13 July 2012 : Column 433W

NHS: Pay

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people employed by the NHS earn more than (a) £150,000, (b) £200,000 and (c) £250,000 per annum. [116550]

Mr Simon Burns: Information is not held centrally on the salaries of national health service staff.

The Government Actuary's Department estimate that, as at 31 March 2010:

(a) 7,000 NHS Pension Scheme members had whole time equivalent pensionable pay of over £150,000 per annum,

(b) 2,000 NHS Pension Scheme members had whole time equivalent pensionable pay of over £200,000 per annum, and

(c) fewer than 1,000 NHS Pension Scheme members had whole time equivalent pensionable pay of over £250,000 per annum.

Obesity

Mr Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with (a) the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, (b) the British Medical Association and (c) NHS Employers on the Quality and Outcome Framework indicators on obesity. [116435]

Mr Simon Burns: The prioritisation and development of potential indicators for inclusion in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is a matter for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The independent advisory committee that advises NICE on QOF indicators met on 9 June 2011 and considered the evidence base for two obesity indicators for potential inclusion in the QOF. The committee decided not to recommend the progression of either indicator for inclusion on its menu of suggested indicators to be considered as part of the negotiations on improving the QOF. Full details of the discussion were published in the minutes of the June 2011 committee meeting on the NICE website at:

www.nice.org.uk/media/718/34/QOF_Independent_Primary_ Care_QOF_Indicator_Advisory_Committee_090611_unconfirmed _minutes.pdf

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage GPs to treat overweight and obese individuals. [116994]

Anne Milton: We encourage general practitioners to implement guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the “Prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children” and, where appropriate, implement their local obesity care pathway to ensure that patients receive the support they need to manage their weight.

The NICE guidance, available at:

www.nice.org.uk/CG43

Ovarian Cancer

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of a national screening programme on (a) detection and (b) survival rates for ovarian cancer; and if he will make a statement; [116986]

(2) what steps he plans to take to improve survival rates for ovarian cancer. [116987]

13 July 2012 : Column 434W

Paul Burstow: On 12 January 2011, we published ‘Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer’, which sets out how the Government's reforms will improve outcomes for all cancer patients, including those with ovarian cancer. The strategy sets out an ambition to save an additional 5,000 lives every year by 2014-15 through earlier diagnosis of cancer and improved access to screening and radiotherapy. We will not be able to deliver on this ambition by focusing solely on the more common cancers, and so the national health service will need to take action to improve survival rates for less common cancers, such as ovarian cancer.

To support earlier diagnosis of cancer, the Government has committed over £450 million over the next four years. This money will be used to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer; fund increased general practitioner access to diagnostic tests; and pay for more testing and treatment in secondary care. One of the tests we are increasing access to is non-obstetric ultrasound to support the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

The strategy also sets out our commitment to work with a number of rarer cancer-focused charities to assess what more can be done to encourage appropriate referrals to secondary care and to diagnose rarer cancers earlier. Departmental officials have already met with a number of these charities, including those concerned with ovarian cancer, with the aim of identifying some of the barriers to early diagnosis and to discuss potential solutions. The outcome of these discussions has been fed into the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative.

I recently announced that we would trial a specific ovarian cancer signs and symptoms campaign in early 2013. We intend running local pilots in three different parts of the country and we will work with key stakeholders, including the ovarian cancer charities, to agree the key messages for the campaign. These campaigns will be evaluated to assess the potential for regional campaign activity and any subsequent national activity.

The UK National Screening Committee's (UK NSC) current position on ovarian cancer screening is that it should not be offered except in the context of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) randomised controlled trial. The UK NSC agreed at its meeting in June 2010 that screening for ovarian cancer would next be reviewed when results of UKCTOCS were published or earlier if any new significant peer reviewed evidence emerges in the meantime. The initial follow up of the UKTOCS trial is expected to be complete in December 2014.

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that women have equitable access to clinical trials and new treatments related to ovarian cancer. [116995]

Paul Burstow: The National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN) was established in 2001 by the Department to improve the speed, coordination, integration, quality and inclusiveness of cancer clinical research, for the benefit of patients and the national health service. Participation in clinical research studies in ovarian cancer hosted by the NCRN has risen from 287 patients (4.1% of new cases) in 2001-02 to 1,515 patients (21.8% of new cases) in 2011-12.

