non-resident parents, including those on lower incomes or in receipt of benefits, are required to make some contribution to the support of their child.


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Departmental Manpower

Mr McFadden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the most recent previous employment was of each senior staff member newly employed on a fixed-term contract in his Department since May 2010. [39565]

Chris Grayling: There have been no senior staff members newly employed on a fixed term contract in the Department since May 2010.

Departmental Official Cars

Mr McFadden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many ministerial cars his Department has used since May 2010. [39563]

Chris Grayling: The Government Car Service provides a safe and secure transport for Government Ministers and their official papers.

As per the arrangement under the previous Administration, the DWP had five ministerial cars allocated to Ministers in May 2010.

A review was launched and from 6 September, the number of vehicles was reduced to one allocated ministerial car for the Secretary of State. At the same time a ministerial car pool was introduced for other Ministers to use.

This revised operating model has reduced expenditure by 54%.

The Department is continuing to explore other options to provide this service and further reduce its cost.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Mr McFadden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on travel for officials since May 2010. [38528]

Chris Grayling: The Department is currently reviewing all expenditure with a view to driving out inefficiencies and delivering value for money for the taxpayer.

In line with the Government's austerity agenda, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken vigorous action to enhance business travel policy. Overall this is projected to produce savings in the region of 40%, measured against last year's expenditure. The DWP's business travel policy actively discourages travel, unless the alternatives have been examined and exhausted and where travel is deemed appropriate, encourages the use of the most cost-effective modes of transport.

Measuring the expenditure since May 2010, against a comparable period last year illustrates that the expenditure on travel has fallen by '45%':

Period (May to December each year) Expenditure (£ million/percentage)

2010 (£ million)

23.9

2009 (£ million)

43.6

Percentage reduction

-45


The total expenditure set out above needs to be seen in the context of a Department with over 100,000 staff based in over 900 locations throughout Great Britain.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 953W

The above expenditure also includes elements of the cost of provision of transport, to meet the Departments' obligations, under the Disability Discrimination Act.

It should be noted that in order for the DWP to provide the full scope of services, in line with its key objectives, a certain degree of business travel is required, for example, trainers will travel to multiple sites; fraud investigation staff will conduct surveillance exercises; Jobcentre Plus staff carry out outreach activity outside of the Government estate, all in the course of their duties.

Disability Living Allowance

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents of Rossendale and Darwen constituency receiving disability living allowance (DLA) have had their DLA payments reassessed in the last 12 months; how many of these had their payments (a) reduced, (b) increased and (c) revoked; how many appealed their reassessment; and how many were successful in their appeal. [40439]

Maria Miller: We are not able to say how many residents of Rossendale and Darwen constituency receiving disability living allowance (DLA) have had their DLA payments reassessed in the last 12 months; how many of these had their payments (a) reduced, (b) increased and (c) revoked; how many appealed their reassessment; and how many were successful in their appeal. This is because our management information system for DLA does not enable us to provide details at that level.

Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the proportion of the mobility element of disability living allowance that is spent by recipients on (a) critical and (b) social needs. [41308]

Maria Miller: DLA provides a cash contribution towards the extra costs arising from disability and uses mobility and care needs as proxies for those extra costs. The benefit is unconditional and recipients are free to use it according to their own priorities.

A recent report conducted by the university of York for the Department "The impact of Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance: Findings from exploratory qualitative research"-Research Report No. 649-available at:

suggests that disability living allowance recipients spend the benefit on a wide range of mobility support to meet their needs. This includes: transport, such as taxis; purchasing particular types of mobility aids; electric scooters; customised wheelchairs; paying for adaptations around the home to prevent falls; and accessing vehicles through the Motability scheme.

Disability Living Allowance: AIDS

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on the length of time for which persons diagnosed with AIDS prior to 1999 will be eligible for disability living allowance. [40987]


17 Feb 2011 : Column 954W

Maria Miller: No time limit is made for the receipt of disability living allowance with regard to any particular diagnosis. Awards of disability living allowance, whether made for an indefinite period or a fixed period, are made on the basis that the conditions of entitlement upon which that award was made are met, and continue to be met.

Health and Safety Executive

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the Health and Safety Executive to bring forward proposals for the next steps in its development as a more commercial entity competing where relevant in an open market. [40505]

Chris Grayling: The Minister for Employment has asked the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to develop and progressively implement ways of reducing the funding that the Government provides over the course of the next four financial years. A wide range of potential options will be examined and until the work is further advanced it is not possible set a firm timetable.

Housing Benefit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition he uses for under-occupancy of social rented accommodation for the purposes of restricting housing benefit. [40575]

Steve Webb: The detail of this measure is still being considered but we anticipate that we shall use the same size criteria as currently used for assessing housing benefit in the private sector under the local housing allowance. That is, one bedroom for each of the following:

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to publish the two-year review of the local housing allowance. [40576]

Steve Webb: The Two Year Review of the Local Housing Allowance was published on Thursday 10 February 2011. The report can be found at the following link:

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the liability of local authorities for penalties for early termination of contracts for outsourced housing benefit administration when housing support is centralised following implementation of his proposals for universal credit. [40889]

Steve Webb: The Department for Work and Pensions will be responsible for organising the delivery of Universal Credit. We have not yet finalised the detail and therefore
17 Feb 2011 : Column 955W
the impact on organisations currently delivering benefits that universal credit will replace. We will work closely with local authorities to understand and manage the impacts so that we can transition customers smoothly to any new arrangements.

