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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Leader of the House

Official Cars

Diana Johnson: To ask the Leader of the House how often he has used the Government Car Service in (a) March to September 2012 and (b) September 2012 to March 2013; how many journeys he has made using the Government Car Service in each period; what the (i) staffing and (ii) vehicle cost has been as a result of official car use in those periods; and how many official engagements he has undertaken outside Westminster in each such period. [147417]

Mr Lansley: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is part of the Cabinet Office and, under its arrangements, I have the shared use of a departmental car.

I also refer the hon. Lady to the answer by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), of 13 February 2013, Official Report, column 720-21W. The cost of Government cars is published annually and costs for 2012-13 will be published in due course. Details of individual trips are not recorded.

In the period I have been in post I have undertaken 10 official engagements outside Westminster.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Monoxide: Alarms

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of domestic premises which have carbon monoxide alarms fitted. [147023]

Gregory Barker: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave her on 23 February 2013, Official Report, column 236W.

Carbon Reduction Commitment Scheme

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what reports he has received of whether Cannock Chase district council has made any payments under the carbon reduction commitment scheme in each of the last five years. [147632]

Gregory Barker: The CRC Energy Efficiency scheme required participants to register for the scheme in 2010 based on their 2008 energy usage (where that exceeded a qualification threshold of 6,000 MWh). Cannock Chase district council (CCDC) did not register for the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme.

A list of those that have reported and paid for allowances for 2011-12 (the first year allowances were brought) is available on the Environment Agency website at:

http://crc.environment-agency.gov.uk/pplt/web/plt/public/2011-12/CRCPerformanceLeagueTable20112012

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Coal

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department plans to take to safeguard critical mass in the British coal industry. [146638]

Mr Hayes: Coal generation currently provides around a third of our electricity supplies, with British mines contributing around 40% of feedstock to our coal-fired power stations in 2012.

Coal power stations, equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS), can continue to play a significant role as part of a future low-carbon energy mix. The Government have put in place a comprehensive programme of measures to bring forward a cost competitive CCS industry, including a £1 billion commercialisation programme, £125 million for research and development and reform to the electricity market.

The Government value the role of British coal in meeting our energy needs. We meet regularly with representatives of the coal industry and its customers, and discussions include the need for investor confidence in a continuing market for British coal to sustain the industry.

The Department's current work with UK Coal Operations Ltd in the light of the recent underground fire at Daw Mill demonstrates our interest in the ongoing contribution coal can make to meeting current energy needs.

Energy Companies Obligation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many households have had heating, draught proofing or cavity wall measures installed through the affordable warmth element of the Energy Company Obligation in (a) January and (b) February 2013; [147608]

(2) how many households have had heating, draught proofing or cavity wall measures installed through the Energy Company Obligation in (a) January 2013 and (b) February 2013; [147609]

(3) how many households in (a) total, (b) the private rented sector and (c) the owner-occupier sector had energy efficiency measures installed through the Energy Company Obligation in (i) January 2013 and (ii) February 2013; [147610]

(4) how many households in hard-to-treat housing had energy efficiency measures installed through the Energy Company Obligation in (a) January 2013 and (b) February 2013. [147611]

Gregory Barker: The Department will release the first official statistics on the number of measures installed through the Energy Company Obligation—the detail of breakdowns is to be decided—in June 2013.

Energy: Billing

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to require energy suppliers to publish the unit costs of individual renewable types of generation on energy bills. [146684]

Mr Hayes: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), does not require energy suppliers to publish the unit costs of individual renewable types of generation on energy bills.

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Wind Power

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration he has given to requiring a decommissioning bond to be attached to all wind farm applications before any application is considered. [146890]

Gregory Barker: Onshore, wind farm developers make decommissioning arrangements with the relevant local planning authorities and other parties who have a particular interest, for example the landowner. Decommissioning conditions are applied to onshore wind farm planning permissions to ensure restoration of the site to the satisfaction of the local authority once the planning permission lifetime has expired. It is common practice for developers to enter into agreements pursuant to section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to ensure funds are available for such decommissioning work.

Offshore, the statutory decommissioning scheme for renewable energy installations provides security that their removal can be undertaken by developers. Under sections 105 to 114 of the Energy Act 2004, the Secretary of State may require a person who is responsible for one of these installations to submit (and eventually carry out) a decommissioning programme for them, and to submit details of the security they propose to provide with their decommissioning programme.

Both of these regimes provide for the use of bonds if appropriate in the circumstances. The Government consider that these arrangements are sufficient to ensure that suitable decommissioning provisions are in place and so do not feel that requiring a bond at the point of application is necessary.

Attorney-General

Beef: Horsemeat

Mary Creagh: To ask the Attorney-General whether his Department has sought legal advice with regard to (a) police investigations into the horsemeat scandal and (b) the naming of companies implicated in the horsemeat scandal. [147547]

The Solicitor-General: My office has not sought any legal advice in relation to this matter. The Environment, Food and Farming Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is providing the police with advice on their current investigations. These investigations are ongoing and it would be inappropriate to offer further comment on this matter.

Transport

Birmingham City University

Mr Khalid Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to limit the negative effects of the loss of Birmingham City University's City North campus to Birmingham Perry Barr constituency and businesses in that area. [146742]

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

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Higher education institutions are independent and autonomous. It is for them to decide how they manage their assets and deliver learning to meet the needs of their students. The plan for the relocation of teaching facilities at Birmingham City University's North campus is a matter for the institution's governing body. The Government cannot intervene in these decisions.

Car Tax

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2013, Official Report, column 772W, on car tax, when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency advice was revised; and if he will publish the revised advice. [146954]

Stephen Hammond: The advice that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency provides to the parent or carer of a disabled person who has passed away was revised on 6 February 2013. Officials now advise that no enforcement action will be taken within a reasonable period. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is considering how to communicate this revised guidance more widely.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the average value of land per acre along the preferred route of phase two of High Speed 2. [147184]

Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd's published costs and risk model report sets out an estimate of the land costs along the preferred route of phase two of £870 million. This estimate will evolve over time as our proposals for phase two are developed following consultation later this year.

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's calculation is of the cost per mile of the building of phase two of High Speed 2. [147186]

Mr Simon Burns: As detailed in the January 2013 Command Paper “High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain's Future—Phase Two: The route to Leeds, Manchester and beyond”, the Government's initial preferred route, station and depot options for phase two are now estimated at around £16.8 billion, without the spur to Heathrow. This includes allowances for risk and optimism bias.