13 July 2012 : Column 435W

The NCRN consists of 32 local research networks that are fully embedded within the NHS cancer networks and provide full-geographical coverage across England. Every NHS trust where cancer is treated has access to research trials through its local NCRN network. There are currently 19 ovarian cancer studies open to accrual and eight in set-up in the NCRN portfolio. In addition to charity and Government-funded academic research, the portfolio includes industry-sponsored trials. Research trials are strictly regulated under law and require approvals at a local level before opening to accrual, and not all trials can be feasibly run across all sites. Therefore, whilst every NCRN network has some ovarian cancer studies open, not every locality would expect to run the entire NCRN ovarian portfolio.

A publicly available portfolio map depicts the current NCRN ovarian cancer portfolio by study and is available at:.

http://ncrndev.org.uk/downloads/Trial%20Maps/Gynae/Gynaecological%20Trial%20Map%20B.pdf

In addition, the NIHR funds 15 experimental cancer medicine centres across England in close partnership with Cancer Research UK. Since the initiative commenced, 29 ovarian cancer studies have been supported by 11 of these centres. Five of these studies are currently in set-up and seven, are open to patient recruitment. Of the remaining studies, seven are in follow-up and 10 have completed and closed.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising a number of drug treatment combinations for ovarian cancer. In the absence of final positive NICE technology appraisal guidance, NHS organisations are required to make funding decisions locally based on an assessment of the available evidence. Where a cancer drug is not routinely funded by the NHS, patients may be able to access it through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he expects his Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate he has made of any such underspend. [116470]

Mr Simon Burns: The Office for Budgetary Responsibility forecast underspends in Departmental Expenditure Limits as part of their economic and fiscal outlook in the autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda, the Government publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all Departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publish outturn data for all Departments from the Combined Online Information System database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by the Department will be published at Budget 2013.

Home Department

Civil Disorder

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the business claims for damages under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 have been rejected or discontinued since 11 August 2011; [115731]

13 July 2012 : Column 436W

(2) how many businesses have submitted claims for damages under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 since 1 August 2011; [115732]

(3) what the five most commons grounds were for rejected claims for damages under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 since 1 August 2011; and how many claims were rejected for each such reason. [115733]

Nick Herbert: Under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, applications for compensation are made directly to police authorities. Information on the amount of claims submitted by businesses, numbers rejected and numbers by category of rejection are held locally by each police authority; this information is not, therefore, collected centrally. Typically speaking, the most common reasons for rejection include:

(1) claims made for business interruption, personal injury or vehicle damage, which is not covered by the RDA;

(2) claims deemed by the police authority to not have occurred as a result of a riot;

(3) claims discontinued or withdrawn; and

(4) claims made out of time.

Deportation

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 21 June 2012, Official Report, column 1113-4W, on deportation, what the cost was of each type of removal and voluntary departures named in table rv.01.q of the Immigration Statistics in each of the last three years. [116092]

Damian Green: The cost of each type of removal and voluntary departure named in table rv.01.q of the Immigration Statistics is not collated centrally by the UK Border Agency. To provide this information would incur disproportionate cost.

The UK Border Agency annual accounts for 2010-11 can be viewed at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/annual-reports-accounts/

A copy has also been placed in the House Library.

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are in place to monitor the equality impact of the decision to end the Equality and Human Rights Commission's legal and strategic grants programme; and when she expects to publish the equality impact assessment. [116997]

Lynne Featherstone: Although there is no requirement to produce or publish equality impact assessments, the impact of ending Government funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission's grant programmes was set out in a document published in March 2011 on the Government Equalities Office website; a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. Additional information accompanied the December 2011 announcement on future Government funding for legal advice on discrimination cases and the May 2012 Government response to the consultation ‘Building a fairer Britain: Reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’.

For the future, management information provided by the supplier of the new Equality Advisory and Support Service for individuals with discrimination and human

13 July 2012 : Column 437W

rights problems will be a valuable source of information about the experience of people who share particular protected characteristics.

