Sports: Schools

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effect of the removal of specific requirements for outdoor space in schools on her plans to create a sporting habit for life; and if she will make a statement. [151064]

Mr Laws: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Education.

The new School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 were introduced only in October 2012 and have sought to introduce a common-sense approach under which schools should have enhanced freedom to determine what is suitable for their individual circumstances.

Advice issued in November 2012 includes new area guidelines recommending how much playing field space a school needs. For the first time, this formula will take into account the space needed for all the activities in the school's physical education (PE) curriculum and for outdoor play.

Competitive team and individual sports are at the heart of the draft programme of study for PE, released for consultation in February and scheduled to be introduced in schools for first teaching in September 2014.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1120W

In addition to this, through our support for the School Games, we will ensure that a range of competitive sporting opportunities are in place for all schools that sign up for it, as over 10,000 schools have already done.

As with all new regulations the Department for Education will continue to review the impact the changes have had on schools.

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Worcester

Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new properties have been made available (a) in the affordable rented sector and (b) via shared ownership in Worcester in each of the last 15 years; and how many such properties received direct Government support. [152948]

Mr Prisk: The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House.

Air Travel

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials in his (a) Department and (b) non-departmental public bodies travelled on (i) domestic and (ii) international flights in each of the last five years; in which class categories; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest airfare charges in each such year. [152525]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Assets

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) assets and (b) liabilities are held by (i) his Department and (ii) its non-departmental public bodies with a value of (A) between £100,000 and £1 million, (B) between £1 million and £10 million, (C) between £10 million and £100 million and (D) over £100 million; what the value is of each item; and what assets are scheduled for disposal. [153625]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Compulsory Purchase

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what plans he has to reform the compulsory purchase system; and if he will make this reform a priority for his Department; [153326]

(2) what representation he has received on conflict and delays in the compulsory purchase system; [153327]

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the Country Land and Business Association proposals for reform of the compulsory purchase system; [153328]

(4) what assessment he has made of how delays and disputes in the compulsory purchase system will affect plans regarding High Speed 2. [153329]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1121W

Nick Boles: We are keeping the operation and effectiveness of the compulsory purchase system under review, working closely with interested parties such as the Compulsory Purchase Association. We have taken a number of important steps to improve the effectiveness of the system, through changes introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

We are considering the case for further improvements as part of work on the Red Tape Challenge on planning administration and Lord Taylor's review of planning guidance. In doing so, we are taking relevant representations into account, including the Country Land and Business Association's Fair Play Report and submissions made by the Compulsory Purchase Association to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill Committee.

The Department has carefully considered these proposals. We believe that both the compulsory purchase system and the Compensation Code are inherently fair. They are based on statute and case law, which ensures laws adapt to changing circumstances. We do recognise some of the problems highlighted by the report, such as advance payments and access to an easier form of dispute resolution, which we believe can be addressed through our current work on guidance and regulations.

The powers to deliver the proposed High Speed 2 railway, including those of compulsory purchase, will be sought via a hybrid Bill. Rules and procedures relating to compulsory purchase will be adhered to and we do not expect this to cause any delay to the project.

Computers

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) desktop computers, (b) laptop computers and (c) tablet devices his Department has purchased in the last two years. [151329]

Brandon Lewis: Departmental records show that in 2011-12 my Department purchased (a) two desktop computers (b) three laptop computers and (c) zero tablet devices. In 2012-13 my Department purchased (a) 10 desktop computers (b) 35 laptop computers and (c) one tablet device.

The Department went through a major restructuring exercise in 2011-12 and as a result significantly reduced its overall headcount, thus enabling existing IT hardware to be re-allocated and reused to best effect and, as a result, this explains the low number of purchases.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1122W

Cost Effectiveness

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library (a) his Department's response to HM Treasury's requests for information on the value of departmental spending in terms of cost-effectiveness per unit cost in advance of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and (b) the data disclosed to HM Treasury on net present value per pound for resource spending. [153606]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Council Tax

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total tax take from council tax is across the UK; how many households pay council tax; and what the average band D council tax rate is. [153497]

Brandon Lewis: The council tax requirement in England for 2013-14 is £23,372 million; this includes £368 million of parish precepts.

In England, as at 10 September 2012 there were 20,374,000 dwellings recorded as being liable for council tax. A dwelling is a unit of occupancy for council tax purposes as recorded on the Valuation Office Agency's valuation list; it may be occupied by one or more households.

In England in 2013-14 the average band D council tax for a dwelling occupied by two adults is £1,456.

Council tax in other parts of the UK are a matter for the devolved Administrations.

EU Grants and Loans

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to the UK under the European Regional Development Fund has been contractually committed in (a) total and (b) each region. [152036]

Brandon Lewis: My Department is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund programmes in England only. The programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are managed by the respective Administrations.

The figures for contractually committed Fund projects in England as at the 31 March are as follows:

ERDF Operational ProgrammeTotal Operational Programme allocationAmount of ERDF contractually committed (£ million)Proportion of ERDF allocation contractually committed (%)Proportion of ERDF allocation contractually committed and awaiting contracting (%)

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (Convergence)

378.123

331.934

87.80

90.76

Regional Competitiveness

    

North East

315.900

246.763

78.13

106.54

Yorkshire and Humber

471.703

348.899

74.07

116.20

North West

633.617

462.774

73.05

106.43

West Midlands

327.940

255.211

77.82

102.27

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1123W

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1124W

East Midlands

221.409

146.625

66.23

109.42

     
     
     

East of England

91.013

88.307

97.09

110.96

South East

19.505

13.916

71.43

88.37

South West

102.290

79.100

77.34

83.19

London

153.494

134.613

87.72

97.46

Totals/Average proportion committed

2.715 billion

2.108 billion

77.64

104.33

The 2007-13 programme is on course and on track. An average of over 100% of the programme has been contractually committed or is awaiting contracting, with matched funding in place. We are exactly where we would expect to be at this point in the seven-year programme.

Funds can be allocated until the end of 2013, and funds should be spent by 2015.

Fire Services: Procurement

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to bring forward a legislative reform order to change legislation to allow fire and rescue authorities to contract out their functions. [153239]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the hon. Lady to my answers of 5 March 2013, Official Report, column 931W, 7 March 2013, Official Report, column 1121W, and 22 April 2013, Official Report, column 579W, where I have set out my position on supporting locally-led mutualisation. I am supportive of fire and rescue authorities looking at new and innovative ways of delivering their services to best meet the needs of their communities.

Hotels

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials in his (a) Department and (b) non-departmental public bodies stayed in hotels in (i) the UK and (ii) every other country during the last five years; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest such hotel expenses in each such year. [152549]

Brandon Lewis: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) on 15 April 2013, Official Report, column 219W.