The length of the western leg of phase two is 95 miles, and the eastern leg, is 116 miles.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the processes being followed on High Speed 2 comply with section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 on the protection of areas of outstanding natural beauty; and if he will make a statement. [147302]

Mr Simon Burns: As set out in the response to the 2011 consultation, ‘High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain's Future—Decisions and Next Steps’, the Government consider that HS2 is consistent with section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

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Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had with HS2 Ltd about the Chilterns Tunnel Alternative Report produced by Peter Bretts Associates; and if he will make a statement. [147303]

Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd and the Department have regular discussions on the developing design for HS2 Phase One. Officials in my Department are aware of the contents of the report and the discussions that HS2 Ltd has had with the Chilterns Ridges Action Group.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on the High Speed 2 Judicial Review process to date; and if he will make a statement. [147304]

Mr Simon Burns: To date, the Department has spent £294,717 (exc. VAT) on the High Speed 2 Judicial Review, in addition to DFT staff salary costs.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what additional budget has been allocated to HS2 Ltd to support changes to the High Speed 2 Phase One design specification since January 2012; and if he will make a statement; [147305]

(2) what additional budget has been allocated to HS2 Ltd to support mitigation proposals for High Speed 2 Phase One since January 2012; and if he will make a statement; [147306]

(3) whether the total cost of the High Speed 2 Phase One preferred line of route has increased in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [147307]

Mr Simon Burns: The previous Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), published estimated costs for Phase One at the time of announcing her decision to proceed with HS2, in January 2012. These were early stage estimates, and HS2 Ltd is continuing to refine designs in more detail to take account of site survey and other locally-specific issues as well as developing thinking on how future services and systems will operate.

Cost estimates are continuing to evolve as a consequence of this work, and the Department is working closely with HS2 Ltd to ensure that robust cost controls are in place throughout this process.

Overall cost estimates will be updated to inform the Estimate of Expense deposited with the hybrid Bill later in 2013.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the High Speed 2 Phase One environmental impact assessment consultation complies with the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters; and if he will make a statement. [147310]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department and HS2 Ltd have recognised and actively considered the requirements set out in the Aarhus Convention and how they apply to HS2 as part of their work programme for the environmental statement and the hybrid Bill.

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Northern Rail

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had on additional rolling stock for the Northern Franchise. [147353]

Mr Simon Burns: Department for Transport officials are currently considering options with local stakeholders for the provision of additional rolling stock on the Northern Franchise following completion of electrification. A final decision will be made based on the value for money and affordability of the options available.

Roads: East Sussex

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2013, Official Report, column 247W, on roads: East Sussex, if he will (a) publish and (b) place in the Library a copy of the documents relating to funding for the Bexhill to Hastings link road and alternative transport measures without any redaction of content under the headings of (i) recommendations, (ii) timing and (iii) emerging options sent to Ministers in his Department on 14 March 2012 and 19 March 2012; and if he will make a statement. [146994]

Norman Baker: The Information Commissioner's Office is currently considering an appeal against the redactions in the published versions of the documents dated 14 March and 19 March 2012 to which the hon. Member refers, and we await their findings.

The Department took the decision to withhold the information as it falls under the exception in Regulation 12(4)(e) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, because it involves the disclosure of internal communications relating to the formulation or development of government policy and government decision making. In applying this exception the Department had to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the public interest in disclosure.

The Department gave regard to the Regulations and to wider government policy and guidance—including the Ministry of Justice “working assumption” that information presented to Ministers as policy advice, recommendations, suggested options, and opinions should not be disclosed. The Department concluded that the factors above outweigh the benefits of disclosure and that it would not be in the public interest to release the information as it would seriously impact on the decision and policy making process in relation to the ongoing issue of funding this scheme and, more widely, other transport schemes.

Roads: Safety

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department is co-operating with the Department for Education to promote road safety in schools. [147521]

Stephen Hammond: The THINK! road safety campaign provides a range of resources to enable teachers to deliver road safety education to children and teenagers in schools. These include lesson plans, printed materials and interactive games.

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To improve on this, a school engagement strategy is under development and the THINK! team will be consulting with the Department for Education to ensure a co-ordinated, cost-effective and impactful strategy is delivered.

In the first phase of the work the THINK! team has engaged with organisations such as the National Union of Teachers and the National Governors Association to understand factors that impact on road safety education in schools, including time, resources, IT facilities and current use of THINK! materials.

All of this information will be used to help develop more effective road safety resources for use by key partners, such as teachers, school group leaders and road safety officers and ensure that effective road safety messages are delivered to young people.

This stakeholder activity will launch in the early summer.

Shipping: Registration

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the number of vessels which might flag out if the Maritime Labour Convention is not ratified by the UK. [147298]

Stephen Hammond: The Department has not made an assessment because we are committed to taking forward all the legal provisions necessary to allow the UK to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. We expect to ratify the convention in August 2013.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the (a) Cabinet Office and (b) Department for Business, Innovation and Skills regarding the timetable for UK ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention; and when he next intends to hold such discussions. [147566]

Stephen Hammond: Ministers from all three Departments are engaged with the processes that are associated with the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and will continue to be so.

Culture, Media and Sport

Digital Technology: Epilepsy

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what research her Department has commissioned on the relationship between screen-based activity and the triggering of epileptic fits; what advice and guidance is put out by the Department on this issue; what regulatory controls are under consideration to protect public health in this respect; and if she will make a statement. [146833]

Hugh Robertson: I can confirm that DCMS has not commissioned any research into the relationship between screen-based activity and the triggering of epileptic fits.

However, we believe there is well established regulation and guidance in place with regards to this issue. Section 1 of the ITC Programme Code (which now represents Ofcom's policy) sets out guidance on the use of flashing images and regular patterns in relation to ‘Family Viewing Policy, Offence to Good Taste and Decency, Portrayal of Violence and Respect for Human Dignity’. Ofcom

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has also published advice in its Guidance Notes (issue ten: July 2012), setting clear technical standards and stipulating that “a warning (of flashing images) should only be used in place of adherence to the guidelines where it is editorially justified”. Ofcom's guidelines are based on scientific research.

Pornography: Internet

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will require internet service providers to introduce a default opt-in filter system for access to adult content on the internet. [146984]

Hugh Robertson: The Government have, in our response to the Department for Education's consultation on internet parental controls published in December last year, asked all internet service providers to actively encourage people to switch on parental controls if children are in the household and will be using the internet. “Actively encourage” means making the decision of whether to set up parental controls an unavoidable step for parents.

In addition, the Government have asked that internet service providers put in place appropriate measures to check that the person setting controls is over the age of 18, and we are pressing for all of the information and communications technology (ICT) industries, including retailers and device manufacturers, to work together to develop universally available, family-friendly internet access which is easy to use.

Public Libraries: Internet

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many public libraries currently provide free internet access; and if she will publish a map showing all the public libraries that currently provide such access. [147541]

Hugh Robertson: The number of public libraries currently providing free internet access is not held centrally, as it is a matter for individual authorities. The Universal Offers initiative, launched in January this year by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), commented that most public libraries provide digital access for the community and have done so for some time. The SCL initiative, developed in partnership with Arts Council England and the Reading Agency, defines, as part of the Universal Digital Offer, the minimum that a public library authority should provide and that customers should expect from their public library. This includes free access to the internet for every customer (for a minimum period of time).