International Development

Commonwealth Development Corporation

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the CDC is required to disclose to his Department the co-investors in funds it supports. [116580]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Consistent with industry practice, my Department does not require CDC to disclose the co-investors in the funds that it supports.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by his Department in the last two years. [116805]

Mr Duncan: DFID has made ex gratia payments totalling £550 over the last two years, which related to payments made through the Overseas Superannuation Scheme.

Overseas Aid: Arts

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which projects funded by his Department relate to creative industries. [117032]

Mr Duncan: DFID does not classify projects according to whether they relate to creative industries. This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Details of all of DFID's projects are publicly available at this link:

http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/

Justice

Defamation Bill

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 27 June 2012, Official Report, column 256W, on the Defamation Bill, which organisations and individuals he and his Ministers met prior to the publication of the Defamation Bill. [116567]

Mr Djanogly: Between the publication of the Draft Defamation Bill on 15 March 2011 and the introduction into Parliament of the Defamation Bill on 10 May 2012 Ministers have met representatives from the following organisations and individuals: English PEN; index on Censorship; Sense about Science; Liberty; Justice; Global Witness; The Publishers Association; The Booksellers Association; The Newspaper Society; Guardian Media Group; News International; Associated Newspapers;

13 July 2012 : Column 438W

Trinity Mirror; BBC; Society of Editors; Blackstone Chambers; Carter-Ruck; Johnsons Law; Schillings; Bryan Cave LLP; Internet Service Providers Association; Association of British Science Writers; Government Office for Science; British Medical Journal; Nature; Biomed Central; Simon Singh; Dr Peter Wilmshurst; Ben Goldacre.

Squatting

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what factors he plans to take into account in deciding when the squatting provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 will be enacted; [115332]

(2) if he will estimate the total cost to the taxpayer of squatters in (a) social housing and (b) council-owned buildings in each of the last five years. [115474]

Mr Blunt: We intend to commence the offence as soon as reasonably practicable, but we want to ensure that guidance for the enforcement authorities is in place prior to commencement. We are also working with local authorities and homelessness organisations to increase awareness of the new provision and to prepare them for commencement.

We do not routinely collect data on the costs to the taxpayer arising from the unauthorised occupation of social housing or council-owned buildings. However responses to the consultation on ‘Options for Dealing with Squatting’ showed that local authorities can incur costs in evicting squatters and repairing any damage they have left behind. Squatting in social housing can also delay local authorities making homes available for those deemed to be in priority need.

Prime Minister

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2012, Official Report, column 10W, on Russia, when he authorised the travel of the hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North to Russia; [117076]

(2) which other parliamentary private secretaries he has authorised to travel overseas on an official visit, as required by paragraph 3.11 of the Ministerial Code, since May 2010; and when he did so in each case. [117077]

The Prime Minister: Since May 2010, there has been one further occasion where permission has been given in line with paragraph 3.11 of the Ministerial Code for a parliamentary private secretary to travel on an official visit overseas. This was my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw) who accompanied the Minister without Portfolio to the Vatican. He paid his own travel expenses.

13 July 2012 : Column 439W

Scotland

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assets his Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116813]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has not sold and leased back any assets over the last 12 months.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by his Department in the last two years. [116814]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not administer ex gratia payment schemes.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the average number of working days lost per person was in his Department in each of the last three years. [116421]

David Mundell: All Scotland Office staff are on secondment from other Government bodies, principally the Scottish Government or the Ministry of Justice, which have their own absence policies and recording procedures that apply to those of their staff working in this Office.

The Scotland Office's own records show that there were an average of 2.45 days absence due to sickness per person in 2010, 2.00 days in 2011, and 1.70 days in the first six months of 2012.

Manchester Declaration

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress his Department has made in implementing the Manchester Declaration of 2005. [116690]

David Mundell: The 2005 Manchester Ministerial Declaration provided the basis for an eGovernment Action Plan, which formed part of the EU's i2010 Strategy, and was completed in 2010. The UK contribution to the action plan was managed and coordinated by the Cabinet Office.

The Manchester Declaration has now been superseded by the Malmo Declaration and eGovernment Action Plan (2011-15) and the broader Digital Agenda for Europe. The UK contribution to the eGovernment Action Plan is again being led by the Cabinet Office.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he expects his Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate he has made of any such underspend. [116480]

13 July 2012 : Column 440W

David Mundell: The Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts underspends in departmental expenditure limits as part of its economic and fiscal outlook in the autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda the Government publish the full detail of plans and outturns for all departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publishes outturn data for all departments from the Combined Online Information System database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturns by department will be published at Budget 2013.