Housing Benefit: Pregnant Women

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at what point single pregnant women become entitled to the single room rate of housing benefit rather than the shared room rate; and if he will make a statement. [41544]

Steve Webb: Pregnant single women under 25 are entitled to the shared accommodation rate until they give birth, at which point they become entitled to the two bedroom rate of local housing allowance. If a woman in these circumstances chooses to move into larger accommodation before the birth of her child she will need to meet the rent shortfall from other income or she could apply to her local authority to be considered for a discretionary housing payment.

Incapacity Benefit: Dartford

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Dartford constituency successfully claimed incapacity benefit due to heart disease in each of the last five years. [41146]

Maria Miller: The information requested is as follows:

Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance (IB/SDA) and employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in Dartford constituency
As at May each year Total Claiming on the basis of heart disease

IB/SDA

2006

2,970

90

2007

2,960

80

2008

3,020

90

2009

2,720

70

2010

2,340

60

ESA

2010

670

20

Notes: 1. Data is rounded to nearest 10. 2. To qualify for incapacity benefit (IB), claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work called a personal capability assessment. Under the employment and support allowance regime, new claimants have to undergo the work capability assessment. From April 2011 incapacity benefit recipients will begin also to undertake this assessment. The medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming incapacity benefit on the basis of "heart disease" would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities related to physical and mental function, assessed by the personal/work capability assessment. 3. Incapacity benefit was replaced by employment and support allowance (ESA) from October 2008. 4. Constituencies used for May 2010 are for the Westminster Parliament of 2010. Prior to this, the constituencies used are for May 2005. 5. Data by medical condition for ESA is only available from 2010. Source: DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS.

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Industrial Health and Safety

Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Health and Safety Executive has launched the simplified interactive risk assessment form for (a) offices, (b) classrooms and (c) shops recommended in Lord Young's report, Common Sense, Common Safety. [41203]

Chris Grayling: The Health and Safety Executive launched a tool for low-risk office-based environments on 15 October 2010. A classroom tool was launched for consultation on 22 November 2010. In addition, tools for low risk shops and charity shops were launched for consultation on 15 and 23 December respectively.

Jobcentre Plus: Kilmarnock

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he next plans to visit the Jobcentre that serves Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency; and if he will make a statement. [41058]

Chris Grayling: Since May 2010, the Department's ministerial team has visited numerous constituencies and Jobcentres across the UK.

The Department's ministerial team currently have no plans to visit the Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency, however, should any Ministers do so, they will look to visit the Jobcentre there.

Pensioners: Personal Savings

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) women and (b) men aged 56 who have pension savings of (i) less than £2,000, (ii) less than £4,000 (iii) less than £6,000 and (iv) less than £8,000. [41451]

Steve Webb: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Proportion of women who have private pension wealth of (i) less than £2,000, (ii) less than £4,000, (iii) less than £6,000 and (iv) less than £8,000 aged 56 in 2006-08
Amount of private pension wealth Proportion of women aged 56 (%)( 1)

Less than:

£2,000

42

£4,000

44

£6,000

47

£8,000

49



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(b) Proportion of men who have private pension wealth of (i) less than £2,000, (ii) less than £4,000, (iii) less than £6,000 and (iv) l ess than £8,000 aged 56 in 2006- 08
Amount of private pension wealth Proportion of men aged 56 (%)( 1)

Less than:

£2,000

25

£4,000

27

£6,000

28

£8,000

30

(1) Includes those with zero pension wealth.
Notes:
1. We interpreted the question to mean wealth held in private pensions. Private pensions are all pensions that are not state basic retirement or state earnings related. There are nine categories included in the estimates of private pension wealth: defined benefit (DB) pensions, defined contribution (DC) pensions and personal pensions to which the individual was contributing at the time of survey, additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) made to current pensions, retained rights in DB and DC schemes, pension funds from which the individual was drawing an income through income drawdown, pensions in payment and pensions expected in the future based on the contributions of a former spouse. The estimates quoted include those individuals with zero pension wealth. The private pension wealth figures provided here were not immediately available from the Wealth and Assets Survey report, and were obtained by carrying out in-house analysis of the data.
2. The Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) is a large scale nationally representative longitudinal survey of over 30,000 private households in Great Britain that provides comprehensive information on people's assets and net wealth. The first wave was conducted from July 2006 to June 2008. It collected detailed information on financial and non-financial assets, and wealth components such as savings, pensions, property, mortgages and debt as well as people's attitudes and savings behaviour over time.
3. Extensive analysis of pension wealth using the Wealth and Assets data is available in "Wealth in Great Britain 2006-08" at the following web link:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/wealth-assets-2006-2008/Wealth_in_GB_2006_2008.pdf
Source:
Wealth and Assets Survey 2006-08

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of average monetary value of pension savings of (a) men and (b) women aged (i) 30, (ii) 40 and (iii) 50. [41452]

Steve Webb: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Estimates of pension wealth held by men aged (i) 30, (ii) 40 and (iii) 50 in private pensions in 2006/08 are as follows:

£
Aged Median( 1) Mean( 1)

30

0

20,538

40

12,375

79,117

50

54,752

158,496

(1) Includes those with zero pension wealth.
Source:
Wealth and Assets Survey 2006-08

(b) Estimates of pension wealth held by women aged (i) 30, (ii) 40 and (iii) 50 in private pensions in 2006/08 are as follows:


