9 July 2012 : Column 1W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 9 July 2012

Wales

Cardiff Airport

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government on plans for the future of Cardiff airport; and if she will make a statement. [115424]

Mrs Gillan: Cardiff airport has the potential to play an important part in improving the business environment in Wales and contributing to the Welsh and UK economy. I recently met with Cardiff airport to discuss their future plans.

I have had discussions with the First Minister who has now established a task force to look at the future of the airport and the Welsh Government Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science has indicated that she wants to see Cardiff airport at the heart of the Aerospace Enterprise Zone around St Athan.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Kent

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent progress has been made on the delivery of superfast broadband to north Kent. [115334]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has approved all local broadband plans covering the south-east of England, including the plan covering north Kent. The Broadband Delivery Framework has been signed by BT and Fujitsu and local projects teams are working with BDUK to prepare for procurement.

North Kent has been allocated £9.87 million for the delivery of superfast broadband.

The first projects to use the framework have commenced their procurements and Kent will be amongst the next group of projects to commence procurement in September.

Mobile Technology

Mr Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) if he will make it his policy to finance the installation costs for filters to allow reception of digital terrestrial television following the adoption of 4G mobile technology in (a) households with amplifiers fitted and (b) multiple dwelling units; [115386]

9 July 2012 : Column 2W

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of installing filters to allow reception of digital terrestrial television (DTT) following the adoption of 4G mobile technology in (a) all DTT households, (b) DTT households with amplifiers fitted and (b) multiple dwelling units; [115387]

(3) if he will make it his policy to finance the cost of filters where necessary for second television sets to continue to receive digital terrestrial television following the adoption of 4G mobile technology. [115388]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 5 July 2012]:As set out in the Government's announcement of 21 February, every home that needs one will be provided with a filter free of charge.

Owners of properties with communal distribution systems will be provided with the filter appropriate to such equipment, free of charge. Ofcom estimates that approximately 20,000 multi-dwelling buildings could be affected. Ofcom estimates that the typical cost for fitting a filter for a communal aerial installation would be around £220, although it could be significantly lower, and that there are an average of 16 dwellings served by each system. For multi-dwelling units similar to a single household property the costs would be similar to those for single occupancy buildings. It is normally the responsibility of each landlord to maintain any TV signal distribution system in the property, and this should extend to the fitting of any filter that is required. In general, we are not proposing to fund the fitting of filters in these cases.

The one in four homes with residents deemed to be “vulnerable”—that is, who meet the eligibility criteria that have been used for the Switchover Help Scheme—will be entitled to installation of the filter, if needed, free of charge. The cost of fitting these filters should be much less than for an antenna installation. Charges may vary from installer to installer but typically could be as low as £50 + VAT. All these costs will be met from the £180 million funding to be provided by the mobile network operators.

Support specifically for second and subsequent sets will not be provided. This is consistent with the approach we took in TV switchover where help was provided (to those eligible) for one set only. All homes living in the geographical area where they are predicted to experience interference to TV reception will be sent one filter with clear instructions for installation. This includes the 60% of homes whose primary viewing is on satellite or cable platforms who will be able to use the filter on a secondary set connected to an aerial.

The funding provision of £180 million is based on Ofcom estimates of the size of the expected problem and includes a significant margin. A breakdown of how Ofcom arrived at this figure is contained within its recent consultation on coexistence between new services in the 800 MHz band and digital terrestrial television.

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, (1) what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget that can be re-prioritised; what steps

9 July 2012 : Column 3W

he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for re-prioritisation; [115751]

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible re-prioritisation; [115752]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible re-prioritisation; and when he plans to report to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115753]

John Penrose: The Department is working with the Treasury to agree contingency plans, as set out in the Government's framework for strengthening and improving spending control

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_control.pdf

As is normal for Government spending, the details of any contingency plans will only be published if it is decided to put them into practice, at which stage they will be announced in Parliament by the Chancellor or other Ministers in the usual way.

UK Fashion and Textile Association

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport when he last met representatives of the UK Fashion and Textile Association. [116047]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has not met the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT). However, the Secretary of State, alongside the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, chairs the Creative Industries Council whose members include the British Fashion Council (BFC), and a member of the UKFT.

The Government are keen to support the fashion industry and encourage initiatives, such as NewGen, which helps to promote the younger generation of designers coming out of the colleges. The BFC's Value of Fashion report highlights the significant contribution the fashion industry makes to the UK economy and confirms British fashion's status as one of our most important creative industries. The Department looks forward to continuing to work with UKFT, the BFC and others to further support this valuable industry.

Defence

Aircraft Carriers

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which parts of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier project have yet to be fully costed. [111567]

Peter Luff: The final target cost for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers that was developed in 2010 was based on STOVL-configured ships, and encompassed all known elements of the programme at that time, although following the 10 May 2012 decision to end Carrier Variant conversion investigations and revert to a STOVL-based carrier programme, we are now formally re-baselining the programme.

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Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answers of 20 June 2012, Official Report, column 877W and 2 July 2012, on Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme, what (a) letters, (b) e-mails and (c) other correspondence the Minister of State for the Armed Forces has had with Col (Rtd) Terry Scriven on the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme; and if he will place copies of any such correspondence in the Library. [115451]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 5 July 2012]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 2 July 2012, Official Report, column 471W.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) holds no records of any letters, e-mails or other correspondence that MOD Ministers have had with Col (Rtd) Terry Scriven on the subject of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.

Public Expenditure

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what adjustments were made by the Treasury to (a) his Department's financial envelope and (b) the allocation to major budget headings in his Department's budget as a result of the three-month study into planning round 11. [115442]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 5 July 2012]: The three-month exercise made no changes to the Ministry of Defence's Budget as set out in the 2010 spending review.

However, the Treasury did agree that, for planning purposes, the MOD could assume a 1% above real terms annual increase in spending on equipment and equipment support for the period from 2015 to 2020.

This assumption was reflected in the allocation of funds to major budget headings during the annual budget setting process, the outcome of which I announced on 14 May 2012.

Submarines

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has sought a commercial partner to advise on the submarine enterprise performance programme. [114424]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not seeking a commercial partner to advise on the submarine enterprise performance programme (SEPP). The MOD is, however, seeking a commercial partner to augment the current resources in programme and project support functions within the submarine operating centre in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation. This is to improve skills and processes, to reduce overall risk to the submarine programme and to gain better value for money.

The enabling arrangement will be available for use by programmes within the submarine operating centre; this may include the SEPP, should the need arise in the future.

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Trident

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) direct and (b) indirect civilian jobs in (i) Scotland and (ii) the rest of the UK rely upon the Trident programme. [113406]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 26 June 2012]: It is not Government policy to compile statistics related to defence spend on equipment or employment in UK regions.

However, I am able to provide a broad indication of the extent of employment throughout the UK which is reliant on the Trident programme by outlining the key locations concerned.

