21 May 2013 : Column 639W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Northern Ireland

Conditions of Employment

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in her Department are employed on zero hours contracts. [156054]

Mike Penning: No one in my Department is employed on zero hour contracts.

Electoral Register

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consideration she has given to a change in the electoral law to provide for an automatic annual canvass of registration. [156047]

Mike Penning: I wrote to the Northern Ireland parties in February this year to consult them on the Government's proposals for changes to electoral registration in Northern Ireland following the Electoral Commission's November 2012 report on the register.

As I set out in that letter, the Government do not believe that an annual canvass would be cost effective, relative to other registration activity. The reintroduction of an annual canvass would lead to an increase in the Northern Ireland Office budget of around 7% a year, as well as a corresponding increase to the costs of registration activity to local authorities in Northern Ireland.

The Government do however feel that it would be appropriate to hold a full canvass during 2013 to ensure that as many people as possible are registered accurately before elections in 2014.

ICT

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) BlackBerrys and (d) other pieces of IT equipment were lost or stolen from non-departmental bodies in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and if she will make a statement. [156432]

Mike Penning: My Department has two Executive 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 Government, the hon. Member 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]

21 May 2013 : Column 640W

Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

Advisory NDPB

[email protected]

Treasury

Bank Cards: Fees and Charges

Bob Blackman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects on the UK economy of the EU Commission's proposals to harmonise interchange rates across the EU; [155925]

(2) what response his Department has made to the EU Commission's proposals to harmonise interchange fees across the EU. [155926]

Sajid Javid: The European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal by summer 2013 to regulate multilateral interchange fees on card payments. The proposal will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

The Government will make their own assessment of the legislative proposal once it is published.

Banks: Loans

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to removing the state underwriting of loans to UK banks. [156013]

Sajid Javid: The National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) is the only government scheme that provides government-guarantees on funding to UK banks. The scheme was launched to help businesses access cheaper finance by reducing the cost of bank funding.

In the light of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), banks who were offering NLGS loans will now, instead, deliver credit easing to the whole economy through the FLS. However the NLGS remains available to banks if they wish to use it in the future or if market conditions change.

Bingo

Ian Austin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last met representatives of the bingo industry. [156061]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

The Treasury publishes a list of ministerial meetings with external organisations, available at:

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

Debt Collection

David Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that debt collection companies do not attempt to collect statute bound debts. [156056]

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

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published guidance for businesses engaged in the recovery of consumer credit debts and what it considers to be improper business practices. The OFT accepts that it can be reasonable, in England and Wales, to ask for repayment of a statute barred debt on the basis that the debt still exists, but is no longer enforceable through the courts.

However the OFT considers that the following practices may be unfair:

Misleading the debtor as to their rights and obligations (i.e. threatening legal action when it is known, or ought to be known, that the relevant limitation period has expired)

Pursuing the debt under circumstances in which the debtor has heard nothing from the creditor during the relevant limitation period

Continuing to press a debtor for payment after he has stated that he will not be paying because the debt is statute barred

In Scotland: any attempt to recover a debt that is known to be, or ought to be known to be, extinguished

The OFT would expect creditors to alert prospective debt purchasers to the fact that a debt is statute barred. Failure to have regard to the OFT guidance on statute barred debt will call into question a licensee's fitness to hold a consumer credit licence and may prompt regulatory action.

ICT

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) BlackBerrys and (d) other pieces of IT equipment were lost or stolen from his Department in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [156436]

Sajid Javid: The following computers, mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and other pieces of IT equipment have been lost or stolen from the Department in the financial year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13:

2010-11
Items lost or stolen from the DepartmentRecovered

12 laptop computers

4

1 mobile phone

0

10 BlackBerrys

2

11 other pieces of IT equipment

0


2011-12
Items lost or stolen from the DepartmentRecovered

8 laptop computers

5

0 mobile phones

n/a

17 BlackBerrys

2

29 other pieces of IT equipment

3


2012-13
Items lost or stolen from the DepartmentRecovered

8 laptop computers

2

0 mobile phones

n/a

11 BlackBerrys

0

34 other pieces of IT equipment

0

21 May 2013 : Column 642W

All the laptop computers involved in these incidents were encrypted devices that are not accessible without a security token and more than one password. The BlackBerrys are also password protected.

No tokens or passwords were left with these items, and so there was no data loss, and steps were taken, as soon as the theft of these electronic items were reported, to ensure that they provided no means of access to any of the Department’s IT systems.

Members: Correspondence

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter to him of 13 March 2013 from the hon. Member for Houghton and Sunderland South and the follow up letter sent by the hon. Member on 25 April 2013. [156546]

Mr Gauke: I have replied to the hon. Member.

Mobile Phones

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which company holds the largest contract to provide mobile telephony services to HM Revenue and Customs; how much was paid under this contract in the last year for which figures are available; how many individual services are covered by the contract; when the contract was awarded; and when the contract will next be renewed. [155941]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 22 April 2013, Official Report, column 674W.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

John Healey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether older people without a mortgage can qualify for the equity loan scheme that is part of the Help to Buy initiative. [156021]

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

This Government believe that housing and planning polices should reflect the wide range of circumstances and lifestyle choices relevant to older people today.

All applicants for the Help to Buy equity loan scheme must take out a mortgage. This requirement is in place as the Homes and Communities Agency, which is delivering the programme on our behalf, is unable to act as a first charge lender.

I appreciate this may mean that some older purchasers may not be able to access the scheme. However, we have made provisions for older people to access home ownership through the Older People Shared Ownership scheme.

This scheme enables older people to purchase between a 25-75% share of a purpose built property from a registered provider on shared ownership terms. We recognise that the household income for many older people is unlikely to rise significantly, therefore any purchaser who has purchased a maximum 75% share will not have to pay any rent on the unowned equity.

We have also introduced measures to stimulate the development of more specialist housing options for older people. The Government have set up a new care and support housing fund, which will provide £300 million

21 May 2013 : Column 643W

of capital funding to encourage providers to develop new specialist accommodation options for older and disabled people.

Mutual Societies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to incentivise the creation of mutual financial institutions. [156009]

Sajid Javid: The Government are strongly supportive of mutuals, and promoting diversity within financial services. The Department for Work and Pensions is currently running a project to modernise and develop the credit union sector, with the anticipation that it will be able to serve 1 million more people by 2019. Alongside this, HM Treasury has recently closed a consultation on whether to raise the maximum interest rate cap for credit unions from 2% to 3% per calendar month to enable credit unions to become sustainable. A response to this consultation will be issued shortly.

The Government also published a consultation on the ‘Future of Building Societies’, earlier this year. The Government's intention is to ensure that building societies can continue to compete on a level playing field with banks, while retaining their distinctive low-risk business model.

Pay

Mr Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average was of (a) basic pay, (b) bonuses, (c) share incentive scheme payouts, (d) stock options and (e) other remuneration of the top (i) 1 per cent and (ii) 0.1 per cent of earners in each of the last five years. [155896]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

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

Letter from Glen Watson dated May 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average was of (a) basic pay, (b) bonuses, (c) share incentive scheme payouts, (d) stock options and (e) other remuneration of the top (i) 1 per cent and (ii) 0.1 per cent of earners in each of the last five years. (155896)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. ASHE data can be used to estimate average levels of basic pay, but suitable data are not available from which to estimate average levels of bonuses, share incentive scheme payouts, stock options or other remuneration.