A breakdown of this information in the format requested is not readily accessible and this, together with the information for the arm’s length bodies which is also not held centrally, could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Housing: Taxation

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department issues on the payment of the affordable housing levy by people renewing planning consent to self-build a house on their own land. [151540]

Nick Boles [holding answer 17 April 2013]: The Government have not produced specific guidance on the use of affordable housing contributions in Section 106 (of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) planning obligations.

The National Planning Policy Framework is absolutely clear that local planning authorities must have regard to economic viability in their consideration of Section 106 obligations and that a Section 106 planning obligation should be sought only where it meets all three of the following tests:

necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;

directly related to the development; and

fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

The Government have introduced reforms to help developers and landowners renegotiate economically unrealistic affordable housing requirements in Section 106 agreements.

As announced on 15 April 2013, we are also consulting on proposals to exempt self-build from the community infrastructure levy. We are open to representations on planning contributions and self-build.

Immigration

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the additional cost of the delivery of those public services for which his Department is responsible arising from inward migration since 1997. [134303]

Mr Prisk: As far as I am aware, a previous comprehensive assessment has not been produced by my Department, and to commission new bespoke research to answer this question would incur disproportionate cost.

Since May 2010, my Department has published a number of reports commissioned by the previous Administration into immigration. They were placed in the Library of the House further to the written

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1125W

ministerial statements of 1 March 2011,

Official Report

, columns 19-21WS and 10 October 2011,

Official Report

, columns 1-5WS.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently published a research report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research on the potential impact of immigration from Bulgaria and Romania on public services. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/potential-impacts-on-the-uk-of-future-migration-from-bulgaria-and-romania

My Department does also hold a copy of a draft of a document prepared for the Migration Impacts Forum in 2007, entitled “Evidence for the social and wider impacts strand of the A2 stock-take”; this includes analysis of migration and the impact on crime, housing, welfare and public services. In the interests of transparency, and given we would otherwise disclose this document in response to any Freedom of Information request, I am placing a copy of this document in the Library of the House.

As outlined in the recent speech by the Prime Minister, this Government are working to ensure proper controls on immigration, to support those who work hard to get on in life, and to address the ‘pull’ factors that previously led to unsustainable impacts on this country.

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/david-camerons-immigration-speech/

Local Government Finance

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the potential effect of reductions in local authority funding on hospital admissions. [152915]

Brandon Lewis: Ministers within the Department for Communities and Local Government regularly meet colleagues from other Departments to discuss a range of matters.

Local Government: Social Enterprises

Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to encourage local authorities to use social enterprises in the supply of public goods. [153504]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.


Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to encourage local authorities to use social enterprises in the delivery of services. [153505]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Help to Buy equity loan scheme will be open to (a) citizens of other EU member states and (b) other non-UK citizens. [149898]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1126W

Mr Prisk [holding answer 25 March 2013]:For both social housing and home ownership schemes, we want greater priority to be given to local residents and members of the armed forces. We want to ensure that housing support is focused on supporting those who have worked hard and paid their taxes and to end the ‘something for nothing' culture.

In our approach to revising the rules on access to such schemes, we are carefully taking into account the restrictions and obligations that stem from EU directives. We will be making a further statement in due course on the steps we will be taking.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether Bulgarian and Romanian citizens entering the UK after January 2014 to exercise their Treaty rights will be eligible to participate in the Help to Buy scheme; [150587]


(2) whether (a) foreign nationals from outside the EU resident in the UK and (b) EU citizens who exercise Treaty rights to reside in the UK will be able to participate in the Help to Buy scheme. [150588]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 15 April 2013]:I refer the right hon. Gentleman to my answer of today, Official Report, PQ 149898.

Mortgages: Repossession Orders

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties have been repossessed in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each of the last five years. [152962]

Mrs Grant: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

It has not been possible to respond to the hon. Gentleman in the time available before Prorogation. I will write the hon. Gentleman in due course.

Official Hospitality

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible claimed reimbursements for working lunches and official entertainment in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was in each such year. [152663]

Brandon Lewis: I refer my hon. Friend to my answers of 19 December 2012, Official Report, column 837W and of 15 April 2013, Official Report, column 220W. Further information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was paid to officials in (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies in bonuses and other payments in addition to salary in each of the last five years; how many officials received such payments; and what the monetary value was of the 20 largest payments made in each year. [148020]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1127W

Brandon Lewis: Spending on bonuses has fallen from £1,041,144 in the 2009-10 performance year, to £705,130 in 2010-11, and to £544,250 in 2011-12.

Details of non-consolidated performance-related payments for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 performance years are published on the departmental website and can be found at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-consolidated-performance-related-payments-2011-to-2012

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-consolidated-performance-related-payments-2010-to-2011

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer to her of 22 October 2010, Official Report, column 925W, for figures since 2006; these are for payments actually paid, rather than for the performance year (producing new historic statistics for performance year could not be done before Prorogation).

The Department does not centrally hold information on bonus payments for its non-departmental public bodies; performance bonus payments for DCLG executive agencies for 2010-11 and 2011-12 can be found at the links given above.

The 20 largest payments in DCLG in respect of the 2011-12 performance year are shown in the following table. All the payments shown were to members of the senior civil service.

Number of officialsValue (£)

1

13,500

5

11,250

19

9,000

The 20 largest payments made in DCLG in respect of the 2010-11 performance year are shown in the following table. All the payments shown were to members of the senior civil service.

Number of officialsValue (£)

1

13,500

8

11,250

19

9,000

Other payments in addition to salary are deemed to be in respect of allowances and will be reported as part of another answer to the parliamentary question (DCLG reference 2190 12/13).

Since 2010-11, this Government have limited senior civil service bonuses to the top 25% of performers (from 65% in previous years). My Department has exercised further restraint by limiting the value of bonus payments to 90% of the civil service maxima.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria are used in (a) his Department and (b) each public body for which he is responsible to determine which officials receive bonus payments. [151127]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Planning Permission

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what plans he has to review the effect of the 2012 national planning framework on single-practice architects; [148129]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1128W

(2) when he plans to review the effect of his 2012 national planning framework on single property developments; [148649]


(3) when he plans to review the effect of his 2012 national planning framework on young couples seeking to develop their own home; [148650]


(4) when he plans to review the effect of his 2012 national planning framework on retired couples seeking to downsize to a new-build bungalow; [148651]

(5) when he plans to review the effect of his 2012 national planning framework on small and family building companies. [148652]

Nick Boles [holding answer 18 March 2013]: It is still early days, but 1 would observe this:

Seven out of 10 councils now have published local plans, compared to three out of 10 in May 2010;

99% of all planning decisions are ‘right first time’—that is they are (a) agreed, (b) rejected and not appealed, or (c) appealed and still rejected;

The proportion of planning applications being granted is the highest for a decade, at 87% in both 2011-12 and in the most recent quarter;

The number of appeals being decided by the Planning Inspectorate has fallen slightly (as explained in my answer of 19 March 2013, Official Report, column 627W), meaning more local decision making;

Based on Glenigan research, the Home Builders Federation have observed that the number of planning permissions being granted for residential units is at its highest level for five years; planning approval was up 61% year on year and 40% up on the previous quarter; they note the evidence ‘points to potential improvement emerging since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework last March’ (“Home Builders Federation press release”, 12 March 2013).

