Military Decorations

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of introducing a national defence medal. [59938]

Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave during the debate on the National Defence Medal on 8 February 2011, Official Report, column 57WH, secured by the right hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr MacShane).

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to provide recognition of service for all those who have served in the armed forces through a medal or certificate. [59940]

Mr Robathan: All service personnel receive a certificate of service on discharge from the armed forces. This contains the period of service, the trade of the individual and the highest rank attained.

Official recognition of service is in the form of a veterans badge and it is issued as a matter of course to all service personnel on discharge. For all other former service personnel, application can be made to the Joint Service Medal Office and one will be issued.

The Government are undertaking a review of the rules governing the awarding of military medals in line with its commitment in the programme for Government. The review is currently in the final stages of evaluation and we are currently consulting with a number of campaign groups, including the Campaign for a National Defence Medal.

Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency: Manpower

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of (a) police officers and (b) staff in the Ministry of Defence police in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011, (iii) 2012, (iv) 2013 and (v) 2014. [60173]

Mr Robathan: The number of Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) officers (strength) were as follows:

1 April 2010: 3,457

1 April 2011: 3,302

The number of non-uniformed civilian staff supporting the wider Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency, were as follows:

1 April 2010: 439

1 April 2011: 409

Consideration is being given to future staff numbers in the context of a wider examination of Defence support costs.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 942W

RAF Leuchars

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work classified as redevelopment has been (a) commenced and (b) continued at RAF Leuchars since 1 November 2010. [59618]

Mr Robathan: Since 1 November 2010 a number of redevelopment projects have commenced or continued at RAF Leuchars to achieve the minimum military requirement for Typhoon operations.

I would like to draw the right hon. Member's attention to the answer the Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), gave on 18 March 2011, Official Report, column 677W. Further research has shown that a total of some £2.9 million was spent on redevelopment at RAF Leuchars in 2010-11. I regret that this expenditure was not identified earlier.

Stabilisation Unit: Finance

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department has allocated to its Stabilisation Fund in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. [59924]

Nick Harvey: The Stabilisation Aid Fund and Conflict Prevention Pool were merged on 1 April 2009 to form the Conflict Pool, which is managed jointly by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. Funding for the Conflict Pool is provided by HM Treasury as part of a dedicated settlement on conflict resources and is separate from departmental expenditure limits.

The Conflict Pool’s funding allocation for each year of the current spending review period was provided in a written ministerial statement made by the Secretary of State for International Development on 5 April 2011, Official Report, columns 57-59WS.

Swimming Pools

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department's buildings have swimming pools for staff use. [59054]

Mr Robathan: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Cabinet Office

Civil Service

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the potential effect of civil service job losses on (a) each region of England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. [59241]

16 Jun 2011 : Column 943W

Mr Maude: It is for individual Departments to determine their workforce planning. The Government are committed to supporting all public sector employers to do everything that they can to mitigate the impact of workforce reductions.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what strategic framework his Department has developed for the delivery of its core functions during the comprehensive spending review period. [59735]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has published a Business Plan covering the period 2011-15 which sets out its commitments.

Progress against the Business Plan is set out in the Structural Reform Plan monthly updates, published on the No. 10 website, and the forthcoming Quarterly Data Summary to be published on the Cabinet Office website.

Government Departments: Business

Mr Evennett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to ensure that businesses undertaking work for Government Departments and agencies are paid promptly. [59484]

Mr Maude: The Government are determined to do everything they can to help business manage cash flow and to transform the culture of late payment. We have a target for central Government Departments to pay 80% of valid invoices within five working days of receipt.

Since 25 March 2010, it has been mandatory for all government departments, agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) (and the bodies over which they have direct control) to include a contract condition requiring their contractors to pay their sub-contractors within 30 days.

IPSA

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2010, Official Report, column 560W, on IPSA: Parliamentary Commission for Administration, whether it is the Government's policy to bring the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority within the statutory remit of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. [59754]

Mr Maude: The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority does not fall within the remit of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the parliamentary ombudsman) and the Government have no plans to bring the IPSA within the ambit of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967.

Third Sector

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what (a) market and (b) opinion research his Department has (i) conducted and (ii) commissioned on public expectations of Government in respect of provision of public services in the context of the Big Society. [60271]

16 Jun 2011 : Column 944W

Mr Hurd: I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of public attitudes towards the balance between fairness and diversity in the provision of public services. [60272]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has made no such assessment.

Well-being

Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for Government policy of the Government Office for Science's Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; and if he will make a statement; [6675]

(2) what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to his Department of the report by the Government Office for Science on Mental Capital and Wellbeing; if he will ensure that his Department's policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective well-being; and if he will make a statement. [18454]

Mr Maude: Health and well-being is one of the Cabinet Secretary's corporate priorities. The Cabinet Office is working with DWP and other Government Departments to achieve a reduction in sickness absence levels.

Home Department

Interview Transcribers

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many interview transcribers have been made redundant by West Midlands Police since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [59066]

Nick Herbert: The requested information is not collected centrally.