ONS is in the process of producing the estimates of average basic pay for the highest-earning 1 per cent and 0.1 per cent of employees for each year from 2008 to 2012. The honourable member will be contacted directly with the answer, as soon as it is available, and a copy of the letter placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

Regulation

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what processes his Department has put in place to (a) monitor, (b) collate cost information on, (c) review and (d) respond to requests to amend or revoke regulations introduced by his Department; [155804]

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(2) what the title was of each set of regulations introduced by his Department in each month since May 2010; and which of those regulations have been (a) subject to the (i) one in one out and (ii) one in two out procedure and (b) (i) revoked and (ii) amended; [155827]

(3) if he will provide the estimated cost of each regulation introduced by his Department since May 2010; and what the estimated benefits of each regulation (a) amended and (b) revoked were. [155970]

Sajid Javid: The introduction of new regulation by the Treasury is monitored through the six monthly Statement of New Regulation, when the regulation is in scope of one in two out. Since January 2013 the Statement of New Regulation has also included regulation which originates in the EU. Information on costs is recorded in Impact Assessments where there is a significant impact on business.

New regulation with an impact on business is subject to a review clause, and a review of this regulation will be required by a date specified in each piece of legislation.

The Treasury responds to any requests for regulation to be revoked or amended on a case by case basis.

A table which provides a list of all Treasury regulation introduced since May 2010, whether it was subject to the one-in, one-out or one-in, two-out rules will be placed in the Library of the House. Web links are provided to pages which explain what legislation the regulation amends or revokes and what the cost and benefits of the regulation are. It should be noted that the one-in, one-out rule began operating in January 2011, and was replaced by the one-in, two-out rule in January 2013.

Revenue and Customs: Northern Ireland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people from Northern Ireland called HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last three years; and what the average waiting time was of such calls in each such year. [156269]

Mr Gauke: I would refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis) on 22 April 2013, Official Report, column 678W.

HMRC periodically publishes its performance statistics at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/bus-plan-qds.htm

and now at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-plan-indicators

Scottish Affairs Select Committee

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury's appearance at the Scottish Affairs Committee on 15 May 2013, (a) on what date his Office first received the invitation to appear at this session and (b) on what date his Office accepted the invitation to appear at this session. [156416]

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Danny Alexander: I received the invitation to appear at the 15 May meeting of the Scottish Affairs Committee on 18 April and HM Treasury accepted the invitation on 10 May.

In addition, on the same day I was required to be in London to respond on behalf of the Government to the Queen’s Speech debate in the House of Commons.

Social Security Benefits: East Renfrewshire

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in East Renfrewshire constituency were in receipt of (a) child benefit, (b) working families tax credits, (c) incapacity benefit, (d) disability living allowance and (e) income support in May (i) 2010, (ii) 2011, (iii) 2012 and (iv) 2013. [156634]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

(a) Information on the number of families benefiting from child benefit by parliamentary constituency is available in table 6 of the HMRC publication “Child Benefit—Geographical Statistics” for August of 2010, 2011 and 2012 at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/child-geog-stats.htm

This information is not yet available for 2013.

(b) Working family tax credit was abolished in March 2003 and replaced by child tax credits (CTC) and working tax credits (WTC).

Information on the number of families benefiting from CTC and WTC is available for April and December of 2010, 2011, 2012 and April 2013. Statistics by parliamentary constituency are published in table 4 of the HMRC snapshot publication “Personal Tax Credits: Provisional Statistics—Geographical Statistics” at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/prov-geog-stats.htm

(c) Information on the number of people in receipt of incapacity benefit in East Renfrewshire constituency, for May 2010, May 2011 and May 2012 is available at:

http://83.244.183.180/100pc/ibsda/tabtool_ibsda.html

(d) Information on the number of people in receipt of disability living allowance in East Renfrewshire constituency, for May 2010, May 2011 and May 2012 is available at:

http://83.244.183.180/100pc/dla/tabtool_dla.html

(e) Information on the number of people in receipt of income support in East Renfrewshire constituency, for May 2010, May 2011 and May 2012 is available at:

http://83.244.183.180/100pc/is/tabtool_is.html

With respect to parts (c) to (e):

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Information for May 2013 is not yet available.

Social Security Benefits: Foreign Nationals

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people HM Revenue and Customs has stopped paying benefits to for having no right to be in the country for each of the past five years; and what the total amount of benefits claimed by these people was for each of the past five years. [156644]

Mr Gauke: The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Tax Avoidance

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received from Google, Amazon and Facebook in respect of plans to take forward new measures to increase financial transparency. [155510]

Mr Gauke: Treasury Ministers regularly meet with businesses and their representatives to discuss a wide range of issues. As has been the case with successive administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings.

Taxation: Bingo

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on taxation of bingo. [155924]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Taxation: Gambling

Ian Austin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the rate of gross profit tax levied on (a) bingo clubs, (b) online bingo and (c) bookmakers is; and what the reasons are for differences in the rates. [156117]

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the rate of gross profit tax levied on (a) bingo clubs, (b) online bingo and (c) bookmakers is; and what the reasons are for differences in the rates. [156114]

Sajid Javid: The rates of general betting duty, bingo duty and remote gaming duty were all set by the previous Government. Bingo duty applies to terrestrial bingo and is charged at 20% of gross profits. Remote gaming duty applies to bingo played online and is currently charged at 15% of gross profits, and general betting duty is charged at 15% of gross profits. At Budget 2013 the Government left rates unchanged.

All gambling taxes, including bingo duty, are kept under review by the Government.

Scotland

Regulation

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what processes his Department has put in place to (a) monitor, (b) collate cost information on, (c) review and (d) respond to requests to amend or revoke regulations introduced by his Department. [155802]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not take forward regulations. The Scotland Office is responsible for delivering a programme of Orders under the Scotland Act 1998, which are outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and are primarily made in consequence to provisions made in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

21 May 2013 : Column 647W

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the title was of each set of regulations introduced by his Department in each month since May 2010; and which of those regulations have been (a) subject to the (i) one in one out and (ii) one in two out procedure and (b) (i) revoked and (ii) amended. [155825]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has not taken forward any regulations subject to the one in one out or the one in two out procedure.

Each year, the Scotland Office takes forward a programme of Orders under the Scotland Act 1998. Generally, Scotland Act Orders make changes to the law in England and Wales, Northern Ireland or the reserved law of the UK which are outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and many of these changes are consequential to provisions made in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

In addition to the Scotland Act Orders programme, the Scotland Office has introduced Orders to commence the provisions of the Scotland Act 2012, which implemented recommendations from the cross party commission on devolution in Scotland (the Calman Commission).

The Orders under these Acts do not in themselves introduce regulations.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will provide the estimated cost of each regulation introduced by his Department since May 2010; and what the estimated benefits of each regulation (a) amended and (b) revoked were. [155968]

David Mundell: Each year, the Scotland Office takes forward a programme of Orders under the Scotland Act 1998. Generally, Scotland Act Orders make changes to the law in England and Wales, Northern Ireland or the reserved law of the UK which are outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and many of these changes are consequential to provisions made in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

In addition to the Scotland Act Orders programme, the Scotland Office has introduced Orders to commence the provisions of the Scotland Act 2012, which implemented recommendations from the cross party commission on devolution in Scotland (the Calman Commission).

The Orders do not in themselves introduce regulations and there were no implementation costs associated with these Orders.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices: Farriers

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2013, Official Report, column 257W, on apprentices, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with an offer of an apprenticeship provided through the National Farrier Training Agency that was due to begin in autumn 2013 can start their farriery apprenticeship this year. [156564]

Matthew Hancock: Provision at the National Farrier Training Agency has been suspended as a consequence of Ofsted's judgment that this was inadequate.