I can confirm that some 6,300 defence jobs are based at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde. This base comprises the naval base at Faslane and the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) at Coulport. The naval base is home to a range of Royal Navy ships and submarines including the Vanguard class submarines which carry the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent. RNAD Coulport is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of the Trident weapon system. As well as a high proportion of Ministry of Defence civilian and Royal Navy personnel, the jobs at the naval base include contractors from Babcock, Lockheed Martin UK and Rolls-Royce.

Also in Scotland, the work undertaken by Rolls-Royce in respect of nuclear reactors at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment, Dounreay, also supports the Trident programme and other nuclear-powered submarines.

For the rest of the UK, four key suppliers directly support the delivery of the Trident programme. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) managed and operated by AWE Management Limited is based in Aldermaston and Burghfield; BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines at Barrow-in-Furness; Babcock at Devonport; and Rolls-Royce at Raynesway, Derby.

The ability of these key areas, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK, to deliver their programmes depends heavily on an extensive network of sub-contractors who are working indirectly in support of the Trident programme.

Treasury

Business: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on mandatory greenhouse gas reporting for companies. [115926]

Mr Gauke: Treasury Ministers, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), regularly meet with Ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, covering a range of topics.

Child Care Tax Credit

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the average family claim for child care tax credits was in the latest period for which figures are available; [115272]

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(2) how many child care places are financed by child care tax credits; [115273]

Mr Byrne: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely total spend on child care tax credits in each year up to 2015. [115274]

Mr Gauke: The most recent information on the average help with child care costs for tax credit recipients is available in Table 4.4 of the HMRC snapshot publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics April 2012':

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-quarterly-stats.htm

At the beginning of April 2012, the average amount received for child care by families benefiting from the child care element was £58.25 per week.

The total number of child care places financed by the child care element of working tax credit is not available. However, Table 4.4 of ‘Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics April 2012' reports the total number of families benefiting from the child care element. As of the beginning of April 2012, 454,900 families were benefiting from the child care element.

Table 1, as follows, shows forecast spend on the child care element of tax credits in each financial year for the rest of this Parliament.

Table 1: Forecasted child care expenditure
 £ million

2012-13

1,490

2013-14

1,560

2014-15

1,650


Finance Act 2008

Mike Freer: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue (a) is due and (b) has been collected under the provisions of section 58 of the Finance Act 2008. [115639]

Mr Gauke: UK residents are taxable on their worldwide income wherever it arises—including situations where it arises by way of foreign partnerships. Section 58 of Finance Act 2008 was enacted to help put that beyond doubt. As section 58 retrospectively clarified existing legislation, its introduction had no affect on any taxpayers' tax position.

Gift Aid

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps the Government is taking to make it easier for small charities to collect gift aid from text donations; [115971]

(2) what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the collection of gift aid on charitable donations made (a) as text donations via mobile telephones and (b) using other new technologies is easier. [115972]

Mr Gauke: The Government is keen to make Gift Aid as easy and as accessible as possible to donors and charities. Gift Aid is already available on text donations and on other forms of digital giving such as via ATMs, subject to the right infrastructure being in place.

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HM Revenue and Customs has been discussing with charity representatives how the sector might set up a Gift Aid database for participating donors and charities to use to streamline the making of a Gift Aid declaration to each charity they support.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government is taking to help small charities to quickly and easily claim gift aid which they are due other than through the provisions contained in the Small Charitable Donations Bill. [116043]

Mr Gauke: The Government is keen to make it as easy as possible for all charities to claim Gift Aid.

In 2011 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced a new Gift Aid repayment claim form which is completed on a computer and contains a number of automated checks, to help prevent common errors that delay repayments. That has led to HMRC processing over 95% of Gift Aid claims within 15 working days, an improvement of nearly 10% over the last year.

The new form was the first step to introducing a new online system in 2013 that will enable charities to claim Gift Aid repayments online. The online system will enable HMRC to make repayments more quickly and efficiently.

HM Revenue and Customs has also been discussing with charity representatives how the sector might set up a Gift Aid database for participating donors and charities to use, to eliminate the need for donors to make a Gift Aid declaration to each charity they support.

Income Tax

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by how much the income tax payments have changed for someone earning £26,000 from 2010-11 to 2012-13; and how much income tax someone earning £26,000 a year will pay in 2012-13 and 2013-14 compared to 2009-10. [115394]

Mr Gauke: Income tax due for an individual earning £26,000 for tax year 2009-10 to 2013-14 is shown in the following table. The table assumes that the individual is aged under 65 or born after 5 April 1948 for 2013-14, has no other income assessable for tax and that, other than the personal allowance, no other allowances, deductions or reliefs are due.

 Total income tax (£)

2009-10

3,905

2010-11

3,905

2011-12

3,705

2012-13

3,579

2013-14

3,359

LIBOR

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the British Bankers Association's review of LIBOR was discussed by his Department's officials at their meeting of 5 March 2012; [115920]

(2) who attended the meeting where Treasury officials discussed LIBOR on 5 March 2012. [115928]

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Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of authorities 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 and discussions.

National Infrastructure Plan

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) in which financial years he plans that support from UK pension funds will be allocated to the National Infrastructure Plan; [115827]

(2) what the value is of the support committed to the National Infrastructure Plan from UK pension funds; [115828]

(3) what progress he has made in securing pension funds’ agreement to finance the Government's National Infrastructure Plan. [115829]

Danny Alexander: The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) are currently in the process of raising development and investment capital, with the aim of launching a pension investment platform in early 2013 to invest in UK infrastructure projects.

NAPF and the PPF have publicly stated that they expect the platform initially to raise £2 billion of pension fund investment to deploy in appropriate UK infrastructure.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on which occasions his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf since May 2010. [115344]

Mr Gauke: The parliamentary private secretary of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), has not travelled overseas with him or on his behalf since May 2010.

Social Impact Bonds

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department plans to have discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the possibility of public funding of social impact bonds. [115816]

Danny Alexander: £5 million has been set aside for a new social impact bond to help London's persistent rough sleepers off the streets and into secure homes. This was announced on 7 March and approved by HM Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government prior to this announcement.

Tax Avoidance

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised for the public purse by all measures taken to reduce tax avoidance measures from May 2010 to June 2012. [115393]

Mr Gauke: Anti-avoidance measures announced by the Government in its 2010, 2011 and 2012 Budgets were forecast to yield over £6 billion.

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In addition to raising funds for the public purse many anti-avoidance measures serve to protect revenue by blocking or deterring avoidance which would otherwise reduce payments into the public purse.

Taxation

Mr Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amendments HM Revenue and Customs have made of the level of (a) tax avoidance, (b) tax evasion and (c) uncollected tax liabilities in each of the last 10 years. [115391]

Mr Gauke: The breakdown of the tax gap by behaviour has not been produced for the last 10 years.