Sovereignty

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) whether the Government plans to discuss the referendum on Scottish independence at the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee; [117125]

(2) whether the Scottish Government has requested a discussion of the referendum on Scottish independence at the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Government and the devolved Administrations. [117126]

David Mundell: The next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee will be the JMC Plenary meeting in the autumn. The agenda has yet to be agreed between the UK Government and the devolved Administrations.

Public Sector Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff of his Department were in the civil service redeployment pool on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many of these had been in the redeployment pool for more than six months at that date. [116815]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not employ staff directly; staff are on secondment or assignment mainly from the Ministry of Justice or the Scottish Government, which remain responsible for redeployment arrangements for their employees. Currently, there are no Scotland Office staff in the redeployment pool.

Transport

A3: Hampshire

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to (a) take and (b) publish traffic measurements for the A3 in East Hampshire to assess the effects of the Hindhead tunnel in its first year of operation. [117312]

Mike Penning: Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling (MIDAS) loops on both the north and southbound approaches to the Hindhead tunnel automatically record traffic data. These will be used to inform the Highway Agency's Post Opening Project Evaluation (POPE) of the A3 Hindhead project.

In order to facilitate this evaluation, a before study was undertaken in 2007. It is anticipated that the study using One Year After data will be published late 2013.

13 July 2012 : Column 441W

The normal practice would be to follow this up with a study using five years of after data to examine impacts such as accident trends and environmental impacts which take longer to become apparent.

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to complete noise action plans for the A3 in East Hampshire resulting from the 2012 noise mapping exercise. [117313]

Mike Penning: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for the development and adoption of the action plans relating to majors roads resulting from the 2012 noise mapping exercise. The Highways Agency will implement these action plans once they are published by DEFRA. Until the plans are published, the Highways Agency is unable confirm what locations on the strategic road network, including the A3 in East Hampshire, will need to be investigated for noise mitigation measures.

Blue Badge Scheme

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the issuing of blue badges to people who require a wider parking space because they have difficulty exiting and entering their cars but who may be mobile once they are away from their vehicle. [117161]

Norman Baker: The eligibility criteria for blue badges are set out in the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (England) Regulations 2000, as amended. Eligibility for the scheme is focused on providing badges for severely disabled people so that they can park close to jobs, shops and other services. It is not intended to help people simply get into and out of their vehicles.

The main category of people who can apply for a badge is those who have a permanent and substantial disability that means they are unable to walk or have very considerable difficulty in walking. Local authorities administer and enforce the scheme and it is for them to take decisions on whether or not someone meets the eligibility criteria.

Driving Tests: Internet

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking in respect of websites that imitate the official Government website used to book practical driving tests and charge additional fees to make such a booking. [117040]

Mike Penning: Most third-party websites that offer driving test booking services do not represent themselves as being the official site. Their published terms and conditions outline the charges payable by their customers. In general it is not illegal for them to operate and offer a driving test booking service.

Where the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) feels there are specific grounds to take action in cases of alleged imitation, it will:

report to the Advertising Standards Authority any advertising by sites which appears to be misleading.

report to search engine providers cases where advertising infringes DSA's intellectual property.

13 July 2012 : Column 442W

take up directly with domain name providers and hosting companies cases where ‘DSA' forms part of the website address.

consider taking legal action in cases where websites infringe the DSA's registered trademarks.

Driving Under Influence: Drugs

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions her Department has had with patient groups on the effects of proposed drug driving legislation on patients taking long-term pain medication; and if she will make a statement; [116583]

(2) what consideration her Department has given to the effects of proposed drug driving legislation on drivers using long-term pain medication; and if she will make a statement; [116584]

(3) what discussions her Department has had with the (a) British Pain Society and (b) Royal College of General Practitioners National Pain Lead on the effects of proposed drug driving legislation on patients taking long-term pain medication; and if she will make a statement; [116585]

(4) what discussions her Department has had with pain management groups on proposals for drug driving legislation; and if she will make a statement. [116586]

Mike Penning: The aim of the new offence is to improve the law available for tackling the problem of drug driving, a behaviour which presents a significant road safety risk. The new offence contains a statutory defence for those drivers who have taken medicines containing specified controlled drugs in accordance with medical advice.

