Staff: Surveys

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means staff are surveyed in (a) the UK Border Agency and (b) her Department; and on what dates the results of the next such survey will be made public. [117099]

Damian Green: Staff in the Home Office, including the UK Border Agency, participate in the annual Civil Service People Survey. The last survey was in autumn 2011, and the results for the Department can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/staff-survey-2011/

The 2012 survey will be launched in autumn this year. The Cabinet Office expects all Departments to publish their 2012 People Survey results by 1 February 2013.

Steroid Drugs

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had on the classification of anabolic steroids. [117850]

James Brokenshire: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs provided further advice on anabolic steroids (‘Consideration of the anabolic steroids’) in September 2010. The Government accepted its advice that anabolic steroids should continue to be controlled Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Government also acted on recommendations to strengthen the legal framework so as to prevent the importation of anabolic steroids not intended for medical use. The Statutory Instrument amending the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to implement the Council's advice came into effect on 23 April 2012.

UK Border Agency

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library copies of all internal audit recommendations made in relation to the UK Border Agency in the last five years. [117098]

Damian Green: Release of these recommendations would, or would be likely to, inhibit the free and open discussions between internal audit and senior management

17 July 2012 : Column 667W

in order to provide impartial advice on governance, risk management or control within the organisation. For this reason I will not place copies of these recommendations in the Library.

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many workplace raids the UK Border Agency has conducted in (a) Oxford East constituency, (b) Oxfordshire, (c) the South East and (d) the UK in the last 12 months. [117258]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not collate information centrally on the number of illegal working enforcement visits specifically by constituency and county level.

Records indicate that between 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 there were 5291 illegal working enforcement visits carried out in the United Kingdom, of which 1948 were in London and the South East.

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many raids of home addresses the UK Border Agency has conducted in (a) Oxford East constituency, (b) Oxfordshire, (c) the South East and (d) the UK in the last 12 months. [117259]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not collate information centrally on the number of enforcement home visits specifically by constituency and county.

Records indicate that between 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 there were 5618 enforcement home visits carried out in the United Kingdom, of which 2571 were in London and the South East.

UK Border Agency: Scotland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK Border Agency staff of each rank were employed at Stranraer and Cairnryan ports in each of the last three years. [117412]

Damian Green: During the period in question the UK Border Agency had no staff employed at the stated ports. The Agency funded the secondment of three policemen, one detective sergeant and two detective constables at the Galloway ports from July 2006 until November 2010.

Vetting

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans she has to bring forward proposals to reform (a) regular Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks and (b) the discretionary aspect of enhanced CRBs; [117878]

(2) what assessment she has made of the effect of subjectivity in the discretionary element of enhanced Criminal Record Bureau checks on the capacity of individuals to gain employment; and what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on reform of this element. [117877]

Lynne Featherstone: We are reforming the Criminal Records Regime to make it more proportionate and efficient. There are a number of changes in the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) to achieve this.

17 July 2012 : Column 668W

The criteria for releasing discretionary information held in local police records on enhanced criminal record certificates will change. Currently, the chief officer can release any information that ‘might be relevant’ and ‘ought to be included in the certificate’. From September, this will change to information the chief officer ‘reasonably believes’ to be relevant and ‘ought to be included in the certificate.’ Statutory guidance on providing information for inclusion in enhanced criminal record certificates, incorporating this new test of relevance, will be available to chief officers to which they must have regard.

The Act also introduces the right to appeal to an independent monitor against any discretionary information the applicant believes should not be included on the certificate.

The Home Office has worked closely with a number of Departments on these reforms and during the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Act.

Victim Support Schemes

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance she will issue to police and crime commissioners on the commissioning of services for victims; and when she expects to issue that guidance; [115679]

(2) if she will meet with providers of victim support services to discuss future arrangements for the delivery of such services when commissioned by police and crime commissioners. [115680]

Mr Blunt: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

In the Government response to the consultation ‘Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses’ we said we would provide an outcomes-based commissioning framework for use by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Its content will be developed with the involvement of interested parties including the voluntary sector and PCCs themselves. While PCCs will not be compelled to use the framework our intention is that they will find the advice and information it contains helpful as they undertake the task of commissioning victims' services that are right for their areas.

The Government values the hard work and commitment of providers of victims' services. As the new commissioning arrangements develop, Ministers will be happy to meet with providers of victims' services when it would be helpful to do so.

Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) independent domestic violence advisers and (b) independent sexual violence advisers there were in the last five years for which figures are available; and what the (i) location, (ii) number of reported cases dealt with and (iii) recorded involvement in criminal prosecutions has for each such category of advisor in each such year. [117617]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 16 July 2012]: The number of Government funded Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) and their locations over the last five years are set out in tables A and B.

17 July 2012 : Column 669W

The total number of IDVAs and ISVAs is not known because some are funded and employed by a range of organisations, and do not have to register with anyone.

17 July 2012 : Column 670W

Information on the numbers of reported cases dealt with by IDVAs and ISVAs and recorded involvement in criminal prosecutions for IDVAs and ISVAs is not held centrally.

Table 1: ISVA funding
 2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112013-12 to 2014-15

North West

6

6

8

7

4

12

North East

2

2

2

3

3

6

East of England

1

1

1

2

2

9

West Midlands

6

6

7

7

10

12

South East

1

1

2

2

5

9

East Midlands

2

2

2

4

3

8

South West

2

2

3

4

5

7

London

6

6

5

6

6

8

Yorkshire and Humber

5

5

4

6

6

8

Wales

3

3

3

2

0

8

Total

34

34

37

43

44

87

Table 2: IDVA Funding
 Ministry of Justice 
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12IDVA Funding 2012-13Victims and Witness General Fund 2011-12 to 2013-14Home Office IDVA Funding 2011-12 to 2014-15

North West

23

25

20

9

8

5

0

15

North East

12

13

16

7

5

3

1

4

East of England

8

8

8

4

4

0

4

11

Midlands

12

14

9

4

2

0

10

26

South East

13

14

11

3

1

1

7

19

South West

17

17

11

1

1

0

8

16

London

10

10

12

12

8

1

6

22

Yorkshire and Humber

13

13

7

1

1

0

4

12

Wales

16

17

8

1

0

0

3

19

Total

124

131

102

42

30

10

44

144

Work Permits

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2012, Official Report, column 602W, on work permits, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of European Council Regulation 3577/92/EC on the work permit requirements for non-EEA seafarers employed on vessels flagged to (a) another EU state and (b) non-EEA states working exclusively within British waters. [117317]

