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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 24 October 2011

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Arab States: Islam

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia Muslims on political reform and democratisation within Arab states in the Gulf. [76588]

Alistair Burt: I am concerned about increasing sectarian tensions in the Gulf. We are monitoring the situation across the Gulf. The UK supports reform efforts throughout the region that include all sections of society.

Bahrain: Human Rights

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Bahrain on the subject of human rights. [76338]

Alistair Burt: We have repeatedly raised the issue of human rights with the Bahraini Government and will continue to do so to ensure all human rights obligations are being met. Political freedoms, equal access to justice and the rule of law must all be upheld; these do not run contrary to security, but are integral to long-term stability.

Egypt: Politics and Government

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Egypt to comply with the Camp David accords. [75788]

Alistair Burt: We have made clear publicly and privately with Egyptian interlocutors that we welcome statements made since February 2011, reaffirming Egypt's commitment to its international treaty obligations including the Camp David Accords. The accords are a cornerstone of regional peace and we encourage both sides to abide by their terms. Our priority remains a comprehensive negotiated solution to the middle east peace process.

Iceland: Debts

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions are available to the Government in its pursuit of the repayment of debts owed to UK businesses, local authorities and individuals by the Icelandic government. [75383]

Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply.

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Retail depositors of Icelandic banks have received their funds in full via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (acting in part as the agent for HM Treasury). The claims of other creditors are being considered under Icelandic insolvency law. That process is ongoing.

Libya: Human Rights

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with leaders of the Libyan National Transitional Council on the treatment of (a) civilians generally and (b) persons of sub-Saharan origin. [76377]

Alistair Burt: During his recent visit to Tripoli, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised reports about the treatment of detainees, including those of sub-Saharan origin, with National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil, and urged him to take action to prevent abuses of human rights. The NTC have stressed their commitment to uphold human rights law and have already begun investigations into these reports.

Libya: Politics and Government

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice his Department is providing to the Libyan authorities on the security situation in that country. [73271]

Mr Hague: The UK is working closely with the National Transitional Council on a number of security issues in Libya, including providing technical advice through a senior police adviser deployed to Libya, equipment for the police and assistance in collecting and securing Man-Portable Air Defense Systems.

Middle East: Natural Gas

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the likelihood of the restoration of gas supplies from Egypt to Israel; and if he will make a statement. [75790]

Alistair Burt: We have received no reports on the likelihood of the restoration of gas supplies from Egypt to Israel.

Middle East: Pipelines

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has discussed with his Egyptian counterpart the recent bombings of the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline; and if he will make a statement. [75789]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not discussed the recent bombings of the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline with his counterpart. However, we remain concerned about recent security incidents in the Sinai, and we welcome the statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on 12 February and subsequently that Egypt would abide by all its regional and international treaty obligations.

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Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the Government can provide to the governments of (a) Egypt and (b) Israel in respect of reopening the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline. [75791]

Alistair Burt: We have not offered any assistance to the Egyptian or Israeli Governments in respect of reopening the Arish-Ashkelon pipeline, and have no current plans to do so. However, we will continue to express our concern about the impact of security incidents on stability in the region.

Palestinians: Prisoners

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on hunger strikes by Palestinians in prison in Israel; and if he will make a statement. [75814]

Alistair Burt: We are aware that Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike since 27 September. This was suspended for three days while awaiting confirmation that the Israeli Prison Service will officially end its policy on punitive isolation. Other demands, including education, seem to have been met as part of the prisoner exchange deal on 18 October.

The UK is continuing to monitor closely the situation with regard to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. Palestinian prisoners should have access to a fair trial, and Israel should ensure that it treats detainees in accordance with international law. We continue to raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities and to issue statements when appropriate.

Palestinians: Recognition of States

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress at the UN on the application by the Palestinian Authority for recognition as a state. [76142]

Alistair Burt: President Abbas submitted the Palestinian application for full membership of the UN on 23 September. No vote is imminent in the Security Council, while the membership committee considers its recommendation. So far we have not been presented with a detailed proposal on which to take a position. Whether the committee returns the issue to the Security Council, or whether President Abbas decides to turn to the General Assembly, the UK will use its vote in a way which increases the likelihood of a return to meaningful negotiations.

The UK's position on recognition of a Palestinian state is clear: a Palestinian state is a legitimate goal, and the best way of achieving this is through a comprehensive agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The UK has deliberately reserved its position on the question of recognition of Palestinian statehood while we continue to urge all parties back to talks. Withholding our position in this way, along with other European partners, maintains the pressure on both sides to show the flexibility needed to enable a return to negotiations.

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Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of the state of (a) emergency and (b) anti-terrorism laws in Sri Lanka. [76146]

Alistair Burt: We welcome the end of the state of emergency in Sri Lanka, but it remains unclear what this means in practice. The Sri Lankan Government have amended the Prevention of Terrorism Act to replace some of the powers that lapsed. We are especially concerned about the practice of prolonged detention without charge.

I raised these concerns when I met the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on 23 September in New York. Our high commission in Colombo will continue to monitor the situation and to pursue this issue with the Government of Sri Lanka.

Western Sahara: Fisheries

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will ask the European Commission to conduct an inquiry into whether the local Saharawi population has benefited from the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. [76128]

Alistair Burt: During the negotiations for a new Protocol to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership agreement, which began in December 2010, we requested evidence from the Commission on the socio-economic impact of the agreement in Western Sahara. Morocco submitted information to the Commission but we were unable to determine from that information whether or not the people of Western Sahara had benefited. We continue to press for more information to be made available.

Wales

Adam Werritty

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many times she met Mr Adam Werritty on official occasions. [76365]

Mrs Gillan: No such meetings have taken place.

Departmental Travel

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much her Department has spent on first class travel by (a) air, (b) boat and (c) train since May 2010. [75526]

Mr David Jones: Nothing. In May 2010, the Wales Office introduced a ban on all first class travel. As a result of that policy we cut costs by 53% and saved over £91,000 in 2010-11.

Offences Against Children

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on legislation on the smacking of children in Wales. [75769]

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Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) and I have regular discussions with Welsh Government Ministers on a wide range of issues but we have not discussed legislation on the smacking of children in Wales. No legislation is being proposed at this stage and the Welsh Government have confirmed that it will not be bringing forward any legislation on this matter before the next Assembly election.

Prime Minister

Voluntary Work

Paul Flynn: To ask the Prime Minister what volunteering he has undertaken as part of the One Day Challenge; what the nature of the work undertaken was; on what dates it took place; and what the names were of the organisations assisted. [76231]

The Prime Minister: I have committed to the One Day Challenge and I have undertaken work with various volunteering organisations, including Street League and The Challenge Network.