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2011, Official Report, column 235W, if she will list the provisions of (a) EU and (b) domestic legislation with which any local minimum unit pricing policy would need to be compliant. [59559]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 14 June 2011]:Without knowing the specific details of a proposed local minimum unit pricing policy, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of provisions with which such a policy should comply. However, local authorities are likely to want to ensure that they have complied with the legal requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Local Government Act 1972. They would also want to consider whether their policy could be seen as disproportionate in light of the effect of Article 34 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 945W

We would recommend that any local authority considering the implementation of a local minimum unit pricing policy seeks comprehensive legal advice before putting such a policy in place.

Animal Experiments: Primates

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will maintain the commitment not to permit the use of great apes in scientific procedures. [59945]

James Brokenshire: The UK currently operates a policy ban on the use of great apes in scientific research covered by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. I cannot currently envisage any circumstances in a particular case which would justify a change to this approach.

Arts: Immigration Control

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum permitted length of stay under each Tier Five Government-authorised exchange scheme is. [60024]

Damian Green: The maximum permitted period of stay under the Tier 5 Government-authorised exchange category is 24 months.

Children: Protection

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects on the effectiveness of child protection of reductions to police budgets. [59831]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 15 June 2011]: Child protection is an absolute priority for the Government and we are committed to ensuring we have the best possible arrangements in place to protect children and families from harm.

The police play an important part in local child safeguarding arrangements and have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in England and to investigate child abuse and other crimes committed against children.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have recently carried out a scoping review of child protection resources and found no evidence to suggest that any force has made or intends to make reductions to its public protection units, in particular its child protection teams. ACPO have also identified good work that is being driven locally to enhance safeguarding through stronger partnership working, and are working with forces to make these good practice models available nationally.

Cycling: Theft

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cycle thefts were reported in (a) England and Wales and (b) London in the most recent period for which figures are available. [59816]

16 Jun 2011 : Column 946W

Nick Herbert: There were 106,693 theft of pedal cycle offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2010. Of these, 22,381 offences were recorded in London.

Departmental Employment

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many managers at grade C or above have left the employment of her Department in the last two financial years; and how many of those managers have subsequently been employed by Sodexo; [59985]

(2) how many managers at grade C or above have left the employment of her Department in the last two financial years; and how many of those managers have subsequently been employed by Mitie; [59987]

(3) how many managers at grade C or above have left the employment of her Department in the last two financial years; and how many of those managers have subsequently been employed by Reliance. [59989]

Damian Green: In the financial year 2009-10, 1,144 managers at grade C or above left the Department.

In the financial year 2010-11, 1,404 managers at grade C or above left the Department.

(Figures are provided as per Office for National Statistics headcount definition—paid civil servants only.)

The Department fully complies with the rules and guidance set out by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments regarding employment of ex-civil servants, see:

http://acoba.independent.gov.uk/rules_and_guidance_civil_ servants.aspx.

We are unable to provide data on the number of managers who have subsequently been employed by (a) Sodexo, (b) Mitie and (c) Reliance. Individuals at director general and permanent secretary level who are given permission under the Rules and Guidance on Business Appointments must inform the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments if they take up employment following approval. Individuals below this level are not required to notify the Department that they have taken up employment following approval.

Departmental Procurement

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress her Department has made in encouraging small businesses to bid for Government contracts. [60183]

Damian Green: Recognising the important contribution small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make to the economy, the Home Department has fully published its plans to meet the Government's commitment to allow SMEs to compete more fairly for governmental contracts on its commercial website:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/procurement/

The Department has helped small businesses reduce the barriers they face in bidding for government contracts by simplifying processes and linking the Home Office website to the Supply2.gov.uk portal where we advertise lower value contract opportunities.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 947W

The website has also been linked to provide access to opportunities through the Contracts Finder website and Tenders Electronic Daily. In addition, the Department has provided clear links and contact points for additional information and queries. This information enables SMEs to access relevant procurement data, details of how they can potentially work with the Department (either directly, through the supply chain or as part of a consortium) and details of what the Department buys.

The Department is continuing with further work to evaluate its procurement activity to establish areas of goods and services which can be delivered by SMEs. This evaluation will inform our procurement approach and ensure we maximise opportunities for such enterprises.

Drugs: Young People

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to address drug misuse amongst the migrant youth population. [59809]

James Brokenshire: Drugs misuse among young people, including the migrant youth population, is being addressed through the Drug Strategy 2010.

There are three strands to the Strategy: reducing demand; restricting supply; and building recovery in communities. The reducing demand theme outlines our approach to preventing young people taking drugs in the first place and, for those already misusing drugs, intervening early and providing support to help them stop their drugs use. By working with the Department for Education and others we are ensuring young people have access to information on drugs—and the effects and harms of drugs—via schools through the internal review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education and review of the National Curriculum and the FRANK drugs information and support service.

The Strategy recognises that particular groups of young people may be at increased risk of drug misuse. Approaches to identifying the needs of young people and the appropriate support are best made at the local level. For those young people who already misuse drugs we are ensuring they have rapid access to specialist support through local substance misuse and youth offending services.

To facilitate this we are encouraging local services to work together by simplifying the funding mechanisms that are used to deliver tailored interventions in local areas for young people and families.

The focus of the Strategy as far as young people are concerned is preventing the escalation of drug misuse by young people to stop them becoming drug dependent adults.