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I have asked the Skills Funding Agency to follow its intervention policy to deal to the issues raised by Ofsted. In addition, the agency is working closely with the Farrier's Registration Council and the National Farrier Training Agency to put in place an alternative model of delivery that addresses the immediate concerns raised by Ofsted, and will allow apprentices to start in autumn 2013.

Senior staff from the agency are meeting with the Chair of the Farrier's Registration Council to explore this model in the next few days.

Climate Change

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2013, Official Report, column 128W, on climate change, what the likelihood of the cited statistical model is relative to a driftless autoregressive integrated model. [156639]

Michael Fallon: The Met Office has not made a comparison between the cited statistical model and a driftless autoregressive integrated model because the two are designed for different purposes. The cited model is constructed to make error estimates in observations of near-surface temperature, while the other seeks to emulate the evolution of a data time series: in this case instrumental records of global average near-surface temperature anomalies.

Employment: Mental Illness

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what measures are in place to ensure that people suffering from mental health issues in the workplace are encouraged to seek treatment; [155783]


(2) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to businesses of mental illness in their workforces. [155784]

Dr Poulter: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

The Department of Health's Public Health Responsibility Deal Health at Work Network aims to improve public health throughout the workplace. It includes a pledge for employers to make reasonable workplace adjustments to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to work effectively.

Through the NHS outcomes framework, we will hold NHS services to account for their role in helping people with mental health problems to stay in employment.

The Mental Health Strategy's Implementation Framework sets out what employers and employment support organisations can do to help people with mental illness find and stay in employment. This includes:

assessing the impact of mental health problems on their work force, what this means for their business and taking action accordingly;

joining the Mindful Employer scheme to help increase awareness of mental health in the workplace;

signing up to the Time to Change campaign to raise the profile of mental health and address stigma; and

joining the Responsibility Deal Health at Work Network.

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A policy paper published by the Centre for Mental Health in 2007 estimated that the total cost to employers of mental health problems among their staff was nearly £26 billion a year in 2007.

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the timescale is for introducing the supermarket adjudicator; and if he will make a statement. [156517]

Jo Swinson: The Groceries Code Adjudicator Act gained Royal Assent on 25 April 2013.

In common with standard legal convention, the Act will come into force two months from the date of Royal Assent. The Adjudicator's office will issue a consultation on the exercise of her powers shortly thereafter. Her investigatory powers will come into force after the final version of her guidance has been agreed and published.

Higher Education: Standards

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to address low student satisfaction rates in UK universities. [156317]

Mr Willetts: The Government's higher education reforms are designed to make universities more responsive to students' needs, to increase student choice and to improve information to students so they are able to choose a course and institution that best suits their needs and expectations. Universities that provide a better student experience will attract more students and be able to expand where they choose to do so.

The Government-supported National Study Survey (NSS) publishes the ratings of final year undergraduates across the UK. All English universities participate in the survey and the overall response rate is 67% (287,000 students in 2012). The 2012 survey showed that, nationally, 84% of English students were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of teaching and learning on their course, although there is a lower score for assessment and feedback of 71% in 2012.

However there is no room for complacency, satisfaction rates can vary significantly between institutions and even within institutions in different subjects. We are encouraging universities to use NSS results and other sources of feedback from students to identify where they need to make improvements—to meet the challenge from Government and students to focus on improving the academic experience they offer.

In addition, by introducing the new Key Information Set, we have made it easier for university applicants to access the latest NSS results alongside a range of other information for their subject area, to help inform their decision making. This is available via each university course page and the revised Unistats national comparison website:

http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will investigate the variations in teaching hours between undergraduate courses in UK universities. [156362]

21 May 2013 : Column 650W

Mr Willetts: Universities have to provide more information to students and prospective students than ever before. The Key Information Set provides 17 pieces of information on student satisfaction rates, employment outcomes, fees and accommodation costs. We wish to see universities supplement this with a wider range of clear information on, for example, contact hours, class sizes and who will provide the teaching. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is leading a multi-agency project (including the NUS) to provide additional guidance to higher education providers and students on these three areas, together with the use of student feedback.

We are also making it easier for students to hold their institutions to account for delivering a high-quality student experience. QAA now includes student representatives in all its review teams, and each review will take account of evidence from the institution's students in writing and/or through meetings. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator/OIA takes up and reviews student complaints where they cannot be resolved through institutions' own complaints procedures.

Innovation: Gender

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what plan his Department has to consider the European Commission report, She Figures 2012 on gender in research and innovation; [156371]

(2) what plans his Department has to respond to the European Commission report, She Figures 2012 in respect of England. [156522]

Mr Willetts: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) welcomes the European Commission's report on gender research and innovation, which highlights the continuing under-representation of women in both the public and private research sectors. Although BIS has not been asked formally by the Commission to respond to the report, we will consider how best to make use of the data in developing the Department's policies in support of this issue.

The STEM work force is vital to growth and the economy and our research base misses out when we are not drawing scientists from as wide a talent pool as possible. BIS is funding the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society to jointly run a STEM Diversity Programme to identify and remove barriers to joining STEM work force; improve retention and progression rates for people once they join the work force and widen the scope of diversity work from a previous focus on gender issues only, to cover all minority or disadvantaged groups.

Also in January this year, Research Councils UK (RCUK) set out the expectation that equality and diversity should be embedded at all levels and in all aspects of normal research practice. RCUK expects those in receipt of Research Council funding to provide evidence of ways in which equality and diversity issues are managed at both an institutional and departmental level. This will provide an incentive to universities to improve the impact of their diversity and equality policies, ensuring the work force reflects society, and makes best use of all the talents available to it.

21 May 2013 : Column 651W

Medicine: Education

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many (a) male and (b) female medically qualified academic staff are employed by universities in England and the UK; [156366]

(2) how many (a) male and (b) female medically qualified academic staff employed by universities in England and the UK also have an honorary contract with the NHS. [156367]

Mr Willetts: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on staff at UK higher education institutions (HEIs).

The HESA Staff Record provides data in respect of the characteristics of members of all academic and non-academic staff employed under a contract of employment at a reporting HEI in the UK. Staff employed under consultancy contracts, or on the basis of payment of fees for services without a contract of employment, are not included in the record.

The Staff Record shows the number of staff for whom medicine and dentistry has been designated as the subject discipline appropriate to their academic qualification. This is not necessarily the academic subject in which that staff member may currently be teaching or researching.

Academic staff with qualifications recorded against medicine and dentistry JACS groupings(1, 2 )and those with NHS contracts, English and UK higher education institutions(3,) academic year 2011/12
Number
 English HEIsUK HEIs
 FemaleMaleTotalFemaleMaleTotal

Total staff with a medicine and dentistry HE qualification

2,445

3,545

5,995

2,960

4,285

7,250

Of which with a NHS contract:

      

HEI contract and NHS honorary contract

1,020

2,165

3,180

1,280

2,610

3,890

Separate HEI and NHS contracts (e.g. A + B contracts)

60

95

150

65

110

180

Joint HEI/NHS or primary/community health care contracts

25

75

100

35

125

160

Total

1,100

2,335

3,435

1,380

2,845

4,225

Note: Figures are on a full person equivalent (FPE) basis, and have been rounded up or down to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals. (1) Joint Academic Coding System grouping of Medicine and Dentistry. (2) Based on the academic discipline of the member of staff. (3) Excluding the Open university. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency Staff Record.