Government Departments: Data Protection

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Prime Minister if he will order a review of Government document security. [76439]

The Prime Minister: Guidance on Government document security is available on the Cabinet Office website:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/security-policy-framework

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect on animal welfare of the commercial breeding of dogs and cats. [72017]

Mr Paice: Under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 all breeders of dogs and cats are required to breed dogs and cats in a way that takes account of welfare needs and does not cause an animal to suffer. The effectiveness of this Act has recently been reviewed and the findings submitted to the Efra Select Committee. In addition, under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, commercial breeding establishments have to be licensed.

Cheese

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the recent growth of the cheese industry on the economy. [75075]

Mr Paice: UK cheese production increased by 5% in 2010 compared with 2009 and has continued to rise during 2011. The total value of the cheese market in Great Britain to December 2010 was about £2.5 billion.

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Eggs: Origin Marking

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements her Department has in place to enable the tracing of eggs and egg products back to the farm of origin for the purposes of ensuring compliance with European directives. [74521]

Mr Paice: We are in the process of drawing up an enforcement strategy on how to deal with illegal eggs and egg products from non-complaint producers. I recently met with industry representatives and retailers to discuss enforcement of the cage ban and on how best to take things forward.

I also met with the commissioner on 20 October to discuss his proposals for action against member states who do not comply on 31 December.

The British Retail Consortium has publically declared that Britain’s leading food retailers are supporting UK egg producers and that there will be no eggs from Europe which fail to meet the welfare standards on their shelves or in their own-brand products.

Meat: Exports and Imports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps she is taking to increase exports of meat; [75037]

(2) whether she has any plans to discuss with foreign governments the lifting of restrictions on the importation of British offal products. [75048]

Mr Paice: The Government are taking a number of steps to increase exports of food, including meat and offal.

The UK Trade and Industry strategy and DEFRA’s business plan both contain commitments. During his recent visit to Russia, the Prime Minister personally placed discussions about lamb and beef exports high on the agenda, illustrating the priority the Government attach to the issue.

DEFRA works closely with a number of partners to identify and target resources on key market negotiations about animal and public health issues for countries outside the European Union. These partners include industry and foreign governments as well as other Government Departments in the UK. I am delighted to say that exports of meat and meat products rose in the first half of 2011 by 15%.

The rising figure is the comparison with the same period in 2010.

Sheep: Tagging

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she is having with her EU counterparts to ensure that farmers are not financially penalised due to technological failures of electronic identification for sheep. [73527]

Mr Paice: I have had a number of discussions with EU Commissioner Dalli about our concerns over the ability of electronic reading equipment to capture individual information on every animal sent to central point recording centres (CPRCs), particularly where this could impact on keepers’ single farm payments.

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The commission has since responded to a UK proposal for some flexibility with regard to cross compliance requirements relating to a keeper’s farm records where sheep are electronically read at a CPRC. I am currently considering how to proceed in England.

The requirements for identification and traceability of sheep are EU obligations, but administration and implementation in their territories is an issue for the devolved Administrations.

Health

Ambulance Services: Suffolk

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average response time was for an ambulance to an emergency call-out in (a) Suffolk, (b) Mid-Suffolk district council area, (c) Babergh district council area and (d) Suffolk Coastal district council area in each year since 1997; [75618]

(2) how many ambulances in (a) Babergh district council area, (b) Suffolk Coastal district council area and (c) Mid-Suffolk district council area responded to emergency call-outs within (i) eight and (ii) 19 minutes in each year since 1997. [75619]

Mr Simon Burns: Information on average ambulance response times and the number of ambulances that have responded to emergency calls in specific locations is not collected centrally.

Data on performance against ambulance response time targets is collected at ambulance trust level only and is published annually by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care in the statistical bulletin “Ambulance Services England”. These documents are available on the NHS Information Centre for health and social care website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/audits-and-performance/ambulance

The areas referred to within the question fall within East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Prior to 2006 East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust was made up of the following ambulance trusts:

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Ambulance NHS Trust

Essex Ambulance NHS Trust

East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust.

Data prior to 2004-05 was published by the Department. This data is available back to 1998 on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/health/category/publications/reports-publications/

Arthritis: Physiotherapy

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will take steps to ensure that rheumatoid arthritis-related physiotherapy services are not disproportionately affected by plans to make efficiency savings in the NHS; [75869]

(2) if he will assess the (a) level of uptake and (b) efficacy of referral practice of rheumatoid arthritis-related physiotherapy in England; and if he will make a statement. [75870]

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Paul Burstow: There are no plans to carry out a central assessment of referral practice to physiotherapy in England. It is for local national health service organisations to make their own decisions about routes of referral for physiotherapy, based on which route is clinically appropriate and of value to the health care system and local community.

Some organisations may include self-referral in their access routes. To help local organisations in making decisions about self-referral, the Department has collaborated with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to pilot and evaluate self-referral. The pilots identified a number of benefits including earlier presentation and supporting self-care by empowering patients to be more actively involved in managing their condition.

Information about this project can be found in the “Self-referral pilots to musculoskeletal physiotherapy and the implications for improving access to other AHP services”. This document has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

[email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_116358.pdf

The NHS has been asked to make up to £20 billion of efficiency savings by 2014-15 while simultaneously improving the quality of services it provides in order to meet rising demand resulting from an ageing population and new developments in technology and drugs. Local NHS organisations are best placed to decide on how to meet this challenge, according to local circumstances and priorities.

There have been a number of initiatives to improve access to physiotherapy and other allied health professional services including delivering services more efficiently. The Allied Health Professional Service Improvement Project demonstrated in a range of services, including physiotherapy, how service redesign can improve access and clinical outcomes, and release cost-savings back into the system. Details about this project can be found at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_126840

Breast Cancer: Health Education

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to raise the awareness of women of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. [76090]

Paul Burstow: Improving public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encouraging people to visit their general practitioner (GP) when they have symptoms is a key ambition of “Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer”, published on 12 January. Last year we provided £9 million to support 59 local awareness campaigns to raise awareness of breast, bowel and lung cancer and early indications are that there has been a positive response to the campaigns.

In June this year we announced that we would be providing £2.5 million to support a further 18 local awareness campaigns, seven of which will seek to raise awareness of breast cancer in women over 70. Survival rates for women with breast cancer in this age range are poorer than in other comparable countries and this is why we are focusing on this area.

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More generally, we encourage all women to be breast aware. The Department has worked with health professionals, patient groups and the voluntary sector to develop a set of key messages for breast cancer that include the signs and symptoms of the disease. These are available on the NHS Choices website and we encourage charities and other stakeholders to use them widely in awareness raising activities. The Department has also published “Be Breast Aware”, a leaflet which advises women to know what changes to look for and report them to their GP as quickly as possible.

Advertising: Job Vacancies

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [75630]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has spent £12,063.85 on advertising job vacancies since May 2010.