Entry Clearances: Pakistan

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of Pakistani nationals who travelled to the UK in each of the last three years. [60083]

Damian Green: The available statistics relate to the number of journeys made by Pakistani nationals given leave to enter the UK, for the period 2007 to 2009.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 948W

Passengers who make more than one journey in a calendar year are counted on each occasion. The statistics are given in the following table:

Pakistani nationals (1) given leave to enter the United Kingdom, 2007 to 2009

Number of journeys

2007

255,000

2008

243.000

2009(2)

214,000

(1) Figures rounded to three significant figures. (2) Provisional figures. Source: Migration Statistics, Home Office Statistics.

Statistics on passengers given leave to enter the United Kingdom by nationality and purpose of journey are published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin, “Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom”. These publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1

Human Trafficking

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has provided to non-governmental organisations on its consultation on the human trafficking strategy. [59939]

Damian Green: The Government held a series of workshops with non-governmental organisations to inform the development of the human trafficking strategy.

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been employed by the UK Human Trafficking Centre in each of the last five years. [58955]

Damian Green: The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) was created in 2008 and was hosted by South Yorkshire police until it became part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) on 1 April 2010.

As at 31 March 2011 the number of people employed to work in the UKHTC in each year that it has been in operation is as follows:

Financial year Number of employees as at 31 March of each year

2008-09

(1)25

2009-10

(1)25

2010-11

(2)37

(1 )These figures show the number of people employed by South Yorkshire police to work in the UKHTC and do not include secondees from SOCA, UKBA or other agencies. The figures also exclude contractors who may have been employed by South Yorkshire police to work for UKHTC on a temporary basis. (2 )35 of the 37 employees were SOCA staff and two were UKBA staff on attachment. These figures do not include additional resources which UKHTC, as a part of SOCA, can draw on when required. The UKHTC is further supported by partners in the public, private and charity sectors.

Immigration: Crime

Mr Brine: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many emails sent to the UK Border Agency public email address [email protected] gsi.gov.uk, to report suspected immigration crime were received successfully in the latest period for which figures are available. [59997]

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Damian Green: The information requested is as follows:

Allegation e-mails received in the public inquiries mailbox
Period Number

Week beginning 14 June 2010-week ending 4 July 2010

1,948

Week beginning 5 July-week ending 1 August 2010

2,958

Week beginning 2 August-week ending 5 September 2010

3,494

Week beginning 6 September-week ending 3 October 2010

2,760

Week beginning 4 October-week ending 31 October 2010

2,609

Week beginning 1 November-week ending 5 December 2010

3,367

Week beginning 6 December2010-week ending 2 January 2011

2,890

Week beginning 3 January-week ending 30 January 2011

2,343

Week beginning 31 January-week ending 27 February 2011

2,800

Week beginning 28 February-week ending 27 March 2011

2,647

Week beginning 28 March-week ending 1 May 2011

2,829

Week beginning 2 May 2011-week ending 29 May 2011

2,658

Week beginning 30 May-week ending 13 June 2011

1,065

Total

34,368

Knives

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the contribution of the knife amnesty boxes to combating knife crime. [59028]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office has not undertaken a recent assessment of knife amnesty boxes.

The Government believe that individual police forces, local authorities and other partners are best placed to decide when to run an amnesty and assess the impact an amnesty could have in their locality.

The last national knife amnesty was held in England and Wales between 24 May and 30 June 2006; in Scotland from 25 May 2006 for one month; and, in Northern Ireland from 25 May 2006 for three weeks.

According to figures supplied by the police, this national amnesty resulted in over 89,000 items being handed in.

National Crime Agency: Finance

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to allocate funding to the National Crime Agency to compensate victims of crimes. [59925]

James Brokenshire: Policy responsibility for the compensation of victims of crime falls under the remit of the Ministry of Justice. There are no plans to allocate funding to victims of crime via the National Crime Agency.

Police

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of each of the four police and crime commissioners in Wales during their four-year mandate. [53181]

Nick Herbert: The running costs of Police and Crime Commissioners should be no more than police authorities currently. The only additional cost to the taxpayer under the new system will be that of elections. Democratic accountability will create a sharp incentive on Police

16 Jun 2011 : Column 950W

and Crime Commissioners to cut bureaucracy, increase efficiency and drive down costs, ensuring that forces focus on the policing the public want.

As stated in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill's impact assessment, elections for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales will cost £50 million in 2012. These estimates are based on the costs of other national elections and costings are, therefore, not available for each force area. However, the money was allocated separately by the Treasury as part of the comprehensive spending review; no money for elections will come out of police force budgets.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which police authority area each local authority in England and Wales, excluding London, is situated. [58971]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is shown in the tables placed in the House Library.

Police: Accountability

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) letters and (b) emails she has received supporting her proposals for elected police commissioners. [59677]

Nick Herbert: My Department is in regular receipt of many letters and e-mails on the Government’s proposals for strengthening police accountability. An analysis of this kind could be made only at disproportionate cost.