17 Feb 2011 : Column 958W
£
Aged Median( 1) Mean( 1)

30

0

15,849

40

5,287

44,577

50

11,390

87,184

(1) Includes those with zero pension wealth.
Notes:
1. We interpreted the question to mean wealth held in private pensions. Private pensions are all pensions that are not state basic retirement or state earnings related. There are nine categories included in the estimates of private pension wealth: defined benefit (DB) pensions, defined contribution (DC) pensions and personal pensions to which the individual was contributing at the time of survey, additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) made to current pensions, retained rights in DB and DC schemes, pension funds from which the individual was drawing an income through income drawdown, pensions in payment and pensions expected in the future based on the contributions of a former spouse. The estimates quoted include those individuals with zero pension wealth. The private pension wealth figures provided here were not immediately available from the Wealth and Assets Survey report, and were obtained by carrying out in house analysis of the data.
2. We provide figures for both mean and median private pension wealth. The median may provide a better measure compared to the mean since the distribution of private pension wealth can be skewed by a small number of very large amounts of wealth at the top of the distribution.
3. The Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) is a large scale nationally representative longitudinal survey of over 30,000 private households in Great Britain that provides comprehensive information on people's assets and net wealth. The first wave was conducted from July 2006 to June 2008. It collected detailed information on financial and non-financial assets, and wealth components such as savings, pensions, property, mortgages and debt as well as people's attitudes and savings behaviour over time.
4. Extensive analysis of pension wealth using the Wealth and Assets data is available in 'Wealth in Great Britain 2006/08' at the following web link:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/wealth-assets-2006-2008/Wealth_in_GB_2006_2008.pdf
Source:
Wealth and Assets Survey 2006/08

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much Barnett consequential funding his Department has provided to each of the devolved Administrations in (a) 2010-11 to date and (b) each of the last three years; and with which programmes such funding was associated. [39378]

Chris Grayling: In the 2010 spending review changes in the DEL budgets of the devolved Administrations were determined by the Barnett formula in the normal way. The settlements for the years 2011-12 to 2014-15 were published in table 2.22 of the 2010 spending review document (Cm 7942).

Barnett consequentials relating to each of the devolved Administrations for the years 2008-09 to 2010-11 are published as part of the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses Supplementary Material on the Treasury's website under the heading "House of Lords Select Committee on the Barnett Formula":

Updated tables taking account of adjustments since the publication of the 2010 edition of PESA will be published alongside the next edition of PESA later this year.

Information on the block grants paid by the territorial offices to the devolved Administrations is published alongside the Main and Supplementary Estimates.


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Remploy

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2010, Official Report, column 461W, to the hon. Member for Glasgow East, on Remploy, when he expects the independent review of the support the Government provided to disabled people who want to work to be completed. [41256]

Maria Miller: The call for evidence closes on 28 February and we expect the Sayce Review to be published in the summer 2011.

Remploy: Manpower

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons for the change in the number of managers in Remploy since 2008. [41587]

Maria Miller: It is a matter for Remploy to decide on the appropriate level (and grade) of staffing for the company.

The increase in managers in the Employment Services is due to expansion that has seen the number of disabled people supported into work increase from 6,500 in 2007-08 to 10,600 in 2009-2010.

The change in the number of managers in the Enterprise Business is as a result of the introduction of the modernisation plan and restructuring of the business.

Remploy: Trade Unions

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that the management of Remploy consult and negotiate on their plans for the future of the organisation with the recognised trade unions in line with the national agreement. [41642]

Maria Miller: Consultation on the voluntary redundancy scheme is a management matter for Remploy. Remploy have assured my officials that it is committed to honouring its legal obligations for the consultation process and I have encouraged the company and the trade unions to continue discussions to provide the best outcome for disabled people.

Social Security Benefits

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how employment will be defined for the purposes of determining which household will be subject to the proposed total cap on benefit entitlement for workless households. [40577]

Steve Webb: We are introducing the benefit cap to promote fairness between those in and out of work and to increase incentives for people to move into work or increase their hours of employment. In support of these objectives, households which contain a member who is in receipt of working tax credit will be exempt from the cap. We are still considering the precise criteria for an equivalent exemption under universal credit.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 960W

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households which will be subject to the cap on benefit entitlement where social rents are set at 80% of market rents. [40579]

Steve Webb: Work between DWP and the Department for Communities and Local Government is ongoing on the impact on housing benefit of the proposals for affordable rent for social housing. Further details will be made available in due course, so no estimate has been made of the number of households which will be subject to the cap on benefit entitlements where social rents are set at 80% of market rate.

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of the working age population of each constituency in the UK were in receipt of (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) unemployment allowance, (c) carer's allowance, (d) disability living allowance, (e) widow's or bereavement benefit and (f) other income support in December 2010. [41056]

Chris Grayling: A table of the numbers and proportions of the working age population of each constituency in receipt of jobseeker's allowance at December 2010 has been placed in the Library.

Information for the other benefits requested at December 2010 is not available. Benefit statistics are normally published five and a half months in arrears.

In some circumstances, claims for benefit can be backdated or there can be a lag between a claim being made and all of the necessary evidence being provided to assess if it is successful. In order to capture the vast majority of such claims, DWP wait for four months after the extract date before beginning the publication process. This provides an acceptable trade-off between quality and timeliness. The level of retrospection is different for housing benefit, council tax benefit and the employment programmes, and for the monthly jobseeker's allowance (claimant count) figures published by the Office for National Statistics. However, the same principle is applied. The published numbers capture the vast majority of these retrospective entries to the computer systems.

The production of the statistical databases and tables takes about six weeks. Hence the quarterly Statistical Summary is published around five and a half months after the main reference date.