Health Professions

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure health and wellbeing boards take account of the experience and expertise of allied health professionals in their work; and if he will make a statement. [75620]

Anne Milton: Beyond the minimum membership set out in the Health and Social Care Bill, local authorities and health and wellbeing boards will be able to invite other members with particular skills and expertise, including representatives of the allied health professions.

The membership of health and wellbeing boards should be determined locally. Too much prescription would prevent local membership from being determined in a way that reflects local needs and priorities.

Health Services: Armed Forces

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what services are available to armed forces personnel to assist them in dealing with alcohol abuse or other alcohol-related problems following their discharge from service. [75928]

Mr Simon Burns: My hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) in his report, ‘Fighting Fit’, made a number of recommendations in relation to access to mental health services. The Department of Health, working with the NHS armed forces networks, Combat Stress and others have put in place a number of initiatives aimed at improving access to mental health services for veterans. These include a 24-hour helpline through Combat Stress (working with Rethink), and an increase in the number of mental health professionals conducting veterans outreach, assessment and referral work (also with Combat Stress), set up a pilot of Big White Wall—an early intervention service for service personnel, veterans and families and launched an e-learning package for general practitioners with the Royal College of General Practitioners. In all of these areas, alcohol misuse is a key issue.

In addition to these veteran specific initiatives, most, areas of England have access to the full range of alcohol treatment services including advice and information,

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counselling and therapy, medical detoxification (both in the community and in-patient when necessary), and rehabilitation services (both residential and in the community day treatment services), as defined in the Department's best practice guidance ‘Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers’ published in June 2006. A copy has already been placed in the Library.

Most areas operate a “stepped care” model where new patients are assessed, and initially receive the least intensive or prolonged intervention considered suitable for the level of need and complexity identified.

Health Services: Respiratory System

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the provision of ventilation machines and related equipment for patients with muscle-wasting diseases who experience respiratory difficulties; and if he will make a statement. [75930]

Paul Burstow: Local health bodies have responsibility for ensuring adequate provision of ventilation machines and other health services are made available to those living with neuromuscular conditions.

Health: Finance

Emma Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria his Department plans to use in distributing public health funding to local authorities as a consequence of his proposals to transfer responsibility for public health. [76101]

Anne Milton: The distribution of funding to local authorities for their planned new public health responsibilities will allow them to improve the health of their population and to reduce health inequalities. The independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) has been asked to develop the details of a formula to meet this objective. ACRA's criteria include transparency, technical robustness and compatibility with objectives.

Hospitals: Admissions

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent on unplanned emergency admissions to hospital for people with neuromuscular conditions in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [75929]

Paul Burstow: Information on the cost of unplanned emergency admissions to hospital for people with neuromuscular conditions is not collected centrally.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many emergency admissions there were to the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in each year since 1997. [76440]

Mr Simon Burns: The number of emergency admissions by finished admission episode in Brighton and Sussex University NHS Trust, 2002-03 to 2009-10 and Brighton Healthcare NHS Trust and Mid Sussex NHS Trust, 1997-98 to 2001-02 is in the following table.

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Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust Brighton Healthcare NHS Trust Mid Sussex NHS Trust

2009-10

41,844

2008-09

44,970

2007-08

38,893

2006-07

33,815

2005-06

29,994

2004-05

31,335

2003-04

30,244

2002-03

25,406

2001-02

19,831

6,976

2000-01

20,023

7,524

1999-2000

19,931

8,100

1998-99

19,930

8,133

1997-98

19,905

7,365

Notes: 1. In 2002-03, Brighton Healthcare NHS Trust and Mid Sussex NHS Trust merged to become Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. 2. Figures relating to years 1998-99 to present have been taken from the published annual publications available on: http://www.hesonline.nhs.uk The figures provided relating to 1997-98 were not previously published. 3. It should be noted that these data should not be described as a count of people as the same person may have been admitted on more than one occasion. 4. Activity includes activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector. 5. A finished admission episode (FAE) is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FAEs are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. Emergency admissions include: Emergency: via Accident and Emergency (A&E) services, including the casualty department of the provider Emergency: via general practitioner (GP) Emergency: via Bed Bureau, including the Central Bureau Emergency: via consultant out-patient clinic Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the A&E department of another health care provider 6. Hospital providers can also include treatment centres (TC). Normally, if data are tabulated by health care provider, the figure for an NHS trust gives the activity of all the sites as one aggregated figure. However, in the case of those with embedded treatment centres, these data are quoted separately. In these cases, '-X' is appended to the code for the rest of the trust, to remind users that the figures are for all sites of the trust excluding the treatment centres. The quality of TC returns are such that data may not be complete. Some NHS trusts have not registered their TC as a separate site, and it is therefore not possible to identify their activity separately. Data from some independent sector providers, where the onus for arrangement of dataflows is on the commissioner, may be missing. Care must be taken when using this data as the counts may be lower than true figures. 7. Assessing growth through time: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and so no longer include in admitted patient HES data. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

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Life Expectancy: Television

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential effects of television viewing on life expectancy. [75935]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has not commissioned research specifically on the potential effects of television viewing on life expectancy.

In 2009, the Department set up an expert group to review existing evidence on the impact of sedentary behaviour, including screen time, on overweight and obesity, and the impact on health and activity levels. The group has drawn up recommendations on limiting sedentary behaviour for all ages. These are reflected in Start Active, Stay Active, a report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ chief medical officers published in July 2011. The expert group submitted its report on 26 March 2010 and this is available on the Department’s website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128225.pdf

Mental Health Services

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with representatives of universities on research into mindfulness-based therapies; and what research projects his Department has funded into mindfulness-based therapies in the last three years. [75920]

Paul Burstow: The Department has had no recent discussions with representatives of universities specifically on research into mindfulness-based therapies. Research projects and research training awards directly funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the last three years relating to mindfulness-based therapies are listed in the following table.

Title Start date End date Institution

A qualitative synthesis of patient experiences of mindfulness-based interventions followed by a feasibility study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or asthma and co-morbid symptoms of anxiety and/or depression

1 November 2009

31 October 2012

University of Bristol

Preventing depressive relapse in NHS practice through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

1 January 2010

31 March 2014

University of Exeter

A qualitative (feasibility) study of mindfulness-based stress reduction for the treatment of fatigue, anxiety and depression in women with metastatic breast cancer

14 June 2010

13 December 2012

University of Southampton

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In addition, an NIHR-funded project on group mindfulness-based therapy for distressing voices, led by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, started in October 2011.