Police: Demonstrations

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department provides to police authorities on the levels of charges for the costs of policing payable by the organisers of (a) marches, (b) parades and (c) protests. [59651]

Nick Herbert: The police do not levy a charge for the policing of marches or protests. Consequently no guidance is produced on this issue. In respect of ‘parades’ or other events, the police have the power to charge for policing at any commercial event under section 25 of the Police Act 1996. No specific guidance has been produced by the Home Office in respect of charging for these events.

Police: Housing

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many properties were provided by territorial police forces for the use of police officers and staff in (a) the London Borough of Westminster, (b) Greater London and (c) England and Wales in each of the last five years; and what the cost to the public purse was of such provision in each year. [59323]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not hold this information centrally. The majority of police funding is not ring-fenced and decisions on how it is spent are for the chief constable and police authority to take locally.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 951W

Police: Pay

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what impact assessment has been undertaken on the effects of proposals to suspend incremental increases in police pay. [58513]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 9 June 2011]: The proposed suspension of incremental pay increases for police officers and staff to which my hon. Friend refers is one of the recommendations in the first report published by Tom Winsor from his independent review of police remuneration and conditions of service. The full report is available at:

http://review.police.uk

and at the Vote Office.

Quilliam: Finance

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding from the public purse was provided to the Quilliam Foundation in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10, (c) 2010-11 and (d) 2011-12. [60162]

James Brokenshire: Funding from the Home Office was provided to Quilliam as follows:

(a) £664,908.00

(b) £387,382.10

(c) £158,906.66

(d) (to date) £26,993.34

The above figures reflect funding provided to Quilliam solely by the Home Office. Other departments may also have provided funding to Quilliam, but this is not included in the figures provided here.

Repatriation: Kosovo

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Kosovan asylum seekers were repatriated in each year since 2000. [60060]

Damian Green: The following table shows the number of Kosovan asylum seekers, including dependants, who were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK to the recorded destination of Kosovo in each year from 2004 to 2010.

Removals and voluntary departures (1,2,3) of asylum cases, nationals of Kosovo to Kosovo, 2004 to 2010

Number of departures (4,5)

2004(6)

970

2005(6)

755

2006(6)

485

2007(7)

320

2008(7)

140

2009(7,8)

110

2010(7,8)

40

(1 )Figures are rounded to the nearest 5. (2) Includes enforced removals, persons departing voluntarily after notifying the UK Border Agency of their intention to leave prior to their departure, persons leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes and since January 2005 persons who it has been established left the UK without informing the immigration authorities. (3 )Figures include dependants. (4 )Removals and voluntary departures recorded on the system as at the dates on which the data extracts were taken. (5 )Destination as recorded on source database. (6) Management information; figures are approximate. (7) National Statistics. (8) Provisional figures.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 952W

Destination data have only been recorded since 2004; therefore requested data for each year between 2000 and 2003 are not available.

Data for the years 2004 to 2006 are based on management information and are approximate. This is due to data quality issues with the recording of Kosovan cases on the UK Border Agency Case Information Database (CID) prior to the state union of Serbia and Montenegro coming to an end in June 2006. Data from 2007 onwards are National Statistics.

The Home Office publishes statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK on a quarterly and annual basis, which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Science, Research and Statistics web pages at:

http://homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statisticsl/

Telephone Tapping: Newspaper Press

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the information she holds on the terms of reference for the Operation Weeting inquiry into hacking being undertaken by the Metropolitan Police. [59641]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 June 2011]: The terms of reference and the conduct of Operation Weeting are operational matters for the Metropolitan Police Service and the Home Office does not hold the information requested.

Theft

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes have been reported involving pickpockets in each of the last three years. [59103]

Nick Herbert: Crime statistics supplied to the Home Office from police forces are based on counts of notifiable offences. Thefts involving pick-pocketing will be included within the offence category of ‘theft from the person’ but this group will also include other thefts, such as theft of a purse from a shopping trolley.

Published figures for England and Wales show that there were 101,650 recorded offences of theft from the person in 2007-08, 89,662 offences in 2008-09 and 92,271 offences in 2009-10.

Visas: Kosovo

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK visas have been granted to citizens of Kosovo in each of the last five years. [60059]

Damian Green: The number of visas issued to Kosovo nationals for the years 2006 to 2010 is:


Number

2006

0

2007

44

2008

182

2009

2,185

2010

3,268

16 Jun 2011 : Column 953W

Total

5,679

The data are based on management information. They are provisional and subject to change

West Midlands Police

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the rate of employee attrition for (a) civilian staff and (b) warranted officers in West Midlands Police was in each of the last five years; [59087]

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(2) how many (a) civilian staff and (b) warranted officers West Midlands Police employed in each financial year since 2002-03. [59088]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 10 June 2011]: The available figures for West Midlands police force show the rate of employee attrition for civilian staff and warranted officers from 2005-06 to 2009-10 and are shown on table A. For the purposes of this answer, we have taken employee attrition to mean the total number of leavers during the financial year as a percentage of total number of staff in post at the end of the financial year. Table B shows the number of civilian and warranted officers employed in West Midlands police force from 2002-03 to 2009-10.