The most recent estimate of the net tax gap is published in Measuring Tax Gaps 2011:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/mtg-2011.pdf

This estimated that the net tax lost by all taxpayers across all taxes in 2009-10 due to (a) avoidance was around £5 billion, (b) evasion was around £4 billion, and (c) non-payment was £4 billion.

Taxation: Multinational Companies

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether proposed changes to controlled foreign companies rules in the Finance Bill will mean developing countries may lose more revenue to tax havens; [115472]

(2) what steps his Department intends to take in response to recommendations of the IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank that an impact assessment be carried out on how developing countries will be affected by the Controlled Foreign Companies rules in the Finance Bill. [115473]

Mr Gauke: The Government have not undertaken an assessment of the effect on developing countries of the proposed changes to the CFC rules as these rules are designed to protect the UK Exchequer by preventing artificial diversion of UK profits.

The IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank have not specifically recommended an impact assessment of the changes to the CFC rules. Such an assessment would need to focus primarily on the nature of tax regimes in developing countries and the interactions of multinational companies with those tax systems, making it an assessment not of our tax rules, but of the tax rules of those other countries. The Government do not think that such an assessment would be feasible.

The strengthening of tax administration in developing countries is a key issue in tax and development and the Government are committed to supporting developing countries access sustainable sources of revenue.

Taxation: Olympic Games 2012

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 5 December 2011, Official Report, column 72W, on taxation: Olympic games 2012, if he will give details of the certain tax arrangements that the International Olympic Committee required for all bids for the 2012 games; whether the UK bid went beyond the certain tax arrangements required; and if he will make a statement. [115453]

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Mr Gauke [holding answer 5 July 2012]: The intention of the bidding conditions set out by the International Olympic Committee is that taxation should not be a consideration in any bid to host an Olympic and Paralympic games. The UK has not gone beyond the commitments required to meet these conditions.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) two, (b) three, (c) four, (d) five and (e) six year olds are members of families in receipt of tax credits. [115275]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is given in the following table.

Estimated number of children in families in receipt of tax credits, as of 1 April 2012
AgeNumber (Thousand)

Two years old

546.4

Three years old

541.7

Four years old

536.8

Five years old

516.8

Six years old

504.8

Prime Minister

Russia

Chris Bryant: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer from the Secretary of State for Justice of 11 June 2012, Official Report, columns 360-1W, on Russia, (1) whether he authorised the travel of the hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North to Russia; and on what date any such authorisation was given; [115355]

(2) what was exceptional about the hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North's visit to Russia that merited taxpayer funding; [115356]

(3) what the cost of the hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North's visit to Russia was; [115357]

(4) whether he has authorised any other parliamentary private secretaries to travel overseas on an official visit since May 2010. [115358]

The Prime Minister: The hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North (Mr Wallace) paid his own travel expenses. This case and any others are authorised in line with paragraph 3.11 of the Ministerial Code.


Attorney-General

Human Trafficking

Mr Bone: To ask the Attorney-General what steps he has taken with regard to the Crown Prosecution Service report on the review of human trafficking legislation. [115963]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is not reviewing the law on human trafficking. However, the CPS has contributed to the Government's report on the review of human trafficking legislation

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which was published on 22 June 2012. This review of legislation was a commitment set out in the Government's Human Trafficking Strategy published in July 2011. The report on the review of human trafficking legislation is now available on the Home Office website.

The review identified three areas where legislation in England and Wales could be strengthened and new legislation is already being introduced in two of these areas. To comply with the EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings, amendments to current human trafficking offences are included in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The third area identified relates to the unduly lenient sentence mechanism. Steps are being taken to ensure that in all human trafficking offences

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the Law Officers can consider referring the case for an increase in sentence where it appears that the sentence was unduly lenient.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Attorney-General what the average number of working days lost per person was in (a) the Law Officers Departments and (b) each agency of the Law Officers Departments in each of the last three years. [115291]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is contained in the following table:

Working days lost
DepartmentApril 2009-March 2010April 2010-March 2011April 2011-March 2012

CPS

9.0

8.9

8.5

AGO

(1)7.8

2.7

3.1

HMCPSI

(1)7.8

14.7

4.7

TSol

6.6

5.8

6.6

SFO

9.7

11.2

8.7

(1) Prior to 1 April 2010 TSol calculated sickness absence as a combined figure for the combination of TSol, AGO and HMCPSI—this reflected the requirements of the annual accounts at that time (the AGO/HMCPSI combined figure for 2009-10 is an estimate and has been calculated from this data).

Offences Against Children

Paul Goggins: To ask the Attorney-General how many cases involving the alleged sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 have been dismissed by the Crown courts in England as a result of no evidence being offered in each year since 1990. [115918]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of cases involving alleged sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16, which were dismissed by the Crown courts in England as a result of no evidence being offered. Such data could not be obtained locally or nationally without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Police: Surveillance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Attorney-General what recent discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the number of cases where there may have been a miscarriage of justice due to the involvement of undercover police officers; what estimate he has made of the number of such cases; and if he will make a statement. [115830]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve), and I have regular discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions on a wide range of criminal matters, including cases where there may have been a miscarriage of justice due to the involvement of undercover police officers. Details regarding the Drax case were announced in a press release on Tuesday, 3 July 2012, which can be found at:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/press_releases/dpp_invites_ defence_ to_appeal_convictions_of_drax_power_station_protestors/

Prosecutions: Northamptonshire

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Attorney-General how many successful prosecutions have been secured by the Crown Prosecution Service in Northamptonshire in each of the last three years; and what proportion such successful prosecutions represent of the total prosecutions started in each such year. [115961]

The Solicitor-General: The information regarding successful prosecutions brought by the Crown Prosecution Service in Northamptonshire is as follows:

Northamptonshire—Prosecutions 2009-12
 2009-102010-112011-12
 NumberPercentageNumberPercentageNumberPercentage

Convictions

8,895

86.9

8.847

85.6

7,281

85.3

Unsuccessful

1,345

13.1

1,486

14.4

1,255

14.7

Total

10,240

 

10,333

 

8,536

 
England and Wales—Prosecutions 2009-12
 2009-102010-112011-12
 NumberPercentageNumberPercentageNumberPercentage

Convictions

846,221

86.1

820,597

85.7

769,252

86.0

Unsuccessful

136,511

13.9

137,284

14.3

125,539

14.0

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Total

982,732

 

957,881

 

894,791

 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Belarus

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Belarussian authorities on the arrest of journalist Andrzey Poczobut. [116094]

Mr Lidington: The arrest of Andrzey Poczobut for alleged “libel against the president” is yet another example of the crackdown on the independent media in Belarus. The Government has made no direct representations to the Belarusian authorities about his arrest, but officials will do so at the next opportunity. The EU raised his case in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council on 5 July.