Northern Ireland

Horsemeat

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether there is an ongoing criminal investigation in Northern Ireland into the illegal adulteration of horsemeat. [147548]

Mike Penning: This is a devolved matter. The Northern Ireland Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development made a Statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 18 February in which she advised the Assembly that a criminal investigation was underway.

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The text of the statement can be found at the following link:

http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Official-Report/Reports-12-13/18-February-2013/#1

Organised Crime

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have met the Northern Ireland Justice Minister to discuss (i) the proposed national crime agency and (ii) asset recovery in the last six months. [146884]

Mrs Villiers: In the last six months the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), and I met regularly with the Northern Ireland Justice Minister to discuss a range of issues, including the proposed national crime agency and asset recovery, and we continue to do so.

Treasury

Bonuses: EU Limit

20. Jacob Rees-Mogg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of Article 153 (5) of the treaty on the functioning of the EU on the proposed limit to be placed on bonuses by the EU. [147142]

Greg Clark: I refer my hon. Friend to the remarks I made to him in the Chamber today.

Employment

21. Mr Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the rate of employment growth in the UK. [147144]

22. Damian Collins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the rate of employment growth in the UK. [147145]

Sajid Javid: The latest figures show the largest annual increase in employment since 1989, and employment is now at its highest ever level of 29.7 million. Furthermore, over 2012 full-time employment increased by 394,000, and this is the largest increase since 2005. This means that employment is now over 300,000 higher than the OBR forecast in its June 2010 economic and fiscal outlook, with a net 1.1 million jobs created in the private sector since 2010 Q1.

Tax Gap

23. Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government are taking to close the tax gap. [147146]

Mr Gauke: The Government have invested nearly £1 billion in strengthening HM Revenue and Customs' response to evasion and avoidance, and HMRC is on course to bring in nearly £22 billion of additional tax

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by the end of this Parliament. HMRC is increasing the number of staff working on compliance and using innovative approaches to improve how it identifies and tackles evasion. We will soon introduce the UK's first General Anti-Abuse Rule, and HMRC will consult further on new information powers and penalties to target high-risk promoters.

National Infrastructure Plan

24. Geraint Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent progress has been made on implementing the national infrastructure plan. [147147]

Danny Alexander: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Nick Smith).

Bank Services

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of (a) the cost per switch to the current account provider that the customer is leaving and (b) the cost per switch to the current account provider that the customer is moving to under the proposals for seven-day current account switching. [147397]

Sajid Javid: The current account seven-day switching service is being delivered by the Payments Council on behalf of industry.

The Payments Council gave evidence on the new switching service to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards on 30 January 2013.

A record of the full evidence can be found here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201213/jtselect/jtpcbs/c606-xxix/c60601.htm

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of personal current account customers who will currently be unable to switch in seven days in September due to their bank's non-participation. [147399]

Sajid Javid: The current account seven-day switching service is being delivered by the Payments Council on behalf of industry.

The Payments Council estimate that 99% of all UK personal current accounts will be covered by the new service.

Banks

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government are taking to review banking sector infrastructure. [147119]

Danny Alexander: HM Treasury works with the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority to ensure the resilience of critical financial infrastructure and produces an annual Finance Sector Resilience Plan. An unclassified version is published each year on the Cabinet Office website. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62312/Summary-2012-Sector-Resilience-Plans.pdf

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As the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in February, the Government also intend to bring payment systems—the critical infrastructure that ensures payments are able to move around the banking system—into regulation. An HM Treasury consultation on this will be released shortly.

Banks: Computer Software

Derek Twigg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the increase in software update faults in the British banking sector that have caused account disruptions in their banking services during the last two years. [147539]

Sajid Javid: The Financial Services Authority (FSA)—and its successor body the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)—work closely with banks to ensure that their systems are operating correctly, to resolve any difficulties and to minimise disruption for customers. The FSA is working with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBSG) following the problems experienced last week.

Housing: Construction

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to tax changes to facilitate development on undeveloped residential housing sites with historic planning permission; and if he will make a statement. [147047]

Danny Alexander: The Government have no intention to introduce tax changes to facilitate development on undeveloped residential housing sites with historic planning permission. The Government are instead focusing on other more effective measures to address stalled sites, such as renegotiation of unviable section 106 affordable housing agreements.

Taxation: Construction

Natascha Engel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies were fined for wrongly recording the employment status of their workers under the Construction Industry Scheme in each of the last five years. [147591]

Mr Gauke: The information is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Taxation: Developing Countries

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to ensure UK-listed companies report more information on their tax affairs in developing countries and pass this information on to the relevant tax authorities. [147026]

Mr Gauke: The UK supports requirements under the EU accounting and transparency directives for extractives companies to ensure that they disclose the payments they make to Government. This will significantly increase transparency for all EU-owned large extractive companies operating worldwide.

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The UK plays a leading role in supporting developing countries to access sustainable sources of revenue, including through increasing transparency in the extractives sector to address corruption.

One of the Governments key priorities on tax and development is to ensure that developing countries can benefit from international advances on tax transparency and exchange of information as these are important tools in identifying and tackling international tax avoidance and evasion.

Tourism

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate HM Treasury has made of the contribution of the tourism industry to the Government's target to double exports by 2020. [147116]

Hugh Robertson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Balance of Payments, tourist and business spend contributed at least £22 billion towards UK travel exports. The contribution of the sector to the economy continues to grow. According to the latest figures from VisitBritain, the industry is projected to achieve 33% growth in the number of international visits by 2020, up from 30 million to 40 million a year. This will result in an extra £9 billion GDP contribution (today's prices) to the economy, leading to the creation of 200,000 new jobs. Recent figures show that we are on track to meet these targets. VisitBritain activity delivered £503 million in incremental spend (financial year 2011-12) against a target of £373 million. The domestic market is also showing significant growth. In the eight-month period from early March to the end of October, it is estimated that the ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ campaign and other related VisitEngland activity has already generated incremental spend of almost £300 million, against a target of £500 million over four years.

Trade Competitiveness

Jessica Lee: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the UK's business competitiveness. [147143]

Mr Gauke: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Claire Perry).

UK Membership of EU

Mr Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the net cost to the UK of membership of the EU over the lifetime of this Parliament. [147405]

Greg Clark: Figures for the UK's net contribution to the EU over the period 2005-06 to 2011-12 were published in Table 3c (page 17) of “European Union Finances 2012” (Cm 8405), a copy of which can be found in the House Library, also available online at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/eu_finances_2012.pdf

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Forecasts of contributions to the EU were published by the OBR on 5 December 2012. This can be found in table 2.19 of “Economic and Fiscal Outlook Supplementary Tables” at:

http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-december-2012/

The OBR will update its forecasts at the time of the Budget 2013.

Unemployment: Young People

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2013, Official Report, column 197W, on unemployment: young people, how many young people have been supported by the Youth Contract in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Birmingham to date. [146355]

Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Youth Contract has a number of elements; the Department for Work and Pensions delivers some, but not all, of these elements.

