24 Jun 2014 : Column 153W

Gambling

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on using the increased fixed-odds betting terminals levy to treat gambling addiction in the NHS. [201437]

Norman Lamb: No such discussions have taken place.

The Responsible Gambling Trust expects to distribute £6,292,000 on treatment, education and research in 2014-15 and is funded by the gambling industry and further donations.

Gastrointestinal System

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on NHS patients receiving Enterra gastric stimulator treatment. [200638]

Jane Ellison: Funding of gastro-electrical stimulation procedures is a matter for local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). If a clinician considers that a patient in their care may benefit from this procedure, they would need to submit an individual funding request to their CCG so that they can consider the case.

In May 2014 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued new Interventional Procedure (IP) guidance on gastro-electrical stimulation for gastroparesis, which is a chronic disorder in which the stomach empties more slowly than normal. The guidance can be found at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/14531/67802/67802.pdf

NICE's IP programme assesses the safety and efficacy of (mainly) new procedures that are used for diagnosis or treatment that involve incision, puncture, entry into a body cavity or the use of ionising, electromagnetic or acoustic energy. Unlike NICE's technology appraisals programme, it is not within the remit of the IP programme to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of IPs or to advise the national health service on whether IPs should be funded.

Health Visitors

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change there has been in the number of health visitors employed since the start of the Health Visitor Programme. [201567]

Dr Poulter: The Government are committed to growing by April 2015 the health visitor work force and transforming health visiting services to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities.

The latest health visiting work force data1 (for February 2014) show that the total number of health visitors nationally is 10,267 full-time equivalents.

There are 2,175 more health visitors compared with the May 2010 baseline of 8,092.

1 Published on 21 May 2014 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The next data publication for March 2014 will be on 24 June 2014.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 18 March 2014, Official Report, column 571W, on health visitors, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential

24 Jun 2014 : Column 154W

change in the number of health visitors working with children as a result of the transfer of funding for health visitors from the NHS to local authorities in 2015. [201582]

Dr Poulter: The Department, NHS England, Public Health England and the Local Government Association are working closely together to develop a clear process to ensure the smooth and safe transfer of commissioning 0 to 5 years public health services, (including health visitor service) from the national health service to local authorities. In particular, the Department has established a Task and Finish Group to develop a comprehensive transfer plan comprising the key workstreams involved in the transfer.

Health Education England (HEE), in its December 2013 publication, “Investing in People for Health and Healthcare: Workforce Plan for England Proposed Education and Training Commissions for 2014/15”, has set out its approach to training health visitors in the longer term, stating:

“The job of HEE this year and in future years is to maintain the Health Visitor workforce at these new historically high levels.”

At the national level, the Children’s Health and Wellbeing Partnership will provide national leadership on specific challenges, (such as the transition of the 0–5 service), by bringing together key national partners, so they can jointly contribute to ongoing improvement of outcomes for children and young people.

Hearing Aids

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent on hearing aids in each of the last five years. [201029]

Norman Lamb: Information on national health service expenditure on hearing aids is not collected centrally. However, reference costs, which are the unit costs to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts of providing defined services in a given financial year to NHS patients, provide some information which is shown in the following table.

Estimated cost to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts of hearing aid provision, 2008-09 to 2012-13
£ million
 Hearing aid costsAssociated hearing aid costsCochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids

2008-09

60.7

89.0

18.7

2009-10

57.7

96.0

17.7

2010-11

55.8

103.2

19.2

2011-12

62.1

118.5

26.6

2012-13

62.7

127.6

25.8

Notes: 1. Hearing aid costs are the actual costs of the hearing aids excluding other associated costs. 2. Associated hearing aid costs include assessment, fitting, follow-up and aftercare. 3. Reference costs are submitted on a fully absorbed basis, which means that all the costs of running the organisation are included in the return except where their exclusion is permitted. 4. Some relevant costs may be excluded. For example, maintenance and reprogramming costs for cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aid costs were excluded from reference costs for these years. 5. The supply and fitting of hearing aids is also commissioned from the independent sector, and this expenditure is not reflected in the table. 6. 2012-13 is the latest year for which reference costs data are available. Source: Reference Costs, Department of Health.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 155W

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to reduce funding for hearing aids in 2014-15. [201030]

Norman Lamb: The level of provision of hearing aids is a matter for local commissioners and is based on the needs of the local population.

In Vitro Fertilisation

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in how many of licensable treatment cycles at least 20 eggs were collected in the last five years for which figures are available. [201566]

Jane Ellison: The information requested is shown in the following table:

 Licensable treatment cycles where at least 20 eggs were collected

2008

2,910

2009

3,095

2010

3,435

2011

3,466

2012

3,464

20131

1,764

1 The year 2013 only covers the period 1 January to 30 June 2013. Source: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Kidneys: Diseases

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of kidney disease among the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community. [201145]

Jane Ellison: The Department is not currently undertaking any work to raise awareness of kidney disease among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. However, local national health service organisations can undertake such campaigns should they wish to do so.

The NHS Choices website contains detailed information on both black and Asian health issues, including a page on the increased risk these ethnic groups have of developing kidney disease. The page can be viewed at the following link:

www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Kidneyhealth/Pages/BlackandAsiankidneyhealth.aspx

We are identifying kidney disease earlier through the NHS Health Check. This programme identifies those aged between 40 and 74 at risk of cardiovascular diseases and helps them to reduce that risk. We anticipate that up to 20,000 cases of kidney disease and diabetes (a contributing factor) could be prevented through the programme.

Kidneys: Donors

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will assess the achievements of Kidney Research UK's Peer Educator model to support sign-up to the NHS Organ Donor Register in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities; and if his Department will take steps to support roll-out of Kidney Research UK's Peer Educator model across the UK. [201146]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 156W

Jane Ellison: The Department, as part of its support for the National Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Transplant Alliance, is funding Kidney Research UK to run a Peer Educator Project to raise awareness of the lack of donors and increase the numbers on the organ and bone marrow/stem cell registers within the Pakistani Muslim community in Birmingham. Subject to parliamentary business, the project will be officially launched by the Public Health Minister on 26 June 2014 and will build upon the success of an earlier Department funded Peer Educator project. The project will be fully evaluated and further lessons learned will be used to inform the roll-out of any future Peer Educator projects in other BAME locations across the country.

Motor Neurone Disease

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend pilot treatments for motor neurone disease; and what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on those pilots. [201027]

Norman Lamb: The Department is not managing any pilot treatments for motor neurone disease (MND) and no recent discussions have taken place between the Department's Ministers and the devolved Administrations about pilots for MND.