The UK continues to maintain the pressure on Belarus to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners. We strongly supported the 5 July resolution at the UN Human Rights Council, which established a Special Rapporteur on Belarus. The Rapporteur will be a valuable source of independent reporting on events in the country, and will help keep the spotlight on the situation there.

Colombia

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Colombian Government threats that have been made against the life of Carlos Lozano from Colombians for Peace. [115162]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Any threat against Dr Lozano’s life is unacceptable. Our embassy in Bogota met with Dr Lozano recently, and continues to monitor his case closely. During Dr Lozano’s recent trip to the UK, he met with senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials to discuss the situation in Colombia. The Colombian Government has assured us that providing protection for human rights defenders is an absolute priority for them. Officials at our embassy in Bogota will raise the case of Dr Lozano with the Colombian Government.

The British Government continues to raise the protection of human rights defenders regularly with the Colombian Government. I discussed human rights with President Santos, Foreign Minister Holguín and Vice President Garzón during my visit to Colombia in March 2012.

Egypt

Heather Wheeler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. [115698]

Alistair Burt: The British Government remains concerned about the security situation in the Sinai and we regularly raise this with the Egyptian authorities. Due to a significant increase in criminal activity in the north Sinai area, Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice currently advises against all but essential travel to Sinai north of the Suez-Taba road.

Heather Wheeler: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of arms smuggling in the Sinai Peninsula. [115700]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of reports of arms smuggling in and through the Sinai Peninsula and are monitoring the situation carefully. We regularly raise our concerns about the security situation in the Sinai with the Egyptian authorities.

European Union: Legislative Competence

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his timetable is for his Department's work to review the EU's existing competences. [115875]

Mr Lidington: Extensive preparatory work is progressing and an announcement will be made to Parliament at the appropriate time.

Israel

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on its water supply policies in the Jordan valley. [115593]

Alistair Burt: The British Government has had detailed discussions with both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities on the issue of water supply policies in the Jordan valley, including on the significant difference between the water allocated for use by Palestinians and Israeli settlers. In addition to lobbying at a political level, the UK is funding a project working with Palestinians and Israelis to help improve co-operation on water issues to the benefit of both parties.

Water is one of the issues expected to be addressed in final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The UK continues to urge both parties to enter into direct talks to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Middle East

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the recent increase of rocket fire into Israel from Gaza. [115430]

Alistair Burt: We understand that between 17 to 23 June, over 150 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel, with 10 Israeli civilians being injured. Israel responded with several air strikes, killing 10 Palestinians. This was the worst escalation of violence since the beginning of March this year, when 134 rockets were fired from Gaza.

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We condemn indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel and have urged all sides to exercise restraint and prevent civilian casualties and loss of life.

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support he is providing for the renewal of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. [115605]

Alistair Burt: The UK continues to make regular high level representations to the Government of Israel and to the Palestinians on the urgency of making progress towards a two-state solution. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made this clear in his discussions with the Israeli Foreign Minister on 22 May and with Palestinian President Abbas on 6 July. The UK also provides practical and technical support, including to the office of the Quartet Representative, to reinforce the prospects for peace.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Palestinian Authority's adherence to their Road Map commitment to end incitement against Israel. [115678]

Alistair Burt: The British Government oppose the advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence in all circumstances. In response to allegations of anti-Israeli incitement on Palestinian state television, officials from the British Consulate General in Jerusalem have raised concerns with the Head of the News Department at Palestine TV who stressed that they have strict instructions from the highest Palestinian authorities to prevent the broadcasting of any material that promotes incitement or hatred. We are not aware of any other credible recent evidence of anti-Israeli incitement by the Palestinian Authority. The Road Map stipulates that a tri-partite committee would look at incidents of incitement, to which any party can appeal.

Russia

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to Russia on the jailing of members of the punk band Pussy Riot. [115916]

Mr Lidington: We are extremely concerned about the continued detention of three members of the band Pussy Riot, who have been held in pre-trial detention for almost four months. The severity of the Russian authorities’ response—detention on the serious criminal charge of hooliganism—appears to be disproportionate to the manner in which they expressed their political beliefs. Amnesty International has classified the members of Pussy Riot as “Prisoners of Conscience”.

The Government have repeatedly expressed their serious concern to the Russian Government over attempts to limit freedom of assembly. We will continue to call on the Russian Government to protect the right to legitimate protest and will raise this case at our UK-Russia Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue on 13 July.

9 July 2012 : Column 16W

Syria

Richard Drax: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is making any preparations for any part of the armed forces to be deployed to Syria. [113385]

Mr Philip Hammond: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence has submitted military nominations to fill a key appointment in the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). As at 25 June, the Syrian authorities have yet to grant visas for either of the nominated individuals. Without visa authorisation UK nominees are unable to deploy.

Visits Abroad

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries he is planning to visit in the next 12 months. [115710]

Mr Lidington: For security reasons we do not make public the advance travel plans of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Farms: Crops

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the profitability for farmers of catch crops. [115494]

Mr Paice: DEFRA has not made any specific assessment of the profitability for farmers of catch crops. These crops tend to be grown as forage crops, often substituting for grazing or silage. Their contribution to farm profitability, while being taken into account where appropriate, has not been separately assessed—the output in terms of livestock production will be within livestock sales and value change, while the costs incurred in growing them, e.g. seed, fertiliser etc, are normally subsumed within farm costs.

Farms: Water

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice her Department has provided to farmers on the (a) effective and (b) reduced use of water. [115476]

Richard Benyon: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 19 April 2012, Official Report, column 495W, which described the assistance, including advice, being provided to farmers who operate in areas of drought.

In the longer term, the Department has funded over 20 research projects on the sustainable (effective and reduced) use of water in agriculture to the value of over £6 million in the last six years. Most of these projects have a knowledge transfer component generating advisory outputs, such as the DEFRA Water Audit toolkit available on the UK Irrigation Association website.

9 July 2012 : Column 17W

The Department has provided advice on the cross compliance aspects of water abstraction for many years. The Department's new Farming Advice Service now provides advice on climate change adaptation and has begun developing and delivering advice on water management in both livestock and crops. The Environment Agency has published advice on the reduced and effective use of water in agriculture on its website, in its ‘Waterwise’ leaflets, and via direct advice to farmers, including construction of storage reservoirs, rainwater harvesting, formation of water abstraction groups, irrigation and rotational planning, adoption of new (e.g. irrigation) technology.

Natural England, through the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme, offers training and advice to farmers within 65 priority catchments on a range of activities relating to water use on farm, including reducing volumes of dirty water and utilising rainwater. This includes advice and grants towards rainwater harvesting goods such as storage tanks, first flush rainwater diverters and downpipe filters, yard works for clean and dirty water separation, roofing for slurry and silage stores and pesticide wash down areas. Training and advice is also offered on best practice management of water runoff from land to reduce the risk of diffuse pollution from agriculture.