Statistics on work experience and sector-based work academies are available at the following link. These programmes were in place before the introduction of the Youth Contract. Statistics on these elements of the Youth Contract are included within these published data, which include breakdowns such as age group or region.

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/pwp/pwp_gbw_feb13.pdf

In most cases the wage incentive element of the Youth Contract is paid after a young person has been in work continuously for 26 weeks. Following the collection and quality assurance of these data, the first set of Official Statistics on the wage incentive should be available in the next few months.

The Youth Contract also includes additional advisor support for young people. There will be no official statistics on this element.

The support for 16 to 17-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEETs) element of the Youth Contract is owned by the Department for Education.

The Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE 16-24) element of the Youth Contract is owned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

VAT: Energy

Luciana Berger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate his Department has made of the amount of additional revenue that would be received by the Exchequer if the rate of VAT on energy- saving materials was increased to 20 per cent; [146173]

(2) how much the Exchequer received in VAT receipts from purchases of energy-saving materials in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [146172]

Mr Gauke: VAT is charged at the reduced rate of 5% on the supply and installation of certain energy-saving materials when they are installed as a stand-alone

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project. Where these are installed as part of a wider building project, both supply and installation is standard rated for VAT.

HM Revenue and Customs publishes estimates of the cost of tax allowances and reliefs to the Exchequer in the table at the following address.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/expenditures/table-b1.pdf

The table shows that removing the existing reduced rate for the supply and installation of energy-saving materials for qualifying projects would generate approximately £20 million additional revenue per year (excluding allowances for behavioural effects).

The information on VAT receipts from total purchases of energy saving materials is not available. However, an estimate of VAT receipts from energy- saving materials subject to the reduced rate can be inferred using the information in the table above at around £5 million per annum for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

VAT: Tourism

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the value of lowering VAT for businesses involved in UK tourism. [147532]

Mr Gauke: The Treasury has worked closely with industry representatives to consider the impact of a VAT cut for the tourism sector on growth and jobs. The conclusion the Government have reached is that a VAT cut would not produce sufficient economic growth to outweigh the revenue shortfall. A VAT cut for this sector would therefore need to be funded either by additional borrowing or by raising other taxes, both of which are likely to have a negative effect on the economy. The Government therefore have no plans to introduce a VAT cut for this sector.

Education

Academies

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many sponsor-led academy schools were judged (a) outstanding, (b) good, (c) satisfactory and (d) inadequate by Ofsted in each year since 2008, broken down by academy sponsor. [143841]

Mr Laws [holding answer 25 February 2013]: This question is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, wrote to the hon. Lady on 14 February. A copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Academies: Freedom of Information

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance his Department provides to academies about responding to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. [147231]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 11 March 2013]: The Department for Education (DFE) has produced a guide to help academies respond to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. The guide is available for academies to download from the DFE's website.

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Child Poverty

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of three to five-year-olds were living in (a) workless households and (b) relative poverty in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [146899]

Esther McVey: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The requested information for part (a) is produced by the Office for National Statistics and part (b) is produced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

(a) The number of children aged three to five living in workless households in the UK is estimated at 17.4% (413,000 children) for the period of April to June 2012, the latest period for which data are available. These data have been sourced from the Labour Force Survey and define a workless household as a household that includes at least one person aged 16 to 64 where no-one aged 16 or over is in employment.

(b) Table 1 shows the number and proportion of three to five-year-olds living in relative poverty on a Before Housing Costs basis in the UK for 2010-11, the latest period for which figures are available.

Table 1: Number and proportion of three to five-year-olds living in relative poverty, on a Before Housing Costs basis, United Kingdom, 2010-11
 Number (million)Proportion (%)

Three to five-year-olds

0.4

16

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the 2010-11 Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 3. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost basis, in line with the relative child poverty target set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010. For Before Housing Costs, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, buildings insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income. 4. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 5. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 6. Numbers of children have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children. 7. Proportions of children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. 8. Statistics covering 2010-11 are the most recent available. 9. Relative poverty is defined as being in a household with a household income of less than 60% of contemporary median income. Source: FRS 2010-11

Further information can be found in the Households Below Average Income series published at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2011/index.php?page=contents

The 2011-12 edition of Households Below Average Income is due to be published by the Department of Work and Pensions in May/June 2013.

Income matters, but considering this in isolation fails to properly reflect the reality of child poverty in the UK today. We want to develop better measures of child poverty which include income but provide a more accurate picture of the reality of child poverty. Our consultation on how best to measure child poverty closed on 15 February. A large volume of responses was received and all of these are being read and

12 Mar 2013 : Column 142W

analysed to ensure that all important points are captured and used to help Ministers decide on the next steps.

Curriculum

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reason there is a break between his Department's consultation on the curriculum for key stages 3 and 4 and consideration of the programmes of study at key stage 4. [146067]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 4 March 2013]: We are not consulting formally on the draft key stage 4 programmes of study for English, mathematics and science as part of the current statutory consultation because we believe that it is important to consider the content of these programmes of study alongside the new requirements for the subject content of the reformed GCSE qualifications in these subjects. This will ensure that the curriculum and qualifications are fully coherent. We will, therefore, provide further details of the reformed GCSEs later this year and launch the statutory consultation on key stage 4 programmes of study for English, mathematics and science once that information is in the public domain.

We have, however, published these drafts alongside this consultation for illustrative purposes and respondents can provide comments on them if they wish.

Email

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to discourage the use of private email accounts by Ministers and special advisers in his Department further to the Information Commissioner's Good Practice Visit Findings published on 15 December 2011. [146524]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 6 March 2013]: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), and his special advisers use equipment and systems provided by the Department and their own IT equipment as appropriate, depending on their location and circumstances. Where information is generated in the course of conducting Government business, it is stored on departmental systems. This complies with the Information Commissioner's recommendation that:

“Where necessity prompts the use of private email for departmental business, DfE guidance should be clear that a departmental email address must be copied in to ensure the completeness of the department's records.”

GCE AS-level

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which university bodies supported the proposed measures to establish AS levels as a stand-alone qualification. [145729]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 1 March 2013]: I have discussed our plans for A level reform with a wide range of organisations and individuals, including the Russell Group and Universities UK. These discussions and Ofqual's consultation showed widespread support for the AS level, so we are retaining it as a stand-alone qualification to support breadth.

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Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed establishment of AS levels as a stand-alone qualification on the take-up of each subject at AS level. [145730]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 1 March 2013]: The AS will be retained as a stand-alone qualification to offer breadth. It is for schools to determine the number and range of AS qualifications they offer, based on their own school's circumstances and the needs of their pupils.