The Government have set up a panel of experts to work together to come up with recommendations for the controlled drugs to be covered by the new offence and a specified limit for each. The terms of reference for the panel include considering the evidence in relation to amphetamines, benzodiazepines and hypnotics, cannabinoids, cocaine, hallucinogens and opioids.

The expert panel is considering opioids, because some of the scientific issues need to be considered across this family of drugs, which includes both heroin and medicinally used drugs. However the prime targets for the new offence are those controlled drugs taken for non-medicinal reasons which represent a public safety problem on the roads. Heroin is one of the relatively prevalent controlled drugs taken non-medicinally and known to affect driving.

The members of the panel are medical and scientific experts. Their terms of reference include

“to consider in cases where such concentrations can be identified, for an average member of the adult population the degree of variability across the population, including for habitual users of these substances”.

Some controlled drugs available for medical use are often used as drugs of misuse and associated with increased road crash risks. These might be included in the new offence.

The existing offence (in section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988), which covers driving whilst impaired due to drugs, would continue to be relevant to deal with those whose driving is impaired by prescribed drugs (including

13 July 2012 : Column 443W

specified controlled drugs taken in accordance with medical advice), where police will have to prove impairment on a case by case basis.

The list of specified controlled drugs and specified limits are not contained in the legislation itself, but the legislation creates the power to set these in regulations. This will be done taking account of the panel's recommendations, consultation and then through secondary legislation using the affirmative procedure. The consultation is a statutory requirement.

The previous Administration had consulted various representatives from medical profession, pharmaceutical industry on new drug driving offence in 2008. There was also extensive evidence gathering for Sir Peter North for his report on the review of drink and drug driving law in 2010, commissioned by the Department for Transport.

Equality Act 2010

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to implement section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to taxis and mini-cab drivers. [117111]

Norman Baker: The Government has in place a rigorous approval system for considering the implications of any new regulation which it introduces. We have been considering the case for commencing section 165 in the context of that approvals process, and I intend to make an announcement about section 165 in the near future.

Highways Agency

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what performance indicators her Department has put in place to assess the Highways Agency and its agents in respect of the implementation of maintenance and safety standards of the infrastructure of the network. [116944]

Mike Penning: All the Highways Agency's principal performance measures are agreed by the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), and are published in the agency's annual business plan.

Highways Agency maintenance and safety standards are set out in various documents that are referenced in the agency's maintenance contracts. These documents include the Network Management Manual, Routine and Winter Service Code, Asset Maintenance and Operational Requirements, Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and the Specification for Highway Works.

A performance management framework is in place for the agents who maintain the strategic road network, through which the agency routinely measures and benchmarks performance. The framework includes performance indicators covering asset resilience and safety.

Details of the framework and all the other documents referred to above are accessible from the Highways Agency's website:

www.highways.gov.uk

13 July 2012 : Column 444W

Motorways: Speed Limits

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress she has made on her proposals to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph. [113772]

Mike Penning: The Department is currently working on an impact assessment of 80 mph speed limit on sections of the motorway network with variable speed limits and considering the criteria for where and under what conditions the 80 mph speed limit might be applied. It is aiming to consult on this later in the year alongside the broader work on a roads strategy.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she expects her Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate she has made of any such underspend. [116473]

Norman Baker: The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts underspends in Departmental Expenditure Limits as part of their Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the Autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda the Government publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publish outturn data for all departments from the Combined Online Information System database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by department will be published at Budget 2013.

Railways: Standards

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of trains ran within 60 seconds of scheduled time in each year since 1997. [R] [117592]

Norman Baker: Statistics for the period 2001/02 to 2011/12 were published by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) on 10 July. The figures are as follows:

 National

Percentage of trains arriving early or up to 59 seconds of schedule

2001/02

46.9%

2002/03

48.7%

2003/04

51.1%

2004/05

54.7%

2005/06

59.4%

2006/07

62.7%

2007/08

66.2%

2008/09

68.0%

2009/10

70.2%

2010/11

69.6%

2011/12

69.8%

The Department will discuss with ORR whether it is feasible to extend the series back to 1997.