Motor Vehicles: Smoking

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will publish draft regulations on banning smoking in cars with children present. [201431]

Jane Ellison: Regulations for making it an offence to smoke in private vehicles carrying children are being drafted at present.

Out of Area Treatment: Scotland

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) arrangements and (b) contracts NHS England has for non-emergency specialist care and treatment of English residents in Scottish hospitals. [201082]

Jane Ellison: NHS England has a block contract (value £250,000 a year) for vein of Galen malformation services with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women were admitted to hospital with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how many adverse incidents were recorded in licensed clinics in that period; and what the severity grading of each such incident was. [201565]

Jane Ellison: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the data it holds on these issues are as follows:

24 Jun 2014 : Column 157W

 Total number of incidents reportedSeverity: Grade ASeverity: Grade BSeverity: Grade CNot an incident/near miss

2009-10

497

7

308

146

36

2010-11

586

1

292

255

38

2011-12

571

3

206

308

54

2012-13

503

0

183

261

59

2013-14

506

4

203

255

44

Of these, the number of cases of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) reported to the authority is as follows:

 Number of OHSSModerateSevere

2009-10

121

1

120

2010-11

221

122

99

2011-12

241

196

45

2012-13

179

134

45

2013-14

192

142

50

The HFEA has also advised that licensed fertility clinics are only required to report instances of OHSS to the authority that require a hospital admission with a severe grading, although in practice clinics often report moderate OHSS as well.

Prostate Cancer: Drugs

Mr Simon Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons NICE has not recommended the treatment of abiraterone for use on the NHS; if he will place in the Library all correspondence NICE has received on the issue from (a) patient groups and (b) clinicians; and if he will make a statement. [201499]

Norman Lamb: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published technology appraisal guidance in June 2012 which recommends abiraterone (Zytiga) in its licensed indication for the treatment of castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated with a docetaxel-containing regimen, subject to a patient access scheme agreed between the Department and the drug’s manufacturer.

NICE is currently appraising abiraterone for the treatment of metastatic hormone relapsed prostate cancer not previously treated with chemotherapy and has not yet published final guidance for the national health service. We understand that NICE has recently consulted on its draft guidance for this indication, which can be found at:

http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TAG/434/Consultation/Latest

NHS commissioners are legally required to fund those treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance.

In the absence of NICE technology appraisal guidance it is for the relevant NHS commissioner to make funding decisions based on an assessment of the available evidence. The NHS Constitution states that patients have the right to expect local decisions on the funding of drugs and treatments ‘to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence'.

We understand that abiraterone as a first-line treatment is available through the Cancer Drugs Fund to NHS patients in England who could benefit from it.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 158W

We are unable to provide copies of the correspondence requested in the time available; this information will be placed in the Library in due course.

Psoriasis

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with NHS trusts on the prescription of medicines for psoriasis. [201032]

Norman Lamb: We have had no such discussions.

Information on the prescription of medicines for psoriasis is available from a range of sources including the British National Formulary, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and NHS Choices.

Shingles: Vaccination

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the 70 to 79 age group have received a shingles vaccination since the vaccination programme began in September 2013; how many people he expects to take up the offer in the current cohort; when he expects that figure to be met; and if he will make a statement. [200651]

Jane Ellison: Provisional vaccine uptake data for England show that about 360,000 70 to 79-year-olds received the shingles vaccine between 1 September 2013 and 30 April 2014. The actual number will be higher as about 20% of general practitioner (GP) practices are not able to automatically submit uptake information. If it is assumed that the non-reporting practices have similar uptake rates to those that have reported, then the estimated total number of people aged 70 to 79 years receiving the vaccine in the first eight months of the programme would be around 450,000.

This is the first year of this immunisation programme and there is no formal target for the number to be vaccinated. Eligible patients aged 70 and 79 who have not yet received shingles vaccine during the 2013-14 programme will continue to be offered vaccination under the national programme until 31 August 2014. It is not possible to predict how many will take up the offer of vaccination in this period, but Public Health England expects vaccine uptake to continue to rise, and we would encourage those eligible individuals to contact their GP to arrange their vaccination if they have not already done so.

Further provisional cumulative coverage data will be published on a quarterly basis, with the final annual coverage data for the 2013-14 programme due to be published in autumn 2014.

Telephone Services

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0845, (b) 0844 and (c) 0843 his Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls each such number has received in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at BT local rates are available in each such case. [201444]

Dr Poulter: The Department does not operate any telephone lines with the prefix 0843. The Department has one telephone line with prefix 0845 and no calls

24 Jun 2014 : Column 159W

were made to this number in the last 12 months. There is no alternative number charged at BT local rates available. This number is only used by the internal Emergency Planning, Resilience and Response Team and is not available to members of the public.

The Department has two telephone lines with prefix 0844 0844 892 0111 National Poisons Information Service and 0844 892 0909 UK Teratology Information Service. Both numbers are not in use for the general public. The number of calls made to these numbers in the last 12 months are 25,584 and 3,541 respectively. There are no alternative BT lines for these numbers.

Transplant Surgery

Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on allowing the transplant of organs from people deceased outside of hospital. [200975]

Jane Ellison: Organ donation following death outside of hospital is not broadly practiced in the United Kingdom. For organs to remain viable and suitable for transplantation, they must either be kept supplied with oxygen, blood and nutrients, or kept cold so that the metabolism of the cells is slowed right down. When someone's heart stops beating suddenly, the blood supply to organs stop and the cells begin to get starved of oxygen and nutrients and start to die. Therefore, there is a very narrow window of a few minutes between the heart stopping beating and the need for organs to be removed and preserved.

A pilot programme is under way in Edinburgh for retrieval of organs from those who suffer a witnessed cardiac arrest from which they are unable to be resuscitated and are brought within minutes to the hospital. NHS Blood and Transplant is supporting this pilot and, depending on the outcome, will support further similar initiatives.

Additionally, health care professionals need to obtain consent and get a full medical history to ensure the organs are suitable for transplantation.

Defence

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps his Department takes to help servicemen and women and veterans with psychological injuries; [R] [201428]

(2) what budget is available to help (a) active service personnel and (b) veterans with psychological injuries. [R] [201430]

Anna Soubry: We take the mental health of our personnel and veterans very seriously, and the Government have invested £7.4 million to improve the mental health services available and ensure help is available for everyone who needs it. The Government have implemented all of the recommendations of the ‘Fighting Fit' report, written by the now Minister for International Security Strategy, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison). These include:

24 Jun 2014 : Column 160W

structured mental health assessments at routine and discharge medicals;

access to military Departments of Community Mental Health for six months after discharge;

tailored NHS mental health services;

funding for the Combat Stress 24-hour Mental Health Helpline; and

the introduction of the Big White Wall, providing mental health well-being services to serving personnel, their families and veterans.