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) which universities use AS levels as a means of assessing applicant potential for the purposes of admission decisions; [145731]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed establishment of AS levels as a stand-alone qualification on universities' ability to consider applicant potential. [145732]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 1 March 2013]: We know that universities use a range of information and evidence about applicants for admissions purposes. Even within individual universities, there may be a variety of approaches between subjects. Changes to the AS and A levels mean that some universities may need to make changes to admissions processes. However, Ofqual's consultation on A level reform found that for many universities the removal of AS would not have a major impact on selection processes.

Schools: Redundancy

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much money has been paid out from departmental funds to cover the cost of redundancies in academies and free schools in the last two years. [122692]

Elizabeth Truss: The Education Funding Agency is responsible for the payment of redundancy and restructuring funding to open academies and free schools in accordance with the individual Funding Agreement.

The amounts paid in 2011-12 and 2012-13 (to date) are as follows:

April 2011 to March 2012: £7,166,613

April 2012 to date: £3,762,424.

Home Department

Anti-social Behaviour Bill (Draft)

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions Ministers in her Department have had with local authorities on the draft Anti-social Behaviour Bill and the intention in that Bill to repeal dog control orders. [147074]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Home Office Ministers have meetings with a wide variety of individuals and organisations as part of the process of policy development and details of these are published quarterly on the Cabinet Office website. We have consulted extensively on our antisocial behaviour

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reforms, and local authorities have played a crucial role in shaping the draft Bill, including the Community Protection Order (Public Space), which will replace dog control orders.

British Nationality

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2013, Official Report, column 788W, on British nationality, which of the litigations relating to Mahdi Hashi are within the jurisdiction of the British courts. [147537]

Mr Harper: Within the jurisdiction of the British courts Mr Hashi has lodged an appeal with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Child Abuse

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of her Department's budget was allocated to tackling child abuse and the viewing of images of child abuse online in each of the last five years. [146980]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is the UK's national law enforcement agency committed to preventing and tackling the sexual abuse of children in both the online and offline environments with the principal aim of identifying, locating and safeguarding children and young people from threat, harm and risk.

Over the past five years, the Government have provided funding for the Centre of:

 £ million

2008-09

6.27

2009-10

6.353

2010-11

6.44

2011-12

6.38

2012-13

6.381

CEOP also has other sources of funding available to it, in addition to its Government funding. Close partnership working with, among others, the private and voluntary sectors is key to its success.

In addition, chief constables and police and crime commissioners have their normal policing budgets, which they are able to use on the priorities for their forces. Any decision on funding or staffing for child protection activity is a matter for the chief constables and police and crime commissioners for their area.

Civil Liberties

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to ensure that respect for civil liberties is considered at each stage of her Department's policy-making process. [146985]

James Brokenshire: Since 2010, this Government have taken a number of important steps to meet our strong commitment to protect the hard-won civil liberties of UK citizens, including passing the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

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Respect for civil liberties is clearly a very important consideration during policy development in this Department, an issue which will also be explored during any public consultation or the passage of any policy proposals through Parliament.

Communications Data Bill (Draft)

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what organisations or individuals she has met to discuss revisions of the draft Communications Data Bill. [147371]

James Brokenshire: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a variety of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of these meetings are published on the Cabinet Office website on a quarterly basis.

Customs: Drugs

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much illegal medication has been confiscated at UK borders in each of the last five years. [145764]

Mr Harper: Border Force does not specifically record seizures of illegal medication. These are included, depending on the drug class, within other class A/B/C seizures as published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin ‘Seizures of Drugs in England and Wales’, which is accompanied by a Border Force publication covering drugs seizures within the UK. The Home Office bulletin is a yearly publication which covers the last 10 years and the Border Force figures, which are published on a quarterly basis, cover 2011-12 onwards.

Border Force figures

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/drug-seizures/

Home Office statistics

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/hosb1212/hosb1212?view=Binary

Border Forces does not hold specific data on seizures of counterfeit medicines.

Deportation: Offenders

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many offenders who are European economic area nationals were subject to removal from the UK in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [143119]

(2) how many offenders who are European economic area nationals were subject to removal from the UK after serving custodial sentences of less than 24 months in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143135]

Mr Harper: The following table shows the number of offenders who are European economic area nationals who were removed from the UK in (a) 2010, (b)2011 and (c) 2012. The data for 2012 are correct as at 31 December 2012.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 146W

Calendar yearTotal number of EEA foreign nationals who were subject to removal from the UK.

2010

933

2011

1,148

2012

1,559

The data in the following table show the number of offenders who are European economic area nationals who were removed from the UK after serving custodial sentences of less than 24 months in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. The data for 2012 are correct as at 31 December 2012.

Calendar yearTotal number of EEA foreign nationals subject to removal from the UK after serving sentence of less than 24 months

2010

409

2011

542

2012

798

Please note that this is internal management information and is subject to change.

Detica

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many BAE Systems Detica staff (a) are currently working on and (b) have previously worked on the Communications Capability Development programme. [147233]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 11 March 2013]: The Communications Capabilities Development programme currently has a number of Detica (BAE Systems Detica) personnel deployed on the programme through the Client-side Support Services contract. Over the lifetime of the contract the number of personnel deployed has varied, responding to business need.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the answer of 21 January 2013, Official Report, column 12W, on entry clearances: overseas students, (1) what the estimated completion date for the detailed planning that is being undertaken to assess the costs of the interviewing programme is; and what additional resources will be required; [146359]

(2) whether the out-of-country student visa interviews will be carried out entirely by UK Border Agency staff. [146360]

Mr Harper: Planning for the overseas interviewing programme is progressing well, including working through the costs and resource requirements. The staffing model for the programme will be confirmed in due course.

Human Trafficking

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which shelters for victims of human trafficking the Minister for Immigration has visited since his appointment; and if she will make a statement. [146903]

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Mr Harper: Responsibility for support for victims of human trafficking rests with the Ministry of Justice. The Minister for Victims and the Courts, my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Mrs Grant), visited a victims' shelter on Anti-Slavery Day, 18 October 2012. I have not yet had the opportunity to undertake such a visit.

Immigration: Applications

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases for applications for extensions for domestic servants are outstanding. [141049]

Mr Harper: There were 704 overseas domestic workers applications awaiting a decision as of 27 January 2013.

Notes:

1. All figures quoted have been derived from management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols.

2. Figures relate to main applicants only.

3. Figures relate to postal and premium applications.

Immigration: EU Nationals

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of other EU member states who are classified as qualified persons under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (a) have and (b) do not have comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the UK; and how many such nationals (i) have and (ii) do not have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the UK. [143747]

Mr Harper [holding answer 25 February 2013]: The UK does not operate a system of mandatory registration for EU nationals, though many EU nationals choose to apply to the UK Border Agency for documentation to evidence their rights.

The UK Border Agency has strict checks in place to ensure that those EU nationals who apply for registration documentation meet the requirements set out in the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, including, where appropriate, the requirement to hold comprehensive sickness insurance.

For those who do choose to make an application, the data requested are not recorded centrally and the cost required to answer this would be disproportionate.