We will continue to review and monitor the broader picture.

However, major applications are still taking too long, which is why the Government are seeking to work with local authorities to improve their performance. We are also removing unnecessary, uncontroversial applications from the planning system.

In relation to the community infrastructure levy and self-build, as I indicated to the hon. Gentleman in previous answers, we are currently consulting on the issue and are open to representations.

Private Roads

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued regarding the adoption by local authorities of roads in new housing developments. [151802]

Nick Boles: The Department for Transport has worked with local authorities to produce a set of model planning conditions that local councils may want to use to ensure that all roads are of a suitable standard of construction should they be adopted.

In August 2012 the Department for Transport sent the model planning conditions to the Local Government Association to circulate to local planning authorities. These conditions are hosted on the Government's website

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unadopted-private-roads

and are being monitored by the Government through feedback from local authorities that have used them.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1129W

The Government have not, however, issued guidance on assessing which roads should be adopted as this is a decision that is best taken locally by local authorities.

Procurement

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish details of all (a) his Department's and (b) its non-departmental public bodies' existing contractual commitments with a value of (i) between £100,000 and £1 million, (ii) between £1 million and £10 million, (iii) between £10 million and £100 million and (iv) over £100 million; what the (A) duration, (B) value including annual costs to the public purse, (C) expiry date and (D) purpose of each such contract is; and whether each such contract contains (1) renewal clauses and (2) early release clauses. [153644]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Public Houses: Scotland

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Part 9, section 179 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, which requires new applicants for pub licences in Scotland to publish information on disabled access and facilities. [153392]

Brandon Lewis: The Department has made no assessment of the Act. However, the Government recognises, the importance of ensuring equal access to services for people with disabilities and encourage their involvement in service planning and design.

The Department continues to support the Changing Places Campaign, which is proving effective in driving up provision of these important toilet facilities, and we have recently updated Part M (Access to and use of Buildings) of the Building Regulations to highlight where changing places are needed and link to guidance available from the campaign website. We are continuing to work with industry and members of the Changing Places Campaign to develop a range of initiatives, including a joint project to map the location of Changing Places toilets across the UK.

Redundancy Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible received payments under a voluntary exit scheme in each of the last five years; and at what total cost in each such year. [152644]

Brandon Lewis: The Department publishes information on the number and cost of staff leaving under a voluntary exit scheme in its Annual Report and Accounts, which can be viewed at

www.gov.uk/dclg

The civil service compensation scheme was reformed in December 2010. Under the previous terms there could be costs extending for up to 10 years after a

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1130W

departure. The revised terms mean all of the costs now fall within the year of departure. The National Audit Office has estimated that the changes have reduced exit costs by around 40% to 50% across the whole of the scheme compared to the previous terms. The reformed scheme allows for greater distinction between voluntary and compulsory exits and is designed to encourage voluntary rather than compulsory departures.

The information published on the use of the compensation scheme changed between the publication of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 account; in the 2009-10 accounts and before the reference is to early departure costs, whereas the reference now is to exit packages.

The 2012-13 Annual Report and Accounts will be published shortly.

Based on current estimates, the DCLG Group is reducing its annual running costs by 41% in real terms by 2014-15. This equates to net savings of at least £532,000,000 over this spending review period.

Our departmental audited annual accounts for the core Department show that total staff costs fell from £216 million in 2009-10 to £109 million in 2011-12; this is an annual saving of £107,000,000.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many and which regulations his Department has repealed between 1 June 2012 and 31 January 2013; and what estimate he has made of the savings which will accrue to those affected by each such regulation as a result of its repeal; [142348]

(2) how many regulations his Department introduced between 1 June 2012 and 31 January 2013; and what the anticipated cost of each such regulation is. [144648]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 25 February 2013]: The Fourth and Fifth Statements of New Regulation published by my Department shows that we will reduce the overall burden of regulation on business by £15.18 million in the period from 1 June 2012 to 31 January 2013. Over the five Statements of New Regulation, we estimate that the measures we are introducing this year will lead to cost savings to businesses of £50.32 million per year. As a Department we are continuing to reduce burdens to businesses.

Statutory instruments should not necessarily be viewed as regulations—they are pieces of secondary legislation which ensure policy and functional measures have parliamentary scrutiny and oversight. In this period, my Department issued 16 statutory instruments, 12 of which revoked previous statutory instruments. In total, six were deregulatory; Between them these six statutory instruments revoked 33 previous instruments. The remainder of statutory instruments in this period either had no quantifiable impact on the private and voluntary sectors or were consequential amendments and commencement orders. A list has been placed in the Library of the House. On this basis, one could notionally assert that 33 regulatory measures have been removed and none introduced that will have a financial cost to business.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1131W

Scotland

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what (a) external organisations and (b) individuals his Department engaged with as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at such consultations; [153372]


(2) how many members of his Department's staff have been allocated to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of this work; [153373]


(3) what meetings (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with the right hon. Member for Edinburgh South West as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at each such meeting; [153374]


(4) what work his Department has commissioned by external consultants in relation to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; which consultants were used; and how much any such consultancy has cost. [153375]

Brandon Lewis: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Social Rented Housing: Asbestos

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will run an awareness campaign aimed at social tenants to tackle the problem of individuals removing asbestos from their own homes. [152134]

Mr Prisk: This is an important issue and the Government recognise the risk that improperly removed asbestos poses to tenants and others. There are regulatory standards applied to social landlords that require they ensure homes are free of category 1 hazards (as determined under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System) such as could arise from damaged asbestos, which should help reduce this risk. While we do not have any current plans to run an awareness campaign, the Department will keep the situation under review.

Social Rented Housing: Electrical Safety

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if he will consider adding to the decent homes standard a requirement to upgrade electrical installations over 30 years old; [152232]

(2) whether the requirements of the decent homes standard in respect of electrical installations are reviewed regularly. [152239]

Mr Prisk: The decent homes standard already includes an assessment of risk against the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as well as stating that the property should be in a reasonable state of repair and provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort—all of these criteria should take account of electrical installations.

We have no plans to review the decent homes standard as the Government do not consider there is any need to add a specific requirement to upgrade electrical installations over 30 years old.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1132W

Social Security Benefits

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential effect on local authorities of the decision by the Department for Work and Pensions not to advertise externally the availability of short-term benefit advances to claimants. [153334]

Brandon Lewis: My Department has had numerous discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities about the reforms to the social fund introduced on 1 April 2013, which include the introduction of short-term benefit advances.