Table A: Rate of employee attrition (FTE) (1) for civilian staff and warranted officers, West Midlands police force from 2005-06 to 2009-10
  Leavers (2) Strength (3) Employee Attrition (4)

Civilian Staff (5) Warranted Officers (6) Civilian Staff (5) Warranted Officers (6) Civilian Staff (5) (percentage) Warranted Officers (6) (percentage )

2005-06

259

488

3,300

8,192

8

6

2006-07

270

475

3,343

8,245

8

6

2007-08

263

417

3,436

8,412

8

5

2008-09

238

459

3,570

8,637

7

5

2009-10

221

425

3,667

8,626

6

5

(1) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2) Leavers during the financial year. (3) Strength at the end of financial year. (4) Employee attrition—leavers during the financial year as a percentage of staff in post at the end of the financial year. (5) Civilian staff are police staff. (6) Warranted officers are police officers.
Table B: Number of civilian staff and warranted officers employed (FTE) (1) in West Midlands police force from 2002-03 to 2009-10 (2)

Civilian Staff (2) Warranted Officers (4)

2002-03

3,012

7,832

2003-04

3,100

8,008

2004-05

3,143

8,154

2005-06

3,300

8,192

2006-07

3,343

8,245

2007-08

3,436

8,412

2008-09

3,570

8,637

2009-10

3,667

8,626

(1) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2) Strength at the end of the reporting period, as at 31 March. (3) Civilian staff are police staff. (4) Warranted officers are police officers.

International Development

Afghanistan: Corruption

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of progress in reducing the level of corruption in Afghanistan since January 2011. [60117]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Corruption in Afghanistan is endemic. The UK Government, including the Department for International Development (DFID), are working closely with the Government of Afghanistan to tackle corruption, enforce the law and improve government accountability at all levels. Progress to date has been mixed. However, since January 2011 a significant achievement has been the establishment of an independent anti-corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC).

The MEC, comprised of Afghans and international experts will assess progress with tackling corruption against agreed benchmarks and the effectiveness of international assistance in support of these efforts. The UK Government played a key role in lobbying for the creation of the MEC and are supporting its development.

Developing Countries: Climate Change

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development by what date he plans to commit the amounts pledged by his Department as fast start climate finance for developing countries. [59549]

Mr O'Brien: The UK's International Climate Fund (ICF) commitment, announced in the 2010 spending review, fully funds the UK's £1.5 billion Fast Start pledge, of which over one-third has already been committed in 2010. Further activities are under way or in design to ensure that developing countries can achieve real, tangible progress towards low carbon, climate resilient development and reduce deforestation.

Developing Countries: Family Planning

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to press his counterparts at the Rio Earth Summit preparatory meetings to (a) invest in and (b) prioritise family planning services for the purposes of population stabilisation, poverty eradication and sustainable development. [59748]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK Government recognise the links between population, environmental degradation and stresses on natural resources. DFID will continue

16 Jun 2011 : Column 955W

to work closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which leads the British Government’s preparations for Rio2012, to ensure that critical factors in encouraging more sustainable trajectories of growth are addressed.

Meeting the need for family planning, together with wider investment in girls’ education and empowerment, will help reduce unwanted fertility and reduce population growth. DFID is committed to enabling at least 10 million more women in developing countries to use modern methods of family planning by 2015 and, in doing so, prevent more than 5 million unintended pregnancies.

Developing Countries: Law and Order

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on provision of (a) law and order services, (b) police services, (c) prison services including the building of prisons and (d) the criminal justice systems in each of the last five years; and what the (i) recipient country and (ii) amount provided was in each case. [59668]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not track spend against the specific categories mentioned in the question as there is some overlap between them. I have placed two tables in the Library of the House providing data by country and year across the two categories currently used by DFID to track spending on Legal and Judicial Development and Security Sector Reform.

Data have been included where there has been expenditure greater than £100,000 in any one of the last five years.

This covers spend by DFID and not total Government spend. Security and Justice is a priority area for the Conflict Pool. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence disburse Conflict Pool resources in this area. Details of official development assistant disbursed through other Government Departments can be found at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-DFID/Finance-and-performance/Aid-Statistics/Statistic-on-International-Development-2010/

Further detail on DFID's specific projects is available at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/

Developing Countries: Poverty

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will (a) attend the Rio Earth Summit preparatory meetings and (b) press his counterparts at such meetings to recommit to the Programme of Action on eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable development agreed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. [59749]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Decisions regarding ministerial attendance at Rio2012 will be taken in due course. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has overall responsibility for coordinating the British Government's preparations for Rio2012, The Secretary of State for DEFRA will attend meetings in preparation for Rio2012.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 956W

The UK supports the Programme of Action from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which agreed that population and development are inextricably linked, and that empowering women, advancing gender equality, eliminating violence against women and ensuring women’s ability to control their own fertility were essential elements of development policies. We continue to seek appropriate opportunities to advance the ICPD agenda.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Copyright: Music

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on the level of licences and fees charged by the Performing Rights Society for the use of radios in the workplace. [59552]

Mr Davey: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, has not received any such representations recently. The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my noble Friend Baroness Wilcox, has dealt with a number of letters on the subject of music licensing from Members of Parliament resulting from correspondence with their constituents. Some of these have been about the level of the fees for music licences from collecting societies including PRS for Music.