Tackling the abuse of free movement rights and reducing the pull factors that attract migrants to the UK are priorities for the Home Office. As part of this work, I am chairing a cross-Government group of Ministers to examine controls on immigrants' access to benefits and public services.

Immigration: Married People

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many in-country applications for further leave to remain as a spouse are outstanding (a) six months and (b) one year after the claimant's biometrics were taken; [143892]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 148W

(2) how many in-country applications for further leave to remain as a spouse are being processed by the UK Border Agency; [143897]

(3) what progress she has made in reducing waiting times for in-country applications for leave to remain as a spouse since service improvement plans for such applications were implemented; [143898]

(4) how many in-country applications for leave to remain as a spouse are held by the UK Border Agency; [143930]

(5) how many in-country applications for leave to remain as a spouse are outstanding (a) six months and (b) one year since the claimant's biometrics were taken. [143931]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency does not hold the data in the format requested.

Independent Police Complaints Commission

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to (a) reduce the number of managed investigations and (b) increase the number of independent investigations undertaken by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. [146609]

Damian Green: Responsibility for determining the mode of investigation in each individual case dealt with by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) lies with the IPCC. However, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), made it clear to the House on 12 February 2013, Official Report, columns 713-14, that the Government intend to transfer resources from individual forces' professional standards departments and other relevant areas to the IPCC in order to ensure that it has the budget and the manpower that will enable it to do its work.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will arrange for the hon. Member for Walsall North to receive a reply from the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency to his letter of 4 February 2013, CTS ref B3732/13. [147416]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency replied to the hon. Gentleman on 8 March 2013.

Mental Health Services: Restraint Techniques

Steve Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has issued to police forces on operating protocols when restraining patients in mental health wards or hospitals; and if she will make a statement. [147338]

Damian Green: Management of patients in hospitals and other health care settings is the responsibility of the relevant health care provider.

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Olaseni Lewis

Steve Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the Independent Police Complaints Commission to complete its review into the case of Olaseni Lewis, who died in September 2010; and if she will make a statement. [147339]

Damian Green: The time scale for completion of this review is an operational matter for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Organised Crime: Northern Ireland

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department have had with the Northern Ireland Justice Minister to discuss (i) the operation of the national crime agency and (ii) asset recovery proposals in the last six months. [146883]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of these meetings are published on the Cabinet Office website on a quarterly basis.

Seahorses: Smuggling

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many seahorses have been confiscated at UK borders in each of the last five years. [145926]

Mr Harper: Border Force does not specifically record the number of seahorses seized at the border but groups them within: live animals and birds; parts and derivatives of endangered species; or in preparations of traditional medicines that include parts or derivatives of endangered species. The most recent published data on seizures, which were made available to the Environmental Audit Committee on Wildlife Crime, are as follows:

2008-09
 Number of seizuresNumber of items seizedWeight of items seized (kg)

Live animals and birds

37

1,212

n/a

Parts and derivatives of endangered species

109

1,536

543

Preparations of traditional medicines that include parts or derivatives of endangered species

63

4,435

309.3

2009-10
 Number of seizuresNumber of items seizedWeight of items seized (kg)

Live animals and birds

21

563

n/a

Parts and derivatives of animals or birds

99

509

20,002.8

Preparations of traditional medicines that include parts or derivatives of endangered species

119

812,117

1,141

12 Mar 2013 : Column 150W

2010-11
 Number of seizuresNumber of items seizedWeight of items seized (kg)

Live animals and birds

8

1,620

n/a

Parts and derivatives of animals or birds

94

2,634

6.1

Preparations of traditional medicines that include parts or derivatives of endangered species

173

32,239

519.3

The figures and the transcript of the Committee hearing can be found at:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvaud/140/140.pdf

UK Border Agency

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (a) what casework decisions are taken by and (b) what training is given to persons appointed as (i) administration officers and (ii) executive officers on temporary contracts within the UK Border Agency. [R] [147098]

Mr Harper: Temporary caseworkers are in place in several locations across the UK Border Agency and deal with applications for: settlement; leave to remain in the family route; accession casework (Bulgaria and Romania); and in Tiers 1, 2 and 5 of the points-based system.

Initial training for both administrative officers and executive officers covers the immigration rules relevant to their assigned route and familiarisation with the relevant policy. This portion of the training lasts between two days and one week, dependant on route, and applies to both grades The subsequent mentoring period of between six to eight weeks consolidates the classroom training and also includes practical case processing functions.

Staff complete a number of mandatory courses which are delivered by e-learning. These include health and safety, information storage and management and training in the safeguarding of children.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

British Overseas Territories

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many full-time equivalent civil servants in his Department are working on matters related to the UK Overseas Territories. [147113]

Richard Benyon: Issues relating to our UK Overseas Territories are dealt with by a number of DEFRA officials across a range of policy areas including project funding through the Darwin Initiative (and the new Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund, ‘Darwin Plus’), trade in endangered species, marine issues, migratory birds and invasive alien species. DEFRA also leads on the UK Government's Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy liaising closely with Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development officials on a range of Overseas Territories issues.

12 Mar 2013 : Column 151W

As such it is difficult to accurately quantify the overall time spent on Overseas Territories issues by DEFRA officials. While there are no staff dedicated to working on Overseas Territory issues on a full-time basis, there is a dedicated focal point within the International Biodiversity Team.

Dangerous Dogs

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 February 2013, Official Report, on tackling irresponsible dog ownership, (1) if he will discuss with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations the potential for a UK-wide microchipping database; [144899]

(2) what assessment he has made of potential difficulties arising from cross-border issues in operating an England-only microchipping database; [144900]

(3) with regard to the one-stop 24 hour enquiry point for microchipped lost and found dogs (a) when this will be operational, (b) who the service will be operated by and (c) who will finance the service. [144909]

Mr Heath: There are no plans to introduce a single England or United Kingdom wide database which would be costly to set up. The four existing databases, that operate oh a United Kingdom wide basis, will continue to be used. DEFRA is now working with database providers to ensure minimum standards of service for commercial databases, including a one-stop 24 hour inquiry point (web portal) for lost and found microchipped dogs. Discussions are ongoing and progress is being made by the existing databases to facilitate this service and further details should be finalised later this year. Cross border issues within the United Kingdom are being considered with the devolved Administrations.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 February 2013, Official Report, on tackling irresponsible dog ownership, (1) what information his Department holds on the proportion of dogs which are currently microchipped; [144906]

(2) what level of microchipping would constitute a high compliance rate. [144907]

Mr Heath: This information is set out in the draft impact assessment published in April 2012. It is estimated that 58% of dogs in England are currently microchipped with the preferred option leading to 80% of currently un-microchipped dogs becoming microchipped. The Government, working with animal welfare charities and others, are making the provision of microchipping as simple and cheap as possible. In addition, any owners of dogs that are brought to the attention of the authorities and that are not microchipped after April 2016 will be reminded about the law and that the cost of microchipping is cheaper than paying a fine.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 February 2013,

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Official Report

, on tackling irresponsible dog ownership, when he plans to publish his draft updated implementation guidance and training. [144908]

Mr Heath: Implementation guidance and training are in the process of being reviewed and revised by industry stakeholders. DEFRA plans to publish these this year once they have been considered and agreed.