DWP is monitoring the new arrangements and issues raised with them by local authorities and has issued its staff with additional guidance and provided local authorities with further information (including more detail on the short-term benefit advance rules and processes).

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year. [151101]

Brandon Lewis: Full-time staff in the Department are expected to attend on average 220 working days per year. This excludes weekends, public and privilege leave and annual leave.

The total salary costs for civil servants employed by DCLG are shown in the Annual Report and Accounts, which can be viewed at

www.gov.uk/dclg

The Annual Report and Accounts also contains summary information on staff numbers.

The Department does not hold the information centrally for each of the last five years in respect of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, which could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However workforce management information is now published monthly and shows the breakdown of staff numbers and the salary costs for the central Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies. These returns can also be viewed at

www.gov.uk/dclg

Based on current estimates, the DCLG Group is reducing its annual running costs by 41% in real terms by 2014-15. This equates to net savings of at least £532,000,000 over this spending review period.

Our departmental audited annual accounts for the core Department show that total staff costs fell from £216 million in 2009-10 to £109 million in 2011-12; this is an annual saving of £107,000,000.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to increase planning protection of the green belt in relation to traveller sites. [147359]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1133W


Brandon Lewis: We have taken a series of steps to increase planning protection of the green belt and open green spaces:

We have revoked the last Administration's Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Circular 01/06 on traveller sites. Our new planning guidance on traveller sites, published in March 2012, strengthens protection of the green belt and open countryside. It clearly states that “plan-making and decision-taking should protect Green Belt from inappropriate development”; “traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development” and “local planning authorities should strictly limit new traveller site development in open countryside” (DCLG, Planning policy for traveller sites, paragraphs 4, 14, 23).

This is complemented by the strong protection for the green belt in the National Planning Policy Framework (e.g. paragraph 14, footnote 9, paragraph 17 and section 9). For the avoidance of doubt, unmet need does not in itself constitute the “very special circumstances” necessary to permit inappropriate development in the green belt.

The last Administration's guidance, which pressured councils to compulsory purchase land for traveller sites, has been deleted (Circular 01/06, paragraph 35).

Stronger consideration is now given to the protection of local amenity and the local environment amenity (Planning policy for traveller sites, paragraphs 4, 9). Text disregarding local landscape and nature conservation designations has been removed (Circular 01/06, paragraph 53).

In conjunction with measures in the Localism Act, we have abolished top-down regional targets, scrapped the unelected regional planning quangos and are revoking the last Administration's Regional Strategies. Councils can now plan for traveller site provision in a locally-led way.

Our planning guidance will help councils in planning enforcement cases against unauthorised development. Guidance restricting the ability to use enforcement action has been removed (Circular 01/06, paragraphs 12, 63).

The Localism Act gives councils new powers to tackle the intentional abuse of retrospective planning permission (whilst still allowing for the correction of innocent mistakes by householders).

We are also giving councils more freedom to use Temporary Stop Notice powers to enable local authorities to take immediate action against unauthorised caravans; the Town and Country Planning (Temporary Stop Notice) (England) (Revocation) Regulations 2013 come into force on 4 May.

Visits Abroad

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's budget was for overseas travel for officials and Ministers in 2012-13. [151353]

Brandon Lewis: My Department does not hold a budget specifically for overseas travel. All travel costs are met from within the administration budget. The following table sets out the amount spent on overseas travel by the Department for each financial year from 2009 to 2013. The figure for 2009-10 does not distinguish between national and overseas travel because the Department's processes did not distinguish between those categories at that time.

Overseas travel costs
Financial yearAmount (£)

2009-10

94,683

2010-11

49,468

2011-12

75,719

2012-13

91,943

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1134W

In 2011-12, the Department took over additional functions from Government Agencies (e.g. European Regional Development Fund administration) and this, as well as with an increase in air fares in the UK, has resulted in increased overseas travel spend in 2012-13.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, further to his holding reply to question 149898, tabled by the hon. Member for Glasgow North on 20 March 2013 for answer on 25 March 2013, when he intends to reply to that question. [152992]

Mr Prisk: PQ 149898 has been answered today.

Northern Ireland

Air Travel

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials in her (a) Department and (b) non-departmental public bodies travelled on (i) domestic and (ii) international flights in each of the last five years; in which class categories; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest airfare charges in each such year. [152539]

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Assets

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) assets and (b) liabilities are held by (i) her Department and (ii) its non-departmental public bodies with a value of (A) between £100,000 and £1 million, (B) between £1 million and £10 million, (C) between £10 million and £100 million and (D) over £100 million; what the value is of each item; and what assets are scheduled for disposal. [153636]

Mike Penning: Details of my Department's assets and liabilities are recorded in the annual report and accounts. The most recent such report, for 2011-12, was published in September 2012 and is available in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament. None of my Department's assets is currently scheduled for disposal.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland, and one advisory non-departmental public body, the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland. As such bodies are independent of the Government, my hon. Friend may wish to write to the commissions directly on these matters—contact details are set out in the following table:

ALBStatusContact Details

Parades Commission for Northern Ireland

Executive NDPB

[email protected]

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Executive NDPB

[email protected]

Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

Advisory NDPB

[email protected]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1135W

Cost Effectiveness

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will place in the Library (a) her Department's response to HM Treasury's requests for information on the value of departmental spending in terms of cost-effectiveness per unit cost in advance of the 2010 comprehensive spending review and (b) the data disclosed to HM Treasury on net present value per pound for resource spending. [153617]

Mike Penning: In line with advice provided by HM Treasury in 2010, there was no requirement for my Department to submit this information and therefore the documents requested are not held.

G8

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions she has had with the Northern Ireland Executive about the costs of hosting the G8 Summit in Fermanagh in June 2013; [153677]

(2) what discussions have taken place with police forces in Great Britain about security for the G8 Summit in Fermanagh in June 2013. [153678]

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to the right hon. Gentleman in the time available before Prorogation.

Hotels

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials in her (a) Department and (b) non-departmental public bodies stayed in hotels in (i) the UK and (ii) every other country during the last five years; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest such hotel expenses in each such year. [152563]

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Official Hospitality

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials in (a) her Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible claimed reimbursements for working lunches and official entertainment in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was in each such year. [152674]

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Procurement

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will publish details of all (a) her Department's and (b) its non-departmental public bodies' existing contractual commitments with a value of (i) between £100,000 and £1 million, (ii) between £1 million and £10 million, (iii) between £10 million and £100 million and (iv) over £100 million; what the (A) duration, (B) value including annual costs to the public purse, (C) expiry date and (D) purpose of each such contract is; and whether each such contract contains (1) renewal clauses and (2) early release clauses. [153655]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1136W

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Scotland

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what (a) external organisations and (b) individuals her Department has engaged with as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at such consultations; [153348]

(2) how many members of her Department's staff have been allocated to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; and if she will estimate the cost to the public purse of this work; [153349]

(3) what meetings (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have had with the right hon. Member for Edinburgh South West as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at each such meeting; [153350]

(4) what work her Department has commissioned by external consultants in relation to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; which consultants were used; and how much any such consultancy has cost. [153351]

Mrs Villiers: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Gentleman in the time available before Prorogation.