The Veterans Information Service makes contact with recent service leavers to make them aware of mental health and other support available in the community.

For serving personnel, the Defence Medical Services (DMS) have introduced a range of measures to identify issues at the earliest possible opportunity. These include pre and post-deployment briefing and the availability of support, assessment and (if required) treatment, both during and after deployments, as well as peer-group mentoring through trauma risk management. Away from deployed operations, our mental health services are configured to provide community-based mental health care in line with national best practice, through both unit-based primary health centres and our network of 16 military Departments of Community Mental Health across the UK (plus centres overseas). In-patient care, when required, is available through a contract with a group of eight specialist NHS trusts across the UK. The DMS does not allocate a specific budget for mental health care, but provides appropriate care and treatment for all those who require it.

Armed Forces: Peterborough

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place a copy of 2014DIN05-013 on The Closure of Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit Peterborough in the Library. [200741]

Anna Soubry: I will place a copy in the Library of the House.

Peterborough hospital is not a level 1 trauma hospital and thus can no longer offer Defence Medical Services personnel the required level of training.

Army Reserve

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps his Department takes to ensure that members of the Army Reserve who are injured receive appropriate support; [201504]

(2) what level of provision is available for injured members of the Army Reserve; [201505]

(3) what assessment he has made of the level and quality of post-operational support provided to injured members of the (a) Regulars and (b) Army Reserves. [201506]

Anna Soubry: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 June 2014, Official Report, column 364W, to the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston (Kate Green).

Reservists are treated exactly the same as regulars in terms of operational training and support while mobilised, including access to the same welfare support and medical treatment through the Defence Medical Services (DMS).

24 Jun 2014 : Column 161W

They are retained in service and will receive treatment and rehabilitation until they are medically assessed as having reached a steady state of fitness, at which point they will be demobilised. If they have continuing health care needs following demobilisation, they will be taken through a transition from military to NHS care. Reservists who are medically discharged as a result of injuries sustained during deployment are also entitled to resettlement training and to the same range of services available to regular veterans. Where service is the only or main cause of injury or illness, members or former members of the reserve forces may qualify for awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).

The level and quality of post-operational support provided to injured mobilised reservists is exactly the same as that provided to regulars, with full access to all the facilities and expertise provided under the Army Recovery Capability, and it is a level of support of which the Army and the Ministry of Defence are extremely proud.

Following the Future Reserves 2020 White Paper, which proposed improvements to occupational health provision to ensure consistent access to these services for all reservists, the MOD committed to extending DMS occupational health provision to non-mobilised reservists. Rehabilitation services are also being extended to members of the reserve forces who are injured during reserve training. This is in addition to the procedure in place since 2006, whereby reservists can obtain DMS mental health treatment through the Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme. Implementation of the new measures started in April 2014.

Army: Recruitment

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason his Department did not provide an ICT hosting environment for Capita on time for the Recruiting Partnering Project. [200298]

Anna Soubry: A number of factors contributed to the problems experienced with the information communication technology hosting environment provided for Capita. I refer the hon. Member to the response from the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), to an urgent question from the hon. Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker), on 14 January 2014, Official Report, column 715.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what military or civilian personnel in his Department of what rank or grade have been reprimanded for failing to deliver an ICT hosting environment for Capita as part of the Recruiting Partnering Project. [200299]

Anna Soubry: No personnel have been reprimanded in connection with the delivery of the Recruiting Partnering Project.

An ICT hosting platform is being provided for Capita.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the initial estimate of the additional costs of reverting to the fallback position of a hosting solution provided by Capita for the

24 Jun 2014 : Column 162W

Recruiting Partnering Project increased from £47.7 million to £70 million; and who was responsible for these estimates. [200300]

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the National Audit Office report, Army 2020, HC 263, published on 11 June 2014, page 30, if he will provide a breakdown of the extra £70 million in costs that will be borne by his Department for the decision to revert to a hosting environment provided by Capita as part of the Recruiting Partnering Project. [200538]

Anna Soubry: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) set out on 14 January 2014, Official Report, column 716, the cost of Capita providing a new information technology platform as part of the Recruiting Partnering Project. At the time, these costs were expected to be around £47.7 million directly linked to the change of hosting provision. Since this statement, the £47.7 million has reduced to £42.9 million.

As previously stated by the Secretary of State on 14 January 2014, there has been an additional cost of around £1 million per month to run the Capita system. This includes costs for additional manpower.

The Recruiting Partnering Project remains within the overall agreed cost of £1.360 billion.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse to date is of the Recruiting Partnering Project. [200320]

Anna Soubry: The cost of the Recruiting Partnering Project to date (for the three years from March 2011 to 2014) is around £300 million. This figure includes the costs of the service provider, capita and costs to the Ministry of Defence such as military and civilian manpower, information communication technology provision and infrastructure.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the National Audit Office report, Army 2020, HC 263, published on 11 June 2014, page 25, if he will provide details of (a) the 167 implementation orders that his Department has already issued as part of the Army 2020 reforms and (b) any implementation orders which have yet to be issued. [200539]

Mr Francois: Implementation orders are used to communicate structural changes within the Army. As at June 2014, over 170 orders have been issued for Army 2020. The Ministry of Defence does not routinely publish details of internal military orders.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what preliminary tests his Department conducted to assess whether it was feasible to recruit and train the required number of reserves within the necessary timescale envisaged by the Army 2020 proposals. [200587]

Anna Soubry: Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, a three-month exercise was undertaken which examined a range of force structure options

24 Jun 2014 : Column 163W

building upon analysis undertaken during the review. These options were then tested for their efficacy against a wide range of scenarios. The options were then assessed by a senior judgment panel, chaired by the Vice Chief of Defence Staff. Included in this panel were the Assistant Chiefs of Staff for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. The panel took decisions collectively and all members were fully involved and consulted.

In July 2011 an Independent Commission to Review the UK’s Reserve Forces, chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr Brazier) and General Sir Nicholas Houghton, then set a target of 30,000 for a trained Army Reserve. This judgment was reached in the knowledge that the strength of the Territorial Army had been over 70,000 in the 1980s.

Subsequent work was then undertaken to establish the time scales to build the trained strength of the Army Reserve to 30,000. This was set out in the Written Ministerial Statement and paper placed in the Library of the House by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) on 19 December 2013, Official Report, column 124WS.