The schedule of planned statistical publications by the DWP over the next 12 months is published on the Department's website at:

Benefit statistics for August 2010 will be available on 16 March 2011 and statistics for November 2010 on 18 May 2011.

DWP have introduced a series of experimental early estimates for claimants of "inactive" benefits. These are released just six weeks after the count date. Over the past year, revisions to these figures have been 1 % or less. This methodology was developed for national totals, and no breakdowns are available.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 961W

Social Security Benefits: Hearing Impairment

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of those in receipt of each welfare benefit are deaf. [40691]

Maria Miller: The information requested is not available. Information on whether a claimant is deaf is not routinely recorded for all claimants.

However, information is available on whether the main medical condition for incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance and employment and support allowance claimants is "Other Hearing Loss", which includes deafness, and whether the main disabling condition for attendance allowance and disability living allowance claimants is deafness.

The information that is available is presented in the following tables.

Table 1: Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance (IB/SDA) and employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants-May 2010

ESA IB/SDA

All

527,120

2,126,690

"Other Hearing Loss"

810

5,810

Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. For IB/SDA and ESA deafness is included under the disabling condition of "Other Hearing Loss".
3. To qualify for incapacity benefit (IB), claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work called a capability assessment. Under the employment and support allowance regime, new claimants have to undergo the work capability assessment. From April 2011 incapacity benefit recipients will begin also to undertake this assessment. The medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming incapacity benefit on the basis of "other hearing loss" would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities related to physical and mental function, assessed by the personal/work capability assessment.
4. Incapacity benefit was replaced by employment and support allowance (ESA) from October 2008.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS

Table 2: Attendance allowance (AA) cases in payment-May 2010

Number

All

1,614,270

Deafness

8,140

Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
2. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to AA. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS


17 Feb 2011 : Column 962W
Table 3: Disability living allowance (DLA) cases in payment-May 2010

Number

All

3,157,300

Deafness

41,500

Notes:
1. DLA figures are from 5% sample data uprated to 100% proportions. Case load figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. Caution: The preferred statistics on benefits are now derived from 100% data sources. However, the 5% sample data still provides some detail not yet available from the 100% data sources, in particular, more complete information on the disabling condition of DLA claimants. DWP recommends that, where the detail is only available on the 5% sample data, or disabling condition (DLA) is required, the proportions derived should be scaled up to the overall 100% total for the benefit. These figures have been scaled up to the overall total by the application of a single rating factor therefore subtotals based on uprated 5% data may differ from 100% data because of sampling variation in the 5% sample.
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
4. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to DLA. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS

Social Security Benefits: Kirkcaldy

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, columns 84-6W, how many and what proportion of the working age population of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency were in receipt of (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) unemployment allowance, (c) carer's allowance, (d) disability living allowance, (e) widow's or bereavement benefit and (f) other income support in December 2010. [41055]

Chris Grayling: In December 2010, 3,303 residents of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency (5.4% of the working age population) were in receipt of jobseeker's allowance(1).

Information for the other benefits requested at December 2010 is not available. Benefit statistics are normally published five and a half months in arrears.

In some circumstances, claims for benefit can be backdated or there can be a lag between a claim being made and all of the necessary evidence being provided to assess if it is successful. In order to capture the vast majority of such claims, DWP wait for four months after the extract date before beginning the publication process. This provides an acceptable trade-off between quality and timeliness. The level of retrospection is different for housing benefit, council tax benefit and the employment programmes, and for the monthly jobseeker's allowance (claimant count) figures published by the Office for National Statistics. However, the same principle is applied. The published numbers capture the vast majority of these retrospective entries to the computer systems.

The production of the statistical databases and tables takes about six weeks. Hence the quarterly Statistical Summary is published around five and a half months after the main reference date.


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The schedule of planned statistical publications by the DWP over the next 12 months is published on the Department's website at:

Benefit statistics for August 2010 will be available on 16 March 2011 and statistics for November 2010 on 18 May 2011.

DWP have introduced a series of experimental early estimates for claimants of "inactive" benefits. These are released just six weeks after the count date. Over the past year, revisions to these figures have been 1% or less. This methodology was developed for national totals, and no breakdowns are available.

State Retirement Pensions: Females

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of women who are carers who will
17 Feb 2011 : Column 964W
be affected by the revised timetable for increasing state pension age to (a) 65 by 2018 and (b) 66 by 2020. [41189]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available.

Such information as is available is in the Labour Force Survey of the fourth quarter of 2010 which indicates that nearly three-quarters of the women affected by the change in the state pension age timetable are currently in employment. It also indicates that 7% of women are not seeking employment due to looking after family or home, which will include those with caring responsibilities.

Unemployment and Early Retirement: Females

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of women who will (a) become unemployed and (b) take early retirement before reaching the state pension age in each year from 2015 to 2020. [41122]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is in the table.

Current female labour market status
Percentage

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59

Employed

77.7

76.2

76.2

73.3

73.3

74.6

66.8

64.6

66.0

57.0

Unemployed

2.9

2.7

3.0

3.6

2.3

2.1

2.6

3.2

1.9

2.7

Inactive

Sick or disabled

9.4

10.9

9.5

12.2

11.6

10.5

12.9

12.4

12.6

16.9

Family or home

6.9

6.7

5.4

7.3

6.8

6.0

8.0

9.2

6.4

6.0

Retired

0.0

0.9

1.1

0.7

2.1

2.3

4.7

6.4

7.7

11.6

Other

3.1

2.7

4.9

2.8

3.9

4.5

4.9

4.1

5.4

5.8

Total inactive

19.4

21.1

20.8

23.0

24.4

23.2

30.7

32.1

32.0

40.3

Notes: 1. Date taken from Quarter 4 2010 Labour Force Survey. 2. The figures in this table are based on a small sample and so should be treated with caution when considering small differences between years or groups.