Fisheries: Dee Estuary

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations her Department has received from (a) Natural England, (b) the Sea Fisheries Liaison Group and (c) other groups on any increased Welsh use of the Dee estuary arising from the review of the Management Plan for the River Dee and increased powers from the Welsh Government; [115286]

(2) if she will make it her policy that an applicant should state whether they are a self-employed fisherman on an application for a new Dee estuary cockle fishery licence; [115287]

(3) if she will make it her policy that both full and temporary licences for Dee estuary cockle fishing should be non-transferable; [115288]

(4) under what conditions the Environment Agency would award a Dee estuary cockle fishery temporary licence; [115289]

(5) whether she has taken steps to ensure an equal distribution of Dee estuary cockle fishery licences on the English and Welsh sides of the River Dee. [115290]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency is responsible for the management of the Dee cockle fishery. The fishery is currently regulated by the Dee Regulating Order 2008 (granted to the Environment Agency under the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967), and the fishery managed as set out in the associated Management Plan.

It is my understanding that, as set out in the Management Plan for the fishery, the licences under the Order are non-transferable and that any decision to issue temporary licences is made on the basis of annual cockle stock surveys. New licences are allocated to those on a waiting list; when the Environment Agency compiled this list evidence of commercial fishing activity was a requirement. The Environment Agency does not restrict licences based on geographical location.

9 July 2012 : Column 18W

I have received no recent representations on either a review of the Management Plan or the increased powers of the Welsh Government.

Floods: Crops

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential for legal challenges by farmers against the Environment Agency for the effect of recent flooding on crops. [115475]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA has made no specific assessment of the potential for legal challenge by farmers against the Environment Agency due to the effects of recent flooding on crops.

Floods: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department plans to compensate or provide relief to those affected by recent flooding in the West Midlands. [115112]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 5 July 2012]:It has been the policy of consecutive Governments not to compensate for damages from extreme weather events, not least because it would be unfair to those who purchased insurance. Taxpayers' money is best spent on long term solutions that reduce the risk from flooding in the first place.

A Bellwin scheme may be activated where an emergency or disaster occurs and local authorities incur expenditure taking action to safeguard life or property. The scheme is administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Food: Prices

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has any further plans to review the recent evidence on the drivers of food prices after the publication of the report on the 2007/08 Agricultural Price Spikes: Causes and Policy Implications. [115967]

Mr Paice: The Government continue to look at the potential drivers behind the prices of agricultural commodities and food. During the price spike in 2007-08, the drivers included fundamental changes in supply and demand; the run-down of agricultural stocks; export restrictions imposed by states in response to the shortages; and market uncertainty about the status of supplies. We will continue to research other areas where the results of activity are less certain, such as biofuels policies and market speculation.

The Government also actively monitor food prices and the drivers behind changes in commodity prices. Research into this area has shown that the key drivers behind changes in food prices are global agricultural commodity prices, exchange rates, and fluctuating oil prices.

We are also active on the world stage, working with G20 partners to improve market information through the Agricultural Market Information System and working

9 July 2012 : Column 19W

to discourage inappropriate reactions to market events, such as the use of export bans, through the Rapid Response Forum.

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many procurement card holders in her Department were (a) paid off-payroll, (b) employed on a part-time basis and (c) employed as a non-permanent employee in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. [113337]

Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA's policy is that only its own employees (i.e. those on payroll) who are working in core DEFRA at the time and not on loan elsewhere may use one of its Government Procurement Cards.

For the period 2011-12, 739 full-time and 67 part-time employees of core DEFRA held Government Procurement Cards.

9 July 2012 : Column 20W

For the periods 2009-10 and 2010-11 the information requested is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

Livestock: Exports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much livestock was exported for slaughter outside of the UK in each of the last five years. [114341]

Mr Paice: Prior to 2009, individual Animal Health offices had responsibility for tracking exports. Therefore, data prior to 2009 are not held centrally. The data for 2010 are limited as the introduction of a centralised team within Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories was gradual.

The centralised data available are set out in the following table:

 AnimalsNo. of consignments for slaughterNo. of animals for slaughterTotal no. of animals

2011

Pigs

6

422

(1)27,563

 

Sheep and Goats

40

14,606

(1)

 

Cattle

91

12,535

(1)

     

2012 (to date)

Pigs

0

0

(2)3,246

 

Sheep and Goats

10

3,098

(2)

 

Cattle

1

148

(2)

(1) Indicates a brace.

(2) Indicates a brace.

Rain Forests

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's policy is on the continuing destruction of the rainforests. [115798]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 6 July 2012]: Tackling illegal logging and deforestation is a priority for the coalition Government, and we are in the process of implementing two EU Regulations to tackle the trade in illegal timber. The EU Timber Regulation, which enters into force on 3 March 2013, will require operators first placing timber and timber products on the EU market to exercise due diligence to ensure that this timber has been legally harvested. The Regulation also includes a prohibition on the first placing of illegal timber on the EU market. This approach is complemented by the EU FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Regulation, under which countries can sign a voluntary partnership agreement with the EU to ensure that timber and timber products from those countries has come from legally harvested sources. Six countries have signed agreements with the EU and are developing their legality assurance systems to ensure compliance with the Agreements.

The Government have also set up an International Climate Fund (ICF) to help developing countries tackle climate change and reduce poverty. Protecting the world's forests is a priority theme of the ICF, accounting for around 20% of the total funds (£2.9 billion) from 2011 to 2015.

Communities and Local Government

Housing: Construction

Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) owner-occupied, (b) housing association, (c) privately rented and (d) local authority houses have been built in each of the last 15 years. [115392]

Grant Shapps: Statistics on house building are published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at the following link. These figures include completions in England for each of the last 15 years, and include a breakdown into house building by private enterprise, housing associations and local authorities. It is not possible to measure how many of these are built for owner-occupation or private rental.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/housebuilding/

Women and Equalities

Homosexuality: Marriage

Karl McCartney: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities if she will take steps to ensure that the views of all sections of society, including those who have not responded to her consultation on same-sex marriage are taken into account during policy development. [115720]

9 July 2012 : Column 21W

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 6 July 2012]: The Government consultation on enabling same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony closed on 14 June 2012. We are currently considering all the responses and will publish a Government response by the end of the year.

I am aware that there are a wide range of opinions on this subject and therefore every effort has been made to ensure that people, across all views, had the opportunity to respond to the consultation. Both Ministers and officials widely encouraged both individual responses and those from organisations that would represent many more people. The Government will be taking into account all responses received during this time, via correspondence, email, or the online consultation form.

Northern Ireland

Bank Services

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the provisions of customer compensation for (a) bank fines and (b) third-party fines incurred as a result of the recent bank system errors within (i) Royal Bank of Scotland, (ii) NatWest and (iii) Ulster Bank; and if he will make a statement. [115730]

Mr Paterson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire) to the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) on 4 July 2012, Official Report, column 901, and to the replies I have subsequently given to the hon. Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) on 5 July 2012, Official Report, column, 736W, and 6 July 2012, Official Report, column 859W.