Money Lenders

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to tackle loan sharks and illegal money lenders. [156497]

Jo Swinson: The Government established the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) for England and Wales in April 2012, following our consultation on ‘Empowering and Protecting Consumers’. Since its launch,

21 May 2013 : Column 652W

the NTSB has continued to fund the delivery of Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales, which were previously directly funded by BIS. As well as tackling and prosecuting loan sharks, the teams work with community partners to provide access to advice and support for victims. The NTSB reports to BIS on progress on a quarterly basis.

In 2012/13, the teams either charged or had proceedings instituted against 44 individuals for offences which included illegal money lending. This resulted in 13 custodial sentences. In the same year, £120,000 in cash and an estimated £952,000 in assets were seized from loan sharks. In England over £100,000 of proceeds of crime money was re-invested within local communities to help spread the Stop Loan Sharks message.

In Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities launched a month-long Stop Loan Sharks campaign in March 2013. The campaign urged the public to report suspected unlicensed lenders, and was supported through a variety of advertising including on the radio, in buses and on washroom panels.

Pension Funds: Shareholders

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to make it easier for small shareholders to question the way in which their pension investments are managed by firms. [156012]

Jo Swinson: Individuals often hold shares indirectly through an investment fund as part of a broader investment portfolio, or electronically through a broker or other intermediary.

In these cases it is usually the fund or intermediary that has the right to attend, speak and vote at company meetings. However, it is possible for the fund or intermediary to nominate another party to exercise voting rights and that can include individual shareholders. Individual shareholders would have to request that their fund or intermediary delegates these rights to them and it is up to the particular fund or intermediary to decide whether to offer this service.

The Government recently commissioned Professor John Kay to undertake an independent review of investment in UK equity markets. The review looked at the relationships between shareholders, the companies they invest in and the intermediaries and agents in the investment chain. Professor Kay published his final report in July 2012.

The Government welcomed Professor Kay's report and, in response to one of Professor Kay's specific recommendations, committed to explore the most cost effective means for individuals to hold shares directly on an electronic register. The Government are now working to achieve this objective in the context of current EU policy proposals relating to central securities depositaries and securities law. The Government believe that future arrangements for investors to hold shares electronically should increase shareholder transparency and facilitate shareholders exercising their rights.

Renewable Energy

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will publish a long-term renewable energy strategy to 2050 including

21 May 2013 : Column 653W

(a)

the challenges that need to be met between now and 2050,

(b)

his vision for the future of renewable energy in the UK and strategy to ensure renewables have the best prospect of reaching their full potential,

(c)

the role of Government, regulators, industry, academia and other interested parties in delivering this strategy and

(d)

a clear framework against which decisions and priorities for policy and research to underpin the strategy will be taken; and if he will make a statement. [156130]

Michael Fallon: The coalition agreement set out this Government's commitment to supporting the deployment of renewables in the UK. In July 2011 we published our Renewable Energy Roadmap, which set out how we intend to meet the UK’s legally binding target of generating 15% of our energy use from renewable sources by 2020. This was updated in 2012.

In the Carbon Plan (December 2011), the Department set out four energy pathways that are consistent with its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The Carbon Plan is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-carbon-plan-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions--2

The 2050 Calculator model, used to inform the pathways, is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/2050-pathways-analysis

This model describes the possible role of renewables over the decades, without presupposing any one scenario.

Science: Higher Education

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what assessment his Department has made of the success of steps taken by universities to recruit and retain female staff in clinical and medical STEM subjects; [156368]

(2) what steps his Department has taken to encourage UK universities to recruit and retain female staff in clinical and medical STEM subjects. [156369]

Mr Willetts: The responsibility for staff equality matters rests with higher education institutions (HEIs), as the employers. In the annual Grant Letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Government encourage the sector to continue to address long standing equality issues, including more diverse representation at senior levels in HEIs.

Higher education institutions receiving grant funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England also have to meet the requirements of the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 and advance equality of opportunity.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. Membership is open to any university or research institution committed to the advancement of the careers of women in SET. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) provides some funding for Athena SWAN via the Royal Society as part of our science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Diversity Programme.

The Athena SWAN Charter exists to instigate real and continuing change for women and also their male colleagues. HEIs and individual departments have to

21 May 2013 : Column 654W

demonstrate a commitment to improving working practices and also measure the impact these changes are having, and tackle areas where progress has not been as fast. The Charter is run by the Equality Challenge Unit, an independent higher education sector body, which provides higher education institutions with support on all equality matters and works directly with institutions to help them tackle under-representation among staff groups.

BIS welcomes the announcement in April 2013, that Athena SWAN presented a record 68 awards to individual departments and higher education institutions (HEIs). 24% of submissions were from medical and dental schools and departments, and 29% of awards were to these disciplines. Last year this figure was just 9%. This increase will have been due, in part, to the action taken by the chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies. In July 2011 Dame Sally wrote to the Medical Schools Council, outlining her intention that all medical schools who wish to apply for National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centres and Units funding need to have achieved an Athena SWAN Charter Silver Award.

Prime Minister

Regulation

Priti Patel: To ask the Prime Minister what the title was of each set of regulations introduced by No. 10 Downing Street in each month since May 2010; and which of those regulations have been (a) subject to the (i) one in one out and (ii) one in two out procedure and (b) (i) revoked and (ii) amended. [155824]

The Prime Minister: There have been no regulations set by No 10 Downing Street since May 2010. This Government's ‘One-in One-out’ rule has stopped new regulations being added faster than removed. The rule has saved business around £1 billion in regulatory costs since 2011. We have now changed this to a ‘One-in, Two-out’ rule. For every new cost imposed on business by new regulations, we will demand equivalent savings of double that value over the remainder of the Parliament.

House of Commons Commission

Order Paper

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether any financial savings or additional costs are expected to arise from the redesign of the Commons Order Paper; and if the Commission will make arrangements for the views of hon. Members on the new Order Paper to be ascertained. [156249]

John Thurso: No immediate financial savings are expected but in the longer term the redesign will contribute to reducing the amount of hard copy printing, and so to substantial recurring savings. No additional costs will arise.

The redesign of the Order Paper and Future Business was undertaken in-house. The main aim was to make the Order Paper better suited to electronic publication and distribution. The opportunity was also taken to bring the design up to modern standards for accessibility

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by the sight disabled. An Order Paper application which allows hon. Members to download the Order Paper to tablet devices has already been developed. An enriched electronic version of the Order Paper, which will include hyperlinks to documents referred to in it, is planned.

The Administration and Procedure Committees were invited to comment on the redesign ahead of its launch. The feedback received so far has been generally very positive. Modifications have already been made in response to feedback received, such as including Members constituencies alongside their names in notices of oral questions. The Principal Clerk of the Table Office welcomes comments from all users of the Order Paper.

Attorney-General

Prosecutions

Jason McCartney: To ask the Attorney-General what measures the police and Crown Prosecution Service are taking to reduce the decision time in choosing to bring a prosecution forward. [156116]

The Solicitor-General: The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are working together to reduce the decision time in choosing to bring a prosecution forward by:

Improving the arrangements for police officers seeking CPS charging decisions by providing a 24 hours, seven days per week service through CPS Direct, the CPS dedicated charging service: CPS commenced this work on 1 April 2013.

Amending the Director's Guidance for Charging to allow the police to charge shoplifting offences where a not guilty plea is anticipated. Under these arrangements, the police are responsible for charging approximately 72% of all offences without reference to the CPS.