Scotland

Air Travel

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many officials in his Department travelled on (a) domestic and (b) international flights in each of the last five years; in which class categories; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest airfare charges in each such year. [152541]

David Mundell: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Cost Effectiveness

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library (a) his Department's response to HM Treasury's requests for information on the value of departmental spending in terms of cost-effectiveness per unit cost in advance of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and (b) the data disclosed to HM Treasury on net present value per pound for resource spending. [153618]

David Mundell: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Devolution

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what (a) external organisations and (b) individuals his Department has engaged with as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed in that engagement; [153049]

(2) how many members of his Department's staff have been allocated to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; and at what cost to the public purse; [153050]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1137W

(3) what meetings he or officials in his Department have had with the hon. Member for Edinburgh South West as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at those meetings; [153051]

(4) what work his Department has commissioned from external consultants in relation to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; which consultants were used; and at what cost to the public purse. [153052]

Michael Moore: Work on the Scotland Analysis programme is being carried out across Government by policy experts in relevant areas. There is a small team in the Treasury co-ordinating the programme, and within the Scotland Office a dedicated team of two supports the work of the wider office on the programme. The cost of carrying out the work is being funded from existing departmental budgets in the normal way. The Scotland Office has not commissioned work from external consultants for the programme. Scotland Office Ministers engage with a wide variety of organisations and individuals on all aspects of UK Government business, including the Scotland Analysis programme. Meetings held by Ministers with external organisations are routinely published as part of the Department's quarterly transparency returns and can be found on the Gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications

Hotels

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many officials in his Department stayed in hotels in (a) the UK and (b) every other country during the last five years; at what total cost; and what the monetary value was of the 20 highest such hotel expenses in each such year. [152565]

David Mundell: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Official Hospitality

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many officials in his Department claimed reimbursements for working lunches and official entertainment in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was in each such year. [152675]

David Mundell: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Private Finance Initiative

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which private finance initiative projects relating to his Department have been re-financed in each year since May 2010; what the value is of each such project; what the re-financing gain has been in each such instance; and what amount the relevant Government body received from such gain through a (a) lump sum and (b) reduction in the unitary charge. [153421]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has not been involved in any private finance initiative projects since May 2010.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1138W

Scotland

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what (a) external organisations and (b) individuals of the Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland he has engaged with as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at such consultations; [153498]

(2) how many members of the Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland's staff have been allocated to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of this work; [153499]

(3) what meetings (a) he and (b) officials in the Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland have had with the right hon. Member for Edinburgh South West as part of the Scotland Analysis programme; and what was discussed at such meetings; [153500]

(4) what work the Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland has commissioned by external consultants in relation to work on the Scotland Analysis programme; which consultants were used; and how much any such consultancy has cost. [153501]

David Mundell: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Gentleman in the time available before Prorogation.

Treasury

Air Passenger Duty

Ian Paisley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on air passenger duty on short-haul flights within the UK. [153006]

Sajid Javid: Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates for short-haul flights for 2013-14 were set out at the 2012 Budget. The APD rates for 2014-15 were set out at the 2013 Budget. In both cases, rates have increased in line with inflation only. A table of APD rates can be found online here:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/fb2013_ootlar.pdf

Air Passenger Duty: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from Ministers in the Welsh Government on the (a) rate and (b) devolution of airport duty tax. [153415]

Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers and officials have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on a wide variety of topics. To support the UK Government's assessment of the recommendations in the Silk Commission's first report, “Empowerment and Responsibility: Financial Powers to Strengthen Wales”, an intergovernmental working group has been established comprising officials from the UK and Welsh Governments.

Assets

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) assets and (b) liabilities are held by (i) his Department and (ii) its non-departmental public bodies with a value of (A) between £100,000 and £1 million, (B) between £1 million and £10 million,

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1139W

(C) between £10 million and £100 million and (D) over £100 million; what the value is of each item; and what assets are scheduled for disposal. [153638]

Sajid Javid: Information relating to the Treasury Group’s assets and liabilities can be found in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12. Please refer to the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position (p114) and the related notes for further details.

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

There are no assets currently scheduled for disposal. Those classified as “available for sale” under accounting standards are disclosed in note 13 to the 2011-12 Annual Report and Accounts.

Business: Females

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total number of investments made with funds from the public purse through the Aspire Fund was in (a) 2012-13, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2010-11, (d) 2009-10, and (e) 2008-09; what the total value of those investments was; and how many applications, inquiries and expressions of interest were received by potential applicants in each year from 2008-09 to 2012-13. [152996]

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

The total number of investments made through the Aspire Fund, which co-invests alongside private investors in businesses led by women, was:

(a) 4 investments totalling £210,977,

(b) 4 investments totalling £417,995,

(c) 6 investments totalling £1,201,920,

(d) 5 investments totalling £1,600,000 and

(e) No investments.

The number of inquiries, which also includes applications, is shown in the following table.

 Number

2008-09

56

2009-10

127

2010-11

58

2011-12

5

2012-13

27

The Aspire Fund has recently recruited additional staff to manage new investments in businesses led by women and is open to inquiries from private investors.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of officials at (a) his Department, (b) other Departments and (c) Government agencies working on administering the Aspire Fund. [152997]

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

The number of officials working on administering the Aspire Fund is as follows:

(a) 1 at this Department,

(b) 0 at other Departments and

(c) 1.5 at Capital for Enterprise Ltd.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1140W

Business: Loans

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 15 April 2013, Official Report, column 176W, on business: loans, if he will review the potential mis-selling of fixed-rate loans in addition to the current ongoing investigation into interest rate hedging products. [153116]

Sajid Javid: On 31 January 2013 the Financial Services Authority announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by the banks involved to begin the full review process. The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months. However, the Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate business lending and fixed-rate loans, therefore, cannot be part of the review.

Capital Gains Tax

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was raised in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) Northern Ireland from capital gains tax by each rate in the most recent period for which figures are available. [153221]

Mr Gauke: Estimates of the receipts raised from capital gains tax (CGT) by UK country for 2011-12 are presented in the following table, the latest year for which receipts are sufficiently final to be published at the UK level. The estimates are based on gains that accrued in 2010-11 but have not been split by rate as the inclusion of a new higher tax rate part way through that year makes it unrepresentative of the breakdown expected in future years.