Damian Green: A non-EEA national seeking entry to the UK for the purpose of joining, as a contracted crew member, a vessel as which will operate wholly or largely within British waters will generally require permission to work under the points-based system. However, Regulation 3577/92/EC specifies that matters, including work permit requirements, relating to the manning of a vessel registered in another member state and engaged in cabotage between ports situated in the same member state will be the responsibility of the member state in which the vessel is registered, except where the vessel is smaller than 650 gt and where it is engaged in cabotage between mainland ports and ports situated in the same member state. This exception to the work permit requirement does not apply to vessels registered in a country outside the EEA.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2012, Official Report, column 602W, on work permits, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of changes to the immigration system made after 10 May 2010 on the application of tier 2 of the points-based system to non-EEA seafarers seeking admission to the UK to work on vessels where the tour of duty does not leave British waters. [117318]

Damian Green: Non-EEA seafarers working on vessels which do not leave British waters would need to obtain permission to work through tier 2 of the points-based system.

In April 2011, the skills requirement for tier 2 of the points-based system was increased from NQF 3 to NQF 4. The Government has subsequently, in June this year, raised the requirement to NQF 6 for the majority of tier 2 roles the exceptions being jobs on the shortage occupation list, which currently does not include any seafaring occupations, and certain creative roles. Therefore, unless non-EEA seafarers are intending to take up roles skilled to NQF 6 or above, they are not eligible to come to the UK under tier 2.

The Migration Advisory Committee considered whether ship’s officers should be added to the tier 2 shortage occupation list as part of its review of that list published in September 2011. It concluded that this occupation

17 July 2012 : Column 671W

should not be added to the list. The impact of the tier 2 limit for 2012-13, including the impacts on specific occupations of raising the skills threshold for tier 2 to NQF 6, were assessed by the Migration Advisory Committee on its report published in February 2012. The MAC’s reports are available at:

www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/workingwithus/indbodies/mac/reports-publications/

Treasury

Aggregates Levy: Northern Ireland

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with (a) representatives of the aggregates industry in Northern Ireland and (b) the European Commission on the credit levy scheme in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [117780]

Miss Chloe Smith: Officials from HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs, Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Executive met members of the Quarry Products Association Northern Ireland on 3 July 2012.

The Government was asked industry members to share data to assist the UK Government in responding to the European Commission's formal investigation of the scheme.

The Government continues to work closely and constructively with the European Commission, following the Government's first formal response to the investigation in November 2011.

The Government continues to believe that the best way to achieve a speedy and positive resolution for the quarrying industry in Northern Ireland is to co-operate fully with the Commission's investigation and provide them with the data and evidence they have requested.

Air Passenger Duty

Anna Soubry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has commissioned research into the effect that the level of air passenger duty has on (a) the number of flights booked by UK holidaymakers, (b) employment and (c) economic growth. [117264]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Government consulted extensively on APD after Budget 2011 and published its response on 6 December 2011. The report can be found online here:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_airpassenger.htm

Banks: Regulation

David Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce reforms to banking before 2019. [117644]

Mr Hoban: The Government published its proposals on ring-fencing in the Banking Reform White Paper on 14 June 2012. The consultation on these proposals will close on 6 September 2012.

Following the consultation, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to implement ring-fencing and relevant recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) as soon as parliamentary time allows. As the ICB recommended, banks will be expected to have implemented reforms by 2019.

17 July 2012 : Column 672W

Banks: Unfair Practices

Guto Bebb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to encourage discussions between HM Revenue and Customs and the Financial Services Authority on the implications of mis-selling of interest rate swap products and minimising financial hardship for small businesses who have been mis-sold such products. [117795]

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

Business: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to make financial support available to small businesses in Barnsley Central constituency which wish to take out a swap loan agreement. [116446]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 11 July 2012]: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Government have a range of initiatives to support small businesses across the country access finance, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and the National Loan Guarantee scheme. However, the Government do not currently have a scheme to help small businesses access IRSA products. But the Government are acutely aware of the concerns some businesses may have around interest rates. That is why we launched the National Loan Guarantee scheme, to enable businesses to borrow at interest rates 1% lower than they would otherwise be able to, and why the Bank of England announced the Funding for Lending scheme, which will provide support through the banks to enable more lending to households and businesses.

Business: Government Assistance

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the Business Finance Partnership funds are unallocated. [117375]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 16 July 2012]: All £1.2 billion of the available funds for the Business Finance Partnership are in the process of being allocated. As announced at Budget 2012, up to £700 million is being invested in a shortlist of fund managers that lend to mid-sized businesses, subject to due diligence. The Treasury is currently requesting proposals for investing a further £400 million in such fund managers, and the Department for Business is requesting proposals for investing £100 million in non-traditional lending channels that can reach smaller businesses.

Charities: Occupied Territories

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is his policy that tax relief is not given to charities that donate to Israeli settlement development in the occupied Palestinian territories. [116969]

17 July 2012 : Column 673W

Mr Gauke: Where an organisation is recognised as a charity by the Charity Commission and by HM Revenue and Customs it is entitled to UK tax relief on its income, subject to that income being applied for wholly charitable purposes only. Applying income for wholly charitable purposes can include making a payment to a body outside the UK, but for tax relief to remain intact, HM Revenue and Customs must be satisfied that the charity has taken reasonable steps to ensure that payment will be applied for charitable purposes only.

The Charities Act 2011 lists charitable purposes, which are followed for UK tax purposes. It follows that if payments are made to organisations in Israel and those payments are applied for wholly charitable purposes, the charity remains entitled to tax relief.

If a charity applies its income for non-charitable purposes, tax relief is denied, and where it has already been given it is recovered.

Child Care Tax Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households claimed child care tax credits in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [113931]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 26 June 2012]: The average number of families benefiting from the child care element 2010-11 is available in table 3.2 of the HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics Finalised Annual Awards 2010-11” which is available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/final-award-main.htm

In 2010-11, 455,000 families benefited.

Figures for 2011-12 will be available in May 2013.

More recent data on the number of families benefiting from the child care element are available in table 4.4 of the HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics April 2012” which is available at:

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

As at the beginning of April 2012, 454,900 families benefited.