Dogs: Animal Welfare

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will review his policy on the docking of tails of working dogs. [147325]

Mr Heath: The docking of dogs' tails is covered by the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The statute was last reviewed in 2010 by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and there are no plans to change the current law.

Food: Origin Marking

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what bilateral trade agreements exist between the EU and other importing countries that allow for the enforcement of European Protected Foods status. [146380]

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

Bilateral agreements between the EU and third countries are one of the key ways the EU implements its strategy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, including the intellectual property associated with protected food names.

Bilateral trade agreements are just one form of EU agreement which allow for the enforcement of EU protected food name status. Such agreements in force include the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the EU-Andean Community Free Trade Agreement (provisionally applied with Peru only so far), and the EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

In addition there are bilateral trade agreements pending implementation or agreements largely implemented but with the chapter(s) relevant to EU protected food name status still pending. These include the EU-Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement, the EU-Central Africa Economic Partnership Agreement, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

Bilateral agreements specifically relating to geographic indicators (which may include GIs applying under the protected food names scheme) exist between the EU and third countries. Examples include agreements with China, Georgia and Moldova.

Horsemeat

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tests have taken place in each of the last three years in the UK on

12 Mar 2013 : Column 153W

(a)

horsemeat destined for the human food chain,

(b)

the duplication of horse passports and

(c)

horse abattoirs. [145219]

Mr Heath: The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is responsible for implementation in the UK of the statutory residues surveillance programme required by Council Directive 96/23/EC. Set out in the following table are the number of samples taken from horses in UK abattoirs and the number of positive results for veterinary medicine residues and other substances from 2010 to 2012:

 Number of VMD samples testedNumber of samples tested for phenylbutazonePositive samples

2010

94

60

5 (phenylbutazone)

    

2011

102

68

1 (phenylbutazone)

    

2012

182

(1)158

5 (phenylbutazone NSS(2))

   

4 (phenylbutazone FSA)

   

2 (cadmium)

   

1 (ibuprofen)

(1) Includes the supplementary samples taken by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2012. (2) National Surveillance Scheme (NSS).

None of the follow-up investigations into the positive results revealed that a duplicate horse passport had been issued.

Duplicate horse passports may be issued by approved passport issuing organisations where the original document has been lost but the animal's identity can be established. Such documents are issued to exclude the animal from slaughter for human consumption. It is an offence to apply for a duplicate passport in other circumstances and it is an offence to be in possession of a passport knowing it to be forged.

Abattoirs operate under the supervision of the Food Standards Agency, who have staff on site during killing. The Food Standards Agency is responsible for verifying identity checks carried out by food business operators.

Packaging: Recycling

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that revenue generated by the packaging waste recovery note system is reinvested in the UK's recycling infrastructure. [146253]

Richard Benyon: The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended) established a market-based mechanism through which revenue is generated to support the collection and recycling of packaging waste materials. The regulations require reprocessors and exporters to submit a business plan containing information on how their revenue will be invested in infrastructure and capacity for collecting, sorting, treating and reprocessing packaging waste, as part of their application for accreditation.

As part of an ongoing review of the regulations, DEFRA is considering options for improving the transparency of funding flows.

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Rabies

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department will announce proposals on a UK rabies strategy. [146516]

Mr Heath: Arrangements for managing a rabies incident in the UK are set out in the Rabies Control Strategy for England and Wales, the Scottish Government's Rabies Control Strategy and, in Northern Ireland, by the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development's Rabies Disease Control Strategy.

In the event of a rabies incident in the UK, there would be a co-ordinated approach to disease control and eradication, with close working between each country's Administration and operational partners. These arrangements are set out in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals.

Special Areas of Conservation

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the seabed within the UK's Exclusive Economic Zone is protected by Special Areas of Conservation. [147208]

Richard Benyon: Within the UK Continental Shelf Designated Area, 8.4% (over 875,000 sq km), is covered by European Marine Sites (Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas). The proportion of that area covered only by Special Areas of Conservation is 7.6%.

The area of English inshore waters covered by European Marine Sites is approximately 23%, 15.5% of which is contained within Special Areas of Conservation.

International Development

Burma

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Government of Burma spent on aid to internally displaced people in Karen State in 2012. [147035]

Mr Duncan: Neither Her Majesty's Government nor the United Nations currently hold this information; the level of published data on Government expenditure in Burma is limited.

Developing Countries: Economic Situation

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) whether her Department has undertaken an analysis of any correlation or causal relationship between economic development and the rate of population growth; [146886]

(2) what comparative analysis her Department has undertaken of the correlation between the level of economic development and the rate of population growth. [146887]

12 Mar 2013 : Column 155W

Lynne Featherstone: DFID has not conducted its own direct research or analysis, but instead uses the wealth of independent research and analysis undertaken by a range of UK and international academic and civil society organisations.

There is strong evidence, for example, that fertility decline can help countries start a process of demographic transition following a period of population growth, (where the working age population is increasing faster than the population in less productive age groups). But turning this transition into a dividend of accelerated economic progress depends on countries' policies, including investment in education and training, to support increases in employment.

There is good evidence of a two-way causal relationship between economic development and population growth. Fertility tends to decline as development expands, and development has often been described as the best contraceptive. Increased employment of women and higher quality education and training may help inflate the demographic dividend, while declining family sizes can make the escape from poverty more feasible and typically improves schooling outcomes. Fertility reduction has a large, direct effect on maternal mortality and enables women to participate more fully in life outside the home.

G8

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her priorities are in relation to aid for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. [146996]

Mr Duncan: As the Prime Minister said his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aid has played, and will continue to play, an important role in development, but we want to use our G8 presidency to tackle the causes, and not just the symptoms, of poverty. Through addressing the key issues the Prime Minister has outlined for the G8 in 2013—advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency—we can help to move the international agenda forward, to focus on the underlying drivers of growth and jobs which will lift people out of poverty for good.

Through this agenda, we will take action to promote greater transparency around the extractives industries, in order to increase revenues from natural resources so that they are available for investment in tackling the issues that affect the poorest people. We will galvanise support for land transparency, to promote more responsible and productive investments in agriculture. We will also work to help developing countries collect the tax they are owed, and we will promote trade, to spur growth and wealth creation.

We are also committed to tackling the problem of hunger in the year of our G8 presidency. We will build on last year's Olympic Hunger Summit with a major hunger event on 8 June and we will take forwards the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which was launched at last year's G8 and aims to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through sustainable agricultural growth.