The Chairman of RBS has given us assurances that Ulster Bank will treat its customers properly and fairly and that they will be compensated fully for financial loss.

HM Treasury and the FSA are carefully monitoring the situation, as am I, and we remain in close contact with RBS.

Since the problems in Ulster Bank arose I have discussed the matter with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable) and the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, my hon. Friend the Member for South West Hertfordshire (Mr Gauke). My right hon. Friend the Minister of State has also had regular discussions with the Chairman of RBS, Sir Philip Hampton, and the Chief Executive of RBS, Stephen Hester, and the Exchequer Secretary during this period. During his latest telephone call with Stephen Hester this morning, the Minister of State was assured that further progress had been made and that Ulster Bank is hopeful that all outstanding problems will be resolved later this week. It is important the Bank continues to make all efforts to ensure this happens.

We have also discussed the issue with HM Revenue & Customs who have assured us that they will treat sympathetically and considerately any taxpayers who are charged a penalty or surcharge for late payment as a

9 July 2012 : Column 22W

result of the problems at Ulster Bank and will put matters right if those customers get in touch with HMRC.

We shall continue to monitor the situation until the problems at Ulster Bank are resolved.

Energy and Climate Change

Electricity Generation

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to announce the recommendations of his Electricity Demand Reduction Project before the summer recess. [115817]

Charles Hendry: In the July 2011 White Paper, “Planning our electric future: a White Paper for secure, affordable and low-carbon electricity”, DECC committed to undertake an assessment by summer 2012 to determine whether DECC should take further steps to improve the support and incentives for the efficient use of electricity.

This assessment is nearing completion and will be published shortly.

Electricity: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the total cost to the public purse was of the Hydro-Benefit Replacement Scheme in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012 to date. [115323]

Gregory Barker: The cost of the Hydro-Benefit Replacement Scheme is recovered through charges on the licensed electricity supply companies across Great Britain. The following table sets out the total amount recovered (or to be recovered) for each financial year as supplied by National Grid.

Financial yearTotal amount recovered (£ million)

2008-09

46.505

2009-10

48.672

2010-11

48.059

2011-12

50.361

2012-13

52.985

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the total cost to the public purse was of the Common Tariff Obligation in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012 to date. [115324]

Gregory Barker: The Common Tariff Obligation prohibits licensed electricity suppliers from discriminating among comparable domestic customers in charges on the basis of their location in the North of Scotland and as such imposes no cost on the public purse.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of consumers in Scotland who have participated in the (a) Common Tariff Obligation and (b) Hydro-Benefit Replacement Scheme in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010, (iv) 2011 and (v) 2012 to date. [115325]

9 July 2012 : Column 23W

Gregory Barker: All consumers in the Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution area benefit from both the Common Tariff Obligation and the Hydro Benefit Replacement Scheme. Set out in the following table is the number of consumers (both domestic and industrial/commercial) served by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution as supplied by the company.

 Number of consumers

2008

709,201

2009

721,019

2010

729,290

2011

740,768

2012

745,907

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the total average saving per year for consumers in Scotland through the Common Tariff Obligation in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012 to date. [115326]

Gregory Barker: The Common Tariff Obligation prohibits licensed electricity suppliers from discriminating among comparable domestic customers in charges on the basis of their location. It is not possible to estimate what each consumer's annual electricity bill would have been in the absence of the Common Tariff Obligation.

Energy: Prices

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much money energy companies have spent on assisting low income households and low income areas in each of the last five years. [114797]

Gregory Barker: Energy companies are required to assist low income households through the delivery of energy efficiency measures under the Community Energy Saving Programme and at least 15% of their carbon emissions reduction target obligations. We do not currently have powers to require suppliers to disclose how much they spend under these schemes. Estimates of the overall cost to companies in meeting their obligations are set out in the relevant impact assessments. We have powers that will enable us to obtain better information about costs under the new energy company obligation.

The amount that suppliers have spent over the past five years on providing assistance with energy bills to low income and to vulnerable households is set out in the following table. This information has been sourced from Ofgem's reports on suppliers' social spending for April 2007 to March 2011. The estimate of suppliers' spending on the first year of the Warm Home Discount scheme is based on the impact assessment for the scheme and will be confirmed following Ofgem's end of year audits of suppliers' spending on the scheme.

 £ million
Financial year and scheme detailsTotal spend by suppliers on energy price support

April 2011 to March 2012 (first year of the Warm Home Discount Scheme)

(1)250

9 July 2012 : Column 24W

April 2010 to March 2011 (third year of the voluntary agreement—agreed spend was £150 million

178

April 2009 to March 2010 (second year of the voluntary agreement—agreed spend was £125 million

l53

April 2008 to March 2009 (first year of the voluntary agreement—agreed spend was £100 million

157

April 2007 to March 2008

57

(1) Estimate—subject to confirmation by Ofgem following end of year audits.

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to provide assistance to care homes in meeting energy costs. [115611]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 6 July 2012]:The Department has no such plans. However, care homes, like all British homes and businesses, will have the opportunity to take up energy efficiency measures to help them manage their fuel bills under the Government's new Green Deal.

Environment Protection: Employment

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people were employed in the (a) environmental and (b) renewable energy sector in May (i) 2010 and (ii) 2012. [115942]

Gregory Barker: DECC has not made any assessment of the number of people employed in the (a) environmental and (b) renewable energy sector in May (i) 2010 and (ii) 2012.

Over the 2011-2012 financial year, the Office for Renewable Energy Deployment (ORED) collated industry announcements totalling £6.9 billion confirmed and planned investments in the renewable energy sector, with the potential support of over 20,800 jobs.

Green Deal Scheme

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 20 March 2012, Official Report, column 602W, to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree, what the cost to the public purse will be of the Green Deal in (a) 2012, (b) 2013, (c) 2014 and (d) 2015. [115049]

Gregory Barker: Budgets for the Green Deal are as follows:

 Green Deal cost (£ million)

2012-13

30.4

2013-14

25.9

2014-15

19.5

Budgets beyond 2012-13 are indicative only. The above table does not include the £200 million for a launch incentives scheme which is allocated across 2012-13 and 2013-14.

9 July 2012 : Column 25W

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if his Department will assess the energy saving performance of window film and consider it for inclusion in the Green Deal. [115589]

Gregory Barker: Window film is not currently eligible for Green Deal finance, but could potentially be included if a quantified and verified energy saving estimate is modelled in the assessment tools RdSAP or SBEM. This is necessary because the assessment tools generate the savings estimate on which the Green Deal finance quote is based. The route industry can use to include measures in the assessment tools is through a process called Appendix Q. Details can be found on the Building Research Establishment's website.