Mental Health Services: Finance

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on (a) anti depressant drugs and (b) mindfulness-based therapies to treat prisoner stress and mental illnesses in each of the last three years. [75917]

Paul Burstow: The Department has incurred no such cost for anti-depressants and mindfulness-based therapies to treat prisoners. Pharmaceutical and psychological therapies are provided by primary care trusts (PCTs) and are available for all who require these within a PCTs catchment area, including for prisoner. Each PCT is responsible for determining the type of services offered within its catchment area and the Department does not collect information on how much they spend on these services.

In February this year the Department launched its mental health strategy “No Health Without Mental Health”. One of the commitments made in the strategy is to complete the roll out of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and prisoners will benefit from this. The IAPT programme has produced good practice guidance on treating offenders, “Offenders: Positive Practice Guide”, a copy of which has been placed in the Library, which can also be found at:

www.iapt.nmhdu.org.uk/silo/files/offenders-positive-practice-guide.pdf

Midwives

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the duties of local supervising authority midwifery officers will be provided after the abolition of strategic health authorities. [75908]

Anne Milton: The Local Supervising Authority (LSA) function is currently hosted in strategic health authorities (SHAs) where accountability is held by the chief executives with the SHA Director of Nursing as the executive lead. Each LSA appoints a practising midwife as the local supervising midwifery officer (LSAMO) who has responsibility for carrying out the LSAs functions. The LSA function and the role of LSAMOs in the future is being considered as part of transitional plans to deliver a reformed national health service, subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill.

Pharmacy: Patient Choice Schemes

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to promote patient choice in respect of pharmacy and dispensary provision. [75621]

Mr Simon Burns: We fully support patients having a choice of pharmaceutical services providers. Patients can take their prescriptions to any national health service pharmacy they wish to have their prescriptions dispensed.

However, in more remote and rural areas NHS pharmacies may not always be viable. That is why, to

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ensure adequate access to NHS dispensing services, primary care trusts may authorise general practitioners to dispense to patients provided certain criteria set out in regulations are met. Under these regulations, such doctors provide a more restricted range of pharmaceutical services than pharmacies.

Postnatal Depression

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance is available to women identified as having postnatal depression. [76108]

Anne Milton: Midwives, health visitors, general practitioners, and other health professionals involved in the care of women following childbirth are trained to help women at risk or suffering from post-natal depression. Specialist Perinatal Psychiatric Services and Specialist Mother and Baby Psychiatric Units are available for seriously ill women whose needs cannot be met by primary care.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of postnatal depression were diagnosed in each of the last three years. [76206]

Anne Milton: The majority of women diagnosed with postnatal depression will be treated in primary care. Information is not collected centrally about diagnoses for any condition in primary care, so reliable data are not available about the number of women with post-natal depression.

Scotland

Clinical Trials

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had discussions with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) NHS Scotland on joint working with the Scottish government on clinical trials. [76443]

David Mundell: Scotland Office Ministers have had no discussions with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland on this issue.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meetings he has had with representatives of (a) social enterprises, (b) charities, (c) large private sector businesses and (d) small and medium-sized private sector businesses since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [75715]

David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I meet regularly with a range of social enterprises, charities and private sector businesses. Information on ministerial meetings is published quarterly at:

www.data.gov.uk

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Health Research Authority

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had discussions with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) NHS Scotland on the formation of the proposed Health Research Authority for England. [76442]

David Mundell: Scotland Office Ministers have had no discussions with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland on this issue.

Northern Ireland

Policy: Representations

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has received representations concerning (a) the big society bank, (b) the Work programme and (c) volunteering since June 2011; and if he will make a statement. [75068]

Mr Swire: I am the Minister responsible for advancing the big society agenda in Northern Ireland.

The big society capital group has been a matter of discussion at meetings I have held with Peter Robinson MLA, First Minister for Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster MLA, Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment and Nelson McCausland MLA, Northern Ireland Minister for Social Development. I have also held discussions with Sir Ronald Cohen, now appointed interim non-executive chairman of the big society capital group and Nick O’Donoghue the first CEO of the group. I have also had discussions on this subject with Seamus McAleavey, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. This was also considered at a seminar that I hosted in Hillsborough castle on 27 June that addressed this and other big society issues and which was attended by over 60 individuals representing the third sector in Northern Ireland.

At the seminar on the big society, which I hosted in June, there was consideration of the role that volunteers can play in our society. I also received written representations concerning how best to mark volunteers week in Northern Ireland.

My noble Friend the Lord Freud has engaged with Northern Ireland Ministers on the matter of the Work programme and other aspects of welfare reform during his recent visits to Northern Ireland.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many meetings he has had with representatives of (a) social enterprises, (b) charities, (c) large private sector businesses and (d) small and medium-sized private sector businesses since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [75713]

Mr Paterson: In the course of my duties, I meet with representatives of social enterprises, charities and public sector business of all sizes.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 16W

Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published quarterly and can be obtained via the Northern Ireland Office website at:

www.nio.gov.uk/index/nio-publication

Treasury

11 Downing Street: Official Hospitality

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which charities have held receptions at No. 11 Downing street in the last 16 months. [74766]

Miss Chloe Smith: [holding answer 17 October 2011]: The charities that have held receptions at No. 11 in the last 16 months are listed below:

John Smith Memorial Trust (July 2010)

Starlight's Children's Charity Christmas Party (December 2010)

Evison Foundation (February 2011)

Beat—Beating Eating Disorders (February 2011)

Diana Awards—Young people who inspire the lives of others (February 2011)

Times/Sternberg Active Life Awards for older people in Britain (February 2011)

Breast Cancer Campaign (March 2011)

Community Foundation for Lancashire (May 2011)

Tommy's—Let's talk baby (May 2011)

Anne Frank (May 2011)

WAVE Trust—Ending child abuse to stop violence (May 2011)

Royal Manchester's Children's Hospital (June 2011)

First News Children's Newspaper (June 2011)

John Smith Memorial Trust (July 2011)

All Party Ladies Committee/Chelsea & Westminster Hospital (July 2011)

Louise Gergel Fellowship (July 2011)

Business in the Community (July 2011)

Evalina Children's Hospital (September 2011)

Norwood (September 2011)

Great Ormond Street (September 2011).

Air Force: Scotland

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence his Department has received from the Scottish Government in respect of the recent RAF basing review. [75239]

Danny Alexander: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer the then Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), gave him on 11 August 2011, Official Report, column 1186.

Banks: Finance

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the quantity of sovereign debt held by UK banks that has been issued by (a) Greece, (b) Ireland, (c) Portugal, (d) Spain, (e) Italy and (f) France. [76088]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 17W

Mr Hoban: Data on external claims of UK-owned monetary financial institutions, and of their branches and subsidiaries abroad, is available on the Bank of England website at:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Bankstats/2011/Sep/TabC4.2.xls

This includes UK banking groups’ direct exposures to the entire public sectors in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France, as of end June 2011.