Work Capability Assessment

Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason the additional 6,800 work capability assessment claims started between October 2008 and May 2009 are included in the figures published in October 2010 but were not included in the figures published in January 2010. [41132]

Chris Grayling: Employment and support allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008. A key factor in determining eligibility for ESA is the work capability assessment (WCA). The WCA is carried out by health care professionals employed by Atos Healthcare. A report of the WCA is then sent to Jobcentre Plus. Jobcentre Plus Decision Makers (JCP DMs) have to consider all the available information before making a decision on benefit entitlement.

Figures on the assessment result for the first three WCA publications in October 2009, January 2010 and April 2010, were based on the Atos recommendation. At that time this was the only information the Department held centrally on the result of the WCA and we excluded assessments where the result was unknown. From July 2010, information on the JCP DM's decision became available. As this variable reflects the final decision rather than the Atos recommendation the publication was amended to use this variable. One effect of this change was to increase the number of known results which was reflected in the figures.

The change was fully explained in the July 2010 publication. The relevant section is reproduced here:

Annex B: Technical Note

Changes to calculation methodology since April 2010 publication

The full list of WCA publications can be found at:

Transport

Aviation: Working Hours

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency's publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, (1) what recommendations of the Moebus study were (a) included and (b) not included in Subpart Q; [38896]

(2) what definitions are employed of (a) the seasonal period and (b) designated reporting point. [38898]

Mrs Villiers: The current flight time limitation requirements in OPS 1 (Annex III to Council Regulation 3922/91) will be replaced by European Aviation Safety Agency implementing rules in 2012. EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) consulting on their proposed implementing rules. The NPA contains details of how the Moebus report was taken into account in the production of the draft guidelines. The NPA also contains the definitions used. The NPA can be downloaded from the EASA website at:

The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the proposals and we will seek to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on pilot fatigue in the last 10 years. [39681]

Mrs Villiers: In the last 10 years the Civil Aviation Authority has commissioned and evaluated:

In addition, the CAA reviews research reports published by other organisations.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on safety of replacing the Civil Aviation Authority's current CAP 371 flight time limitations with the European Aviation Safety Agency's proposals for such limitations; [39684]


17 Feb 2011 : Column 966W

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effects of implementing the European Aviation Safety Agency's Notice of Proposed Amendment to flight time limitations. [39685]

Mrs Villiers: The European Aviation Safety Agency published draft legislation for consultation on 20 December 2010. The consultation closes on 20 March. The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the proposals. It will respond to the consultation once it has completed its review. Our aim is to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what factors he will use in determining whether changes to pilots' flight time limitations being proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency provide an appropriate level of safety. [40852]

Mrs Villiers: The objective of flight time limitations is to ensure that crew members are adequately rested at the beginning of each flying duty period so that they can perform at a satisfactory level of efficiency and safety in all normal and abnormal circumstances arising during flying.

The Civil Aviation Authority will review the European Aviation Safety Agency's proposals to determine whether they meet that objective.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects on safety of the European Aviation Safety Agency's Notice of Proposed Amendment for flight time limitations. [40857]

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the potential effect on airline safety of the European Aviation Safety Agency's notice of proposed amendment for flight time limitations; [40965]

(2) what assessment he has made of the European Aviation Safety Agency's proposals on changes to flight time limitations for pilots. [41006]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Members to my answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 51W, given to the hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham).

Bus Services: Finance

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has undertaken an equality impact assessment on the effect on bus services to changes to (a) Bus Service Operator Grant, (b) concessionary fares and (c) funding settlements for local authorities. [39165]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has published its equality impact assessments for changes to the Bus Service Operators Grant and the local authority finance simplification on its website at:

The Department for Transport undertook an equality impact assessment screening for the changes to the concessionary travel reimbursement arrangements. Since this indicated no inequalities impact from the changes, a full equality impact assessment was not required.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 967W

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the effects of reductions in public expenditure on the level of bus services available. [39287]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on matters of common interest.

Departmental NDPBs

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what targets have been set for the work of the Highways Agency. [39337]

Mike Penning: The Highways Agency's business plan for the 2010-11 financial year was published on 25 March 2010. Copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses at the time of publication, and can also be found on the agency's website at

The Highways Agency's business plan for 2011-12 will contain measures that will allow the public to judge how well the Highways Agency is managing the strategic road network, but will not set targets as this Government have ended the reliance on top-down performance management to determine the effectiveness of public services.

Galileo System: Finance

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the UK of the EU Galileo project. [38357]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 8 February 2011]: In 2007, member states and the Commission agreed a budget of €3.4 billion of EU funds to complete the programme. As a rough indication the UK's pre-abatement contribution to the 2010 EU budget is currently estimated at 14%.

Galileo's development stage took place before 2007 and was funded by Member state contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA). The UK's contribution was €240.3 million.

The Commission has recently published a mid-term review of the Galileo programme. The review states that the Commission can not complete the system within the €3.4 billion budget. The Commission now estimates that if the system were to be completed, an additional €1.9 billion would have to be made available for this purpose in the next financial perspective.

The mid-term review is not a formal legal proposal for this funding.

The UK believes that rather than increasing the budget, the Commission should look at ways of reducing the scope of the programme to a level that can be achieved within the current budget.