Estimated CGT receipts by UK country, 2011-12
 £ million

England

3,940

Scotland

279

Wales

76

Northern Ireland

42

United Kingdom

4,337


Child Care Vouchers

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the number of beneficiaries of the existing childcare employer-based tax vouchers in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15 and (c) 2015-16 and the level of estimated Government expenditure on such vouchers in each such year; [149858]

(2) if he will estimate the distributional impact of the existing childcare employer-based tax vouchers in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15 and (c) 2015-16 on people in each (i) income decile in the United Kingdom and (ii) nation and region of the United Kingdom. [149859]

Sajid Javid: Fewer than 5% of employers offer employees child care vouchers. The number of taxpayers in receipt of child care vouchers is projected to be 550,000 in each of the years 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1141W

The total value of Government support for child care vouchers to employees and employers through relief from tax and national insurance is projected to be as follows:

 £ million

2013-14

630

2014-15

600

2015-16

590

Estimates at national, regional and income decile level are not available.

At Budget 2013 the Government announced a new scheme for tax-free child care for working families which will not depend on provision by employers. It will be phased in from autumn 2015 and will ultimately be open to around 2.5 million families with children under 12.

Climate Change

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent representations he has had from the Climate Change Committee on climate change and the UK economy; and if he will make a statement; [152818]

(2) what advice he has sought from the Climate Change Committee on (a) the setting of a decarbonisation target, (b) the impact of a decarbonisation policy on the UK economy and (c) other matters. [152783]

Sajid Javid: The Committee on Climate Change is a statutory body, established by the 2008 Climate Change Act. As stated in the Act, the Government are required to take account of the advice of the Committee on matters relating to carbon budgets and the 2050 emissions target. The Committee's latest advice was in relation to the UK's progress against its carbon budgets and energy policy.

Consumers: Expenditure

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) rising energy bills and (b) inflation on consumer spending levels in the UK. [153012]

Sajid Javid: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. It published a new forecast for the UK alongside the Budget in its March 2013 ‘Economic and fiscal outlook’. The OBR forecast includes an assumption for rises in domestic energy prices of 7% in 2013 and 3% in 2014. This assumption informs an assessment of the effect of these rises in domestic energy prices on inflation and consumer spending.

Devolution: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from the Welsh Government on implementing the findings of the Commission on Devolution in Wales. [153387]

Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers and officials have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on a wide variety of topics. To support the UK Government's assessment of the recommendations in the Silk Commission's first report, “Empowerment and

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1142W

Responsibility: Financial Powers to Strengthen Wales”, an intergovernmental working group has been established comprising officials from the UK and Welsh Governments.

Environment Protection

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will produce a report on his Department's assessment of the economic consequences to (a) the Government and (b) the UK economy of meeting the existing carbon reduction targets for 2050; and what assessment he has made of the (i) most cost-effective and (ii) most advantageous to the UK economy methods of meeting this target. [152774]

Sajid Javid: The 2011 Carbon Plan sets out the Government’s assessment of the economic costs of the measures that the Government may consider implementing to meet the first four Carbon Budgets in the most cost-effective manner. Measures to meet future Carbon Budgets on the way to our 2050 target will be considered in due course when those Carbon Budgets are set.

Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish all correspondence (a) he and (b) other HM Treasury Ministers have received from (i) energy companies, (ii) investor companies and representative bodies, (iii) renewables and low-carbon energy businesses, (iv) trade bodies, (v) civil society organisations and (vi) all bodies who have (A) written to and (B) made representations on decarbonisation, the setting of targets for decarbonising energy generation and the economic effects of both policies; [152775]

(2) what meetings he has had on (a) the setting of a decarbonisation target and (b) the economic effects of such a policy; [152776]

(3) what meetings (a) he and (b) ministerial colleagues have had with (i) oil companies, (ii) gas companies, (iii) coal companies, (iv) representatives of the shale gas industry, (v) nuclear power companies and (vi) renewable and low-carbon energy businesses and their investors since he took office; and if he will publish the dates of any such meetings; [152777]

(4) what proportion of (a) correspondence and (b) other representations he has received on fiscal and other economic measures have supported the energy generation sector; and which (i) companies, (ii) bodies and (iii) organisations have indicated to him their support for the setting of a decarbonisation target (A) in 2013, (B) in 2014, (C) in 2015, (D) in 2016, (E) at a later date and (F) never; [152779]

(5) how many meetings he has had with representatives of the renewable and low-carbon energy sector since he took office; [152780]

(6) what recent representations he has received from (a) energy companies, (b) current and potential energy sector investors, (c) other businesses and (d) trade bodies on his policy on (i) future investment in the energy sector, (ii) fiscal measures relating to renewable and low-carbon energy businesses, (iii) the setting of a decarbonisation target for the UK and (iv) other matters; [152781]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1143W

(7) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Energy and Climate Change and (b) Business, Innovation and Skills on (i) energy policy, (ii) the setting of a decarbonisation target for the UK energy sector and (iii) the fiscal effects of both policies. [152782]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials engage with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors, both meeting and receiving correspondence from stakeholders, as well as their ministerial colleagues, as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

The Treasury publishes a list of ministerial meetings with external organisations. This is available online at:

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

EU Emissions Trading Scheme: Fraud

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assistance his Department provides to victims of carbon credit investment fraud; [152148]

(2) whether his Department is taking steps to raise awareness of carbon credit investment fraud; [151307]

(3) what estimate he has made of the amount of carbon credit investment fraud in the UK in each of the last three years. [151247]

Sajid Javid: It is difficult to estimate the scale of carbon credit investment fraud in the UK in each of the last three years as these are not regulated products.

The Government view carbon credit investment fraud as a serious concern and are tackling the problem through an approach that involves co-ordination across the police, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Insolvency Service, Trading Standards and HMRC.

The FCA provides consumer guidance on carbon credit investment fraud, which can be found at the following link:

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/scamsandswindles/investment_scams/carbon_credit

The FCA recently carried out a survey of investors to understand the market and the viability of carbon credits as a retail investment product. The results of this survey will be published shortly.

Excise Duties: Beer

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on (a) wine, (b) spirits and (c) beer consumption of the decision to freeze beer duty in Budget 2013; [152445]

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

(2) when calculating estimated income from alcohol duty receipts, what estimates his Department has made of consumption of (a) beer, (b) wine and (c) spirits in the next three years; [152447]

(3) what estimate his Department uses for taxation purposes of the average strength of wine in the UK. [152446]

Sajid Javid [holding answers 22 April 2013]:The estimated effect on wine, spirits and beer consumption of the beer duty cut at Budget 2013 is presented in table 1 as follows.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1144W

Table 1—Effect of beer duty cut on consumption
Percentage
 2013-142014-152015-16

Wine

-0.03

-0.04

-0.04

Spirits

-0.16

-0.22

-0.23

Beer

2.15

2.90

3.06

The estimates made of consumption of beer, wine and spirits in the next three years used to calculate estimated income from alcohol duty receipts is presented in table 2 as follows.