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received on enabling the fitting of window film to be included within the Green Deal. [115590]

Gregory Barker: We have received a number of representations about window film being included in the Green Deal.

Window film is not currently eligible for Green Deal finance, but could potentially be included if a quantified and verified energy saving estimate is modelled in the assessment tools RdSAP or SBEM. This is necessary because the assessment tools generate the savings estimate on which the Green Deal finance quote is based. The route industry can use to include measures in the assessment tools is through a process called Appendix Q. Details can be found on the Building Research Establishment's website.

Nuclear Power

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department last met (a) Citigroup, (b) KPMG and (c) PricewaterhouseCoopers to discuss the strike price for nuclear power. [115481]

Charles Hendry: The Department regularly meets a range of external stakeholders and financial institutions to discuss a number of issues relating to electricity market reform, but has not met Citigroup, KPMG, or PricewaterhouseCoopers specifically to discuss the strike price for nuclear power.

Renewable Energy

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much renewable electricity has been sold to the grid (a) in total and (b) by each local authority in England and Wales since August 2010; how much income local authorities have generated from the sale of renewable electricity in the last 12 months; what the total proportion is of electricity in England generated by local authority-owned renewables; how many new renewable electricity generation projects have been commissioned by local authorities since August 2010; and if he will make a statement. [R] [115576]

Gregory Barker: DECC does not maintain records of how much renewable electricity has been sold to the grid by local authorities in England and Wales, how

9 July 2012 : Column 26W

much income local authorities have generated from the sale of renewable electricity, the total proportion of electricity in England generated by local authority-owned renewables or the number of renewable electricity generation projects commissioned by local authorities.

Renewable generation is currently supported through the Renewables Obligation (RO), with Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) incentivising small-scale generation. Both schemes are administered by Ofgem. Information on registered installations receiving support under the two schemes is available from the Ofgem Renewables and CHP Register and Ofgem's Central FITs Register. Both can be accessed through the following link:

https://www.renewablesandchp.ofgem.gov.uk

Renewable Energy: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government is taking to stimulate the manufacturing of renewable energy technology in the West Midlands. [115317]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 5 July 2012]: Recent steps taken by the Government to stimulate the manufacturing of renewable energy technology across England include encouraging businesses in the sector to apply for grants and/or loans from the new £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) and £l billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Round Three. Businesses in the West Midlands are eligible to submit bids for the AMSCI or RGF as appropriate.

In addition, renewable energy companies across the UK can apply for innovation funding and support. This includes the Second Call for proposals for the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration Scheme and support under the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. Full details of the available innovation funding and support can be found on DECC's website at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/funding/funding_ops/innovation/innovation.aspx

Based on recent announcements, we are aware of £51 million investment in the renewable energy sector in the West Midlands over the 2011-12 financial year with the support of 150 jobs.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people he estimates will receive the Warm Homes Discount in 2012-13. [115881]

Gregory Barker: Around 2 million households will receive support under the Warm Home Discount scheme in 2012-13. This is expected to include around 1 million of the poorest pensioners.

International Development

Afghanistan

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) whether the UK plans to allocate new funds to address violence against women and girls at the upcoming Tokyo conference on Afghanistan; [115301]

9 July 2012 : Column 27W

(2) what budget commitment the Government is planning to make to help tackle violence against women and girls as part of its contribution at the upcoming Tokyo meeting on development in Afghanistan; [115302]

(3) how the Government plans to ensure that violence against women is addressed at the upcoming Tokyo meeting on development in Afghanistan. [115303]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The international community must make long-term development commitments at Tokyo to secure Afghanistan’s future. Once the level of international finance and the Government of Afghanistan’s reform commitments have been agreed, the UK, along with our Afghan and international partners, will review how resources can best be prioritised for the good of the Afghan people. Last weekend, I announced that the UK will maintain its current funding levels of £178 million per year for the next five years.

The UK is already working closely with the Afghan Government and Afghan civil society to secure progress on women’s rights, educating girls, helping 8,000 of the poorest women into jobs and working with groups dedicated to protecting women. I met women’s groups last weekend in Lashkar Gar in Afghanistan and will be meeting with Afghan women civil society representatives in the margins of the Tokyo conference to hear first hand how the UK can best support women’s rights in the years ahead.

Developing Countries: Biofuels

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the EU Foreign Affairs Council on the effect of biofuels on sustainable development in developing countries. [115915]

Mr O'Brien: The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), has not made any direct representations to the EU Foreign Affairs Council on the impact of biofuels on sustainable development in developing countries. It was not on the agenda at the last EU Foreign Affairs Council.

The UK must, in law, comply with the EU renewable energy directive (RED) which contains a target for the UK to source 15% of its overall energy, and 10% of energy used in transport, from renewable sources by 2020. The European Commission must monitor and report every two years on the impact of biofuel policy and increased demand for biofuel on social sustainability. Reports must address issues of land use rights, and must also state whether the production of raw material for biofuel for use in the EU complies with conventions of the International Labour Organisation. If necessary, the Commission must propose corrective action.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on which occasions his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf since May 2010. [115348]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: There have been no occasions when my parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with me or on my behalf since May 2010.

9 July 2012 : Column 28W

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, (1) what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget that can be re-prioritised; what steps he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for re-prioritisation; [115736]

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible re-prioritisation; [115737]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible re-prioritisation; and when he plans to report to the International Development Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115738]

Mr Duncan: DFID is working with the Treasury to agree contingency plans as set out in the Improving Spending Control document. This can be found at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_control.pdf

Plans and options for re-prioritisation will not be published. They should be “live” plans that are reassessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

South Sudan

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether plans to build teacher training centres in South Sudan will still go ahead in the original timeframe. [115696]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK Government are committed to enabling two million children (793,000 girls) to attend primary education and to printing and distributing 9.4 million textbooks in South Sudan by 2015. Current programmes include increasing access to primary and secondary education through the construction of 33 primary schools and four secondary schools in four states of South. Sudan. Over 1,100 teachers have been trained under the Basic Services Fund while 9,000 out-of-school children have been provided with quality primary education through the Global Poverty Action Fund.

Achieving the planned results will be much more challenging given the consequences of the loss of South Sudan's oil revenues. One consequence of the financial crisis in South Sudan is that we have deferred some infrastructure projects in favour of higher priority and humanitarian and essential service delivery activities. The County Education Centres (CEC) project is one example. It remains part of DFID's longer term plans.

Education

Academies: Complaints

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many complaints (a) his Department and (b) the Education Funding Agency have received

9 July 2012 : Column 29W

against free schools and academies with regard to provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities. [111388]

Tim Loughton: The Department (a) in the past 12 months has not received any complaints against free schools and academies with regard to provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities. The Department manages the determination of disputes between academies and local authorities about the naming of an academy in a child's statement of SEN. In the same period of time the Department has dealt with 16 cases which have been referred either by an academy or by a local authority.