Business: Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) his officials have discussed customer complaints with representatives of banks and other big businesses; and if he will make a statement. [76458]

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. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Child Benefit

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2011, Official Report, column 686W, on child benefit, what estimate he has made of the additional administrative cost of (a) the new child benefit cancellation arrangements at HM Revenue and Customs, (b) new self-assessment tax return provisions for child benefit recipient disclosure and (c) amending PAYE systems to allow taxpayer disclosure of child benefit receipt. [76378]

Mr Gauke: The preliminary indicative estimate for delivering the change to child benefit announced by the Chancellor on 4 October 2010 is £130 million over the four-year spending review period. This figure covers the changes required to existing IT systems and other administrative costs, such as staffing and communications.

Child Care Tax Credits: North Lanarkshire

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of women in the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency likely to give up work following reductions in the level of refundable child care. [75863]

Mr Gauke: The assumptions made in the costing of changes to child tax credit and working tax credit from 2011-12 are set out in spending review 2010 policy costings, available at:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sr2010_policycostings.pdf

The Government recently agreed the extension of child care provision to those working less than 16 hours through universal credit, which will enable the transition of parents into the labour market.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 18W

Child Trust Fund

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the change in the average monetary value of child trust funds invested in share schemes over the last 12 months; [75764]

(2) whether any assessment has been made of the expected long-term performance of child trust fund investments; [75765]

(3) if the Government will consider the merits of reviews updating its advice to parents on how child trust funds are managed, in order to highlight lower-risk savings options; [75766]

(4) if he will investigate a change to the rules on child trust funds to allow parents to transfer existing funds into Junior ISA schemes. [75767]

Mr Gauke: The Child Trust Fund (CTF) scheme provided every eligible child with a tax-free savings account. There are currently around six million CTF accounts which are worth approximately £3.2million. The Government believe that a sizable CTF market exists, and expect that providers will continue to offer competitive CTF investments.

The Government have made no formal assessments of the expected long-term performance of CTF investments, but expect that investment growth in CTF accounts will be broadly in line with other investment products. CTF providers are not required to report to HM Revenue and Customs the annual investment returns on CTF stakeholder accounts they provide. Available CTF statistical information can be found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ctf/stats.htm

To ensure CTF account holders receive the best rate of returns for their investments, the Government would encourage parents to continue to shop around to obtain the best deals, including switching between CTF account types and providers.

Junior ISAs and CTF accounts will operate in different ways and the Government do not believe it is in the interests of the six million CTF account holders to rush into wholesale changes to the CTF scheme without consulting all interested parties first. Therefore, once Junior ISAs have been successfully launched, the Government will consider the future of existing CTF accounts, including whether CTFs should be converted into Junior ISAs.

In the meantime, to ensure that children with a CTF are not disadvantaged, on 1 November the Government will increase the CTF contribution limit to £3,600, bringing it in line with the Junior ISA limit. Through this the Government are providing support for all parents wishing to save for their children's future.

Community Investment Tax Relief

Damian Hinds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the take-up was of Community Investment Tax Relief in each year since its inception. [75665]

Mr Gauke: The take-up of Community Investment Tax Relief in terms of numbers of individuals and amounts claimed each year are shown in the following table.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 19W

Tax year Number of claimants Income tax relief claimed (£000)

2002-03

650

170

2003-04

580

395

2004-05

930

905

2005-06

1,175

1,315

2006-07

1,155

1,335

2007-08

1,125

1,135

2008-09

1,025

1,090

2009-10

980

1,275

Each year a small number of companies (around 20 to 30) also claim the relief, but data on the amounts claimed are not available.

Damian Hinds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether a target take-up level for Community Investment Tax Relief was (a) projected and (b) set as a target at the time of its inception. [75666]

Mr Gauke: Community Investment Tax Relief was introduced in 2002. There was no target take-up set at the time of inception. It was projected that £25 million a year would be claimed in tax relief over a 10 year period.

Departmental Re-location

Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants in his Department have been (a) relocated and (b) agreed for relocation in the last 12 months; and to which areas of the UK. [74917]

Miss Chloe Smith: HM Treasury has staff based in two sites, in London and Norwich. During the last 12 months no civil servants have been relocated from London to Norwich and fewer than five civil servants have agreed to relocate from Norwich to London. There are currently no further plans to relocate staff.

It is the Department's policy not to disclose further details of staff numbers fewer than five, where to do so could lead to the identification of protected personal data.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many meetings he has had with representatives of (a) social enterprises, (b) charities, (c) large private sector businesses and (d) small and medium-sized private sector businesses since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [75717]

Miss Chloe Smith: A list of Treasury Ministers’ meetings with external organisations can be found on the Treasury website:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/minister_hospitality.htm

Cyber-Security

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to improve cyber-security in relation to his Department's estate; and if he will make a statement. [75172]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 20W

Miss Chloe Smith: HM Treasury adheres to the IT security principles set out in the Government's Security Policy Framework (SPF):

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/hmg-security-policy_0_0.pdf

The SPF contains a number of mandatory measures dealing with best practice security standards for managing and protecting Government IT systems and devices, as well as business continuity. These measures include regular independent IT health checks.

In addition, HM Treasury make every effort to keep up to date with current developments in cyber security, reviewing security and business continuity policies accordingly and endeavouring to encourage a culture of security-risk-and-threat-awareness within the Department.

Employment: Public Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to support areas of the UK with high levels of public sector employment. [75919]

Danny Alexander: The public sector paybill accounts for around half of departmental resource spending, so deficit reduction will inevitably impact on the public sector workforce. Failing to tackle the deficit would cause more harm to job prospects in the public sector in the medium term.

Most public sector workforces are spread throughout the country so we do not expect major variations in job losses between regions. However, there may be more localised impacts.

The Government will monitor actively potential workforce reductions—looking to use the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Teams as appropriate.

The Regional Growth Fund will also support local projects with significant growth potential.

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of alcohol duty fraud in the financial year (a) 2010-11, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2008-09; [75644]

(2) if he will hold a consultation on introducing duty stamps on beer and wine. [75645]

Miss Chloe Smith: At Budget 2011, the Chancellor announced that the Government will explore potential legislative measures to tackle existing and emerging threats to alcohol duty receipts. HMRC are currently consulting with the alcohol industry informally on potential anti-fraud measures. All options remain under consideration, and a decision whether to consult formally on specific measures will be taken in due course.

Excise Duties: Fuels

Simon Hart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made on proposals for a rural fuel duty rebate; and when he expects to announce progress. [75888]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 21W

Miss Chloe Smith: The European Commission has agreed in principle to the adoption of such a scheme. On 8 September, the Commission published the proposal for the application of reduced levels of taxation on petrol and diesel across the inner and outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.

The next stage of the process is to secure the unanimous agreement of other EU member states to the proposal and we will publish information on further progress in due course.