Working with other criminal justice system agencies to embed and extend the use of digital working and to extend the range of circumstances in which specified proceedings may be prosecuted by the police. A best practice model has been developed for specified proceedings, which includes:

encouraging more consistent use and expansion of Fixed Penalty Notices;

replacing court summons with police postal charging;

revising information to defendants to prevent unnecessary attendance at court;

enabling CPS prosecutors to deal with contested cases only.

Extending specified proceedings in this way will offer a simpler and more proportionate response to these high volume low-level offences. It will increase police discretion and mean the CPS can focus their resources on more serious and contested cases, where their independence and specialist skills add most value.

Electoral Commission Committee

Electoral Register: Northern Ireland

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the findings in the report by the Electoral Commission of 27 November 2012, continuous electoral registration in Northern Ireland on the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register in Northern Ireland, if he will provide an estimate of the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register for each Northern Ireland parliamentary constituency. [156046]

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Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that its most recent assessment of the completeness and accuracy of electoral registers in Northern Ireland was designed to provide overall estimates for Northern Ireland and for some key demographic groups. It did not estimate completeness and accuracy by parliamentary constituency. It would have been prohibitively expensive to do so reliably due to the size of the sample required.

The research found overall that rural areas in Northern Ireland had higher rates of both completeness and accuracy than urban areas. It also identified a strong correlation with age and length of residence: individuals in older age groups and those who had been resident at their property for more than one year were more likely to be registered.

The report is available on the Electoral Commission website:

www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what initiatives are being considered by the Electoral Commission to reach out to under-registered groups in Northern Ireland. [156048]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that one of the recommendations in its report on ‘Continuous Electoral Registration in Northern Ireland’ was there should be household registration activity before the 2014 elections. The Commission also recommended that this activity should be supported by public awareness activity.

As a result of the report findings, the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland recommended to the Secretary of State that a full canvass of electors be conducted in autumn 2013.

To support this canvass the Commission will run a Northern Ireland wide public awareness campaign with the overall aim of maximising the effectiveness of the autumn canvass.

The public awareness campaign will take place in a number of phases between August and October to encourage everyone eligible to vote to return their canvass forms. It will include advertising on TV, radio, press, outdoor and online. Although the campaign will target everyone eligible to vote in Northern Ireland it will also aim to target those groups identified in the Commission's report as being less likely to be registered. This includes:

people who have been resident at their property for less than two years;

people renting from a private landlord or letting agency;

18 to 34-year-olds; and

people in the lower socio-economic groups C2, D and E.

Cabinet Office

Clubs

Steve Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to promote membership of service clubs; and if he will make a statement. [155781]

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

It is not in the Government's remit to recommend membership of private clubs. However, we do recognise and appreciate the important role that service clubs play in supporting the armed forces community.

Job Creation: Yorkshire and the Humber

Andrew Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many private sector jobs were created in Yorkshire and the Humber in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [156505]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated May 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary

21 May 2013 : Column 658W

Question concerning the number of private sector jobs created in Yorkshire and The Humber in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. 156505

The ONS does not directly provide estimates for the number of private sector jobs created, only the net change in the number of people in private sector employment, which in turn, are estimated as the difference between total employment from the Labour Force Survey and data from public sector organisations.

The table below contains estimates of the number of people in private sector employment in Yorkshire and The Humber at June 2009, June 2010, June 2011 and June 2012 and the net change between these periods.

On 1 April 2012, English further education colleges and sixth form college corporations were re-classified from the public sector to the private sector. Estimates of their employment are therefore included in the private sector from June 2012 and in the public sector for earlier periods.

The table below also contains estimates of private sector employment excluding the impact of this reclassification, that is, if English further education colleges and sixth form college corporations in Yorkshire and The Humber had been classified to the private sector throughout.

Private sector employment in Yorkshire and the Humber
Thousand
As at June each yearPeople in employmentNet changePeople in employment including English FE colleges and sixth-form college corporations throughoutNet change excluding the impact of the reclassification of English FE colleges and sixth-form college corporations

2009

1,843

1,866

2010

1,841

-2

1,864

-2

2011

1.886

45

1.909

45

2012

1,892

6

1,892

-17

Population: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of the residents of each parliamentary constituency in Scotland were born in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. [156555]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated May 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of the residents of each parliamentary constituency in Scotland were born in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. 156555

ONS do not produce any statistics on parliamentary constituencies for Scotland. This Parliamentary Question should be referred to the Ministers in the Scottish Government for answer.

Regulation

Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what processes his Department has put in place to (a) monitor, (b) collate cost information on, (c) review and (d) respond to requests to amend or revoke regulations introduced by his Department; [155787]

(2) what the title was of each set of regulations introduced by his Department in each month since May 2010; and which of those regulations have been (a) subject to the (i) one in one out and (ii) one in two out procedure and (b) (i) revoked and (ii) amended; [155809]

(3) if he will provide the estimated cost of each regulation introduced by his Department since May 2010; and what the estimated benefits of each regulation (a) amended and (b) revoked were; [155953]

(4) if he will provide the estimated cost of each regulation introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office since May 2010; and what the estimated benefits of each regulation (a) amended and (b) revoked were; [155957]

(5) what the title was of each set of regulations introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in each month since May 2010; and which of those regulations have been (a) subject to the (i) one in one out and (ii) one in two out procedure and (b) (i) revoked and (ii) amended; [155813]

(6) what processes his Office has put in place to (a) monitor, (b) collate cost information on, (c) review and (d) respond to requests to amend or revoke regulations introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. [155791]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Cabinet Office follows the Better Regulation Executive’s Statement of New Regulation processes and guidance to monitor and collate cost information for regulations introduced by the Department. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-the-impact-of-regulation-on-business/supporting-pages/operating-a-one-in-two-out-rule-for-business-regulation

The Cabinet Office uses the Red Tape Challenge (RTC) website to review and revoke regulation. RTC is a cross-government platform, hosted and managed by the Cabinet Office, which allows anyone to tell us which

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regulations are working and which are not; what should be scrapped, what should be saved and what should be simplified. This is available at:

http://www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/home/index/

The one-in, one-out rule was introduced on 1 September 2010 and applied to regulations introduced from 1 January 2011. Since January 2011, information regarding the regulations the Cabinet Office has introduced and those it plans to remove has been published on a six-monthly basis in its Statement of New Regulation (SNR). The statements also show the net direct costs to business. The period January 2011 to May 2013 is covered by the SNRs 1 to 5, which are available on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-the-impact-of-regulation-on-business/supporting-pages/operating-a-one-in-two-out-rule-for-business-regulation

One-in, two-out replaced the one-in, one-out rule and has applied to regulations introduced from 1 January 2013.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how he plans to reflect the number of universal credit recipients in the monthly labour market statistics during the transition from jobseeker's allowance to universal credit. [156342]

Mr Hurd [holding answer 20 May 2013]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated May 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how it is planned to reflect the number of universal credit recipients in the monthly labour market statistics during the transition from jobseeker's allowance to universal credit. (156342)

The Claimant Count is a measure of the number of people claiming benefit principally for the reason of being unemployed. In periods prior to the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) the Claimant Count reflected the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or National Insurance Credits. As UC replaces a number of existing means-tested benefits, including the means-tested element of JSA, there will be people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed both from JSA and a subset of the total range of UC claimants.

Following a consultation in 2012 by ONS, it was agreed that the Claimant Count would reflect those people who were still receiving JSA, plus the subset of UC claimants who were claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed. This UC element would be defined as those claimants who are not earning and subject to a full set of labour market jobseeker requirements, that is required to be actively seeking work and available to start work in order to qualify for benefits.