Table 2—Consumption quantities product
Thousand hectolitre
 2013-142014-152015-16

Wine

12,903

13,222

13,789

Spirits

2,646

2,650

2,687

Beer

40,425

39,208

38,207

The average strength of wine is not used to administer the tax. To administer the tax on wine the Government set duty rates for ranges of alcohol by volume (ABV). HM Revenue and Customs then monitors how much duty is paid in each of these categories and therefore the average strength of wine is not required.

The Government recognise that the availability of cheap alcohol is a serious issue and remains firmly committed to tackling this issue. The Government will shortly respond to our alcohol consultation, including with proposals to deal with deeply-discounted alcohol in supermarkets and other stores.

Financial Services

Guto Bebb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority about the timing of redress payments to small and medium-sized enterprises found to have been mis-sold interest rate hedging products. [152877]

Sajid Javid: On 31 January the Financial Services Authority announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by all four banks to begin the full review process. This will include the banks and independent reviewers assessing each case to determine whether the sale complied with Financial Conduct Authority regulatory requirements. If it did not, the bank will then have to work with the independent reviewer to consider what level of redress the business should receive.

The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months of the start of the review.

Housing: Construction

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to increase the availability of capital finance for new house building for smaller developers; and if he will make a statement. [152959]

Mr Prisk: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Government have a number of schemes which increase finance for smaller developers. These include the recently launched Help to Buy equity loan scheme,

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1145W

in which around two thirds of developers registered to participate in the scheme are small to medium-sized enterprises, and Get Britain Building, where 44% of the contracts are with small to medium-sized enterprises . Our support for people who want to build or commission their own home, including via the Custom Build Homes fund, is an opportunity for smaller firms to play a key role in a market that has good potential to expand.

Additionally, the Bank of England has just announced that the Funding for Lending scheme will be extended to January 2015, with increased incentives for banks to lend to small to medium-sized enterprises.

Income Tax

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the evidence given by Mr Robert Chote, Chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 17 April 2013, if he will ask the OBR to publish the research on estimated income tax revenue for 2016-17 that Mr Chote referred to in his evidence. [153126]

Sajid Javid [holding answer 24 April 2013]: Alongside the March 2013 economic and fiscal outlook, the OBR forecast Scottish tax receipts for a range of taxes, consistent with UK forecasts and policies announced at the Budget. These can be found in the Scottish tax forecasts publication, publically available on the OBR website. This includes analysis of the change in the forecasts. A published methodology note also provides detailed information about how these Scotland-specific forecasts were developed.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2013, Official Report, column 177W, on income tax, if he will estimate what proportion of the baseline running costs of HM Revenue and Customs was taken up by the cost of analysis and consideration of evidence referred to in the answer; and how many officials in his Department were engaged in this task. [153205]

Mr Gauke: The cost of analysis of the self-assessment data and consideration of evidence around behavioural responses to the introduction of the 50% additional rate of income tax formed part of HMRC's baseline running costs.

An estimate of this as a proportion of total HMRC costs is not available.

No official was occupied on this analysis on a full-time basis, but a number of officials were involved to differing degrees at various stages of the work.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised in income tax in each rate band in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) Northern Ireland in the most recent period for which figures are available. [153222]

Mr Gauke: The income tax liability for the United Kingdom broken down by country and rate of tax is shown in the following table:

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1146W

Income tax 2010-11 by country and rate of tax
£ million
 Non-higher rate(2)Higher rateAdditional rateTotal tax

(a) United Kingdom(1)

93,100

36,300

22,300

152,000

     

(b) England

78,600

32,100

20,500

131,000

(c) Scotland

7,920

2,340

716

11,000

(d) Wales

3,800

768

104

4,670

(e) Northern Ireland

2,050

459

135

2,640

(1) The sum of the separate countries is less than the UK total. This is mainly because the UK total includes the liability of taxpayer’s resident outside of the UK and, to a lesser extent, by rounding of the figures to three significant digits. (2) The “non-higher rate” category covers all liabilities at the starting rate, savers rate and the basic rates of tax. Notes: 1. The figures presented and terminology used are comparable to those published in the HMRC National Statistics table 2.6, which is published on the internet at the following address: http://www.hmrc.aov.uk/statistics/tax-statistics/table2-6.pdf 2. These estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) for 2010-11, which provides the latest outturn data available.

Income Tax: Scotland

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effects on revenue raised in Scotland from implementing a 1 per cent. (a) rise and (b) reduction in income tax, over each rate, in each of the (i) last and (ii) next three years. [153246]

Mr Gauke: The Exchequer costs of changing the basic rate in Scotland by 1p is provided in Table 1.6 “Direct effects of illustrative tax changes”, available on the HM Revenue and Custom's website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/expenditures/table1-6.pdf

The Exchequer costs of changing the higher/additional income tax rates in Scotland are not available. Impacts would depend on behavioural responses which are uncertain.

Interest Rate Swap Transactions

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that small businesses receive the compensation due for the mis-selling of interest rate swaps. [153416]

Sajid Javid: On 31 January the Financial Services Authority announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by the banks involved to begin the full review process.

This will include the banks and independent reviewers assessing each case to determine whether the sale complied with Financial Conduct Authority regulatory requirements. If it did not, the bank will then have to work with the independent reviewer to consider what level of redress the business should receive.

The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months of the start of the review.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects those affected by interest rate swap mis-selling to receive compensation. [153417]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1147W

Sajid Javid: Oh 31 January the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by the banks involved to begin the full review process.

This will include the banks and independent reviewers assessing each case to determine whether the sale complied with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory requirements. If it did not, the bank will then have to work with the independent reviewer to consider what level of redress the business should receive. The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months of the start of the review.

The FCA will provide updates on the number of cases where mis-selling occurred, and where compensation has been paid. The first update will likely be published by the FCA over the coming weeks.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount that will be paid out in compensation to small businesses affected by the mis-selling of interest rate swaps. [153418]

Sajid Javid: On 31 January the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by the banks involved to begin the full review process.

This will include the banks and independent reviewers assessing each case to determine whether the sale complied with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory requirements. If it did not, the bank will then have to work with the independent reviewer to consider what level of redress the business should receive. The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months of the start of the review.

The Government have not made an assessment of possible compensation. However, many of the banks have publically reported provisions made for compensation arising from mis-selling.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses have been compensated for the mis-selling of interest rate swaps; and when such businesses received that compensation. [153419]

Sajid Javid: On 31 January the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced the findings of its pilot scheme and the agreement by the banks involved to

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1148W

begin the full review process. This will include the banks and independent reviewers assessing each case to determine whether the sale complied with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory requirements. If it did not, the bank will then have to work with the independent reviewer to consider what level of redress the business should receive. The banks concerned have committed to completing these reviews within six months of the start of the review.

The FCA will provide updates on the number of cases where mis-selling occurred, and where compensation has been paid. The first update will likely be published by the FCA over the coming weeks.