Financial Services Authority

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the Financial Services Authority on skilled persons reports; and how many such reports were issued to asset management firms in (a) each year from 2006 to 2010 and (b) 2011 to date. [75911]

Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials meet senior members of the Financial Service Authority (FSA) on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of economic and financial issues. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings.

I understand that the FSA publishes information on the use of the power to commission “skilled persons” reports in its annual report. A breakdown of the use of this power at sector level could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Inheritance Tax

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the number of charities that will benefit from the proposal to make estates liable for a lower rate of inheritance tax when 10 per cent. or more of their value is left to charities; [75862]

(2) how much revenue was raised from inheritance tax in Scotland in each of the last five years; [75913]

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the economic situation on revenue raised from inheritance tax; [75914]

(4) what proportion of estates at death were liable for inheritance tax (a) nationally and (b) in Scotland in each of the last five years; [75915]

(5) what estimate he has made of the likely financial effect on charities (a) nationally and (b) in Scotland of the proposal for estates to pay a lower rate of inheritance tax when 10 per cent. or more of their value is left to charities; and when he intends to publish details of the proposed scheme. [75955]

Mr Gauke: The consultation document “A new incentive for charitable legacies”, published on the HMRC website at:

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/downloadFile?contentID=HMCE_PROD1_031346

stated that there are over 300,000 charities in the UK. All of these bodies could potentially benefit from the proposal to reduce the rate of inheritance tax for estates which leave 10% or more of their value to charities.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 22W

However, we do not know how many of these charities will be left additional legacies as a result of this measure in any given year.

Numbers of estates liable for inheritance tax in the UK are published in National Statistics table 1.4 available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/table1-4-march2011.xls

Numbers of taxpayers in Scotland and tax receipts from Scottish estates are published in Table 12.10 available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/inheritance_tax/table12-10.xls

Based on this data the proportion of estates liable at death for inheritance tax is given in the following table.

Taxpaying estates as a proportion of deaths
Percentage

UK Scotland

2006-07

6

n/a

2007-08

4

3

2008-09

3

2

2009-10

3

n/a

2010-11

3

n/a

The tax receipts from Scottish estates as published in Table 12.10 are given in the following table.


Receipts (£ million)

2006-07

n/a

2007-08

220

2008-09

231

2009-10

n/a

2010-11

n/a

Data for 2006/07 on taxpaying estates or receipts for Scotland was not published. Data for 2009-10 and 2010-11 will be published to our publication schedule which is available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/updates/annual-plan.pdf

A revised forecast of inheritance tax revenue which will take into account the effect of the economic situation will be published by the Office for Budget Responsibility in November 2011.

The tax impact assessment in the consultation document previously referred to contains an estimate of the likely financial effect on charities nationally from the proposal to reduce the rate of inheritance tax for estates leaving 10% or more of their value to charities. No individual assessment has been made of the likely financial effect on charities in Scotland.

An outline of the proposed scheme was published in the consultation document, which sought views on details of the policy. The next stage of policy development for this proposal will be to publish draft legislation for Finance Bill 2012 and explanatory notes, accompanied by a taxes information and impact note and updated tax impact assessment, in December 2011.

Money: Counterfeit Manufacturing

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the face value was of counterfeit coins removed from circulation in each year since 1997. [74486]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 23W

Miss Chloe Smith: The following number of counterfeit £1 coins have been returned to the Royal Mint:


Total withdrawals

2003-04

85,000

2004-05

117,500

2005-06

84,500

2006-07

153,800

2007-08

97,000

2008-09

891,956

2009-10

1,973,000

2010-11

1,845,766

2011-12 (to 30 September)

1,376,436

The Treasury does not have figures on withdrawals prior to 2003, when the counterfeit rate was estimated to be less than 1%.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of counterfeit (a) £5, (b) £10, (c) £20 and (d) £50 bank notes in circulation. [74492]

Miss Chloe Smith: In 2010, 300,000 counterfeit Bank of England notes with a face value of £5.9 million were taken out of circulation.

Details of the number of counterfeit Bank of England notes taken out of circulation are published on the Bank's website:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/about/counterfeits.htm

Pensioners: Income Tax

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate has been made of the number of pensioners who paid income tax at the (a) 50 per cent., (b) 40 per cent. and (c) basic rate in each year since 2008-09; and what proportion of (i) all pensioner taxpayers and (ii) all pensioners these figures represented in each year. [73785]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 12 October 2011]:The requested information is shown in the following table.

Income taxpayers of state pension age

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12

Thousand

       

Basic rate

5,170

5,140

5,280

5,190

Higher rate

341

265

267

351

Additional rate

20

23

All pensioner taxpayers

5,510

5,410

5,560

5,570

         

As percentage of total pensioner taxpayers

       

Basic rate

93.8

95.1

94.8

93.3

Higher rate

6.2

4.9

4.8

6.3

Additional rate

0.4

0.4

         

As percentage of all pensioners

       

Basic rate

43.7

42.7

43.7

42.8

Higher rate

2.9

2.2

2.2

29

Additional rate

0.2

0.2

All pensioner taxpayers

46.6

44.9

46.1

45.9

24 Oct 2011 : Column 24W

The estimates are based on the 2007-08 Survey of Personal Incomes, projected using economic assumptions consistent with the OBR's March 2011 economic and fiscal outlook.

Pensioners are defined as taxpayers aged 65 years or older for men and 60 years or older for women in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The female state pension age is being increased gradually from April 2010 to be equalised with the male state pension age by November 2018. The female state pension age for the purposes of this table in 2010-11 is 60 years six months and in 2011-12 is 61 years.

Basic rate taxpayers are defined as all non-higher and additional rate taxpayers.

Pensioner population estimates are derived from the Office for National Statistics population projections.

Pensions

Mr Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of the tax-free lump sum for pension payments; what assumptions he has made in reaching this estimate; how many such lump sums were paid in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; [75925]

(2) what estimate he has made of the potential revenue yield from capping the tax free lump sum for pension payments at (a) £250,000, (b) £200,000, (c) £150,000 and (d) £100,000; and if he will make a statement. [75926]

Mr Hoban: There are no estimates for the cost of the tax-free lump sum for pension payments, nor an estimate of the potential revenue yield by capping it. There is no requirement on pension schemes to report to HM Revenue and Customs the amount or number of tax-free lump sum pension payments.

Pensions: Tax Allowances

Mr Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the revenue yield from restricting tax relief on pensions to 20% from incomes of £100,000 to incomes of £150,000 in each of the first three years after implementation; and if he will make a statement. [75951]

Mr Gauke: HMRC estimate that the revenue yield from restricting tax relief on pensions to 20% on incomes from £100,000 to £150,000 would be £1 billion in each of the three years after implementation.

This is on an accruals basis and excludes behavioural effects.