Defence: Expenditure

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it remains his policy to meet the NATO target of spending 2% per cent of gross domestic product on defence; and what recent discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with their NATO counterparts on this issue. [201194]

Dr Murrison: The UK is one of just four NATO nations to spend 2% or more of gross domestic product on defence. On current plans, defence spending will continue to meet the 2% target for the current spending review period. Decisions on public spending after 2015-16 will be made in the next spending review.

The question of defence spending by European NATO partners is regularly discussed at NATO defence ministerial meetings.

Defence: Procurement

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the near cash projected spending on the Equipment Plan and Equipment Support Plan is for each year to 2018. [200902]

Mr Dunne: Projected spending on the Equipment Plan and Equipment Support Plan is detailed in the annual Defence Equipment Plan. The most recent edition was published on 12 February 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279440/defence_equipment_plan_2013.pdf

European Fighter Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was of the visit of four RAF Typhoons to Edwards airforce base for interoperability trials with the Joint Strike Fighter; and what goals were (a) planned and (b) set in such training. [201349]

Mr Dunne: No Typhoon aircraft have been deployed to Edwards air force base.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 164W

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what he expects to make the next main gate decision for the F-35. [201449]

Mr Dunne: The UK remains committed to the Joint Strike Fighter programme, and the next main gate investment decision will be made in due course. The UK has already taken delivery of three F-35B aircraft and has one aircraft currently in production. It remains on track to enter service in 2018.

Military Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what event or risk of event led to the approval of the Collision Warning System Technology Demonstrator Programme for fast jet aircraft; when that event was identified; and where that event is recorded. [200907]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 23 June 2014, Official Report, column 98W.

Nimrod Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the total cost of disposal of Nimrod MR4A associated material at RAF Kinloss. [200901]

Mr Dunne: The current net cost of removal of Nimrod MR4A material is £86,000. However, we expect the final net cost to be lower since some of the material removed from site has yet to be sold.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was of the Nimrod MR4A programme; and what payments were made to each company involved in the programme after 20 October 2012. [200910]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Sir Peter Luff), on 15 November 2011, Official Report, column 743W.

The Nimrod MR4A aircraft programme was cancelled in November 2010, after only one aircraft was delivered which was subsequently grounded due to safety concerns.

Available financial information has not identified payments relating to the programme to any company after 20 October 2012.

Telephone Services

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0845, (b) 0844 and (c) 0843 his Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls each such number has received in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at BT local rates are available in each such case. [201441]

Anna Soubry: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 November 2013, Official Report, column 705W.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 165W

The number of calls to each number for the period 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2014 is provided in the following table.

Telephone number prefixOperated by DFTSSponsored by DFTSHow many calls received in last 12 months

0845

3

18

347,258

0844

0

1

73

0843

0

0

0

Business, Innovation and Skills

Bankruptcy

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what support his Department has provided to companies facing bankruptcy in each of the last three years. [201035]

Jenny Willott: The Department has a suite of business support packages available to companies whether or not they are facing an insolvency event.

In exceptional circumstances the Department can work with companies in difficulty to help find solutions to their needs. Any such support is commercially sensitive and is normally a matter between the Department and the company.

Companies: Ownership

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the penalties will be for companies which fail to properly declare their beneficial ownership on the public register. [201577]

Jenny Willott: The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will make provision for the implementation of a central registry of company beneficial ownership information. The legislation will set out the penalties that apply to companies that fail to provide information, or provide false information, to Companies House. These will be based on, or extend, existing company law criminal offences.

Employment Agencies: Vetting

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with employment agencies on the practice of blacklisting. [200982]

Jenny Willott: Blacklisting is an unacceptable and illegal practice and we take any allegations of blacklisting very seriously. I have not had any discussions on the practice of blacklisting with employment agencies. We have referred the allegations made about an international recruitment agency to the Information Commissioner's Office which is looking into the matter.

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the prevalence of blacklisting amongst employment agencies. [200983]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 166W

Jenny Willott: Blacklisting is an unacceptable and illegal practice and we take any allegations of blacklisting very seriously. We have always encouraged anyone with evidence of blacklisting to come forward so that we can investigate. Any evidence of blacklisting should be referred to the Information Commissioner's Office. Individuals who believe they are being excluded from employment because of a blacklist should seek redress in the county courts in England and Wales, or Court of Session in Scotland.

Exports: Scotland

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the value of exports from businesses in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow and (c) Scotland to other EU member states in each of the last five years. [200757]

Michael Fallon: The value of goods exported by businesses in Scotland to other EU countries in each of the last five years is given in Table 1. Figures are not compiled for areas below Government office region (NUTS 1) level, such as Glasgow and Glasgow North West.

These figures relate to exports of goods only. Regional data on exports of services are not available.

Table 1: Value of Scottish exports of goods to EU countries, 2009-13
£ million
 20132012201120102009

Austria

53

58

80

63

47

Belgium

1,371

979

879

904

727

Bulgaria

46

31

30

22

25

Croatia

10

11

9

9

9

Cyprus

24

25

23

23

19

Czech Republic

93

110

125

125

106

Denmark

336

290

164

179

182

Estonia

102

94

81

50

29

Finland

113

81

74

81

53

France

1,301

1,442

1,517

1,415

1,286

Germany

1,258

1,229

1,275

1,209

1,041

Greece

70

83

109

141

175

Hungary

75

66

67

66

45

Irish Republic

502

521

594

586

481

Italy

416

428

616

470

419

Latvia

194

97

65

37

18

Lithuania

14

11

12

11

9

Luxembourg

16

10

8

9

6

Malta

18

12

11

11

8

Netherlands

1,268

1,308

1,084

1,516

1,393

Poland

200

182

213

175

146

Portugal

97

116

157

149

109

Romania

55

50

53

46

35

Slovakia

18

12

15

11

11

Slovenia

8

10

10

12

9

Spain

685

623

808

772

733

Sweden

371

269

250

230

163

EU28

8,714

8,149

8,328

8,322

7,283

Source: HMRC Regional Trade Statistics, interactive database https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/RTS/Pages/default.aspx

24 Jun 2014 : Column 167W

Exports: Syria

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether export licences to Syria have been granted for the period since 1 July 2012; and if he will describe any such material so exported. [200996]

Michael Fallon: Five standard individual export licences (SIELs) and one open individual export licence (OIEL) have been granted.

The information provided relates to goods or services that have been licensed for export. The licences were granted to international and humanitarian organisations to support and protect staff working in these organisations. The six licences granted authorise export of the following:

SIEL for: components for body armour;

SIEL for: NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protective/defensive equipment;

SIEL for: body armour, components for body armour, military helmets;

SIEL for: body armour, military helmets;

SIEL for: components for all-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection;

OIEL for: cryptographic software; equipment employing cryptography.