Once the transition to UC has completed, the Claimant Count will consist of those still claiming contributory based JSA, plus the subset of jobseeker UC claimants. However, during the transition it will also include the remaining people claiming means-tested based JSA until those cases are migrated.

On 29 April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started a Pathfinder for UC which created the first jobseeker UC claimants. The first Claimant Count after the start of the Pathfinder is the count for May 2013, based on a count date of 9 May, due for publication in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin on 12 June.

ONS is working with DWP to include jobseeker UC claimants within the Claimant Count statistics at the earliest opportunity. UC information will be collated and quality assured by statisticians

21 May 2013 : Column 660W

within DWP to ensure they meet the necessary quality standards. Information will then be passed to ONS for inclusion within the regular Claimant Count statistical series.

It is not anticipated that ONS will receive information on the number of jobseeker UC claimants from DWP in time for inclusion in the May 2013 Claimant Count.

In the interim period, until DWP are able to provide a quality assured UC series, ONS will add notes to the Claimant Count to indicate that it does not include UC cases. Alongside this ONS will highlight figures relating to the number of JSA cases in local areas affected by the Pathfinder prior to and following the introduction of UC, to help users understand the possible impact of the absence of UC cases from the count. Since the Pathfinder at first covers just one Jobcentre and is limited to a subset of new claimants, the initial impact on the Claimant Count is expected to be very small.

Once DWP are able to provide a quality assured UC series, ONS intends to include these in the headline Claimant Count series and revise the figures for earlier periods back to May 2013 to reflect the full Claimant Count.

Work and Pensions

Child: Maintenance

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to Phase Two of the new statutory child maintenance scheme, what procedures his Department will adopt when seeking to broker a return to a child maintenance Direct Pay agreement without contact between the two parties, in cases where a parent with care has declared they were a victim of domestic violence, and the non-resident parent, currently within the statutory collection service, has requested a second chance at paying through a Direct Pay arrangement on the basis that his behaviour has changed. [156216]

Steve Webb: Where the application fee is waived because the applicant has declared themselves to be a victim of domestic violence, they will be able to choose the ‘money transfer option’ within Direct Pay. The money transfer option has been designed to provide a safe, anonymous, method for non-resident parents to make payments direct to the parent with care without the latter having to disclose any personal contact details to the former and without the case having to remain in the collection service.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what risk assessments have been carried out by his Department regarding child maintenance cases under Phase Two of the new statutory scheme, where the Child Maintenance Service has waived the intended application fee on grounds of domestic violence, and where the alleged perpetrator asserts the choice to make the maintenance payments due direct to the parent with care who has declared she is a victim of domestic violence by him; and what regard such assessments have to (a) financial abuse and (b) coercive control. [156217]

Steve Webb: Where the application fee is waived because the applicant has declared themselves to be a victim of domestic violence, they will be able to choose the ‘money transfer option’ within Direct Pay. The money transfer option has been designed to provide a

21 May 2013 : Column 661W

safe, anonymous, method for non-resident parents to make payments direct to the parent with care without the latter having to disclose any personal contact details to the former and without the case having to move into the collection service.

The definition of domestic violence for the purposes of the application fee waiver is aligned to the full Home Office definition, and as such will cover any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive behaviour and financial abuse.

If a paying parent withholds Direct Pay payments in order to control or financially abuse their partner, we will move quickly to enforce the payment of maintenance through the statutory Child Maintenance Service.

Council Tax Benefits

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much each English local authority awarded in council tax benefit in 2011-12. [156072]

Mr Hoban: Council tax benefit expenditure for 2011-12 by local authority is in the table entitled Tables showing benefit expenditure by country, region and local authority from 2000-01 to 2011-12 which can be accessed via the following URL:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/index.php?page=expenditure

Note:

The breakdown of CTB expenditure is based on a combination of statistical data and local authority subsidy returns. 2011-12 expenditure is currently based on initial subsidy returns (final audited returns will be analysed and published later this summer).

Disability Living Allowance

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance has been issued to local authorities on the treatment of disability living allowance in relation to applications for discretionary housing payments. [156212]

Steve Webb: In establishing if the claimant requires further financial assistance, the local authority can decide how to treat any income or expenditure, taking into consideration the purpose of the income, where appropriate.

In the revised guidance issued in April, we advised that local authorities may decide to disregard income from disability related benefits, as they are intended to be used to help pay for the extra costs of disability and are likely to be committed to other liabilities for which the money was intended, such as Motability schemes or provision of care.

Disposable Income

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many disabled people in (a) each local authority area and (b) constituency live in households with incomes below 60 per cent of contemporary median net disposable household income (i) before and (ii) after housing costs; [156611]

(2) how many people in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency live in households with incomes below 60 per cent of contemporary median net disposable household income (i) before and (ii) after housing costs; [156612]

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(3) how many children in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency live in households with incomes below 60 per cent of contemporary median net disposable household income (i) before and (ii) after housing costs. [156613]

Esther McVey: It is not possible to provide figures either by local authority area or by constituency, due to small sample sizes. Figures can only be provided either by region, by country, or for the UK as a whole.

In 2010-11 across the UK there were 2.3 million disabled individuals living in households with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income, before housing costs; and 2.7 million after housing costs.

In 2010-11 across the UK there were 9.8 million people living in households with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income, before housing costs; and 13 million after housing costs.

In 2010-11 across the UK there were 2.3 million children living in households with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income, before housing costs; and 3.6 million after housing costs.

Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000. Low income figures are published annually in the Households Below Average Income publication available at:

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

The Government launched a consultation on measuring child poverty on 15 November 2012. The consultation sought views on changing the way child poverty is measured to ensure we accurately capture the root causes of poverty. Measuring relative income in isolation is not a helpful way to tackle progress against our commitment to eradicating child poverty. The consultation closed on 15 February 2013. The responses to the consultation are currently being analysed, and the Government’s conclusions will be published in the summer.

Housing Benefit

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on treatment of vulnerable recipients of discretionary housing payments at the end of a six-month award. [156211]

Steve Webb: There is no limit to the length of time over which a discretionary housing payment may be made. It may be appropriate for the local authority to make a short-term award to give a claimant time to sort out their financial or housing circumstances, particularly if they are trying to find alternative accommodation or gain employment. A time-limited award may also be appropriate when an impending change of circumstances will result in an increase in benefit.

Alternatively, the local authority may wish to make an indefinite award until the claimant's circumstances change. The start and end dates of an award are decided by the local authority, on a case by case basis.

When there is a specific end date to the award, local authorities should make it clear to the claimant what the period of the award is and how to re-apply, if necessary.

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Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure tenants in the social rented sector do not fall into arrears as a result of receiving direct payments. [156299]

Steve Webb: The Government are committed to supporting working-age recipients of housing benefit to make the transition to a single monthly direct payment of benefit.

Landlords will be primarily responsible for collection of rent in the first instance and will be the first to contact tenants if any arrears accrue.

The direct payment demonstration projects are testing how DWP and landlords can best support claimants to make their rent payments. They are already starting to show that a majority of tenants are confident in receiving their housing benefit straight into their bank account.