Public Sector: Co-operatives

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to put in place a right to provide for public sector workers to take over the running of services; and if he will make a statement. [74786]

Danny Alexander: The Government support implementation of a right for public sector workers to form independent, mutual and co-operative social enterprises. The formation of public service mutuals is

24 Oct 2011 : Column 25W

an important piece of the Government's open public services agenda as set out in the Open Public Services White Paper this July. Treasury is actively engaged in implementing this agenda across Government and this includes enabling public sector employees the opportunity to run the services they provide.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to encourage the development of public service mutuals in its area of responsibility; and if he will make a statement. [74813]

Danny Alexander: The Treasury is working with Cabinet Office to consider whether areas of central Government are appropriate for developing public sector mutuals. The formation of public service mutuals is an important piece of the Government's open public services agenda as set out in the Open Public Services White Paper this July. Treasury is actively engaged in implementing this agenda across Government and this includes enabling public sector employees the opportunity to run the services they provide.

Radio Frequencies

Andrew Percy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the likely level of revenue from an auction of 800MHz and 2,600MHz Spectrum; and whether such revenues have been included in the Government Accounts for the comprehensive spending review period; [75478]

(2) what his policy is on the allocation of the proceeds from any future auction of 800MHz and 2,600MHz Spectrum; and whether any announced spending commitments will be funded from the proceeds of such an auction. [75479]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 18 October 2011]: The Government does not comment on their estimates of receipts from asset sales, which are of a commercially sensitive nature.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for determining whether receipts from asset sales should be included in the fiscal forecasts. To date the OBR's policy has been not to include future receipts from the sale of spectrum licenses on the basis that they cannot be quantified with reasonable accuracy.

Consistent with this approach, the Government made no assumptions at spending review 2010 about the level of receipts from the award of 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum licenses and no spending commitments are contingent upon these receipts.

Stamp Duties

Steve Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the merits of raising the stamp duty threshold in order to increase levels of home ownership. [75907]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Chancellor keeps all taxes, including stamp duty land tax, under review at the Budget.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 26W

Stamp Duties: First-time Buyers

Mr Burley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has considered the merits of extending the current relief from stamp duty for first-time buyers beyond March 2012. [75735]

Miss Chloe Smith [holding answer 20 October 2011]: The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at Budget 2011 that the outcome of a review of the stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers will be announced in autumn 2011.

Taxation: Business

Luciana Berger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the tax revenue raised from small businesses in the latest period for which figures are available; and how much and what proportion of such revenue was collected via (a) employee income tax, (b) employee national insurance contributions, (c) employer national insurance contributions, (d) business rates, (e) corporation tax, (f) Value Added Tax, (g) capital gains tax and (h) stamp duty land tax. [74605]

Mr Gauke: It is not possible to identify tax revenue raised from small businesses on a consistent basis as the necessary information on turnover, assets and employment is not routinely collected on tax returns for every head of duty. However, we are able to provide estimates for some taxes on a tax-specific definition of what constitutes a 'small business'.

(a), (b) and (c) We estimate that 21% (£45.4 billion) of pay as you earn (PAYE) received in respect of tax year 2010-11 came from small businesses. Small businesses are defined for this analysis as PAYE schemes with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses may have more than one PAYE scheme, so there may be cases where schemes have fewer than 50 employees but where the business itself has more.

(d) CLG statistics on national non-domestics rates are available using the following link. They do not have any information on receipts of business rates by size of business.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/pdf/1972031.pdf

(e) Total corporation tax receipts across all businesses can be found on the HMRC website. Companies making profits for an accounting period at a rate of over £1.5 million annually must normally pay by instalments. Smaller companies will normally fall outside the instalment payment regime. Defining small company in this way, net small company payments in 2010-11 were £11.5 billion. The link is:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/table11_1.xls

(f) Home VAT is VAT charged on supplies of goods or services made in the UK. For small businesses, defined for this category as those with turnover less than £10 million, the receipts from Home VAT is around £27 billion.

This is available on the UK Trade Info website. The link is:

https://www.uktradeinfo.com/index.cfm?task=factvat

24 Oct 2011 : Column 27W

(g) Capital gains tax statistics on assets by business and non business can be found in the HMRC website using the following link. However, we are unable to disaggregate these figures by business size. The link is:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/capital_gains/table14-6.pdf

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/capital_gains/table14-7.pdf

(h) Stamp duty land tax statistics on all non-residential transactions can be found on the HMRC website. However, we are unable to disaggregate these figures by business size. The link is:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/stamp_duty/table15-3.pdf

Taxation: Gaming Machines

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Economic Secretary to the Treasury will meet representatives of the amusement games industry to discuss the conclusions of his Department's recent consultation on the introduction of a machine gaming duty. [75339]

Miss Chloe Smith: Treasury Ministers and officials meet with a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.

Culture, Media and Sport

Advertising: Job Vacancies

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [75637]

John Penrose: No cost has been spent on advertising for job vacancies within the Department since May 2010.

£123,568.93 has been spent on advertising for public appointments. The Department follows the Commissioner for Public Appointments code of practice with regard to publicising appointments.

Departmental Manpower

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many civil servants work in his Department; and how many worked in his Department in (a) 2000, (b) 2005, (c) 2007 and (d) 2010. [76388]

John Penrose: The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in post at this Department as at 31 March for the years requested, is in the following table.


FTE staff

2000

623

2005

509

2007

517

2010

469

2011

443

24 Oct 2011 : Column 28W

This information has been taken from the departmental resource accounts 1999-2000, 2004-05 and the departmental consolidated accounts 2010-11.

Museums and Galleries

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many people have visited a publicly-funded museum in the last 12 months. [75844]

Mr Vaizey: This Department holds information about the number of people visiting their sponsored museums and the museums funded through the Renaissance in the Regions programme.

The number of people who visited this Department’s sponsored museums from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 is in the following table:

Museum Visits

Tate Galleries (including Tate London: i.e. Tate Britain and Tate Modern combined, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives)

7,296,933

British Museum

5,944,964

National Gallery

5,127,000

Natural History Museum (NHM) (including NHM South Kensington, NHM at Tring)

4,772,995

National Museum of Science and Industry (including Science Museum South Kensington, National Media Museum, National Railway Museum, Science Museum Swindon, Locomotion at Shildon)

4,176,967

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) (including V&A South Kensington, V&A Museum of Childhood and V&A Theatre Museum)

3,042,231

National Museums Liverpool

2,899,189

Imperial War Museum (IWM) (including IWM London, HMS Belfast, Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, Duxford Air Museum, IWM North)

2,307,542

National Maritime Museum

1,931,797

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (including all 13 branches)(1)

1,871,274

National Portrait Gallery

1,785,616

Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

818,724

Horniman Museum (excluding visits to the garden)(1)

512,129

Wallace Collection

368,962

Royal Armouries (RA) (including RA Leeds and RA Fort Nelson)

288,633

Sir John Soane’s Museum

109,325

Geffrye Museum(1)

106,105

National Coal Mining Museum for England

102,867

(1) The Geffrye, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums are part of the Renaissance hub network and so visits to these museums will also be counted in the Renaissance in the Regions figures.