We are urging the Commission to do this since we believe a system with reduced scope could still provide useful benefits to a wide range of users in the UK.


17 Feb 2011 : Column 968W

Highways Agency

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that all major schemes being undertaken by the Highways Agency are the subject of an up-to-date business case. [39364]

Mike Penning [holding answer 9 February 2011]: Appraisal is an ongoing process, and decisions in the 2010 spending review used the most up-to-date information available. An explanation of the analytical methods used at the spending review can be found on the Department's website, with further supporting information on the Highways Agency website.

HM Coastguard: Costs

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the public purse is of (a) each regional director in HM Coastguard posts and (b) the support teams for each such director. [40155]

Mike Penning: The current direct costs of employment for the three Maritime and Coastguard Agency regional directors and the cost of the support provided to them, is £253,344.

These three regional directors and their support teams discharge a wide range of duties and responsibilities. Among other things these duties include responsibility for HM Coastguard operational delivery. The proportion of HM Coastguard related activities will vary depending on the number of issues that arise and require their personal attention. For practical purposes we would estimate this to lie somewhere in the range of 10% to 20%.

The cost of this coastguard-related work is estimated at between £39,000 per annum and £62,000 per annum.

Lorries: Sleep Apnoea

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the proportion of drivers of large goods vehicles of each age group who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea. [41968]

Mike Penning: The information requested is not held.

Railways: Construction

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to ensure that residents in areas north of Birmingham potentially affected by high speed rail have the opportunity to participate in his Department's consultation on the principle of high-speed rail. [41586]

Mr Philip Hammond: As set out in the Department for Transport's Business Plan, the Government propose to consult on its strategy for high speed rail and on its proposed route for an initial line from London to the West Midlands between February and July 2011. All residents of the UK will have the opportunity to offer
17 Feb 2011 : Column 969W
their views on the proposals either online, or by requesting paper or electronic versions of the documents via the consultation website or by telephone.

Paper versions of all the consultation documents will also be available at central libraries or at local council offices along the proposed London to West Midlands route.

Railways: Franchising

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will have powers to prevent train operating companies changing local rail services under new franchises. [35950]

Mrs Villiers: Rail franchise agreements will require operators to provide the contracted level of service. These will be rigorously enforced. Operators will be able to make changes to the timing of train services and may-on a case by case basis-be given greater freedom than now to change frequencies or other elements of the service.

Railways: Industrial Disputes

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2011, Official Report, column 539W, on railways: industrial disputes, and with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Islington North of 15 May 2003, Official Report, column 340W, on rail strikes, when it became his Department's policy to withhold information on payments made to individual train operating companies; how much was paid in compensation to train operating companies in each year since 2005-06; and when the last such payment was made. [39530]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 14 February 2011]: There is no general policy to withhold information on payments made to individual train operating companies (TOCs), but the Department for Transport has always exercised its right to withhold, on a case-by-case basis, information on any payment it considers commercially sensitive.

Since 2005-06, compensation payments have only been made in one year (2006) and that was the last payment made to date.

Roads: Accidents

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many wheelchair users were (a) killed and (b) injured in accidents when travelling in a taxi or minibus in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [41491]

Norman Baker: I regret that the information collected on death and injuries to the occupants of taxis and minibuses does not contain any information on the disability status of casualties.

Roads: Snow and Ice

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of local authorities which have levels of salt in store at or below the recommended minimum; [33118]


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(2) what steps his Department is taking to ensure replenishment of road salt stocks; what steps he plans to take to ensure the adequacy of stocks to meet a future severe winter; and if he will make a statement. [33119]

Norman Baker: In aggregate, highways authorities started the winter period with significantly higher salt stocks than last year. The recommendations of the winter resilience review related to the level of local authority pre-winter stocks; there is no recommended "running minimum" levels in-winter. It is the responsibility of each Highway Authority to make appropriate arrangements to ensure its winter resilience levels. The Government arranged for the Highways Agency to import 250,000 tonnes of salt as a strategic national reserve in accordance with the recommendations of the winter resilience review, to be available through the 2010-11 winter season.

Due to the unusually early onset of prolonged severe winter weather inevitably led to salt stocks being utilised at a faster rate in November and December than normal. The Department for Transport has been regularly monitoring stocks held by local authorities and has taken necessary action including releasing some of the national strategic stockpile to English local authorities with low resilience, making arrangements for the import of a further volume of salt of around 273,500 tonnes as a precautionary measure and, following an urgent audit by David Quarmby, providing new guidance to highway authorities on salt spread rates.

These steps taken have ensured that the country is in a better and more resilient position than we were during last winter. At the end of January 2011 and taking results from the most recent complete survey, total salt stocks held in Great Britain, including strategic stockpiles was 971,494 tonnes this is compared to around 270,493 tonnes held on 1 February 2010.

However, we are not complacent and it is important that local highway authorities take action to implement the recommendations of David Quarmby's report in October 2010 and the more recent audit in December 2010 to ensure that they are better prepared for future winters. The Department for Transport will continue to maintain a strategic stockpile where conditions warrant it, as recommended by the report, for future winters.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the planned additional train carriages to increase capacity on the rail network will be distributed among franchised operators. [38993]

Mrs Villiers: A total of 647 additional carriages have been contracted with franchised train operators, the distribution of which is shown in the following table:


17 Feb 2011 : Column 971W
TOC Number

One (NXEA)

188

First Capital Connect

153

East Midlands Trains

8

London Midland

28

Intercity West Coast

106

Chiltern

8

First Great Western

30

South Central

60

South Eastern

48

Northern

18

England-Total

647


The Department for Transport has re-started discussions with four train operating companies (First Great Western, London Midland, South West Trains and Northern) about plans to provide additional carriages. The companies are currently developing updated proposals for consideration by the Department, and until these have been evaluated and been subject to commercial negotiations, it is not possible to be certain as to which rolling stock will eventually be used by each operator. We expect to make announcements on this matter later this year.