(b) Since 1 April 2012, the Education Funding Agency has received three pieces of correspondence that relate to complaints about academies with regard to provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities, but these are out of the scope of its published complaints procedures.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many complaints against academies and free schools are being examined by (a) his Department and (b) the Education Funding Agency. [111391]

Tim Loughton: At present the (a) Department does not hold these data centrally, and (b) the Education Funding Agency is currently processing 13 complaints about academies under its published procedures, and 10 complaints about the administration of Independent Appeals Panels for admission to academies.

In the future the Department will be providing this information to the Education Select Committee in an annual report.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many complaints against academies and free schools have been processed by (a) his Department and (b) the Education Funding Agency and its predecessor. [111392]

Tim Loughton: At present the (a) Department does not hold these data centrally, and (b) the Education Funding Agency, and its predecessor the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA), had systems in place to record overall volumes of correspondence about complaints but not numbers of cases it was investigating under its published procedures.

An exception to this was complaints about administration of Independent Appeals Panels for admission to academies. YPLA considered 118 cases, up to March 2012, through a separate published process.

In the future the Department will be providing this information to the Education Select Committee in an annual report.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether (a) the Education Funding Agency or its predecessor and (b) other organisations and individuals have sought clarification from his Department on their role in handling complaints against free schools and academies. [111410]

Tim Loughton: The (a) Education Funding Agency (EFA) has assumed the Young People's Learning Agency's responsibility for ensuring that academies comply with

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their funding agreements. Neither organisation sought clarification from the Department about its role in handling complaints about academies.

No organisation, other than the Education Funding Agency or the Department for Education, has a role in handling complaints against free schools or academies. (b) The Special Educational Consortium has sought clarification from the Department on the role of the EFA in handling complaints against free schools and academies.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance he has issued to the Education Funding Agency or its predecessor on its role in handling complaints against free schools and academies. [111411]

Mr Gibb: Free schools and academies should have their own complaints procedures. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) will handle complaints made about free schools and academies where they fail to follow these procedures.

If the EFA finds that a free school or academy did not deal with a complaint appropriately it will request that the complaint is reconsidered.

The EFA will also look at complaints where an academy has failed to comply with a duty imposed on it under its funding agreement. If it is satisfied that an academy is in breach of the funding agreement, and that the breach cannot be addressed informally, then it can seek to enforce compliance through the courts.

Education Funding Agency: Complaints

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many complaints he has received on the complaints procedures of the Education Funding Agency and its predecessor. [111387]

Tim Loughton: Since 2010-11 the Department received one complaint about the complaints procedure of the Education Funding Agency and its predecessor.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of the withdrawal of the education maintenance allowance on the number of 16 to 19-year-olds entering further education in (a) Coventry, (b) Coventry North East constituency, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England. [115823]

Mr Gibb: Underlying trends in participation in further education can be influenced by a range of factors, including the effects of changes to the economy, both at a national and local level; the availability and types of courses on offer locally; and the support provided by local services. It is not possible to disaggregate the impact of changes made to financial support from these other factors in the short term.

The Department has commissioned an independent evaluation of the 16 to19 Bursary Fund (which replaced education maintenance allowance from the beginning of the current academic year). The evaluation will consider the perceived and actual impact of the new scheme on

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participation and attainment for students in specific groups. It will investigate differences and impacts at a national and regional level (including for the midlands), but not at a constituency level.

Further Education: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many 16 to 18-year-olds in (a) Warrington and (b) Warrington North constituency who were entitled to a free school meal in year 11 are studying in (a) further education colleges, (b) a school sixth form and

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(c) a sixth-form college; and what proportion of the total number of students studying at each such institution this represents. [116046]

Mr Gibb: Tables 1 and 2 shows estimates for the number and percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds who were entitled to free school meals (FSM) in year 11 who studied in (a) further education colleges, (b) a school sixth form and (c) a sixth-form college in Warrington local authority and Warrington North constituency in the 2010/11 academic year.

Table 1: 16 to 18-year-olds who studied in school sixth form/sixth-form college/FE college in Warrington local authority in 2010/11 by FSM status at age 15
Number of students aged 16 to 18
  FE collegesSchool sixth formSixth-form collegeTotal

Eligible for FSM

Full-time education

210

50

125

390

 

Part-time education

5

5

10

 

Total

215

50

135

400

      

Not eligible for FSM

Full-time education

1,120

1,335

2,060

4,510

 

Part-time education

65

25

90

 

Total

1,185

1,335

2,085

4,605

      

Unknown FSM status

Full-time education

55

25

60

140

 

Part-time education

20

5

25

 

Total

75

25

65

165

      

Total

Full-time education

1,385

1,410

2,250

5,045

 

Part-time education

90

35

125

 

Total

1,475

1,410

2,285

5,170

Percentage of students aged 16 to 18
  FE collegesSchool sixth formSixth-form collegeTotal

Eligible for FSM

Full-time education

15

4

6

8

 

Part-time education

4

17

8

 

Total

15

4

6

8

      

Not eligible for FSM

Full-time education

81

94

92

89

 

Part-time education

72

74

73

 

Total

80

94

91

89

      

Unknown FSM status

Full-time education

4

2

3

3

 

Part-time education

23

9

19

 

Total

5

2

3

3

      

Total

Full-time education

100

100

100

100

 

Part-time education

100

100

100

 

Total

100

100

100

100

Table 2: 16 to 18-year-olds who studied in school sixth form/sixth-form college/FE college in Warrington North constituency in 2010/11 by FSM status at age 15
Number of students aged 16 to 18
  FE collegesSchool sixth formSixth-form collegeTotal

Eligible for FSM

Full-time education

210

25

240

 

Part-time education

5

5

 

Total

215

25

240

      

Not eligible for FSM

Full-time education

1,120

320

1,440

 

Part-time education

65

65

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9 July 2012 : Column 34W

 

Total

1,185

320

1,505

      

Unknown FSM status

Full-time education

55

5

60

 

Part-time education

20

20

 

Total

75

5

85

      

Total

Full-time education

1,385

355

1,740

 

Part-time education

90

90

 

Total

1,475

355

1,830

Percentage of students aged 16 to 18
  FE collegesSchool sixth formSixth-form collegeTotal

Eligible for FSM

Full-time education

15

8

14

 

Part-time education

4

4

 

Total

15

8

13

      

Not eligible for FSM

Full-time education

81

90

83

 

Part-time education

72

72

 

Total

80

90

82

      

Unknown FSM status

Full-time education

4

2

4

 

Part-time education

23

23

 

Total

5

2

5

      

Total

Full-time education

100

100

100

 

Part-time education

100

100

 

Total

100

100

100

Notes: 1. Data are rounded to the nearest five students. The components of each table may not sum to the total due to independent rounding 2. FSM status is recorded for students in state schools at academic age 15. 3. School sixth forms includes special schools with a designated sixth form.