The licences were granted to international and humanitarian organisations to support and protect staff working in these organisations.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

Mr Nuttall: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many inspections each local authority has carried out to ensure compliance with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 in each of the last three years. [201237]

Michael Fallon: The data in the detail requested are not held centrally. The total number of inspections carried out by local authority trading standards across all products, which would include those for furniture and furnishings, was 9,674 in 2011.

Mr Nuttall: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many prosecutions there have been for breaches of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 in each of the last three years. [201238]

Michael Fallon: The data requested are not held centrally.

Royal Mail

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 1 May 2014, Official Report, column 782W, on Royal Mail, what link was established in the engagement letter between the payment of the discretionary fee and the ending of the stabilisation period; and what targets or deadlines were set in the letter. [201166]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 168W

Michael Fallon: The engagement letter between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the syndicate of banks involved in the initial public offering indicated that the payment of the discretionary fee would be determined 10 days after the end of the stabilisation period and paid five days after that.

As I said in my previous answer (1 May 2014, Official Report, column 782W), we informed the banks that a decision would not be taken in the time frame set out in the engagement letter given the volatility of the Royal Mail share price after the IPO. The share price remains volatile.

We have not set any timetable for the decision.

Royal Mail: Scotland

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of Royal Mail staff who bought shares in the newly-privatised company in (a) Paisley and Renfrewshire North constituency, (b) Renfrewshire and (c) Scotland. [200637]

Michael Fallon: The Government have not made any estimates by constituency, county or country of shares bought by Royal Mail staff.

As part of the Royal Mail Initial Public Offering, each eligible employee has now received 729 shares free of charge. Only 372 of the 147,000 eligible employees opted out of the scheme. Approximately 99.75% of employees accepted the shares that we offered them. Under the Employee Priority Retail Offer, over 15,000 employees (just over 10%) bought additional shares in Royal Mail.

Work and Pensions

Children: Maintenance

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of outstanding child maintenance arrears currently owed by non-resident parents with a weekly assessment value set at zero are owed (a) by non-resident parents with a current nil liability but at least one child of qualifying age and (b) by non-resident parents with a zero assessment because a case has been cancelled or withdrawn, or there are no children of qualifying age remaining on the case in (i) Scotland, (ii) England, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland. [201262]

Steve Webb: The Child Support Agency (CSA) administers the 1993 and 2003 Statutory Child Maintenance Schemes in Great Britain.

The proportion of outstanding arrears owed by non-resident parents with no assessment value makes up 72.9% of the total value of arrears.

The following table is the proportion of outstanding arrears owed by non-resident parents with no assessment value, broken down into cases in which the non-resident parent has either a nil liability at present but at least one child of qualifying age (No current liability) or a zero assessment because a case has been cancelled or withdrawn or there are no children of qualifying age remaining on the case (No ongoing liability). Data are as at March 2014:

24 Jun 2014 : Column 169W

Percentage
 Proportion of Arrears
 (a) No Current Liability(b) No Ongoing Liability

Scotland

1.2

6.8

England

11.2

69.2

Wales

0.7

4.3

Northern Ireland1

0.0

0.2

Other2

0.0

6.3

Overall

13.2

86.8

1 Northern Ireland cases include cases managed by the CSA in Great Britain where the Parent with Care lives in Northern Ireland. This does not include cases managed by the Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Enforcement Division (CMED). 2 Cases included in the ‘Other’ category are cases where either the Parent with Care has moved abroad, or where the area of the Parent with Care is Unknown. Note: Proportion of Arrears are based on the overall amount of arrears owed by cases with no assessment value in the Outstanding Arrears tables on page’s 36 and 37 of the: Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many Child Support Agency cases there are (a) non-resident parents with a nil liability at present but at least one child of qualifying age and (b) non-resident parents with a zero assessment because a case has been cancelled or withdrawn or there are no children of qualifying age remaining on the case in (i) Scotland, (ii) England, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland. [201264]

Steve Webb: The Child Support Agency (CSA) administers the 1993 and 2003 Statutory Child Maintenance Schemes in Great Britain.

Of the total CSA case load, the number of cases in which the non-resident parent has either a nil liability at present but at least one child of qualifying age (No Current Liability) or a zero assessment because a case has been cancelled or withdrawn or there are no children of qualifying age remaining on the case (No Ongoing Liability) is shown in the table below, as at March 2014:

 (a) No Current Liability(b) No Ongoing Liability

Scotland

32,200

88,200

England

287,300

822,100

Wales

22,200

61,000

Northern Ireland1

900

1,900

Other2

1,200

186,400

Overall

343,800

1,159,500

1 Northern Ireland cases include cases managed by the CSA in Great Britain where the Parent with Care lives in Northern Ireland. This does not include cases managed by the Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Enforcement Division (CMED). 2 Cases included in the ‘Other’ category are cases where either the Parent with Care has moved abroad, or where the area of the Parent with Care is Unknown. Notes: 1. Figures rounded to the nearest 100. Breakdowns may not sum to overall figures due to rounding. 2. Figures are broken down from the No Liability cases published on page 58 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of the total Child Support Agency arrears owed to parents with care is

24 Jun 2014 : Column 170W

regarded as

(a)

potentially collectable and

(b)

likely to be collected in the next three years in (i) Scotland, (ii) England, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland. [201265]

Steve Webb: The proportion of child maintenance arrears owed to parents with care that is potentially collectable and likely to be collected is shown in the following table, as at March 2013.

Northern Ireland does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Great Britain Child Support Agency.

Collectability analysis looks at the likelihood of arrears being collected and does not include a time frame for collections.

Percentage
 Total potentially or likely to be collectedPotentially collectableLikely collectable

Scotland

26

13

13

England

25

12

13

Wales

26

13

13

Notes: 1. Geographical breakdowns are based on the location of the non-resident parent in each case. 2. Collectability breakdowns as published in the Client Fund Accounts include an estimate for collections from future legal activity. As this has not yet occurred then it cannot be allocated to geographical areas so is not included in the figures above. 3. Proportions have been calculated using CS2 and CSCS cases only and excludes cases administered off system.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what timetable he has set for the closure of Child Support Agency cases which do not form part of the agency's current live caseload; [201266]

(2) what arrears validation processes are carried out on Child Support Agency cases which do not form part of the caseload before those arrears are transferred to the Child Maintenance Service for collection. [201263]

Steve Webb: The Department is prioritising the closure over the next three years of cases with an ongoing child maintenance liability, and taking steps to minimise disruption as far as possible for parents who wish the statutory service to continue collecting maintenance on their behalf. Plans for handling cases where there is no ongoing liability, but arrears are owed, are still under consideration. Where there is a link between one of these arrears only cases, and an application to the 2012 scheme, action will be taken to bring that arrears only case up-to-date, before moving it across to the Child Maintenance Service.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many calls the Child Maintenance Options Service received in each month in the last year. [201285]

Steve Webb: The number of successful inbound calls received by the Child Maintenance Options Service in each month of the last year is available in the following table.