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International Assistance

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which (a) countries received bilateral aid and (b) organisations received multilateral aid from the (i) UK and (ii) EU in the last three years; and how much aid was received in each such case. [147033]

Mr Duncan: The publication 'Statistics on International Development (SID) 2012' provides information on how official UK financial resources for international development are spent. Tables 16.2 to 16.6 provide a breakdown of all countries in receipt of UK bilateral aid for each region for the calendar years 2007 to 2011. Table 18 provides information on organisations in receipt of UK multilateral aid for the financial years 2007-08 to 2011-12.

These tables can be found at the following link:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2012/SID-2012-Tables-Index/

The EuropeAid Annual Report contains information on the European Union's development and external assistance policies and implementation. Table 5.11 (in 2012 and 2011) and table 6.10 (in 2010) contain information on the countries and multilateral organisations that receive ODA from the EU. The EuropeAid Annual Reports for 2010, 2011 and 2012 can be found at the following link:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/index_en.htm

Overseas Aid

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent in cash terms on overseas aid in the last Parliament; and how much she estimates will be spent in this Parliament. [147595]

Justine Greening: DFID's publication ‘Statistics on International Development’ (SID) shows how official UK financial resources for international development are spent. The total UK Gross Public Expenditure (GPEX) on development aid for the last Parliament (2005-06 to 2009-10) was £35.3 billion. Total GPEX on development aid for the current Parliament thus far (from 2010-11 to 2011-12) has been £18.0 billion. The total GPEX for each year 2005-06 to 2011-12 is shown in the following table. The total GPEX on development aid for 2012-13 will be reported in ‘Statistics on international Development 2013’ when it is published in the autumn. Budgets for 2013-14 and 2014-15 have been set to ensure the UK will meet the Government's target of spending 0.7% GNI as Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2013 and 2014.

 Total GPEX on development (£ billion)

2005-06

6.7

2006-07

7.6

2007-08

6.0

2008-09

7.2

2009-10

7.8

2010-11

9.0

2011-12

9.0

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More information can be found at the following link:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/

Palestinians

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if she will make a statement. [147481]

Mr Duncan: The UK Government are deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Access to water and land in Area C of the West Bank is restricted, causing loss of livelihoods and high levels of food insecurity. The Palestinian Authority is unable to deliver basic education and health care services. The situation in Gaza is also unsustainable. 44% of Gazans are food insecure and over 90% of the water from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption without treatment.

Plants

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department spent on indoor and outdoor plants and trees in each year between 2005 and 2010. [147424]

Mr Duncan: DFlD's expenditure on indoor and outdoor plants and trees at its two headquarters offices in East Kilbride and London in each year was:

 £

2005

2,223

2006

1,231

2007

1,328

2008

1,014

2009

0

2010

0

Since 2010 there has been no expenditure on indoor and outdoor plants and trees.

Public Expenditure

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department's budget as a percentage of (a) gross national income (b) gross public expenditure and (c) gross domestic product was in each year since 1997. [147032]

Mr Duncan: The following table provides figures on DFID's total budget as a proportion of gross national income (GNI), gross domestic product (GDP) and public sector total managed expenditure (TME) for the financial years 1997-98 to 2011-12.

 Total DFID DEL budget (£ million)Total budget as percentage of GNITotal budget as percentage of GDPTotal budget as percentage of TME

1997-98

1,685

0.20

0.20

0.52

1998-99

2,087

0.23

0.23

0.63

1999-2000

2,316

0.25

0.25

0.68

2000-01

2,445

0.25

0.25

0.72

2001-02

3,115

0.30

0.30

0.80

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2002-03

2,898

0.26

0.27

0.69

2003-04

3,064

0.26

0.27

0.67

2004-05

3,349

0.27

0.28

0.68

2005-06

4,518

0.35

0.35

0.86

2006-07

5,016

0.37

0.37

0.91

2007-08

5,277

0.36

0.37

0.90

2003-09

5,707

0.39

0.40

0.86

2009-10

6,726

0.47

0.48

0.95

2010-11

7,545

0.50

0.51

1.04

2011-12

7,830

0.51

0.51

1.07

Note: The figures given above differ from figures relating to total UK spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA). UK ODA is reported on a calendar year rather than financial year basis and includes spend by other Government Departments. Figures on UK ODA can be found at the following link: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2012/

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department's budget per annum was since 1997. [147034]

Mr Duncan: The following table provides information about DFID's budget in each year from 1997-98.

 DFID Budget: Total DEL (£)

1997-98

1,685

1998-99

2,087

1999-2000

2,316

2000-01

2,445

2001-02

3,115

2002-03

2,898

2003-04

3,064

2004-05

3,349

2005-06

4,518

2006-07

5,016

2007-08

5,277

2008-09

5,707

2009-10

6,726

2010-11

7,545

2011-12

7,830

Note: DEL refers to Department Expenditure Limits. This is the total spending limits for governmental Departments over a fixed period of time, excluding demand-led and exceptionally volatile items. DELs are planned and set at spending reviews. This is split between resource and capital budgets.

Defence

Afghanistan

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service training teams are currently in Afghanistan; where any such teams are based; and what their tasks are. [147232]

Mr Robathan: The information requested for the whole of Afghanistan or the International Security Assistance Force is not held centrally by the Ministry of Defence. Data provided are for the Task Force Helmand area of operations which includes the majority of UK forces deployed to Afghanistan.

Task Force Helmand has six Police advisory teams involved in the development of the Afghan National Police (ANP). Four of these teams are based in

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Lashkar Gah, one in Shawqat and one in Gereshk. These teams assist the ANP in their training and use of enablers.

Task Force Helmand currently has five Brigade advisory teams who work with the Afghan National Army to support the transition of lead security responsibility. Three of these teams are based at Main Operating Base Price, one at Forward Operating Base Sparta and one at Forward Operating Base Shawqat.

There is also one Brigade advisory team based outside of Task Force Helmand's are of operation in Camp Shorabak next to Camp Bastion. These teams are formed advisory teams; a wide range of other units and individuals provide partnering, advice and support to Afghan forces, in Helmand and elsewhere; for example, personnel assisting the training of the Afghan Air Force.

Armed Forces: Pensions

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he plans to review his policy on pension payments towards members of the armed forces who have an interrupted service career history; [146929]

(2) what his policy is on pension payments towards those who have previously had a break in service in HM armed forces; and if he will make a statement. [146930]

Mr Francois: Service personnel who are previous members of the armed forces and who have preserved benefits will retain these preserved awards and these will be paid in accordance with the relevant scheme rules. Members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) 75 or AFPS 05 are entitled to add these separate periods of service together if they so choose. This means that when the pension becomes payable it will be calculated on the total number of days reckonable service from both periods of service. However, if a member of the scheme has more than one period of previous service they can only add the last period of service to their current service.

The new scheme will contain provisions to link service after a break of less than five years and members transferring between public service schemes will be treated as having continuous service. This is set out in the final agreement on the main parameters of the new Armed Forces Pension Scheme to be introduced on 1 April 2015.