This publication takes a snapshot of the tax credits population and therefore shows the number of claimants at a particular point in time based on the family circumstances that we have been informed of at that time.

Commodity Markets

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to improve regulation of the commodity markets. [117263]

Mr Hoban: The Government strongly support the G20 commitments to improve the regulation, functioning, and transparency of financial and commodity markets, including position reporting. The Government are pursuing a number of legislative changes that will take these G20 commitments forward:

Under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), the Government has agreed legislative requirements that will ensure that all standardised over-the-counter derivatives should be cleared, through central counterparties. This would help to contribute towards the broader aim of mitigating against systemic risk in financial markets, including commodities derivatives markets.

17 July 2012 : Column 674W

In the European Commission's review of the markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID), the Government is supportive of the legislative proposals to ensure; (1) that where appropriate, standardised over-the-counter derivatives are traded on exchanges or electronic platforms; (2) there is strong regulatory oversight powers on commodities markets through the application of a position management regime based on strong supervision and market monitoring; and (3) periodic reporting of commodities data, and also ensuring more comparability across different trading venues. This will make it easier for regulators to analyse, interpret and act where necessary within commodity derivatives markets.

In addition, under the European Commission's review of the Market Abuse Regulation, the Government is supportive of proposals to capture cross market manipulation between commodity derivative and spot commodity markets.

Company Accounts: Disclosure of Information

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to require multinational corporations based in the UK to publish a profit and loss account and limited balance sheet and cash flow information for each jurisdiction in which they trade as part of their annual financial statements; and if he will make a statement. [117807]

Norman Lamb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The UK has no plans to require any corporation registered in the UK to publish a profit and loss account and limited balance sheet and cash flow information for each jurisdiction in which they trade. This level of detail is not necessary, for the financial statements achieve their objective of providing a true and fair view of a corporation's financial position. There are, however, negotiations at EU level that relate to accounting that have yet to be concluded.

Credit

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress his Department has made on research on introducing a variable cap on the total cost of credit that can be charged in the high cost credit market. [116231]

Norman Lamb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

BIS has commissioned research to establish the impact of introducing a cap on the total cost of credit that can be charged in the short to medium term high cost credit market. The research will look at a number of areas including how other countries regulate their markets and whether a cap on the total cost of credit would reduce access to credit for some consumers. The research is being carried out by Bristol University's Personal Finance Research Centre. The fieldwork has been completed and a progress report lodged in Parliament on 24 May 2012:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/consumer-issues/docs/i/12-822-impact-variable-cap-on-high-cost-credit-update.pdf.

We expect the research to report back by late summer 2012.

e-mail

Mr Watson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many e-mails he received to his official government e-mail address in each month since May 2010. [113744]

17 July 2012 : Column 675W

Miss Chloe Smith: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Finance Act 2008

Mr Buckland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many taxpayers are affected by the provisions of section 58 of the Finance Act 2008. [111483]

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 and in so doing, made dear that a wholly artificial tax avoidance scheme involving a foreign partnership comprised of foreign trustees did not work. As section 58 retrospectively clarified existing legislation, its introduction had no affect on any taxpayer's tax position. HMRC has identified around 1,900 individuals who used the avoidance scheme or one of its variants and whose tax returns are currently under inquiry.

Financial Services: Advisory Services

Mark Garnier: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the number of independent financial advisers who have entered into administration as a result of rising indemnity costs; and if he will make a statement. [117758]

Mr Hoban: HM Treasury does not hold the information requested by my hon. Friend.

Mark Garnier: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether (a) he and (b) his Department have had discussions with the Financial Ombudsman Service on the case fees independent financial advisers are charged for every complaint made against them. [117759]

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. Details of meetings that Ministers have with external stakeholders are published on a quarterly basis on the Treasury's website under the Government's transparency agenda.

With regard to the case fees independent financial advisers are charged, this is a matter for the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), whose day-to-day operations are independent from Government control and influence. I have asked the FOS to write to my hon. Friend with the information requested. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Freezing Orders: Egypt

David Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any Egyptian governmental assets are still frozen in the UK; and what their total estimated value is. [117647]

Mr Hoban: No UN or EU sanctions have been imposed on the Egyptian Government and so no Egyptian Government assets are frozen in the UK.

17 July 2012 : Column 676W

The sanctions in respect of Egypt impose an asset freeze against 19 individuals identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Egyptian state funds. For details I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr Slaughter) on 26 January 2012, Official Report, column 329W.

Government Departments: Conditions of Employment

Mr Binley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how often and in what circumstances Government departments will exercise their right to seek assurance that off-payroll engagees are meeting their income tax and national insurance contributions obligations; and whether this will occur for every contract or only be exercised in selected circumstances or roles; [117108]

(2) what evidence he requires an off-payroll engagee in the public sector to provide that their income tax and national insurance contributions obligations are being met. [117109]

Danny Alexander: On 23 May, I announced the findings of the “Review of the Tax Arrangements of Public Sector Appointees”. This set out the extent of senior off-payroll engagements across Government and made recommendations to ensure that Government employers can assure themselves that their senior off-payroll staff are meeting their tax obligations.

It will be for Government Departments and their arm's length bodies to determine when to exercise the right to assurance. However, I have announced that the Treasury will monitor departmental implementation and report back to me after one year.

There are a number of ways in which off-payroll engagees can provide evidence that they are meeting their income tax and national insurance obligations. These include showing that they are drawing salary via a payslip, or demonstrating that they are operating the anti-avoidance intermediaries legislation known as IR35.

Income Tax: Kilmarnock

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of taxpayers in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who earn more than (a) £60,000 and (b) £150,000 per year; and what revenue accrued from income tax levied on these taxpayers in the last year. [116299]

Mr Gauke: Survey of Personal Incomes based estimates of taxpayers in Kilmarnock and Loudoun and other parliamentary constituencies in 2009-10 are available in table 3.15, at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/table-3-15-mar2012.xls

Estimates of number of taxpayers at specific high income levels are not published, reflecting generally declining reliability of estimates for smaller taxpayer subpopulations at local level.

Individual Savings Accounts

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for the City of Chester of 8 March 2012,

17 July 2012 : Column 677W

Official Report,

columns 892-93W, (1) what research his Department plans to conduct on enabling holders of child trust funds to transfer to junior ISAs; [112552]

(2) how he plans to monitor whether or not action is necessary in the future to enable holders of child trust funds to transfer to junior ISAs. [112553]

Mr Hoban: The Government has no immediate plans to allow transfers between child trust funds and junior ISAs.