 Number of calls received by the Child Maintenance Options Service

2013

 

May

7,845

June

8,915

24 Jun 2014 : Column 171W

July

110,360

August

11,990

September

13,835

October

14,835

November

221,375

December

22,760

  

2014

 

January

26,515

February

25,875

March

26,865

April

24,565

1 Child Maintenance Options started providing a ‘soft gateway’ to the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme, offering parents applying to the 2012 scheme the opportunity to explore the full range of options before making an application, including considering making their own arrangements. 2 Child Maintenance Options became the automatic ‘gateway’ to the statutory 2012 child maintenance scheme, ensuring all parents who wish to access the 2012 scheme are making a fully informed decision and have considered making their own arrangements first. Notes: 1. Data sourced from CMO Monthly MI Service Pack. 2. Data rounded to nearest 5.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what contingency arrangements have been put in place by the Department's Child Maintenance Group to ensure that the Child Maintenance Options Service answers all calls promptly and there is a good service; and how often those contingency arrangements were invoked in the last year. [201286]

Steve Webb: The Child Maintenance Options service has an effective business continuity plan in place, which includes the ability to divert calls to other trained colleagues and deploy a variety of telephony-based solutions such as interactive voice response.

There were around eight occasions in which contingency measures had to be used in the last year for reasons including brief local power outages, activation of the fire alarm system and occasions where call demands exceeded forecasted volumes.

Steps have been taken to prevent or minimise any reoccurrence of these events, including the installation of an uninterrupted power supply and better forecasting as we fully establish the impact of recent changes such as the use of child maintenance options as a mandatory gateway to the statutory scheme.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many cases child support arrears have been written off under the Child Support Management of Payments and Arrears (Amendment) Regulations 2012 since November 2012; and how much has been written off in such a fashion. [201287]

Steve Webb: The circumstances, provided for in The Child Support Management of Payments and Arrears (Amendment) Regulations 2012”, in which debt can be written off are:

Where the parent with care (PWC) requests it;

Where the non-resident parent (NRP) has died prior to 25 January 2010, or no further action can be taken to recover debt from the estate;

Where the PWC has died;

24 Jun 2014 : Column 172W

Where there is interim maintenance assessment (IMA) debt and the IMA was in place between 5 April 1993 and 18 April 1995, and the assessment cannot be adjusted in light of a parent’s actual income for this form of debt when it arises over that period; or,

Where the NRP has been told that no further action would ever be taken to collect the debt.

Since the introduction of the write off powers in November 2012 the Department has written off the following amounts:

Financial year ended 31 March 2013 £1,133,310

Financial year ended 31 March 2014 £15,480,677

The Department does not hold information on the number of cases this relates to.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library and publish the tender and bid for the Child Maintenance Options contract. [201320]

Steve Webb: Contract documents for the Child Maintenance Options contract are published on the Contracts Finder website. These documents include the contract itself, the requirements issued to bidders and the successful bidder’s response. Contracts Finder is a publicly accessible website where contract documents are published in order to meet Government transparency commitments. The specific link to this contract is:

https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View%20Notice.aspx?site=1000&lang=en&noticeid=1072427&fs =true

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Government will receive from deductions of charges and from charges for enforcement action in child maintenance cases under the Child Maintenance Options contract; and what profit will be made by G4S in running this contract. [201326]

Steve Webb: The Child Maintenance Options service offers information and support to help separating and separated parents make an informed choice about their child maintenance arrangement. The service has operated under contract to the Department since 2008, most recently by G4S.

Once client charges are introduced they will be applied by the Department only once a client is within, or applies to, the 2012 scheme run by the Child Maintenance Service, which is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. Charging does not in any way form part of the Child Maintenance Options contract.

Details of the Child Maintenance Options contract can be viewed at:

https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View%20Notice.aspx?site=1000&lang=en&noticeid=1072427&fs =true

The level of profit that a supplier makes through a commercial contract cannot be disclosed as this action would be prejudicial to the supplier’s commercial interests.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of (a) the tender and bid process for the Child Maintenance Options contract, (b) his Department assisting G4S to fulfil the contract, (c) his Department's in-house option for continued delivery before it was contracted out and (d) bringing the work back in-house should the G4S contract be terminated early. [201328]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 173W

Steve Webb: The Child Maintenance Options service was introduced in July 2008 to provide information and support to help separating parents make an informed choice about their child maintenance arrangement. As with all previous tender and bid processes for this work, the cost of the tender is within the Department’s budget.

The most recent Child Maintenance Options contract is available to view at:

https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View%20Notice.aspx?site=1000&lang=en&noticeid=1072427&fs=true

However, to identify specific costs associated with this contract would incur a disproportionate cost.

The Department did not assist G4S to fulfil the contract. It is part of planned business continuity arrangements to use colleagues from the Department in order to take some calls where volumes exceed contracted levels.

Since the service was introduced in 2008 it has always been contracted out. There are no plans to bring the service in-house, and to calculate the cost of doing so would be to provide new information at disproportionate cost.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons the G4S contract to provide the Child Maintenance Options programme was underestimated; for what reasons staff in his Department were assisting G4S with its work on this programme; and if he will consider transferring G4S staff under TUPE regulations to his Department. [201329]

Steve Webb: Call forecasting volumes used as part of a re-tendering exercise for delivery of the Child Maintenance Options service were based on historic call volume data. From November 2013, Child Maintenance Options became the mandatory gateway for all new applicants to the statutory scheme, which led to an incremental increase in demand.

This, among other recent changes, added an increased level of uncertainty into forecasting call volumes, in anticipation of which the Department has in place planned and agreed business continuity arrangements with the supplier. This includes the use of colleagues from the Department in order to take some calls where volumes exceed contracted levels.