13 July 2012 : Column 445W

Rescue Services: Scotland

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the provision of coastguard services in Scottish waters (a) in respect of protection for the Scottish fishing fleet and (b) for other services. [116959]

Mike Penning: The modernisation plan for Her Majesty's Coastguard announced on 22 November 2011, Official Report, columns 161-64, is proceeding in line with that announcement.

There will be no changes to the level of rescue co-ordination services that Her Majesty's Coastguard delivers to the coastal and maritime users around the UK, including those in Scotland.

Road Signs and Markings

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will consider introducing an additional classification of a road in which a 20 mile per hour limit would be enforced. [116970]

Norman Baker: We see no need to introduce an additional classification of road specifically connected to 20 mph limits.

Mandatory 20 mph restrictions can be introduced as either zones or limits, both of which have legal force and can be enforced by the police. Both zones and limits must be indicated through signing and in some cases traffic calming features, and last year the Department provided more flexibility to local authorities about how this could be done.

A consultation started today on a revised speed limit circular, which includes advice to local authorities about 20 mph zones and limits. The consultation document is available on the Department for Transport website

www.dft.gov.uk

Shipping: Flags

Karl Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 15 December 2011, Official Report, column 846W, on shipping: flags, how many qualifying vessels were registered under each flag for 2011-12; and what the number of qualifying vessels was, by flag, in each year of the tonnage tax scheme to date. [117085]

Mike Penning: The tonnage tax scheme makes no direct requirement as to the country of registration of qualifying vessels. The tonnage tax has helped in the revival of the UK shipping register, while also attracting inward investment from companies operating vessels of other flags, which we welcome. The identity of tonnage tax groups is tax confidential, and that confidentiality could be compromised by giving a detailed breakdown by flag of the numbers of qualifying vessels in any year.

Tonnage Tax

Karl Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age was of a vessel registered under the tonnage tax scheme in 2011-12. [117033]

Mike Penning: The Department does not hold this information.

13 July 2012 : Column 446W

Travel: Concessions

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to provide transport (a) schemes and (b) concessions to assist students outside the London area with the cost of travel on buses and trains. [117009]

Norman Baker: Concessionary travel legislation gives local authorities the power to offer discretionary travel concessions, funded from local resources.

At the same time, the Department is working with the bus industry to tackle transport issues affecting young people, such as the inconsistency of information about discounted fares.

The Department has endorsed the publication of two guides for young people on using buses: ‘How to make buses better—a guide for young people’ and ‘Working with young people to make buses better—a guide for the bus sector’. They showcase a range of principles and solutions, centred around the involvement of young people in developing local solutions with transport providers. The guides are published at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/topics/social-inclusion

All young people have discounts available to them on rail services: children aged 5 to 15 inclusive get a 50% discount on most rail tickets and the 16-25 Railcard gives 1/3rd off most rail fares throughout Great Britain, including all Standard and First Class Advance fares for an annual fee of £28.

Treasury

Absenteeism

John Pugh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the absentee rate for civil servants in his Department was in each of the last three years. [116358]

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average number of working days lost per person was in his Department in each of the last three years. [117493]

Miss Chloe Smith: Please see the following table for HM Treasury absentee rates for each of the last three financial years.

HM Treasury
 Average working days lost per employee

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

3.9

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

3.4

1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010

3.6

Air Passenger Duty

Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of levels of air passenger duty in other countries in Europe. [116263]

13 July 2012 : Column 447W

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 30 January 2012, Official Report, column 511W, to the hon. Member for East Londonderry (Mr Campbell).

Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to varying air passenger duty to help manage demands between airports. [116264]

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 July, Official Report, column 131W.

Bank Services

Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates his Department has made of the scale and extent of the unregulated shadow banking industry. [116093]

Mr Hoban: As part of its financial stability objective HM Treasury works with the Tripartite as well as international partners to understand all parts of the financial system and the risks this might entail. The UK authorities have been instrumental in work undertaken by the Financial Stability Board over the last year in relation to shadow banking. This work has included developing estimates of non-bank credit instruments as an accepted proxy for shadow banking. Aggregated results from 11 jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US) suggest that non-bank credit intermediaries grew from $23 trillion in 2002 to $50 trillion in 2007, and has fallen a little to $47 trillion in 2008 but recovered to $51 trillion in 2010. It should be noted, however, that the shadow banking industry is not unregulated. While shadow banking entities will not typically be subject to full bank-style prudential regulation, many shadow banking entities will be regulated.