As part of its ordinary business, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will publish statistics on ISAs and junior ISAs towards the end of July and September 2012. A full set of child trust fund statistics is expected to be available towards the end of 2012.

The Government uses statistics from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, as well as evidence from a range of other sources, to inform its approach to tax policy.

Landfill Communities Fund

Dr Huppert: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (b) voluntary sector organisations and (c) ENTRUST on the effect of the Landfill Community Fund challenge to environmental bodies to reduce their reserves; [117671]

(2) what assessment he has made of the funding allocated by environmental bodies through the Landfill Community Fund following its challenge to environmental bodies to reduce their unspent reserves. [117672]

Miss Chloe Smith: Budget 2011 announced that future decisions on the value of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) would take account of the success of Environmental Bodies (EBs) in reducing the level of unspent funds held. This level needs to be managed to ensure that the LCF is effective and efficient in supporting local community environmental projects.

Officials from HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) routinely discuss a range of issues with EBs and the LCF regulator, ENTRUST. The impact on funding allocated by EBs following the challenge to reduce unspent funds is formally monitored by ENTRUST, who report data to HMRC annually on the how the level of unspent funds is changing.

LIBOR

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what date he expects the Financial Services Authority to publish final notices relating to its investigation into LIBOR in respect of other UK banks under investigation. [117799]

Mr Hoban: Tracey McDermott, the FSA’s acting director of enforcement and financial crime, informed the Treasury Select Committee on 16 July 2012 that the FSA is investigating seven firms—not all of them UK firms—in relation to misconduct regarding LIBOR and other benchmark rates. The FSA will publish final notices once each investigation is concluded, in line with its standard practice.

17 July 2012 : Column 678W

Loans: Republic of Ireland

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on the Exchequer in cash terms of the decision to change the interest rate payable on the bilateral loan to the Irish Republic. [112376]

Mr Hoban: The reduction in the interest rate on the UK bilateral loan to Ireland, through lower interest payments received from Ireland, will result in reduced income for the Exchequer. However, as I outlined in my written ministerial statement of 11 June, the UK will still be covering its cost of funding. My statement of 11 June also outlined that I will update Parliament once the loan agreement has been finalised to reflect the new interest rate.

Pensions

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason a drawdown pension scheme that puts money into a building society account which has no management charges or opening charges for a savings account cannot be offered. [117589]

Mr Hoban: There are no tax rules preventing a building society from opening an account for the member of a drawdown pension scheme.

Prudential Regulatory Authority

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the terms of the lease are entered into by the new Prudential Regulation Authority for its Moorgate offices; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the lease agreement. [117875]

Mr Hoban: The terms of the lease are commercially sensitive. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 May 2012, Official Report, column 579W.

Public Sector Debt

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total current indebtedness of the public sector is in respect of unfunded public-sector pension liabilities; and if he will state the Government's policy on disclosing that indebtedness and including it in the Government's official figure of debt as a proportion of gross domestic product. [116760]

Danny Alexander: On 12 July Government published the unaudited summary Whole of Government Accounts for 2010-11, which transparently presented the unfunded public service pension liabilities that have accrued to the end of that financial year.

The account discloses that at 31 March 2011, on an unaudited consolidated basis, the liability for unfunded public sector pension liabilities was £893.3 billion. The Government will publish Whole of Government Accounts annually, including unfunded public service pension liabilities.

The official measure of public sector net debt (PSND) is produced in accordance with the European System of Accounts 1995. This figure includes past payments for public service pension schemes, it does not include an

17 July 2012 : Column 679W

estimate of payments for future promises and therefore is a different measure of the liability than shown in the WGA. PSND is currently shown as a proportion of gross domestic product. Please see the document at the following link:

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

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total current indebtedness of public sector bodies is in respect of debts incurred under the private finance initiative; and if he will state the Government's policy on disclosing that indebtedness and including it in the Government's official figure of debt as a proportion of gross domestic product. [116761]

Danny Alexander: On 12 July Government published the unaudited summary Whole of Government Accounts for 2010-11, which transparently presents the public sector's liabilities and the ongoing commitments under PFI contracts.

The account discloses that at 31 March 2011, on an unaudited consolidated basis, the liability for capital repayments under PFI contracts was £32 billion.

The Government will publish Whole of Government Accounts annually, including PFI liabilities.

HM Revenue and Customs

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 301W, on revenue and customs, (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of callers who will be able to access the information required from the HM Revenue and Customs helpline without having to wait to speak to an adviser; [112531]

(2) when he expects further options to be added to automated processes on HM Revenue and Customs helplines to reduce the number of customers who have to wait to speak to an adviser. [112532]

Mr Gauke: HMRC plans to begin to enhance the automated solutions available to callers during 2012-13.

In 2011-12 around 19% of calls were handled by automated messaging, with no need for the customer to call back or hold to speak to an adviser.

Once the enhanced automated solutions begin to be introduced HMRC expects the proportion of callers able to access the information required from the HM Revenue and Customs helpline without having to wait to speak to an adviser to increase further.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many investigators HM Revenue and Customs employed in each month of the last five years. [116850]

Mr Gauke: HMRC primarily uses the term ‘investigator’ for staff employed within two specific business areas: Specialist Investigations (SI) and Criminal Investigations (CI). The total numbers of staff within SI and CI are:

As at:1 April 20081 April 200931 March 201031 March 201131 March 2012

SI

1,948

1,506

1,563

1,521

1,424

17 July 2012 : Column 680W

CI

1,810

2,052

1,828

1,862

2,222

HMRC produces Staff in Post data on a ‘point in time’ basis. From March 2010 the reporting point changed from the first day of April to the last day of March.

These figures do not relate purely to ‘investigators’; they are for all staff at all grades in SI and CI who are involved, to a lesser or greater degree, in aspects of investigation, compliance or law enforcement within those business areas.

A disaggregated breakdown of these data is only available at a disproportionate cost.