The latest available figures for the Renaissance in the Regions programme shows that between April 2010 and March 2011, 18,780,545 people visited the Renaissance museum venues.

Ofcom

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what procurement process was followed in respect of the contract between Ofcom and Equiniti on the programme making and special events funding scheme; and if he will make a statement. [76195]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 29W

Mr Vaizey: Ofcom followed a competitive procurement process under the “restricted procedure” as detailed in the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended). This involved inviting expressions of interest via a public notice in the Official Journal of the European Union and Ofcom's own website from 21 December 2009 under the reference number ITT/83/09. Invitations to tender (including a draft contract and detailed award criteria) were issued to all expressing an interest on 15 February 2010 which resulted in the submission of three compliant tenders, and the contract being awarded to Equiniti Limited following detailed assessment of the three tenders received.

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what proportion of profits made by re-selling surrendered programme making and special events equipment will go back to (a) HM Treasury and (b) Equiniti, the scheme administrator. [76196]

Mr Vaizey: The contract between Ofcom and Equiniti contains a gain share clause whereby 54% of the resale value, not profit, is returned to HM Treasury. Equiniti must cover its own cost of sales from its share of the resale value.

Also Equiniti must bear the whole cost of disposal in accordance with environmental legislation of such equipment as cannot be resold.

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what safeguards have been put in place to ensure that surrendered equipment which is resold as part of the programme making and special events funding scheme will be either returned or destroyed by October 2012; and if he will make a statement. [76197]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 30W

Mr Vaizey: UK sales are being made only to lawful, licensed users of channel 69. The contract between Ofcom and Equiniti requires destruction in accordance with environmental regulations, return or modification for lawful use. Further, there is a requirement that any purchaser of surrendered equipment agrees to take the equipment out of use by the time licensed (and therefore lawful) use of channel 69 expires and confirm in writing to Equiniti that they have either modified the equipment to operate on Channel 38 or Channel 70, disposed of the Equipment under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations or returned it to Equiniti. Ofcom can request purchasers provide documentary evidence of disposal or modification (and to make equipment available for inspection on request in the case of modification).

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much (a) Ofcom and (b) his Department have budgeted in order to police the use of Channel 69 by people who have bought surrendered equipment from Equiniti; and if he will make a statement. [76198]

Mr Vaizey: Ofcom has powers under the Wireless Telegraphy Act to take enforcement action against unlawful use of spectrum. It has not budgeted separately in respect of channel 69.

Philatelic Organisations

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what support his Department gives to philatelic organisations. [75836]

John Penrose: The British Library holds the National Philatelic Collections of the United Kingdom. Following the spending review it was allocated the following budgets and grant in aid:

  Resource budget (£ million)   Capital budget (£ million)    

Programme (near-cash) Admin (near-cash) Ring fenced depreciation Total resource (DEL (1) ) budget (£ million) Core capital Projects Total capital (DEL) budget (£ million) Grant in aid (£ million)

2011-12

85.153

8,314

17.700

111.167

2.906

11.100

14.006

107.473

2012-13

83.575

8.164

18.700

110.439

3.047

1.500

4.547

96.286

2013-14

82.311

8.044

18.700

109.055

3.189

0

3.189

93.544

2014-15

82.147

7.929

19.205

109.280

3.331

0

3.331

93.407

(1) Departmental expenditure limit.

Sportsgrounds: Safety

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much he expects to save through the abolition of the Sports Ground Safety Authority. [76024]

Hugh Robertson: The role and remit of the Sports Ground Safety Authority has just been extended in a recent Act of Parliament. A number of options for their future are being considered, but no figures on costs or savings can be provided at this stage.

Defence

Adam Werritty

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Mr Adam Werritty has been present at meetings with each Minister of his Department since May 2010. [75498]

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the report by the Cabinet Secretary of 18 October 2011, what matters were discussed between the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy and Mr Adam Werritty at the official meeting between them. [76580]

24 Oct 2011 : Column 31W

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 18 October 2011]: I refer the hon. Members to the Cabinet Secretary's report published on 18 October 2011. The report refers to contact between Mr Adam Werritty and two Ministry of Defence (MOD) Ministers: the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Government spokesperson (Lord Astor of Hever) and the Under-Secretary of State for International Security Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr Howarth).

Lord Astor had occasional social contact with Mr Werritty: contact as a result of their previous involvement with the Atlantic Bridge; and contact in passing when visiting Bahrain for the Manama Dialogue in December 2010. None of these meetings involved official MOD business.

Mr Howarth has met Adam Werritty on three occasions, two of which were large social gatherings. Adam Werritty was also present at a meeting between Mr Howarth and a representative of IRG Ltd regarding information that could be useful to the Department relating to Iraq. The discussion centred on the economic and political landscape in Iraq. No further contact or action has taken place.

Afghanistan: Hotels

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on hotel bills in Afghanistan in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2009-10 and (d) 2010-11. [75418]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 18 October 2011]: The Ministry of Defence has not incurred any costs from hotel bills in the years requested.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Richard Drax: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of helicopter support available to UK forces in Afghanistan. [76273]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 21 October 2011]: Helicopter support for UK forces in Afghanistan is regularly reviewed. The military assessment continues to be that commanders on the ground have access to sufficient helicopter flying hours to enable core tasks to be undertaken.

AlixPartners

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the business case relating to the appointment of AlixPartners. [73328]

Peter Luff: AlixPartners was chosen for their proven competence and experience in business turnaround. The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) renegotiation programme required a high level of professional skill which was not available within the MOD on the scale needed for an exercise of this scope within the timescales available, and it was clear that additional assistance was required. I am withholding the release of the business case as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

The work carried out by AlixPartners is expected to realise hundreds of millions in savings through contract renegotiation.

24 Oct 2011 : Column 32W

Advertising: Job Vacancies

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [75636]

Mr Robathan: Although the Ministry of Defence is reducing its civilian staff headcount and has imposed a freeze on most external recruitment, we still need to recruit for posts that are business critical or provide support to current operational commitments. The majority of the external recruitment carried out since May 2010 has been for Service Children's Education, to provide teachers overseas, and also for medical grades, including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. We have also had to fill a number of senior civil service posts critical to driving forward our reform agenda. These posts are usually advertised across a range of specialist media, as well as on the civil service jobs website. The amount spent on recruitment advertising since May 2010 is £522,826.59. This does not include any expenditure by the trading funds and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.