Departmental Charitable Donations

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage charitable giving by Ministers in his Department. [57121]

Mr Davey: All Government Ministers have pledged to undertake a ‘one day challenge’ with a charity or community group of their choice. This is a clear and public commitment by Ministers to give their time to help others. The pledge aims to inspire others to consider how they might be able to support their communities to benefit themselves, as well as their chosen organisations.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what strategic framework his Department has developed for the delivery of its core functions during the comprehensive spending review period. [59736]

Mr Davey: BIS has published a business plan for 2011-15. This document provides details of how the Department will be delivering on the commitments in the coalition agreement and in the plan for growth. The actions detailed in the business plan will be refreshed annually.

Progress against delivery of these actions is publicly reported every month and a quarterly data summary, due for publication in July, provides an overview of the Department's performance overall.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 957W

Delivery of core functions forms part of the Department's ongoing performance and risk monitoring process. Performance against all objectives is regularly reviewed and risks escalated for the consideration of the Department's Executive Board in accordance with the Corporate Governance Code.

Export Credit Guarantees: Zimbabwe

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which projects in Zimbabwe supported by the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) have contributed to the debt owed by Zimbabwe to the ECGD. [59784]

Mr Davey: Exports supported by the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) where debts are outstanding to ECGD are shown as follows.

Project Description

1,500 vehicles and spare parts

300 vehicle kits and spare parts

Construction and commission of a new international airport terminal

Power station refurbishment—Bulawayo

Construction of a pipeline

Design, supply and delivery of transformers and reactors

Gas coke oven

Iron ore crushing equipment

Iron ore sintering plant

Iron ore sintering plant—supplemental

Mobile phone system

Power station refurbishment—Harare and Munyah

Radar equipment, spare parts and servicing

Supply of coke oven plant and machinery

Timber processing plant

Transceiver ancillary equipment

Foreign Investment in UK

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which 10 countries provide the highest level of inward investment in each of the sectors mentioned in the Plan for Growth; and what proportion of such investment by each such country has been in research and development in each of the last 10 years. [59511]

Mr Willetts: It is not possible to provide information of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) funded by country using the Plan for Growth sectors. This is because the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) figures for FDI by sector and country do not use the same sector definitions as the Plan for Growth and much of the sector/country data it does seek to show are not publicly available due to restrictions on data disclosure.

It is also not possible to estimate what proportion of investment by each such country has been in UK research and development. While the ONS collect data on FDI flows to the UK by country, the ONS do not publish a

16 Jun 2011 : Column 958W

disaggregation by source country of inward investment made specifically into research and development.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) representations and (b) research he has received on the relative performance of UK-domiciled full-time first degree qualifiers at (i) Oxford and (ii) Cambridge Universities who previously attended independent schools. [59964]

Mr Willetts: I have received a small number of representations about the relative performance of pupils from independent schools at Oxford and Cambridge.

I have recently received two new pieces of research on the topic, both undertaken by admissions staff and tutors at the university of Cambridge:

“The Predictive Effectiveness of Metrics in Admission to Cambridge University”

“School Background is not a factor in Cambridge degree success”

Both reports are available on the Cambridge Admissions website at

http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/research/

These reports add to recent studies which focus on the performance of pupils at Oxford and Cambridge:

“Schooling effects on degree performance: a comparison of the predictive validity of aptitude testing and secondary school grades at Oxford University”, Ogg, Zimdars and Heath, British Educational Research Journal, 2009

“The Effect of School Background on Value-Added at Oxbridge”, McCrum, Brundin and Halsey, Oxford Magazine, 2006

On 8 June the Cabinet Office hosted a seminar, attended by officials from my Department, which brought together key researchers—including some of the authors of the above studies—admissions tutors and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of these and other research studies.

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2011, Official Report, columns 645-46W, on higher education: admissions, (1) how many (a) UK domiciled and (b) non-UK domiciled full-time first degree qualifiers achieved each degree classification at a UK higher education institution in the academic year 2009-10; [60242]

(2) how many UK-domiciled full-time first degree qualifiers at UK higher education institutions who previously attended a state school achieved each degree classification in the academic year 2009-10. [60244]

Mr Willetts: The latest available information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is shown in the table. Figures for the 2010/11 academic year will be available in January 2012.

Full-time first degree qualifiers by domicile, degree classification and previous school type, UK higher education institutions, academic year 2009/10
Degree classification UK domiciled (1) of which: previously attended state school Non-UK domiciled

First class

36,300

16,625

6,445

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16 Jun 2011 : Column 960W

Upper second

127,090

59,120

18,445

Lower second

70,790

28,730

15,535

Third class / Pass

14,160

4,785

5,005

Total classified

248,340

109,260

45,435

(1 )The figure for all UK domiciled qualifiers will include those whose previous school type was unknown. In 2009/10, 13% of the data were missing/unknown. Notes: Figures are based on a HESA qualifications obtained population and have been rounded to the nearest five. Certain qualifications gained at first degree level are not subject to classification of the award, notably medical and general degrees. These together with ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications will be excluded from this analysis. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2011, Official Report, columns 645-46W, on higher education: admissions, how many UK-domiciled first degree qualifiers at (a) Oxford University, (b) Cambridge University and (c) Russell Group universities who previously attended (i) state schools and (ii) independent schools achieved each degree classification in the academic year 2009-10. [60243]

Mr Willetts: The latest available information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is shown in the table.