We are working with the advice sector to ensure that claimants are able to access budgeting support services to help them to manage their money successfully, in preparation for universal credit. We will also have the option to make managed payments of rent to landlords for the minority of claimants who we assess to be at risk of not being able to manage direct payment effectively initially, enabling the provision of more extensive support over a longer period. Full guidance on alternative payment arrangements and budgeting support has been published on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181400/personal-budgeting-support-guidance.pdf

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on housing benefit in each local authority area in each of the last 30 years. [156610]

Steve Webb: Housing benefit expenditure since 1996-97 by local authority is in the table entitled “Tables showing Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit expenditure by Local Authority from 1996/97 to 2011/12” which can be accessed via the following URL:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/index.php?page=expenditure

Expenditure prior to 1996-97 is not available by local authority but total expenditure is available in the table entitled “Tables from 1948/49 to 2017/18” also accessed via the above URL.

Note:

The breakdown of HB expenditure is based on a combination of statistical data and local authority subsidy returns. 2011-12 expenditure is currently based on initial subsidy returns (final audited returns will be analysed and published later this summer).

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many claimants were assessed as a member of a protected group and exempt from housing benefit restrictions for 52 weeks, on the grounds that an occupant of their home had died within the previous 12 months in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [156641]

(2) how many claimants in employment at the time of their initial claim were awarded protected group status on the grounds that they could previously afford their rent in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [156642]

(3) how many claimants were granted 13 weeks protection from housing benefit restrictions in 2012 on

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the grounds that they could previously afford their rent, and were single, under 35 years, without child dependents and living in the private rented sector. [156643]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not readily available, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Jobcentre Plus: Walthamstow

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) the league table and (b) the stricter benefit regime figures referred to in the internal staff memorandum by the Walthamstow Jobcentre adviser manager, dated 20 February 2013. [156523]

Mr Hoban: The Department does not have league tables for sanction referrals. On 15 May 2013, the Department published, down to office level, the data on referrals and outcomes since 2001 and this information can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis

Jobseeker's Allowance: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of jobseeker's allowance in (a) Glasgow East constituency and (b) Scotland have (i) received a sanction and (ii) received a sanction and disputed it in each of the last five years; and how many such claimants had a sanction overturned as a result of it being reconsidered or appealed in the last five years. [155680]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on how many claimants of jobseeker's allowance in (a) Glasgow East constituency and (b) Scotland have (i) received a sanction and (ii) received a sanction and disputed it in each of the last five years; and how many such claimants had a sanction overturned as a result of it being reconsidered or appealed in the last five years are given in the following tables:

Number(1) of jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants with a sanction applied by area and year(3), 1 January 2008 to 31 May 2012
  Year(3)
AreaAction(2)20082009201020112012

Scotland Jobcentre Plus Group(4)

Sanction applied

28,330

35,290

42,230

40,620

22,050

Glasgow East parliamentary constituency(5)

Sanction applied

850

950

1,030

1,060

640

Number(1) of jobseeker's allowance (JSA) sanctioned claimants who asked for a reconsideration or appealed the original decision by area and year(3), 1 January 2008 to 31 May 2012
  Year(3)
AreaAction(2)20082009201020112012

Scotland Jobcentre Plus Group(4)

Reconsidered

7,150

9,180

12,300

13,500

6,840

 

Appealed

590

660

1,520

1,640

440

Glasgow East parliamentary constituency(5)

Reconsidered

180

270

320

340

190

 

Appealed

20

30

70

70

20

21 May 2013 : Column 665W

21 May 2013 : Column 666W

Number(1) of jobseeker's allowance (JSA) sanctioned claimants where the original decision was overturned on reconsideration or appeal by area and year(3), 1 January 2008 to 31 May 2012
  Year(3)
AreaAction(2)20082009201020112012

Scotland Jobcentre Plus Group(4)

Overturned—Reconsideration

3,680

5,100

7,770

9,010

3,750

 

Overturned—Appeal

70

90

150

160

70

Glasgow East parliamentary constituency(5)

Overturned—Reconsideration

80

150

210

220

140

 

Overturned—Appeal

10

10

(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and will include individuals who have had more than one referral decision or the same decision in more than one year e.g. if an individual has a sanction applied and has also appealed a sanction then they will appear twice, —denotes nil or negligible. (2)Action: The number of sanctions applied is the number of varied(6), fixed length(7) and entitlement decision(8 )sanction referrals where the decision was found against the claimant. The decision to apply a sanction can be overturned following reconsideration or appeal by the sector decision maker. (3)Year of Decision: The year in which the decision on the sanction referral, reconsideration or appeal was made. The year 2012 includes data only up to and including 31 May, which were the latest data available for all geographical areas. (4)Jobcentre Plus Group: Formerly known as Jobcentre Plus Regions. Jobcentre Plus Groups were updated to reflect changes to the hierarchical structure of Jobcentre Plus implemented on 5 April 2011 from 11 regions to seven groups. (5)Parliamentary constituency: Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory. Boundaries are as at the reference date. More information and a map can be found at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/beginner-s-guide/maps/index.html Notes: (6 )Varied length sanctions: A sanction of between one week and 26 weeks is imposed for leaving employment voluntarily without just cause, refusing employment without good cause, or losing employment through misconduct. The actual period in each case is at the discretion of the adjudication officer who makes the decision. (7)Fixed length sanctions: A sanction of between one week and 26 weeks is imposed for refusal, without good cause, to attend an employment programme or carry out a jobseeker's direction. Payment of benefit continues in full pending the adjudication officer's decision on a sanction question. (8)Entitlement decisions: These are questions on which entitlement to JSA depends. For example, if there is doubt around whether the jobseeker's agreement (JSAg) is suitable, whether they are actively looking for work or making themselves available for work. In most cases payment of JSA will be suspended by benefit processing until the doubt is resolved. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate: JSA Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database.

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of new claims for jobseeker's allowance in Scotland were made online in each of the last 12 months. [156521]

Mr Hoban: The following table shows the total percentage of new claims made for jobseekers allowance online in Scotland:

 ADS monthly data (%)

2012

 

May

25.1

June

35.1

July

29.8

August

30.5

September

36.1

October

37.4

November

40.3

December

43.7

  

2013

 

January

50.3

February

48.9

March

53.3

April

67.1

National Insurance Credits

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has in the last two years reviewed its advice on whether applying sanctions to National Insurance credit claimants who fail to comply with jobseeker directions is legal under Regulation 8A(2)(b) of the Social Security (Credits) Regulations 1975. [155923]

Mr Hoban: The policy on credits only claimants has not changed—they will not be sanctioned if they fail to comply with a Jobseeker's Direction. We did make some changes to our guidance in 2012, however, to make clear that as there is no sanction for credits only claimants who fail to comply with a Jobseeker's Direction then there is no requirement to issue Jobseeker's Directions to them.

Offshore Industry: Safety

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the Health and Safety Executive of the draft European Union Directive on Safety in the offshore oil and gas sector; [155907]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the restructuring of the Health and Safety Executive on the offshore oil and gas (a) industry and (b) workforce; and what recent discussions he has had with representatives of that workforce on this restructuring; [155916]

(3) when the decision to abolish the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offshore safety division was taken; and whether (a) his Department and (b) the HSE consulted (i) trade unions representing offshore employees and (ii) representatives of employers in the offshore oil and gas sector before this decision was taken; [155918]

21 May 2013 : Column 667W

(4) what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the culture of the safety regime for the UK oil and gas sector from the (a) restructuring of the Health and Safety Executive inspection regime and (b) draft European Union Directive on Offshore Safety; [155922]

(5) what assessment he has made of the effect on the safety inspection regime in the UK continental shelf of the Health and Safety Executive's decision to transfer specialist offshore safety inspectors to a new energy division overseeing the safety regime in mines, gas and pipeline industries and the offshore oil and gas industry; [156049]

(6) if he will publish the evidence base for the Health and Safety Executive's decision to transfer specialist offshore safety inspectors to a new energy division. [156050]

Mr Hoban: On 1 April 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) created a new Energy Division, brigading what were the Offshore Division with HSE's pipeline specialists and its Mines Inspectorate. This relatively simple restructuring will strengthen HSE's ability to regulate the offshore industry.