This service was introduced in 2008 and has never been delivered in-house, and there are no plans to do so. Therefore, the transferring of staff under TUPE regulations is not applicable.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in his Department have been asked to assist G4S in the delivery of the new Child Maintenance Options scheme to date; how many more staff G4S estimates will be needed to administer this contract when peak levels of applications are reached; and how much in staffing costs his Department is liable to pay as a result. [201330]

Steve Webb: The Child Maintenance Options service is not a new service and was introduced in 2008. It offers information and support to help separating and separated parents make an informed choice about their child maintenance arrangement. It is not a child maintenance scheme.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 174W

The Department has in place planned and agreed business continuity arrangements with its supplier. This includes utilising the Department's staff to take some calls where volumes exceed contracted levels. Over the past nine months the Department has used anything from 5 to 20 people for periods ranging from minutes to hours.

The child maintenance reform programme includes ending liabilities on Child Support Agency cases in the 1993 and 2003 schemes over the next three years and it is too early to accurately predict when peak call volumes into Child Maintenance Options will be reached. Child Maintenance Options calculates resource requirements based on forecast volumes provided by the Department on a rolling three month basis. The number of staff Child Maintenance Options employs will increase in line with these forecasts over the next three years before returning to more normal levels when the reforms have completed. The associated costs are reflected in the contract.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Government expect to receive from (a) the 20 per cent deduction from the child maintenance payment of the paying parent and (b) the four per cent deduction of total payment of support to the child from the receiving parent. [201368]

Steve Webb: Paragraph 106 of the CSA Case Closure, Introducing CMS Fees, Supporting Family Based Arrangements Impact Assessment gives an estimate of the total income by year raised through the parent with care fee and the non-resident parent fee. This impact assessment, published on 22 November 2013, is available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/259694/cm-case-closure-and-charges-regs-ia-final.pdf

Employment and Support Allowance

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he last reviewed the level of income disregard threshold for employment and support allowance. [201294]

Esther McVey: The occupational pension income threshold for employment and support allowance was last reviewed as part of the 2014-15 annual uprating exercise. It was decided that no change would be made.

Employment Schemes

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 1 May 2014, Official Report, columns 813-4W, on social security benefits, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the community work placement and mandatory intervention regime schemes. [R] [201488]

Esther McVey: The costs of Help to Work, which includes community work placement and the mandatory intervention regime, is:

24 Jun 2014 : Column 175W

 £ million

2014-15

190

2015-16

230

This information is publicly available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/263942/35062_Autumn_Statement_2013.pdf

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 1 May 2014, Official Report, columns 813-4W, on social security benefits, what estimate he has made of the annual savings from the fewer days on benefits for participants in the community work placement and mandatory intervention regime schemes. [R] [201493]

Esther McVey: The estimated benefit savings from Help to Work, which includes community work placement and the mandatory intervention regime, is £25 million in 2013-14, £130 million in 2014-15 and £140 million in 2015-16.

 £ million

2013-14

25

2014-15

130

2015-16

140

This information is publicly available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/263942/35062_Autumn_Statement_2013.pdf

Employment: Private Sector

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of recent trends in employment in the private sector. [201313]

Esther McVey: There are more people in private sector jobs than ever before, up over 2 million since 2010.

Independent Living Fund

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of the closure of the Independent Living Fund. [201575]

Mike Penning: The ILF currently makes direct cash payment. These are not intended to pay for health care or to replace services already provided by the NHS.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of Independent Living Fund recipients who will have their care and support budget (a) maintained and (b) decreased when the Fund closes; [201578]

(2) what estimate he has made of how many Independent Living Fund recipients will have to give up work as a result of the Fund's closure. [201579]

Mike Penning: The potential implications of closing the Independent Living Fund are set out clearly in the Equality Analysis that was published on 6 March alongside the written ministerial statement announcing the closure.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 176W

Independent Living Fund: Birmingham

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of (a) how many disabled people in Birmingham, Hall Green constituency will be affected by the closure of the Independent Living Fund and (b) how many of their personal assistants will lose their jobs because of the Fund's closure. [201576]

Mike Penning: The information is as follows:

(a) The Independent Living Fund records data by postcode or local authority rather than by constituency and therefore, does not hold the information in the format requested. As of March 2014 there are 283 ILF recipients the area covered by Birmingham city council.

The ILF publishes data by local authority quarterly via gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-living-fund-user-profile-analysis-march-2014

(b) The potential implications of closing the Independent Living Fund are set out clearly in the Equality Analysis that was published on 6 March alongside the written ministerial statement announcing the closure.

As previously announced in the 2013 spending review, local authorities and the devolved Administrations will be fully funded to meet their additional responsibilities towards former ILF users in 2015-16.

Jobcentre Plus

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the additional costs to claimants living in rural communities of travel to attend jobcentre interviews for (a) fortnightly signing and (b) other interviews and advisory meetings. [200780]

Esther McVey: The Department has not made an estimate regarding the additional costs for claimants living in rural communities. Providing such an estimate would require the DWP to differentiate the costs to rural claimants from those elsewhere. This can be done only at disproportionate cost to the Department. However, the Department does have some flexibility to meet the needs of those living in rural areas: for example, postal signing can be offered and claimants attending interviews on days outside their normal day of attendance can have their travelling expenses reimbursed. Additionally, Work Coaches are also able to use the Flexible Support Fund and issue Travel Discount Cards to help claimants with travel expenses.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether jobseekers must declare casual income earned during a sanction period once their jobseeker's allowance claim is resumed; and whether that amount is then deducted from subsequent benefit payments. [201225]

Esther McVey: When a jobseeker's allowance claimant is subject to a sanction, the award continues even if no actual payments are being made. As such the claimant should continue to notify changes of circumstances,

24 Jun 2014 : Column 177W

including casual work. The normal JSA rules apply, whereby if the hours worked exceed 16 hours or the earnings are higher than the rate of jobseeker's allowance, the award will end.

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of jobseeker's allowance claimants had uninterrupted work records of (a) two years and (b) five years at the start of their claim. [201447]

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

Legal Opinion

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on external legal advice in each of the last three years. [201098]

Mike Penning: DWP spent the following amounts with Legal Services:

2013-14—£7,697,576

2012-13—£10,868,697

2011-12—£16,109,586

Maternity Allowance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women received maternity allowance in the last year for which figures are available; what the average length of time they received it for was; and what the total cost to the public purse was. [201534]

Steve Webb: The information we have for the number receiving Maternity Allowance and the average duration is published each quarter and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/maternity-allowance-quarterly-statistics

The cost to the public purse for Great Britain in 2012/13 was £395 million in nominal terms consistent with expenditure tables published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-expenditure-tables

National Insurance: Asylum

Andy McDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that asylum seekers are able to receive a national insurance number without unnecessary delay. [200843]

Esther McVey: For those granted leave to remain as a result of a successful asylum claim, a joint fast track national insurance number application process operates between DWP and the Home Office.