UK domiciled first degree qualifiers (1) by institution and previous school type (2) . UK higher education institutions. Academic year 2009/10
  Russell Group Of which: Oxford Of which: Cambridge
Degree classification State Independent State Independent State Independent

First class

6,180

2,340

380

350

255

260

Upper second

18,350

8,295

835

830

670

660

Lower second

5,545

2,105

95

65

95

85

Third class/pass

805

310

10

10

25

15

Total classified

30,880

13,045

1,320

1,260

1,045

1,015

(1 )Covers qualifiers from both full-time and part-time first degree courses. (2) As well as state and independent schools, other categories included in previous school type are FE institution, HE institution and unknown/missing. These categories are excluded from the figures in the table. Note: Figures are based on a HESA qualifications obtained population and have been rounded to the nearest five. Certain qualifications gained at first degree level are not subject to classification of the award, notably medical and general degrees. These together with ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications will be excluded from this analysis. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Higher Education: Disadvantaged

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who will go to university in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13. [60067]

Mr Willetts: The Government do not make estimates of the number of people who will attend university from different backgrounds. It is expected that the total number of places in 2011/12 will be broadly similar to 2010/11. The Government are committed to access to higher education being based on talent and potential irrespective of background, and the coalition agreement recognises the need to attract a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Higher Education: North West England

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people normally resident in Warrington North constituency applied to attend higher education institutions in the academic year (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; and how many such applications were successful in each ward. [59343]

Mr Willetts: The information is in the table and has been provided by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Applicants who were not accepted for entry will include: individuals who did not receive any offer; individuals who received an offer (conditional or unconditional) but decided not to go to university; individuals who received a conditional offer and failed to meet the specific conditions (e.g. they did not achieve certain grades); and individuals who decided to withdraw from the UCAS system.

Applicants and accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses at UK institutions from Warrington North constituency by electoral ward 2009/10 and 2010/11
  2009 2010
Ward Applicants Accepted applicants Applicants Accepted applicants

Birchwood

86

75

108

88

Burtonwood and Winwick

61

52

43

30

Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft

102

83

137

112

Fairfield and Howley

67

47

83

57

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16 Jun 2011 : Column 962W

Orford

55

45

74

55

Poplars and Hulme

68

60

84

56

Poulton North

69

54

80

59

Poulton South

61

49

61

44

Rixton and Woolston

94

77

73

61

Westbrook

95

83

70

57

Grand total

758

625

813

619

Notes: 1. Figures cover applications to higher education courses at higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs). 2. Figures do not include applicants to higher education who do not apply through UCAS (i.e. people who apply directly to institutions). Source: UCAS

Higher Education: Research

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to increase financial support for early career and postdoctoral researchers in universities. [59833]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 15 June 2011]: The UK’s research base is a vital national asset and critical to long-term economic growth. Despite enormous pressure on public spending, the funding for science and research programmes has been protected in cash terms at £4.6 billion for each year of the spending review within a ring-fence. Maintaining a substantial flow of new researchers was indentified as a priority in the allocations to the research councils, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the national academies.

The research councils UK strategic vision includes the promotion of high level skills and states that they will consolidate and focus support for people giving greater attention to establishing the careers of the best early career researchers. The financial allocations to the research councils for the comprehensive spending review period 2011 to 2015 will ensure that the research councils maintain significant support for early career and postdoctoral researchers.

BIS funds a number of early and mid-career fellowship programmes run by the three national academies: these enable the brightest and best academics to work full-time on research and were given priority when negotiating funding allocations. BIS funding for these programmes increases in each year of the current spending review period.

The main funders of research in the UK are all signatories to The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers which has the overall aim of increasing the attractiveness and sustainability of research careers in the UK and improving the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.

A significant number of early career and postdoctoral researchers are, of course, employed directly by individual universities and it is up to them to decide on the levels of financial support and other available assistance provided.

Horticulture: Imports

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to implement a UK trade ban on the import of horticultural products following the recent E. coli outbreak in Germany for the purposes of protecting UK producers from price competition arising from cheap, surplus stock exported from (a) Spain and (b) other EU member states. [59528]

Mr Paice: I have been asked to reply.

The E. coli outbreak has had a disruptive economic impact on growers and others within the supply chain for fruit and vegetables across the EU, including our domestic industry.

At retail level, prices for domestically produced salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and courgettes), have remained relatively stable, although demand continues to decline. As a result more produce is being sent to the wholesale market, which is experiencing consequential price movements. Surplus EU produce has been directed to alternative EU markets, including our own, with similar consequences for prices, although I understand that prices for English produce are faring better than those for imported produce. But the situation continues to develop and the latest indications from our trade organisations are that the market remains depressed, which is not helped by retail demand for salad crops in particular being sensitive to the weather.

While there has been an impact on our industry it would be against both the single common market organisation and World Trade Organisation rules to implement a trade ban for the purposes of protecting domestic producers from price competition. However, the welcome news that the Russian Federation has lifted its ban on imports of fruit and vegetables from the European Union is an important development, which should start to alleviate the pressure on volumes and prices being experienced on the domestic market.