Business: Loans

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of progress made by banks against the 17 pledges through the Business Finance Taskforce. [117184]

Mr Hoban: The Government welcome the progress the banks have made in delivering the commitments of the Business Finance Taskforce, as well as their intention to continue to take these initiatives forward as announced at Budget 2012. For example, the Government welcomes the British Bankers' Association's intention to work with Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) to put in place a system to refer unsuccessful loan applicants to CDFIs. The system will start with a referral pilot in August.

Child Benefit

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2012, Official Report, column 721W, on child benefit, when he expects HM Revenue and Customs' guidance on high-income child benefit to be published. [117078]

13 July 2012 : Column 448W

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs' guidance on the high income child benefit charge will be published on its internet site in October 2012 to coincide with the issuing of letters to taxpayers in relation to the charge. The guidance will include the form in which questions may be asked to enable a taxpayer to establish whether they or their partner or ex-partner will be liable to pay the charge.

Equitable Life Assurance Society

Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the administrators of the Equitable Life Payments Scheme will respond to the letters from the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire of 26 March and 19 April 2012. [116998]

Mr Gauke: The Equitable Life Payment scheme has responded to all the letters it has received from the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire.

Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to establish a hotline for hon. Members for the Equitable Life Payments Scheme. [116999]

Mr Hoban: The Scheme has established a call centre to answer general inquiries about the Scheme. As the call centre has no access to personal details, any detailed requests, such as those made on behalf of a constituent, need to be put in writing to the Scheme.

Government: Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which (a) Government departments and (b) non-departmental public bodies have sought approval from his Department for special payments to be made to staff above the requirements of their pay remits in each of the last five years; and if he will provide details of each (i) approved and (ii) declined request. [116091]

Danny Alexander: The Treasury does not keep a formal record of all such requests. Requests for payments outside the scope of the pay remit are unusual, and almost always declined.

Personal Savings

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the Exchequer was of fiscal incentives to encourage individuals to save; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of such measures. [117172]

Mr Gauke: Tax relief is available on pension contributions from employers and employees, and on investment growth of pension funds. Upon retirement a tax-free lump sum can also be taken (subject to scheme rules). The Government provide this tax relief to encourage individuals to save for the long-term. HMRC estimate that pensions tax relief, net of income tax received on pensions on payment, was worth around £24 billion in 2010-11. Recent Office for National Statistics data shows that 58% of individuals reported having private pension wealth in 2008-10.

13 July 2012 : Column 449W

To ensure that pensions tax relief remains fair and affordable, the Government reduced the annual allowance for tax-free saving for retirement from £255,000 to £50,000 from April 2011, and the lifetime allowance from £1.8 million to £1.5 million from April 2012. This approach reduces the cost of pensions tax relief by around £4 billion a year in the steady state. The Government adopted this approach in preference to that legislated for by the last Government in the Finance Act 2010,

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are the Government’s principal non-pension savings incentive. The estimated Exchequer cost of the tax relief on ISAs in 2011-12 was £2.1 billion.

ISAs are a popular savings product: at the end of 2010-11 the market value of ISA holdings stood at £385 billion. 23.9 million people had ISA’s in 2009-10, and 59% of these people were on incomes below £20,000 per year. The Government are commuted to ensuring that ISAs remain valuable and accessible.

HMRC's estimates of the value of tax reliefs are available on their website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which departments have surrendered an underspend through Budget Exchange in advance of the end of the financial year. [116483]

Danny Alexander: Under the Budget Exchange system Departments only surrender underspends as part of the Supplementary Estimates process, which runs later in the year.

Details of which Departments carried forward underspends from 2011-12 into 2012-13 can be found in the 2011 Supplementary Estimates.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Government departments are expected to have greater than forecast savings in departmental spending in 2012-13. [116484]

Danny Alexander: The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast underspends in Departmental Expenditure Limits as part of their Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda the Government Office for Budget Responsibility publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all Departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publish outturn data for all Departments from the Combined Online Information System database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by Department will be published at Budget 2013.