Nurseries

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of (a) staff in his Department and (b) members of the public who use his Department’s on-site nurseries. [201183]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 178W

Mike Penning: The number of DWP families who use the on site nurseries was provided in my answer of 10 April 2014, Official Report, columns 320-21W, to the hon. Member for Manchester Central (Lucy Powell).

37 members of the public use the Department’s on- site nurseries.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of his Department's Child Maintenance Group on-site nurseries are due to close from September 2014; and what the location of each such nursery is. [201359]

Steve Webb: Five Child Maintenance Group on-site nurseries are due to close on expiry of the contract at the end of September 2014. They are located at offices in Birkenhead, Dudley, Falkirk, Hastings and Plymouth.

Child Maintenance Group child care subsidy was made no longer available to new entrants from 1 June 2012. This brings Child Maintenance Group into line with the Department’s policy on child care subsidy.

As part of its remuneration package, the Department supports employees through a salary sacrifice scheme where employees can give up part of their salary in return for child care vouchers. This scheme allows for significant savings through tax relief and gives parents support in order to make their own choices for child care.

Employees affected by the closure of the five on-site nurseries have been offered a day’s special leave in order to look for suitable alternatives.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of (a) the number and (b) the cost of staff redundancies resulting from the closure of his Department’s on-site nurseries from September 2014. [201393]

Mike Penning: DWP has no staff redundancies as a result of the nursery closures and no associated costs.

Personal Independence Payment

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that personal independence payment applicants do not suffer financial hardship due to delays deciding their claims. [200657]

Mike Penning: Claimants already in receipt of disability living allowance will continue to receive it while their personal independence payment (PIP) claim is being assessed. Most claimants to PIP will already be receiving some element of financial support, for example through earnings or through receipt of other benefits such as employment and support allowance. No successful new claimant to PIP will lose out financially as claims will be backdated.

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to improve the personal independence claims and decision-making process. [200976]

Mike Penning: We are committed to driving up PIP performance, and I am in regular contact with providers to do this—as you would expect. Unlike DLA, PIP involves a face to face consultation for most applicants. Around 80% of claimants will see a health professional instead of around 6% of DLA.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 179W

We acknowledge that claims are currently taking too long and we have taken steps to improve performance. So far we have introduced:

A dedicated phone service;

An electronic transfer of information between claimant’s health professional, DWP and assessment providers.

A new process to enable SRTI decisions to be made in-house with support from health care professionals.

A streamlined Assessment Report form.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimates his Department has made of how many people previously on disability living allowance have had their claim for personal independence payments refused. [201556]

Mike Penning: The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity. We intend to publish official statistics on reassessment claims to PIP in due course.

Personal Independence Payment: Glasgow

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the claim by E. Stewart of Christchurch, ref POS(5)10870/552, for a personal independence payment which was received by the Glasgow benefit office on 2 October 2013 to be determined; and if he will make a statement. [201570]

Mike Penning: Further to my letter of 4 June Ms E Stewart's assessment was completed on 16 June and a decision made on 23 June. Ms Stewart will be notified of this decision on 24 June.

Social Security Benefits

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent assisting people with the costs of (a) travel to interview and (b) clothing for interviews or to commence work in each year since 2005. [201244]

Esther McVey: The information requested is only available from 2007. (a) The costs of assisting people travel to job interviews for each year from 2007 are:

£
 Travel to interview schemeFlexible Support Fund—Travel expenses to job interview

2007-08

2,197,120

2008/09

3,054,761

2009-10

6,483,974

2010-11

5,670,713

2011-12

4,252,586

2012-13

3,938,200

2013-14

6,341,486

(b) Expenditure for equipment to assist people taking up work, including clothing, for each year from 2007 is in the following table. This expenditure also includes assistance with other equipment e.g. health and safety related workwear, work tools and equipment, bicycles and accessories, laptops and mobile phones.

24 Jun 2014 : Column 180W

£
 Adviser Discretion Fund—other payments to clientsFlexible Support Fund—equipment to start work

2007-08

12,022,050

2008-09

15,368,335

2009-10

24,311,277

2010-11

12,258,175

2011-12

10,736,356

2012-13

20,352,052

2013-14

16,998,515

Expenditure totals are not available solely for clothing and would incur disproportionate cost to identify separately.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the saving was to the public purse from the reduction of (a) employment and support allowance and (b) incapacity benefit for individuals in receipt of a pension income of more than £85 per week in 2013-14. [201284]

Esther McVey: The information is not available as no such estimate has been undertaken.

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the date of the oldest outstanding claim for (a) jobseeker’s allowance and (b) employment and support allowance at each Jobcentre Plus office in the UK. [201448]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not available.

Social Security Benefits: Asylum

Andy McDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to ensure that asylum seekers receive the benefits to which they are entitled. [200845]

Esther McVey: Asylum seekers are normally excluded from claiming most benefits.

Those who cannot claim benefits receive support provided by Asylum Support, a part of the Home Office that deals with accommodating and supporting asylum seekers and their dependants.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claiming universal credit were (a) unemployed and (b) self-employed in the most recent period for which information is available. [201233]

Esther McVey: The Department published its strategy for releasing official statistics on universal credit (UC) in September 2013 which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/universal-credit-statistics

Statistics will be published in accordance with the relevant protocols in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has given to the tribunals service of how many appeals will be brought by universal credit claimants in each of the next five years. [201241]

24 Jun 2014 : Column 181W

Esther McVey: We announced our plans for the implementation of universal credit on 5 December, and these were set out in a written ministerial statement of 5 December 2013, Official Report,column 65WS. The WMS can be found here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131205/wmstext/131205m0001.htm#13120551000006

Official statistics on universal credit were most recently published on 14th May and can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/universal-credit-statistics

Our estimates of the number of appeals will depend on the details of the migration schedule which will be determined in due course.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of partners in small businesses who will apply for universal credit; and what steps such people need to take to establish their monthly income in order to do so. [201243]

Esther McVey: We have not produced estimates of the numbers of partners in small businesses who will apply for universal credit.

Guidance on self-employment issued for universal credit decision makers can be found in the Advice for Decision Makers, which is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to merge the two IT systems being developed by his Department to deliver universal credit; and if he will make a statement. [201459]

Esther McVey: There is one single plan for a universal credit online service. The current live service is already offering more online services than ever before, with stronger work incentives to get people back into work, and this week we started its expansion across the North West of England. The enhanced digital system is an extension of the current online services and will integrate work and benefits activity, making best use of technology.