Additionally, the Secretary of State confirmed on 25 November 2010 that the Thameslink project will go ahead in full and that a new fleet of around 1,200 additional carriages will be introduced on services across London by 2018. A further 650 carriages will also be provided for Crossrail services by 2019.

Salt

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of procurement of the strategic stockpile of rock salt; what the volume of rock salt so procured was; what costs have been incurred in storing that stockpile; which companies were (a) shortlisted and (b) chosen to supply the strategic stockpile of rock salt; and what estimate he has made of the difference between the costs of that procurement and the costs of procurement on the open market. [35515]

Norman Baker: As a result of the recommendation for establishing a national strategic stockpile, made by the independent winter resilience review, the Secretary of State for Transport agreed that 250,000 tonnes of rock salt be procured by the Highways Agency in addition to the 60,000 tonnes the agency was planning to use as further reserve stock. Following the severe winter conditions in November 2010, the Secretary of State agreed that the agency to procure an additional 273,500 of strategic salt stock.

The majority of the salt for the strategic stock pile is currently being held at port locations around England. The cost of procuring the salt which includes storage arrangements is estimated to cost in the region of £31 million. The cost of storage beyond the end of the winter season is currently being reviewed.

The Highways Agency which was tasked with facilitating the establishment of the strategic salt stock pile, has worked with its service providers utilising existing contracts to import the salt. Consequently no shortlisting exercise was required. Highways Agency contractors had placed orders with the following salt supply companies:


17 Feb 2011 : Column 972W

The costs incurred for the procurement of strategic salt are in line with costs incurred for salt imports over the last two winters and are therefore considered in line with open market rates.

Snow and Ice

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what preparation for winter weather his Department made prior to the severe weather of December 2010; [36510]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the Met Office on predicted weather conditions for next winter; and what steps his Department is taking to deal with predicted weather conditions. [36511]

Norman Baker [holding answer 27 January 2011]: I refer my hon. Friend to the statements made by the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), which highlight the actions taken to ensure that going into the winter the UK was in a much more resilient position than in recent years:

The Department for Transport maintains close liaison with the Met Office to pay particular attention to possible impacts of a range of seasonal weather conditions on transport networks. During the period of extreme cold weather in December 2010, a Met Office forecaster was embedded in the Department for Transport to provide dedicated briefings to Ministers and officials, including attending meetings of the Winter Network Group which was set up to monitor salt stock around the country.

In addition we are currently considering advice received from Professor Sir John Beddington on the longer-term implications of the changing climate in relation to winter resilience.

Southeastern

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received on the future of the Integrated Kent Franchise; [38286]

(2) what criteria his Department will use to assess Southeastern's performance in relation to any proposed extension of its franchise to 2014. [38290]

Mrs Villiers: The franchise contract agreed with Southeastern by the previous administration includes a continuation review. The terms of the franchise provide that if the targets contained in the contract are met by Southeastern, the Department for Transport is obliged to offer the train operator a two-year extension of its franchise to cover the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014.

The franchise continuation criteria for the Southeastern franchise is specified under Schedule 18 of the National Rail Franchise Terms, which can be found at the following link:


17 Feb 2011 : Column 973W

The Secretary of State and I have received representations regarding the continuation criteria for the Southeastern franchise and the future specification for the next franchise. When Southeastern's contract is due for renewal, departmental officials will be seeking the views of stakeholders across Kent and South East London in a consultation which will form part of the franchise replacement process.

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much he estimates Southeastern will receive from the public purse in each year of the current franchise agreement; and if he will estimate how much it will receive from the public purse in each year of any extended franchise. [38289]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport published the payment profile for the Integrated Kent franchise at the time of awarding the franchise towards the end of 2005. This profile can be found via the following link:

The Department does not publish further estimates of franchise payments after commencement of franchises. However, the Office of Rail Regulation publishes actual subsidy payments and information on passenger journeys in its National Rail Trends document. This information for 2009-10 can be found on page 64 of the document on the Office of Rail Regulation website at:

In addition a copy of Rail Trends is available in the Libraries of the House.

Tolls: Lorries

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) costs and (b) benefits of his proposed road pricing scheme for hauliers he has identified; and what estimate he has made of likely annual (i) revenue from (A) foreign and (B) UK based hauliers, (ii) implementation costs and (iii) funds available for a rebate to UK based hauliers. [40427]

Mike Penning: The Government are committed to bringing in an HGV road user charge to ensure a fairer arrangement for UK hauliers and end the widespread anomaly whereby UK hauliers pay to use roads abroad, while foreign hauliers do not pay to use UK roads.

We are working to develop a practical and cost-effective scheme that is broadly revenue neutral for UK hauliers. Further details will be announced in due course.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Higher Education

22. Amber Rudd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on widening access to higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and if he will make a statement. [41363]


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Mr Willetts: This Government are committed to social mobility. That is why our higher education reforms have no payments up-front, more generous maintenance support and the extension of loans to part-time students. Last week we outlined details of our £150 million National Scholarship Programme and gave updated guidance to the Director of Fair Access about access agreements.