These figures do not cover all HMRC staff engaged in investigation, compliance or law enforcement activities. Within HMRC compliance and investigation work is primarily carried out by staff in the Enforcement and Compliance line of business. The numbers of staff employed (full-time equivalent) by Enforcement and Compliance over the last five years are:

As at:Staff in HMRC Enforcement and Compliance

1 April 2008

27,172

1 April 2009

32,243

31 March 2010

26,863

31 March 2011

25,475

31 March 2012

25,334

The figures above include the staff numbers for SI and CI as they are part of Enforcement and Compliance.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs paid in compensation to (a) individuals and (b) organisations following errors it has made in each of the last five years. [116851]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not distinguish payments made to individual customers from those made to businesses.

Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the Chief Executive of HM Revenue and Customs to respond to the letters of (a) 21 February 2012, (b) 20 March 2012 and (c) 9 May 2012 from the right hon. Member for Delyn regarding Mr D Whale of Mold, Flintshire. [117013]

Mr Gauke: HMRC replied to a letter dated 9 January 2012 on 23 April 2012 and considered that this also replied to the letters dated 21 February 2012 and 20 March 2012. The letter dated 9 May 2012 was replied to on 13 July 2012.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library copies of all internal audit recommendations made in relation to HM Revenue and Customs in the last five years. [117094]

Mr Gauke: HMRC is unable to provide the information requested without disproportionate cost.

17 July 2012 : Column 681W

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer by what means staff are surveyed in (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) his Department; and on what dates the results of the next such survey will be made public. [117095]

Mr Gauke: HMRC and HM Treasury conduct an annual people survey as part of a civil service wide survey co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office.

Staff are invited to take part by completing an online questionnaire which canvasses their views on how they feel about working in their Departments.

Cabinet Office guidance indicated the 2012 people survey will open on 1 October 2012 and close on 31 October 2012.

The Cabinet Office determines the date by which all departments must publish their results externally but this date has not yet been decided.

Taxation: Offshore Industry

Mr Anderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of providing decommissioning relief deeds to the oil industry. [116651]

Miss Chloe Smith: At Budget 2012 the Government announced that it will introduce legislation in 2013 giving it statutory authority to sign contracts with companies operating in the UK and UK Continental Shelf, to provide assurance on the relief they will receive when decommissioning assets.

The Government committed to consult further on the form and detail of such contracts, and on 9 July published a consultation document on its proposal for Decommissioning Relief Deeds:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/consult_decommissioning_relief_deeds_090712.pdf

This measure is expected to lead to additional investment and production, increasing Exchequer revenues. The Exchequer effects of providing greater certainty on decommissioning relief are set out at line 9 of Table 2.1 of the Red Book:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2012_chapter2.pdf

Taxation: Olympic Games 2012

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will encourage all companies operating as part of the London 2012 Olympics to voluntarily pay tax to the UK on profits arising from the Olympics; what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport on the payment of tax in relation to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; and if he will make a statement. [117774]

Mr Gauke: 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 will comply with the commitments required to meet these conditions.

17 July 2012 : Column 682W

Athletes resident outside of the UK who compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games will be exempt from UK income tax relating to their performance at the games.

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.

Tobacco: Packaging

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the financial effects on the Exchequer of any change in the level of illicit or counterfeit tobacco products resulting from the introduction of plain cigarette packaging. [117116]

Miss Chloe Smith: The information is not currently available. The consultation on plain cigarette packaging has been extended until 10 August 2012. HMRC will consider the responses to inform the assessment of the impact of plain packaging on the Exchequer and on the illicit trade.

Trade Union Officials

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many days were used by trade union representatives in HM Revenue and Customs for facility time in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and what estimate he has made of the total cost to the public purse of the associated salary costs. [112147]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 18 June 2012]: In 2010-11, 41,045 days were used by unions representatives in HMRC for facility time, with an estimated salary cost to the department of £4,361,736. In 2011-12, 38,870 days were used, with an estimated cost to the department of £4,149,734.

The Cabinet Office has been undertaking a review into how much paid time civil servants should be allowed as facility time. HMRC has participated fully in this review and a formal consultation between the civil service and the trade unions was launched on 13 July.

VAT

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for VAT registration submitted in the last 12 months took over (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four, (e) five, (f) six, (g) seven, (h) eight, (i) nine, (j) 10, (k) 11 and (l) 12 weeks to clear. [117093]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) aims to issue VAT registration numbers as quickly as possible, while protecting the VAT system from fraud. It is necessary to balance the speed of registration against the need to risk assess applications and carry out necessary checks to safeguard against fraud.

HMRC does not collect and maintain statistics on the processing of VAT registration applications to the level of detail requested. HMRC does hold figures for the percentage of applications processed within 10 calendar days and 60 working days.

17 July 2012 : Column 683W

In 2011-12, 81.3% of applications were processed within 10 calendar days. During the same time frame, HMRC processed 98.6% of applications within 60 working days.

VAT: Further and Higher Education

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the Exchequer of exempting all commercial providers of further education from VAT; [117104]

(2) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the Exchequer of exempting commercial providers of higher education from VAT; and how much of the cost is accounted for by each provider type; [117105]

(3) what progress he has made on his review of exempting commercial universities from VAT. [117106]

Mr Gauke: No estimates have been made.

Further to the announcement made at Budget 2012, HMRC officials have been working with officials in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills on the review of the VAT exemption for providers of education, in particular at university degree level, to ensure that commercial universities are treated fairly.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of (a) child tax credits and (b) working tax credits were paid in error to claimants in (i) Coventry, (ii) the west midlands and (iii) England in each of the last five years. [116253]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 10 July 2012]: This information is not available.

Welfare Tax Credits: Fraud

Jessica Morden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the commencement date was for use of Experian data to detect fraud in tax credits in (a) the UK and (b) Wales. [117776]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has been using Experian data to detect tax credits fraud in the whole of the UK (including Wales) since 5 December 2011.

17 July 2012 : Column 684W

Written Questions: Government Responses

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to answer questions (a) 115719, (b) 115718, (c) 115717 and (d) 115715, tabled on 3 July 2012 for answer on 6 July 2012. [117656]

Mr Hoban: These questions were answered on 12 July 2012, Official Report, column 384W.

Cabinet Office

Breast Cancer

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will publish (a) one and (b) five year survival rates for breast cancer patients aged (i) 49 years and under, (ii) 50 to 59, (iii) 60 to 69, (iv) 70 to 79, (v) 80 to 89 and (vi) over 90 years in each (A) cancer network and (B) primary care trust area in each year since 1997. [117943]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated July 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking if [we] will publish (a) one and (b) five year survival rates for breast cancer patients aged (i) 49 years and under, (ii) 50 to 59, (iii) 60 to 69, (iv) 70 to 79, (v) 80 to 89 and (vi) over 90 years in each (A) cancer network and (B) primary care trust in each year since 1997 for which data are available. [117943].