All of the HSE's offshore regulatory programmes and priorities are completely unaffected by the change and so there will be no adverse impacts on industry or the workforce. Furthermore, HSE will be recruiting additional offshore inspectors.

HSE discussed these at meetings of the Step Change Leadership Team on 13 February and 17 April 2013. HSE communicated the rationale for the creation of the Energy Division to industry and trade unions at the Offshore Industry Advisory Committee (OIAC) on 19 March 2013; HSE consulted its own trade unions in making these changes, however it was not appropriate for DWP or HSE to consult with industry employee trade unions or employers.

Following the meeting of 19 March 2013, an open paper was circulated to all OIAC members. Judith Hackitt, HSE Chair, wrote directly to MPs/MSPs with a particular interest in the offshore industry to explain the changes. No further publications are planned.

The directive on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations has not yet been adopted. We expect the directive will further improve the UK's offshore safety regime by:

introducing a new competent authority for offshore safety and environmental regulation;

integrating management of safety and environmental risks; and,

improving information sharing.

HSE intends to implement the directive in a way that will ensure it plays its part in promoting a proper level of safety culture.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average age is of offshore safety inspectors working in the new energy division of the Health and Safety Executive. [155912]

Mr Hoban: The average age of the inspectors currently working in the Energy Division is 51.6 years.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many surveys of safety

21 May 2013 : Column 668W

inspectors in the

(a)

offshore safety division and

(b)

hazardous industries division were carried out by the Health and Safety Executive in (i) 2007, (ii) 2008, (iii) 2009, (iv) 2010, (v) 2011 and (vi) 2012; and if he will place copies of the results of each such inspection in the Library. [155913]

Mr Hoban: The performance of inspectors in the Health and Safety Executive's Hazardous Installations Directorate is formally reviewed and assessed twice a year via the staff appraisal process. The Health and Safety Executive also surveys all of its staff each year using the ‘Civil Service People Survey'. The detailed information from both approaches is confidential and is not made publically available.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many offshore safety inspectors were employed by the Health and Safety Executive in each year since 2007. [155914]

Mr Hoban: The number of offshore inspectors employed since 2007 is shown in the following table. The figures are full-time staffing equivalents.

As at April each yearNumber

2007

112.6

2008

111.8

2009

103.3

2010

95.0

2011

103.3

2012

104.4

2013

109.1

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on the use of the worker engagement tool kit survey to survey staff working in the energy division of the Health and Safety Executive. [155915]

Mr Hoban: The worker engagement tool kit has been developed by the offshore industry to help in their efforts to measure and improve work force participation in managing safety performance at offshore worksites; I support this. The tool kit has not been designed for, nor is it appropriate to use within, HSE.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the retirement rate amongst offshore safety inspectors working in the Health and Safety Executive was in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and what estimate has been made of the anticipated retirement rate of such staff in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16. [155917]

Mr Hoban: The retirement rates for band 2 and 3 inspectors were as follows:

Full-time equivalents2010-112011-122012-13

Retirements

8

7

4

Average staff in post

95.7

99.8

101.6

Rate (percentage)

8.4

7.0

3.9

21 May 2013 : Column 669W

It is difficult to estimate future retirement rates, as staff can continue to work as long as they are fit and able and they only have to give as little as one month’s notice before they retire.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration was given to recommendations 23 to 26 of the Cullen Inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster, published in November 1990 during the recent restructuring of the Health and Safety Executive; and if he will make a statement. [156118]

Mr Hoban: I am satisfied that the Health and Safety Executive has an expert and independent force of inspectors focussed on the offshore industry delivering the major hazard identification, prevention and mitigation regime that was at the heart of Lord Cullen's report. I am also satisfied that the Health and Safety Executive has to adapt, as it has done since the report was published, how it goes about this task to reflect the changing environment of the offshore industry.

Pension Credit

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency who are eligible to receive pension credit but do not currently receive it. [156552]

Steve Webb: The Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take-up report covers Great Britain for the financial year 2009-10. It provides caseload and expenditure estimates of take-up for income support and employment and support allowance (income-related), pension credit, housing benefit (including local housing allowance), council tax benefit and jobseeker's allowance (income-based). The latest release updates the statistics previously released on 10 June 2010. The figures are available online and can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=irb

Estimates of take-up are not available for 2010-11 or 2011-12 nor are they sufficiently robust to present at geographies below Great Britain. As such estimates are not available for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency.

Personal Independence Payment

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has considered any changes to the personal independence payment system to include a provision for earlier payments to those suffering from specified illnesses and conditions. [156308]

Esther McVey: Personal independence payment has been designed to provide support tailored to an individual’s personal circumstances. We do not think it right that we should have different rules for people purely on the basis of specific illnesses and conditions they have, labelling individuals by their impairments and making blanket decisions about benefit entitlement.

However, there are fast-track procedures and processes for people who have a progressive disease and whose death can be expected within six months. Such claimants

21 May 2013 : Column 670W

will receive the enhanced rate of the daily living component without further assessment, paid from the date of their claim. They may also receive either rate of the mobility component if they satisfy the conditions of entitlement.

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with the contractor for the personal independence payment assessments in Lot 2 (Wales and Central England) regarding Welsh language provision. [156311]

Esther McVey: Assessments for personal independence payment will comply with the Department for Work and Pensions’ obligations under the Welsh Language Act (1993). All materials relating to the assessment process will be available in Welsh and the assessment itself can be carried out by a Welsh speaker, if requested.

Social Security Benefits

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people his Department has stopped paying benefits to for having no right to be in the country for each of the past five years; and what the total amount of benefits claimed by these people was for each of the past five years. [156645]

Mr Hoban: The information you have requested is not held by the Department.

Currently we check the nationality and immigration status of benefit claimants to ensure the benefit is paid properly and to prevent fraud. While this information is used, it is not recorded as part of the payment administrative systems.

Looking forward, the Government are looking at ways to record nationality and immigration status of migrants who make a claim to universal credit so that we have more robust management information about our claimants.

Social Security Benefits: Merseyside

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families in (a) Birkenhead constituency, (b) Wirral and (c) Liverpool city region will be affected by the benefit cap. [156279]

Mr Hoban: The number of households who we estimate will be affected by the benefit cap by:

(a) Parliamentary constituency has been placed in the Library; this will be updated to reflect new estimates.

(b) Local authority area has been placed in the Library and can be found here:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2013-0676/Local_Authority_breakdown_of_those_ affected_by_the_benefit_cap_final.doc

(c) Liverpool city region, this area is a sum of the local authorities within, therefore can be found at the link above.

The benefit cap is being applied through a phased implementation which commenced on 15 April 2013 in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. It will be introduced at a national level from 15 July 2013. Also, estimates assume that the situation of these households will go unchanged, and they will not take any steps to either work enough hours to qualify for working tax credit, renegotiate their rent in situ, or find alternative accommodation. The Department is identifying and

21 May 2013 : Column 671W

writing to all the households who are likely to be affected by the cap and we are offering advice and support through Jobcentre Plus, including, where appropriate, early access to the Work Programme before the cap is introduced.