Overseas Students: English Language

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received from English universities about English language testing for overseas students; and what steps he has taken in response to such representations. [59562]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 14 June 2011]: I have received representations from a number of vice-chancellors about the difficulties universities are experiencing with the implementation of the new English language requirements and I am also in close contact with Professor Steve Smith, President of Universities UK. I have discussed the universities' concerns with the Minister for Immigration,

16 Jun 2011 : Column 963W

my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Damian Green) and he has meanwhile met a group of university representatives to clarify the new requirements.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will put in place transitional arrangements to enable universities to apply the 2010-11 entry criteria for international students to candidates who have already applied for entry for 2011-12 prior to full implementation of the requirement for students to meet level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all four components; and if he will make a statement. [59769]

Damian Green: I have been asked to reply.

The new, tighter requirements for English language for Tier 4 students are expected to help eliminate abuse of the system by ensuring that only genuine students who are able to complete the course can come to the UK. Universities and other higher education institutions have some flexibility in how best to ensure that their students meet the English language requirements, including a transitional measure for this year only in relation to students enrolling on a pre-sessional course before the main course of study. The UK Border Agency has published further detail and clarification on the new requirements on its website.

Patents: International Co-operation

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to encourage the European Patent Office to pursue work-sharing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Japan Patent Office. [59965]

Mr Davey: Following encouragement from the Government through the Intellectual Property Office, the European Patent Office has increasingly engaged in work-sharing initiatives with other Patent Offices, including the Japanese Patent Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and other large Patent Offices.

The UK continues to work closely with the European Patent Office in identifying ways in which work sharing can help reduce duplication of effort by offices, and reduce global patent backlogs.

The importance of addressing increasing delays in the patent system was underlined by the findings a UK Government-commissioned report published in March 2010. That study found that an additional year's pendency would cost business £7.6 billion and was expected within five years on current trends.

Students: Fees and Charges

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2011, Official Report, column 108W, on students: loans, what proportion of students currently taking up places in higher education pay upfront fees. [58412]

Mr Willetts: We estimate that around 14% of English domiciled full-time undergraduate students who studied in the UK and were eligible for full tuition fee support in 2009/10 did not take out fee loans from the Student Loans Company to cover their fees.

16 Jun 2011 : Column 964W

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the average level of fees for part-time courses in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13. [60239]

Mr Willetts: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 8 June 2011, Official Report, column 400W.

Students: Finance

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of undergraduate loans were awarded to students whose household income was (a) less than £25,000, (b) between £25,000 and £42,600 and (c) greater than £42,600 where the student lived (i) at home and (ii) away from home in each of the last five years. [59067]

Mr Willetts: The requested information is not available, as many loans are not means tested, and the income details of students applying for non means tested support are not held centrally.

Tuition fee loans are not means tested. Students can apply for a non-means tested maintenance loan without supplying income details; this is worth up to 72% of the maximum possible amount of maintenance loan. In addition, income details are not collected from continuing students who have indicated that their income has not changed significantly since the previous year.

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average undergraduate loan was for students who lived (a) at home or (b) away from home in each of the last five years. [59069]

Mr Willetts: The information can be found in the following tables.

Average student loan awarded (1) to applicants domiciled in England
Maintenance loan
  Average amount awarded (£)
Location 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 (2)

Living at home

2,820

2,660

2,560

2,590

2,630

Living elsewhere

3,810

3,770

3,790

3,870

3,910

Total

3,600

3,540

3,530

3,600

3,650

Tuition fee loan
  Average amount awarded (£)
Location 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 (2)

Living at home

1,980

2,460

2,800

2,960

3,060

Living elsewhere

1,780

2,340

2,780

2,990

3,110

Total

1,820

2,360

2,780

2,980

3,100

(1) The figures above show awards of student support. Some awards do not lead to payment because the applicant does not secure a place or does not attend. Figures on loans paid cannot be broken down by living at home or elsewhere, therefore total figures above are slightly different to published figures on loans paid. Published figures on the awards situation two months into the academic year are different to those above which show the final awards position, except for 2010/11. (2) 2010/11 data are provisional. Source: Student Loans Company

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Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Department's publication Thinking of Going to University in 2012, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on students from low-income households of the planned rate of interest applied to student loans; and whether he plans to carry out an equality impact assessment. [59221]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 10 June 2011]:Generally, no undergraduate student studying for their first, full-time qualification will have to contribute to their higher education until they are in a job, and earning over £21,000. As now, the repayment will be 9% of income above the threshold. The repayment period will be a maximum of 30 years. Interest will be set at RPI (retail prices index) + 3% while in study, and once the borrower

16 Jun 2011 : Column 966W

is liable to repay, interest will vary according to income. If earning £21,000 or less, interest will be set at RPI, and gradually it will increase up to a rate of RPI + 3% for those earning £41,000 or more.

This will mean that those who choose modestly paid or unpaid work—which may include time spent bringing up a family—will not be asked to make a contribution and will only be charged the lowest rate of interest. And where someone is contributing and ceases work or begins to earn under the threshold, contributions will cease and the interest rate will decrease.

An interim impact assessment was published in November 2010 which looked at the reforms to higher education funding and student finance and this set out that the new system is more progressive to benefit those who earn less in future.