ONS publish one-year and five-year cancer survival estimates for adults (aged 15-99). Survival is calculated from the date of diagnosis.

The latest (a) one-year and (b) five-year survival estimates for women diagnosed with breast cancer for (A) cancer networks in England are for patients diagnosed in 1996-2009 and followed up to 2010. These figures are available on the National Statistics website at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cancer-unit/cancer-survival-by-cancer-network/index.html

One-year survival estimates are presented for four time periods (1996, 2001, 2005 and 2009), and five-year survival estimates are presented for three time periods (1996, 2001 and 2005), for persons aged 15-99 years.

Survival estimates for breast cancer are not available for (B) primary care trusts in England.

Table 1. One-year and five-year relative survival (percentage), with 95 per cent confidence intervals, for females (aged 15-99 years) diagnosed with breast cancer In England, by age group and period of diagnosis(1,2,3,4)
 One-year survivalFive-year survival
Standardisation/age group%95% confidence intervals%95% confidence intervals

Women diagnosed during 2000-04, followed up to 2005:

      

Age-standardised

94.4

94.3

94.5

81.1

80.8

81.5

Unstandardised

95.7

95.6

95.8

83.7

83.4

84.0

15-39

97

97

98

80

79

81

40-49

98

98

98

86

85

86

50-59

98

98

98

88

88

89

60-69

96

96

97

86

86

87

70-79

92

91

92

77

76

78

17 July 2012 : Column 685W

17 July 2012 : Column 686W

80-99

83

83

84

61

60

63

       

Women diagnosed during 2001-06, followed up to 2007:

      

Age-standardised

94.9

94.8

95.0

82.0

81.8

82.3

Unstandardised

96.1

96.0

96.2

84.5

84.3

84.8

15-39

98

97

98

81

80

82

40-49

98

98

98

86

86

87

50-59

98

98

98

89

88

89

60-69

97

97

97

87

86

87

70-79

92

92

93

78

77

78

80-99

85

84

85

64

62

65

       

Women diagnosed during 2003-07, followed up to 2008:

      

Age-standardised

95.4

95.3

95.5

83.3

83.0

83.6

Unstandardised

96.5

96.4

96.7

85.8

85.5

86.1

15-39

98

98

98

82

81

83

40-49

98

98

98

87

86

88

50-59

98

98

98

90

89

90

60-69

97

97

98

88

88

89

70-79

93

93

93

79

78

80

80-99

86

85

86

66

64

67

       

Women diagnosed during 2004-08, followed up to 2009:

      

Age-standardised

95.6

95.5

95.7

84.2

83.9

84.6

Unstandardised

96.7

96.6

96.8

86.6

86.4

86.9

15-39

98

98

98

83

81

84

40-49

98

98

99

88

88

89

50-59

98

98

98

90

90

90

60-69

98

97

98

89

89

90

70-79

93

93

94

80

79

81

80-99

86

86

87

67

66

69

       

Women diagnosed during 2005-09, followed up to 2010:

      

Age-standardised

95.8

95.7

95.9

85.1

84.8

85.4

Unstandardised

96.9

96.8

97.0

87.4

87.2

87.7

15-39

98

98

98

84

82

85

40-49

98

98

99

89

89

90

50-59

98

98

98

90

90

91

60-69

98

98

98

90

90

91

70-79

94

93

94

81

80

82

80-99

87

87

88

69

67

70

(1) Relative survival is the probability of survival (shown here as a percentage) after correction far other causes of death. (2) Because cancer survival varies with age at diagnosis, the summary survival estimates for all ages combined (15-99 years) have been age-standardised, where possible, to control for changes in the age profile of cancer patients over time. (3) Breast cancer is defined by the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (1CD-10) code C50. (4) Confidence intervals are a measure of the statistical precision of an estimate and show the range of uncertainty around the estimated figure. As a general rule, If the confidence interval around one figure overlaps with the interval around another, we cannot say with certainty that there is more than a chance difference between the two figures.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many women aged (a) 49 years and under, (b) 50 to 59, (c) 60 to 69, (d) 70 to 79, (e) 80 to 89 and (f) over 90 years were diagnosed with breast cancer in each (i) cancer network and (ii) primary care trust area in each year since 1997. [117945]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated July 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many women aged (a) 49 years and under, (b) 50 to 59, (c) 60 to 69, (d) 70 to 79, (e) 80 to 89 and (f) over 90 years were diagnosed with breast cancer in each (i) cancer network and (ii) primary care trust in each year since 1997 for which data are available. [117945]

The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of cancer (incidence) are for the year 2010. Please note that these numbers may not be the same as the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer, because a woman may be diagnosed with more than one primary breast cancer.

17 July 2012 : Column 687W

Information is not readily available in the form requested and could only be obtained (compiled) at disproportionate cost however.

Table 1 provides the number of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in women by the age groups (a) 49 years and under, (b) 50 to 59, (c) 60 to 69, (d) 70 to 79, (e) 80 to 89 and (f) over 90 years, for cancer networks in England, for the years 1997 to 2010 combined.

Table 2 provides the number of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in women by year of registration for cancer networks in England, for each of the years from 1997 to 2010.

Table 3 provides the number of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in women by the age groups (a) 49 years and under, (b) 50 to 59, (c) 60 to 69, (d) 70 to 79, (e) 80 to 89 and (f) over 90 years, for primary care organisations in England, for the years 1997 to 2010 combined.

Table 4 provides the number of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in women by year of registration for primary care organisations in England, for each of the years from 1997 to 2010.

Copies of Tables 1 to 4 have been placed in the House of Commons library.

The latest published figures on the incidence of cancer in England are available on the National Statistics website at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html

Charity Commission

Simon Kirby: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) if he will give powers to the Charity Commission to allow it to intervene more easily where an allegation of wrongdoing within a charity is made; [117120]

(2) whether his recent discussions with the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission have included discussion of the Commission's powers to investigate allegations of wrongdoing. [117121]

Mr Maude: The Charity Commission already has substantial powers of intervention including, in extreme cases, powers of entry and suspension of trustees. Information relating to internal discussion and advice is not normally disclosed.