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to paragraph 4.4 of the Guidance to the Director of Fair Access, whether he has plans to publish the names of individual (a) universities and (b) courses which are to be referred to in access agreements as offering the greatest financial benefit to students. [41148]

Mr Willetts: The Government have no plans to compile such a list. Information for each university on previous graduate salaries, together with employment destinations, is one of the items included in the proposed Key Information Set (KIS), which will provide a standard set of 17 items of information for each course, to be made available on university websites. The KIS is based on what students have said they find useful.

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to paragraph 4.4 of the guidance to the Director of Fair Access, which courses offer the greatest financial benefit to students. [41317]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 16 February 2011]: Information on the financial benefits of different courses at broad subject group level is available from the Office for National Statistics' Labour Force Survey (LFS). Similar information can be obtained for graduate starting salaries from the Higher Education Statistics Agency's annual Destinations of Leavers from HE (DLHE) survey(1).

Information for each university on previous graduate salaries, together with employment destinations, is one of the items included in the proposed Key Information Set (KIS), which will provide a standard set of 17 items of information for each course, to be made available on university websites.

Royal Mail

25. Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with Royal Mail on the future of the inter-business agreement with the Post Office. [41366]

Mr Davey: I and my officials have had further discussions with Royal Mail and Post Office Limited regarding the work which will need to be done to separate the two businesses.

The Inter Business Agreement is a commercial contract to be agreed between the two businesses and the Royal Mail chairman has committed to agree the longest term legally permissible for that contract.


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Neither myself nor my officials have, or will be involved in the detailed negotiation of the agreement.

Apprenticeships

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeship starts there have been in the academic year 2010-11 to date. [41356]

Mr Hayes: It seems that apprenticeships are a popular subject today. And no wonder, as last week was National Apprenticeship Week, which saw over 450 events being held across the country, showcasing the benefits of apprenticeships and the value apprentices bring to organisations and individuals.

Provisional data show that there were 119,800 apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of the 2010/11 academic year (August 2010 to October 2010).

However, we will not have final data for the 2010/11 academic year until November 2011 and provisional participation data cannot be compared against final data from earlier academic years.

Groceries Supply Code

Mr Charles Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made on establishing a body to monitor and enforce the groceries supply code of practice; and if he will make a statement. [41428]

Mr Davey: The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill is currently being drafted. The aim is to publish the draft Bill around Easter, allowing time for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Bill will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Small Businesses

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on support for small businesses. [41446]

Mr Prisk: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills meets regularly with national business representative bodies-such as the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, and the Confederation of British Industry-and with other representatives of business where a wide range of matters are discussed.

Apprentices

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many new apprenticeship places for those aged (a) 18 to 24 and (b) 16 to 18 years he plans to create in the 2011-12 academic year. [41085]

Mr Hayes: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 10 February 2011, Official Report, column 385W, to his question asking how many apprenticeship places for people aged (a) 16 to 18 years and (b) 18 to 24 years funding has been allocated for in the academic year 2011-12.


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Apprenticeships are funded by both the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (19+) and the Department for Education (16-18). The Government are strongly committed to investment in apprenticeships for people of all ages. Funding for apprenticeships will increase to over £1,400 million in the 2011-12 financial year: £799 million for 16 to 18-year-olds; £605 million for those aged 19 and over.(1)

For 16 to 18-year-olds, the YPLA document "16 to 19 Funding Statement" (December 2010) states that funding will be sufficient to have 133,500 apprentice starts in the 2011/12 academic year. For adults (19 years and over), our indicative forecast is for 227,100 starts in 2011/12(2). This means we are committed to have funding in place to train over 360,000 apprentices (at all ages) in the 2011/12 academic year.

Funding for adult apprenticeships (19+) is not further differentiated by age and there are no specific allocations for the 18-24 age group.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps is he taking to create more apprenticeship places for those aged (a) 16 to 18 and (b) 18 to 24 years in the 2011-12 academic year. [41087]

Mr Hayes: We are committed to increasing the number and range of apprenticeships on offer for people of all ages. We are determined to take real action to improve and expand the apprenticeships programme and create more apprenticeship opportunities than ever before. That is why we have increased our investment to over £1,400 million in the 2011/12 financial year: £799 million for 16 to 18-year-olds; £605 million for those aged 19 and over.(1)

For 16 to 18-year-olds, the YPLA document "16 to 19 Funding Statement" (December 2010) states that funding will be sufficient to have 133,500 apprentice starts in the 2011/12 academic year. For adults (19 years and over), our indicative forecast is for 227,100 starts in 2011/12(2). This means we are committed to have funding in place to train over 360,000 apprentices (at all ages) in the 2011/12 academic year. This investment in our future will help train the next generation, as well as developing the existing workforce, which is vital to build a modern advanced economy.

The National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are working with training providers and encouraging employers to make these places available. Last week was Apprenticeship Week in England, which saw over 500 events taking place across the country to celebrate apprenticeships and promote the benefits of apprenticeships to both employers and learners. NAS is also running a marketing campaign, focussed on medium and large employers, contacting thousands of large private and public sector employers to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to their business.


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We are also working to make it easier for businesses to take on apprentices and access the benefits they bring. We are working to reduce bureaucracy and making the system simpler for employers, colleges, and learners alike and we are considering how we might better support employers to access the benefits of the programme.

Arms Trade

Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to which countries the exports of defence equipment has been supported by the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation in the last three years. [38052]

Mr Prisk: In the last three years, UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation has provided a range of support on behalf of UK defence and security companies marketing defence and security goods and services in relation to the following overseas markets:


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