Wales

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assets her Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116795]

13 July 2012 : Column 450W

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office has not sold or leased back any assets over the last 12 months.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate her Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by her Department over the last two years. [116796]

Mr David Jones: None. The Wales Office has not made any ex gratia payments over the last two years.

Work and Pensions

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2012, Official Report, column 815W, on Mortgages: Government assistance, when he expects to announce his decision on whether support for mortgage interest, including the current capital limit and waiting period, will be retained beyond January 2013. [116877]

Steve Webb: An announcement will follow in due course.

Remploy

Mr Doran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his decision to wind-up Remploy Ltd, what consideration he has given to the provisions of clause 8 of the company's memorandum and articles of association in relation to disposal of its assets. [117168]

Maria Miller: The announcement I made on 10 July related to the outcomes of the Remploy consultation and commercial processes and not any wind up of the company. In relation to the 27 sites for closure, the clauses and requirements as contained within Remploy's memorandum and articles of association that apply to this process, will be considered when planning the most appropriate way of closing those sites.

Social Security Benefits

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2012, Official Report, columns 277-8W, on social security benefits: internet, when he expects work to develop data on home internet access availability for benefits claimants to be completed. [117233]

Chris Grayling: The Department continues to develop its understanding of how benefit claimants access the internet. For example, the “Work and the welfare system: a survey of benefits and tax credits recipients”, was published on Thursday 12 July. The research provides data on recipients' internet use as well as other information on attitudes to work and budgeting skills. We will use the findings to inform our approach to encouraging and supporting claimants to use DWP online services.

13 July 2012 : Column 451W

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of universal credit applicants who will not be able to prove their identity online. [117041]

Steve Webb: Universal credit is being designed as a predominantly online service. This approach is in line with the Government's digital by default objectives. It remains unclear at this stage what proportion of UC claimants will unable to prove their identity online. The end state model we have designed and are building sees the majority of those who can transact on line using the online Identity and Authentication route. For those who cannot, face to face identity services will be available.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he expects jam jar bank accounts to be available for recipients of universal credit; and if he will make a statement. [117043]

Chris Grayling: We recognise that some claimants may need additional help to budget, particularly during the transitional period. We are working with a range of banking and financial service providers to ensure that suitable products, including “jam jar” type accounts, are available to such claimants.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had on the provision of face-to-face support for universal credit claimants with Post Office Ltd; and if he will make a statement. [117044]

Chris Grayling: Ministers and officials have regular meetings with Post Office Ltd on a range of interests, including ways in which they might support the delivery of universal credit. The procurement of any such services would be subject to normal tendering processes.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2012, Official Report, column 281W, on universal credit: employment, when information on the number of local authority employees who will be affected by the introduction of universal credit will be available. [117232]

Chris Grayling: Universal credit will provide a new single system of means-tested support for working-age people who are in or out of work. Support for housing

13 July 2012 : Column 452W

costs will be integrated in the new benefit. Existing means-tested benefits including housing benefit will no longer be required.

Housing benefit for pensioners will be replaced by a component of pension credit and council tax benefit will be replaced by localised council tax support schemes.

The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that 20,000 local authority staff work on housing benefit and council tax benefit. The processing of these benefits is largely combined and therefore we do not have an estimate of the number of staff working on each benefit.

We expect that the existing housing benefit scheme will be phased out over a period of four years from 2013 but it is anticipated that local authorities will continue to have an important role in delivery of welfare benefits services. Local authorities in England will administer the discretionary elements of a reformed Social Fund. Local authorities may also deliver face to face support for claimants who need additional help.

Local authorities will deliver pilots to support claimants in preparation for the introduction of universal credit in October 2013. The pilots, which are expected to start this autumn and end by September 2013, will focus on delivering the face to face support people may need to make claims for universal credit.

While this work continues it is not possible to determine how many staff and what skills and experience will be required for universal credit.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent indicative volumes for employment and support allowance-related claimant groups entering the Work programme in each of the next four years. [117042]

Chris Grayling: The most recent indicative volumes for employment and support allowance-related claimant groups entering the Work programme in each of the next four years were placed in the Library in December 2011 and are available via the following link:

http://www.parliament.uk/deposits/depositedpapers/2012/DEP2012-0132.doc

The Department is currently updating these estimates and intends to publish them in the Library in due course.