Civil Servants: Training

Michael Fallon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has to encourage the development of finance skills in the civil service. [117428]

Mr Maude [holding answer 16 July 2012]: For too long the civil service has lacked finance skills. The Civil Service Reform Plan, published on 19 June 2012, notes that we will produce by the autumn, for the first time, a five-year capabilities plan for the whole civil service. This plan will identify which skills and capabilities are in deficit, and set out how gaps will be filled. In addition, the plan notes that:

“financial management across the civil service needs to be further strengthened, and the finance functions in departments and agencies given greater authority.”

This will be accomplished primarily through the Finance Transformation Programme (FTP).

Electronic Government

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost to the public purse was of the (a) government.uk and (b) directgov website in the latest period for which figures are available. [116681]

17 July 2012 : Column 688W

Mr Maude: The budget for 2011/12 and the financial year to date of the Gov.uk alpha and beta sites is approximately £4.6 million.

The cost to the public purse of the directgov website in the latest period for which figures are available (2010/11) is £21.392 million. This is published on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/reporting-on-website-progress-Oct2011.pdf

Moving departmental websites on to Gov.uk will, in due course, realise significant savings for the taxpayer.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by his Department over the last two years. [116799]

Mr Maude: The value of ex gratia payments made by the Cabinet Office over the last two years totalled £25,355.33.

ICT

Alun Cairns: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many iPads are owned by his Department; and whether these devices are accredited to Business Level Impact Level 3. [117006]

Mr Maude [holding answer 16 July 2012]: The Cabinet Office has purchased 13 iPads for official use. All these devices are unclassified. The iPads are used to support trials and various projects, particularly when it is cheaper than using a dedicated laptop.

Internet: Regulation

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent discussions he has had with international partners on promoting consensus on what constitutes acceptable behaviour in cyberspace; and if he will make a statement. [117658]

Mr Maude: Last November the London Conference initiated a global conversation on the future of the internet and how we might establish certain norms of behaviour in cyberspace. This dialogue will continue at the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace in October, which I plan to attend, and in South Korea in 2013.

The UK is playing an active role in many international fora including at the United Nations Group of Government Experts. We are also building a network of bilateral cyber relationships with partners developing and promoting the benefits of confidence building measures as part of the discussions regarding norms of behaviour.

NDPBs: Public Appointments

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what representations his Department has received from the chairs and officers of non-departmental public bodies on the time taken for appointments and reappointments to those bodies. [116945]

Mr Maude: No central record is held.

17 July 2012 : Column 689W

Orders and Regulations

Angus Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many statutory instruments were (a) made, (b) repealed and (c) amended in each of the last five years. [117140]

Mr Maude: Details of statutory instruments are published on:

www.legislation.gov.uk

Public Sector Pay

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many staff working for his Department, its Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are employed through off-payroll engagements costing less than £58,200 per annum; and if he will make a statement. [110814]

Mr Maude: Since 2010 the Cabinet Office has applied strict controls on the engagement of consultants, interim managers and specialist contractors who may not be engaged without prior approval from the Cabinet Office Approvals Board.

Approval is only given to engage contractors and agency staff if a case can be made that shows that the use of such non-payroll resource is “operationally necessary”, could not be fulfilled by an existing civil servant, and offers value for money.

Annual expenditure by the Cabinet Office on consultancy fell dramatically in 2011-12 and in 2010-11 expenditure was around a third of what it was in 2009-10. Expenditure on temporary staff was also reduced by more than 40%.

The Cabinet Office has 35 contractors and agency staff whose contracts are expected to cost less than £58,200. Of these, seven are expected to cease over the course of the next few months, and the rest remain under review.

Sometimes there is a requirement for a contractor with specific knowledge and expertise to be engaged for a longer period to see through a big project—just as any private sector organisation would do. It makes sense, under these circumstances, to use a contractor when the alternative would be to recruit a permanent employee which would incur more ongoing, longer-term cost to the taxpayer.

Permanent Secretaries

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the question following the statement made on 19 June 2012, Official Report, columns 743-6 on civil service reform, by what date the objectives for permanent secretaries will be published; how often such objectives will be updated; how many permanent secretaries in operational roles have two or more years commercial or operational experience. [115158]

Mr Maude [holding answer 3 July 2012]: Permanent secretaries' objectives will be published shortly and updated periodically. Information on permanent secretaries' professional experience will also be published shortly.

17 July 2012 : Column 690W

Press Officers

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and arm's-length bodies since May 2010. [109880]

Mr Maude [holding answer 11 June 2012]: This information is not normally held centrally in the form requested.

Public Sector: Mobile Phones

Alun Cairns: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he has made any contingency plans for the event that a supplier of mobile devices to the public sector is acquired by a company which is not considered to be an appropriate supplier for the public sector. [117663]

Mr Maude: Contingency plans for the event that a supplier is acquired by another company should be covered by the appropriate contract management arrangements of any given contract.

The Cabinet Office recommends that contracts include a clause specifying that:

“the Contractor shall not assign, sub-contract or in any other way dispose of the Contract or any part of it without prior Approval”;

and allows termination of the contract in the event of a change of control.

Public Sector: Procurement

Gordon Banks: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what mechanisms exist to prevent contractors for public sector projects from revising their initially proposed payment figures to subcontractors upon completion of a project; [117789]

(2) what steps he is taking to prevent incomplete payments from being made by construction industry contractors working on public sector projects. [117790]

Mr Maude: The Government are increasingly making use of Project Bank Accounts, which ensure that subcontractors down to at least tier 3 of supply chains are paid directly and promptly.

Where Project Bank Accounts are not used, the requirement for contractors to pay their subcontractors within 30 days—in line with the Government's Prompt Payment Code—is specified in contract terms.

We are also encouraging subcontractors to use the “Mystery Shopper” service to report instances to us where this is not happening. We regularly publish details of investigated cases on the Cabinet Office website.

Secondment

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer of 15 March 2012, Official Report, column 382W, on Government Departments: secondment, whether any staff are supplied to his Department without charge by (a) KPMG, (b) Ernst and Young, (c) PWC and (d) any other firms; and what the (i) function, (ii) grade and (iii) level of security clearance is of any such staff in each case. [116180]

17 July 2012 : Column 691W

Mr Maude: For the period 1 April 2011 to 30 June 2012 Cabinet Office has not been supplied with any unpaid staff from KPMG, Ernst and Young or PricewaterhouseCoopers.