Loans: EU Countries

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount the UK has contributed towards International Monetary Fund and EU bail-outs and other crisis loans to (a) Cyprus, (b) Spain, (c) Portugal, (d) Greece and (e) Ireland over the last five years; and under what repayment terms each of those loans was made. [153437]

Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer of 19 December 2012, which sets out the UK's exposure to existing financial assistance packages to euroarea member states.

For information on the UK's involvement in financial assistance to Cyprus, I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer of 18 April 2013.

Minimum Wage

John Woodcock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many prosecutions were brought against companies in each sector of the economy for breaches of minimum wage legislation in each year from 1999 to 2010. [153490]

Mr Gauke: With the agreement of the Department for Business, HMRC started considering prosecution for minimum wage offences from May 2006. The following table contains details of the number of prosecutions, since May 2006, by the Standard Industry Classification applicable to the employer and the financial year in which the prosecution took place.

 2007-082008-092010-112012-13

Human Health and Social Work Activities

1

Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security

1

Wholesale and Retail Trade

3

Accommodation and Food Service Activities

2

Human Health and Social Work Activities

1

Administrative and Support Service Activities

1

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Ann McKechin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Help to Buy scheme will be available to (a) citizens of other EU member states and (b) non-UK citizens. [152498]

Sajid Javid: The equity loan element of Help to Buy is overseen by the Department for Communities and Local Government. I refer the hon. Lady to the answer given today by the Minister for Housing, my hon. Friend the Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr Prisk), to PQ 149898.

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1149W

Details on the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme will be announced in due course by HM Treasury.

Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the proposed mortgage equity scheme can be used to buy properties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. [152641]

Sajid Javid: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive Barnett Consequentials of the Government's Help to Buy equity loan scheme, which they can use to implement the same or similar scheme if they so wish.

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on house prices of the new mortgage proposals announced in the 2013 Budget. [153450]

Sajid Javid: At Budget 2013, the Government announced the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee, which will be available from January 2014. The scheme is a temporary intervention designed to address the sharp decline in the availability of high loan-to-value lending in the wake of the financial crisis. The Government published a scheme outline alongside the Budget and will be working with industry in the coming months to determine the details of the scheme.

It is for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to produce the official economic and fiscal forecasts. These are based on all Government policies and take into account the impact of new policies on the economic forecast. The OBR's “Economic and Fiscal Outlook(1)” sets out the key assumptions, conventions and projections underpinning the forecast, including the forecast for house prices. Page 43 of the document states:

“The Government have announced various measures aimed at improving the supply of UK housing and supporting property transactions. These include an extension and expansion of the Government's Help to Buy scheme, the Right to Buy scheme and the Build to Rent Fund, and the introduction of a Mortgage Equity Guarantee aimed at high loan-to-value mortgages. The expansion of the existing schemes is likely to have a relatively small additional impact on transactions and residential investment. The details and timing of the guarantee scheme have yet to be finalised and it is therefore too early to quantify the likely impact. Overall, however, these measures, alongside the Funding for Lending Scheme, should support the significant growth in property transactions and residential investment that we forecast over the next two years”.

(1 )http://cdn.budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/March-2013-EFO-44734674673453.pdf


Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

Mr Raab: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value was of (a) UK exports of motor vehicle components to the EU and (b) UK imports of motor vehicle components from the EU; and what the value was of (i) UK exports of motor vehicle components to the rest of the world and (ii) UK imports of motor vehicle components from the rest of the world in each of the last 20 years. [153496]

Sajid Javid: Data relating to UK trade in motor vehicle components are published from 1996 in the Overseas Trade Statistics by HM Revenue and Customs, which is available in the Library of the House and via:

www.uktradeinfo.com

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1150W

Motor vehicle components fall within a variety of Commodity Codes, including codes within Chapters 84 and 87. However, some components may have multiple uses (i.e. not just for motor vehicles).

From 2006, trade in motor vehicle components with EU countries up to a value of £600 is aggregated under a single Commodity Code (9990 8700).

Private Finance Initiative

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list each private finance initiative project initiated since May 2010; and what the monetary value is of each project. [151782]

Danny Alexander: HM Treasury publishes information on PFI projects on its website. This information was last updated on 31 March 2012 using data submitted by Government Departments to HM Treasury. This information can be accessed from the Treasury website at

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pfi_projects_in_procurement_march_2012.xls

Between 1 May 2010 and 31 March 2012, 4 PFI projects initiated a formal OJEU process. This includes Avon and Somerset Police Authority (£71 million), Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (£90 million), Hull City Council Extra Care Housing and Centre of Excellence for People with Dementia (£45 million) and Stoke Housing (£65 million).

Procurement

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish details of all (a) his Department's and (b) its non-departmental public bodies' existing contractual commitments with a value of (i) between £100,000 and £1 million, (ii) between £1 million and £10 million, (iii) between £10 million and £100 million and (iv) over £100 million; what the (A) duration, (B) value including annual costs to the public purse, (C) expiry date and (D) purpose of each such contract is; and whether each such contract contains (1) renewal clauses and (2) early release clauses. [153657]

Sajid Javid: HM Treasury's non-departmental public bodies do not hold any contracts with third-party suppliers with a value over £100,000. Details of HM Treasury Group's contracts, in alphabetical order, will be deposited in the Library of the House.

HM Treasury's central contract records do not separately record whether contracts contain break points or early release clause. The collation of this information for all contracts can be undertaken only at a disproportionate cost.

Since January 2011, central Government Departments are required to publish contracts awarded to suppliers on ‘Contracts Finder’

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

Contracts awarded prior to January 2011 are not included.

Redundancy Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of the non-departmental public bodies for which he is

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1151W

responsible received payments under a voluntary exit scheme in each of the last five years; and at what total cost in each such year. [152658]

25 Apr 2013 : Column 1152W

Sajid Javid: The information is as follows:

Leavers under Voluntary Exit Schemes
 1 April 2008 to 31 March 20091 April 2009 to 31 March 20101 April 2010 to 31 March 20111 April 2011 to 31 March 20121 April 2012 to 31 December 2012

H M Treasury and Debit Management Office

5

(1)

15

24

15

(1) Fewer than 5.

Numbers for HM Treasury and the Debit Management Office have been combined—we do not give details where they amount to less than five and there is a risk that individuals may be identified.

From 2010-11, Government Departments are required to report the use of exit packages in their resource accounts. Details of payments for 2010-11 and 2011-12 can be found in HM Treasury's annual report and accounts for 2011-12 page 82 table 7d.

Figures for prior years could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

The civil service compensation scheme was reformed in 2010. Under the previous terms there could be costs extending for up to 10 years from a departure while under the reformed scheme all of the costs fall within the year of departure. The NAO has estimated that under the reformed scheme, exits cost around 40% to 50% less than the previous compensation scheme in place before the general election. In addition, the reformed scheme allows for greater distinction between voluntary and compulsory exits and is designed to encourage voluntary rather than compulsory departures.