We have 10 secondees from other organisations on a free of charge basis. They are filling posts at SCSI to B2 level, in placements ranging from one month to 12 months. These include secondments as part of the Commercial Interchange Programme which was launched in 2011 as part of a suite of measures to improve commercial capability within Government through an exchange of skills and knowledge with the private sector.

All secondees are security cleared to the level required for the work being undertaken.

Senior Civil Servants: Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he plans to publish the list of senior civil servants earning more than £150,000. [117930]

Mr Maude: Further to my answer of 24 April 2012, a list will be published later this year. Such information was not publicly available prior to 2010.

Staff

Michael Dugher: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which individuals the Minister without Portfolio recommended to provide assistance organising outreach events during her visit to Pakistan in July 2010. [116540]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the report of the Prime Minister's Independent Adviser on Minister's Interests published on 27 June 2012, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office 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. [116800]

Mr Maude: As at 30 June 2012 there were two staff in the redeployment pool in the Cabinet Office and its non-departmental public bodies. These staff are allocated to short-term critical projects.

International Development

Commonwealth Development Corporation

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what guidance his Department has issued to CDC on the reporting of corruption allegations. [117866]

Mr O'Brien: CDC takes all allegations of corruption seriously and complies with all relevant legal requirements. CDC has issued detailed business integrity policies and procedures to all employees, alongside ongoing training. This ensures that CDC's commitment to integrity and legal compliance is followed, including procedures dealing with anti-corruption, anti-bribery, anti-money

17 July 2012 : Column 692W

laundering and other important matters. CDC also has a team with dedicated personnel responsible for monitoring and addressing corruption compliance issues. CDC regularly reports to DFID on all such matters.

DFID worked with CDC to develop a new complaints mechanism. This allows those who have been negatively affected by a breach in CDC's Investment Code to complain directly to CDC. The Investment Code has a governance section which includes corruption and anti-bribery. CDC investigates these complaints and, if eligible, seeks a solution that addresses the complaint as quickly as possible.

Developing Countries: Education

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's expenditure on developing countries on the number of children attending school. [117660]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's 2012 Annual Report shows that UK investments are supporting 5.3 million children in primary education and 600,000 in lower secondary in developing countries. Over the comprehensive spending review period the UK has pledged to support 9 million children in primary school, over half of whom will be girls, and 2 million in lower secondary. We have also launched a new Girls' Education Challenge, which will galvanise innovation in the non-state sector to support up to an additional 1 million of the world's poorest girls through a full cycle of schooling.

The quality of education remains very low in many countries. We are therefore prioritising quality as well as access to education in all our programmes. We have committed to measure reading fluency in the early years and we have helped to train 90,000 teachers to improve the quality of education and assist children's learning.

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to work with the private sector to deliver education for poor people in developing countries; and what (i) current and (ii) proposed initiatives will be supported or funded by his Department's country programmes. [117937]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) works to get the best possible outcomes for the poor. Over the comprehensive spending review period the UK has pledged to support 9 million children in primary school, over half of whom will be girls, and 2 million in lower secondary. DFID's 2012 annual report shows that we are currently supporting 5.3 million children in primary education and 600,000 in lower secondary. We take a pragmatic, non-ideological stance on how services should be delivered. In addition to our extensive support to public sector delivery of education, we also support non-state education providers, including the low-cost private sector.

In September 2011, the UK launched the Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) which will galvanise innovation in the non-state sector to support up to an additional 1 million of the world's poorest girls through a full cycle of schooling. The GEC is developing strategic partnerships

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with the corporate sector to incentivise investment in girl's education including new ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning for girls. DFID is currently working on the design of a global, public and free internet database. This will profile non-state education programmes with a view to facilitating the scale-up of non-state education innovations for poor people. DFID is also developing programmes to support quality, non-state education provision in four countries. In Pakistan DFID plans to support up to 200,000 children in low cost private schools in Sindh Province. In India an additional 13,000 children in slums will be reached with DFID support to the non-state provider “Gyan Shala”. DFID-Nigeria is developing a programme to improve the functioning of the Lagos education market, with a provisional target of reaching 380,000 children. DFID-Kenya plans to launch a new programme to research the constraints on low-cost private schools and to help the private education sector meet the needs of poor people.

Developing Countries: Poliomyelitis

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the 65th World Health Assembly, what plans he has to meet non-governmental organisations and charities to discuss the intensification of the global polio eradication initiative. [117066]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) is a major contributor to the global polio eradication initiative and remains firmly committed to polio eradication. In January 2011 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Prime Minister pledged an additional £40 million for 2011-12, effectively doubling our contribution last year and this.

DFID is actively engaged in polio eradication efforts and meets regularly with partners to discuss issues. DFID is considering its support from 2013.

Food: Prices

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the effects on health and well-being of (a) young children and (b) others of temporary food price spikes. [116954]

Mr O'Brien: The UK's Future of Food and Farming report (2011) showed that high and volatile food prices threaten good nutrition. Pregnant women and young children are at greatest risks as their nutritional needs are higher. High prices directly impact on the poor who purchase most of their food as they have to spend more on staple foods, making more nutritious foods unaffordable.

The specific effects of temporary food price spikes on health and well-being of young children and others is difficult to measure. The UK is working with partners in the G8 and the G20 to address food price volatility, including a global market information system supported by the G20, programmes to improve regional food markets and trade; and investments in smallholder agriculture in many parts for Africa and Asia to improve availability of food at affordable prices.

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Kenya

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to his Operational Plan for Kenya 2011-15, what evidence he used to reach his conclusion that private schools are the most cost-effective way to get out-of-school children into the classroom in slum areas with limited state schooling capacity. [117934]

Mr O'Brien: A study by the Department for International Development has shown that there are at least 300,000 children in low-cost private schools for the poor in Kenya, most of which are located in or around the many urban slums in Kenya's larger towns and cities. The study also showed that low-cost private schools typically charge around £30 per year for each student, considerably less than the £70 or so that it costs to educate a child in a state school according to Government of Kenya figures. Data from the Kenyan Ministry of Education further show that schools in urban centres are already more than full, and would require substantial expansion to accommodate these additional children, which would take several years